Kochi or Cochin is a land blessed with the immense beauty of nature. Listed among the top cities in India, Kochi offers a surreal experience to every traveler. Located in Kerala, amidst the beauty of backwaters and beaches, Kochi is an ideal destination for witnessing the captivating panorama of nature. The best places to visit in Kochi include every iconic landmark, whether they are the tea fields, the spice farms, the coastal area, or other city attractions. Discover its history, art, the heritage, and feature that makes Kochi, a treasure of Kerala.

Top 18 Tourist Places In Kochi For A Fun Vacation

An important destination in Kerala when we talk about tourism, Kochi is popular for its diverse beauty and spectacular skyline. From the beaches to the old churches and museums, here are the top attraction you can add to your holiday plan.

1. Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi

The colonial beauty and the heritage can be experienced at Fort Kochi, an old town that lies towards the south-western part of Kochi. Even after all the development and transformation, the region remnants the era of Britishers and preserves the remains of Dutch art. The entire region is laces with European architectures that are some highlighted spots for Kochi sightseeing.

Every year, the town experiences a heavy footfall during the holiday season when tourist across the globe gather to witness the panorama around. The Fort Kochi beach and the Chinese Fishing net are two of its major attractions that you can add to your day sightseeing tour. Stroll around and spend the evening to capture the spectacular sight of sunset at this fascinating tourist place in Kochi.

Location: South-Western Kochi, Kerala

Top Attractions: Kochi Fort beach, Chinese Fishing Net, Kerala Kathakali Center, Santa Cruz Basilica

Famous For: Beaches and Dutch architecture

Places to stay: Dutch Bungalow - The Heritage Hotel, Solo In, Crowne Plaza Kochi, Saj Earth Resort, Hotel Airlink Castle

2. Willingdon Island

Willingdon Island

The largest man-made Island in India, Willingdon Island, is among the top Kochi tourist places where you plan a leisure holiday. Named after Lord Willingdon, the island is a major connecting point between Fort Kochi and other airports in the city. You can some of the best beach resorts and hotels in India to spend a luxury holiday in this serene city of Kerala.

Apart from being a tourist attraction, the island is home to some essential landmarks like the Kochi Naval Base of the Indian Navy, the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, and the Port of Kochi. Explore every nook and corner of the island to admire its spectacular architecture and other attractions like museums and forts built here. You can even indulge in ferry rides, cruises, and other water-based activities are conducted for the tourists at this fascinating Kochi attraction.

Location: Kazhuthumuttu, Thoppumpady, Kochi, Kerala

Timings: 5:00 am to 10:00 pm

Famous For: Beaches, Water Adventures, Sightseeing, Photography

Places to stay: Casino Hotel, Trident Cochin, Taj Malabar Resort and Spa Cochin

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3. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

A paradise for bird lovers, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is nestled in the middle of Kochi. Spreading to an area of 2.74 hectares the sanctuary compromises an area that is dedicated to Mangroo plantation. Enclosed within the backwaters and the beaches, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is one of the best places to see in Kochi for some photography and nature tours.

You can spot migratory birds and other native species that dwell in the natural habitat. The tidal lake, surrounded by the thick mangrove forests attracts the exotic birds of 32 different species.

The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is a protected area and a breeding ground for many rare bird species. Free nature camps are often organized by the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department for tourists to explore the wildlife prevailing in this Kochi tourist place.

Location: High Ct Rd, Ayyappankavu, Kochi, Kerala

Timings: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm

Entry Fee: Free

Best time to visit: January to March

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4. Cherai Beach

Cherai Beach

The enthralling coastline of Kerala makes it a perfect honeymoon destination in Asia and Cherai Beach is among the most romantic attraction to explore. Lying towards the outskirts of the city, this is the most spectacular places to visit in Kochi, dotted with splendid scenery and the lush beauty of coconut plantation.

Located in the Vypin Island of Kerala, this golden sand beach is a merging point of backwaters and the sea. Cherai beach is mostly less crowded and is ideal to spend leisure evenings. Spreading to an area of 10 kilometers, this is the longest and the cleanest beach in Kerala, where there are many activities to enjoy. The dolphin show is something that you cannot miss while spending quality time at this scenic tourist attraction in Kochi. There are cafes that are serving the best seafood to the visitors.

