35 Must-Visit Places To Visit In Kochi: Explore The Best of Cochin

 In cochin, Kerala, Places To Visit, Travel

Are you looking for places with old-world charm and modern vibrancy on India’s southwest coast? Of all the places in Kerala, Kochi won’t make you feel disappointed with its rich history, captivating culture, and breathtaking natural beauty, Kochi offers a treasure trove of experiences for every traveller. Did you know that Kochi was once an important spice trading centre, attracting traders from Arabia, China, and Europe? Book your Kerala Holiday Tours and indulge in the Ultimate Travel Experience in Kochi.

From ancient forts and scenic beaches to bustling spice markets and serene backwaters, this city promises an unforgettable adventure. Dive into the top 35 must-visit places in Kochi and discover why this coastal gem should be at the top of your travel list. Savour the authentic tastes of the traditional cuisine of Cochin, where every dish is a celebration of local ingredients and culinary craftsmanship.

Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a beautiful city on the southwest coast of India. It’s known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in historical forts in Cochin, scenic beaches in Kochi, or Ecotourism Destinations in Kochi, this place has something for everyone. Here are the top 35 places to visit in Kochi that you shouldn’t miss.

1. Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is a historic neighbourhood known for its colonial architecture. It’s one of the most famous historical forts in Cochin. You can explore old buildings, and churches, and enjoy the unique vibe of this area. Historical forts in Cochin stand as silent witnesses to the city’s rich past and cultural heritage. 

Fort Kochi, with its iconic fort, is a testament to the colonial legacy that once shaped the region. Visitors can explore the well-preserved remnants of ancient battles and strategic military architecture in these forts. Each fort in Cochin narrates stories of conquests, trade, and cultural exchanges that have shaped the city’s identity over the centuries. From Fort Kochi to Bolgatty Palace, these historical forts in Cochin offer a fascinating journey through time for history enthusiasts and curious travellers alike.

Many of these historical forts in Cochin have undergone extensive restoration efforts to preserve their cultural importance for future generations. Each fort tells a story of resilience and adaptation, having withstood the tests of time and various rulers throughout history. Visiting these forts offers a captivating journey through Cochin’s evolution from a trading hub to a modern-day cosmopolitan city. These historical Forts in Cochin hold a testament to the old foundation and grander. 

  • Location: West of Kochi’s mainland. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Colonial buildings, charming streets, and waterfront views. 
  • Things to Do: Walk along Fort Kochi Beach, visit St. Francis Church, and explore the quaint shops and cafes.
  •  Interesting Fact: Fort Kochi was the first European township in India, set up by the Portuguese in the 1500s.

2. Mattancherry Palace

Also called the Dutch Palace, Mattancherry Palace showcases beautiful murals and artefacts. This architectural wonder of Cochin gives you a peek into the royal history of the region. Explore the natural beauty through Ecotourism Destinations in Kochi, where you can encounter diverse wildlife and lush greenery.

  • Location: Mattancherry, near Fort Kochi. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Gorgeous murals and royal artefacts.
  •  Things to Do: Tour the palace rooms, marvel at the architecture, and shop in nearby Jew Town.
  •  Interesting Fact: Though called the Dutch Palace, it was built by the Portuguese.

3. Jewish Synagogue

Jewish Synagogue

Located in Jew Town, the Jewish Synagogue is one of the oldest active synagogues in the Commonwealth. This cultural landmark in Cochin is a must-visit for history lovers. Thus, it is among one of the top places to Visit in Kochi. Apart from Kochi, there are some offbeat places to visit in Kerala. These cities just like Kochi will also show a glimpse of our rich heritage. If you decide on Kerala for your honeymoon, you can come to Kochi. 

  • Location: Jew Town, Mattancherry. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Stunning interiors with Belgian glass chandeliers and Chinese tiles. 
  • Things to Do: See historical relics and antique Torah scrolls.
  • Interesting Fact: This synagogue, built in 1568, is the oldest active in the Commonwealth.

4. Marine Drive

Marine Drive is a lovely promenade along the backwaters of Kochi. It’s perfect for a relaxing walk and offers stunning views, especially at sunset. This is one of the Scenic Beaches in Kochi that stays along with the iconic backwaters. 

  • Location: Along the backwaters of Kochi. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Beautiful sunset views and the Rainbow Bridge of these Scenic Beaches in Kochi
  • Things to Do: Enjoy a relaxing walk, take a boat ride, and try local street food.
  •  Interesting Fact: Marine Drive is a favourite hangout spot for both locals and tourists.

