Kochi is a city that effortlessly combines its rich history with modern attractions, offering a unique and diverse experience to visitors. From its colonial heritage in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry to the scenic backwaters, serene beaches, and cultural landmarks, Kochi has something for everyone. Explore the top 12 tourist destinations mentioned below to discover the true essence of this fascinating city and create unforgettable memories.
Fort Kochi is a historic neighborhood that showcases the city’s colonial past. Its narrow streets are adorned with well-preserved colonial-era buildings, reflecting the influences of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. The Chinese fishing nets, a unique sight along the waterfront, offer a glimpse into Kochi’s maritime history.
Explore the centuries-old Fort Immanuel, a Portuguese fort, and visit the Santa Cruz Basilica, a beautiful church with stunning architecture. The Dutch Palace, also known as Mattancherry Palace, houses a remarkable collection of murals depicting Hindu mythology and historic events.
Adjacent to Fort Kochi, Mattancherry is a neighborhood known for its cultural heritage. The Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568, is one of the oldest active synagogues in the Commonwealth. It is adorned with exquisite chandeliers, hand-painted tiles, and ancient scriptures.
In the Jew Town area, you can wander through antique shops and find intriguing artifacts and souvenirs. The Indo-Portuguese Museum showcases the historical and cultural influences of the Portuguese in the region, housing a fascinating collection of artifacts and artwork.
Marine Drive is a picturesque waterfront promenade that offers stunning views of Kochi’s backwaters and the towering skyline. Take a leisurely walk along the promenade, enjoy the cool sea breeze, and marvel at the scenic beauty.
You can find vendors selling delectable street food, offering a chance to savor local flavors. The highlight of Marine Drive is the mesmerizing sunset views over the backwaters, providing a tranquil and romantic ambiance.
Willingdon Island is a man-made island located between Kochi and Ernakulam. It is home to the Kochi Port, which has played a significant role in the city’s trade and commerce. The island features luxurious hotels, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking upscale accommodations.
Enjoy a boat ride around the island, where you can witness the bustling activity of the port and enjoy the scenic views. In the evening, the island comes alive with vibrant nightlife, offering various entertainment options.
Bolgatty Island, situated on the eastern side of Kochi, is a serene escape surrounded by lush greenery. The island is known for its beautiful Bolgatty Palace, which has been transformed into a heritage hotel.
Explore the palace and its well-manicured gardens, or engage in recreational activities such as golfing or boating. The island’s tranquility and natural beauty make it an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Located about 25 kilometers from Kochi, Cherai Beach is a pristine stretch of coastline that attracts visitors with its golden sands and tranquil atmosphere. The beach offers a calm and shallow swimming area, perfect for a refreshing dip in the Arabian Sea.
You can indulge in various water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, or simply relax under beach umbrellas. Cherai Beach is also renowned for its fresh seafood, and you can savor a delicious meal at the beachside shacks.
Hill Palace Museum
The Hill Palace Museum, situated in Tripunithura, is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. The palace complex was once the official residence of the Maharaja of Kochi.
Today, it showcases a vast collection of artifacts, including royal belongings, ancient coins, sculptures, paintings, and antique furniture. The museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s royal history and heritage.
The Jewish Synagogue in Mattancherry is an important historical and religious landmark. Admire the distinctive architecture adorned with Belgian chandeliers, brass pulpit, and hand-painted Chinese tiles.
The synagogue also houses rare religious artifacts, including ancient scrolls and copper plates. Visitors can experience the rich cultural heritage of the Jewish community in Kochi.
Kerala Folklore Museum
The Kerala Folklore Museum, located in Thevara, offers an immersive journey into the vibrant culture and traditions of Kerala. The museum displays an extensive collection of artifacts, including traditional costumes, masks, sculptures, folk art, musical instruments, and ritual objects.
It provides visitors with an in-depth understanding of the folklore, art forms, and rituals practiced in the region.
Lulu Mall is one of the largest malls in India and a premier shopping destination in Kochi. It features a vast array of international and local brands, ranging from fashion and accessories to electronics and home decor.
In addition to shopping, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of dining options at the food court, watch movies at the multiplex cinema, or engage in entertainment activities such as bowling and arcade games.
The Dutch Cemetery, situated in Fort Kochi, is a serene and historic burial ground. It provides insights into the Dutch colonial era and the influence of the Dutch in Kochi.
The tombstones, some dating back to the 17th century, bear inscriptions and epitaphs that narrate stories of the people buried there. The cemetery’s peaceful ambiance and architectural remnants make it a place of historical significance.
Kerala Kathakali Centre
The Kerala Kathakali Centre is a cultural institution dedicated to promoting and preserving the traditional performing arts of Kerala. Kathakali, a classical dance-drama form, is the centerpiece of the center’s performances. Visitors can witness enthralling Kathakali dance performances that depict mythological stories and epics.
The center also hosts traditional music concerts and provides insights into the intricate makeup techniques and costumes used in Kathakali.