The best thing about Alappuzha and Kerala in general is the weather. Due to its proximity to the ocean it is more temperate than central India. The temperature rarely goes above 35 degrees Celsius and never below 20 degrees. The best time to visit is from August to March. Monsoon is always heavy. This place is one of the best place to visit in Kerala.
Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport. Expect to pay about 450rp for a taxi to get from Cochin airport to Cochin, then Bus or train to Alleppey. Alternatively come to airports at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kozhikode (Calicut), Chennai, Bangalore and catch a train to Alappuzha.
There are bus services operating from cities like Cochin (1:15 hours, Rs 33), Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bangalore (overnight luxury Rs 650), Mysore, Coimbatore (overnight Rs.220) to Alappuzha.
Tourist taxis are the most convenient way to travel around attractions, especially while travelling in a group. Most airports and railway stations have tourist taxi services that would take you anywhere you would want to go.
Alappuzha has an excellent local bus service system and it is cheap.
This is cheap way of transportation between attractions.
Local taxis are also available at cheap rates. There are many Car rental companies offering cars with drivers or self drive. Rates are around Rs 7 per km but there are all sorts of extras.
When you are visiting places like Kuttanad, it's better to opt for boats, as many places in Kuttanad are inaccessible by road.
There are also good ferry services between places that are widely used by the locals, a cheap and scenic way of getting around.
Many attractions are near by one another so you could walk between them.
- Alleppey is known for its snake-boat race - the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race , held on the second Saturday of August. It is named after Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated it in 1952. The race is very popular with the locals. Traditional snake boats, each manned by over a hundred local people compete for the Cup. Tourists could rent a houseboat and watch the race close up from those boats.
- If you are visiting Alappuzha, enquire about the schedule of temple festivals. Alappuzha is one of the few towns in Kerala where non-Hindus are generally allowed enter the temple premises. Most of the famous Kerala temples do not allow such thing, and if you are a foreigner you are immediately branded as non-Hindu and prevented from entering. Alappuzha temples are generally not that narrow-minded, though there might be a few areas inside the temples where the entry is restricted. The Ambalapuzha temple festival is particularly impressive. Five elephants carry the Krishna idol for quite a long distance with a music accompaniment. The temple is 14 kilometres away from Alappuzha. It is famous for its rose palpayasam. The temple makes this traditional very sweet milk-based dish as an offering. Because of long boiling the milk condenses turning light pink colour.
- Alleppey has a high percentage of Christians. St. Mary’s Church (Champakulam) is believed to be one of the seven churches established by St. Thomas.
- Houseboats Alappuzha is inlaid with channels that support its thriving backwater tourism. Any tourist coming to Alappuzha should take a cruise along the backwaters. Houseboats can be rented for 12 Hrs to few days and there is a new hop-on, hop-off service through remote backwaters in a shared-houseboat. They come equipped with well furnished bedroom, sitouts, kitchen and modern bath and toilet facilities. Some of the house boats even sport an air-conditioner, though most people prefer a calm cruise with lanterns which add to the rustic feel. The houseboats are manned by drivers and a cook. From the boat one can observe the everyday village life of people, stop for toddy (traditional mildly alcoholic drink made from coconut sap) with grilled prawns, watch birds, and relax in the middle of the lake. It is nice to go towards Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala, where rice farming is done below sea level.
- Houseboat booking Book houseboat through houseboat operator than depending on touts. Touts take commissions between Rs 500 to 2000. It is better to book on internet than wait for last minute booking. You get a better price if you book on internet and most operators give good service. Gwyns Holidays has been giving excellent service to its clients. You can write to them in English or French.
- Activities Overnight canoe trips, bamboo furniture making classes, music lessons, yoga, painting classes etc are organised daily at the Bamboostix Island Resort. Ayurvedic Massage & courses at Sreekrishna and Keraleeyam. Anil at Seashore restaurant organises boating on small foam boat used by kerala fishermen and even fishing expeditions
- Alleppey beach is another nice place to hang out. However, it is not a place for swimming. The water is very deep and the current is very strong. Sun tanning might not be a good idea unless you are in a private place. (Personal note: I often go swimming from the Seashore Restaurant owned by Anil who is a lifeguard at the beach and his small hideaway is further north from the main beach. I have never experienced strong currents in non-monsoon periods)
- Main industry in Alleppey is coir manufacturing. Coir is made of coconut husk. Some of bigger producers organize tours of their facilities
- A bicycle can be rented to see the places, but the traffic might be a little crazy for a westerner to handle
- Kreamkorner is a nice place to have Indian and Chinese dishes. They are located in the Mullackal street.
