Things to do in Kochi

Sightseeing

Top things to do in Kochi

Kochi is a beautiful commercial city in the state of Kerala. There are a myriad activities and umpteen things to do in Kochi which include upmarket stores, palaces, beaches, temples and heritage sites. There is little of everything here, the ruins of a fort, museum, galleries, surreal beaches, backwaters and lake. You can choose from a plethora of things to do in Kochi and turn your trip into a memorable one. Have a look at the elaborate list that we have compiled of things to do in Kochi.

Here is the list of 25 Things to do in Kochi

1. Admire the Grandeur of the Mattancherry Palace

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One of the prime things to do in Kochi is visiting the Mattancherry Palace. Popularly known as the Dutch Palace, the Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the state of Kerala. The edifice of the Mattancherry Palace perfectly reflects the beauty of the contents that lie inside. Standing against the backdrop of the scintillating backwaters of Kerala, the double-storied palace rises in deep contrast against the sublime blue sky. In addition to being an important historical monument, Mattancherry Palace also doubles up as a museum with a fascinating display of paraphernalia belonging to the royals of Kochi.

2. Take a Peek into the Jewish Culture at Jewish Synagogue

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Amongst the 7 synagogues located in his area, this Jewish synagogue is the only one which is in operation today. It was built in 1568 and is also called the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or Mattencherry Synagogue. Cameras and handbags are not allowed inside. Be sure to put this on your list of top things to do in Kochi. The visit will definitely be worth it.

3. Watch Fishing in the Ancient Chinese Fishing Nets

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Bearing witness to the entry of Chinese into Kerala long ago, legends tell that these nets were a gift of the famous Chinese King, Kublai Khan. Fishermen even today use these elaborate conventional fishing nets, making it the only other destination other than China to have and use these fishing nets. Watching one of these at work is one of the prime attractions and best things to do in Kochi.

4. Spiritual Retreat at Santa Cruz Basilica

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The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is located at Fort Kochi and is one of the eight Basilicas in India. It is one of the finest and most impressive churches in India and is visited by tourists all year round. Made by the Portuguese; Santa Cruz Basilica is considered as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala. Recently in 2004, this cathedral completed its five centuries of existence. Hence, the Cathedral not only happens to be one of the oldest churches in Kochi but also in the whole of India.

5. Watch a Dance Performance at Greenix Village

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One among the must-visit attractions in Kochi, Greenix village where various art forms of Kerala are practiced and developed. Every evening witnesses a mixed performance of Kathakali- the dance drama form of Kerala, Kalaripayattu- an aesthetic martial art form, audio-visual history at the in-house museum and Indian classical music in this cultural centre. Watching a dance performance here is one of the top things to do in Kochi.

6. Have Breakfast at Kashi Art Cafe

Kashi Art Cafe is one of the most beautiful cafe in Kochi catering to foodies and art lovers alike. Popular for its very delicious breakfast, the place also runs a side art gallery exhibiting works of a single artist for a single month. Very famous among the foreign tourists, the place boasts of perfect non-vegetarian food and perfect vibes. Visiting here is one of the topmost things to do in Kochi.

7. Sun Soak on the Cherai Beach

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Cherai Beach, which is one of the best-voted beaches of the state, is situated at a distance of 30 km from Kochi city. Its strategic location on the northern end of the Vypeen Island in Kochi makes it a perfect mixture of the sea as well as the backwaters. The surrounding greenery and the seashells present in different shapes makes the beach more beautiful than it already is. One can go swimming as well as sunbathing in the water here which are some of the popular activities undertaken by the visitors and make it tempting to get away from the city life. Along with several other attractions, visiting this beach is one of the best things to do in Kochi.

8. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise

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The Sunset Cruise on the Arabian waters is an amazing 2 hour journey beginning from Marine Drive in Kochi during the time of sunset. The cruise covers Fort Kochi, Chinese fishing nets, Mattancherry, Bolgatty Island, Willingdon Island and the Cochin shipyard. Witnessing the mesmerizing sunset from the cruise is one of the top things to do in Kochi. This will definitely turn your trip into a memorable one.

9. Seek Blessings at St Francis Church

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St. Francis Church in Kochi, which finely exhibits Portuguese architecture, is believed to be one of a kind amongst all the European churches which were constructed in India. It was constructed in the 15th century by the Portuguese traders. With such historical importance, the church has now become one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city making it a perfect getaway for the ones seeking solitude and inner peace as it gives a sense of belongingness. Being situated away from the hustle and bustle, this tourist attraction is likely to be one of the best places to be at in Kochi and making a visit here is one of the top things to do in Kochi.

10. Visit the Beautiful Veeranpuzha lake and Backwaters

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Veeranpuzha is a beautiful lake in Kochi along with a series of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Malabar coast, which form beautiful backwaters. Along with several other things to do in Kochi, this should definitely top your charts. The place boasts of divine serenity and vast paddy fields uninterrupted by any human activity. It was originally used to transport people in ferries from Munambam to Ernakulam.

11. Spend some Leisure Time at Marine Drive

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Overlooking the serene backwaters of Kerala is Marine Drive, which is one of the most popular hangouts in the city of Kochi. It is a picturesque promenade with a walkway of about three kms and is an amazing place to spend some time leisurely, either in the company of loved ones or even some alone time. The walkway of Marine Drive is filled with people during the evening who visit the place to have the view of the sun setting over the calm sea. Unsurprisingly, this is quite a popular destination for morning and evening walks as well and visiting here is one of the top things to do in Kochi, for both the tourists and city dwellers.

