Trivandrum Tourism Guide

Trivandrum Tourism Guide

Quick Guide

Electricity

Type C – 230V/50hz

Weather

JAN
27°C
FEB
27°C
MAR
28°C
APR
28°C
MAY
28°C
JUN
26°C
JUL
26°C
AUG
26°C
SEP
27°C
OCT
27°C
NOV
27°C
DEC
27°C

Language
Malayalam

Currency
Indian Rupee

Cost of a Meal

Rs250 (avg)

Average Room Rate
Rs3,743 per night (3* hotel)

As the capital of the India’s southern state of Kerala, Trivandrum has so much to offer visitors. Alongside awe-inspiring scenes of natural beauty and subdued beach settings, the city, which is also known as Thiruvananthapuram, features distinctive British colonial architecture. Scattered with cultural hotspots, such as museums and galleries, alongside temples of great religious importance, this is a holiday destination that delivers vibrancy and relaxation in equal doses.

To help you really get the most out of your visit, we’ve compiled everything you need to know into this helpful travel guide. From the most popular attractions to the best hotels and dining destinations, along with practical travel advice, we’ll help you plan that once in a lifetime escape.

Top Attractions in Trivandrum

Padmanabhaswarmy Temple

It’s virtually impossible to have a list of the absolute top attraction in Trivandrum without including the iconic Padmanabhaswarmy Temple. It’s an incredible sight, as well as being such a historical and culturally significant part of the city. The fact that it also stores over $22 billion of goodies inside is only the quite literal jewel on the crown of this unforgettable local gem.

Trivandrum Zoo

The oldest zoo in Asia has been keeping some of nature’s most fascinating creatures around for the public to see since way back in the mid 19th century. Occupying 55 acres of land, Trivandrum Zoo includes stunning lakes and spell-binding woodland. Here you’ll enjoy animals from across continents, such as hippos and giraffes all the way back to India with Asian elephants. It’s a fun and fascinating adventure.

Magic Planet Theme Park

We had to have something on our list that was just pure fun. Sometimes you need a break from all the history and culture to let loose with a perfect family day out. Magic Planet Theme Park is not only a terrific park, it’s also a truly unique, some might say magical, twist on an already established holiday staple. Here you can enjoy street magicians alongside incredible attractions. It’s the theme park with an extra sprinkle of fairy dust.

Things to do in Trivandrum

Being the capital of one of the most developed states in India, it should come as no surprise that Trivandrum has plenty of exciting and surprising places for you to visit. From temples to tigers, there’s more here than meets the eye.

The lush green stretch of land and coconut plantation, the pristine Arabian Sea and it’s breathtaking backwaters, the beautiful churches and the holy temples, truly make Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, “God’s own country”. A visit to the Padmanabhaswamy Temple and Padmanabhapuram palace, the Golden sand beach and a boat ride in the backwaters is a must. For some spa and relaxation, a hotel stay in Kovalam is recommended.

By Sumelika Da, from http://www.mynotsosecretdiary.com/

Trivandrum Zoo



Image Source: Felipe Coelho

Better known as Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, this attraction has been exciting locals with their weird and wonderful creature since the mid 19th century. Opening in 1857, it is the oldest zoo, not only in India, but on the entire Asian continent. Happily though, time has not left too many wrinkles on the face of this historic tourist destination. A modernisation project in 1995 gave Trivandrum Zoo a much needed facelift and today it shines as brightly with the glow of its past glories as it does from the wonderful sunshine that makes this the ideal location to see everything from white tigers to zebras. It’s fun for all the family.

Address: Kanaka Nagar, Nanthancodu, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695001, India

Price: Adult – Rs20, Child (below 12 years and above 5 years) – Rs5, Child (under 5 years) – Free, Family ticket (father, mother and two children below 12 years) – Rs40, Car parking – Rs150, Camera – Rs50, Handheld video – Rs100

Opening Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday – Sunday: 09.00 – 17.15

Poovar Island

Image Source: { pranav }

Found on the south of Trivandrum and in many ways marking the end of the district (this beach will take you straight to a neighbouring village,) Poovar Island is a place which proves that often it’s the simple pleasures that are the best. In a location known for all kinds of natural beauties, these sun-kissed beaches and crisp seas still impress, making it a wonderfully unspoiled tourist attraction for travellers in the know. It’s also an amazing place to stay, with some of the most beautiful hotels and villas being found right here. Once you get a look at the view, it’s easy to see why. It’s a beautiful place to spend a few hours or a few days, Poovar Island continues to leave visitors infatuated.

