It pays to visit a place that has a historical background along with geographical distinction. Pondicherry is a place that includes certain regions, such as Pondicherry, Yanam, Karikal and Mahe. So far, you can get the French essence in this city in the house designs and architecture, the food tastings, and the city’s culture. Once you visit this place, you will fall in love with the rich heritage of this beach town while enjoying the amazing natural beauty of this place. Whether you are planning a solo or group trip, a few tips are always helpful. So, here it is Pondicherry travel tips This will help you plan a better trip.
12 Pondicherry Travel Tips
Here is a list of some travel tips that will come in handy while planning a Pondicherry vacation. Take a look at it and update your itinerary if needed.
1. Find out how to get to Pondicherry
This is the first thing you need to know about visiting Pondicherry. If you plan to arrive by air, there is no direct flight connecting Pondicherry with other parts of the country. So, you need to go to Chennai by plane and take a bus or taxi from Chennai to Pondicherry. There are also trips to Bangalore and Hyderabad where you can take a connecting taxi. If you have time, you can travel by train as well and reach Villupuram. Popular trains are Nagercoil Express and Pondicherry Express.
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2. Language will not be an issue here
In many states of South India, people often complain about understanding the dialect of local people and encounter problems. In Pondicherry, you will not face such problems. Since this city was a French colony for a long time, people still speak French here and English is also very popular. Among the local languages, Tamil, Malayalam, Telegu, etc. are common. You don’t need to know the local language if you can speak English.
3. Travel around the city
I wonder How to travel in Pondicherry? This is another important thing that you need to know before visiting Pondicherry. There are rickshaws for small distances, but those trucks are huge! You can get hired taxis to visit around the city safely. Auto rickshaws are also there to go a small distance. But the most interesting and cheapest transfer in Pondicherry is to rent a bike or scooter. You can feel the adventure of exploring the city as you want and with the help of Google Maps, you will not feel disoriented.
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4. Book your stay in advance
If you want to avoid crowds in hotels in Pondicherry, you need to book it very early in the tourist season. There are plenty of hotels in this beach town where you can stay and enjoy your vacation. Depending on your visit, you can find different types of hotels in Pondicherry. If you are a history buff, stay at the White Town of Pondicherry where you can stay close to the French culture of this city.
5. Know the best time to visit Pondicherry
Whenever you visit any new place, you need to know the best time to visit it so as not to spoil your vacation. Visiting Pondicherry is no exception to this. The best time to visit this beautiful city is the monsoon season and winter. You can plan your vacation from November to March when the temperature is cool and is in the range of 17 to 35 degrees Celsius. Try to avoid Pondicherry during the summer when the sun is scorching and the temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius.
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6. Stay safe and alert in Pondicherry
Pondicherry is actually relatively safe than many other cities in the neighborhood. Still, there are plenty of scammers out there looking for opportunities to catch travelers. While renting jeeps or bikes, you should always take a picture of the entire vehicle so that the owner does not blame you for any damages not caused by you. Also, you should not walk around the city at night. You can stay inside any resorts, cafes, etc. instead of walking around. If you want to go out at night, be in a group of 5-6 people and don’t bring kids with you. Many areas are quite dark and quiet, so always carry a flashlight and don’t carry any valuables or larger quantities. You should also stay away from talking too much with beggars or any unknown person here.
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7. What to wear
You can dress decently and stylishly here in Pondicherry. If you are here in winters, cover yourself in comfortable woolen clothes, but don’t limit yourself to wearing too many clothes as Pondicherry is not at all too cold to wear. Also, if you are here in spring or summer, wear cotton clothes, such as cotton skirts, T-shirts, T-shirts, shorts, etc. .
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8. Get an idea of French heritage
Normally, the entire city is always alive with crowds and regular chaos. But once you enter the White City, you can realize the other side of Pondicherry. This place is the bearer of rich French heritage and there is also a small part in the White Town, known as the French Quarter. The architecture of the pastel colored houses is the epitome of Little France in India. Located on each side of the alleys and shaded by thick trees, this place will make you feel the serenity of your surroundings. Find a French café and spend an afternoon or evening here getting to know more about this place.
9. Take care of yourself
You don’t want to ruin your vacation with illness. So, while you are in Pondicherry, you need to follow some health tips. Here, the weather is often very humid in monsoons and summers. Therefore, always wear a loose-fitting dress so that you do not catch a cold due to excessive sweating. You can stay away from street foods as they may upset your stomach. In winters, you need to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Pondicherry is a bit dry, so you don’t want to dry out.
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10. What to eat in Pondicherry
Food is something that introduces you to the culture and traditions of a new place. Pondicherry is a port city in southern India that has been under French influence for a long time. So, you can obviously get a great mix of cuisines to savor here. Start your day with a French breakfast with a cup of French espresso, a crispy croissant and a freshly baked baguette. For a completely local lunch and dinner, try tandoori potatoes, coconut curry, lion, soya dosa, budanlangkai and kadugu yeera (a prawn delicacy). In dessert, you must not miss Palpayasam.
11. Best places to visit
There are a lot of places to visit in Pondicherry that you have to come back to again. To make your trip exciting, you can visit Paradise Beach, Chunnambar Boat House, Pondicherry Beach, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Serenity Beach, Botanical Garden, Auroville Beach, etc.
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12. Things to do in Pondicherry
Since Pondicherry is a beach city, you can do water sports, like diving, surfing, or snorkeling here. You will find plenty of centers that will give you professional training in such water sports before you try them. You can also learn Yoga at Sri Aurobindo Ashram and feel the serenity of the place within you.
So, here you get a comprehensive guide to visit Pondicherry. Pack your bags now and head out for your winter vacation in Pondicherry, a stunning historical city with a fascinating coastal culture. Make sure to check out our list of Pondicherry travel tips before heading out. Enjoy your vacation, buy some souvenirs for your loved ones and take amazing pictures for memories.
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Frequently asked questions about Pondicherry
When is the best time to visit Pondicherry?
You can visit this beautiful city in monsoons and winters. The weather is best from November to March as the temperature is calm here.
What can you wear in Pondicherry?
You can dress decently and fashionably in the city. T-shirts, pants, skirts, shorts, tops, etc. are always welcome. Never wear beachwear to town as this can attract unwanted attention.
What is Pondicherry famous for?
Pondicherry is known for its mixed culture with South Indian culture being heavily influenced by the French intervention. Apart from that, there are plenty of attractions, museums, and beaches to attract the tourists.
Is Pondicherry safe to visit?
Pondicherry is safe for tourists if you keep certain alerts. Places like Rock Beach and French Quarter are quite safe at night while the other part of town is not.
What can you buy in Pondicherry?
If you love shopping wherever you go, Pondicherry will not disappoint you. You can buy elegant clothes, handmade incense, semi-precious stones, scented candles, perfumes, French and Tibetan antiques, marble silk and so on.
Can you buy alcohol cheaply in Pondicherry?
Since Pondicherry is a union territory, there are some tax advantages. This is why alcohol is so cheap here and not elsewhere in India.
How are you enjoying your night in Pondicherry?
Although it is not safe to travel at night, you can enjoy the night in groups. Take a boat trip on Paradise Island, experience bird watching on Ostery Lagoon, or go snorkeling and admire the beautiful coral reefs.
What do we eat in Pondicherry?
There are a lot of French cafes, restaurants and bistros, along with a lot of South Indian restaurants and cafes. Therefore, you can experience French cuisine along with local and coastal foods.