22 Fun & Unique Things to Do in Cochin | 2024 (with Photos)

James A. Smith

James A. Smith - Chief Editor

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! I'm James, a seasoned traveler sharing my top recommendations for a memorable experience in Cochin. With my passion for exploration and love for new experiences, I've curated a list of 22 fun and unique activities that will make your trip to Cochin unforgettable.

Fun & Unique Things to Do in Cochin

Cochin, also known as Kochi, is a popular destination in India with plenty of exciting things to do.

From visiting ancient things that reflect Cochin's trade history, such as Ancient Fort Kochi and iconic Chinese Fishing Nets, to exploring art galleries and museums like the Indo-Portuguese Museum, there are lots of places to visit in Kochi, Kerala.

Visitors can also take a walking tour of Princess Street and enjoy the local cuisine.

This article delineates the top things to do in Cochin and why it's worth visiting Kochi.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Grand Hyatt

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Cool winter months are the best time.

Average Temperature

Hot and humid weather in Kochi, India.

Transportation Options

Bus, taxi, auto-rickshaw, ferry, bicycle, walking, car rental.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage by exploring the historic Fort Kochi, with its beautiful Dutch and Portuguese architecture, or indulge in a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Marine Drive, enjoying the gentle sea breeze and stunning sunset views.

For a truly personal touch, I highly suggest hopping on a charming houseboat and cruising through the serene backwaters of Kochi, allowing you to soak in the breathtaking natural beauty and observe the local way of life at your own pace.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Appropriate clothing for the weather
  2. Comfortable walking shoes
  3. Sunscreen and hat to protect yourself from the strong sun

What Not to Miss

  1. Fort Kochi
  2. Mattancherry
  3. Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum
  4. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
  5. Kerala Kathakali Centre

What to Avoid

  1. Overpacking
  2. Late-night travel
  3. Disrespecting local customs and traditions

1. See the Chinese Fishing Nets at Fort Kochi

Chinese Fishing Nets at Fort Kochi

The Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi, which are among the places to visit in Kochi Kerala, are one of the reasons why Kochi is famous.

These magnificent fishing nets are a visual treat and offer an insight into the traditional methods of fishing.

To enjoy the beautiful sight to the fullest, one can take a leisurely stroll around the Fort Kochi beach.

For more exploration, take a boat to Marine Drive and witness the beautiful view of the sunset amidst the stunning Chinese fishing nets.

2. Watch a Kathakali Dance Performance

Kathakali Dance Performance

This breathtaking traditional dance performance by Kathakali performers, who dress in fascinating and colorful costumes, can be watched at Fort Kochi.

Kathakali is a classical dance form that vacillates between the martial arts and choreography of South India, and the performers use facial expressions, hand gestures, and body movements to convey emotions and stories.

Watching a Kathakali classical dance performance is an enriching cultural experience that provides a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse culture of India.

3. Visit St. Francis Church

St. Francis Church

When visiting Kochi, be sure to visit St. Francis Church, one of the oldest churches in Kochi, Kerala. The church was originally created as a Roman Catholic church.

Both St. Francis Church and Fort Kochi share similar builders. The same builders who constructed Fort Emmanuel at Fort Kochi Beach.

The church is now an important historical landmark that attracts visitors from around the world.

Located close to the Head Post Office, the church boasts a serene and peaceful atmosphere that provides visitors with a glimpse into the religious and cultural heritage of the region.

4. Visit the residence of Vasco De Gama

Vasco De Gama

Behind St. Francis Church is where you'll find the Vasco da Gama residence. One of the oldest Portuguese structures in Fort Kochi is the Vasco homes.

The residence of Vasco Da Gama can be found along the road to Fort Kochi Beach.

You discover more about Kochi's unique past and the region's historical relevance by visiting Vasco De Gama's home.

Additionally, Vasco da Gama Square is a public space in Kochi that bears the name of the illustrious Portuguese explorer

5. Visit The Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace

The Mattancherry Dutch Palace, Mattancherry Palace, or Dutch Palace is one of the places to visit in Kochi, Kerala.

The palace is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces in Kochi and boasts a stunning blend of traditional Kerala and Dutch architecture.

Visitors can experience the region's rich cultural legacy at the Dutch Palace, which has been turned into a museum.

On display are traditional clothing, paintings, and other relics. The Mattancherry Palace tour is a fascinating and instructive experience that offers a window into Kochi's past and present.

6. Santa Cruz Basilica: One of The Oldest Catholic Churches in India

Santa Cruz Basilica

One of the oldest Catholic churches in India is the Santa Cruz Basilica or the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica.