Address: K.P. VII/911, Pozhiyoor, Trivandrum, Kerala 695513, India

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Padmanabhaswamy Temple


Image Source: Roberto Faccenda

This stunning venue is known as the richest temple in the Hindu faith. That’s a statement more than backed up by the evidence. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple features an unbelievable bounty of treasures as impressive in their grandeur as they are in terms of sheer figures. It’s believed these temples store over $22 billion worth of gold and jewels. But the temple is wealthy in other regards too, particularly when it comes to its history, as well as its religious and cultural significance. Let it enrich your travels.

Price: Rs150 per person Special Darshan, Rs180 per person Special Darshan (with Parsad) – Please note, entry is restricted to those who profess the Hindu religion

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 03.30 – 05.00 (Nirmalya Darshanam), 06.30 – 07.00, 08.30 – 10.00, 10.30 – 11.10, 11.45 – 12.00, 17.00 – 18.15, 18.45 – 19.20, Saturday – Sunday: Closed

Address: Mathilakom Office, West Nada, Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Fort, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695023, India

Puthenmalika Kuthiramalika Palace

Image Source: Thejas Panarkandy

Puthenmalika, also known as Kuthiramalika Palace, sits beside the majestic Padmanabhaswamy Temple and provides guests with insight into the history of the area. This is particularly true of the Travencore era: the royal family who owned the premises in the mid 19th century. Less like information overload, although there is plenty to learn, this is more of a transformative experience, with so much being preserved that you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a very distant land. An experience as unique as its architecture, this palace will leave a royal impression in your mind.

Address: Kuthira Malika, Bhajanapura Palace Rd, Fort, East Fort, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695023, India

Price: Adult – Rs10, Child – Rs3, Cameras (only for exterior – no photography allowed inside) – Rs15

Opening Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday – Sunday: 08.30 – 13.00, 15.00 – 17.30

Magic Planet Theme Park

Image Source: Martin Abegglen

Much of what you’ll see in Trivandrum, as extraordinary as it might be, can take a quite serious tone, with many attractions being steeped in history and spiritual provenance. While creating a lasting and deep appreciation of the culture of this unique part of India is important, sometimes it’s good to just let your hair down and have a little fun. That’s where Magic Planet Theme Park comes in. This is an action packed family day out with a difference. As its name suggests, this is a theme park that focuses on the spell-binding world of magic past and present, complete with wonderfully talented street illusionists to keep you entertained. It’s an utterly different, and dare we say, magical take on a much loved family adventure.

Address: KINFRA Film & Video Park, Kazhakuttom, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695585, India

Price: Adult – Rs450, Child – Rs400

Opening Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 17.00

Trivandrum is a capital of Kerala with all the modern facilities yet an old world charm, small enough to walk everywhere. You can stay in plush business hotels or traditional homes in the old neighbourhoods. The green hub of Trivandrum, museum complex with 5 museums (all closed on Mondays) and Padmanabhaswamy temple with the reclining Vishnu idol are the “tourist attractions” in Trivandrum. The complex has many old trees including the wild rubber tree. Don’t miss the characteristic red tiles inside and the graffiti on walls outside. Lunch at Vila Maya is a must. The India coffee house opposite the bus stand deserves a visit for the windowless lighthouse-shaped building and spiral seating. Kovalam beach, 13 km away can be visited in half a day. Buses ply regularly from Trivandrum to Kovalam. Go to the beach at the far end beyond the lighthouse (also closed on Mondays) to get away from the crowds and vendors.

By Sandeepa and Chetan, http://sandeepachetan.com/

Attukal Bhagavathy Temple

Image Source: San Sharma

Another place of great religious importance within the Hindu religion, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is well known for a series of festivals that take place within its walls. These include Mandala Vratham, Pooja Vaypu, Karthika and many more, but it’s most famed for the Pongalo festival. This lasts ten days between February and March each year, with the ninth day (Pooram day) being the main attraction. The name of the festival literally means to boil over and as such, each year millions of women gather and bring various types of rice to please the Goddess Kannaki. The temple has a fascinating history surrounding this deity, and it’s well worth doing a little research before visiting to fully appreciate the experience.

