Cochin Tourism, India: Places, Best Time & Travel Guides 2020
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Kochi (also colonially known as Cochin) is a city located on the southwest coast of India in the state of Kerala. It has been a major port since the 19th century and was built by the British Raj in India for its strategic and industrial importance in foreign trade. Kochi is arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the diversity and beauty of Kerala. With the best places to visit in Cochin, it has been rated among the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council. Cochin and its surrounding hill station Munnar are a must visit for those touring Kerala. The backwaters of Kerala can especially be experienced through the waterways flowing across Cochin in streams and lagoons. Such places have now been converted into picnic and fishing spots, where visitors can boat through the water and stop midway on an isolated camp for some private time with nature. Fort Kochi, one of the most famous beaches has a colonial era feel and cool winds from the Arabian sea that soothes the nerves of backpackers sailing or cycling across the city. Cochin is also particularly known for its religious houses especially British era churches, and forts that have been converted into temples.

 

This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the vast water body and the hills provide a moderate equatorial climate for visitors. With the best places to visit in Cochin, informally it is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala

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Newly Added Cochin Experience

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Cochin Travel Guides

25 May 2015
Bheeshma Guha Kerala Backwaters Tour
Excellent
My money spent on this trip was totally worth it and i strongly recommend this as a holiday point for you.Especially i liked that ride on the houseboat, which is a typical and very famous tourist attraction in Kerala and you gonna love that too.
27 November 2013
Excellent
Paragliding took me to great height and i was flying without wings , moreover Everyone was looking so tiny from the top...waoooo i loved it Guys dont miss this out if you are in kerala.... nd dont forget to explore Tandem , it a superb place.
12 May 2015
Excellent
The enchanting of birds kept our trekking adventure fresh. Our trek started from the silent valley in Munnar which is a fabulous place.
16 August 2014
Gudakesha Bhattathiri Tandem Paragliding at Munnar
Excellent
Our guide was really very experienced and knowledgeable and the pilot as well. I did thi for the first time and i felt amazing. paragliding is operated on a motored structure with a a parachute attached.....A completely out of the box experience for me.
12 July 2014
Excellent
We were surprised to see such an awesome views from the same point, those wild animals and the magnificent mountains will definitely steal your heart.....this place has a great variety of Flora and fauna.
It was a great experience We visited Kochi, Munnar, Thekkady, &, Alleppey, The whole family enjoyed the trip. The trip was well planned and executed. We enjoyed all the places included in the trip. The houseboat experience was one of the major highlights of the trip we had a great experience in the boat as it was very clean and exotic, The food served in the boat was superb. all the accommodation was simply superb. Hospitality is really good. We never thought this trip would be such a memorable one.
Outstanding experience, everything was good about this resort. Staff was very helpful and available for any request you have with smiling faces. Location of the resort is best and it's very quiet and peaceful. The food was very tasty. Swimming pool was very clean and we enjoyed a lot.
Chittoor Kottaram was the resort where I stayed while I was vacationing in Kerla. I heard great historical stories about this place on my exploration but didn’t had a booking for my accommodation here. But Thrillophilia took away all the stress and got me a great room to stay in at this resort. I experienced easy check in with the help of Thrillophilia booking vouchers abd also got successful booking even after booked on such short time.
Our guide was good in English which we had a great conversation about the place the whole tour. Totally satisfied
The local guide already waited for us at the meeting point, the walked was full of fun and excitement as all the attraction was amazing and gives us great photos as well. Overall this is a great tour and well-organized

People Also Ask About Cochin

  1. Things to do in Cochin:

    • Go fishing using the Chinese Fishing net: One of the most popular attractions in the city of Cochin is the Chinese fishing nets that are most typically used by fishermen since time immemorial. There is a majority of the population that believes that this tradition prevails from the traders of Kubla Khan while others claim that the Chinese explorer Zhang He was the one that should truly be credited for introducing this style of fishing. Whatever its historic origin maybe, this activity sure is worth it.

    • Go on a ferry ride from the Willingdon Islands: When you visit Cochin, you will tend to spend more time at the sea than on the land. The only reason being the water is quite beautiful. Spend an afternoon traveling by ferry with locals from Fort Kochi all the way to Willingdon or Vypeen Island for just 3 rupees. One of chief places to visit by ferry is, as mentioned above, Willingdon which is the largest man-made island in the whole of India. The view is scenic and the food available at the place is spectacular.

    • Pray at the St. Francis Church: The St. Francis Church located a few minutes away from Fort Kochi is among the oldest European churches in India. It is worth visiting due to its impeccable architectural establishment. The church serves as the first burial place of the Portuguese explorer, Vasco Da Gama who died in Cochin in the 1524. This is the perfect place to visit for those who appreciate history and love churches.

    • Have the local masala tea: Indians are known to create the perfect cup of tea with just enough spice to make someone’s day. In fact, the local tea stalls sprawled around the city of Cochin are especially known for brewing their hot beverages with flavorful essence such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, black pepper and so much more. This sure is one of the must-have experience at least once before you leave Cochin.

