Alleppey (also called Alappuzha) is a great weekend getaway destination, with a little something for every kind of traveller. You could easily plan a 1 week trip to Alleppey by itself. Or as a lot of people do, along with Cochin, or rest of Kerala. I’ve now been to both Cochin and Alleppey at different times and thought 3 days was perfect for each. I like getting familiar with streets I’ll probably not see ever again, chatting with local businesses I won’t interact with again. It sometimes takes an extra day to do just that, don’t you think? 🙂
Whether you’re planning a 1 day trip or a few weeks, sharing a few pointers to get you started. I’ve also shared my 3 day itinerary for Alleppey, hopefully it helps you plan your perfect vacation!
Alleppey is quite easy to get to, with multiple connections by air, train and bus!
By Air – the Kochi International Airport is about 83 kms away. You will find connections to Kochi from almost all major cities. From Bangalore at least, the airfare is now quite reasonable too.
By Train – I’m quite sure you’ll find a train connection to Alleppey, or at least Kochi, from anywhere in India! Coz that’s how we Mallus roll! 😄 But if you’re not looking at spending days in a train, the most convenient would be from Bangalore, or Chennai at best.
By Bus – a shorter journey than the train, more connections, better timings. All these pros, but I’d rather a train any day! I think it just boils down to being able to use a bathroom at 2 am!😬
By Road – it’s about 600 kms from Bangalore, with a driving time of about 10-11 hrs. Unless you have a couple of days spare to spend 2 days on the road, you’d best not drive. But if you have a longer trip planned, a road trip is possibly the best. You could even break the journey at say Wayanad or Munnar for a day or 2.
By Boat! You could also get on a houseboat in say Kumarakom, and sail into Alleppey in absolute style. 😊
Best time to go
You will find a number of posts and articles telling you how you could go to Alleppey all year round. Don’t believe them. Alleppey can get uncomfortably hot and humid. So if your still planning your getaway, please plan for the months of Nov, Dec, Jan. This is the ideal time to visit not just Alleppey, but anywhere in Kerala. However the state thrives on tourism, so prices are significantly higher ‘during season’.
So as an alternative, you could travel in the shoulder months of Oct/Feb. Not yet unbearably hot, prices a lil cheaper, and better chances of availability.
We stayed at the Ramada Alleppey simply because we got a great deal on a Club Mahindra promotion. 😀
I’m really more of a cheap, but comfortable, clean and convenient kind of person – especially since more often than not we just use the rooms to crash after a long day exploring! We didn’t even get to use the pool at Ramada since we wouldn’t be back before its closing time. 😔
If in your budget, the Ramada was pleasant, comfortable and good service too. But otherwise, Alleppey is full of home stays and smaller resorts. You really will find better options, for cheaper too, if you give Booking.com or Airbnb a shot. We passed some really nice looking properties overlooking the backwaters too.
Compared to Kochi (where I’ve had some of the yummiest Mallu food ever), Alleppey has fewer options. We ate at a couple of small joints, so just calling out the standouts.
Halais – Biryani lovers, please head here immediately! 😋We tried their chicken and prawn Biryani (yes, prawn Biryani is a thing) and it was awesome! So generous with meat and so full of flavour. We also tried the mutton fry, was outstanding. Definitely on my list of ‘must eat at’ recommendations.
Dad’s Cafe – right next to Halais, we stopped here one hot afternoon to get out of the sun for a bit. Their shakes and iced coffees are really good! I understand the food is too, but we didn’t try any. Avoid going here on Fridays tho. Most of the staff is off, and apparently half the stuff on the menu not available or doesn’t taste the same!
Thaff – this is actually my recommendation for a skip! I know, I know.. TA has them rated right on top. But the Fish moilee and mutton curry we had here were just so blah! I understand there are multiple outlets tho, so it’s possible this one was bad. If so, give the one on the Kayamgulam highway a miss!
I can’t be the only one who simply cannot resist picking up some souvenir on trips, right?
As this isn’t my first, and won’t be my last trip to Kerala, I didn’t go crazy (also, have I mentioned I’m from Kerala??). If your trip includes Kochi, you probably want to do most of your shopping there – a lot more touristy and more options really. But I do have one recommendation for Alleppey – Pullikatil Handicrafts. It’s on the boat jetty rd, quite close to the Ramada.
Walk in for some really neat hand crafted wood and bamboo pieces. Some of their work is replicas of styles across the globe. The quality is quite good tho, and not terribly expensive either. They have price tags, so I didn’t manage to talk the price down. But I am possibly the worst at it, so you should give it a shot anyway!
Renting the bike was my partner’s brilliant idea. He’s a little publicity, and fame (😄) shy, so we’ll just call him KK from now on.
With google maps working as well as it does, KK and I were quite happy setting off by ourselves. Car rentals are also available aplenty, usually with driver tho.
If you’re not comfortable on a bike (the sun!), and don’t want to spend too much for a car, there’s always the trusty auto rickshaw! No distance too near or far, we even had autos offer to take us to the Krishnapuram temple 50 kms away! You can even hire an auto for the day, to take you to the different sites and spots. One guy quoted 1200 for the day, but I’m sure you can negotiate it down further. For regular use, expect to pay approx INR 60-70 for say a 4km ride, and a min of INR 40 for any distance. Some indicative prices –
Ramada – Alleppey beach – Rs. 100
Ramada – railway station – Rs. 80
Ramada – Halais – Rs. 60
That’s my round up on the logistics of getting to Alleppey. Does this help? Drop in a note sharing your thoughts!
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