Visakhapatnam (also known locally as Vizag) is the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh. It is primarily an industrial city, but also attracts tourists due to its unspoilt sandy beaches and nearby scenic areas, such as the Araku Valley. Currently the city has a population of about 1,500,000.
Vizag is sometimes referred to as the "Goa of the east coast." Just like its west coast counterpart, it has beautiful virgin beaches, reddish laterite hillocks, smooth roads and stunning landscape. Health-tourism is a fast developing industry.Visakhapatnam is also referred to as a jewel on the Coramandel Coast, The city of dust , Steel city .
The local population are mostly Telugu and Oriya who have moved to the area from nearby Orissa and Kalinga. In addition, there is a large population of migrant workers from other parts of India who have been drawn to the area by the abundance of work at locally based companies, such as Eastern Naval Command, Vizag Steel Plant and Hindustan Shipyard.
Indian (formerly known as "Indian Airlines") , Air Deccan , King Fisher  and Sahara  operate daily flights to Vizag from Hyderabad and Mumbai. Flights from and to Chennai, Bangolore, Kolkata, Tirupati, Raipur and New Delhi are also available daily.Please contact the individual Air lines for the timings, as they may change periodically. Very soon this Airport will operate flights to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Colombo and to many other destinations. Also, be prepared for flight delays due to poor visibility from smog.
Visakhapatnam is on Kolkata-Chennai main line and is connected to both the cities by train. This being a major station, all trains including the super fast expresses have a stop in the station. Visakhapatnam station is in the east coast railways and is having 8 platforms. It is the second city in the state to have 8 platforms and the first in east coast railways. All platforms can accommodate trains with 28 coaches. Please verify the timings with [ Indian Railways], since they change from time to time.
From New Delhi
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Travel Corporation (APSRTC) runs buses from almost every city and town to Vizag, along with some private operators, who run buses from a few of the major cities. Please check with APSRTC for timings. There is also a new Volvo service to Vizag from Chennai, Bangalore, Vijayawada, Kolkata and Hyderabad which is very comfortable and happy going. This is the best way to do it if you wanna travel by bus.
Although not the most popular route to get into Vizag, there is a ship that gets into Vizag from Andaman and Nicobar islands.
More than anything else, Vizag is known for it's beaches. It boasts a number of beaches that are both scenic and uncrowded. A few virgin beaches span along the eastern side of the city and stretch for miles. Do not go swimming, however, as the water is quite polluted with industrial waste. A spectacular beach only the locals are aware of is called the "Yarada" beach. Unfortunately, except for the occasional RTC bus, there is no public transport available. Still, the adventurous will find it rewarding if they can make an effort to get there. Its a private beach coming under Agrigold plantations therefor you need to pay a fee of Rs. 10/- to get onto the beach, but its worth.
R.K.Beach is the most popular beach in the sense that, you can find the locals hanging out during the hot summers, and relatively less hot winters. On weekends and holidays, one can see that the entire beach comes alive, but not in a western sense where people take a plunge in the water, or surf. You can see people dressed in their best clothes, just sitting on the benches, or walking along. CAUTION!!! A lot of people have died while swimming.
Located 11kms away from the city, this has become a popular tourist spot that even the locals frequent. A lot safer to wade into than the R.K. Beach, cradled among hills, this used to be an excellent beach away from the madding crowds. AP Tourism Development Corporation is having its Beach Resort (Punnami) on the hillside overlooking the beach. CAUTION!!! A lot of people have died while swimming in this beautiful beach.
Located 10 to 12 km away from city ,this is most beautiful beach ,Most interesting thing is we can see rock like structure in between see like a small island which attracts lot of people.Its a HOT spot for local people mostly lovers.
It is about 25 km from the city and is what used to be a small village also called Bheemunipatnam. Apart from the beach, the village has Portuguese remains in the form of a cemetery and a church.
The beaches are lovely, but, there are no activities like water sports, or beach cafes/restaurants/huts like you have in Goa. Recently a water sports centre was started in Rushikonda. There are very few beach resorts. Vizagites are traditionally quite conservative and though the beaches and the hills are beautiful, there is not much here to interest the average tourist. There has been some change in the recent times with the influx of employees of HSBC, HPCL, etc., and Naval Officers, who are interested in going out with their families and enjoying the golden sand and pollution free waters of Vizag's beaches.
A gorgeous nature preserve that many people in Vizag itself seem to be unaware of. The solitude and the peace that one can experience at Kambalakonda located within 20-25 minutes drive from the city center is priceless. A nominal entrance fee of 10 Rupees is charged per adult. The greenery, the hiking trail and the fantastic view of the ocean from the rather flimsy viewing tower give a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Also called Jagadamba junction. Can be considered as Downtown and is a must visit place. There is all forms of entertainment avilable here, from scenic beauty to the noisy crowds. All the famous shopping centers and malls can be found here. Named after the Jagadamba movie theatre, one of the best movie auditoriums of the country when it was constructed and even today.
