Kochi or Cochin is known for shipping and trade and due to its location on the west coast and protected harbours; it is a stoppage for seafarers and merchant ships for trading in coffee, spices with West Asia and Europe markets. Kochi is one of India’s busiest port houses in India’s Naval Base. You have to visit Kochi to experience a rich amalgamation of Indian and foreign architecture, emerald-green backwaters for fantastic Chinese fishing nets sights, Jewish quarters etc.
Best Places to Visit in Kochi (Cochin)
Places in Kochi
Fort Kochi is a historic town in the Kochi and consists of specimens of the bygone era. You will come across the Dutch cemetery-where the silent tombstones will remind you of the Europeans who left their homeland to expand their colonial empires and Fort Immanuel- a symbol of the strategic alliance between the Maharaja of Cochin and the Monarch of Portugal.
If you are a bird lover, Mangalavanam bird sanctuary or green lung of Kochi welcomes you. This sanctuary is a house of more than 32 bird’s species and some of the common ones are white-breasted waterhen, Marsh Sandpiper, brahminy kite, greenshank etc. Visitors also get to see 17 species of butterfly and six species of mammals like a Eurasian otter, flying fox, painted bat, three-striped palm squirrel etc.
The white sandy Payyambalam beach offers blue-green water-rich in marine life, water sports like parasailing, jet skiing, the sculpture of a mother and her child made by Kanai Kunhiraman, and the garden next to the beach for mesmerizing sunset. You can visit the burial ground of popular explorer Vasco de Gama at the oldest European church in India, St. Francis. It was originally constructed by the Portuguese but captured by the Dutch and British.
Mattancherry Palace or the Dutch palace was a gift to the Raja of Kochi by the Portuguese people and it consists of the rich architecture (including the paintings of the Rajas and murals of the Hindu temples) of the Portuguese and the Dutch. You can spend a peaceful vacation by lying down on the 10kms long beach, the Cherai beach located in the north of Vypin Island and cocooned by coconut and palm trees.
Nightlife of Kochi
Nightlife in Kochi is not as happening as one experience in cities like Mumbai or Goa but you can enjoy 24/7 food at eateries like Tonico Café, Mash, Chillax, Vytilla, Pallimukku, Kakkanad etc. The Thattukadas are in full power throughout the night at places like SEZ, Marine Drive, Vytilla, Edapally, Chakkalaparambil etc for some coffee, kadi, and cigarettes.
Best places to enjoy Food in Kochi
Kochi eateries specialize in fresh seafood due to their prime coastal location. A tourist can enjoy a meal of Rs 50 through roadside eateries like Thattukadas or a dinner in a fine upscale restaurant. Kochi food suits every palate and budget alike. You can find every type of food you are looking for in Kochi since their menu range from ubiquitous north Indian food to Spanish, Chinese, and Continental cuisine. Locating a completely pure vegetarian eatery can be difficult but you and your friends can experience sadya (lunch on a banana leaf) to feel the culture.
Hotels in Kochi
The accommodation in Kochi can range from luxurious hotels/resorts to heritage/budget-friendly hotels. The luxurious hotel’s category includes Brounton Boat Yard at Fort Kochi, Avenue Regent on MG Road, Hotel Taj Malabar at Willingdon Island, Hotel Le Meridien Cochin, and Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel etc. While the Malabar House, Bolgatty Palace, Cherai Beach Resorts etc. are some of the resorts which you can look for. If you want to explore the old world charm you can plan out your accommodation in Hotel Fort Heritage, The Trident, and the Malabar House. Hotel Casino, the International and Grand Hotel, Hotel Abad Airport etc. are some of the mid-range staying options that are equipped with modern amenities. For a budget, stay try Hotel Chakkys or Hotel Gannam.
Getting around in Kochi
By air, one can reach Cochin International Airport (one of India’s major airports) which serve both domestic and international terminals. From the airport, you can either take taxis or buses (regular, fast, super-fast, deluxe, Garuda Sleeper buses, and Volvo/orange buses) to reach your desired city. By rail, a tourist main stop will be Ernakulam Junction Station (a main railway station in Kochi) and for covering inter-city long distances Ernakulam Town Station.
You can even make use of Kerala Road Transportation Corporation buses from Bangalore, Mangalore, and Mysore to reach Kochin or Ernakulam. Within Kochi, tourists can avail the benefit of autos, fixed-price taxis, modern facilities equipped with buses and the Ro-Ro Ferry Service (Junkar) operated by KSINC and private operators from Ernakulam to Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, Vypeen and Willingdon Island.
Best time to visit Kochi
Kochi is located on the coasts and does not experience any dramatic seasonal fluctuations. Most of the days in a year are hot and humid but tourists can bear the humidity level due to the convection currents. Kochi normally undergoes a transformation phase during monsoon month June when there is a fall in temperature and one can truly enjoy lush green and cool paradise. Between the winter months of October and March, you can visit Kochi for the best sightseeing experience.