Backpacking Kerala India: How to reach Alleppey by bus, by train, by ferry. From Fort Cochin to Alleppey. Munnar to Alleppey. Varkala to Alleppey. Thekkady to Alleppey. Cochin airport to Alleppey. Public transportation in Kerala. Kerala itinerary travel tips.

 

So you’re trying to get to Alleppey.

GREAT!

 

Travel to Alleppey means…

 

The Kerala backwaters

 

How to get to Alleppey: Kerala itinerary with Alleppey backwaters. Backpacking Kerala India.

 

…and Alleppey Beach!

 

How to get to Alleppey: Kerala itinerary with Alleppey Beach. Backpacking Kerala India.

 

And if you only have a few days in Kerala and you’re keeping your time in Alleppey short and sweet, see some ideas for a perfect one day in Alleppey, along with some backwaters tours.

 

Below are ideas on how to get to Alleppey from Fort Cochin, Munnar, Varkala, Thekkady, Munroe Island, Amritapuri, and the Cochin Airport.

These are some of the popular destinations in Kerala for backpackers.

Although this is specifically about how to get to Alleppey, hopefully it can give you an idea for getting around Kerala in general too. 

Sometimes the best way to understand is through examples! 

This post focuses on travel within Kerala. But also see ideas for getting to Kerala from outside of the state, for example by overnight bus from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.

 

 

Now…

First, some general tips on public transportation options.

Then, some things to think about based on where you’re coming from to get to Alleppey.

 

And IMPORTANT!

Be sure to read the DISCLAIMER below too about Alleppey bus timings and Alleppey ferry timings! (In short, this is India!)

 

 

So…

What are the public transportation options to reach Alleppey?!

 

By bus to Alleppey

How to get to Alleppey: Bus travel in Kerala. Backpacking Kerala India

 

Kerala is well-connected by bus, and that means that if you’re trying to get to a tourist destination that’s populated (like Alleppey!) chances are good that you’ll be able to find a way to get there pretty easily if you won’t be coming from too far away.

Bus is a convenient way to get around, especially for shorter distances between popular destinations, because you don’t need to book any tickets in advance.

You’ll just show up to the bus station and get on the next bus to Alleppey.

You pay for your bus ticket once you’re on the bus. There’s a ticket conductor that will come around.

There are some cities that there may be more limited bus timings to Alleppey, but it’s still pretty convenient.

It’s reasonable to consider taking the bus to Alleppey from most of the main backpacker cities in Kerala, including from Varkala, Cochin, Munnar, and Thekkady.

Bus timings you find online for government buses can be helpful in figuring out the frequency of timings between destinations.

But they may not always be accurate, so it’s best to confirm the timings with hotel staff at the place you’re staying.

 

Alleppey bus station

How to get to Alleppey: Alleppey bus station. Backpacking Kerala India

 

The Alleppey bus station is located in town.

If you stay at one of the top hostels in Alleppey, then it’ll be a short rickshaw ride there.

 

 

By train to Alleppey

 

When you’re traveling along the coast, like from Cochin, Varkala, and Trivandrum, the train might be another option to consider.

As long as you don’t mind general class, this can be another convenient way to get to Alleppey. It’s likely that you’ll have a number of train timings available when you’re traveling along the coast.

If you’re traveling a short duration, general class can work out, and that means that you don’t need to book tickets in advance.

You just show up to the train station, buy your train ticket, and then board the next train to Alleppey.

When looking at train timings, it’s important to keep in mind that delays are likely.

 

Alleppey train station

How to get to Alleppey: Alleppey train station. Backpacking Kerala India

 

The Alleppey train station is located pretty close to Alleppey Beach.

It’ll be a short rickshaw ride if you’re staying at an Alleppey Beach hostel or Alleppey Beach guesthouse.

 

 

By ferry to Alleppey

How to get to Alleppey: Ferry travel in Kerala. Backpacking Kerala India

 

Alleppey is basically THE hub of the Kerala backwaters.

And, there are a few places from which you can arrive to Alleppey in part by ferry!

It WILL take longer if you choose to go part way by ferry compared to a direct bus or train.

But since Alleppey is all about the backwaters, you might as well get as much of the Kerala backwaters in as you can! ๐Ÿ˜‰

You can go in part by ferry to get to Alleppey if you’re coming from Varkala, from Munnar, or from Thekkady.

You can also take the Alleppey ferry for a day trip too, for example to Kuttanad.