5. Chinese Fishing Nets

Chinese Fishing Nets

These iconic fishing nets are a must-see in Kochi. They are a big part of the local fishing culture and make for great photos.

  • Location: Fort Kochi Beach. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Unique, picturesque fishing nets. 
  • Things to Do: Watch fishermen at work and take amazing photos. 
  • Interesting Fact: These fishing nets were introduced by Chinese traders in the 14th century.

6. Willingdon Island

Willingdon Island is a man-made island that’s a commercial hub. It offers beautiful views of the port and backwaters, making it a great place to explore. This place is one of the famous Cultural Landmarks in Cochin. Exploring the architectural wonders of Cochin unveils a mesmerizing blend of influences, including Portuguese, Dutch, and British designs, which have left an indelible mark on the cityscape.

  • Location: Between Ernakulam and Fort Kochi. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Beautiful views of the port and backwaters. 
  • Things to Do: Explore the island, visit the maritime museum, and enjoy the tranquil environment. 
  • Interesting Fact: This is the largest man-made island in India.

7. Cherai Beach

Cherai Beach

Kerala is blessed with beautiful beaches and out of all the beaches, Cherai Beach is one of the most scenic beaches in Kochi. Its golden sand and calm waters make it perfect for swimming and relaxing by the sea. In recent times, Scuba diving has been offered in many parts of Kerala including Kochi. If it is on your things to do in Kochi list, you can give it a try. 

  • Location: 25 km from Kochi city. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Golden sand and calm waters. 
  • Things to Do: Swim, sunbathe, and try some local seafood. 
  • Interesting Fact: Cherai Beach is known for its frequent dolphin sightings.

8. Santa Cruz Basilica

Being one of the top places to Visit in Kochi, this beautiful church is an architectural wonder of Cochin. The Santa Cruz Basilica features stunning stained glass windows and impressive interiors. This place is one of the famous Cultural Landmarks in Cochin. 

  • Location: Fort Kochi. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Stunning stained glass windows and beautiful interiors. 
  • Things to Do: Attend a mass, admire the architecture and take in the peaceful atmosphere. 
  • Interesting Fact: This basilica is one of the eight basilicas in India.

9. Bolgatty Palace

Bolgatty Palace

Bolgatty Palace, on Bolgatty Island, is one of the oldest Dutch palaces outside Holland. Now a heritage hotel, it offers a luxurious stay with a touch of history. The architectural wonders of Cochin encompass a diverse array of styles, from colonial-era buildings to traditional Kerala architecture, reflecting the city’s rich cultural heritage.

  • Location: Bolgatty Island. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Elegant gardens and stunning waterfront views. 
  • Things to Do: Stay at the heritage hotel, explore the palace grounds, and enjoy a luxurious getaway. 
  • Interesting Fact: Bolgatty Palace is one of the oldest Dutch palaces outside Holland.

Also Read: Escape To The Clouds: 20 Hill Stations In Kerala For 2024

10. Hill Palace Museum

The Hill Palace Museum was the official residence of the Cochin royal family. It houses an amazing collection of royal artefacts, including ornaments, paintings, and inscriptions.

  • Location: Thripunithura, near Kochi. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Expansive gardens and royal artefacts. 
  • Things to Do: Tour the museum, see the royal jewellery, and enjoy the lush gardens. 
  • Interesting Fact: This was the official residence of the Cochin royal family.

11. Paradesi Synagogue

Paradesi Synagogue

Another important cultural landmark in Cochin, the Paradesi Synagogue, is known for its beautiful chandeliers and rare antiques.

  • Location: Jew Town, Mattancherry. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Beautiful chandeliers and rare antiques. 
  • Things to Do: Explore the synagogue and learn about its history. 
  • Interesting Fact: It’s the oldest active synagogue in India, built in 1568.

12. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

For nature lovers, the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is an ideal ecotourism destination in Kochi. It’s home to many species of birds and mangroves as well as is accounted as one of the top places to Visit in Kochi. 

  • Location: Near Marine Drive. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Lush mangroves and diverse bird species. 
  • Things to Do: Bird watching, nature walks, and photography. 
  • Interesting Fact: This sanctuary is often called the “Green Lung of Kochi.”

