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Ultimate Port Blair Travel Guide

Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It sits at the southeastern edge of the Bay of Bengal, proudly wearing the crown as the capital and the biggest city in this dreamy archipelago. This lively little city is the heart of the Andaman Islands, where time seems to slow down, and every corner invites you to relax and explore at your own pace.

‘Imagine strolling along sun-kissed beaches, sipping coconut water under swaying palms, diving into crystal-clear waters, and swimming with colorful marine life. That’s the everyday magic of Port Blair, where every moment feels like a tropical paradise postcard comes to life. ‘

It’s not just a pit stop, it’s a fascinating destination that’s ready to sweep you off your feet.

Now, let’s dive deep into Port Blair through our Most preferred ‘Travel Guide’ by Travelers.

Why is Port Blair Famous?

  1. Significance – Explore the Cellular Jail, a historical prison deeply connected to India’s independence struggle. Visit Ross Island.
  2. Flora and Fauna – Visit the Chidiya Tapu Biological Park to observe a wide range of flora and fauna
  3. Island Hopping – Discover the tranquility of Havelock & Neil Island, known for its laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty.
  4. Marine Adventure – Engage in thrilling water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and sea walking to explore vibrant coral reefs and marine life.
  5. Relaxation and Serenity – Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Port Blair, perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

How to Reach Port Blair?

Port Blair can be reached in two ways:

  1. By Air – The most comfortable and preferred way to reach Port Blair is by taking a flight from major cities like Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Chennai to Port Blair Veer Savarkar International Airport. The journey typically takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Port Blair Airport Code: IXZ
  2. By Sea – The other way to get here is by ship, although seems cheaper which can take 3-4 days and doesn’t come recommended by us.

Read More: How to Reach Andaman & Nicobar Islands?

When to Visit Port Blair?

  1. Like the rest of Andaman, Port Blair has two seasons, the dry season (October to May) and the wet season (June to September). 
  2. October to May is considered to be the best season to visit Port Blair as the temperature, rainfall, and humidity are on the lower side. The months from June to September experience high rainfall

Read More: Best Time to Visit Port Blair

Getting Around in Port Blair

  1. Tourist Taxis can be rented from anywhere in Port Blair, there will be drivers waiting at the Jetty, so you should fix the prices before starting the journey.
  2. Auto Rickshaws are also available and cost around INR 50 to 200 for short rides & above INR 200 for long rides.
  3. Rental Bikes in Port Blair daily at approximately INR 500 per day. Fuel Stations shut by 9 pm. Avoid Bike riding during monsoons as roads can get slippery.
  4. Public Transports in Port Blair is very well connected, the availability of buses is frequent and the conductors and drivers are extremely helpful so if you feel clueless, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation and they’ll be more than happy to help you! Many outer islands are connected by road so if you arrive in Port Blair, Mohanpura Bus terminus is the nearest bus stop you’ll find and has N number of busses that connect all Port Blair tourist places.
  5. Airport Pick-up and Drop taxis are readily available to and from the airport, Phoenix Bay Jetty, Haddo Wharf, and hotels. Taxi costs start from INR 500, and the journey from the airport to the private jetty typically takes around 15-20 minutes. 

 Book Here: Taxi Services

Transfers: Port Blair to other Islands

1. Private Ferries

  1. Regular ferry services operate between different islands, providing a scenic and often affordable mode of transportation.
  2. Ferries are available for popular routes like Port Blair to Havelock Island, Neil Island, and other nearby destinations.
  3. The top cruises available are Makruzz, Nautika, Green Ocean and Nautika Lite.

Book With Us: Book Inter Island Ferries

2. Government Ferries

  1. These connect Port Blair to literally all parts of Andamans- Havelock, Neil, Little Andaman, DiglipurNicobar, etc
  2. Getting yourself a Government ferry ticket can be incredibly difficult & painful during the peak season (Oct – Jan). The authorities aren’t most cooperative around this time, since there is way too much demand than the supply. And rightly so, because it’s natural to give a preference to the islanders whose everyday commute is this mode of transport.

