Explore the Beautiful Marine Drive
Drive, Kochi’s one of the most beautiful beach destinations is often visited by
the locals and travelers alike. Hanging out on the drive is one among the
popular activities in Kochi.
What’s special: Due to the glorious views of the backwaters and the Kochi harbor, taking a walk around the beach seems quite blissful. You can take a tour of the beach at any time of the day. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around the beach, where you can even enjoy a perfect meal or an evening cup of coffee. One of the best things you can do here is to go for a boat ride.
How to reach: The nearest railway station to Marine Drive is Ernakulam, which is about 3 km away. The nearest airport, however is the Cochin Airport that is 29 km away from the beach. Reach here by cabs or local bus easy and quick.
Enjoy the Magnificent View of the Chinese Fishing Nets
Enjoying the gorgeous sight of the Chinese fishing nets, is undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in Kochi. According to the lore, these beautiful fishing nets were given as a gift to the local fishermen back in the 14th century by Zheng He, a Chinese explorer.
These fishnets have been in use ever since and when you are in Kochi, the local fishermen teach you how to use them in return of a small fee.
What’s special: During this fun activity, you can even buy some of the early catches from them and cook them on the nearby shacks. Enjoy a good meal while experiencing a beautiful sunset.To witness such a magical experience, you need to go to the River Road in Fort Kochi.
How to reach: The nearest railway station to enjoy magnificient view of chinese fishing nets is Ernakulam, which is about 3 km away. The nearest airport, however is the Cochin Airport that is 29 km away from the beach. Reach here by cabs or local bus easy and quick.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit the place is between October to February.
Have Fun With the Elephants at the Elephant Center
In a peaceful and relatively small village in Kochi named Kodanad, there is this beautiful and magnificent elephant sanctuary, where you can enjoy a great time with the mammals.
What’s special: An ideal place to visit, the sanctuary is one of the most glorious tourist attractions in the city, where you can even give baths to the animals under the supervision of the experts.
How to reach: To be a part of such a majestic day, you can simply take a day tour to Kodanad and witness this unique experience. Watch baby elephants getting trained and adults playing with water. Truly one of the best things to do in Cochin.
Timings: The sanctuary is open for visitors from 8 AM to 5 PM
Take a Ferry Ride in Kochi
Among the most fun activities in Kochi, taking a ferry ride is quite prevalent. Imagine taking a perfectly graceful exit from the earthy land and float between the blue sky and water – where you can escape from the city’s busy and stressful life. By taking a ferry ride, you can visit a number of small islands in Kochi including Vallarpadam, Willingdon, and Vypeen Islands.
What’s special: The Willingdon is the largest island in Kochi surrounded by lush green. Vypeen, however, has a collection of clean beaches, where you can enjoy sunbathing and many other activities. At the sunset, take a boat cruise around the city and experience the blissful sights of a beautiful sky changing its colors during each hour of sundown.
How to reach: The nearest railway station to Bolghatty Island is Ernakulam, which is about 8 km away. The nearest airport, however is the Cochin Airport that is 34 km away from the beach. Reach here by cabs or local bus easy and quick.
Be a Part of a Kathakali Performance
One of the nine classical dance forms in India, Kathakali originated in Kerala. Popular for its fascinating and colorful costumes and makeup, Kathakali performances are truly magical and can take you to a whole different world. The theme of the dance is based on Hindu epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana as well as various mythological stories.
Where to Watch: If you are willing to be a part of such a performance then visit the Kathakali Center in Kochi where regular performances are organized on a daily basis. If you want a close look at the performers, you can even go backstage and see them applying makeup and getting ready for the performance
How to reach: From mainland to Fort Kochi, you can take a ferry and after reaching Fort Kochi. you can go either by bus or hire an auto rickshaw.
Take a Tour to the World of Ayurveda
you are in Kerala, one of the must things
to do in Cochin is to indulge yourself in a luxurious tour of Ayurveda. The
state is well known for its ayurvedic medicines and its various benefits and
you can get a range of options available in Kochi, when it comes to getting an
Best places that offer such services: Places like “Fort Ayurveda Spa” and “Ayurville” offer luxurious and soothing Ayurvedic massages and therapies. For a relaxed and soothing holiday, indulging in such activities in Kochi can prove to be really effective.