Other ways to take in the backwaters include canoe, kayaking, and cycling.

 

Alleppey ferry station

How to get to Alleppey: Alleppey ferry station. Backpacking Kerala India

 

The Alleppey ferry station is located in town, and it’s located pretty close to the bus station.

 

 

DISCLAIMER about timings and schedules! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is intended as a guide and NOT an absolute!

Online information about train schedules generally seem to be accurate (not including delays).

But with bus and ferry, online schedules may not be accurate. So it’s best to verify timings locally.

Bus timings and ferry timings found online can be good for giving you a general idea of the frequency of a bus route or ferry route as you’re planning your trip.

This can help you to determine whether or not a particular route is possible direct.

Then once you get to Kerala, you can ask the staff at the place you’re staying for confirmation.

 

Confirming Alleppey bus timings at bus station

You can also go to the “station master” office at any bus station, and this can also be a reliable place to get good information about the bus.

 

How to get to Alleppey: Alleppey bus station master office for Alleppey bus timings. Backpacking Kerala India

 

Confirming Alleppey ferry timings at ferry station

Once you’re in Alleppey and you want to take the ferry locally, there’s also a station master office at the ferry station.

 

How to get to Alleppey: Alleppey ferry station master office for Alleppey ferry timings. Backpacking Kerala India

 

Public transportation in Kerala

I find public transportation to be a relatively convenient way to get around Kerala, but it might require some of your expectations to be lowered. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hopefully this information will give you an idea for how to get around Kerala, and specifically to Alleppey.

This is based on my experiences backpacking Kerala, and these are some of the various things I would think about if I was considering each of these options.

 

Routes I’ve been on to get to Alleppey:

 

Routes I’ve been on to get away from Alleppey:

 

 

Now…

Before getting into the best way to get to Alleppey from popular backpacker destinations…

 

 

Where to stay in Alleppey

See some budget accommodation with prices, reviews, and photos below! (partner website) 

 

Best hostels in Alleppey

There aren’t too many hostels in Alleppey, but you likely can’t go wrong staying at Zostel Alleppey (which is near the beach) or Artpackers (which is a bit further from the beach)!

 

For another budget accommodation option:

Tip: It says female-only dorm is available, but it actually means it’s for travelers (not locals), so if you’re a foreigner guy backpacking around Kerala you can still reserve a bed! 

It’s a beachside guesthouse with a shared rooftop sleeping space. It’s basically outdoor living, and you’ll wake up to ocean views!

 

How to get to Alleppey. Best hostels in Alleppey Beach. Backpacking Kerala India

How to get to Alleppey. Best hostels in Alleppey Beach. Backpacking Kerala India

 

More hotels in Alleppey

Put in your travel dates below (partner website) and see the prices of hotels in Alleppey!

 



Booking.com

 

 

So now…

Bus, train, or ferry to Alleppey?!

 

From Cochin

How to get to Alleppey from Fort Cochin: Fort Cochin to Alleppey bus, train, ferry. (Alleppey to Fort Cochin.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

Fort Cochin to Alleppey bus

You will have no problem finding a bus from Cochin to Alleppey.

You’ll want to catch the bus from the main bus station in Cochin (Ernakulam).

Fort Cochin is the main backpacker’s area, so there’s a good chance you’ll end up staying at a guesthouse or hostel in Fort Cochin.

In which case, the cheapest way to get from Fort Cochin to the Ernakulam bus station is by walking to the ferry station, taking a ferry to Ernakulam, and walking some more to the bus station.

There’s a ferry station in Fort Cochin, and then once you take the Fort Cochin to Ernakulam ferry to get to the main Ernakulam side, then it’ll be about a 30 minute walk.

This could be a good place to get a rickshaw or Uber too, although you could always get one directly from Fort Cochin too.

See the map for an idea of how to get from Fort Cochin to the bus station.

Then once you get to the Ernakulam bus station, wait for the next bus to Alleppey to arrive!

I’ve been told by someone living in Alleppey that there are buses to Alleppey every 5 minutes.

I think I had to wait 15-20 minutes ๐Ÿ˜‰ but the point is that the frequency of bus timings for Cochin to Alleppey is high, so you don’t really have to plan it out too much!

Just show up to the bus station and you probably won’t have to wait for long.

You can opt for an AC bus or a regular non-AC bus. When you get to the Ernakulam bus station, ask about when the next AC bus is! 

The bus ride will probably be around 2 hours.

