Looking for your next amazing solo destination? This Kochi City travel guide is for you! Kochi (also known as Cochin) is one of the best places to visit in Kerala, and you’ll find new things to discover around every corner. There are many places to visit in Kochi and I experienced the best of the best with the Kerala Blog Express this year!
Where is Kochi? It’s a city hub in the southwest of India along the coast, but it’s not far from inland jungles, waterfalls, and wildlife. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds. There are so many places to visit in Ernakulam and beyond, and I loved exploring the entire Kerala region with Kochi as my starting base.
5 top places to visit in Kochi in Kerala India
With influences from all over, Kochi is rich in cultural history and is a unique place in India that any boss babe should check out. Whether you’re here for a stopover or extended visit, it’s a great place to start your trip in Kerala India.
What are the places to visit in kochi? I’ve compiled some of my favorite Kochi tourism experiences below for fellow solo female travelers. Read on to learn about all of the Cochin tourist places (and a few that most tourists don’t know about!).
Aspinwall House: Muziris Biennale Art Festival
The Kochi Biennale Foundation encourages art & culture and educational activities in India, specifically in Kochi city. They host the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an art exhibition and festival that is one of the biggest unique arts festivals in South Asia. The fourth annual Biennale was from 12 December, 2018 until 29 March, 2019. Luckily, I got to see it just before it finished!
Kochi-Muziris Biennale takes place in a range of venues centered around Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, and Ernakulam. The Biennale spaces are historical buildings that have been renovated especially for the biennale.
I enjoyed the Muziris Biennale Art Festival at Aspinwall House. Visit here even if it isn’t the Muziris Biennale Art Festival. It has beautiful exhibits all year round!
Chinese Fishing Nets
Fort Cochin is famous for the dozens of Chinese fishing nets along its river. Kerala is famous for these, so don’t miss seeing this unique experience in Fort Cochin. You can watch the fishermen make their unique moves and even join in if you’re lucky. Be sure to tip if you do!
According to Kerala history and Kerala folklore theatre, the nets were brought from a Chinese emperor and were introduced to fishermen in Kochi by Chinese explorer Zheng He.
Talking about fish, it wouldn’t be Cochin Kerala without fish curry! Don’t forget to have Kerala’s special fish curry called meen moilee. It’s made with seerfish, coconut milk, green chillies and curry leaves. It tastes soooooo good!
Don’t forget your visa for India!
Don’t turn up to the airport without a visa for India. There’s a good chance that you do need one!
iVisa will help you get your Indian visa in just 5 minutes.
Which are the best places to see when you visit Fort Kochi and Mattancherry?
Fort Cochin is a great place to explore on foot, so grab a Kerala tourist places map from a hostel or tourist information desk.
Fort Kochi Kerala is packed with shopping and restaurants. There’s boutiques, antique shops, and more, all in between European style historical buildings.
Other places to visit in kochi fort include the Church of St Francis, the first church Europeans built in India!
Jew Town in Mattancherry
From Fort Cochin, follow the waterfront and Mattancherry will turn into ‘Jew Town’. This district is named as such because Jewish settlers made a community and left an impact on Cochin City.
The 16th century Pardesi Jewish Synagogue, the first in India, is amidst the antique shops and spice markets. It’s one of the coolest places to see in Kochi that shouldn’t be missed!
One of the best places to visit in Mattancherry is the Mattancherry Palace. It was built by the Portuguese for the Raja of Kochi in 1555. The Dutch renovated and added onto the palace in 1663, so it’s also called the Dutch Palace. The palace now houses an art gallery featuring Indian artists’ works.
Day trip to Athirappilly falls
As far as tourist places in Kerala go, this spot may be my favorite. Athirappilly falls, also known as the Niagara falls of India, is the perfect place to day trip to from Kochi. It’s perfect for any adventurous solo lady boss traveler.
Athirappilly Falls is not far from Cochin India, hidden away off the beaten path. They are among the best waterfalls in the country.
If you want to see Athirappilly falls in all its glory, you’ll want to visit during the monsoon season which is between June to October. I was there in April and it was still absolutely amazing. But to witness the full force of these waters, wait if you can.
Have more time? Visit Vazhachal waterfall too!
While you’re there, check out Vazhachal waterfall about 5 km away. This waterfall is a bit smaller than Athirappally, but part of the fun is in the journey you’ll take to get there.
To get to see this wonder you’ll have to hike through thick greenery in the Sholayar range!
Looking for one day tour places in kerala? There are tons of exciting jungle safari packages available in the Kerala region, from jeep safari tours to long duration treks in the heart of the jungle.
Explore the rainforests of Kerala as you search for flora and fauna, tigers, elephants and breathtaking views.
These safaris may cover spots like Kauthuka Park and the Thumboormuzhy Dam. Other opportunities include seeing elephants in Thrissur and enjoying tea plantations to name just a few!