A local favourite, a short ride on to this hill gives you a spectacular view of the sea, RK.Beach and Rushikonda Beach on right and left hand side. There is a huge sculpture of Shiva and Parvathi. With a children's play area, a people-mover akin to a ski lift called a ropeway. Beautiful scenic view can be obtained from the ropeway, specially in the evening, when the city comes alive with all the lights. The up and down fare for the ropeway is Rs. 44.(As on Dec.2006). An under construction doll museum and a couple of eating areas, this hilltop gives a nice birds eye view of the city also. Has several "viewpoints" affording wonderful views of the city on one side and winding beaches adjoining green hills on the other side. Vistors often fall in love with the "beach" city especially after vistiting Kailasagiri.
This aquarium is situated on the left side of Kali temple of R.K. Beach. It has a good collection of marine as well as freshwater fishes. Entry fee is Rs. 20 per person.(As on Dec. 2006). The exit gate of the aquarium resembles the open mouth of a huge white tipped shark. 'Kala Shrusti' a handicrafts sales shop is on the top of the aquarium.
A little further away from the city, but worth visiting for the scenic valley. A slow, passenger train leaves the Vizag station early in the morning, and the train ride is actually very enjoyable. Definitely not a day trip, but the recently constructed APTDC facilities can serve as a decent over night stay. Padmavathi botanical gardens is worth taking a look at.
Reputedly fantastic caverns that had their native charm earlier (one had to crawl to get in), these caves have been modernized recently by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC).There is a entry fee of Rs. 25 in Borra Caves. Separate charges are there to enter with still or video camera.
A must see on a trip to Visakhapatnam, for its architectural splendour although some of the sculptures were defaced during the Islamic invasions. The temple inscriptions date the earliest donors to the 10-11th centuries. The exact date of construction is unknown. It is located 15 kms from the city and is dedicated to the half man half lion avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple bears reference to the Chola and Chalukya styles of architecture.
A unique site to see is the area around Ross hill which has three hills dedicated to three different faiths in proximity to the port. Ross Hill, named after a certain Monsieur Ross who built a house on it in 1864, it has now been converted into a chapel Mother Mary's Church. The pathway to the shrine strewn with Catholic icon. Darga Pahad has the tomb of the Muslim saint, Sayed Ali Medina alias Ishak Medina, visited by Hindu and Muslim devotees alike. Attached to this is a mosque. Sri Venkateswara Konda, the third hillock, has a temple dedicated to the Lord. It is believed to have been built by an Englishman, Captain Blackmoor, in the 19th century. From this hillock you can see the port channel, which was the entrance of the inner harbor for ships and liners.
Things you can do
The only entertainment in Vizag is going to the movies or Waltair club on Friday night (which is members only, so you cannot go if you are not a member), or of course going for a drive on the beach or visiting Rushikonda.
Vizag in truly an amazing city, and those interested in nightlife, visit Chrome. Chrome is the hottest night club in the city, and is the number one place to be on a saturday night.
Vizag is a city that is advancing fast, and with these new advancements, the local people of the city are smoothly adapting to the changes. For example, vizag recently got its first Cafe Coffee Day (a nationwide chain of coffeehouses that serve good coffee, food, and play music that attract customers), and within the first month of opening, the cafe was packed, and it was hard to find a table.
The last two years(2006 and 2007) have probably been the most improving and advancing years for Vizag(untill now which is the end of 2007), with the construction of new hotels, restaurants, museums, and clubs.
Vizag, the city of destiny, is truly worth visiting!'
Vizag offers a reasonably large selection of stores selling clothing, jewellery, books, etc., While definitely not considered a shopper's paradise, Vizag offers some unique handicrafts and can be located by the Andhra Pradesh State owned handicraft store, Lepakshi. It has an impressive collection of sandalwood sculptures, etc.
Some popular stores are:
Kankatala and Vaibhav have joined together to form the latest shopping mall in Vizag called V Square .
book lovers can go to the new book shop PAGES and guptha brothers on the jail road. enjoy the city!! There are many more just visit the city you will notice them
If, Spicy South Indian fare appeals to your gastronomic senses, then Vizag has some excellent restaurants.
Some interesting bars in the city are in the Five Star hotels mentioned above and typically are expensive even by Western standards. The Park Hotel has a decent bar - try the Screwdriver. Daspalla has another bar and restaurant called 'Dimple' that serves various drinks and can be noisy at times.
Punnami,near rishikonda has pub very close to the beach and serves alcohol.
Chrome, 10 Downing Street and D2 are new pubs that are located in Siripuram.
Senora, a beach resort located on the outskirts, also boasts of a dance floor.
Vizag has both high end hotels affordable lodges. The Daspalla, The Grand Central Hotel and Green Park are well-known.