Paradise Beach. To reach this pristine beach you have to take a Speed boat from the Chunnambar Boat House. To avoid getting lost, enter Chunnambar Boat House on Google Maps & not Paradise Beach. Once you reach here, you have to pay for entry to the lawn (about 20/-) & then about 300/- per person for a return journey to Paradise Beach. It may seem pointless to pay to enter a beach but it is quite worth it. The beach is absolutely beautiful, well maintained with showers & changing rooms and is the high light of any trip to Pondicherry. Carry water and some packet food (biscuits/chips) to avoid paying huge sums of money on the beach (the salt water will leave you famished).
Though I have included very few places to visit and left a number of places like Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville out of my list, I am putting in a whole section on the Cafés & Restuarants you must visit. As a complete foodie each of these places have been sampled on multiple occasions and are nothing short of amazing!
1) Don Giovanni
Set on the 4th floor at the end of Mission street it offers beautiful views of the city and the sea. The place serves the best Sun dried and tomato pizza in the world (Yes! I liked it far more than all the pizzas I gobbled up in Rome, Italy) The home made chocolate ice cream is sooo soulful, you will have to order another serving. It maybe difficult to find the entrance to the building (its located on the terrace of Hotel Corbelli - use Google Maps & ask around) but persevere and enjoy the best Beer - Pizza meal of your life! Lunch service closes at 3pm. The owner, an Italian lives in a bubble of his own though he always suggests the best dishes!
2) Cafe Des Arts
Cafe Des Arts is one of my favourite places in Pondicherry. The cafe is located in white town with beautiful mustard walls and amazing graffiti. Its completely out of a European coastal fairytale. The cafe encapsulates all of Pondicherry, the colours, the French history and the amazing food. The cafe offers delicious French food from salads to crepes. My personal favourite are the Ham & Tomato Crepes and the fresh smoothies. The Rickshaw art installation is an additional photo-opportunity. The Cafe is closed on Tuesdays. Also, keep in mind the annual summer break during the off season time of End May - Mid June.
3) Hide Design Cafe
Imagine eating in a Luxury Store! Now imagine sipping on a Corona in style. This Cafe is what makes this far fetched dream a reality, right here Pondicherry, India! This place surely gives you a story to tell!
4) Le Cafe on Promenade Street
I've watched the quality deteriorate in the last 4 years at this once happening place. I however still recommend this place since its open 24x7 and by virtue of its location right on the beach is a great place to chill away from the hot sun and at the same time see the moon traverse the sky at night.
5) Cafe Xtasi
Pondicherry is well known in India for their wood fired pizzas. This is another cafe with lovely views from the open-air section of this cafe.
6) Cafe Rendezvous
This is unlike the other places because of it Modern white interiors. The last time we were here we enjoyed some real awesome live singing. The food is a bit overpriced but we had fun.
Hire a scooter - its the best way around the city (we paid around 3o0 - 500 rs a day)
Cycle on the Promenade - best time, early morning
Try & find a way to the top of the New Light house
Keep an eye on the unique uniforms of the Police officials
Francophones will find their hearts fluttering as you see sign posts & directions in French
Stay at any promenade facing hotels & chill in the balconies at night
A Book by the kilo space on Mission Street has pretty amazing books
Use your time to relax - we bought a facial kit at Fab India & relaxed!
Stay at an Air BnB in White Town