Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, is the industrial and commercial capital of Kerala. Located on the west coast of India, bounded by the Western Ghats and Arabian Sea, this vibrant port city comprises part of Ernakulam city and a group of beautiful islands such as Willington, Bolgatty, Vallarpadam, Vypin, etc. Kochi is one of the best harbors in the world and is acclaimed as the “Queen of Arabian Sea”. Since the ancient times European traders were attracted to this trading port by the abundance of the much demanded Indian spices. From the beginning of the 16th century it was occupied by the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch and finally the British, till the independence in 1947. Serene Backwaters, beautiful historical monuments, Chinese fishing net, spice markets, shopping malls and the diverse culture make Kochi one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Kerala.
Listed below are some of the best places to visit in Kochi that will make your journey a memorable experience.
Marine Drive: This picturesque location facing Vembanad Lake is a perfect spot to spend a wonderful evening, watching beautiful sunset. You can enjoy a great shopping experience in the Marine Drive market.
Fort Kochi: Fort Kochi is famous for several tourist attractions including Mattancherry Palace, Chinese fishing net, Santa Cruz Basilica, Kochi-Muziris Biennale and many more.
Mattancherry Palace: Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century in traditional Kerala style of architecture, this palace depicts Hindu Temple art, murals, portraits and exhibits of the Rajas (kings) of Kochi.
Jewish Synagogue: It is the oldest synagogue in Kochi, built by Cochin Jewish Community in 1568.
Bolgatty Palace: This Dutch Palace located on the picturesque Bolgatty Island was built by Dutch traders in 1744, which later became the home of British governors. Now it is functioning as luxurious hotel resort.
Hill Palace: Built in 1865 and spread across 54 acres, the complex of Hill Palace houses the largest architectural museum of Kerala. It also has a heritage museum, deer park, children’s park, etc.
Other than above, there are so many tourist attractions in Kochi including Willington Island, Kochi International Marina, Kerala Museum, St. Francis Church, Portuguese Fort, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, etc., which are worth visiting.
The popular Broadway Market located between MG Road and Marine Drive will meet all your shopping needs. You can get spices, clothes, jewelry, handicrafts, fancy items, electronic items, or almost anything from here. Mattancherry Spice Market is one of the oldest spice markets famous for best quality spices. Besides, there are several small shops and markets in Jew Town, MG Road and other areas. Among a number of large shopping malls in Kochi, Lulu Mall at Edappally Bye-pass is the largest of its kind in India with major national & international brands.
You can find almost all varieties of food in Kochi including traditional Kerala meals, as well as north Indian foods, Chinese, and continental cuisine that will tickle the taste-buds of all kinds of people. Seafood is its specialty. You can taste delicious cuisine of different varieties of fish prepared in the exceptional Kerala style. Thattukadas or street-side eateries offer hot, fresh-cooked mouthwatering foods at very low price.
A number of hotels and resorts are available in Kochi providing comfortable accommodation to all classes of tourists. There is nightlife in Kochi, but it is not much active like that in other south Indian states like Bangalore or Chennai. Usually the hotels and bars will close before 11 PM, but you can still find active clubs and dance floors at big hotels at MG Road, Marine Drive, etc., where the night parties will continue till midnight.
This beautiful and vibrant city will always enchant you. You can spend the whole day visiting its wonderful destinations. Enjoy an exciting boat cruise in the serene backwaters, spend an unforgettable evening at Marine Drive, view a stunning sunset, and have a wonderful shopping experience in the popular shopping areas.
Arrive at Cochin International Airport or Ernakulam Railway Station with a minimum two days schedule and start exploring the city. Kochi, the city of diversity, will never disappoint you.