Artsy. Dreamy. Straight-outta-Pinterest.
A city where every little corner is eye-pleasing.
Like everyone else, I did my bit of research on Pondicherry and this resulted in me being bombarded with a ton of to-do lists, blogs, top 10’s, BNB stays and the rest of the usual shenanigans. After spending an hour exhausting my tiny little brain, giving up was the best decision I made.
Pondicherry is a city that is right out there for you to explore and following a route, map, design or method is something that I would do injustice. So here’s my note of the best places for of course a solo traveller.
A small heads up for your solo travel experience
If you intend to travel solo for the first time in India, Pondicherry is the place for you. I travel on budget intending to fulfil my luxurious needs. I can’t ride a bike or car, have always relied on public transport and Pondicherry is one such place where you can simply hire a cycle, wander the heck out in the whole city, eat the fanciest food (in the budget) and visit Instagram-worthy places!
How to Reach
The easiest and quickest way to reach Pondicherry is Flight to Chennai and then a bus to Pondicherry. The reason being - it’s a cheaper option and there is no direct flight.
From Chennai Airport, I took an uber to Koyambedu Bus Stand (you find a variety of bus options from ac to sleeper ones). I took the basic non-ac state transportation bus which cost me 150 bucks.
My flight landed in Chennai at 12:20 pm and I was in Pondicherry by 4 pm (buses take 3-4 hours).
Everything is near-by, you can simply walk around and explore. To be very honest walking around is probably the best way to feel and understand the real essence of the city. Living in a city where everything is at arm’s length is pretty surreal for someone like me living in Thane. Bikes and cycles and easily available on rent.
December is the tourist season and almost all the places are occupied. Luckily, I had booked a stay in Mi Casa Hostel prior. It is the only hostel that is located a few meters away from White Town.
What to do
As mentioned, Solo travel does not mean a typical loner trip. Within a few hours of visiting Pondicherry, I became friends with a local. Next thing I knew, He was introducing me to the offbeat experiences in his cities, and sharing these experiences are my rightful duties!
Watch Live Band Performance: A lot of good French Bands constantly keep performing in Pondicherry. When you are in the city, make sure you lookup for the happenings in the city. Luckily I bumped into a live band performance on a Friday Night
Your OWN City Tour:
Early morning heritage walks are a thing here, but I recommend you to explore this city on your own. I spent most of the days cycling around, making a random visit to places I found pretty. I simply walked into art boutiques and spoke to the owners. The city is filled with heritage architect and handmade products. Locals are quite knowledgeable and helpful, interact with them!
Visit Paradise Beach:
The gateway to living your para-para-paradise dream is an artsy boat that takes you from city to beach away. Sunset, sand bath, and lots of waves. You can ask any local the way to this place, it’s not accessible via cycle. And this place is something YOU SHOULD NOT MISS. provided me with disguised alcohol. I kid you now; I have been on a couple of solo trips but never thought of this genius idea!
Live the Beach Life: Similar to marine drive minus the fucking crowd! Sit right next to the promenade, listening to the sound of waves. In the daytime, you can visit the outskirt beach which has decent shacks
Postcards: Living in millennial ear sucks because you can’t find post offices. One can send postcards from the cafe’s here.
The Night Life: L'e Space is a bar located at White Town. Not-your-usual drinking place! I was quite sceptical about this place at first but I was wrong. I met some artsy and amazing people here and this place will introduce me to some like-minded, open to new experiences people. Also, my local friend (who is the manager here) provided me with disguised alcohol. I kid you now; I have been on a couple of solo trips but never thought of this genius idea!
Swim at Shanbaug: You can see the whole city from the top of this building. Take a dupki with city views as they have a Jacuzzi.
Religious Rituals: Cute Churches and Mangnifcent Mandirs. Ganesh Mandir has an elephant that blesses you, I was super excited to see it but sadly the elephant was on tour while I was there. Luckily, Pondicherry was getting Christmas ready, so I got to visit Churches then.
And finally, the DA is me would suggest you watch a movie at Pathe-Cine-Familial!