 

Fort Cochin to Alleppey train

You’ll also probably have no problem finding a train to get you from Cochin to Alleppey.

If you don’t mind taking a general class train, this can be another easy way to get to Alleppey, as there are lots of trains that pass through Cochin and Alleppey.

As far as getting from Fort Cochin to the Ernakulam train station, it’s not much different than getting to the bus station, as the train station and bus station are located in a similar area.

So that would be taking the Fort Cochin to Ernakulam ferry if you want to make a water crossing, or you can take a rickshaw or Uber directly there.

See the map for an idea of how to get from Fort Cochin to the train station.

See train timings for Cochin to Alleppey.

The time you’ll be on the train will depend on which train you take, but it’ll likely be 1-2 hours.

 

Fort Cochin to Alleppey ferry

There’s currently no public ferry that will take you from Cochin to Alleppey town.

But if you want to take a ferry to get around Cochin, there are ferries in Cochin! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Go from the Fort Cochin ferry station to Ernakulam or to Vypin!

 

Fort Cochin to Alleppey taxi

According to this Alleppey Beach guesthouse in 2019, a taxi from Fort Cochin will probably be around 1,600 rupees (US$25).

 

 

 

From Munnar

How to get to Alleppey from Munnar: Munnar to Alleppey bus, train, ferry. (Alleppey to Munnar.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

Munnar to Alleppey bus

How to get to Alleppey from Munnar: Munnar to Alleppey bus. (Alleppey to Munnar bus.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

Going by bus will be the most direct way to get from Alleppey to Munnar.

It is kind of a long bus ride, as it will likely take around 5-7 hours.

There are direct buses from Munnar to Alleppey, and you’ll want to make sure to check the timings once you get to Munnar.

You can ask your guesthouse in Munnar.

Or if you’ll be arriving by bus to Munnar as well, you can stop by the station master office to ask about the bus timings too.

In the meantime, you can see possible bus timings from Munnar to Alleppey.

 

How to get to Alleppey from Munnar: Munnar bus station. Backpacking Kerala India

 

But the important thing to know is that you likely can get a direct bus from Alleppey to Munnar!

If you’re not liking the timings of the direct bus, the next best option by road might be to get a bus from Munnar to Cochin, and then another bus from Cochin to Alleppey.

 

Munnar to Alleppey ferry! (in part)

How to get to Alleppey from Munnar: Munnar to Alleppey ferry in Kottayam. (Alleppey to Munnar ferry.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

So you can get from Munnar to Alleppey in part by ferry.

This will take longer to Alleppey, but it’ll give you more of the Kerala backwaters!

First you’ll take a bus from Munnar to Kottayam.

Then once at the Kottayam bus station, you’ll walk 10-15 minutes or take a rickshaw to the Kottayam ferry station.

And from there, you’ll get on the ferry to Alleppey from Kottayam.

 

Munnar to Alleppey taxi

According to this Alleppey Beach guesthouse in 2019, a taxi from Munnar will probably be around 4,500 rupees (US$65).

 

Munnar to Alleppey train

There’s no train station near Munnar. So train isn’t really an option.

 

Things to do in Munnar

When you’re in Munnar, be sure to consider a leisurely tea plantation trek and a day hike to the second highest peak in Kerala.

 

 

From Thekkady (Kumily/Periyar)

How to get to Alleppey from Thekkady, Kumily: Thekkady to Alleppey bus, train, ferry. (Alleppey to Thekkady.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

Thekkady to Alleppey bus

How to get to Alleppey from Thekkady: Thekkady to Alleppey bus. (Alleppey to Thekkady bus.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

It’s possible to get a direct bus from Thekkady to Alleppey, and this bus ride will likely take around 5-6 hours.

The main town in Thekkady is Kumily, so you’ll be taking a bus from Kumily to Alleppey.

 

 

You’ll want to confirm bus timings with your guesthouse in Thekkady or the Kumily station master office.

See possible bus timings for Thekkady to Alleppey.

 

Thekkady to Alleppey ferry! (in part)

How to get to Alleppey from Thekkady: Thekkady to Alleppey ferry in Kottayam. (Alleppey to Thekkady ferry.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

And you can also get from Alleppey to Thekkady in part by ferry!

First you’ll go from Kumily to Kottayam by bus.

Then once you reach the Kottayam bus station, you’ll make your way over to the Kottayam ferry station by walking or by rickshaw.

And then you’ll take the Kottayam to Alleppey ferry to get you the rest of the way!

