Photo of Puducherry

About Puducherry

A French colonial settlement until 1954, Puducherry (or Pondicherry) proudly displays its continental heritage. Affectionately referred to as ‘Pondy’ it boasts a much more tranquil stay than frenetic Chennai. The French Quarter in particular is awash with quaint boutiques lining the neatly cobbled streets. Our pick of the best places to stay in Puducherry provide the best in character and cuisine.

Capturing the laid back bohemian feel of the city the Old Town is in our opinion the best place to stay. Not suffering from the ubiquitous congestion of other Indian cities, why not hop on your bike for a great way to explore the town.

Set back from the seafront, begin at Goubert Avenue before cycling along the promenade passing crumbling churches and temples along the way.

Thanks to the French missionaries Puducherry boasts some of the country's best collections of cathedrals. From the eldest, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, completed in 1791, to the lavish Sacred Heart Basilica, both are well worth a visit. You cannot miss the twin towers and dome of the Notre Dame des Anges.

Another welcome hangover from the French is the excellent cuisine. Satsanga in particular serves some excellent fusion cuisine, whilst La Pasta does what it says on the tin and is ideal if you are just after some comfort food.

Whether or not you are interested in the art of meditation, a visit to nearby Auroville is a must to witness the impressive gilded orb (reminiscent of a giant golden golf ball) around which the ashram is situated. Excellent locally made cheese, jams and handicrafts are also sold here.

Further afield, if you fancy an utterly relaxed beach break then Nagapattinam is as peaceful as it gets and foodies will appreciate a visit to Chettinad: the culinary capital of Tamil Nadu.

Around a four-hour drive from Pondicherry, Tanjore is worth a nights stay if you are interested in its well-stocked museums and historic temples.

What not to miss:

  • Visit the peaceful surrounds of Sri Aurobindo's ashram.
  • Make a trip to Auroville and experience an enlightening session in the giant gold Matramandir.
  • Take a sunset stroll along the promenade and try the delicious street food.
  • The Puducherry Museum offers an interesting insight to the city's past.
  • Explore the seas during a scuba diving excursion.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Puducherry all reflect the culture of the region whilst providing a comfortable stay.

For a character stay

  • Evocative of the character of the region Maison Perumal does so in a traditional manner
  • Villa Shanti juxtaposes traditional décor with modern accents. Boutique hotel fans will love both.
  • Le Dupleix is ideal for those looking for character. Think black and white tiled floors, period exterior and four poster beds.
  • Le Chatuau is located in Pondicherry's quaint French Quarter and maintains its original charm.

For foodies

  • Famed for its restaurant serving a blend of Creole and Continental dishes, Hotel de l’Orient is known throughout the town.

For a romantic getaway

  • With just six rooms, all made for lingering, expansive bathrooms, private terraces and candlelit dinners La Villa is designed for romance. Treat that special someone to an unforgettable stay.
  • Palais de Mahe oozes colonial charm plus it boasts a pool for cooling off after a day's exploring.

For value

  • The Nineteenth century family home, Hotel de Pondicherry, now turned welcoming guesthouse stay is a charming option and comes at a great rate too!
  • Mango Hill is simple yet chic, the rooms feature private balconies overlooking a sparkling pool. This bijoux property has many of the facilities of a resort hotel: a spa, pool and great food, all for a fraction of the cost.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.

Travel information

  • Fly to Chennai Airport, well connected both internationally and across India. Puducherry lies 135km South of Chennai.
  • By train, Puducherry is connected to Chennai by an electric broad gauge railway line through Villupuram. There are 2 passenger trains running daily to Chennai Egmore Railway station and Tirupati and there is a weekly express train service to Bhubaneswar. In addition to this, there is also a daily express train to Chennai Egmore. Driving is however faster than the train from Chennai.
  • The best time to visit is during the winter months (October - March) when the weather is warm 17°C - 30°C. The summer months can get scorchingly hot and the monsoon arrives from July and runs through to September.
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.

Still not sure?

  • From coastal to character browse through our list of the best places to stay in Puducherry to start to plan your trip.

  • Or widen the net and check out all our recommended properties in Tamil Nadu.

  • Or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.