- Arcadia Regency, a 4 star hotel has just opened in 2006, but has priced meals at really low prices to attract customers.
- Orient Venice Inn Independent Cottages in Alappuzha. Chungam , Orient venice inn is situvated in chungam, alappuzha. Cottage is well furnished with a/c and nice vast greenary around with water front which leads to punnamada lake. See Orient Venice Inn for More Details
- Bamboostix Island Resort claims to have been 'built by backpackers, for backpackers" is a new eco-resort on an island. Very unique construction with bamboo, thatch and coconut with unique activities like bamboo furniture making, music lessons, overnight canoe trips and shared houseboat cruises
- Raheem Residency, classic Indian colonial villa refurbished in a grand style by European owners;now a recognised Heritage Hotel of India; swimming pool imported from France; rooftop restaurant overlooking the Arabian Sea; Ayurveda. Described by Lonley Planet 2005 as "the only top-end place worth considering".
- Hotel Royale Park, a three star category hotel located in the heart of Alappuzha Town, it is located just opposite to Seemati Theater and Vireyya Theater. The hotel having 35 rooms, you can have A/C, Non A/c, Deluxe Rooms, there are Marvelous Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Executive Bar. Foods are just tongue melting, you can arrange Board Meetings, Business Meetings for more than 100 Pax.
- Malayalam Resort is a small (4 rooms) place must be the most photographed (but amazingly least stayed at!) along the edge of the backwater. It is run by a friendly family who cook the best meals in candlelight. Next to the bigger, more popular Keraleeyam which has ayurvedic massages.
- Punnamada Lake Resort - a beautiful resorts on the bank of Punnamada Kayal [Lake], has its own house boats "http://www.punnamada.com/"
- KALYANI KUNJUMON TATTUKADA, LALARCODE. eat mouthwatering beef fry and tapioca from here
- Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort, Alleppey, Kerala, Jana Sakthi Road, Kayippuram, Muhamma, Alleppey 688525, Kerala(resort situated on the Western shore of Kumarakom, at the very edge of Vembanad Lake with a magnificent view of the calm backwaters.), . checkin: 1300; checkout: 1100. The resort offers 27 luxury rooms and suites; and a premium two bedroom airconditioned house boat with an upper deck jacuzzi (The Cruising Villa) anchored at the resort’s private jetty.
- Hotel Royale Park, a three star hotel, located in town centre , having 35 rooms with A/C, Non A/C, Deluxe, Super Deluxe categories. There are restaurants, coffee shops, board rooms, banquet hall with more than 200 pax capacity.
- Sree Nagaraja Temple in Mannarasala is 32 kilometers south of Alappuzha near Harippad. It is a Brahman family owned snake temple featuring beautiful stone carvings of snakes throughout its territory. It is headed by a priestess. The temple deity is credited with restoring fertility in women. The turmeric paste available there supposedly cures many diseases.
- 18th century Krishnapuram Palace is located 47 kilometers south of Alappuzha on the way to Kollam. Its two-story building is typical of Kerala architecture. It contains impressive murals worth watching. The palace also housed a museum of antique sculptures and artefacts.
- Sree Subrahmonia Swamy temple : Sree Subrahmonia Swamy temple, at Haripad, is one of the oldest and most important temples devoted to Lord Subrahmonia. It is situated at the 53rd Kilometre on the Kollam-Alapuzha highway. Annually three festivals are celebrated in this temple, of which the Chithira festival is the most important. It takes place in Medom (April-May). The procession with the golden peacock throne is quite attractive. The beautiful peacock in the temple is a great feast for your eyes (More.... http://www.haripad.com/)