ESSENTIAL INDIA PACKING LIST
Theme Parks and Resorts
There are numerous resort spas in the Kerala India area. There’s waterfall-side spas to all inclusive resorts. These are all perfect after a long day of Cochin sightseeing! There are also a couple of amusement parks. These are Silver Storm and Dream World. They will certainly get your adrenaline pumping!
You can also chill at Ernakulam beach, promenade along Marine drive, and enjoy the numerous museums on Kochi folklore and history.
This list could go on forever, and I hope I get to return to Kerala soon to add to my favourite places here!
Best places to sleep in Kochi Kerala India
Here are the top 3 options for budget, midrange and luxury travellers.
Zostel Kochi is a central hostel with great amenities and nightly rates starting at £5. Staying here is the best budget choice, as it’s close to the bus station, beach, and other places to visit in Kochi. There’s free Wi-Fi in all rooms and a restaurant on site for a night in.
Sea Hut Homestay
Ready for a swim? Stay at the cozy Sea Hut Homestay and you’ll be in the beach as soon as you leave the hotel. The hotel is walkable to fort kochi and tons of other places to visit in Kochi and nearby.
Grand Hyatt Kochi
This is where I stayed! The Grand Hyatt Kochi is the ultimate luxury retreat in Cochin Kerala. Located in the Ernakulam area, Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty is rated highly for it’s easy access to top tourist attarctions in Kochi. With a swimming pool, spa, and restaurants, you can relax while exploring Ernakulam tourist places.
Where to eat in Kochi
Here are 3 scrummy places to eat in Kochi for all budgets.
Rasoi Fort Kochi
Located next to the church of Saint Francis, Rasoi Fort Kochi offers amazing Kerala food at affordable prices.
Lilliput Multi Cuisine Restaurant
The Lilliput offers amazing beachside seafood you can’t get anywhere else. It’s in the Cherai beach area. After a long day of Kerala sightseeing, a dinner on the beach is what every adventure girl needs.
Thai Soul at the Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty
Not in the mood for Indian food? Head to Thai Soul. It’s just downstairs if you’re staying at the Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty. It’s one of the best places in Kochi for authentic Thai cuisine. I ate plenty and it transported me right back to Thailand. Nom nom nom.
Experience Kerala food and the market
Why not treat yourself to a very special dining experience in Cochin? Take a trip to the local market with your own special host to see the Chinese fishing nets. Step inside their household to meet their family. Learn Kerala’s cooking secrets then treat yourself to a delicious 3 course meal.
There are plenty of fun and quick ways to get around Kochi. Enjoy your time immersing yourself in the culture and interacting with the locals. I highly recommend jumping in the autorickshaws. They are immensely fun!
Autorickshaws, or tuk tuks, are a great way to get around Kochi Kerala. There are prepaid rickshaw stands at the main bus station or Ernakulam Junction. Or just hail one down on the road and work out a price with the driver.
Uber and Ola Cabs are available as well as taxis for trips around Kochi; short trips can cost around ₹60.
Bicycle & Motorcycle
If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bicycle or scooter hourly or daily at Fort Cochin.
Airport buses and local buses are available throughout the city.
Kochi’s ferries are a great way to explore the town and see Kochi city center from all different views. There are multiple ferries in Fort Kochi that can take you to Vypeen Island, places in Ernakulam and Mattancherry.
Kochi’s new metro only has one line, but it may work depending on where you’re going. Check the map before your journey. Currently the metro runs near Fort Kochi and it is set to be expanded in the future.
Solo female travel safety tips for Kochi Kerala
As a solo woman traveller, I know that safety is important.
For cultural respect you’ll need a scarf for entering certain religious temples and buildings, and it’s better to dress more conservatively in general. Wear long pants and skirts.
If you visit a Kochi beach, opt for a modest suit or even board shorts and a t-shirt.
I always travel with travel insurance and with safety devices for my more expensive items. Check out my essential India packing list below.
I also know self defense and advocate for women to learn it. As always, stay alert in Kochi tourist places and be prepared when you travel. Most importantly: follow your intuition when something doesn’t feel right.
I loved my time in Kochi, and can’t wait to go back and do even more Kochi sightseeing.
Are you ready to add these places to visit in Kochi to your bucket list?
Cochin is vibrant city with a rich culture that supports it. I cannot urge you enough to check out all the sightseeing that Kochi has to offer.
Have you ever been to the Kerala region? Let me know if I missed your top thing to do in Kochi down below and find more India adventures here!
Don’t leave home without travel insurance!
Don’t leave for your adventure without travel insurance. However careful you are, things can still go wrong. I’ve ended up in hospital in Russia, had stuff cut out of my arm in Vietnam and even when I thought eating that chicken in Poland was safe…turns out it wasn’t.
Do the right thing. Protect your health and valuables.