Location: Kochi, Kerala

Things to do: Swimming, Photography, Beach tour

Famous For: Scenery, Sunset view, Sea food

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5. Kalady

Kalady

Kalady, one of the spiritual places to visit in India, is a land of knowledge and culture. The birthplace of Adi Sankaracharya, Kalady is among the top tourist places in Kochi for sightseeing, where you can witness the presence of history, religion, and heritage. There are shrines and temples that attract devotees across the globe to admire the spirituality of the place.

The Manickamangalam temple, Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Mandapam, and Sri Krishna Temple are some of the famous Hindu temples that you can visit. The ghats and rivers flowing along the city make it a place to seek solitude and attain peace. You can plan a visit to Kalady in April or May when five-days of Shakarant festival is celebrated at the most blissful and spiritual places you can visit for a one-day trip from Kochi.

Location: Ernakulam district of Kerala

Famous For: Ghats and Temples

Best places to stay: Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters And Beyond, Royal Castle, Port Muziris, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Kochi, Park Regency

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6. St Francis Church Kochi

St Francis Church Kochi

The spectacular architecture of St Francis Church is a wonder to admire. The oldest church in India, St Francis Church exhibits the excellence of Portuguese architecture making it a fascinating attraction in Asia. The channel roof, the pinnacle, the baptism floor, the confessional stage, and the book rests are some of its features that defined how elegantly the church is built, keeping the culture and grandeur alive.

One of the best places to visit in Kochi, your holiday can never be complete if you miss out on a visit to this old church. It was constructed in 1503 by the Portuguese Franciscan Friars and was then named Santo Antonio. In 1949, the church officially came under the Church of South India, and today, it is famous for the traditionality and charisma. The timber-framed roof and the beautifully decorated walls make it the best thing to see in Kochi.

Location: Saint Francis Church Road Opp, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala

Timings:

  • Monday to Saturday: 7 am to 6.30 pm
  • Sunday: 08:30 am to 06:30 pm

Famous For: Architecture and Religious values

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7. Areekkal Waterfalls

Areekkal Waterfalls
Image is for reference purpose only

With the natural beauty of cascading waters and the lush panorama around, Areekkal Waterfalls can be listed among the top places to visit in Kochi. The clean and enthralling landscape around enhances the beauty of this waterfall that is perched in between the green woodlands. Located close to the main road, the waterfall is easily accessible from any corner of Kochi. Offering you an off-beat experience, this is an ideal spot to escape the city chaos and spend some time in the lap of nature.
There are no cafes or any other facility provided nearby the falls so, make sure you are all prepared with every item of utility. Surrounded by the refreshing beauty of nature, you can surely plan a day at this picturesque attraction in Kochi.

Location: Piramadam-Vettimood Road, Kochi, Kerala

Famous For: Natural Beauty

Timings: Open 24 hours

Entry Fees: Free

8. Indo- Portuguese Museums

 Indo- Portuguese Museums

The Indo- Portuguese museums, with the vast collection of artifacts from different churches, are one of the famous highlights of this city. Housing every fascinating attraction and fact related to the art and culture of Kerala the Indo-Portuguese Museum is the best place you can explore during Kochi Sightseeing. This museum is a heritage of the Catholic community in India where there are vestments, altarpieces, and other treasures preserved.

Offering a deep knowledge about the culture and art of Kerala along with entertainment, the museum is surely an attraction where you can spend a day admiring every detail. You can discover the antiques, the altarpieces, and the collection from the different eras while exploring the Indo- Portuguese museums.

Location: Emakulam - Fort Kochi - Mattanchery Ferry, Kochi, Kerala 682003

Timing:

  • Tuesday to Sunday: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm
  • Closed on Monday

Entry Fee:

  • Indian adults: 10 INR
  • Indian children: 5 INR
  • Foreigners: 25 INR

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9. Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace

The Mattancherry Palace or also known as Dutch Palace is one of the most impressive tourist places in Cochin. With its magnificent architecture and style, the palace has set an example of colonial influences in the state. The Palace was built by a Portuguese in 1545 C.E. as an honor of present for King Veera Kerala Verma of Kochi dynasty. The Dutch later did many renovations and repair work at the Mattancherry Palace.