Address: Manacaud P.O, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695009, India

Price: Free

Opening Hours: Daily: 04.30 – 20.30

Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapathy

Image Source: J.Triepke

Found in the nerve centre of Thiruvananthapuram City, Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapathy temple’s main deity is Ganesha: one of the best known figures in the entirety of the Hindu religion. He is centrefold within the temple, with an idol of the deity being found throughout 32 different sculptures. The temple is also well known for the celebration of various religious festivals. As always when visiting Hindu temples, be sure to be respectful of their dress codes if you wish to enter.

Address: East Fort, Padma Nagar, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695023, India

Price: Free

Opening Hours: Daily: 05/00 – 11.30, 17.00 – 20.00

Vizhinjam Lighthouse

Image Source: Anupam Saha

When people picture a lighthouse, they often imagine a grey figure cast far adrift upon the sea. While not without their charms, there’s something extra special about the ambience of the Vizhinjam Lighthouse, even from the outside. Its bright colours seem to beam out of the surrounding greenery to add an extra touch of magic to the landscape. Speaking of which, the main attraction for the Vizhinjam Lighthouse has to be its incredible 360° views of the neighbouring beaches and market. There’s few better ways of seeing the local sights.

Price: Rs10 per person

Opening Hours: Daily: 15.00 – 18.00 (Note that the lamp is illuminated at 17.30 and is turned off at 06.00 the following day)

Address: Off Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam, Trivandrum- 695521

Shri Chitra Art Gallery

Image Source: John Morgan

Found near Trivandrum Zoo, this museum/art gallery is a collection of amazing artefacts and artwork. It’s an incredible way of really getting to know Trivandrum, as both the history and creativity of the district is laid bare to see. Here you’ll enjoy art from throughout the history of the region, as well as selections from Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese artists, among others. A unique artistic adventure with over 100 paintings spread across three galleries, anyone with an interest in culture or history would be crazy to miss out.

Opening Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 16.45 (closed on Wednesday forenoons)

Address: Museum Bains compound Rd, LMS Compound, PMG, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695033, India

Price: Adult – Rs10, Child – Rs4, Family ticket – Rs20

Beaches in Trivandrum

For almost everyone visiting Trivandrum, the stunning beaches are one of those holiday memories that can last a lifetime. What else is there to say? Stunning sands, crisp, clear waters, incredible surroundings and sunshine. Words can’t do these destinations justice. You’ll just have to go see them for yourself.

Kovalam Beach

Image Source: Anupam Saha


We’ll start off with what is probably the most famous beach in all of Trivandrum, Kovalam beach. So what makes this selection so popular? You simply need to take a look to find out. The picture perfect example of a sun-kissed paradise, Kovalam beach features stunning sands and gentle waves, all framed with some of the most incredible tropical greenery you’ll find anywhere. Not only that, they have a terrific selection of food and beverage stalls, meaning you can chill out here for as long as you like.

Ashoka Beach

Image Source: Roberto Faccenda


An incredible natural beauty, Ashoka beach’s scenic views may be comparable to Kovalam beach, but it has a more local, rustic vibe that may be more to your tastes. This is particularly true if what you’re looking for out of you trip is to really get to grips with the local culture. Here you can feel like you’re an average member of the community, watching the fisherman go to work while soaking in the stunning scenes.

Shanghumukham Beach

Image Source: Gopal Vijayaraghavan


Another top contender for the title of best beach in Trivandrum is Shanghumukham beach. This is a curved patch of sand, sea and sunshine: well known for its deep yellow, near red coloured beach and for being a local hotspot to watch the sun go down. We can’t think of many places we’d prefer to spend the dying embers of the day, or almost any time for that matter. However, the waters here can get pretty rough, so you’ll have to stay land bound on this one.

Shopping in Trivandrum

While you won’t find too many multi-storey malls in Trivandrum, there’s still plenty of amazing places to shop that offer an incredible local experience and some brilliant bargains to boot.

Chalai Bazaar

Image Source: Hannes Jähnert

If you’re looking for the authentic city bazaar experience, then we’ve got exactly what you’re looking for. Chalai Bazaar is a buzzing, crowded and energetic place to shop. It features all kinds of bargain priced local goods, including everything from fruit and vegetables to clothes and even furniture. We’re sure you’re unlikely to take a sofa back home with you, but still, the variety is impressive! Grab a bargain or three right here.

