Cochin | Real Treasures of Kerala
For those who wish to explore the real treasures of Kerala, here we go with the list of places to visit in Cochin. Beaches and backwaters, tea plantations and spice estates, hot steaming appams with stew and vibrant Kathakali performances – these and much more epitomize the God’s Own Country, Kerala on the global tourism map. However, Cochin stands out. Cochin has an altogether different signature – history and tradition woven together with modernization. The places to visit in Cochin, especially the best ones, are absolutely captivating, and sure to leave you with a bag full of beautiful memories and aspirations.
Before starting with the list, let’s share a brief history of Kochi, previously and more popularly known as Cochin. It is an important port of south-west coast of India and was once a significant spice trading hub. If we go back to history, we see Greek, Roman, Portuguese, Arabic and Jewish settlements in Cochin for trade and commerce purposes.
Are you planning to visit Kochi? Today, Cochin stands as an important city and tourist place in Kerala. It is also popular with tourists heading South for a religious tour. Each one of the mesmerizing 43 places to visit in Cochin has some kind of historical and colonial significance to it. If you are planning a visit to this place in Kerala then this list of Kochi tourist places will be very helpful in planning a perfect itinerary. Dig in and see which all places are you going to cover.
Mattancherry Palace – Gape At Marvelous Architecture
Mattancherry Palace, located in Palace Road and built by the Portuguese as early as 1557, is considered to be one of the important places to visit in Cochin in 1 day. Popularly known as Dutch Palace, it has the style and architecture that resembles a typical traditional Kerala house with four individual wings and a patio in between. The place is known for offering the best experience of Cochin sightseeing.
Don’t miss: Like every Kerala house, Mattancherry palace also has a courtyard in the center. The courtyard has a beautiful temple of Bhagavati, the protective deity of Kochi community. There are two other temples of Shiva and Krishna inside the palace. Also, the collection of frescos and paintings covering a large portion of the palace walls is worth seeing. However, don’t restrict to the interiors of the palace. Take in the beauty of its famous sprawling gardens and manicured lawns, that earned it a spot among the best tourist places in Kochi.
Famous For: Its architecture that represents traditional Kerala house.
Indo-Portuguese Museum – Dig Deep Into The History
The Indo-Portuguese Museum is an amalgamation of Indian and Portuguese culture and architecture. Located in Fort Kochi area, it was built by former Bishop of the city, Joseph Urethra. The museum is divided into 5 wings exhibiting Altar of Furniture, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral and is considered to be one of the best places to see in Kochi.
Don’t miss: The museum houses some prized artifacts like Processional Cross made of silver and wood, Indo-Portuguese Monstrance, and Coat of Arms of the Francis.
Famous For: Its Indo-Portuguese architecture and collection of artifacts.
Paradesi Synagogue – Marvel At Age-Old Antiques
Built in 1568, Paradesi synagogue or the Jewish synagogue is the oldest one amongst all commonwealth countries. One of the best places to visit in Kochi, Jewish synagogue is located in Jew Town area of Cochin and was built by Cochin Jewish group or Malabar Yehudan people.
Don’t miss: Paradesi synagogue houses very rare and appreciated antiques like carved teak ark with four scrolls of Torah (the first five books of Old Testament), silver and gold crowns, chandeliers made of Belgian glass, century old copper plates, hand-woven oriental carpet and a clock tower.
Famous For: Its collection of rare antiques.
Opening hours: 10 am to 12 noon, and 3 pm to 5 pm. It is open all days of the week.
Entry fee: Entry is free inside the synagogue.
Location: Synagogue Ln, Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala 682002
Hill Palace – A Haven For History Buffs
Hill Palace is a heritage museum and houses many archaeological relics and imperial belongings of the Maharaja of Kochi. This makes this Palace one of the best places to visit in Cochin for all the history buffs out there. The palace was constructed in 1865 and comprises 49 buildings. The beautiful gardens and refreshing outer facade of the museum are added as a bonus, besides the real knowledge and artifacts huddled inside the buildings. The place is known for offering the best experience of Cochin sightseeing.
Don’t miss: Along with modern-day art gallery, other popular objects worth seeing are Kudakkallu (tombstone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), granite & laterite memorials, rock-cut armaments of the Stone Age, wooden temple replicas, and plaster cast prototypes of objects of Mohenjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation. If you a history or culture buff, Hill Palace is certainly among the best places to see in Cochin.
