The teeming city of Kochi is alive with the vibrancy of modernity and the richness of history. Indeed, not visiting Kochi when in Kerela will be a regrettable miss. The city is the financial capital of the state and it was one of the most famous trading ports during the early 14th century. The remnants of being a renowned port city with a thriving spice trade can be seen through the Dutch, Portuguese and British architecture that dot this place giving you plenty of things to do in Kochi.
There are a variety of things to do in Kochi that make for a great vacation.
This beautiful city, with hospitable people, and good food promises to be your best vacation yet and here too, our Treebo properties are available to host you on your Kerala trip. Read on to find out how best to experience the city in all its hues.
Here is the list of things to do in Kochi:
1. Fun and Frolic with the gentle giants of The Elephant Training Centre
As the state animal of Kerela, elephants form their core culture and enjoy massive popularity amongst people. Indeed, Kerela has a total of seven hundred captive elephants owned by temples and individuals. An elephant is known for its gentle nature, strong memory and ability to mingle with humans under the right conditions. Kerala has several sanctuaries dedicated to their protection and there are training centres where you can get to know them up close. Therefore, visiting them may be one of the best things to do in Kochi.
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Kodanad Training Centre is one of the largest training centres for elephants in Kerela. Here you can hobnob with the gentle creatures, observe them closely and feed them under supervision.
Timing: It’s open every day (except Monday) from 8:00 am to 5 pm
Entry fee: 30 for adults and 20 for those under 13 years of age
Location: Vallom Panamkuzhi Road, Malayattoor, PO, Kaprikad, Kerala, 683544
2. Experience devotion and history at St. Francis Church
The Church of St Francis is one of the oldest churches in India and is said to have been built around the year 1503. It was built by the Portuguese Franciscan Friars who arrived alongside the explorer Pedro Alvarez Cabral. Experiencing Portuguese architecture at this famed church could be one of the most interesting things to do in Kochi while also enjoying its hallowed ambience.
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Timing: Every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm except Sunday when it is from 12:00 pm to 5 pm
Location: Head Post Office, Saint Francis Church Road Opp, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001
3. Leisurely stroll at Marine Drive
The Marine Drive in Kochi is flanked by the picturesque Vembanattu Kayal offering people a view of this beautiful backwater. This is a 3 km driveway which also hosts plenty of malls, shopping areas and cute cafes. This drive is known for its leisurely evening stroll or boat ride that happens usually in the mornings or evenings and is one of the most iconic things to do in Kochi.
Timing: It is open at all hours
Entry fee: Free
Location: Marine Drive Walkway, Marine Drive, Ernakulam, Kerala, 682031
4. Experience royal history at Matancherry Palace
The stately palace of Mattancherry was initially built in 1555 by the Portuguese but was renovated by the Dutch. The palace has a beautiful central courtyard in the typical Kerela architecture style of Nalukettu and spacious halls alongside alluring murals of the royal family.
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Timing: 9:45 am to 4:45 pm every day except Saturday
Entry fee: 2 Rs per person for adults and free for children under 15 years of age
Location: Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala, 682002
5. Bird watching at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Blessed with vital sanctuaries and national parks, Kerala has an abundance of flora and fauna. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular ones especially famous for bird watching. Indeed, the Sanctuary is thriving with myriads of bird species and witnesses hundreds of migratory species as well. Months between June and August are the ideal time to visit for bird watching. Wildlife photography enthusiasts will find that the best time for a photograph is in the mornings and evenings.
Timing: 6:00 am to 4:00 pm every day
Entry fee: 100 for domestic tourists and 250 for foreigners.
Location: Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563
6. Indulge in a Backwater Boat Tour
What is visiting Kerela and not cruising along its scenic backwaters? Incomplete! Indeed, Kochi has some charming backwaters where you can float along in a quaint and romantic houseboat while watching the villages and their idyllic life pass by. Alleppey and Kollam are the two most popular backwater tours that begin from Kochi.
It can cost anywhere from 1250 to 50,000 depending on the tour package and the number of days.
7. Explore Willingdon Island
The island got its name after the then Governor of Madras Presidency Lord Willingdon as he commissioned it even though that was not his intention. His actual purpose was to deepen the Vembanad Lake to make way for a new port that would further the British Empire’s trade. The Willingdon Island was just an aftereffect of building this port. However, it is this island that is popular among tourists and sees quite a number of visitors every year. You can take a whimsical boat-ride to the island, get intimate with its history in the museum or just stroll along its shores.
Timing: 5:00 am to 10:00 pm
Entry fee: Free
Location: Ernakulam district, Kerela
8. Tour Bolgatty Palace
Bolgatty Palace, this marvel of a structure, was built by the Dutch in and around 1744. The palace is now owned by the Kerela Tourism Development Corporation and functions as an opulent resort with sprawling compounds and luxurious amenities.
Timing: Open 24 hours
Entry fee: Free
Location: NH966A, Mulavukad, Kochi, Kerala 682504
9. Witness the grandeur of Santa Cruz Basilica
The church of Santa Cruz Basilica is a magnificent structure attested by the popularity it enjoys among tourists. It is well-known to have been a repository of faith and devotion for many whilst also holding up history for all to see. Indeed it was built by the Portuguese first and later by the British who destroyed the earlier structure. Bask in the glory of stories and myths that form a part of the legend of this splendid church.
Timing: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm every day except on Sunday when the church operates from 10:30 to 1 pm.
Entry fee: Free
Location: X67V+X48, Bastian St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001
10. Watch the traditional fishing practices of the Chinese Fishing Nets
Chinese Fishing nets are large nets suspended permanently on tall poles. They are said to have been exported by the Chinese during the 14th century. These are fixed land installations and quite awesome to look at. A popular symbol of Kerela Tourism, a visit to witness the Chinese fishing nets is a must.
Timing: Open 24 hours a day
Entry fee: Free
Location: X69R+9V5, Fort Vypin, Puthuvype, Kochi, Kerala
11. Traverse Indian Jewish history in Paradesi Synagogue
Paradesi Synagogue is a house of worship for the Paradesi Jews. It is this splendid structure right next to the Matancherry Palace and was built by the Paradesi Jews, on the land given by the Raja of Cochin. The Paradesi Jews were Spanish-speaking Jews who landed in India after fleeing persecution in Spain. It is located in the quarter of Old Cochin known as the Jew Town.
Do visit this Synagogue if you are interested in historical architecture and religion.
Timing: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm except on Friday, Saturday and other Jewish holidays
Entry fee: Free
Location: X755+2Q8, Synagogue Ln, Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala 682002
12. Stop by Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi was the first to witness a European settlement and plenty of evidence in the form of remarkable colonial monuments and spectacular churches attest to this fact. It is located in the old part of Kochi and consists of a series of islets and gets its name from the Fort Manuel of Cochin, the first European fort on Indian soil. Do immerse yourself in this part of Kochi because this is easily one of the most fun things to do in Kochi.
Both roadways and waterways are operational. Buses and ferries are available in plenty that takes you to Fort Kochi.
Timing: Open on all days
Entry fee: Not needed
Travelling broadens your perspective as you come across different cultures, societies and the history that made them so. And Kochi is one such place. With plenty of things to do in Kochi and a lot to experience in terms of sightseeing places, shopping and eating, you are sure to have the most enriching experience of your life. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take a dive into the cultural potpourri that is Kochi!