28 Things To Do in Port Blair
The capital of Andaman is the core of the Andaman Islands. Make it a short yet important part of your entire experience here. With a rich and diverse history as well as a bustling port and town, there is a lot to experience here.
Here’s a list of 28 Things to do in Port Blair -:
#1 Visit the Cellular Jail
Constructed between 1857 and 1906, the Cellular jail called “Kalapani” stands as a gritty reminder of the colonial rule and the undaunted spirit of our freedom fighters that were sent here to face punishment by the British.
The silent walls and corridors of Kalapani have witnessed the horrors of torture and the spirit of resistance and still stand, bleak and empty as ever. Built to give the guards an all-round view of the inmates, you can now catch amazing views from the top of the watchtowers.
Derived from Hindi words “kala” meaning death and “pani” meaning water, the jail held freedom fighters like Yogendra Shukla, Batukeshwar Dutt, and Babarao Savarkar. You can visit the gallows here for an eerie experience. Another thing to admire here is the strategic constructions that highlight the tactical mind of the British Empire, and also get the feel of prison life.
Cost of Admission: Rs 30
You can get a guide for Rs 200
Timings: 9 AM to 1 PM and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Closed on Monday and Government holidays
Address: GB Pant Road, Port Blair, South Andaman
#2 Head over to Ross Island
Once known as the “Paris of the East”, Ross Island was the seat of British power for nearly a century and its mesmerizing ruins paint the image of just how much this place bustled with life during its time. The island was modernized and was something of the future with the arrival of machinery and the Printing press and was also a cultural bonanza with dance and music decorating the evenings.
However, World War 2 ended the British rule on the island and now the structures lie in ruins. That doesn’t stop it from being an interesting place to visit. The many constructions on Ross Island tell tales of the history of Andaman and are surely a treat to the eyes. There is even a British Machine gun nest with bullet holes that can be visited.
Ross Island is now maintained by the navy. Along with the ruins, a museum can also be visited. There are plenty of peacocks and deer on the island that brings the place to life and to top it all there is a sound and light show every evening (except Wednesday) in Hindi that depicts the past of the island in the words of Gulzar. The island can be accessed via ferries that ply from the water sports complex in Port Blair.
Location: Ross Island, short 15mins boat ride from Port Blair, Aberdeen Jetty/ Water Sports Complex.
Cost: The jetty to Ross Island costs Rs 90
The light and sound show costs Rs 100
Timing: Ticket counter (at Port Blair) is open from 8.30 AM to 3:30 PM. The light and sound show begins at 4.30 PM.
#3 Climb the Lighthouse on North Bay Island
You can take a 2 Island tour including Ross Island and North Bay Island! We’ve already described Ross Island, so we’re going to give you a whiff of North Bay.
Towering over all islands is the Lighthouse on North Bay Island that is featured on the Rs 20 note. This lighthouse has an almost iconic status and rewards anyone brave enough to climb it with a spectacular view of the expanse of sparkling water to the horizon. Shallow waters make coral viewing a sensation here which lights up the place with colour. A variety of water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and sea walks are offered here and a trip to North Bay can consume your day so we advise you to carry a few beverages and snacks.
#4 Bird Watching
If there’s one activity that you shouldn’t miss out on, it’s bird watching. A variety of bird species frequent Andaman and bring life to the place with their chirping. Enthusiasts often have a ball of a time observing the different birds and many photographers spend time taking pictures of them. So much so that there are even bird watching tours organised. Find out about these tours here.
#5 Take Part in a Day trip to Chidiya Tapu
Chidiya Tapu is as close to nature as you’ll get. With a meandering mangrove, the scene is completed with stunning sunsets. Only 40 minutes away from Port Blair, the beach is also called Sunset Point because of the majestic views during late evenings. The seabed however is very rocky and not recommended for swimming. The beach has been remodeled and redesigned, much to the favour of the travelers that love this area. A defining point of Chidiya Tapu is that you can trek to the southernmost tip of Andaman. A 1.5 km trek through the dense jungle is rewarded with an unparalleled view of the ocean. The trek even has branches en route for you to refresh yourself so you can make a picnic out of the day.
#6 Coral Spotting
The corals are a blessing to Andaman, and a blessing to the eyes as well. Corals dot the seabed and are visible in shallow and clear water. Red Skin Island and Jolly Buoy are two places where coral spotting is at its best. The plastic-free islands will have you immersed in bliss in no time. You can enjoy a swim in the pristine water and explore the area of the corals which are at a mere depth of 3-4 meters. Red Skin Island isn’t open throughout the year to protect the live corals but don’t worry- when Red Skin is closed, Jolly Buoy is usually open for visitors! Note that plastic is a strict no, and there are no food shacks so be sure to carry your snacks.
