Kochi, the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is one of the major port cities in the country.
With its colonial charm, Kochi is one of the most romantic getaways to spend your honeymoon days. Unlike other cities of Kerala, Kochi has a diverse culture. People from various cultural and religious backgrounds have made Kochi their home and live together in unity.
Fort Kochi and Mattancherry known as the old city and the islands of Kochi - Bolgatty, Willington (the largest artificial man-made island in India), Vypeen, Vallarpadom, Ramanthuruthu, Kumbalangi, Cherai - attract tourist with its natural beauty and cultural heritage.
There are an array of luxurious star hotels, resorts as well as budget hotels and home stays available in Kochi.
Kochi has been a busy port city for many centuries as evident from the pre-colonial Chinese fishing nets, trade connection with Arabian, Greek, Syrian, Chinese and Jewish traders. Kochi also has a small minority of Jewish population.
There are many places to visit in Kochi, which includes backwaters of Kochi, many old forts, palaces, beautiful beaches, heritage buildings, harbour etc.
Most popular attractions are listed here. The backwaters of Kochi which is a chain of picturesque lagoons that lie parallel to the Arabian Sea are part of the Vembanad Lake. You can go for a day cruise to enjoy these backwaters.
Kochi also has a Marine Drive which is actually not a drive but a walkway and is one of the best places in the busy city to unwind and relax, especially in the evening hours. The nearby park is also a great place to relax and refresh your mind.
Museum of Kerala History houses many artefacts, paintings which take you through about 2000-year-old history of Kerala.
A unique feature of Kochi is the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary which is located in the middle of the city. It is also known as the green lung of Kochi, which helps to control the city's pollution.
The Jewish Synagogue in Kochi, which was built in 1568, is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth nations and the small Jewish town also attracts many visitors. The synagogue which shares its walls with the nearby Dutch Palace temple is the only synagogue which is still in use.
Kochi also has the one and only marina in the country that provides berthing facility for yachts.
Being the governing centre of the erstwhile Kingdom of Kochi, the city also has a lot of palaces which are still well preserved. Some of them are Mattancherry Palace also known as the Dutch Palace, Hill Palace (largest archaeological museum in Kerala), Bolgatty Palace etc...
Pallipuram Fort, the oldest existing European fort in India, Fort Emmanuel built by the Portuguese are also places worth visiting.
You can also spend your day at the Kumbalangi tourism village to understand the laid back way of a village life and can enjoy the rural surroundings.
The must visit places in Kochi are its famous beaches. Cherai Beach, located about 35 km away from the city, is a clean and shallow beach, which is a perfect location for swimming and sunbathing.
The Fort Kochi beach is also a great attraction of this port city. Frequented by many international and domestic tourists the beach nestled amidst the coconut trees is a favourite hangout place for many people.
Kuzhupilly Beach near Vypeen is also a favourite among the tourists.
The amusement park Wonderla attracts many tourists during the holidays. Another major attraction is the lip-smacking street foods available in the city.
Other important places to visit are the various temples, churches (some built by the European settlers, including Portuguese), Jain temples, Gurudwara and the places of worship that belong to various religions.