Address: East Fort Area, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) 695501, India

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 09.00 – 20.00, Sunday: Closed

Connemara Market

Image Source: Emuishere Peliculas

The bright red gates of Connemara Market must be one of the warmest welcomes of any shopping district in Trivandrum. On the inside of its gates, it’s just as colourful: both literally and in terms of its enigmatic personality and wide variety of low budget goods. Just like Chalai Bazaar, there’s a ton to shop for here, although they are perhaps most loved for their excellent fish market. This is a real local experience and a great place to grab a bargain.

Address: Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695034, India

Opening Hours: Daily, 06.00 – 21.00

Sarwaa

A smaller, more intimate shopping affair than some of the larger markets on this list, Sarwaa is a charming little store probably best known for its high quality selection of jewellery, as well as wonderful little local trinkets you’re unlikely to find anything else. On top of that, you can end your shopping trip with a cup of coffee or tea in their onsite café. It’s a little more expensive than other options, but the ambience and uniqueness of the store makes it worth it.

Address: Sankar Rd, Althara Nagar, Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695010, India

Opening Hours: Daily, 10.00 – 19.30

Aham Designer Boutique

Aham Designer Boutique is something completely different from most retail destinations in Trivandrum. This is a selection of clothing from amazing local designers made exclusively for this store, meaning you won’t find these pieces anywhere else. The difference is not just in the exclusivity of these items though. They differ stylistically from most of the clothes you’ll find in the capital. A purchase from here will truly be one of a kind.

Address: Kurups Ln, Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695010, India

Opening Hours: Daily, 10.15 – 20.00

Fun Facts

  • It’s widely known by two different names: There’s a touch of confusion when it comes to the name of the capital. Officially, it is now known as Thiruvananthapuram. However, before that, it was known as Trivandrum and is still widely known by that name to this day.
  • The origin of its name: It’s official name Thiruvananthapuram comes from the Hindu god Anantha, and it literally means “City of Lord Anatha”.
  • An important part of India’s development: Being the capital of the most liberal and arguably most socially advanced state Kerala, it’s no surprise that Trivandrum is an important part of India. However, it’s also strategically important militarily due to its location.
  • The royal crown: Vishnu became the emperor of Travencore in the 18th century and was “crowned” in the 18th century, with the royal family being rulers on his behalf. The crown of Vishnu is kept within the capital and can be found in Padmanabhaswamy temple.

Food in Trivandrum

Trivandrum might not be known for food but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty here to keep you satisfied. This city has cuisines that cross continents, with so much variety you should satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

China Polis

Image Source: Joe Green


There’s no prizes for guessing what kind of cuisine China Polis specialises in. Don’t worry though, its name may sound a little like something you could imagine plastered on a food truck, but this is far from it. Found in the Vivanta hotel, this is a quality dining experience, featuring quite possibly the best Chinese food anywhere in Trivandrum. The menu is simply bursting with wonderfully authentic flavours that you just have to sample for yourself.

Address: Vivanta by Taj Trivandrum, CV Raman Pillai Rd, DPI,, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695014, India

Opening Hours: Daily: 19.00 – 23.00

Villa Maya

A fine dining experience that shows that sometimes you really do get what you pay for, the level of service and ambience at Villa Maya is unparalleled in Trivandrum. Its royal settings really make your night out feel like something truly special. Every evening here is an evening worth celebrating. The perfect way to cap off your holiday, you’ll be happy to know that the Villa Maya isn’t all style and no substance: the food here is terrific as well.

Address: Near Muthoot Sky Chef, 120, Airport Road, Enjakkal, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695008, India

Opening Hours: Daily: 07.30 – 23.15

Image Source: Pawel Loj


Supreme Upper Crust

A wonderfully diverse restaurant with a particularly passion for baking, Supreme Upper Crust takes the cake as one as the best places to have dessert in the capital. And trust us, with some of the competition that’s out there, that’s no small achievement. Here you’ll find an incredible variety of dishes to choose from. Everything from Italian flavours to Mexican fajitas are produced here at a top tier level. It’s like an international tour for your taste buds.

Address: Kuravankonam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695003, India

Opening Hours: Daily: 11.00 – 23.00

Garden Grille Restaurant

Another entry that goes above and beyond with a wonderfully eclectic menu is the Garden Grille Restaurant. Their chefs must have some kind of encyclopaedic knowledge of cuisine from across the world because here they are creating world class dishes throughout Asia, then jumping continents to visit Europe and beyond. When a restaurant can do one thing very well, it’s impressive. When they can do this much, it’s something truly special.