Know What Paradesi Synagogue Holds
The oldest Synagogue in history, The Paradesi Synagogue is a Jewish Synagogue that was built back in 1568. The word Paradesi in Hindi means Foreigner, and as the place was mostly visited by the Jews back in those days, it has been named as Paradesi Synagogue.
The Portuguese, however almost destroyed the place during 1662, but once the Dutch took over Kochi, it was rebuilt and brought back to life. The Synagogue is a magnificent place to visit, where you can see a gold pulpit along with an exquisite Belgium Chandelier. It also features a beautiful clock tower, which was added during 1772.
How to reach: The famous tourist attraction is based in Synagogue Ln, Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Mattancherry. Take a taxi ride or drive your vehicle towards the location.
Try Out the Best Cafes in Kochi
For the coffee and food lovers out there – hunting down the cafes is probably one of the best things to do in Cochin. There are in numerous places to eat in Kochi – from those luxury and posh restaurants to beachside small cafes – you just name it.
Enjoy street food, and taste the delicious taste of the Keralan cuisine, delving into the world of foods is a must in the beautiful city. However, while you can find a number of places offering traditional dishes from the state, there are restaurants that offer multi cuisines including the flavors of both South and North India.
Best places to eat: Some such homely and cozy places to eat are – The Rice Boat, Teapot Café, Kashi Art Café and Ginger House Restaurant.
Explore the Jew Town in Kochi
Famous among the shopaholics, foodies and antique lovers, the Jew Town in Kochi is a mesmerizing place that boasts antiques from across the globe. From Chinese to Indian, from Arabic to European masterpieces – the tiny antique haven has it all.
The eminent shopper’s hotspot, the Jew Town was once the hub of the Jews before they moved back to Israel. A lot of their belongings are now being sold as antiques in the market.
How to reach: The nearest airport, however is the Cochin Airport that is 41 km away from the beach. Reach here by cabs or local bus easy and quick.
Timings: Delving into the beautiful antique market is surely one of the best things to do in Kochi. There is no fee required to enter the market and you can visit the place from 5 in the morning till 9 in the evening.
Take a Walking Tour at the Fort Kochi
Just a few miles away from the bustling town of Ernakulam, there is this beautiful and ancient Fort Kochi where you can take a walking tour. The Fort is a melting pot of various cultures succumbed into one, brought by different English, Dutch, and Portuguese merchants. However, nowadays, no Forts can be seen in the place but, there are various lavish mansions that were built by the early explorers.
What’s special: Exploring on foot, you can witness the alluring beauty of the surrounding and delve into its history. Just walk along the street and you will be able to cover almost everything around the city. Definitely one of the best things to do in Kochi.
How to reach: Take the ferry to Fort Kochi from marine drive.
Appreciate the Architecture of the Mattancherry Palace
Appreciating the architecture of the Mattancherry Palace is definitely one of the must things to do in Kochi. Back in 1555, the Palace was built by the Portuguese and presented as a token of appreciation to Verra Kerala Verma, the then King of Kochi.
During 1663, the Dutch made a few renovations and added a few extensions in the mansion which is why it is also called the Dutch Palace. Located just 4 km away from Kochi, the palace offers a number of things to its visitors. Enjoy the beauty of the palace or go for antique shopping or you can even plan a picnic at the spot – a great day awaits you at the Mattancherry Palace.
Timings and fee: The visiting hours of the place are between 10 AM to 5 PM. You can enter the palace by paying a small fee of 20 rupees for adults and 10 rupees for children.
How to reach: Get here by a cab or bus ride, that easily drops you near to the premises.
Visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Popular among nature lovers, the Kumarakom bird sanctuary is one of the best places to visit in Kochi. The sanctuary is the haven for the bird lovers, that houses more than thousands of birds which includes plenty of seasonal and immigrant birds that travel from various parts of the globe.