Talking about the architectural design, the Palace rightly resembles the traditional art and style of Kerala. You can find a similarity in the structure of the traditional Kerala house and the Palace. There is a long hall with a courtyard that is a center of attraction for visitors. The Courtyard has a temple dedicated to Pazhayannur Bhagavathy. Other temples inside the Mattancherry Palace are dedicated to Lord Krishna and Shiva.

The Place has a number of painting and frescos that are nothing lesser than the best tourist attractions in Cochin. Explore every corner, the interiors as well as the exteriors of the Mattancherry Palace for witnessing the intricate beauty.

Location: Palace Road, Kochi, Kerala 682002

Famous For:

  • Architecture
  • Dutch Art
  • Paintings and Traditional art

Entry Fees: 2 INR

Timings:  

  • Saturday to Thursday: 10:00 to 17:00
  • Friday Closed

10. Bolgatty Island

Bolgatty Island

Located near Fort Kochi, Bolagtty Island is a hotspot for tourists to relax. Well, this is not just an island, but an island resort where you can enjoy a luxury staycation. The Dutch built the Bolgatty palace in 1744 that today is among the best tourist places in Cochin. The island palace is now transformed into a resort with spacious four Palatial rooms and every amenity they need for a royal stay. There is a Marina block, Palace rooms, and 9-hole golf course for the guests to enjoy their utmost luxury.

Around the resort, there is a serene view, a beach with some giant umbrellas tucked to relax under the shade. This exotic destination in Kerala is a perfect place for honeymooners to enjoy a romantic holiday.

The island attraction in Kochi is itself a paradise to seek leisure. Adding to its popularity, the Marina of Bolgatty island is one of the biggest to hold 34 yachts. The resort has space for hosting the conference and there are many international conventions and exhibitions organized. As you stay at this luxury resort in Kochi, witness the beauty of the backwaters and the lavish holiday.

Location: Bolagtty Island, Ernakulam, Kochi Kerela

Famous For:

  • Luxury holiday
  • Marina Block

11. Ginger House Museum Hotel

Ginger House Museum Hotel
Image Credit

A heritage hotel, Ginger House Museum Hotel is located in the most beautiful city of Kerala. Now, what makes the heritage hotel, one of the best tourist attractions in Kochin, is its fascinating indigenous architecture, the art collection, paintings of churches, temples, and the traditional touch of art. Staying in this spectacular property means closely witnessing the beauty of culture and customs followed in God’s Own Land.

There are art rooms where one can discover a vast collection of sculptures, antiques, and a big snake boat canoe that is 120 years old. The 108 feet long snake boat in the lobby of the Ginger House Museum Hotel resembles the shape of a long-hooded snake. These snakes' boats are an integral part of Kerala's culture. There is a boat race organized for years where hundreds of oarsmen row each snake boat to compete. Kerala boat race is one of the best things to see in Kochi if you are visiting the place in August- September.

Choose to stay in one of the 8 well designed room categories from options like- Royal Suite, Deluxe, and Sea View room. Every accommodating unit features a luxury amenity to make it a pleasurable stay in Kochi.

Location: Heritage Arts, Jew Town Road, Mattancherry, Near Mattancherry Boat Jetty, Kochi, Kerala 682002

Famous For:

  • Luxury Stay
  • Antique Collection
  • Heritage tour

12. Paradesi Synagogue

Paradesi Synagogue

The oldest synagogue- Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi was built in 1568. Today it is one of the famous places to visit in Cochin that stands as the only synagogue in India where the community worships. It was originally built as a traditional house of worship for the Jews or the community of Sephardic Jews who were exiled from Spain and Portugal.

This synagogue in India preserves a collection of antiques and handicrafts like the carved teak wood ark, oriental carpet that is handwoven, Scrolls of Torah, old copper plates, and the precious gold and silver crowns. The major attraction of the synagogue is Scrolls of Torah- the first five books of the Old Testament.

Not just the rare collection, it is the architecture too that has made Paradesi Synagogue, one pf the popular tourist attractions in Kochi. The four-clock tower, inspired by the Dutch style of architecture feature a unique numbering style in Hebrew, Roman, Malayalam, and Arabic.

