Marine Drive, Kochi

Address: MG Road, Kochi (Cochin), India - 682002

Opening time: Open 24 hours

Entry: Free

Famous for: Shopping and Nature walks 

Visit duration: Two to three hours

Length: 1.75 m

Best time to visit: October to December

How to reach: The place is accessible from different parts of the Kochi. Busses and app-based cabs are available.  

Magnificent Kochi (Cochin) is a traveler’s paradise, surrounded by the stunning sea and old-school colonial charm. The area has been drawing travelers, traders, and explorers from far and wide locations. The interesting mix of oriental and occidental architecture, stunning landmarks, and centuries-old fixtures spread across the city, probably makes Kochi the Place to be in 2020.

The Ernakulam is Kochi’s mainland and cosmopolitan hub and is frequently visited by the tourists. The Marine Drive, Cochin is a popular promenade in Ernakulam well-known for its scenic beauty. Facing the backwaters of Kochi, most visitors come here for a relaxing view of the Vembanad Lake.

Frequently visited by locals for an evening stroll, the area is surrounded by local vendors selling spices and local goodies. If you are planning on visiting the place after a tiring day, this guide could be of immense help.

Let’s discover the stunning Marine Drive of Kochi.

Name and History:

Kochi’s Marine Drive was inspired by its namesake located in Mumbai - Marine Drive. During the late 1980s, the local authorities embarked on a development project for beautification of the area comprising parts of the Kochi Lake. The beautification project tried to maintain the delicate ecological balance of the coastal region, and therefore a walkway instead of a driveway.

In the later decade, additional fixtures like the Rainbow Bridge and the Kettuvallam Bridge were added to the waterfront. The area is surrounded by modern-day buildings and office apartments, which gives this place a different vibe.      

Things to Do at Marine Drive, Kochi

One of the popular hangout zones of the region, the place is frequently visited by tourists and locals looking for some relaxation. Some of the popular attractions include boating on the lake, strolling through the waterway, shopping for knick-knacks, or luxurious dining experience. Let’s look into them, one by one:

1. Boating at Marine Drive

One of the prime attractions of the Marine Drive, Cochin is boating. The relaxing escapade from the noises of the city, after a hectic touring experience, is something preferred by many tired tourists. Soothing water of the lake uplifts the mood of many. There are several boating services available, which takes the tourists through popular hotspots on the Kochi backwaters including the Mattancherry Jewish Synagogue, Cochin Shipyard, and Oil Tanker Berth. These trips usually take one to two hours, however, boat rides that cover multiple destinations could need extra hours.     
P.S: The small vendors sell local snacks and munchies on the boat, which are preferred by many.

2. Shopping

This is the place for shopping in the Ernakulam district of Kochi. Covered in flea markets and high fashion stores, the place attracts tourists who are planning of picking some knick-knacks for home. One of the biggest shopping destinations of Marine Drive is the GCDA shopping complex, which houses a variety of stores selling multiple items. Here you can find handmade soaps and traditional cold-pressed oils, dress material and fabrics, perfumes, incense sticks, and souvenirs.
P.S: Haggling is a fun part of shopping and tourists can try their luck in it, they might be able to land a better deal.

3. Eating Out

Being a hipster destination of the city, several popular restaurant chains have their outlets in this part of the town. These eateries serve amazing seafood platter and local delicacies, which are cooked with freshest spices. Apart from that, the street joints sell amazing delicacies including momos and other popular snacks.       

4. Light Show at Night

The light show on the Rainbow Bridge is popular and attracts numerous tourists. The dimming and dazzling lights big and small creates a mesmerizing sight. During night time, anchored boats on the backdrop of the black silhouette are a romantic sight.   

Important Things to Remember While Visiting the Marine Drive in Kochi

1. Sunset and sunrise from the Marine Drive are spectacular and must be witnessed by the tourists. During sunrise, the beachfront and walkways are usually deserted, and visitors can savor the beauty of the place without any disturbances.

2. The area is a popular tourist destination and is usually crowded. People looking for some quiet time should head to this place early in the day or late at night.

3. On the Marine Drive, vendors approach the tourists quite frequently. For some tourists, the experience can become a bit overwhelming. According to experienced travelers, it is best to politely decline the vendors to avoid uncomfortable situations.

4. Kerala’s weather is quite hot and humid. It is important to stay hydrated to avoid health issues.

5. Carrying a hat, sunglasses, and proper sunscreen is recommended.

What Next?

Some of the popular landmarks around Marine Drive, Cochin include:

• CSI Emmanuel Church

• Salem Marthona Church

• Subhash Bose Park

• Td Temple     

• Annie Besant Park

• Thomas Malankara Church  

The stunning walkway, stretching from Jankar Jetty to Ernakulam Boat Jetty, makes up the Marine Drive. One of the popular tourist destinations of Kochi, the place is regularly visited by locals as well as tourists alike. Visitors can go for boating or strolling along the serene walkway. Or, just relax near Broadway. Tourists are advised not to miss the stunning light show in the evening – it comes highly recommended.