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Kochi (Cochin) Travel Guide

Kochi City 5 photos

Name: Kochi (Cochin)
Area: 94.87 sq. km. (36.63 sq. mi)
Population: 3677,381
Language: Malayalam, Hindi, English, Tamil
State: Kerala
Currency: Indian Rupee
Time Zone: UTC + 5:30 (IST)
Religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism

Kochi, aka Cochin, is the largest city in Kerala, about 220 km (136 mi) north of the state’s capital city, Thiruvananthapuram. Facing the Arabian Sea, Kochi is gifted with excellent seaports, making it the center of marine trade in the region and be titled as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”. Not only being an important spice trading center, but Kochi is also the place where China and India collide. The iconic Chinese Fishing Nets introduced from China are popular attractions. Once colonized by Portugal, Holland and Britain, there are still many Portuguese- and Dutch-era buildings in this city, such as St. Francis Church and Mattancherry Palace. In addition to the colonial architecture, beautiful beaches and Kathakali performances during colorful festivals are also well worth exploring on Kochi travel!

Kochi Map
Best Places to Visit
All Kochi Destinations

Kochi has lots of iconic architecture and wonderful festivals, tourists can cover Kochi travel highlights in 3-4 days. Fort Kochi is a seaside district decked with charming beaches and colonial buildings like Fort Kochi Beach and St. Francis Church. The 10-meter high Chinese Fishing Nets are also located here, which were set up by Chinese explorers. Mattancherry Palace was built by Portuguese as a gift to the Raja of Kochi, where you can see some temples dedicated to the royal family, decorated a coronation hall and a series of brilliant brass fixtures. More European buildings like Jewish and Paradesi Synagogues cannot be missed.

Best Time to Visit Kochi: October to March

The best time to visit Kochi is during winter months from October to March with the temperature ranging from 17°C to 33°C (62.6-91.4℉). This pleasant climate makes your Kochi travel comparatively cooler. Monsoon (July-September) in Kochi lasts from July to September is a delightful interim between the winter and summer seasons, which is also a good time to visit its splendor. As covered with green, Kochi comes alive during the rains. Do make sure you carry an umbrella or raincoat along! Summer from April to June should be missed when the temperature can soar to 37°C (98.6℉).

7-Day Thiruvananthapuram Weather Forecast

Ranking List of Kochi Food

Banana slices and fish are widely-used ingredients in Kochi. Pazham Pori is prepared as a snack served with tea or chai. It’s made of sliced bananas that are well coated in flour batter and then are deep-fried. Puttu Kadala is a traditional steamed breakfast made up of ground rice, kadala curry and black chickpeas, layered with coconut shavings or sliced banana. Beef Vindaloo is a hot curry dish added dried chili peppers, which is often served with a combination of rice, chappatis or Naan. Karimeen Pollichathu - a fried fish and Parotta - a layered flatbread are also worth trying.

Best Restaurants in Kochi
  • Fort House Restaurant:  2/6A Calvathy Road Fort House Hotel, Kochi. Located on waterfront with a stunning view of Kochi’s coastline, this restaurant mainly offers Chinese dishes and Kerala-style seafood. Pork Vindaloo and Mango Lassi are must-try here.
  • Kashi Art Café:  Bugar St Fort Nagar, Kochi. Like an ancient palace, this restaurant serves various European-style cuisines and icy cool drinks, among which the Cold coffee is the specialty.
  • Oceanos Restaurant:  Elphinstone Road, Near Bishop House Fort Kochi, Kochi. You can enjoy a unique fusion of the local and Portuguese food, some of which are vegetarian-friendly. Tuna, Beef Vindaloo and Rice Set Meal are popular dishes.
Where to Stay in Kochi - Most People Choose Hotels near Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is a seaside town packed with lots of ancient European-style buildings and gorgeous beaches, where you can find a quite serene hotel to relax. Malabar House in the center of Fort Kochi and only a short walk to most attractions are recommended. Home to numerous temples and churches, Ernakulam is a favorite neighborhood among tourists to visit and stay. Accommodation options are plenty for you from luxury to budget hotels here. With Kochi’s most clean and broadest beaches, Willingdon Island is also an ideal place to stay. It’s very convenient from this man-made island to Fort Kochi and Ernakulam by ferry.

Transportation in Kochi

Cochin International Airport (COK) is located around 29 km (18 mi) northeast from the main city center, which is accessible from major international cities like New York, Paris, London, Sydney, etc.; and India’s cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore for 3 hours, 1.5-2 hours and 1 hour. The Ernakulam Junction South Station (ERS) and Ernakulam Town North Station (ERN) are two major railway stations in Kochi, which are 4.8 km (3 mi) and 7.5 km (4.7 mi) from the Kerala Folklore Museum.

Bus services connect Kochi to most Southern India’s cities like Mumbai, which costs about ₹3,300. Auto-rickshaws, taxis and buses are basic means of transportation for Kochi travel. From the airport to the downtown, it generally costs ₹70 by bus, ₹500 by taxi, and ₹650 for an air-conditioned cab. If exploring Kochi city by an auto-rickshaw, it costs around ₹1,000 for 5 hours. Besides, the Roll-Roll ferry is a special service, especially between Fort Kochi and Vypeen islands, which operates from 7:00 am to 8:30 pm.

Top Shopping Markets
  • LuLu International Shopping Mall:  34/1000, N.H 47, Edapally, Kochi. As the largest and busiest market in South India, LuLu Mall is a one-stop-destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Here you can find the best electronics and fresh food.
  • Marine Drive Flea Market:  MG Road, High Court Junction, Ernakulam, Kochi. This market is known for its amazing cotton items. The clothes, perfumes and a lot more super popular goods are sold at reasonable prices.
  • Jew TownSynagogue Lane, Mattancherry, Kochi. Jew Town is home to many warehouses and shops that sell the restored antique goods and you can choose some aromatic spices and amazing bargains.