Location: Jew Town Road, Kochi, Kerala 682002

Famous For:

  • Clock towers
  • Antique collection
  • Jewish Paintings

Timings:

  • Sunday to Friday: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed

13. Folklore Museum

Folklore Museum

The oldest synagogue- Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi, was built in 1568. Today it is one of the famous tourist attractions in cochin that stands as the only synagogue in India where the community worships. It was originally built as a traditional house of worship for the Jews, or the community of Sephardic Jews who were exiled from Spain and Portugal.

This synagogue in India preserves a collection of antiques and handicrafts like the carved teak wood ark, oriental carpet that is handwoven, Scrolls of Torah, old copper plates, and the precious gold and silver crowns. The major attraction of the synagogue is Scrolls of Torah- the first five books of the Old Testament.

Not just the rare collection, it is the architecture too that has made Paradesi Synagogue, an attraction in Kochi. The four-clock tower, inspired by the Dutch style of architecture, features a unique numbering style in Hebrew, Roman, Malayalam, and Arabic.

Location: Pandit Karuppan Road, Ernakulam, Kerala 682013

Famous For:

  • Old artwork
  • Antique collection
  • Sculpture and Murals
  • Tribal Objects

Timings: Every day from 9.30 am to 7 pm

Entry Fees: 100 INR

14. Veegaland

Veegaland

The first-ever built theme park in India, the Veegaland or Wonder La Amusement Park is one of the best tourist places in Kochi that you can visit with your family or friends. With every adventure to boost your holiday mood, the Wonder La Amusement Park has lots of rides and thrilling games that attract both tourists and locals. The weekend at Veegaland is really crowded as there are kids and adults enjoy a day with their family.

From the craziest ride to the most thrilling fun game, Veegaland has something for every visitor. Pull up your sock as this is the only amusement park that will make your day, worth memorable with the most exhilarating experience.

There are jumping or dancing cars, flying ammu, musical fountain, castle jet, convoy toy train, wonder splash, and rapid river, balloon tower, boomerang, water coasters, etc., etc. for your holiday with family. And if all you need is a fun day, you can just relax by the poolside and enjoy the day at your best attraction in Kochin.

Location: Pallikara, Kumarapuram, Kochi, Kerala 683565

Famous for:

  • Fun Rides
  • Water Sports
  • Adventure games

Timings:

  • Monday to Friday: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Entry Fees: Price varies on weekday and weekend

  • Child: 750 INR- 890 INR
  • Adult: 900 INR- 1,100 INR
  • Senior- 750 INR- 890 INR

15. Veeranpuzha Lake

Veeranpuzha Lake

While Kerala is all about the backwaters and coasts, the Veeranpuzha lake is among the best attraction to visit in Kochi. Located towards the northern end of the Vembanad lake, this is the most serene place where you can spend an evening. Admire the lush green beauty of the surroundings and witness the sunset while spending some leisure time at Veeranpuzha lake. This is one of the best places to visit in June or July during the monsoon when you can attend the water festivals.

There are many brackish lagoons and lakes that are lying parallel to Veeranpuzha, forming one of the largest water bodies in the city. The charismatic landscape makes it an abode for the photographers as they can capture the beauty of nature at its best. The paddy fields around and the beautiful water boats sailing on the brackish water of the lake make it one of the top things to see in Cochin.

Location: Kochi, Kerala

Famous For:

  • Scenic beauty
  • Largest backwaters and lagoons

Things To do:

  • Amire the landscape
  • Houseboat tour
  • Photography

16. Vypeen Island

Vypeen Island

Sprawling to an area of 25 km, Vypeen Island is surely a place that you can visit on your holiday in South India. While there are many beaches and islands in India, Vypeen is one of the best Kochi places you can visit to discover the history of Portuguese. There are many structures and buildings that are inspired by Portuguese architecture like the old churches, the Goshree bridge, and more. The Goshree bridge is also connecting the city to this island in Kerela.

Talking about the history of Vypeen island, the origin dates back to 1341, but the island was established in the 16th century. Before that, there were tribal communities living on the island. The Portuguese built some of the best architectural attractions in Kochi, like the Pallipuram Fort. Their influence and efforts helped in inhabiting Vypeen, which is now one of the densely populated places. Overlooking the blue waters, it is the best place to spend a day.