  2. What will you like in Cochin:

    • The beauty that lies within the Fort of Cochin: Cochin is known for packing ancient European buildings. Fort Cochin is one such area that reflects European fashion. Travelers will find it extremely easy to get used to the medieval comforts of the place. Appreciate the tranquility and coolness that engulfs the beautiful region that surrounds fort of Cochin.

    • Discover the mean streets of Mattancherry: Mattancherry is where the daily grind of Cochin lies. Located to the eastern region of Fort Cochin, you will discover a bustling Bazaar road as well. One can eat, shop or just loiter around watching the locals of Cochin taking on life. Drop in at one of the hotels within the vicinity and enjoy the river front view as you do.

    • Visit Ernakulam: It is certain that you won’t get tired of appreciating the natural beauty of Cochin, however, one needs a break from everything. Visit Kerala’s biggest commercial hub – Ernakulam for an authentic experience at dealing with people. Meet the folks of Ernakulam and realize just how energetic region the place is.

    • Food and spice, everything nice: One of the better known things about Kerala is its fish. It is difficult to argue with a localite regarding how delicious or non-delicious the food at the place is. The menu is usually filled with variety of food that you can choose from. However, do try out the amazing variety of fish dishes while you’re in Cochin.

  3. Recommended reads for destination

    Government websites: 

    Kerela Tourism Website

    Books to read: 

    Seasoned by salt, Lonely planet – Kerala.

  4. What is the best time to visit Cochin?

    • October to March: This is the best time to visit the city. Temperatures hover around an average of 30 degrees which makes travelling through the city pleasant. Most tourists flock to Cochin during this time, so you can expect larger crowds at tourist spots and hotel rates on the higher side.
    • April to September: On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quiet vacation, then April to September would be an ideal time to go. Temperatures are pretty high during this time ranging between 35 to 40 degrees. This is a great time for solo travellers or couples as the city is not crowded and you can secure great deals on hotel tariffs.
  5. How to reach Cochin?

    • Air: The easiest way to reach Cochin is by air. Cochin International Airport is well connected with all major cities and is only about 29 kms from the main city centre. You can take a prepaid taxi, bus or rickshaw from the airport to the city.
    • Road: You can travel to Cochin by bus from surrounding cities like Bangalore or Mumbai in just 24-30 hours. Cochin is well connected by roadways to all major cities in the country, especially the surrounding ones.
    • Trains: Frequent trains run between Mumbai and Cochin, Madras and Cochin and Bangalore and Cochin. For those travelling from farther states, there are trains connecting all major cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, etc to Cochin.
  6. Which are the best places to visit in Cochin?

    There are numerous sightseeing spots in Cochin, but if you are on a schedule or a tight budget, then here are a few that you must visit at all cost.  

    • Lulu Mall
    • Wonderland Amusement
    • Jew Town
    • Princess Street
    • Kashi Art Gallery
    • Ernakulathappan Temple
    • Edappally Church
    • Marine Drive
    • Cherai beach
    • and a few other religious places if you have time.
  7. Which are some best resorts to stay in Cochin?

    • Budget hotels: Vedanta Wake Up, Hotel Maple Regency, Hotel Park Avenue and Hotel North Grande are some of the budget hotels ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 1500.
    • Mid-range hotels: For 3-star hotels between Rs 2000 to Rs 5000, The North Pride Hotel, Fort Castle, Orion Holidays, Harbour View Residency are decent choices.
    • Dorm style living: And if you are a backpacker who doesn’t want to burn a hole in his pocket then homestays and hostels are a good option for you.
  8. Which are the best places to experience local cuisine in Cochin?

    Fish and rice form the dominant dishes in the local cuisine of Cochin. Many local restaurants emphasise on the idea of eating spaces overlooking the Arabian sea. Two of the best places for such dining are;

    • Arca Nova Restaurant
    • The Rice Boat-Vivanta.

    Some other local restaurants where you can have a scrumptious thali for reasonable rates are;

    • Malabar Junction
    • Rahmathullah Hotel
    • Dal Roti.
  9. What are the best public transport modes to commute around Cochin?

    • Prepaid taxis like Uber or Ola are the cheapest option for long distances like travelling from Cochin city to Munnar.
    • Auto rickshaws are the best option to travel short to mediums distances around Cochin city. They, however, don’t run by meter so be sure to bargain the conveyance charge mentioned by the drivers before getting into the vehicle.
    • Ferry: There is also a good ferry service in Cochin due to its vast coastline, so those looking to travel by sea can book one of the boat services from Fort Kochi to Vypin or towards the interiors of Ernakulam at a very nominal price.
  10. What are the best places of shopping in Cochin?

    If you are looking for street style or bazaar shopping, then you should head to MG Road or Bazaar Road.

