People from all over the world know the Indian state, Kerala as “God’s Own Country”. And belonging to the state of Kerala is Kochi (Cochin), a part of the former-Travancore region and famously nicknamed as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”. So, here are some of the things to do in Kochi.
From the rule of Veera Kerala Varma to the Portuguese, Dutch and British, this major port city of south India has witnessed many eras of Indian kings and foreign reign as well, over centuries. It was a leading trade hub in the olden times especially for Indian spices that were in great demand then.
Coming back to present-day Kochi, it is one of the fastest developing metropolitan cities in India. Recently, the Kochi Metro started its efficient functioning, connecting the major areas in Kochi. Kochi is also called as Ernakulam (district).
Start exploring our awesome things to do in Kochi here.
1. Visit the Cherai beach, one of the most beautiful beaches of Kochi
Kochi, being a city located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, has a number of pleasant, sunny beaches. One of the most popular tourist attraction spots in Kochi is the Cherai Beach located on the Vypin Island. It is one of those tourist spots in Kochi that have made cleanliness their top priority.
Relaxing by the Cherai beach feeling the cool breeze through your hair and munching on some hot “kadala” or peanuts is one of the most relaxing things to do in Kochi. There are a number of coffee shops and restaurants here that serve keeping the tourists in mind. Cherai also offers some very good Ayurveda spas and recreational centers.
Another famous beach of Kochi is the Kuzhupilly Beach which is also located in Vypin. It is hardly ever crowded and is a great beach to go swimming. The way to the beach is surrounded with long stretches of paddy fields and is a beautiful sight.
2. Go bird-watching to the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
An interesting thing to do in Kochi is to go bird-watching at the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary. Mangalavanam is a nature-centric, beautiful bird sanctuary that is a place of interest in Kochi. Mangalvanam has been dubbed as the “green lung of Kochi”.
While you’re here, you can spot a variety of bird species in large numbers especiall during the migration season. Even a number of mammal species may be found here such as flying foxes, squirrels and even bats.
The area paints a pretty picture with colorful, fluttering butterflies of all colors and sizes. Visitors need to pay an entrance fee at the main counter.
3. Visit Mattanchery
It is amusing to know that the neighborhood gets its name from the streets (cheri, in Malayalam) used to be filled with mutton butchers and hence the name, “muttoncheri”, now known as Mattanchery. Mattanchery is known to have several places of interest.
One of the major tourist attractions of Kochi is the Mattanchery Palace, built by the Portuguese back in the 16th century. The palace is now a famous tourist museum where you’ll find many war weapons and artilleries.
Mattancherry also has a number of old temples of historical and religious significance, such as Mattancherry Pazhayannur Royal Temple, the Dharmanath Jain Temple and many others. These religious complexes have traditional architectural designs that are simply stunning.
The oldest Jewish church or synagogue is found in Mattancherry, known as the Paradesi Synagogue.
Another famous tourist attraction of Kochi is the ancient Jew Town, where the Jews mainly started their business and trade. The town now contains streets filled antique shops. If ancient artifacts and antique pieces are your thing, then Mattancherry is just your place to be.
Mattancherry also has a number of restaurants that serve delicious mutton biriyani.
4. Have a fun-filled day at Wonderla, the best amusement park in Kerala
A fun thing to do in Kochi is to spend a day at Wonderla! Previously known as Veega Land, Wonderla is an amusement park that offers fun rides and an amazing experience for kids and adults alike. The park is always filled with visitors and tourists from different states and even countries.
Some of the thrilling rides here are the Equinox, Hurricane, the Giant Wheel and Y-Scream among others. The park also has a café and a restaurant within the area.
5. Enjoy the scenic beauty at the Bhoothathankettu Dam and Reserve
The Bhoothathankettu Dam and Reserve is nearly 44km away from Aluva. Away from the bustle of the city, located within a forest, it provides a serene place to have family picnics and soak in the beauty of Mother Nature. Within the dam site, the management offers boating trips to tourists.