Also known as the Vembanad bird sanctuary, the place is located at a distance of 17 km from Kottayam, and covers 14 acres of lands near the Vembanad Lake. Spotting birds in the sanctuary is a blissful experience. You can either take a stroll through the pathways in the sanctuary or take a boat ride across the Vembanad Lake.
Timings: You can visit the sanctuary from 6 AM to 5 PM daily, and enter the place for a small fee of just 50 rupees per adult.
How to reach: It is best to hire a cab or book a self driven car to reach here. An hour drive will make you land in this heaven
Explore the Glorious History in the Museums of Kochi
the history buffs out there, taking a museum tour in the city is one of the
must things to do. Kochi offers you a number of options when it comes to
visiting museums. A popular name in the list is the Kerala Folklore and Theater
museum, which is a three-storied building, featuring three different
architectural styles in each of the floors. The home is regarded as the most
spectacular home that offers the glorious heritage of Kerala.
Another remarkable museum in Kochi is the Indo-Portuguese Museum, located at the Bishop House garden in Fort Kochi. The museum is a perfect blend of the Portuguese and Indian architecture where you can understand the history of the Indo-Portuguese culture.
Take a Muziris Spice Tour
One of the best things to do in Kochi is to take a tour to the spice hub of Kerala, Muziris. A beautiful and ancient seaport in the coast of Malabar, Muziris was the heart of the spice route to India. Exploring this attractive tourist spot in Kerala surely is among the popular things to do in Kochi.
The Government of Kerala has now initiated a Muziris Heritage Project, the largest of its kind, in which, various steps have been taken to showcase the cultural and historical significance of the place. Muziris is popular for being a legendary seaport, where everything from precious stones to spices was traded. Take a Muziris spice tour next time you are in Kochi and go down the memory lane.
How to reach: The nearest airport, however is the Cochin Airport that is 50 km away from the Spice hub. Reach here by cabs or local bus easy and quick.
Do Not Forget to Do Snorkeling in Kochi
One of the most lesser known things to do in Kochi is Snorkeling. A lot of people are not aware that apart from doing boating, dolphin watching and paragliding, snorkeling activities are also provided on various beaches in the city.
If you are an adventure lover, then you must get a snorkeling experience in places like Kovalam and Thiruvankulam. If you are new to snorkeling, do not worry – all kinds of tips and safety measures will be provided to you by experts.
Timings: In Thiruvankulam, you can enjoy snorkeling activities from Monday to Sunday during the hours from 10.30 AM to 4.30 PM.
Enjoy Street Food at Thattukada
Kochi is popularly known as the gourmand’s paradise and for people who are into street foods and love gorging into various South Indian delicacies, this is the place to be. The Thattukadas in Kochi, which means street food stall in Malayalam, offers you a range of options to eat – from seafood to fast foods, from biryanis to sweet dishes – there are plenty of things you can munch into.
Nothing can beat the taste of Kochi when it comes to street foods. And this surely is one of the most popular things to do in Kochi for the food lovers.
Go for a Refreshing Village Backwater Tour
The Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi offers plenty of backwater tours to its visitors. Kumarakom village is a popular place for visitors to indulge in such backwater activities. The village is situated at the bank of the Vembanad Lake, which is the largest stretch of Kerala’s backwater.
Taking a backwater trip through the lake for about 4-5 hours a day would give you the never-ending pleasure of bliss and the beautiful journey is surely a treat to your eyes. The cruise will take you to Alleppey or to Kumarakom from Kochi where throughout your journey, you can catch the glimpse of the day to day life of what happens on the shores.
Enjoy a Kalaripayattu Performance
One of the traditional and oldest forms of Martial Arts, the Kalaripayattu is a popular art form Kerala. Kalaripayattu is performed by highly trained professionals and is amazing to watch. The Kerala Kathakali Center in Kochi hosts Kalaripayattu performances on a daily basis along with various other cultural events like Kathakali and other classical dances.
Where to watch: At Kerala Kathakali Center, you can simply advance book the tickets for any kinds of shows online. Visitors find Kalaripayattu extremely breathtaking to watch and find it rather fascinating. The use of sharp metal blade called Urumi makes the performance even more dangerous and yet mind-blowing to watch.