#7 Learn about the Tribal Life
Learn about the different tribes that are native inhabitants of the island and have been for the last 1000 years. Most of these tribes prefer to live in isolation and thus access to their lands is restricted. The Anthropological Museum covers all you need to know about the tribes such as the Andamanese, Sentinelese, Jarawas, Onge, and more. It has artifacts and tools used by them in their day-to-day lives; it is quite intriguing. Swift through over a hundred rare books available at the State Library which isn’t a place normally visited but has volumes of knowledge to offer. You can borrow a book and enjoy a read in the Air-conditioned isles of the library.
#8 Visit Gandhi Park
A couple of hours spent here is what you may just need to kick back and relax. The calm and composed mind of Mahatma Gandhi is brought to life in the atmosphere of Gandhi Park, where you can laze around as much as you like. A statue of Gandhi at the center of the park overlooks everything. The lake there has activities like boating and around it lies a nature trail! The memories of the brief Japanese occupation of the island lies in the temple and bunker that adorn the area. Gandhi Park truly provides a break from the frenetic pace of daily life.
Note that there are fast food joints outside the park and it’s probably best you skip the park if you’re staying for just a few days on the island.
#9 Try the Street Food
Highly influenced by Kolkata, the street food in Port Blair consists of pani puri/ puchkas that are sold by vendors at INR 1 apiece.
The best place to try street food would be opposite the Aberdeen Jetty. Every evening after 6 PM, you can find a variety of food such as burgers, noodles, pav-bhaji and more being sold. If you have a sensitive stomach don’t worry, you can try the sweet and chaat shop at Icy Spicy. You can find everything from puchka to momos and samosas to jalebis here although they may be a bit costlier than the vendors. They do however come with the benefit of quality and hygiene.
#10 Don’t miss out on Butterfly Garden
Mount Harriet National Park at Port Blair is home to some of the largest butterflies in the world and offers the richest butterfly diversity you’ll ever see. The fantasy-like colours on the butterflies here are something that cannot be described by words and you’ll have to experience it yourself. Along with this, several animals and birds can also be spotted here.
#11 Go Shopping
Aberdeen Bazaar: Located in the bustling city of Port Blair, Aberdeen Bazaar is a shoppers paradise. It is an active marketplace jam-packed with supply shops for umbrellas, footwear, raincoats, hats, stationery, and other essentials. When you are done negotiating for products to take back home, take a stroll through the market for parathas at locals stalls and savories at Lighthouse Restaurant, Hotel J and Hotel Annapurna to name a few. You can also buy Andaman t-shirts with quotes and heritage prints on them.
Sagarika emporium: The government of Andaman has taken initiative and set up an emporium for skilled locals to display their crafts and items and sell them at fixed prices. Spices, souvenirs, handcrafted clothes, and wooden items are incessantly available here. Naturally grown, pesticide-free spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are available under the name of “Spices of Andaman” in the market for 30 years. Mirrors, jute items, apparels, and pearls at several stalls are eye-catching.
#12 Gaze upon the Sunset
If relaxing sunsets and late evening aesthetics are what you’re in it for, you can enjoy a few drinks at the roof bars of Lov Garden, Amaya, and Nico-Bar.
Amaya has a magnificent rooftop sea view and offers excellent seafood, barbecue, sizzlers, and cocktails. Live music sets the mood as you enjoy the evening breeze, and you’ve got to try out their signature flaming shots before leaving. Don’t miss out on the nightlife scene at Nico-Bar, which offers a selection of spirits, wines, and beer, and of course, their fruity concoctions served in coconut shells- courtesy of the barman.
Cost for two: 1500
Location: Seashell Hotel, Marine Hill
Nico-Bar, Fortune Bay Island, Port Blair
Cost for two: 1200
Location: Marine Hill, Port Blair, 744101
#13 Unleash your adventurous side at Corbyn’s Cove
If it’s one thing Corbyn’s Cove is known for, it’s the water sports. Jet skiing over the waters is a beauty, with the clear water showcasing the colourful corals on the seabed. If you want to see these corals up close and personal, scuba diving is also available along with surfing and boating.
From here you can also visit Snake Island which claims to have deadly snakes slithering about which can be accessed via a boat. Bunkers built by the Japanese army as defensive measures can also be seen and explored here. December – early May would be the best time to visit this area to get a clear view of the corals and also to indulge in adventurous activities.
Cost: INR 150 by Autorickshaw / you can rent a motorcycle
#14 Soothe your soul with a Yoga session
Inner peace…Inner peace. Yes, you can even find your inner peace without being disturbed here at Myoho Yoga that offers serene rooftop sessions with qualified instructors. Enjoy a refreshing serving of tea and snacks after your session.
#15 Experience a Dinner Cruise
TSG Bella Bay hosts a beautiful and luxurious dinner cruise which departs every evening from the Junglighat jetty. If you are looking for a fun evening with some live music and a DJ with your loved ones or a special someone, we recommend this; it’s one of the best things you could do in Port Blair. Cool evening sea breeze greets you while you listen to the local Nicobar band play live music, right under the stars. The buffet dinner costs around 2999 per person and you take away memories of a lifetime.