13. Athirappilly Waterfalls

Athirappilly Waterfalls

Often called the “Niagara of India,” Athirappilly Waterfalls is a stunning ecotourism destination in Kochi. The waterfall and surrounding greenery are perfect for a nature outing. From the intricate carvings of the Paradesi Synagogue to the majestic beauty of Santa Cruz Basilica, the architectural wonders of Cochin offer a captivating journey through centuries of craftsmanship and innovation. Thus, it is among one of the top places to Visit in Kochi. 

  • Location: 70 km from Kochi. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Majestic waterfalls and lush greenery. 
  • Things to Do: Enjoy a nature walk, picnic, and take stunning photos. 
  • Interesting Fact: Athirappilly is often referred to as the “Niagara of India.”

14. Ernakulam Market

Among the Places to visit in Cochin, To experience the famous spice markets in Kochi, visit Ernakulam Market. The market is full of the rich aromas of spices and offers a lively shopping experience. This place is one of the famous Cultural Landmarks in Cochin. Indulge in the rich flavours of the traditional cuisine of Cochin in iconic restaurants of Kerala, characterized by aromatic spices, fresh seafood, and coconut-infused dishes. From mouthwatering appams to spicy fish curries, Cochin’s culinary delights offer a true taste of Kerala’s food heritage.

  • Location: Ernakulam. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Busy Spice Markets in Kochi and vibrant street life is mainly holding attractions and a lot of exotic spices can be found here.  
  • Things to Do: Shop for spices, and local crafts, and enjoy street food. 
  • Interesting Fact: The market is famous for its rich aromas of fresh spices.

15. Kumarakom Backwaters

Kumarakom Backwaters

Exploring the backwaters of Kochi is a must. Kumarakom offers peaceful backwater tours in Kochi, where you can enjoy houseboat cruises and the serene beauty of the waterways. Embark on captivating backwater tours in Kochi, immersing yourself in the beauty of its interconnected landscapes of Kerala

  • Location: Near Kochi. 
  • Scenic Attractions: Serene waterways and lush landscapes. 
  • Things to Do: Take a houseboat cruise, enjoy bird watching, and relax in the tranquil environment. 
  • Interesting Fact: Kumarakom is one of the most popular backwater destinations in Kerala.

16. Princess Street

One of the oldest streets in Kochi among the top places to Visit in Kochi, Princess Street offers a mix of European architecture, quaint shops, cafes, and bookstores, providing a glimpse into the city’s colonial past.

  • Location: Fort Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Colonial-era buildings and a charming street ambience.
  • Things to Do: Stroll along the street, shop for souvenirs, and relax in cafes.
  • Interesting Fact: This street is a popular spot for tourists looking to soak in the old-world charm of Kochi.

17. Indo-Portuguese Museum

Indo-Portuguese Museum

This museum showcases the rich cultural heritage of Portuguese influence in Kochi, featuring artefacts, paintings, and sculptures that highlight the Indo-Portuguese era.

  • Location: Bishop’s House, Fort Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Historical artefacts and cultural exhibits.
  • Things to Do: Explore the museum’s collection and learn about the Indo-Portuguese history.
  • Interesting Fact: The museum was established by Dr. Joseph Kureethra, the late Bishop of Kochi.

18. Veeranpuzha Lake

A tranquil lake offering picturesque views, Veeranpuzha is perfect for a peaceful escape into nature, with opportunities for bird-watching and photography.  Trying this is one of the best things to do in Kerala

  • Location: Suburbs of Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Serene lake views and lush surroundings.
  • Things to Do: Enjoy a quiet stroll, bird watching, and take beautiful photos.
  • Interesting Fact: The lake is part of the Vembanad backwaters, the longest lake in India.

19. Puthenthode Beach

Puthenthode Beach

A lesser-known gem, Puthenthode Beach is ideal for those seeking solitude and natural beauty, with its clean sands and calm waters.

  • Location: 10 km from Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Pristine beach and serene atmosphere.
  • Things to Do: Relax by the sea, swim, and enjoy the scenic beauty.
  • Interesting Fact: This beach is relatively untouched by commercial tourism, making it a peaceful retreat.

20. Vypeen Island

An island that combines natural beauty with historical significance, Vypeen Island offers stunning beaches, lighthouses, and remnants of its colonial past.

  • Location: Off the coast of Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Cherai Beach, Pallipuram Fort, and the lighthouse.
  • Things to Do: Explore the island, visit historical sites, and enjoy beach activities.
  • Interesting Fact: The island is accessible by a short ferry ride from Fort Kochi.