Famous For: Housing artifacts of historical significance.
Folklore Museum – See Folk-Tribal Objects
Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum is one of the most popular places to visit in Cochin and certainly one of the best places to visit in Kerala. It displays cultural exhibits and folk-tribal objects of the state. The museum is a 3 storeyed building, inaugurated in 2009 and representing the real legacy of Kerala. The building’s facade had a very strong Malabar architectural influence.
Don’t miss: Folklore Theatre and Museum displays traditional Kathakali masks, costumes, sculptures, musical instruments, ornaments, and utensils which belong to the historic stone age. Do not miss the manichitrathazhu, a traditional ornate door lock of Kerala while you enter the building.
Famous For: Its collection of ornaments and folk-tribal objects that reflect the culture.
Veegaland – Beat The Summer Heat
Popularly known as Wonder La Amusement Park, Veegaland is the country’s first theme park and one of the most happening places to visit in Cochin in 2 days. Located on a hilltop, Veegaland is one of the best water parks in Kerala. It is famous for thrilling and fun-filled rides, thus making it perfect for a family outing.
Don’t miss: The park comprises exhilarating land and water rides. One can enjoy bumping cars, dancing cars, musical fountain, flying ammu, convoy – the toy train for kids, balloon tower, castle jet, wonder splash, rapid river, boomerang, water coasters and much more. If you like adventurous rides, go for twin flip monster, vintage tornado, thunder fall, space gun and maverick. Show the world how daring you are!
Famous For: It is country’s first theme park.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary – Watch Birds Flying
This biosphere reserve located at Central Cochin is a natural habitat to many endangered and regular species of local and migratory birds, as well as mangrove vegetation. The sanctuary encircles a tidal lake which is connected to the backwaters and one of the imperative places for sightseeing in Cochin, especially for nature lovers. It is also home to several species of fishes.
Don’t miss: In 2006, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary was home to 194 birds of 32 species. Consider yourself lucky if you happen to spot redshank, greenshank, brahminy kite, white-breasted water hen and marsh sandpiper. The beautiful landscape of the sanctuary has earned it a spot on the list of best tourist places in Cochin.
Santa Cruz Basilican – Pray For Everyone’s Well-Being
One of the most ancient churches in Kerala as well as in India and one among the 8 Basilicas, Santa Cruz Basilica is truly one of the oldest and the most beautiful places to visit in Cochin. It reflects historical glory and pride. This is the Cathedral church of the Diocese of Cochin and is considered as one of the heritage sites of the state. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best places to visit in Kochi.
St. Francis Church – Pay A Visit With Family
St Francis Church is one of the oldest churches in India, built by the Europeans and is one of the best places to visit in Cochin. Well-known for its beautiful surroundings, serene environment, and stunning design, you simply cannot miss this wonderful Kochi tourist places when you are exploring the town.
Don’t miss: The extraordinary exterior structure with a stepped pinnacle on two sides and the interior with pinnacle, chancel roof along with the baptism platform, book rests, offering and confessional stage are worth seeing. All these reflect the grandeur and charisma of the old-world and its traditions.
Famous For: Remarkable architecture brimming with old world charm.
Cherai Beach – Perfect Destination For Fun Activities
A tranquil and pristine beach, Cherai is dotted with lush green swaying coconut plantations. There are golden sandy beaches, happening beach shacks and plenty of sea shells. One of the perfect places to visit in Cochin to enjoy either your own company or a lover’s hug, away from all the city noises. The serene piece of beauty, Cherai Beach is located at Vypin Island.
Don’t miss: Explore the surrounding, especially the backwater, fishing nets, thick coconut grooves and paddy fields. You may be lucky enough to spot dancing dolphins.
Famous For: Its serene surroundings and scenic views.
Veeranpuzha Beach – Witness The Changing Colors Of Sky
A typical Malabar coastal topography with serene beaches, lush green bordering vegetation, fisherman settlements and sandy shore line sums up the picture of Veeranpuzha Beach. The beach and its backdrop are among the most placid places to visit in Cochin. Certainly a stop that assures calmness, peace and quality time with your near ones.
Don’t miss: Explore the surroundings, walk on the beach and visit the fishermen villages to know more about their work and working styles.
Famous For: Its tranquil environment and a picturesque setting.