Book Here: Get your andaman ferry tickets online.

3. By Road

  1. Only North Andaman which consists of Baratang, Rangat, Mayabundar, and Diglipur is connected by road. 
  2. There is a national highway that connects Port Blair to Diglipur. Regular buses and taxis also operate.
  3. This was the only way to travel to Baratang until recently when ferry services started to Baratang.

Book Here: Book Your Day Trips

4. Helicopter

Pavan Hans operates from Port Blair to Havelock, Diglipur, Hut Bay in Little Andaman, and Neil Island, this service is mainly for government official travel and Medical Emergencies. Only on very rare occasions, travelers are allowed to fly.

G2A Recommended Things to Do in Port Blair

1. Cellular Jail

Cellular jail, Port Blair

Constructed between 1857 and 1906, the Port Blair Cellular jail called “Kalapani” stands as a gritty reminder of colonial rule and the undaunted spirit of our freedom fighters who 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-around view of the inmates, you can now catch amazing views from the top of the watchtowers.

Derived from the Hindi words “kala” meaning death and “pani” meaning water, the jail held freedom fighters like Yogendra Shukla, Batukeshwar Dutt, and Babarao Savarkar.

Visit the gallows for an eerie experience, get a feel of prison life, and admire the strategic constructions that highlight the tactical mind of the British Empire.

Fee: Rs 30; Guide: Rs.200 (optional)
Timings: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm open all days except on National Holidays.
Things To See: Cellular Jail Museum, Photo Gallery, Library, Veer Sarvakar’s Cell, Distinct Architecture.
Location: Click here
G2A Tips: We recommend that you visit the jail in the afternoon as you have a better chance of getting a guide during this time. 

Read More: Cellular Jail

2. Ross Island

Ross Island, Port Blair

Well, whoever thought they might have to go all the way to France to witness Paris, was clearly in the wrong! They didn’t know of Ross Island a.k.a. Paris of the East.

Ross was the seat of imperial power in those days. It is said that on one night, when electricity came to Ross Island for the first time, and all its structures – the bungalows, the ballroom, the church, the printing press- lit up, and someone saw the mesmerizing view and termed it Paris of the East. Today, it is a magnificent ruin of a time. 

Fast forward to World War 2, the Japanese pillaged the island and turned it into ruin. And now the stories there seem to be buried under the rubble and stand best among Port Blair tourist places. One thing to do is to hire a local guide to dig them out. Or attend the light and sound show, along with the Ross Island Museum to experience the full scope of the land. 

Fee: Rs 90;
Timings: 08:30 pm to 04.00 pm Closed only on Wednesdays
Things To See: The Ruins, Light and Sound Show, Museum, Japanese bunkers, and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Location: Click Here, short 15mins boat ride from Port Blair.
G2A Tips: Exploring the island can take around 3-4 hours. So, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes and clothing as there is plenty of walking to be done.

Read More: Ross Island

3. Scuba Diving at Chidiya Tapu

Visiting Andamans alone? With family? With friends? With your best friend? With your, how do we say, your better half? Or your situationship, if you please? We don’t know the answer to that, but we do know that there is something you can do to make this trip unbelievably memorable. Yes! It will stick in your memory book for years and years to come. 

The answer is Scuba Diving! Yes!

Scuba Diving in Chidiya Tapu is a must-do. The dive sites are beautiful and the dive instructors we have waiting for you are incredibly amazing. You’re bound to have an amazing time. The kaleidoscope of life underwater will mesmerize you. 

Fee: Starts from Rs.4500/-
Timings: 06:00 am to 07.00 pm
Things To Do: Scuba diving.
Location: Click Here.
G2A Tips: Scuba in Andaman generally fills out fast. Which is understandable given you’re in the scuba capital of India. So we recommend you research and pre-book your dives before coming to Andamans. And if you have any questions, we always love to chat directly with our readers.