 

Thekkady to Alleppey taxi

According to this Alleppey Beach guesthouse in 2019, a taxi from Thekkady will probably be around 4,000 rupees (US$60).

 

Thekkady to Alleppey train

There’s no train station near Thekkady. So train isn’t really an option.

 

 

From Varkala

How to get to Alleppey from Varkala: Varkala to Alleppey train, bus, ferry. (Alleppey to Varkala.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

 

Varkala to Alleppey train

How to get to Alleppey from Varkala: Varkala to Alleppey train. (Alleppey to Varkala train.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

There are a number of trains that pass through Varkala and Alleppey, so this could make train a convenient option.

As long as you don’t mind general class, you won’t have to book your train ticket in advance.

Since this is a relatively short ride, a general class train can work out to get to Alleppey from Varkala.

The train ride will be around 2 hours long.

See train timings for Varkala to Alleppey.

 

Varkala to Alleppey bus

It’s possible to find a direct bus from Varkala to Alleppey, but the bus timings aren’t as frequent.

This just means that you’ll want to confirm the bus timings once you get to Varkala.

The bus ride will likely be around 3-5 hours.

See possible bus timings for Varkala to Alleppey.

 

Varkala to Alleppey ferry! (in part)

How to get to Alleppey from Varkala: Varkala to Alleppey ferry in Kollam. (Alleppey to Varkala ferry.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

And, if you want to go in part by ferry to Alleppey from Varkala, you can do that too!

First, you’ll take a train to Kollam. (Or you can find a bus too.)

See train timings from Varkala to Kollam.

Then once you’ve made it to Kollam, you’ll make your way over to the ferry station.

The ferry station is right across the street from the Kollam bus station.

From the Kollam train station, it’ll be around a 20-30 minute walk, or a short rickshaw ride.

Then once at the ferry station, you’ll take the ferry to Alleppey from Kollam!

You’ll want to make sure you get to Kollam in time for the 10:30am departure (the only ferry departure for Alleppey), so this could make for a long day, as the Kollam ferry is 8 hours long.

 

Varkala to Alleppey taxi

According to this Alleppey Beach guesthouse in 2019, a taxi from Varkala will probably be around 3,500 rupees (US$50).

 

 

From Munroe Island

How to get to Alleppey from Munroe Island: Munroe Island to Alleppey train, bus, ferry. (Alleppey to Munroe Island.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

Munroe Island to Alleppey train

The best way to get to Alleppey from Munroe Island will be by train.

This will be the most direct way.

It’ll likely take around 1.5 – 2 hours.

See train timings from Munroe Island to Alleppey.

 

Munroe Island to Alleppey by ferry (in part!)

If you’re going from Munroe Island to Alleppey, you could also use this as an excuse to take the Kollam ferry.

This ferry is the same ferry you would take to get to Varkala.

Munroe Island is a short distance away from the Kollam ferry station, but since it’s in a slightly more “off-beat” area, your public transportation options are a little less.

It can still be convenient, but it just means a little planning ahead of time.

You can get from Munroe Island to Kollam by train or by bus.

See train timings from Munroe Island to Kollam.

Although you’ll end up at Kollam with a few hours to spare, it’ll be best to take the early morning train to make sure you make it in time for the daily ferry departure to Alleppey that’s at 10:30am.

See potential bus timings for Munroe Island to Kollam.

Similarly, it’ll be best to take the early morning bus.

And then you can always take a rickshaw from Munroe Island to get to Kollam to catch that ferry to Alleppey too.

 

Things to do in Munroe Island

When you’re in Munroe Island, eat delicious Kerala food at a Munroe Island backwaters homestay, go for a sunrise canoe tour, and go cycling around the island!

 

 

From Amritapuri (Amma’s ashram)

How to get to Alleppey from Amritapuri, Amma's ashram: Amritapuri to Alleppey train, bus, ferry. (Alleppey to Amritapuri.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

Amritapuri to Alleppey train

The closest train station to the ashram is Karunagappally.

So the easiest would be to take a 20-30 minute rickshaw ride from the ashram to the Karunagappally train station.

And then from there, take the next train to Alleppey. The train ride will be about 1.5 hours.

See train timings for Karunagappally to Alleppey.

 

Amritapuri to Alleppey ferry

The ashram is located right on the backwaters, and the Kollam to Alleppey tourist ferry passes by it.

There’s a ferry stop located right at the ashram.