Location: Near Fort Kochi bus stand

Famous For:

  • Portuguese architecture
  • Old Church
  • Goshree bridges

Things to do:

  • Stay at Bungalow Heritage homestay
  • Admire the beauty of the island
  • Explore the old building and church

17. Kodanad Elephant Training Centre

Kodanad Elephant Training Centre

Elephants have been an essential part of culture and tradition in Kerala. History estates that how auspicious these animals are as every festival is marked by the presence of these giant creatures, which is being organized by following the right customs. You will find many temples where elephants are being worshipped. The elephant training center is one of such places to visit in Cochin, where these elephants are trained and nurtured.

Kodanad a small village by the riverside has provided shelter to orphan elephants where they are trained and taken care of. Here you can closely watch the elephants playing in the mud, bathing in the rivers, and feed the little calves. There is an Abhayarnyam mini zoo and shelter that is dedicated towards the care and shelter of wilds like Deers and elephants who are either orphans or are rescued from being used and tortured.

Location: Near post Office, Kodanad, Dist. Eranakulam, Kaprikad

Timings:

  • Tuesday to Sunday: 8.00 am to 5.00 pm
  • Monday closed

Entry Fees:

  • Children up to 12 years - Rs 5
  • Adults - Rs 10
  • Foreigners - Rs 25

18. Marine Drive

Marine drive

A peaceful evening by the scenic coast of Kerala. Marine Drive is one of Kochi's best attractions that you surely cannot miss to visit. Overlooking the surprising beauty of backwater, this is a place that is often crowded with people who love spending time close to nature. Well, sunsets are pretty magical when enjoyed at Marine Drive in Kochi.

As dusk approaches, you will see a number of food stalls and shops selling handicrafts at an affordable price. You can buy souvenirs while strolling around the lanes of Marine Drive. There are seating benches where you can relax and admire the galloping waves of the water. Something that cannot be messed here is a romantic dinner date with your beloved as the Marine drive has the best restaurants offering the delighting taste of South India. Adding to the beauty, there is a Rainbow bridge that is another attraction in Kochi, lying in this beautiful Marine Drive.

Location: Abdul Kalam Marg Near Rainbow Bridge Ernakulam, Marine Drive, Kochi

Timings: Opens 24 hours

Things to do:

  • Witness the Sunset
  • Have a romantic dinner
  • Shop from the local shops

Kochi, with the old buildings, the ancient churches, beaches, and every other tourist attraction is surely a place where you can spend the best holiday. The list of best places to visit in Kochi offers you a diverse holiday experience, where you can explore the history, the heritage, and the blissful panorama of this city in Kerala. There are Kochi flights that depart from almost every major country, making it easier for travelers to visit this fascinating city in the south.

FAQs

Q1. What are the best places that I can visit in Kerala?

The best places to visit in Kerala are:

  • Kochi
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady
  • Alleppy
  • Kovalam
Q2. What are the famous attractions in Kochi?

If you are visiting Kochi, the top attraction to add in your itinerary are:

  • Fort Kochi
  • Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
  • St. Francis Church Kochi
  • Indo- Portuguese museums
  • Willingdon Island
Q3. What is a Chinese fishing net?

The Chinese Fishing Net is the fixed installation for fishes along the shores. Zheng He introduced these nets in India that are defining the culture and history of Kerala.

Q4. Why is St Francis church so popular?

St. Francis church in Kochi is one of the oldest churches in India that is popular for its architecture. It was constructed in 1503 by the Portuguese Franciscan Friars.

Q5. What are the popular attractions near Fort Kochi?

The Chinese Fishing net and Fort Kochi beach are the two most popular spots in the old Fort Kochi.

Q6. Are there any beaches near Kochi?

If you are planning a beach tour in Kochi, consider visiting:

  • Cherai Beach
  • Andhakaranazhi Beach
  • Veeranpuzha Beach
  • Puthenthode Beach
  • Munambam Beach
Q7. Is there any international airport in Kochi?

Chochin International is the main airport in Nedumbassery, Kochi.

Q8. What are the timings for Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary?

The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is open seven days a week. The timings are from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm.