Known as the “Gateway to Kerala”, Kochi is an enchanting city that’s been attracting explorers with its multicultural heritage for over 600 years. Spread over a series of islands, Kochi is a port city with atmospheric old-world streets that lead to spice markets, a 400-year-old synagogue, ancient mosques and Chinese fishing nets.
Things to do in Kochi
Stroll along the shore to admire the Chinese fishing nets being used by local fishermen, a practice said to date back to the 14th century. Purchase fresh seafood from the fishmongers and bring it to one of the nearby shacks to have it grilled while you take in a sunset view.
Immerse yourself in the local history at Mattancherry Palace, where you can admire its Portuguese architecture mixed with design patterns of Kerala temple details, then browse the art murals and paintings showcased in the on-site gallery. Built in 1568, Paradesi Synagogue features a gold pulpit and hand-painted floor tiles imported from China.
To experience the rich heritage of Kerala, explore the Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum. Along with showcasing over 4,000 artefacts from ancient temples, it puts on daily stage performances. You can also visit the Kerala Kathakali Center for live entertainment, where traditional Kathakali dances include elaborate makeup, colourful costumes and mesmerising facial expressions.
Looking for some retail therapy? Head to Princess Street, one of the oldest areas of Kochi. Flanked by European architecture, it’s a great area to spend an afternoon browsing the shops for handicrafts and souvenirs. Afterwards, pop into the cosy Loafers Corner Cafe for banana pancakes and chocolate brownies.
Getting around Kochi
The easiest way to get around Kochi is by using taxis and the public bus system. Kochi is well-connected to the rest of India by train and bus routes, while Cochin International Airport sits 29 kilometres from the city centre.