Address: Hilton Garden Inn Trivandrum, Punnen Road, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695039, India

Opening Hours: Daily: 13.00 – 22.00

Café Jade

While we might not be globe-trotting quite to the same extent with our final entry, Cafe Jade is a wonderfully versatile take on all things delicious on the Asian continent, hitting equally impressive heights through many culinary templates. Known for great service and an even better buffet, Cafe Jade is a worthy addition to this list.

Address: Hycinth by Sparsa, Manorama Road, Thampanoor, Near Manorama Office, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695001, India

Opening Hours: Daily: 06.30 – 10.30, 12.30 – 15.30, 19.00 – 23.00

Nightlife in Trivandrum

Although you’re unlikely to find an Ibiza style nightlife scene in Trivandrum, there are still plenty of great places to relax on an evening or even dance the night away. Here’s a select few of what’s available.

Image Source: Manu Manohar


The Sky Bar

As well known for its incredible views as it is for its superb cocktail menu and brilliant buffet meals, there’s few better ways to enjoy the sunset than sipping on a few select beverages at The Sky Bar. Food here generally consists of a mix of Indian and continental cuisine, which allows this bar to go from a low key and relaxed dining spot to a great place to enjoy the late hours of the evening.

Entry Fee: Free

Address: 19/B Panchgani | Mahabaleshwar Road, Mahabaleshwar 412806, India

Opening Hours: Daily: 17.30 – 23.00

Twist Bar

Image Source: Cat Burston

Twist Bar is one of the coolest spots in Trivandrum to spend an evening. This chic hotel lounge is found in the terrific Vivanta by Taj. (This venue also appears on our list of best hotels, which shows just how excellent across the board this accommodation really is.) With an ultra cool ambience and a great selection of beverages from across the world, Twist offers a truly international cocktail affair in one of the finest bars in the city.

Entry Fee: Free

Address: Vivanta By Taj – Trivandrum, CV Raman Pillai Road, Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695014, India

Opening Hours: Daily: 10.00 – 22.00

Neera Bar

One of the best places to enjoy a cocktail or two in Trivandrum, Neera bar has a terrific range of liquors and some of the best mixology in town. Perfectly crafted cocktails are supplied by their terrific service team. While not exactly a party venue, it is ideal if you want to enjoy a quiet drink at the end of the night or before dinner, with great ambience and even better service. Better still, on Saturdays there’s a DJ set, which kicks things up to a higher gear.

Entry Fee: Free

Address: Vivanta by Taj – Green Cove, Kovalam, G. V. Raja Vattappara Road, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695527, India

Opening Hours: Daily: 11.00 – 22.00

Top Tips

  • Abide by clothing etiquette:
  • As you’re probably well aware, you’ll want to be respectful of dress codes when entering religious temples and shrines. But it’s also worth noting that Trivandrum is generally quite a modest capital, so there’s no need to dress too extravagantly
  • Respect the local language:
  • Despite being a capital city, Trivandrum isn’t quite as international when it comes to language. Generally, people will speak to you in their local tongue, so make sure to learn a few phrases to help you get by.
  • A different kind of capital:
  • As has been hinted at, one of the things that makes Trivandrum unique is its down to earth approach to being a capital city. So, you’re unlikely to find large shopping centres that may be in other similar cities for example. Instead, Trivandrum is a mesh of big and small. Embrace these quirks and we think you’ll find them quite charming.
  • Grab a coffee:
  • One thing you might not know about Trivandrum is its terrific reputation as an excellent place to grab a world class cup of coffee. It boasts over a dozen Indian coffee house districts across the city, so if you’re a fan of the beverage, make sure you don’t miss out.

Hotels in Trivandrum

Luxury Hotels in Trivandrum

In a capital as naturally stunning as Trivandrum, it can be hard to find a hotel that really makes the most of the district’s God-given assets at any price range. There might be nothing that can match the view of the sunset on one of Trivandrum’s many incredible beaches, but Niraamaya Surya Samudra does a stunning job of creating a beautiful hotel that perfectly meshes with its amazing environment. Stepping in from the beach to your hotel is like a connected experience, as Niraamaya Surya Samudra’s earthy take on luxury accommodation makes this a five-star stay that feels like an extension of your daily travels. Facilities here include a 24-hour fitness centre, outdoor/children’s pool, spa services and more.

