I love Kerala and I just keep going back to the state over and over again. It is one state that is truly God’s own country and the landscapes within the state are absolutely stunning. So last year, I decided to head to Kochi and explore the city for one day. As I really had very little time, I wanted to mainly explore Fort Kochi.
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Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a city in Kerala state of South India. The city is popularly and adorably known as the Queen of Arabian Sea as it has one of the finest natural harbours in the World.
From the 14th century, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the western coast of India. After being occupied by the Portuguese in the year 1503, Kochi became the first European colonies in colonial India.
Did you know that Kochi was ranked as the sixth best tourist destination in India by the Outlook Traveller magazine and the city also ranked in the top 10 cities in the World to visit in the year 2020 by Lonely Planet?
The best time to visit Kochi is from October to February. It is the winter season in Kerala during these months, so the weather is pleasant and is not too hot.
How to get there?
Flights – There are frequent flights between any capital city and Kochi. I traveled from Bangalore via Air India and Indigo Airlines. The total cost for return flight tickets cost me INR 5413. I booked the cheapest flight tickets through Make my trip website.
Trains and Buses – There are also trains and buses that run between the cities. The train tickets can be purchased from IRCTC website and the bus tickets can be purchased from Redbus website. These are the cheaper and economical modes of transport to Kochi.
Local transportation in Kochi
Airport to Fort Kochi
The most economical way to get to Fort Kochi from the airport is through a bus. There are frequent buses between the airport and the city. The bus fare is only INR 88 one way (this is without any luggage). Yes, it does take a bit longer but it’s way cheaper than either Uber or Ola taxis.
Within Fort Kochi
There are auto-rickshaws, cabs, and cycle rickshaws. So, depending on the distance one can choose the mode of local transport.
Tip: Ensure to haggle on whatever the money is quoted.
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Things to do in Kochi
There are many things to do in Kochi city. As I had just one day, I spent most of my time in the Fort Kochi.
Note: This is the itinerary/order that I visited the places as well.
Fort Kochi is really cool. Very chilled out and a great place to hang out. It is the historical part of the Kochi city and is famous for its cafes, Chinese fishing nets and the Santa Cruz Basilica.
Even though I could not visit due to the time constraints, I surely recommend seeing the Kathakali show at the Kerala Kathakali Centre. It is definitely worth it.
Chinese Fishing Nets
At Fort Kochi, watch the Chinese fishing nets in action. This is really an awesome experience. The Chinese fishing nets are the stationary fishing nets, which is operated by at least six fishermen. They are more formally known as ‘Shore Operated Lift Nets’. These nets were introduced by the Chinese explorers in the 14th century.
If you are lucky, you may get to see some dolphins 😍.
Stroll through the fish market
A walk through the fish market along the beaches is a must. It is smelly no doubt but you can see different kinds of fishes being caught by the locals. Definitely a delight to observe and watch the locals.
Meet the locals
Make new local friends, even though they are not interested in you :D. I always talk and spend time with the locals. That is a great way to know about a place and listed to the stories from the locals.
Ensure to trust your instinct before interacting with every local.
Get a picture with the two steam boilers, a historic landmarks. There are two steam boilers along the walkway and they make a great opportunity for a photograph.
Visit the cafes
Experience the cafe culture here, especially Kashi Art Cafe. The Kashi Art cafe was recommended by many people on my Instagram feed.
There are plenty of cafes along the beach and the inner lanes. These cafes are a must visit while in Kochi.
Click pictures with graffiti
Stroll through the streets to see the beautiful graffiti. The street art is amazing in Fort Kochi. There are so many of them and some of them have a beautiful meaning.
Santa Cruz Basilica
Must see is the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica. The Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the nine basilicas in Kerala. The church is very beautiful and is one of the finest churches in India.
Dutch Palace Museum
The Dutch Palace museum is a must to get some insight into history. The museum hosts the paintings of Ramayana in the museum are from the 17th century. It was surely my most favourite place in Kochi.
- The entrance fee to see the museum is INR 5.
I really did not know that Kochi is famous for its spices. I was in awe when I visited the warehouse. And this is a great place to buy spices at cheaper prices.
There are so many churches in Kochi and I visited one more church other than the Santa Cruz Basilica which is the Orthodox Church.
Taste the banana chips
Lastly, but definitely not the least, the banana chips. No one can leave Kerala without tasting the hot banana chips.
- To the above list, I would add watching a Kathakali performance, even though I did not have enough time to watch a show. The Kathakali performance can be booked using the Kathakali Centre website.
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
I found Kochi to be extremely safe. The locals were friendly and no one bothered me while I was in Kochi. In fact, I made a few local friends. I can vouch that this place is very safe for female solo travelers. However, like any other place, it is best to take precautions, especially at nights, and always trust your instinct.
Once again, the Kerala state did not disappoint me. I had a great time at Fort Kochi and I would definitely come back to spend more time in this beautiful city. It is a city that surely is very pretty and I would agree that it is one of the best tourist destinations I have visited in India.
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