Read More: Scuba Diving

4. Kayaking

Kayaking in Andaman

If you’re looking for adventurous things to do in Port Blair, consider a slow paddle through the scenic ocean waters alongside the lush green mangroves. This off-beat trip takes you to the lesser-explored parts of the islands, away from the more bustling tourist places, where you can experience island solitude and bliss. It’s an adventurous yet calming and soothing experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the sun, sea, and tropical greenness that the Andamans have to offer.

Although kayaking may seem uncomfortable if you’re new to it, the instructors will go the extra mile to make you comfortable at all times. After about 15-20 minutes, the entire experience will start to feel familiar and easy, making it a great option for those looking for a unique adventure in the Andamans.

Fee: Starts from Rs.2500/-
Timings: 06:00 am to 07.00 pm
Book With Us: Kayaking in Andaman
G2A Tips: We, recommend wearing quick-dry clothes and keeping a torch if you’re out for night kayaking! Also, the same advice as scuba diving goes here – pre-book because the best slots are gone in a jiffy!

5. Corbyn’s Cove

Corbyns Beach, Port Blair

Visiting Corbyn’s Cove is a Port Blair essential. In fact, it is one of those definite things to do in Port Blair, where you can get an equal dose of mesmerizing, and beautiful, relaxing landscape plus catch the thrill of fever from all the water sports that go around there. 

Water sports in Corbyn’s cover include Sea Karting, Jet skiing, kayaking, surfing, boating, and scuba diving. Also, you can hop on the boat to visit Snake Island which is a nearby tourist attraction that claims to have deadly snakes slithering about. Thrilling right? Tell us about it! And lest we forget about the Japanese and their bunkers! It’s all happening in Corbyn’s Cove. 

Fee: Entry Free
Timings: 07:00 am to 05.00 pm
Things To Do: Water sports, Boating, Swimming.
Location: Click Here.
G2A Tips: You can also try out a self-drive sea-kart, a fairly new activity. It’s just like go-karting.

6. A Day Trip – Port Blair

Do you desire to capture the sense of a city? There are so many ways to visit a place. This way, right here, is all about creating this unique summarizing sense of a town, a city, an island, a historical capital, and an ancient settlement. 

Explore the best of Port Blair attractions on this full-day city tour that starts with a visit to the iconic Cellular Jail and takes you to Jogger’s Park, located at the other end of the island. Learn about India’s freedom struggle and get insights about the island’s marine life, stop by a bomb pit from World War II (!), shop for souvenirs at museums, enjoy the sea breeze by the beach, and top it all off with a stunning sunset perched atop a hill – this trip has it all! 

Trust us, the best and the most preferred way to spend a day in the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Fee: Starts from Rs.2999/-
Trip Timings: 10:00 am to 05.30 pm
G2A Tips: We recommend Booking in advance to avoid last-minute rushes.
Book With Us: Port Blair-Day Tour

Read More: 28 Things to Do in Port Blair

Practical Tips for Travelers

1. Weather: Port Blair temperature ranges from 23°C to 31°C all around the year.

  • ☀️Summer (April to June): Temperatures can range from 24°C to 37°C (75°F to 99°F). It’s hot and humid, with occasional rain showers.
  • ⛈️Monsoon (July to September): Humidity remains high, and heavy rainfall can be expected.
  • 🌥️Post-Monsoon (October to March): This is considered the best time to visit Port Blair. The weather is relatively pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). This period sees less rainfall and more comfortable conditions for exploring.

2. Currency

Like the rest of the Island in Andaman, the Indian Rupee is the Currency used. Port Blair has the most ATMs and institutions (Banks and Private Companies). Exchanging Currency and withdrawing money is thus most convenient in Port Blair.
Centers for currency exchange: Fill up a form and show your passport. The currency exchange rates are decided by the RBI

3. Communication and Internet

  • Mobile networks are present, with signal strength fluctuating, and internet connectivity is generally accessible but may be slower compared to mainland India.
  • as of 2024, Airtel provides 5G in Port Blair which is faster than any other network. BSNL provides a good network in Port Blair and patchy networks in other Islands.
  • In remote areas, especially smaller islands, satellite phones may be useful due to limited network coverage.

