Your Travel Guide to Kochi - Explore the Town With This Handy Checklist
Peppered with yellow houses in languid lanes, the town of Kochi is a coastal gem tucked away in God's Own Country – Kerala. It's an ideal destination for travelers yearning for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, a place where the slow pace of life seeps into your bones and makes you want to stay a little longer. And the town is a fascinating mix of a thousand cultures – mosques and synagogues exist side by side with churches, and giant fishing nets from China are just a stone's throw from remnants of colonial history. Art and culture enthusiasts should get tickets for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an art festival that starts on 12th December, 2020 – if you're signing up, make sure you start your day with a big breakfast of appam or prawn curry, lest sauntering from exhibit to exhibit leave you with a rumbling stomach.
We recommend staying in Fort Kochi, a place steeped in British history that's just a few kilometres from other must-visit spots like Jew Town, Mattancherry (pronounced maa-tun-jay-ree). Its narrow streets house a myriad homestays and some truly stunning heritage hotels, and the temperature's nice and cool in winter months at 23-30°C, so ditch your scarves and sweaters and head here. Also, don't miss the live Kathakali performances.
Index: Kochi Travel Guide
- How to Reach Kochi
- What to See in Kochi
- Where to Eat in Kochi
- Top Events in Kochi
- Where to Stay in Kochi
Kochi Travel Guide: How to Reach Kochi
You can reach Kochi by plane, train or bus.
- By Flight : If you're flying, the Cochin International Airport is connected to all major cities in India, which means domestic and international flights fly in and out all the time. It's around 29 kilometres from the city centre.
- By Train : Otherwise, you can take a direct train from Delhi, Bombay or Chennai. De-board at either of the two Ernakulum train stations – the Ernakulam Town Station or the Ernakulam Junction Station. From there, take a bus or a cab to your destination.
- By Road : Take a Volvo from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum. Or hop on to a Kerala State Run Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus and travel to/from anywhere in Kerala.
Kochi Travel Guide: What to See in Kochi
- Fort Kochi
- Jew Town
- Pardesi Synagogue
- Chinese Fishing Nets
- Mattancherry Palace
- Hill Palace Museum
- Indo-Portuguese Museum
- Santa Cruz Basilica
- Pallipuram Fort
- Kerala Museum
- Dutch Cemetery Road
- St. Francis Church
- Marine Drive
Kochi Travel Guide: Where to Eat in Kochi
- Kashi Art Café (also an art gallery)
- Kayees Rahmatulla Café (try the mutton biryani + other Malabari delicacies here)
- Dhe Puttu (head here for traditional Kerala breakfast)
- Teapot Café (try their legendary appam and stew)
- David Hall Art Café (head here for pastas/sandwiches in the outdoors)
- French Toast (head here for desserts, pastries and hot chocolate)
- Pepperhouse (head here to eat in the outdoors)
- The Rice Boat – Vivanta (head here for traditional Kerala food in a luxury setting)
- Loafers Corner Café (try their desserts)
Kochi Travel Guide: Events in Kochi
Art and culture enthusiasts should get tickets for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India's largest contemporary art festival that runs from 12 December, 2018 till 29 March, 2019. The exhibition is an immersive experience since it takes you to multiple locations dotted across Kochi, like existing galleries, halls, cafes and heritage buildings. Don't be surprised if you stumble into an installation when exploring the town.
Kochi Travel Guide: Where to Stay in Kochi
Whether you're Airbnb-ing it or staying in a heritage property, we recommend you stay anchored in Fort Kochi, as it's dotted with sufficient eateries and stays, and a stone's throw from other tourist destinations. Plus, it's always buzzing with activity being the central destination for the Biennale. Here are some other popular hotels/stays.
- Vivanta by Taj
- Le Méridien Kochi
- The Malabar House
- Xandari Harbour
- Vedanta Wake Up!(budget stay)