21. Kerala Folklore Museum

Kerala Folklore Museum

Among the Places to visit in Cochin, this museum is a treasure trove of Kerala’s traditional art and culture, showcasing artefacts, costumes, and performances that represent the state’s rich heritage.

  • Location: Thevara, Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Traditional artifacts and cultural performances.
  • Things to Do: Explore the museum, attend cultural shows, and learn about Kerala’s folklore.
  • Interesting Fact: The museum features over 4,000 artefacts representing Kerala’s cultural diversity.

Also Read: The Only Varkala Travel Guide You Need To Plan Your Next Trip

22. Thrikkakara Temple

An ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vamana, Thrikkakara Temple is significant for its association with the Onam festival, offering a spiritual experience amidst historical architecture as well as is accounted as one of the top places to Visit in Kochi. 

  • Location: Thrikkakara, near Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Traditional temple architecture and serene surroundings.
  • Things to Do: Participate in temple rituals, explore the architecture, and experience the Onam festival.
  • Interesting Fact: The temple is believed to be the only one dedicated to Lord Vamana.

23. Chottanikkara Temple

Chottanikkara Temple

Among the Places to visit in Cochin, A revered Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathi, Chottanikkara Temple is known for its healing powers and attracts devotees from all over.

  • Location: Chottanikkara, near Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Beautiful temple architecture and lush greenery.
  • Things to Do: Offer prayers, participate in rituals, and explore the temple grounds.
  • Interesting Fact: The temple is famous for its healing ceremonies, believed to cure mental illnesses.

24. Vallarpadam Church

Also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam Church is an important pilgrimage site with a history dating back to the Portuguese era.

  • Location: Vallarpadam Island.
  • Scenic Attractions: Stunning church architecture and peaceful surroundings.
  • Things to Do: Attend mass, explore the church, and enjoy the serene environment.
  • Interesting Fact: The church is one of the major pilgrim centres in Kerala, attracting thousands of devotees annually.

25. Thripunithura Hill Palace

Thripunithura Hill Palace

The largest archaeological museum in Kerala, the Thripunithura Hill Palace was the official residence of the Cochin royal family and houses an impressive collection of artifacts.

  • Location: Thripunithura, near Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Expansive gardens and royal artefacts.
  • Things to Do: Tour the museum, see the royal jewellery, and enjoy the lush gardens.
  • Interesting Fact: The palace complex includes 49 buildings spread over 54 acres.

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26. Paniyeli Poru

A picturesque spot along the Periyar River, Paniyeli Poru is known for its rapids, lush greenery, and serene environment, perfect for a nature getaway.

  • Location: Near Perumbavoor, Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: River rapids and verdant landscapes.
  • Things to Do: Enjoy a picnic, go trekking, and take in the natural beauty.
  • Interesting Fact: Paniyeli Poru is a popular spot for nature photography and bird watching.

27. Munambam Beach

Munambam Beach

A serene and less crowded beach, Munambam is perfect for a peaceful day out, with opportunities for fishing, boat rides, and beach activities.

  • Location: Near Cherai, Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Quiet beach and fishing activities.
  • Things to Do: Relax by the sea, go fishing, and enjoy boat rides.
  • Interesting Fact: Munambam Beach is known for its beautiful sunsets and tranquil environment.

28. Kerala Kathakali Centre

A cultural hub dedicated to preserving and showcasing traditional Kerala art forms, the Kerala Kathakali Centre offers performances of Kathakali, Kalaripayattu, and other classical arts.

  • Location: Fort Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Traditional dance and martial arts performances.
  • Things to Do: Attend a Kathakali performance, watch Kalaripayattu demonstrations, and learn about Kerala’s cultural heritage.
  • Interesting Fact: The centre is one of the oldest theatres in Kerala dedicated to classical arts.

29. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Also known as the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Thattekad is a haven for bird watchers, home to a variety of bird species and rich biodiversity.

  • Location: Kothamangalam, near Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Diverse bird species and lush forest.
  • Things to Do: Bird watching, nature walks, and photography.
  • Interesting Fact: The sanctuary is named after Dr. Salim Ali, a renowned ornithologist.

Also Read: Best Kovalam Travel Guide: Complete Info For Tourists!

30. Bhoothathankettu

Among the Places to visit in Cochin, this is a scenic dam site and popular picnic spot, Bhoothathankettu offers opportunities for boating, trekking, and enjoying the natural beauty of the region as well as is accounted as one of the top places to Visit in Kochi. 