Monthly Weather in Puducherry

Best Hotels in Puducherry

  • Hotel De Pondicherry Puducherry 13 rooms from £34

    Local exploring  -  Located in White Town, Pondicherry's historic district, and just moments from the beach
    Value chic  -  Heritage accommodation at an excellent price
    Local markets  -  Take a walk down Baker Street and pick up some freshly baked pastries
    Sights nearby  -  The famous Sri Auribindo Ashram is a must visit
    Air conditioningRestaurantNo pets

    Nineteenth century family home turned welcoming guesthouse stay. Le Club restaurant serves Indo-French dishes cooked with love. Rooms are simple yet colourfully decorated with plenty of black and white photographs and curios on the walls. Excellent value in a great location. See More

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  • Hotel de l’Orient Puducherry 16 rooms from £40

    Hideaway  -  Whilst there is so much to do and see in Pondicherry, the rooms are so large and inviting you will want to set up camp in them.
    Great walks  -  Wander around the picturesque French Quarter with its inviting cafes and period buildings.
    Sights nearby  -  You cannot visit Pondicherry without seeing the Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenParking

    This 18th century property displays the best in colonial architecture. Today, full to the brim with Indian antiques: capacious four poster beds, printed fabrics, local artwork and rattan chairs. The restaurant is 'Exotic Marigold' worthy, achingly quaint and serves Creole and Continental dishes. See More

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  • Le Chateau, Puducherry Puducherry 18 rooms from £40

    Families  -  Great value for the family - young children stay free
    Local exploring  -  Located in the French Colony of Pondicherry
    Sights nearby  -  Sri Aurobindo Ashram, centred around the striking Matrimandir
    Air conditioningRestaurantParkingNo pets

    Located in Pondicherry's quaint French Quarter, Le Chateau but adds to the area's charm. Original features such as checkerboard flooring and wood-framed windows complete the look. There is a lovely roof-top restaurant with views across the Bay of Bengal. See More

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  • Mango Hill Auroville, Puducherry 14 rooms from £46

    Spa breaks  -  Comprehensive Ayurvedic spa providing in depth treatments such as Panchakarma and much more
    Value chic  -  Great food, location, boutique rooms and an inviting pool - all at under £50 a night!
    Foodies  -  A huge selection of homemade French cheese - plus delicious fusion cuisine
    Sights nearby  -  The alien-like Matrimandir is a must visit
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Simple yet chic, rooms feature private balconies overlooking a sparkling pool. This bijoux property has many of the facilities of a resort hotel: a spa, pool and great food, all for a fraction of the cost. A little bit of French charm in Tamil Nadu. See More

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  • Le Dupleix Puducherry 14 rooms from £54

    Sights nearby  -  Visit Auroville and the impressive Matru Mandir.
    Great walks  -  Along Karaikal beach is an idyllic stroll.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Full of character
    Air conditioningRestaurantParking

    White period facade, black and white tiles, four poster beds: this property ticks all the 'character' boxes. Fusion decor compliments the fusion menu, which consists of Indian and French dishes, served in an atmospheric dining room. You are within walking distance of Pondicherry's main attractions. See More

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  • Villa Shanti Puducherry 15 rooms from £70

    Great walks  -  As the name suggests, Promenade Beach is a wonderful walk.
    Sights nearby  -  Old Church, just 100m away, is well worth a visit.
    Local markets  -  The Sunday Market is just a ten minute walk away.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningRestaurantParkingNo pets

    This boutique offering has a combination of trendy modern and retro chic bedrooms. Colourfully tiled floors, hindi motifs and locally produced fabrics. The menu, serving gourmet fusion dishes in an open air restaurant, is well renowned in town. An ideal stay for your young couples or small families. See More

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  • Maison Perumal Pudicherry, Puducherry 10 rooms from £82

    Diving  -  Temple Adventures dive and surf centre in Puducherry
    Restaurant  -  Informal dining with local seafood the speciality.
    Great walks  -  Take a heritage walking tour
    Sights nearby  -  Manakula Vinayagar temple
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    This intimate hotel combines contemporary comfort with sophisticated elegance. Airy rooms are classically decorated in a colonial style with ceiling fans and wooden furnishings. Accents of vibrant colour punctuate the colonial French decor, adding a Tamil influence. Simple and stylish. See More

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  • Palais de Mahe Puducherry 18 rooms from £92

    Surfing  -  Temple Adventures dive and surf centre in Puducherry
    Local markets  -  Goubert market
    Sights nearby  -  Ganesha Temple
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessParking

    Palais de Mahe perfectly echoes its setting; with simple elegance and colonial charm this hotel is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area. Rooms are spacious and airy; classically decorated, with wooden furniture, simple white linens and smooth painted floors. A slice of history. See More

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  • La Villa, Puducherry Pondicherry, Puducherry 6 rooms from £141

    Restaurant  -  Fresh and local ingredients
    Outstanding location  -  In heart of old town
    Restrictions on children  -  Must be 16 or over
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParkingNo pets

    A chic retreat on a sleepy street in Puducherry’s charming Old Quarter. With beautiful rooms, delicious French food and a lovely rooftop swimming pool, this is a haven of calm and tranquillity. See More

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