Kochi was the first port that caught the imagination of the seafarers of Europe and was the centre of the India’s spice trade with the world. With all the riches came a multitude of wars and many rulers, resulting in a very heterogeneous modern city. Today, Kochi is the first port of call for travellers seeking to travel around the wonderful state of Kerala. There are many things to do in Kochi and Ernakulam, starting with the innumerable palaces and museums all depicting the glory of the past rulers – The Portuguese, the Dutch, the English and finally the Indians. The crazy Indian traffic notwithstanding, the best way to experience Kochi is to walk around the narrow bylanes and take in the sights, sounds and smell of the place. The cafes, churches and Portuguese villas of Fort Kochi are a reminder of a city that once was, while the spice and trinklet shops of Jew Town point to the burgeoning tourism industry in Kerala. A city this old is steeped with culture and brilliant food. We recommend a visit to one of the Kathakali Centres (traditional dance form of Kerala) while you can savour some brilliant fresh sea food everywhere in the city. Remember, you never run short of things to do in Kochi.


Culture and History lovers will never run short of things to do in Kochi. Read on to know more.

  • Take a walk around Fort Kochi and explore the buildings from the colonial age. This place abounds with cafes and art shops flocked by international travelers and serves as the perfect base for you to explore Kochi and Ernakulam.
  • Take a walk around Mattancherry, the Jew Town. Start at the Dutch Palace and then walk to the Synagogue passing many shops selling antiques. Also visit the spice market.
  • Check out the iconic Chinese fishing nets and learn how fish are caught using those mega contraptions.
  • Visit the museums in Ernakulam. The major ones being the Museum of Kerala Arts & History, the Hill palace and the Kerala Folklore Museum. Perfect way to learn the history and heritage of Kerala.
    • The Museum of Kerala Arts and History is open from 10:00 hrs (IST) to 17:00 hrs (IST) and remains closed on Mondays.
    • The Hill Palace Museum is open from 9:00 hrs (IST) to 12:30 hrs (IST) and from 14:00 hrs (IST) to 16:00 hrs (IST) and remains closed on Mondays.
    • Folklore Museum is open from 9:30 hrs (IST) to 19:00 hrs (IST). Tickets for entry are priced at INR 100 for adults and INR 50 for Indian students.
  • Experience the traditional dance form of Kathakali with a performance at the Kerala Kathakali Centre. The highlight is the makeup session, where you see the performers dressing up for the performance. If you thought India was colourful, wait till you see this.
  • Take a bike tour around Kochi, visiting the backwaters and the countryside with The Art of Bicycle Trips.
  • Learn how to cook some authentic Kerala food at Leelu's cooking classes. Sea food with lots of coconut can never taste bad.


  • Ernakulam is well connected by train and road to all major cities. Ernakulam has the Cochin International Airport, which serves as the gateway for international travellers to Kerala.
  • It is best to base your stay at Fort Kochi, a tourist friendly island, 10 Km from the Ernakulam. There are many accommodation options in Fort Kochi suiting your budget. The Hostel Crowd has recently started a really cool hostel in Fort Kochi. You can also stay at the Leelu homestay for some wonderful hospitality.
  • The best time to visit Kochi is from October to March. It gets too hot from March to May and rains continuously in June and July.
  • Kerala is the only Southern state where beef is available widely. Malabar beef biryani is a must have when you are in Kerala. Kerala Parotta (a form of bread), idiyappam (local form of noodles) and Appam (savoury pancakes) are authentic breakfasts you should try. You evening snacks should consist of deep fried banana and tapioca chips. And of course, when you are in the coastal India, you should try the local sea food. Karimeen fry would be a good choice to start with.

Want to know more about Kerala?

Read on in our blog!
Things to do in Cochin - Explore the spice market
Buy some spices at one of the oldest spice markets in the world
Things to do in Cochin - Watching a Kathakali performance
Kathakali - Kerala's very own art form which is an amalgamation of dance and storytelling
Things to do in Cochin - Explore one of the many temples
The temples are aplenty in Cochin
Things to do in Cochin - Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets at work
Chinese Fishing Net at work - A common site at the Fort Kochi area