4. Healthcare

  • Government Hospitals in the Andaman Islands provide Free Healthcare for all. Head to the G.B.Pant Hospital (Contact: 03192 243 653) for any Treatment and Medicines.
  • Port Blair also has a couple of Private Medical Centers that are often less crowded and best for specialty care.
  • Apollo Clinic095318 07777Chakraborty Hospital099320 84868

5. Safety

The Andaman and Nicobar Police is the law enforcement agency for the union territory of Andaman and they take care of the discipline department efficiently one and in case of emergency you can get in touch with them at the following numbers:

  • Police: 100 (24×7) Toll-Free
  • Fire Control: 101 Toll-Free
  • Women in Distress: 1091, 1144

6. Language’s Spoken

Port Blair is the melting pot of many religions, cultures, and linguistic groups, and like the rest of the country Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil are the most commonly spoken languages here. English comes next in line. If you know either English or Hindi – getting around in Port Blair should not be a problem.

7. Airport and Maritime Port Facilities

Port Blair is home to the only Airport of the Islands – the Veer Savarkar International Airport (03192 235 619). Direct flights to/from Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bhubaneswar, and Bangalore (on and off) are available.

 Port Blair has three main Ports aka Jetties:

8. Super Markets and Bazaars

Port Blair has the maximum and most developed Markets and Bazaars. All necessary items are available:

  • Fruits and Vegetables: The Sunday market (5 am to 12 pm) that lines the Junglighat Jetty is the best place to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables. Else, fruit and vegetable shops are situated on the Gandhi Market. They are open on all days.
  • Hardware, Electronics, Groceries, and Spices: The Ratnam Market is a cluster of small Wholesale and Retail Shops.
  • Large Departmental Stores: These are the most comfortable and modern ways of shopping in Port Blair. You will find everything from Cosmetics to Medicines and Packed Food to Milk, Bread, and other Daily necessities here. Mubarak hypermarket is the best-known supermarket.
  • Clothing and Apparel: Most clothing shops are owned by the locals in Port Blair. Aberdeen bazaar is best for apparel shopping.

G2A Recommended Hotels in Port Blair

Accommodation in Port Blair caters to all budgets, offering options from low-budget to premium. Prices fluctuate between peak and low tourist seasons. During peak times (November to mid-May), prices rise, and popular places fill up quickly. To secure the best deals and availability, it’s advisable to book accommodation in advance.

Premium Stays:

1. Welcomhotel by ITC

welcomhotel by ITC, Port Blair

In Port Blair 5 star hotels are not available, but Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Bay Island, stands out as the top choice, providing contemporary accommodations with 4-star amenities.. The resort features an outdoor swimming pool and Premium stays with all amenities. WelcomCafe Bay Leaf restaurant has a menu offering fresh seafood along with Indian, Chinese, and European dishes. Swizzle Bar has a selection of Indian and imported liquors.

Range: Starts from INR 20000
Location: Click Here.

2. Seashell Hotel

SeaShell is a luxury resort in the Andamans. Tastefully crafted for luxury travelers and families, it is equipped with beautiful rooms, a great seafood restaurant, a charming rooftop lounge bar, and a splendid view of the sea. The rooms are tastefully designed with comfortable beds, big TVs, AC, and spotless en-suite bathrooms. The deluxe rooms have small balconies overlooking the sea perfect for winding down after a busy day of sightseeing

Range: Starts from INR 10000
Location: Click Here.

Mid-Range Stays:

3.TSG Grand

This 3-star business hotel is a symbol of elegance and top-class hospitality. Located just 10 minutes away from the airport, they are popularly known for their service and the delicious food made by their in-house chefs and stand as one of the best Port Blair hotels.

Range: Starts from INR 3500
Location: Click Here.

4. Hotel Shompen

Named after an indigenous tribe of Nicobar, this place happens to be one of the oldest stays in Andaman, one can call it an affordable luxury stay. Best suited for families and couples, this place also has an in-house lounge called “Love Garden” and is strongly recommended

Range: Starts from INR 3500
Location: Click Here.

