Cochin, the busy and bustling commercial centre of Kerala, is the gateway to one of the most popular destinations of India.
Cochin’s international airport is a popular entry point for many travellers arriving in south India, offering easy access to the famous backwaters and onward travel to the beautiful southern beaches. It is recommended to include a few days in here exploring the sights and places in Cochin to understand the exciting blend of modern culture and traditional values of the region.
Here are some popular places in Cochin to visit or base yourself.
1. Ernakulum City
More popularly known as just Cochin, Ernakulum is the modern representation of the region. The main M.G Road is a chaotic busting place with malls and shopping arcades springing up in every corner. This also means, that is the place to shop for saris and other memorabilia. This is the business district of the area, a hub of activity with plenty going on from morning till night.
2. Fort Kochi
A ferry ride away from Ernakulum, the atmosphere is completely different in Fort Kochi. Cobble stoned streets are breezy and relaxed compared to the city. Visit Kashi Cafe, the Teapot Cafe or just dig into some sumptuous sea food in the local restaurants. Fort Kochi is walking and cycling paradise with low traffic and an easy pace. There are plenty of things to see here like the Chinese fishing nets, ancient churches, traditional dance forms or the nearby Muzuri Islands. Fort Kochi (or Fort Cochin) is one of the most popular places for visitors to base themselves.
Mattancherry is about 9 km from Ernakulum by road but you can also get an easy ferry to the island. When you arrive you are instantly transported into the era of a bustling trade hub here. Some of the attractions for tourists are the Mattancherry palace, the last working synagogue, the palace Museum and the local markets where you can get spices and artefacts and more. There is never a dull moment here. Many travellers tend to stay in the Fort Kochi area a little longer to allow plenty of time to discover Mattancherry as well.
A small town outside Kochi is known for its palaces, museums and temples. It was the earlier Kingdom of Kochi and the Hill Palace was the home of the Maharaja of Cochin, the ruler of Kingdom of Cochin. It is a great destination for the arts and makes for an interesting day trip.
5. The Bolgatty Island
The name Bolgatty now resonates with an upmarket hotel which is the point of attraction for many. It is here that the British established a Royal Residency, which has now taken shape into amenities like a golf course and horse riding tracks. The Bolgatty Palace can be visited as a day trip from Ernakulum.
6. Vypin Island
Experience the local way of fishing in the villages of Vypin Island. The island is has many small hamlets where fishing and agriculture are the main occupations. It is also the closest island to the Cherai beach, a popular tourist destination.
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