A more traditional take on the five-star hotel, Vivanta by Taj has a wonderful blend of modern and classical design styles that makes it feel both unique and timeless at once. Standing out of the skyline in white and gold, surrounded by modern works of art and a stunning outdoor pool area, it instantly feels like more than just a place to stay. It’s an experience. On the inside, its creativity with design is always kept in check, with rooms of immaculate taste that don’t feel generic. This hotel gives the impression that love and care has gone into every corner of the building. Just a short distance from several tourist destinations, including the local zoo, Napier Museum, Karamana River and more, with three restaurants, an outdoor pool and even a nightclub, Vivanta by Taj is a hotel that goes above and beyond.

The Leela Kovalam Beach hotel might initially appear much more modest than other entries. Indeed, compared to Vivanta by Taj, it seems in another realm: its minimalistic style is so at odds with some other high end accommodations. However, look a little deeper and you’ll see that there’s plenty to offer the luxury traveller here. There might be no marble floors and chandeliers, but this is still an excellent choice for those who enjoy the finer things in life. The Leela Kovalam Beach gives the impression of a hotel that would consider it in bad taste to shove such grandeur in their visitors’ face on first appearances. Its biggest attraction has to be its location. Found on a private beach, it’s your own secluded sunny paradise. The hotels also includes three restaurants, an onsite spa and two bar/lounge areas.

For travellers who are seeking a modern look to their luxury hotel, we present the wonderful Hycinth by Sparsa. While it may be a million miles away from many more classically decorated hotels, this is really a matter of taste. Those hotels still look terrific, as does the Hycinth, but they are all incredible pieces of design in very different ways. Really, it all comes down to your personal preference. If you do prefer a modern look, then you’ll find few better than the Hycinth by Sparsa. It’s an ultra cool, sleek and sophisticated hotel that manages to pull off the elusive trick of appearing modern without losing a sense of warmth. Facility wise, the hotel includes a restaurant, bar/café, outdoor pool, fitness centre and more.

Mid-Range Hotels in Trivandrum

The curiously named Turtle on the Beach is about as close to high-end hotels you can get without actually breaking through to the five-star barrier. As its name suggests, this is an accommodation that wears its love of the surrounding environment on its sleeve, incorporating it into its design philosophy at every turn. What you have as a result is a hotel that offers an enormous amount of comfort to its guests, while keeping a sense of still being humble and approachable. The rooms are the best example of this sense of style in action. They look amazing but are minimalistic, which really brings the best out of the ample space they provide. Facilities include a full service spa, snack bar, games room and more.

Although it may be priced in the mid-range bracket, Gateway Hotel Varkala in many ways feels like an upper echelon five-star hotel. For starters, the first view is of such a regal, stately looking building surrounded by trees, with only the blue of its epic outdoor pool and its sunny skies to frame it, It’s certainly one of the most awe-inspiring first impressions for any hotel looking to get your attention. The inside is also impressive, with a simple yet elegant lobby and modern looking rooms boasting incredible views. Facilities include free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, coffee lounge and an outdoor pool. The hotel is also located by the ocean, a mere mile from the famous Varkala Beach.

Featuring some of the most beautifully crafted rooms anywhere in Trivandrum, there’s a few top end hotels that could pick up some design tips from the exquisite Travancore Heritage. Their choices in everything from furniture to style and layout feel like the epitome of excellent taste, with a wonderful mix of bright colours and wooden fixtures blending magically with the crisp blue waters and sandy beaches outside. Some of the best hotels in the capital achieve their status by perfectly merging Trivandrum’s stunning natural beauty with their own hotel and Travancore Heritage is one of the best examples of this. Facilities include a whopping three restaurants, four swimming pools (two indoor and two outdoor), a health club, coffee shop and spa tub.

If you’re looking for as authentic an experience you can find in Trivandrum, look no further than Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village. It’s perhaps an acquired taste for some but for those who love getting right in the heart of the city’s nature, this might be an accommodation with no competition. Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village doesn’t just take inspiration from its surroundings: it embraces it completely. The green, blue and sandy gold of Trivandrum are the lifeblood of what makes this such a stunning place to visit. Facilities include a full service spa and the resort features a huge host of nearby activities, from snorkelling to parasailing.