How to reach: From mainland to Fort Kochi, you can take a ferry and after reaching Fort Kochi . you can go either by bus or hire an auto rickshaw.
Visit the St. Francis Church
The oldest European built church in India, St. Francis Church is one of the most popular tourist spots in Kochi. It is the burial place of the Portuguese explorer and trader Vasco De Gama and ever since it has gained its popularity.
The place’s tranquil beauty and serenity make the landmark monument a perfect place for the peace seekers. Thousands of tourists from across the globe visit the church every year and pay tribute to the late Portuguese explorer.
How to reach: Near to the head post office, reach here by a short scooter ride or book a cab ride.
Learn the South Indian Culinary
For the food bloggers, food lovers and for people who love experimenting with new dishes, learning South Indian dishes should be on your to-do list while you are in Kochi. The entire state of Kerala is well-known for its varieties in foods – featuring seafood to dishes flavored in coconuts – it’s all about finger licking delicacies and nothing else.
Where to learn: There are many homestays in Kochi where the hosts are more than happy to teach you a couple of South Indian dishes. Learn those while you can so that back home you can show your culinary skills to your friends and family members.
Explore the Indo-Portuguese Museum
Located at the garden of the Bishop House in Kochi, the Indo-Portuguese museum in Kochi is another place for the history buffs where they can find their own peace of mind. The museum was initiated with the help of the Bishop of Kochi, Dr. Joseph Kureethra, who worked really hard to preserve the rich and enchanting culture of the Portuguese descendants.
What’s special: The museum shows how Portuguese culture made an impact on Kochi and its encircling region and helps you witness the beautiful amalgamation of the Indo-Portuguese culture in the region. The museum is largely divided into 5 sections – Cathedral, Altar, Procession, Treasure and Civil Life. Take a tour at the museum and simply go back to the fascinating Indian history once again.
How to reach: Located on Kureethra road, one can reach here taking a local taxi or cab.
Explore the Alluring Santa Cruz Basilica
One of eight Basilicas in India, Santa Cruz Basilica is situated near the popular St. Francis Church. A visually beautiful and alluring building in Kochi, the Basilica is one of the best and finest cathedrals in the country and is the glory of the city.
The renowned religious place is all about the Gothic architectural style and one simply cannot miss out on visiting this stunning heritage building.
What to do: Visit the cathedral to offer prayers and to find your inner peace. While at the church, you can witness the magnificent gothic interior and historical paintings hung on the wall. All of these showcase the history of the church.
How to reach: Marking its presence in Fort Kochi area, one can book a cab ride or take local taxi to be here.
Love sports? Well, Kochi does not disappoint the sports lovers as well. There are plenty of places in the city where you can go Go-Karting.
Where to go: You can visit the Badminton Club in Elamakkara or to places like Speedway Kochi, and Chillax Racing – these places offer exciting Go-Karting racing opportunities to the visitors. In the Cochin International Airport, there is a small go-karting circuit available for the visitors where weekly competitions are organized.
Take a Walk Through the Princess Street
Trying to find something for your loved ones or want to buy souvenirs? Then simply take a stroll around the Princess street – one of the oldest locations in Kochi. Also known as the Loafer’s Corner, the street is popular for its cafés, street food, handicrafts, and street shops – where you can indulge in a lot of activities.
What to do: Princess Street is the perfect place where the traditional world meets the modern one and blends into forming a whole new world. There are plenty of bookstores, old heritage buildings, restaurants and shopping spots for you to visit – and bring back a few of those as memories to where you have come from.
How to reach: The nearest railway station to go Princess Street is Ernakulam, which is about 15 km away. The nearest airport, however is the Cochin Airport that is 36 km away from the beach. Reach here by cabs or local bus easy and quick.
Pay Your Visit at the Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple
While you are in Kochi, do not forget to pay a visit to the oldest temple in Kochi, the Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple. The temple is precious for two reasons – first, it is based right at the heart of Kochi and second, the only temple in South India, where the deities of the temple are facing the western direction.
What’s special: Adorned in the Kerala style architecture, the temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. Hundreds of devotees from across the country come to the Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.
How to reach: Quite close to marine drive, be here with the help of taxi, cab or bus.