The ferry departs Kollam at 10:30am, and it will likely get to the ashram ferry stop just before 1pm.

The ashram staff will be able to confirm the exact timing.

 

 

From Cochin Airport

How to get to Alleppey from Cochin airport: Alleppey to Cochin airport bus, train, taxi. (Cochin airport to Alleppey.) Backpacking Kerala India

 

Cochin airport to Alleppey taxi

The Cochin airport is the closest airport to Alleppey.

Since you’ll be arriving on a flight to Cochin, you might just be eager to get straight to your Alleppey hotel, guesthouse, or hostel.

The easiest and most convenient would be to take to a taxi.

Taxi wouldn’t always be option #1, but this is a special circumstance – you’re tired before you even start your road journey! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’ll be around a 2 to 2.5 hour drive.

According to this Alleppey Beach guesthouse in 2019, a taxi from the Cochin airport will probably be around 2,200 rupees (US$30).

 

Cochin airport to Alleppey train or bus

I think the second option to consider that would sacrifice a bit of convenience but would end up a bit cheaper would be to go by train.

The train station you’ll want to get to won’t be in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

The easiest would be to catch a rickshaw from the airport to the Aluva train station. This will likely be around a 30 minute ride.

Then from Aluva, you can get a general class train ticket to Alleppey. It’ll probably be around a 2 hour train ride.

Although, general class does mean there’s a chance that you won’t get a seat.

If you don’t want to take a taxi, I think going by rickshaw and train to Alleppey would be the best option when keeping in mind that you also would like to hurry up and get some rest in Alleppey after that flight!

Meaning, you might not have enough patience for the bus!

There are also frequent bus timings from Aluva to Alleppey, but if it’s not a bus that originates in Aluva, it means there’s a chance you’ll be getting on a crowded bus too.

So, would you rather take the risk with a crowded train ride or crowded bus ride? ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are enough trains and buses that you’ll probably be able to get on one without having to wait too long for either.

See train timings for Aluva to Alleppey.

See bus timings for Aluva to Alleppey.

 

Backpacking Kerala India: How to get to Alleppey by bus, by train, by ferry. Bus travel. Train travel. Ferry travel. From Fort Cochin, from Munnar, from Varkala, from Thekkady, from Cochin airport. Public transportation in Kerala. Kerala itinerary travel tips. Backpacking Kerala India

 

P.S. If you have skipped ahead and did not read the DISCLAIMER above, please go back up and read it!

 

Be sure to take a look at the Best of Alleppey Travel Guide so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Alleppey!
And also be sure to take a look at the Kerala Travel Guide for one week in Kerala so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Kerala!

HAPPY ALLEPPEY TRAVEL PLANNING!

 

The need-to-know India travel tips!
If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train!

There are affiliate links on this page that lead to partner websites.

How to book India train tickets online as a foreigner
If you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!

India tourist visa tip!
Access to India as a foreigner seems to be getting friendlier! There's an e-visa now and this visa fee is far less than it was before. See the current cost of an e-visa by selecting your country. That's a partner website to make the evisa application process less stressful - it's possible to apply on your own too. See about your options on how to get an e-visa for India.

Travel insurance for India - just in case!
You get travel insurance hoping that you'll never have to use it. But if you do end up needing to use it, chances are that you will be VERY happy that you did get it! See how to figure out the cost of travel insurance for India.

Where to stay on the backpacker trail in Kerala
See more places to stay in Kerala

  Backpacking India travel guide, South India travel blog: Best places to visit in India itinerary - one month, 3 weeks. India travel blog with best places to visit in India Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best places to visit in Kerala itinerary - one week, 7 days, 10 days. Cochin, Alleppey, Varkala, Munnar. Kerala India travel blog with top Kerala tourism destinations. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best things to do in Kerala backwaters. Kerala India travel blog. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best things to do in Kerala backwaters activities - canoe, kayaking. Kerala India travel blog. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Public transportation in Kerala backwaters ferry. Kerala India travel blog. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best things to do in Kerala tea plantations. Kerala India travel blog. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best beach yoga in Kerala. Kerala India travel blog. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best hostels in Kerala. Kerala India travel blog. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Bus in Kerala. Train in Kerala. Public transportation. Kerala India travel blog. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best yoga retreats in Kerala. Ayurveda retreats in Kerala. Kerala India travel blog.   Backpacking India to Japan. Backpacking Asia   Backpacking India to Hawaii. Backpacking Asia to US