#16 Be that Romeo
Apart from the dinner cruise under the stars, there are many romantic things to do in Andaman. If you want to pamper your loved one and want a memory to cherish together, then a candlelight dinner by the sea and under the stars is your perfect opportunity! This is an experience that will weave the magic of Andaman into a romantic dinner with some sparkling wine and delicious food. After all, those are the only things that a heart craves!
#17 Visit Jogger’s Park
Missed by most people visiting, Joggers Park is a peaceful place recommended for honeymooners who want to enjoy the calm and quiet of the island. A magnificent spectacle is when the sun goes down and the darkness creeps into the sky. The illuminated city is something of wonder at this time and Joggers Park is the best seat in the house to see it.
#18 Hop on a Glass Bottom Boat Ride
The name says it all. Be in the water without being in the water with the glass bottom boat ride. You can witness all the corals and other aquatic life with the comfort of the boat. Port Blair offers Glass Bottom Boat Ride by Andaman Dolphin which is a luxury speed boat. This can prove a great experience for families. Book these rides here.
#19 Ride on a semi-submarine
Do you want to witness the colourful seabed without getting wet? Well, then you have to give the semi-submarine a go. The coral safari lets you explore the seabed differently altogether with the feel of a submarine descending to the depths. This is a unique experience that can be given a go if you have spare time on your hands.
#20 Organise a Photoshoot
Gone are those days when we said the best moments can’t be captured. 10 Degrees photography in Port Blair offers a candid photoshoot for you and your loved ones. Found a location you think is best for a photoshoot? These guys have got you covered. Book here.
You can even take a photography tour to explore the different birds of Andaman. Find out more here.
#21 Head on a Trip to Mount Harriet
Get an astonishing eagle’s eye view of the Andaman coastline from the peak of Mount Harriet. The ruins of a British summer house is an iconic landmark of the area from which great pictures can be taken. Mount Harriet is a great place for landscape photography and would definitely stand out in your feed.
#22 Vacation in style
Have you been doing way too much work and need a clear mind to relax with? Say no more. Treat yourself to stays in Symphony Samudra, Big Tree Resort, Wild Grass, and Sea Princess which are all 5-star luxury properties. You’ll be pampered here with almost all the amenities and goodies that will make you feel like a royal. Find out more about these resorts here .
#23 Relax in style at the Spas
The spas and the massages here prove quite the cure for tension in the body. Couple massages are a wonderful way to relax and de-stress. They hold the power to create a closer bond in your relationship through a shared experience. Let go of all your worries, and enjoy a soothing massage with your loved one at luxurious stays like Aqua Spa and Symphony Samudra and Sinclairs Bay View
These aptly encapsulate most of the activities and experiences Port Blair has to offer that cater to all spirits. One thing’s for sure- no one leaves without a smile.
#24 Museum Hopping
Andaman has a long and intriguing history that mostly goes unnoticed by many tourists. The island has seen itself come under British, Dutch, and even Japanese rule, and this is just 200 years of it! Apart from this, there are also a variety of Tribes that are native to Andaman such as the Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese and the Andamanese. If you’re curious, you can check out the Anthropological Museum which displays many tribal artifacts such as weapons and tools. You can also visit the Zoological Survey Museum that has a range of wildlife of the region displayed. It is quite interesting although not frequently visited and boasts a wide collection of animals and reptiles. It even has a beautiful display of butterflies that resemble a palette of colours.
#25 Go Scuba Diving at Chidiya Tapu
Scuba Diving is something you have to do in Andaman; you cannot leave without experiencing it. Chidiya Tapu has clear water that makes it perfect for Scuba diving. You can view the beautiful corals and marine life from the seabed and be up close and personal with them. It really is a great experience.
#26 Enjoy a Romantic Dinner
Highlight your love story by taking your partner out for a romantic dinner in some of Andaman’s finest restaurants that offer delicious food with great views. Places like Amaya, Full Moon Café, Barefoot, and B3 are perfect for dinner. Don’t hold back, the seafood here is to die for!
#27 Experience a Homestay with a local
experience staying with Andaman locals in a homestay. Furnished and comfortable, these homesteads are a cheaper and budget-friendly option and are comfortable alternatives to Hotels. If you want the authentic Andaman local experience, try the Karen family homestay.
#28 Inter-Tidal Walk and Reef Watch
‘Inter-tidal’ refers to an area of the shore that is inundated by seawater at high tides and is exposed at low tides. Various habitats can be found in the inter tidal zone, including rocky shore, sandy shore, mudflats, sea grass meadow, coral rubble, and coral reef. Take a 1.5 hours long walk with a trained marine biologist into the mangroves. It is customisable and costs about Rs 500 per person.
Reef Watch is a Non-profit-organisation in Chidiyatapu whose vision is to protect the ocean through education, research and management. If you too are passionate about marine life in Andaman you can help by volunteering with the organisation!