Budget Hotels in Trivandrum

Hawah Beach Resort might be the cheapest selection on our list, with room rates starting from less than Rs2,000. However, that doesn’t mean this underdog can’t pack an awful lot of wallop behind its budget priced offerings. While many cheap hotels often come across as bland and formulaic, Hawah Beach Resort is the antithesis of this criticism. It immediately charms visitors with its fun, bright sense of style, which can be found from the lobby to your room. Speaking of which, you’ll be amazed at the the space you can get for such a low priced accommodation. And if that wasn’t enough for you, the hotel is also a mere ten-minute walk from Hawah Beach and Lighthouse Beach.

Colourful and welcoming even at first glance, The Varkala Beach Resort & Ayurveda Spa is one of the most loved hotels within this price range and it’s not hard to see why. This is an accommodation that hits visitors with an incredible first impression of its sun-kissed walls and sweeping green surroundings, and then doesn’t stop wowing them throughout their stay. The rooms might be minimalistic but the service here is not. And for rates starting at just Rs2,000 a night, guests can enjoy the facilities, which include an onsite playground a games room, free Wi-Fi and more.

This simple, stylish, colourful hotel proves just how much bang you can get for your buck, with a stunning selection of rooms that more than live up to its outstanding reputation. Style wise, The Residency Tower hotel strikes an excellent balance between being modern and traditional. The rooms feel very much like they’ve started with a classical design and then splashed it with some imaginative yet tasteful brushes of bright colours. They’re also spacious and comfortable, making them more than worth the asking price. The rate here is a little more expensive than our other budget options, costing from Rs4,250 a night, but you can’t complain too much when you consider its location in the heart of the city and fantastic facilities, which include four places to eat, a shopping arcade, rooftop pool and more.

For more hotels in Trivandrum, explore the Expedia India website and find the best accommodation for your stay.

Getting Around Trivandrum

Due to the relatively small size of Mahabaleshwar and the fact that it’s built on a plateau, getting around is fairly easy. Main destinations are known as points and can be found at the edges of the plateau, making them an excellent way to navigate your way around.

Bus

By far, the cheapest way to get around Trivandrum is by bus. However, they might not be the most convenient, due to them being incredibly crowded. They are run by both the government and by private companies. The former are in red and yellow, while the latter is in blue.

Auto Rickshaw

Another transport option that’s a relatively cheap way of getting around short distances is auto-rickshaw. These can be found at travel points, such as railway stations and bus stands. They also have their own unique stands across the city. All legal auto-rickshaws have fare metres, so make sure this is on before your journey begins. If you need to, insist the driver turns it on before setting off. The minimum charge is Rs12, with a running charge of Rs8 per km.

Taxi and Auto-Taxi

The latter is not very common in Trivandrum. However, regular taxis are a convenient and easy way of getting around the city. Only Indian Ambassadors operate in this capital, unlike other similar locations. Taxis can be hired for short distances or for a few days. Charges start at Rs65, with a maximum charge of Rs300.

Image Source: Satish Somasundaram

Renting a Car, Two Wheeler or Bicycle

Renting cars can be very expensive, so is not recommend for the budget traveller. It also may be easier to hire a taxi. Alternatively, you can rent two wheelers and bikes. However, due to the hectic road traffic and because of steep climbs in the city, neither of these come particularly recommended unless you are particularly confident in your abilities.

Best Time to Visit Trivandrum

Image Source: Thejas PanarkandyIn all honesty, there’s not really a bad time to visit Trivandrum. This is a capital that’s stunning all year round. However, there might be times that suit you a touch better. If you go between in the summer season (generally considered to be between March and May), you’ll be greeted with the hot weather you’d expect. Although you might find the odd monsoon in the latter months.

Between June to September, things calm down a little with a cooler atmosphere making way for more rains. However, it’s also one of the most beautiful times to visit, as many visitors come during this time to appreciate the stunning greenery of Trivandrum at its peak.

Finally, between October and February, the winter season starts. Despite temperatures dropping, things never get too chilly and the rains die down, meaning you get a more mild holiday experience during this period.

Flights to Trivandrum

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When flying into Trivandrum, you will arrive at Trivandrum International Airport. Located just 3.7km west from the city centre, it serves Trivandrum and nearby Kollam, with taxi services making it easy to travel onto your destination.

Trivandrum is well connected to most of India’s major international airports. There are around 33 flights per week between New Delhi and Trivandrum, with the journey taking an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes to complete. Similarly, there are 22 direct flights here form Mumbai per week, with an average flight time of just 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Visit the Expedia India website to find the best prices for flights to Trivandrum.