Kochi (also known as Cochin) is the largest city in Kerala which is made up of small islands and peninsulas along the south-west coastline of India which is part of the Arabian Sea.
Kochi has been a port since the mid-1300’s when a massive flood carved out its harbor and opened it up to merchants from Arabia, China, and Europe.
I spent one day exploring the Fort Kochi region and have put together this one-day guide of the 3 Best Places To Visit In Kochi to help you plan your trip!
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HOW TO GET TO KOCHI
Arriving by plane to Kochi International is the easiest and most convenient option to begin your adventures in Kochi.
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Alternatively, the most common route of getting to Cochin is from Goa. There are trains from Goa to Kochi on a daily basis. Be sure to book online in advance to secure your seat on the train. I would recommend traveling in 1st class as these carriages have air conditioning.
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BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KOCHI
Kochi has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Kochi to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Grand Hyatt Kochi
Mid Range: Dutch Bungalow
Budget: The Fort Bungalow
For all other accommodations in Cochin, Click Here to search on Booking.com
GETTING AROUND KOCHI
One of the best ways to get around in order to check out all of the best places to visit in Kochi is by tuk-tuk.
The minimum cost for a tuk-tuk ride is 30 rupees for up to 2km and for a 5km ride, the cost is around 100 rupees.
Another great way to get around to see all the best places in Kochi is by making use of the local ferries that frequent the waterways in the region. Local ferries cost no more than 5 rupees per ride.
3 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN KOCHI
#1 CHINESE FISHING NETS
A visit to the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets along the shoreline of Fort Kochi beach is one of the best places to visit in Kochi. These Chinese fishing nets are arguably the most popular tourist attractions in Kochi which are greatly photographed, especially at sunset.
The origin of the nets is still debated upon. Some say the Kochi Chinese fishing nets were introduced during the 14th century by the famous Chinese explorer, Zheng He.
Others say that the design of the nets was brought in by the Portuguese who colonized Kochi in the 16th century.
Irrespective of who brought them in first, the Chinese fishing nets are a significant symbol of the rich exchange of culture during that time.
These shore-operated Chinese fishing nets work on simple physics, much like a weighing balance going up and down according to the weights placed on it.
The elegant construction of the Chinese fishing nets is made up of bamboo, teak wood, and ropes and it takes usually a team of five to six men to operate the nets on the platform.
Also, along the shoreline of Fort Kochi beach, you can find street vendors serving up the best catches of the day!
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Fort Kochi Beach
#2 ST. FRANCIS CHURCH
The St. Francis Church is another one of the best places to visit on your Kochi sightseeing route. Built in the early 1500s, the St. Francis Church is believed to be the oldest European-built church in India.
The St. Francis Church’s claim to fame is for being the burial place of the late Portuguese explorer, Vasco De Gama, when he died in 1524. Although his remains were relocated to Lisbon, his tombstone at the St. Francis Church Kochi attracts hundreds of visitors every year.
The St. Francis Church is well known for its Portuguese and Dutch influences and it is an architectural marvel in itself. There are also a few street-side vendors out the front of the church selling nic nacs, souvenirs, snacks, and fresh coconuts.
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St. Francis Church Kochi
#3 PARADESI SYNAGOGUE
The Paradesi Synagogue is most famous for being the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth and it’s a must-see attraction. This Jewish Synagogue is located in Jew Town, Mattancherry.
Built in 1568, the Paradesi Synagogue was most frequented by Jews from Europe and the Middle East. The synagogue features a gold-painted pulpit, rare antiques, a mesmerizing Belgian chandelier, patterned floor tiles, and an impressive clock tower.
The way to the Paradesi Synagogue leads you down narrow laneways lined with souvenir stores and colorful overhead street decorations. Be sure to add the Pardesi Synagogue to your itinerary as it’s one of the best tourist spots in Kochi!
The Paradesi Synagogue is open every day except Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 am to 5 pm.
Colorful laneways – Fort Kochi places to visit
Paradesi Jewish Synagogue
BEST TIME TO VISIT KOCHI
The best time to visit Kochi, weather-wise, is in the winter months between October and February. During this time, temperatures are on average between 17°C and 33°C.
Summer in Kochi, March to June, sees soaring temperatures of up to 37°C and it’s not the most ideal time to travel in Cochin.
Also, definitely try to avoid the monsoon season in Kochi which is between July and September.
Another option for accommodation is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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MORE KERALA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Jadayu Para: Jadayu Para – World’s Largest Bird Statue
- Kerala Backwaters: Kerala Backwaters Tour
- Periyar: Periyar TIger Reserve Safari
- Munnar: Trekking In Munnar
- Athirappilly: Athirappilly Falls
LONELY PLANET INDIA
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet India Guide!
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Kochi, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.