12. Relax at the Kuzhuppilly Beach

At a distance of 3.5 kms from Cherai Beach in Kochi, Kuzhuppilly Beach is remotely located and really well hidden even from the localites. Lined with huge rocks all along the shore, the place makes for a perfect romantic spot or even if you want to spend some time away from the hustle-bustle of the city. The drive to the beach is equally beautiful with two lakes flanked on the side of the narrow road.

13. Witness a Sunset at Veeranpuzha Beach

Veeranpuzha Beach is one of the popular beaches in Kochi and visiting this beach is one of the best things to do in Kochi. With beautiful blue waters and golden sandy shores, the beach is lined with green vegetation. The proximity of fishing villages from the beach ensures the activity of fisherfolks at work all day long at the shores. You can visit Veeranpuzha to watch the fishermen at work, or to have a glimpse of the laid back rural vibe, or to witness the beautiful sunset and sunrise, or just to soak in the natural environment.

14. Revel in the Beauty of Willingdon Island

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In the heart of Kochi has grown an island showcasing the indelible prowess and the intellectual level of human mind. The Willingdon Island is one of the largest human-made islands in India which is named after Lord Willingdon, the British Viceroy of India. This beautiful island provides various links between Kochi port and other national and international ports. Furthermore, the island is a home to some of the lavish hotels and commercial and industrial buildings of the district. The mesmerising backwaters of Kerala surround this miracle of man's mind and along with several other exciting things to do in Kochi, this should definitely be on your list.

15. Shop Your Heart Out at M G Road

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MG Road is a perfect place for shopaholics. The shopping centre of the city throbs with stores containing an assortment of handicrafts made from coir, wood, shells, brass, ivory and sandalwood, edibles and spices, clothes and jewelries. Browsing the market here is one of the prime things to do in Kochi.

16. Walk Down the Princess Street

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Princess Street is famous for its quaint old world charm and bizarreness of European homes built in the Dutch, British, French, and Portuguese style. Most of these homes allow visitors to see the interiors as well.

17. Birdwatching at Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

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The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary sprawling over 2.74 hectares is situated in the heart of the lively city of Kochi. Comprising of 18-acres of Mangroves which are filled with a densely populated species of trees and plants, the sanctuary remains at a cool temperature. One of the major attractions is the beautiful watch tower which overlooks the sanctuary thereby giving a superb view to the tourists. Birdwatching is the topmost activity at the sanctuary and is also one of the top things to do in Kochi.

18. Colonial Visit to the Fort Kochi

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Fort Kochi is a seaside town in the south-western part of Main Kochi which is known for its old-world colonial charm. The place still holds on to every single cultural change it has gone through over the centuries. We can see remnants of British rule all over the country. But tourists flock hear all around the year to have a glimpse of how Portuguese or Dutch colonialism affected parts of our country. The quaint city is dotted with similar structures and has an overall ambience that keeps reminding you of the colonial powers that once ruled over the place. Visiting the ancient place is one of the top things to do in Kochi.

19. Marvel at the Architecture of Bolgatty Palace

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Nestled in the charming beauty of Kochi, the Bolgatty Palace is situated on an island that is best known by the name of the palace itself. It is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces that is situated outside Holland and is an exquisite example of the Kochi style of architecture. Green gardens, azure skies and the virgin charms of Kerela are aplenty at the Bolgatty Palace. Owing to its picturesque surroundings and rich history, the attraction comes under the must-visit category and visiting here is one of the best things to do in Kochi.

20. Take a Walk at the Vasco da Gama Square

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Many stalls serving various edibles such as coconuts, nuts, sea-food, ice-creams and local fares scatter the narrow esplanade along the Kochi beach which is the Vasco da Gama Square. One can even watch local fisherman fishing along the shoreline.

21. Explore the Ruins of Pallipuram Fort

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The Pallippuram Fort is located in Pallippuram, on the northern extremity of the Vypeen Island in the Ernakulam district of Kerala in southern India. The mighty fort was built by the Portuguese in the year 1503 and is the oldest European Fort that exists in the country to date. Today, it stands majestically as the oldest surviving European monument in India amidst the lush greenery and the glistening skies, unharmed by the pollution and destruction that is characteristic of the modern day cities. As if the abundant beauty of south India was not enough, the Pallippuram Fort adds grace and charm to the region and visiting here is one of the best things to do in Kochi.

22. Admire the Relics at Hill Palace Museum

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Located at Tripunithura, The Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. It was built in the year 1865 and was once the Imperial Administrative offices and official residence of the Maharaja of Cochin. Just as the name suggests, the massive palace is located on a hill and has a beautiful garden. The complex has an archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children's park. Visiting the museum here is one of the top things to do in Kochi.

23. Explore the Folklore Museum

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This is a one of a kind Museum which portrays a variety of gallery art, sales, live dance forms which vary from ritualistic to martial arts, and souvenirs. Some of the pieces at this gallery are priceless. One can also sell his/her fine arts and antiques here which might be put up on display later.

24. Pay Your Respects at Thirikkakara Vamanamoorthy Temple

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Containing lithic records of historical significance, Thirikkakara Vamanamoorthy Temple hosts the spectacular secular Onam feast every year in the Malayalee month of Chingam which falls typically between August and September. This temple is also called Thirikkakara temple because of its location in the village Thirikkara.

25. Explore the Bishop's House Museum

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This Indo-Portuguese museum built in the year 1506 houses a collection of valuable artifacts from various churches under the Cochin diocese. The building was once the residence of the Portuguese Governor. Now it is famous for its house-facade made up of large Gothic arches with a circular path that ends at the main entrance.

This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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