Bhoothathankettu in the local language of Malayalam translates to “fort of the spirits”. It is interesting to know that there is a myth believed by the locals that the hills and forest here were made by spirits.
6. Go trekking at the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary or Thattekadu Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary located in Thattekadu is one of the oldest bird sanctuaries of Kerala. It has a rich and bio-diverse habitat suitable for a variety of bird species.
Home to a number of species of cuckoos, bulbuls, owls, pigeons and terns, the bird sanctuary has been praised as the “richest bird bird habitat on peninsular India” by the famous Indian ornithologist and naturalist, Salim Ali.
A thrilling thing to do in Kochi is to go trekking here!
The bird sanctuary offers a number of treks and hiking trips to visitors. From the bird sanctuary, you can have a good view of the River Periyar.
7. Explore the streets of Fort Kochi
The ancient town of Fort Kochi, with its Portuguese style houses and sandy beaches are one of the greatest attractions of Kochi. There is so much to see and explore in Fort Kochi. The town is usually filled with foreigners from all over the world.
The Fort Kochi Beach is a beautiful, sunny beach. Sitting on the beach, you can observe the fisherman going for their morning or evening haul using huge Chinese fishing nets (called as cheenavala in Malayalam).
Very often there are cultural shows and various traditional folk dances put up for tourists as a display of the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The Kerala Kathakali Centre is famous for its kathakali performances.
Fort Kochi also has a number of art-deco cafes such as the Kashi Art Café that exhibits many creative masterpieces of art.
Some other places of interest in Kochi are the Vasco d’ Gama Square, the Indo-Portuguese Museum, the Bastion Bungalow and the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica – all of which have Portuguese influence and significance.
Exploring the town of Fort Kochi, enjoying the beaches and having a taste of the international cuisines served in restaurants here is one of the most pleasurable things to do in Kochi.
Try exploring Fort Kochi on foot for a better exposure of the heritage and traditions of Kochi and Kerala.
8. Visit the beautiful ripples at Paniyeli Poru
Paniyeli Poru is a lesser known place of mesmerizing natural beauty. Paniyeli Poru is the perfect combination of waterfalls and rock formations. The water here is cool and pure.
Visitors need to follow the paths provided by the management. Swimming in the waters here is an enthralling thing to do in Kochi. There are security guards positioned at several points to ensure the safety of the visitors.
9. Go shopping in Convent Junction and Lulu Mall in Edapally
Kochi is the entertainment hub of Kerala and so there are so many boutiques and brands where you can shop the trendiest outfits. Most of the well-known boutiques and branded clothing stores are found on MG Road and Convent Junction.
The Convent Road is filled with countless small and large shops selling almost everything and anything from shoes and clothes to bags and accessories.
If you’re good at bargaining here, you’ll find that you can bag yourself some amazing discounts on the items you shop!
Another major tourist attraction of Kochi is the Lulu Mall in Edapally, the largest Lulu outlet in the world. The hypermarket is always full of rush and it’s a struggle to reach the cash counter. The mall also has a wide range of clothing and shoe brands, lifestyle brands, electronic goods shops, bookstores and many more. There are a number of PVR cinema screens as well. The top-most floor has a food court that has all your favorite food joints. Besides the food court, the floor also has an ice-rink for ice-skating, a bowling arena and a games zone that has a number of rides for children.
Shopping at the Lulu Mall is one of the mandatory things to do in Kochi.
10. Visit the Hill Palace Museum in Tripunthura
The Hill Palace Museum has great historical significance and takes the visitors on a journey to the past when the Maharaja of Kochi ruled Travancore. The museum holds many royal artifacts as well as pottery and ceramic work. The museum also holds artifacts of importance from many eras and of different civilizations.
The entire complex consists of nearly 49 buildings! The gardens of the palace have many plants of medicinal value.
Kochi is an amazing place with an endless list of places to visit. There are so many interesting things to do in Kochi! So come, explore this wonderful city, learn about the historical importance, and experience the cultural heritage of Kochi!