If you follow me on Instagram you probably know I recently traveled to the former French town of Pondicherry. I’ve had Pondy on my list for the longest time and I’m so glad I finally made it to this charming town. I was amazed by how the French influence can still be seen in the architecture, cuisine and some of the older locals speak French fluently (I also experienced evening mass in French at a church here). Although I only stayed here for the weekend, I’d say that was enough to explore the best of this place.
How to get to Pondicherry:
I traveled by flight from Goa to Chennai and then got an uber from Chennai Airport to Pondicherry which took about 3 hours. However, the daily buses from Chennai are a cheaper option. There is also an airport in Pondicherry but the flights were pretty expensive when I was traveling but you can always check depending on your dates.
Places to visit in Pondicherry:
1. White Town
The White Town in Pondicherry is also known as the French Quarter and will surely teleport you to the streets of France. From the architecture here to the names of the roads, everything will make you feel like you’re in a French Town, literally. This has to be my favourite place in Pondicherry and I could spend hours walking around this town admiring the beautiful French colonial-era villas while exploring the innumerable quirky cafes around here. I’d suggest you book your stay in White Town as there are many heritage villas and boutique hotels where you can find great deals.
2. New Pondicherry Lighthouse
There are two lighthouses in Pondy, so make sure you visit the New Pondicherry Lighthouse. It’s easy to find on google maps and it’s located 10 mins away from White Town. The climb to the top is really worth it as you are greeted with a surreal panoramic view of the whole town. P.S. The Lighthouse is only open from 3 PM to 5 PM so plan your visit accordingly.
3. Our Lady Of Angels Church
Located in the White Town, this church has to be the prettiest church I’ve ever been to. The pastel hues and architecture of this church make it so unique. It is the fourth oldest church in Pondicherry and is believed to be modeled after the Notre Dame de Paris in Paris and the Basilica at Lourdes. This is the only church in Pondicherry that offers mass in three languages- French, Tamil & English. I luckily experienced French evening mass during my visit there. Make sure you stop by this church while exploring White Town.
4. Promenade beach
Walk along this popular stretch of beachfront overlooking the Bay of Bengal and watch the sunset with a gelato in your hand. You will find most of the locals walking on the Promenade in the evenings and early mornings. enjoying the ocean breeze. Vehicles are not allowed on this road and that enables you to have an uninterrupted peaceful stroll while admiring the endless sea.
5. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Cafes/Restaurants you can’t miss in Pondicherry:
1. PY Cafe
2. Bread & Chocolate, Auroville
3. Cafe des Arts
4. Coromandel Cafe
Located in a beautiful colonial villa in White Town, Coromandel café has a stunning ambiance. They serve Continental food and freshly baked desserts, I personally loved the caramelized banana bread. I found the place pretty expensive but you could always drop by for a small meal and yummy desserts. P.S they have a very limited menu for breakfast, so try visiting for lunch or dinner.
5. GMT- Gelateria Montecatini Terme
Located right on Promenade beach, GMT serves yummy authentic Italian gelato. It’s the perfect indulgence after a long walk on the promenade and they have a huge selection at very reasonable prices.
6. Canteen 18
Jazz music, vintage vibes and great burgers! The place is quite small but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed once you enter. The ambiance takes you back in time with the dim lighting and soothing jazz tunes!
Thank you for reading! I hope this blog post will help you in planning your trip to Pondicherry. Happy travels! xx
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