  • Location: Near Kothamangalam, Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Dam site and forested area.
  • Things to Do: Boat rides, trekking, and picnicking.
  • Interesting Fact: According to legend, the dam was built by spirits (Bhoothams) overnight.

31. Puthuvype Beach

Puthuvype Beach

A pristine beach near the city, Puthuvype Beach is ideal for those seeking a quiet escape with clean sands and calm waters.

  • Location: Near Vypeen Island, Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Uncrowded beach and lighthouse.
  • Things to Do: Relax by the sea, visit the lighthouse, and enjoy the scenic views.
  • Interesting Fact: The beach is less commercialized, offering a tranquil experience.

32. Kalady

The birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya, Kalady is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus, offering spiritual insights and beautiful temples. This place holds spirituality as well as is accounted as one of the top places to Visit in Kochi. 

  • Location: Near Perumbavoor, Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Temples and the serene Periyar River.
  • Things to Do: Visit Adi Shankaracharya’s birthplace, explore temples, and enjoy the tranquil environment.
  • Interesting Fact: Kalady is a major spiritual destination for followers of Adi Shankaracharya.

33. Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village

Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village

A model fishing village showcasing the traditional lifestyle and practices of rural Kerala, Kumbalangi offers a unique cultural experience.

  • Location: Kumbalangi, near Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Traditional village life and backwaters.
  • Things to Do: Experience village life, enjoy backwater tours, and participate in fishing and farming activities.
  • Interesting Fact: Kumbalangi was declared the first eco-tourism village in India.

Also Read: Munnar Travel Guide: Explore The Top Attractions And Activities

34. Museum of Kerala History

Among the Places to visit in Cochin, it is a museum dedicated to the rich history and heritage of Kerala, featuring life-size statues and dioramas depicting significant historical events.

  • Location: Edappally, Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Historical exhibits and dioramas.
  • Things to Do: Explore the museum’s collection, learn about Kerala’s history, and enjoy the audio-visual presentations.
  • Interesting Fact: The museum offers an engaging journey through Kerala’s past with its detailed exhibits.

35. Edappally Church

Edappally Church

Among the Places to visit in Cochin, is one of the oldest and largest churches in Kerala, the St. George Forane Church at Edappally is a significant religious site with beautiful architecture and a peaceful ambience.

  • Location: Edappally, Kochi.
  • Scenic Attractions: Majestic church building and serene environment.
  • Things to Do: Attend mass, explore the church grounds, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  • Interesting Fact: The church dates back to 593 AD, making it one of the

Whether you love history, nature, or food, Kochi has something for everyone  Here’s a Kerala travel tip. Don’t miss these top 35 places to visit in Kochi on your next trip! Kochi is a city that captivates your heart and soul, offering a perfect mix of history, culture, and natural beauty with the Places to visit in Cochin. You can also check the weather in Kerala to decide and get a better idea in idealising the best time to be here. 

Whether you’re exploring ancient forts, relaxing on serene beaches, or cruising through tranquil backwaters, Kochi provides an array of experiences that cater to every traveller. An interesting fact: Kochi is home to the oldest European church in India, St. Francis Church, where Vasco da Gama was originally buried. 

Make sure to add these top 35 Places to visit in Cochin to your itinerary and immerse yourself in the vibrant essence of this coastal paradise. Your journey through Kochi will undoubtedly be filled with unforgettable memories and inspiring discoveries.

What are some historical landmarks to visit in Cochin?

Some must-visit historical landmarks in Cochin include Fort Kochi, Mattancherry Palace, and the Jewish Synagogue. These places offer a deep dive into the city’s rich history. Whether you’re interested in historical forts in Cochin, Scenic Beaches in Kochi, or Ecotourism Destinations in Kochi, this place has something for everyone and these are the top 35 places to visit in Kochi that you shouldn’t miss.

How can I explore the backwaters of Kochi?

You can explore the backwaters of Kochi by taking a houseboat cruise in areas like Kumarakom. These tours provide a relaxing and scenic way to see the backwaters.

Where can I experience traditional Kerala cuisine in Cochin?

To taste traditional Kerala cuisine, visit local restaurants in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. Popular spots include Kashi Art Café and Dal Roti, which serve delicious local dishes.

Are there any eco-friendly tourist attractions in Kochi?

Yes, there are several eco-friendly tourist attractions in Kochi. The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary and Athirappilly Waterfalls are great ecotourism destinations that let you enjoy nature and wildlife.

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