15 Top Places to Visit & Things to Do in Kochi

15 Top Places to Visit & Things to Do in Kochi
Last Updated: January 10, 2020

Kochi- a place so nice you visit it twice

A place where the palm trees sway and the ocean waves gracefully run up and down the sandy shore… Kochi is a blissful destination for any holidayers looking for a rejuvenating getaway. A sojourn to this paradise-like land will offer you immense pleasure seeing its various places to visit, that will keep your itinerary interesting. No matter if you are on a solo trip or honeymoon, expect to get awe by Kochi’s ravishing beauty, where on one day you can go sightseeing the wondrous attractions of the city, the next day, you can visit local streets and slurp some aromatic southern coffee accompanied by other exhilarating things to do. The beauty Kochi offers, is simply heart-stirring and with just a glimpse of its tradition, culture, lifestyle, you will feel this place to be a perfect simpatico destination to visit in South India.

Popular Spots for Sightseeing in Kochi:

They baffle those regular Kochi visitors by their beauty and grace, so how can they not bewilder the first time visitors? Here, all things that are attractions for the travellers and are well preserved and maintained. Also we have hand-picked some of the best or worth visiting places in Kochi in the list below.

Sahodaran Ayyappan Museum: The beauty it offers is truly authentic



Consider a visit to new Kochi, Ernakulam during your Kerala tour and explore one of the best museums, Sahodaran Ayyappan Museum. This place offers a traditional ambience where the entire complex is intact with classical thatched roofs made of coconut leaves offering the visitors an authentic experience. Sahodaran Ayyappan Museum also features an artificial building, a house of Sahodaran Ayyappan ( journalist and a politician who worked against the caste system of Kerala society). Inside the museum you can witness the life and work of Sahodaran Ayyappan, Chinese fishing net and Kothikkallu (border stone of Thiruvithamkur-Kochi).

Paradesi Synagogue: Its age old beauty still attracts visitors



One of the oldest edifices dwelling amid the modern structures, Paradesi Synagogue or Jewish synagogue is a famous attraction located in a Jewish town road of Kochi. This 1568 built synagogue still witnesses services that anybody can attend (entry is free). Inside, photography may not be allowed, however, the striking decor will be imprinted in your memory and will be hard to forget. The antiques like Belgian glass made chandeliers, old copper plates, carved teak ark and a clock tower are what you can expect to see inside the Paradesi Synagogue. The entry timings are from 10am to 12pm and 3pm to 5pm.

Folklore Museum: A unique facade filled with antiquity



The exterior of the Folklore Museum gives an impressive look, with the building’s facade of that of Malabar architecture. This three-storied famous museum displays cultural and folk-tribal items such as Kathakali masks, musical instruments, sculptures, traditional utensils, and ornaments. Also, one must see attraction is the traditional Malyali ornate door lock called the Manichitrathazhu. Make sure to visit this place, if you are a history lover or simply interested to learn about Jewish culture in Kerala.

Hill Palace: A heritage museum of the southern Maharaja



Kerala’s first heritage museum and the largest archaeological museum that displays memorials of the Maharaja of Kochi is the Hill Palace. It is a must visit attraction located in one of Kerala’s beautiful cities, Ernakulam. Constructed in the year 1865, this tourist attraction embraces 49 buildings surrounded with beautiful gardens and terraced land. To a nature and art lover, this is a paradise, as the Hill Palace exhibits various antique pieces like pottery, ceramic vases, rock-cut weapons and a large gallery of contemporary art. Also, medicinal plants sprawled over a large open land.

Santa Cruz Basilica: The glory and pride of Kochi



Finest living examples of the Cathedral Churches in India, Santa Cruz Basilica is a renowned religious place endowed in Gothic architectural style. Undoubtedly, it is a beautiful attraction one cannot afford to miss and to further make your experience even more authentic you can attend one of the mass prayer services. As you sit on the antique wooden benches, you can see the gothic interior and the historical paintings hung on the walls displaying their historical significance of the church. Santa Cruz Basilica is a heritage site and a worship place for the diocese of Kochi.

Kochi Fort Beach: The sultry breeze and the sound of the ocean are perfect to unleash your inner child

Kochi Fort Beach


Beaches are always the best place you can turn your heads to if sightseeing become too monotonous. And for those who enjoy soaking their feet, taking long walks and breathing in fresh air, a visit to Kochi Fort Beach is always a great idea. Facing towards the Arabian Sea, here you can build sand castles, discover various coastal water species and of course admire the natural surroundings. It is an ideal place nestled amid swaying coconut trees and soft beach sand with sea facing fast food stalls and lots of new and familiar faces. You can slowly unwind and relax amid the balm like ambience or perhaps jolt down your next place to visit as you sun-toast your body.

Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple: A timeworn yet majestic shrine



A visit to one of the oldest temples in Kochi, Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple must be included in your list of places to visit mainly for two reasons. It is centrally located in the heart of Kochi and it is the only Hindu pilgrimage in South where the deities are facing west. This ancient shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is adorned in a Kerala style architecture, the exterior and interior are simply remarkable made with the use of stone, wood and metal.

Indo-Portuguese Museum: An Ideal Place to Learn about the history of the Indo-Portuguese culture



To explore the architectural significance in Kerala, a visit to Indo-Portuguese Museum will offer a fine example of the amalgamation of Indian and Portuguese architecture. It is an important place for understanding the history and culture of the Indo-Portuguese culture. This museum is located in Fort Kochi area and it is divided into five main sections – displaying an Altar, Procession, Cathedral, Civil Life and Treasure. Visit here and you can see various artefacts such as Indo-Portuguese Monstrance, Processional Cross (made of silver and wood) and a Coat of Arms of the Francis. The museum remains open all day, except on mondays and national holidays.

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary: A haven for Wildlife and a paradise for Nature lovers



For a more relishing experience, visit Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary where you get to witness a melange of bird species. This place is one of the sole attractions in Kochi for bird watching and it is conveniently located in the centre of the city. Due to its impressive enclosure that encircles a tidal lake connecting the backwaters, it invites many endangered and migratory birds, it also houses mangrove vegetation. To a nature aficionado and wildlife lovers, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is the best place for birdwatching in Kochi. Some of the regular seen species are redshank, brahminy kite, marsh sandpiper and white breasted water hen.

Mattancherry Palace: An Imposing and Nearly Perfect Palace



Another best tourist place in Kochi that everyone must visit is Mattancherry Palace. This star attraction is considered an important site. Constructed in the early 1557, the style and architecture of this place tells many stories, it is humble and elegant, endowed in a typical Kerala style structure. As you enter the premises, you will be surrounded by frescoes and paintings; further, you can go into an open courtyard where a beautiful garden that adorns the place is seen. You can even find a temple inside the palace and an extensive collection of royal regalia.

P.S. Mattancherry Palace is popularly known as Dutch Palace.

Best Outdoor Activities to Indulge into on Your Kochi Holiday:

Sure, the attractions you just read are a beaut… but what can one do apart from sightseeing local attractions is by partaking in a bundle of joyous things Kochi offers to do. Even if it’s all about relaxing or slurping rich aromatic coffee in a cafe.

Hangout at the Marine Drive



One of Ernakulam city’s popular hangout place, Marine Drive often sees a melange of locals and tourists enjoying the sights and activities. Here, calming backwaters and bustling walkway also accompany shopping malls and restaurants that often remain crowded. And as the night falls, you can see lights of the buildings and ships reflecting on the ocean. Another feature that Marine Drive is widely famous for are the boat rides. There are various boat services in Marine Drive that can take you to many tourist spots such as Bolgatty Palace, Mattancherry Jewish Synagogue, Vallarpadam Terminal.

Experience a ferry ride in Kochi



You can make a graceful exit from the land and float between earth and sky on a ferry in Kochi. It is always a refreshing experience to escape from the city life and visit Kochi’s many islands such as Willingdon, Vallarpadam and Vypeen Islands. Amongst these three, Willingdon is the largest, and Vypeen has a collection of clean beaches. However, to see beautiful sunsets, you can take a boat cruise around Kochi. The sights you may see are fishermen returning after working hard throughout the day, and a slightly pink – orangish sky after sundown.

Indulge in an Ayurvedic Massage



During your holiday in Kerala, an ayurvedic massage is always considered to be a big yes (if you are a luxury holidayer). Nevertheless, even if you are not up for it, you must give it a go. Kerala is famous for ayurvedic massage and even therapies, you may find a melange of spa facilities in Kochi offering varieties of rejuvenating treatments in their many resorts, houseboats, and hotels.

Hunt for the best cafes in Kochi


Places to eat are endless in Kochi, beach side cafes, luxury restaurants, street food and cozy appetising food stalls. However, while here in Kochi, a taste of Kerala cuisine is a must, which is ornate with layers of masalas/spices. While you get ample restaurants filled with traditional south Indian dishes, you can also have a modern culinary affair with exquisite multi cuisine. Some picks of cafes that offer cozy and homely feels are Ginger House Restaurant, Kashi Art Cafe, The Rice Boat– Vivanta and Teapot Cafe. Besides, as you go on an exploration, wandering in the streets of Kochi, you may come across small shops selling tea and biscuits – Masala Chai anybody?

Give an Elephant a Bath at Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary



Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary is one of the best places to visit during family holidays in Kochi as it offers an opportunity to come close with these giant mammals, which your children will enjoy a lot. This wildlife tourist destination allows the visitors to have an experience of giving bath to the elephants (of course with the supervision of the caretakers).

Could it be Kerala’s skillful coconut pluckers who tirelessly take rounds in climbing the staggering trees or the calming canals where the houseboats lazily sail. We are not sure what is that crowd pulling factor Kochi invites us towards… However, now through this blog, we sure know where to visit and what to do once in this beautiful city. So, go for a spell-binding tour and smell the fragrance of Kochi in this holiday season. Like the blog? Did it capture your imagination? If so, please share in all your social media platforms and if you seek for Kerala travel packages, call us at +91-8744012050/87 or email us your requirements at and we will get back to you.

Published: 15 Sep, 2017
Abhishek Gurung


Abhishek Gurung is a writer whose passion for food and travel is an unending affair. He likes going on treks and camping in the woods, loves exploring forts and architecture, he is a cycle enthusiast who likes to contribute something to the environment, travel photography and videography is another interest as he sees life in a cinematic point of view. He likes the idea of living in offbeat destination where the mode of communication is to interact with each other. Coming from Nagaland, he has visited some beautiful valleys and remote villages and appreciates nature as it is and as it should be.

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