Budget Stays:

5. Aashiaanaa Residency

Run by a family, this place is best suited for budget travelers and backpackers, this place offers basic, clean, and comfortable rooms and a very good price. Located very close to Phoenix Bay, makes the commute easy for people traveling to other islands.

Range: Starts from INR 900
Location: Click Here.

Read More: Hotels & Resorts in Port Blair.

G2A Recommended Restaurants in Port Blair

1. Amaya by Seashell

Amaya, Port Blair

This place is considered one of the best rooftop lounges in Port Blair overlooking the Ocean. Head to this place if you are looking for a romantic candlelight dinner with your loved one or just a luxurious restaurant to hang out with family or friends. Also best known for their seafood and exotic beverages.

Location: Click Here.
Cost for Two: 1800 approx
Must Try: The chef’s special Amaya Seafood Platter

2. New Lighthouse Restaurant

Best known for their fish, crab, and lobster, this place is an open-air restaurant in Port Blair where one can enjoy a cool evening breeze with a view of the ocean. It’s located a little ahead of Marina Park.

Location: Click Here.
Cost for Two: 1200 approx
Must Try: Lighthouse Spl.Murgh Masala

3. Excel Restaurant

Excel Restaurant is another rooftop dining place in Port Blair that is worthy of mention. The restaurant is very well designed and has that authentic beach party vibe to it. The crowd here is mostly international and the service is very friendly and helpful so you can engage in interesting conversations with other tourists and travelers.

Location: Click Here.
Cost for Two: 1000 approx
Must Try: Grilled Fish, Hot Garlic Prawns

4. Annapurna Restaurant

It is a pure vegetarian South Indian restaurant and one of the most popular places to eat in Port Blair, although priced on the higher side it’s one of the most preferred restaurants in Port Blair.

Location: Click Here.
Cost for Two: 600 approx
Must Try: Maharaja Masal dosa

5. Icy Spicy

You’re a vegetarian, you come to Port Blair and don’t hear of Icy Spicy? That’s not even possible! A real vegetarian paradise, this place is best known for its sweets, chaats, and North Indian cuisine. Hidden in a basement, this place is loved by both locals and tourists, making it one of the best places to eat in Port Blair.

Location: Click Here.
Cost for Two: 500 approx
Must Try: Smoked Paneer Pizza

Here is a list of places we also recommend as places to eat in Port Blair:

FAQ’s about Port Blair

  • Is Port Blair worth visiting?

    Simply put, the answer is yes. Port Blair, is the capital and your entryway into Andaman and Nicobar islands. It is known for its historical significance in India’s freedom struggle (read kalapani) and is a good place to catch a glimpse of Andaman’s unique culture (Port Blair is also called mini India for its diversity). Visit cellular jail, Ross island, kalapani/samudrika museum, Corbyn’s cove beach, jolly buoy, Chidiyatapu amongst others.

  • What is the best time to visit Port Blair?

    The best time to visit Andaman weather-wise, is the dry season, between October to May, i.e., the winter and summer months. The weather around this time is cooler and suitable for water sports and outdoor activities. June to September is the rainy season and the offseason in Andaman. This period witnesses plenty of heavy rainfall, and tours have often been cancelled due to cyclonic weather or strong winds.

  • How can I go to Port Blair?

    Port Blair can be reached in 2 ways – by air and by sea.
    Flights are the fastest and most convenient mode of travel. Direct flights are available form Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Vizag and Hyderabad as on March 2020. It take between 2 to 3.5 hours based on your departure location. Ships (basic and take about 3-4 days) ply from Chennai, Kolkata and Vizag and are not popular with tourists.

  • How much time does it take to travel from Port Blair to Havelock?

    1.5 hours

  • What can I do in Port Blair?

    Port Blair is the capital city of the Andamans and is of immense historical importance. There are many sights that are to be seen here and most do not require you to hire a guide. You can view a list of the places here (do in Port Blair). The ones we recommend have been marked.

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