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Jew Town, Kochi

Traveling in Kerala is an experience of a lifetime. The Arabian Sea hugging shores of the state welcome explorers from different parts of the world, looking for a memorable experience. If you are at Kerala, you cannot miss the dynamic landscape of this stunning state.

In case you have explored the hills stations, sea-beaches, and stunning backwaters of this mesmerizing state, then ideally the next stop on your travel itinerary would be shopping. And, Jew Town, Cochin is the place to shop for quintessential Kerala goodies and curio items. Located close to Mattancherry Fall, the place is always swarming with shoppers and antique lovers.

One of the popular destinations for buying collectibles, the atypical shops of the Jew Town holds some of the most historically significant and pristine artifacts. Head their early to procure that stunning bronze vessel or the old porcelain figurines, which have caught your fancy.

Here is an ultimate guide that will help you in navigating through the alleys of this classic district of the Cochin.

A Quick Glance of Jew Town, Kochi

Jew Town in Kochi
Jew Town in Kochi
Address: Old Cochin, Kochi (Cochin) 682002, India

Opening time: 5:00 am – 9:00 pm (Day time market comes highly recommended)

Entry Fee: Free

Not to miss attractions: Quaint antique shops and shopping alleys 

What to get: Aromatic spices, homemade soaps and chocolates, and antiques embroidered clothes left by migrating Jewish families

Best time to visit: October to December, when the weather is at its best 

How to reach: Within Cochin, visitors can book public transport to visit Jew Town

A Glimpse of Jew Town    

Once a thriving Jewish establishment, Jew Town is one of the popular destinations of Kochi. The shops here sell the restored antique goods, making this place a popular destination among antique lovers and shoppers.

Apart from the antiquities, the area is home to stunning European architecture that bestows it an old school charm and elegance. As you walk into the area, you will find yourself being engulfed into an era gone by. The ancient Jewish residences with their colorful architecture are pleasing to look. To fully explore the beauty of Jew Town, Cochin you will need almost the entire day. Here are some of the things you can do at this antique place:

1. Exploring the spice market

Although the antique shops of Jew Town are always highlighted in the limelight, most travelers agree that the beauty of the Spice market cannot be ignored. Kerala being an important spice producer of India and Cochin being an ancient trading town of the subcontinent, the spice market of the city dates back eons. As you explore the market, you will come across different shops selling aromatic spices stored in huge mason jars. It is a lovely sight, and worth a million pictures.

P.S: In India, spices are an important component for cooking as well as Ayurvedic therapies. If you are here, do pack some aromatic spices to take back home.       

Spice Market, Jew Town
Spice Market

Antique Shop, Jew Town
Antique Shop

2. Get a steal deal at antique shops

Antique shopping is another important thing to do in Jew town after all the place is known for its curio shops. You can buy stunning artifacts at surprising prices. Apart from that, beautifully carved spice boxes and copperware items are also sold here. If you are not into shopping, then you can always explore the area for soaking the old school charm of the place.  

P.S: This place attracts a lot of shutterbugs, who come here for capturing the stunning European architecture and old-school charm of the market.    

3. Police Museum of Jew Town

The Police Museum, inside the International Tourism Police Station, is one of the recent additions to the Cochin landscape. Established in a building with traditional Kerala architecture, the place contains exhibits like weapons, police uniforms, and arms, and takes the visitors through the Kerala Police Force history since the Travancore era. Apart from that, tourists can come to this place for assistance and information regarding Cochin and the nearby places.

4. Jewish Synagogue

Jewish Synagogue
Jewish Synagogue
One of the few remaining synagogues in India, the Jewish temple at Cochin was built by the early Jewish settlers in the country. Also referred to as Pardesi Synagogue, this temple was built close to the Mattancherry Palace and is open to all. The brass bimah or the hand-painted floor tiles are some of the most stunning features of this ancient building.  

5. Café for leisure

After all that antique shopping and haggling, you will be hungry. Fret not, as the Jew Town is home to some of the stunning art cafés. Arranged parallel to the curio shops, you can enjoy a cup of coffee at these quaint bistros while watching over the stunning paintings that are inspired by Kerala and the traditional lifestyle.                 

Tips for Travelers Heading to Explore Jew Town, Cochin

The ancient markets of Jew Town might be a little overwhelming for a traveler. But the following guidelines could help in navigating through the market:

1. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes

You have to be on your foot while exploring the different curio shops. Wearing comfortable walking shoes and light fabric clothes are recommended.

2. Haggling is permitted

Haggling is permitted and is appreciated by the shopkeepers. Go to and fro on the pricing set by the sellers, and you might end up buying antiques at an astonishingly discounted rate. Try it, it will be fun.

3. Drink tender coconut water for hydration

Kerala is the home to coconut-palm trees, and the delicious fruit is readily available in almost every corner of the state. So next time you feel thirsty, grab that tender coconut to quench your thirst.    
If you love shopping for odd knick-knacks and love to explore places that reflect the old school charm, then Cochin’s Jew Town is your ideal destination. The place is surrounded by stunning landmarks and aromatic spiced markets, which were once frequented by Arab and European merchants back in the 16th century.

So, what are you waiting for?
At Jew Town, Kochi time passes very slowly amidst the old antiquities. If you are an explorer, then this is the place for you.