On my 24th Birthday, I decided to go on an impromptu trip to Pondicherry. A beautiful city on the eastern coast of India that still echoes the remnants of its French colonial past. It’s often referred to as the “French Riviera of the East.”

Pondicherry is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of two distinct cultures and histories. This article covers my experience and a list of things I enjoyed during my stay in Pondicherry.

Here are the five must-to-do things in Pondi:

1. Beachwalk:

Walking alongside the Promenade Beach is a must-do activity. Catch the rocky beach and witness the roaring waves in all their glory. And the cherry on top: no vehicles are allowed on the Promenade road.

You can also visit Paradise Beach to experience the best sunset in Pondi.

Sunrise at Promenade Beach — Image by Somil Gupta.

2. Explore the streets:

Streets and mansions in the White Town of Pondi will take you back to the French era of the city’s history. The streets here are filled with brightly coloured walls and huge white windows with black grills. Take the time to bask in the graffiti and charming cafes.

Read more: Most romantic spots to visit in India

Random graffiti on a house wall | Random street of White Town — Images by Somil Gupta.

3. Cafe-Hopping:

Cafes are no doubt the highlight of Pondi. You will find a lot of fantastic food you haven’t tried before.

Here are some unique eats that I love —

  • Coromandel Cafe — Personal Favourite

Coromandel Cafe — Image by Somil Gupta.

The combination of its colonial decor, top-notch service, and delicious food creates a unique experience in the heart of White Town. The food here is so good I couldn’t stay away: I visited there twice for breakfast and lunch. Must visit place in Pondi.

  • Baker Street Bakery — 123.Bussy Street
Baker Street, Puducherry — Images by the Author.
Baker Street, Puducherry — Images by the Somil Gupta.

If you are someone who wants to try traditional French pastries, fresh loaves of bread, baguettes, Viennoiseries, macarons, crepes, quiches, etc., then this is the place for you. And the best part about this bakery is that all their products are 100% momemade.

I visited this place because of my love for croissants, as I saw a lot of good Google reviews about it. The 4.3-star rating with 13,000 reviews created hype for me, but my visit confirmed that this place surpassed expectations.

  • Cafe des Arts, 10.Suffren Street

Cafe de Arts Vibe — Images by the Author.
Cafe de Arts Vibe — Images by Somil Gupta.

It’s a 19th-century building with chic and unique vintage decor, along with the garden seating. This cafe’s atmosphere is something you will fall for at first sight.

Unfortunately, I visited the place on the weekend for lunch, and the area was so packed that I couldn’t get my hands on the food. I am putting it here as I have heard good reviews about this place, and the ambience is something I can vouch for.

  • Le Café — Promenade Beach

Le Café building from the outside | Sea view from the dining area — Images by Somil Gupta.

Le Café is located on the beach road and is the only direct seafront cafe in Pondicherry. It operates 24 hours a day, so you can visit this place anytime. And the food here is the cheapest of all eateries in Pondi.

4. Visit Auroville:

Matrimandir, Auroville — Image by Somil Gupta.

Auroville is an experimental township created with the idea of becoming a universal town where men and women of all countries can live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities.

At the centre of Auroville, one finds the ‘soul of the city’, the Matrimandir, situated in a large open area called Peace, from where all the township is spread outwards.

You can spend a day here, renting a cycle and exploring the village. The lush green town includes fancy boutiques, a bookshop, cafés and restaurants serving international cuisine. Other than the village, one can also hit the Auroville Beach nearby, which is a pristine, untouched expanse of white sand and shallow waters.

5. Scuba Diving:

Photo by Jesse van Vliet on Unsplash

Scuba diving is one of the most exciting and enjoyable activities in Pondicherry. It stands out as the exclusive diving destination on India’s eastern coast.

Whether you’re a certified diver or wish to embark on your very first dive, Pondicherry offers an opportunity to experience the underwater sea for you.

If any of the above experiences and attractions pique your interest, it’s time to embark on your adventure in Pondicherry.

Whether you’re drawn to the serene shores of Promenade Beach, eager to explore the streets of White Town, savour the culinary delights of local cafes, embrace the vision of universal harmony in Auroville, or take the plunge into the underwater world through scuba diving, Pondicherry has something to offer to every traveller.

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Till then, Sayonara!!