    • MG Road: It is known for its colourful clothing and cosmetic displays. It is more expensive that Bazaar Road but has a good variety of products.
    • Bazaar Road: This place is for shopping spices and condiments to cook a typical South Indian meal. There are many shops along Bazaar Road, selling spices, pulses etc. that are much cheaper to buy here than in Jew Town, where everything is more tourist orientated. You can also look at large retail showrooms like Seematti, Jayalakshmi Silks and Chennai Silks on MG Road to buy some of the finest quality sarees and other exquisite range of fabrics.
  11. What are the famous Houseboat stays available in Cochin?

    The Kerala backwaters is a network of interconnected canals, rivers, islands, lakes and inlets, forming more than 900 km of waterways. Travellers find is quite exciting to live in a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala and boat through the state for sightseeing.

     

    There are many famous houseboats to stay in in Cochin for both family and couples. The Queen Elizabeth Houseboat Trips are one of the most popular and safe trips that cruise across the Kochi marina and also provide water sports for residents. There are good facilities for washrooms and air conditioning on most houseboats and you can absorb the lifestyle of the river people, watch the bird life, fireflies in the trees at night and the sunset over the rice fields.

  12. Where can I enjoy water sports activities in Cochin?

    The only marina in India, the Kochi International Marina, houses an exciting array of watersports like Kayaking, Jet ski ride, Sofa ride and Banana ride. If you are living in a houseboat, then your package may be inclusive of water activities as well.

  13. Which are the best cycling tours in Cochin?

    There are several cycling and camping tours that will take you through Cochin and to Munnar as well. Some of the best tours in the city are;

    • The Art of Bicycle tour which is a guided bicycle tour through Kochi and is a rigorous activity with visitors pedalling for over 6 hours a day. It is meant for active travellers and especially those looking to cycle all the way to Munnar as well.
    • Southern Spice Cycling Expedition is the other guided tour that takes you through the lush flora and pineapple plantations in Fort Kochi. This is an 8 day trip, the purpose of which is to help travellers experience the culture and traditions of Kochi.
  14. Which are the famous Hill stations near Cochin?

    There are a number of hill stations around Cochin that very popular amongst tourists and locals alike.

    Some of the most known ones are;

    • Ooty
    • Kodaikanal
    • Coorg
    • Munnar: Located in Kerala, is one of the best hill stations in the state and is at a distance of 120kms from Kochi. Munnar town is situated at an altitude of 5000 to 8000 feet on the Kannan Devan Hills. It is also called as the Swiss of South India.

    Travellers visiting Cochin during the summer month can escape to these hill stations for a more pleasant climate. Although, Coorg, Kodaikanal and Ooty are not in Kerala, you can always roadtrip to these places within a day.

  15. Where can I enjoy nightlife in Cochin?

    The city has shut down all its breweries and bars that had liquor licenses, which means that the only places you can get alcohol are luxury hotels or clubs. However, there’s an 11 pm cut-off time for clubs after which no alcohol will be served, and night parties have to end at midnight, or the cops will come and bust it up. So you have only a 3-4 hour window after dusk to enjoy nightlife in Cochin. Even so, there are some nightclubs in Cochin with rocking DJs like;

    • Ava Lounge at the Dream Hotel in Kadavanthra
    • Tandav at Le Meridien in Maradu
    • Longevity at the Hotel Avenue Regent on MG Road
  16. Which are some famous beaches in Cochin?

    Cherai and Fort Kochi are the most famous beaches in the city. Unlike Mumbai or Goa, Cochin’s beaches are known for their cleanliness and serenity.

    • Cherai beach is only 35 kms away from Cochin and is ideal for swimming or sunbathing due its shallow waters,
    • Fort Kochi is right around the corner of Cochin city and is meant for a more relaxing getaway.

    Both beaches should be on your ‘‘must visit places’ list when travelling through South India.

  17. What are the famous festivals to experience when in Cochin?

    Kerala-specific festivals are Onam and the Cochin Carnival – both of which are 10-day extravaganzas where locals and tourists alike have one heck of a time with feasts, fireworks and games. The Onam Festival (Aug-Sept) has its mythological roots in Kochi, and it is Kerala’s biggest festival. Official and educational institutions and state machinery are shut for most part of the week during Onam. It’s also the biggest shopping bonanza of the year – huge crowds throng to the shops and markets at MG Road and the rest of Kochi. Throw in parades, snake boat races and other games and events, and it’s fair to say that Kochi gives travellers a very different experience during Onam than any other time of the year.

  18. Where can I enjoy fishing in Cochin?

    During the monsoons (June to September), fishing is considered an important pastime for Kochiites. One of the best places to go fishing is the fish farm at Kerala backwaters. Not only do they have an array of fish for display at the market, they also let you try a hand at fishing. You can have a day picnic at the farm, boating through the lagoon, have a scrumptious meal of fish and rice and pick up a new skill. At the Njarakkal Aqua fish farm, you will be given fishing reels, fish food and lots of useful advice. You can also meet a few professionals and maybe garner a tip or two from them. Favored by both locals and tourists, the fish farm lets you take your catch back home where you can proudly show off your fishing exploits to others.

     

    Entry fee: For Each Person Rs.150 which includes Food, Ice-cream and Boating.

    For Children Rs.100

    Timings: 9am to 6pm