Kochi is an eclectic mix of refreshing festivals, ramshackle harbours, cobbled streets and toddy shops that stand as the perfect throwback to the bygone Portuguese culture, and of course Nammude Keralam’s authentic cuisines. Kochi, in short, has unmissable attractions and experiences that will change the way you perceive a holiday in South India. And if you are planning one such holiday in Kochi, don’t forget to take a look at this quick guide to things to do in Kochi!
Top things to do in Kochi
1. Eat like a local
Wondering what’s with Kerala and food? Visit one of the authentic eateries in Kerala (note: not the Western hotel chains) and you’ll know what it means. Keralites sometime prefer their meal light—Jaggery-stuffed pathiri sided with thengaai paal (coconut milk), ghee-soaked kuzha puttu marinated brown sugar, spicy kulukki sarbath, could easily pass for breakfast. But do your darndest to leave room for Kerala special sadhya, all 6 type-flavoured dishes served in banana leaf. Hot food when served in banana leaf heals, believe Keralites.
Where to eat:
- Mullapanthal Toddy Shop
- Kashi Art Cafe
- Kayees Rahmathulla Café
- Kadaloram at Abad Plaza
- Nettoor Toddy Shop
Read more about Kerala vacation: Your One-Stop Travel Guide For Exploring Kerala: Visit God’s Own Country
2. Celebrate Cochin carnival
Eat and celebrate like a local and you have aced the culture of a place! And here, the best things to do in Kochi to understand its culture are to observe and eat away in festivals like Cochin Carnival. One of adventures, energy, environment, culture, and peace, Cochin Carnival is where you can see locals and tourists come together and share their own cultures and opinions in awe. And it can’t get better than this!
When and where to attend: Cochin Carnival is usually held from December 25th to January 1 in Fort Kochi.
3. Have a thattukada night out
Coming back to food—Kerala’s nightlife and thattukadas are a love story you should know about! No five-star hotel chains or no ubiquitous Western eateries stand a chance against the wayside eateries of Kerala—the experiment with spices, with farm-to-table ingredients, and with authentic Malabar recipes. Thattukadas stay open well into the night. Your night-outs could have never been better.
Where to eat:
- Edappally Thattukada
- Uppum Milakum Thattukada
- Abhaais Thattukada
- Nadaan Thattukada
4. Wander around Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi is a funky yet serene seaside region dotted with ancient palaces, Portuguese architecture, famous Fort Kochi beach, jewel box art galleries, hand-made clothes and souvenir shops. You actually need not plan anything and can just set out to wander around the place. Keep an eye out for the best beach resorts here as well. You will love staying there!
Fort Kochi attractions:
- Fort Kochi Beach
- Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
- Princess Street
- Hill Palace Museum
- Mattancherry Palace
Read more: Best places to visit in Kerala
5. Photoshoot with Chinese fishing nets
The Chinese fishing nets are a popular sight here. Watch the sunrise or sunset here and perhaps pull out your camera for a photoshoot here. Amateur or skilled, you can never get a bad picture here! Apart from the national parks, this is one of the picture-perfect destinations in Kerala.
Best time to visit: During sunrise and sunsets
6. Watch the sunset in Marine Drive
Marine drive is mandatory! Marine Drive is one of the best things to do in Kochi. With skyscraping buildings to one side and the boundless sea to the other, no better time to bump up the volume of your favourite playlist and hit the road. If you’re driving during the early morning, don’t ever leave Marine Drive without having breakfast—there are many good restaurants.
What to see in Marine Drive:
- Broadway Shopping Street
- Thattukada Joints
- Toddy Shops
- Kerala Folklore Museum
Read more: Best backwaters in Kerala
7. Delve into Kochi’s historical forts and palaces
From the Mattancherry Palace with Portuguese footprints to the Hill Palace Museum that glows at night, Fort Kochi will amaze history lovers! Visit Kashi Art Gallery or Vancasso Art Gallery and resort to the nearby cafes with European vibes to continue those conversations about art and history.
Important forts & palaces in Kochi:
- Hill Palace
- Mattancherry Palace
- Bolgatty Palace
- Catholic Art Museum
- Museum Of Kerala History
8. Plan a day trip to Wonderla Amusement Park and Lulu Mall
If Asia’s largest mall is in Kochi, how can you miss it? But before that, reserve a whole day for an exciting ride at the Wonderla Amusement Park.
Location of Wonderla Amusement Park: Kumarapuram, P O, Pallikkara, Kerala 683565
Location of Lulu Mall: 34/1000, Old NH 47, Edappally Junction, Nethaji Nagar, Edappally, Kochi, Kerala 682024
9. Sign up for an ayurvedic spa
Ayurvedic beauty spas and healing massages are truly one of the most popular things to do in Kochi. When Kerala’s ancient healing methods, essential oils, aromatic herbs come together, you won’t feel another day of exhaustion for long. Be prepared to actually experience more than what you expected.
Top spas in Kochi:
- Jiva Spa
- Niraamaya Spa
- Quan Spa
- Ayurville Spa
Can’t wait to plan your Kerala vacation? Read where to go The top destinations to visit in Kerala in November and get in touch with Pickyourtrail to book your Kerala trip when the time is right!