Heading to Varkala soon? It is definitely a touristy place but seeing as the rest of India is so NOT touristy it might be a nice break. A kind of vacation in a vacation. You are able to wear bikinis on the beach, find some western food, cutlery, beers. It’s all good imo.

Here’s 10 things you should know before you go:


  • Looking for American plugs in V (two prong)? You’ll find a couple in the Sky Lounge restaurant. On the roof terrace.


  • Cafe HDR has great indian food at almost Indian prices. Bonus, indians actually eat here. Its just up from Papanasam beach a block or two on the way to the bank.


  •  Be prepared for a small hassle from locals SUNDAYS on Varkala beach if you’re in western clothing/bikinis.


  • A great rule of thumb is to bargain at all of the shops and especially in the off season. If you have wifi, quickly google what you’re eyeing is worth back home. You’d be surprised at their markup.


  • For a bargain stay get a room down tibetan alley. In the off season look for prices around 300Rs per night, 200Rs if you stay a couple of days. And for A/C, 500Rs.


  • Looking for a long quality brunch? Head to InDa cafe. For 200Rs including free flow drinks you’ll get your choice of meal including full american breakfast! Stay for hours enjoying the wifi, shade and drinks.


  • The best coffee in Varkala is from Coffee Temple. They also do decent foods and they’re almost the cheapest restaurant on the strip!


  • Arriving by tuktuk? From the train station don’t pay more than 70Rs to Helipad road!


  • Grab cash from ATM before coming to the beach. Otherwise the closest one is 1.5 km away. It is a nice walk but long on a hot day (not to mention possibly broken). The Bank of Syria is the closest one.


  • Alone? If you’re a solo traveller walk up to people on the beach and ask if you can lay out with them. People do this all the time and you meet travellers so easily this way. Everyone is so chill here.

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