The church, which is situated in Fort Kochi, was constructed by the Portuguese in the late 15th century and has gone through numerous modifications throughout the years.

Both tourists and locals like visiting the church because of its exquisite fusion of Indian and Portuguese architectural styles.

Visitors can participate in daily Mass, learn about the church's fascinating history, and stand in awe of the stunning stained-glass windows and elaborate interior ornamentation.

7. Turn The History Pages at Fort Emmanuel Ruins

Fort Emmanuel Ruins

A significant historical monument in Kochi is the ruined fort known as Fort Emmanuel, which is situated on Fort Kochi Beach. The Portuguese built the fort, which the Dutch later took control of.

In Fort Kochi Beach, visitors can explore the gun battery that has been partially restored as well as other fortifications and ramparts that still exist.

You can explore the neighboring Kerala Folklore Museum after touring the fort to take in the traditional Kerala architecture and discover more about the history and culture of the area.

8. Pay Respects at The Dutch Cemetery

Dutch Cemetery

A must-see location in Fort Kochi is the Dutch Cemetery, which is widely recognized for its historical value.

The fact that it is the oldest European graveyard in India draws numerous visitors each year.

The best time to visit the Dutch Cemetery is in the evening because of the tranquility and calm it offers.

You can get a glimpse of the Dutch era and the individuals who lived at that time by going to the Dutch Cemetery.

Pay your respects and learn about this magnificent location's fascinating history.

9. Visit The Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple

Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple

When you visit Kochi, stop by the Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple. It is one of the most historic and famous temples in Kochi, Kerala.

The temple is located in Ernakulam town, which has the nearest railway station to Kochi.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings, which make it a popular tourist destination.

Visitors can also participate in the temple's various rituals and ceremonies, giving them a unique insight into the local culture and traditions.

10. Kashi Art Café: Relax and Dine

Kashi Art Café

Kashi Art Café, located in Fort Kochi or Fort Cochin, is a popular spot to relax and dine.

It boasts an art gallery showcasing the works of local artists and is among the places to visit on any trip to Fort Kochi.

The best time to visit is in the morning when it is less crowded.

This café is located near Fort Kochi and Fort Nagar and is a great place to enjoy the local art scene while indulging in some delicious food and drink.

11. Take a Walking Tour at The Fort Kochi

Walking Tour at The Fort Kochi

You may ask, is Kochi worth visiting? This walking tour will convince you.

A walking tour in Fort Kochi is a must-do activity if you're visiting Kochi. It is a great way to explore the history, culture, and architecture of the area.

Fort Kochi is located near Ernakulam town, and it offers various attractions like St. Francis Church, Dutch Palace, and Chinese fishing nets.

After the walking tour, you can take a ferry from Fort Kochi to see the beautiful Cherai beach or head to Marine Drive to enjoy the stunning view of the Kochi harbor.

12. Go Shopping in Jew Town

Jew Town

When you reach Kochi, visit Jew Town. Fort Kochi's Jew Town is the place to go for antique shopping.

The center of the once-vibrant Cochin Jewish community, this area is today crowded with tourists looking for unique gifts.

Don't forget to stop at Pardesi Jewish Synagogue in this town, the Commonwealth's oldest still-in-use synagogue.

This town is a terrific area to spend a day perusing the shops and taking in the local culture because of its vibrant buildings and active ambiance.

13. Indo-Portuguese Museum: Explore an Integrated Culture

Indo-Portuguese Museum

The Indo-Portuguese Museum is among the places to visit in Fort Kochi. It is among the top places to explore the integrated culture of the region.

The Indo-Portuguese museum, built by the efforts of the late Dr. Joseph Kureethra, showcases the integration of Indian and Portuguese cultures.

After exploring the museum, visitors can head to the nearby Fort Emmanuel in Fort Kochi.

It's recommended to check the Kochi timings of the museum before visiting to avoid disappointment.

14. Marvel a Glorious Sunset at Fort Kochi Beach

Fort Kochi Beach

Fort Kochi Beach is a popular tourist attraction in Fort Kochi known for its Chinese fishing nets, Vasco Da Gama Square, and Fort Immanuel. It is also the only beach in Kochi, Kerala, with Chinese fishing nets.

However, one of the most mesmerizing experiences to have at the beach of Fort Kochi is watching the glorious sunset. The sunsets at this beach are truly magical and worth the visit.

For adventure seekers, snorkeling is also an option to witness the bizarre marine life of Fort Kochi.

So, head to Fort Kochi to relax, unwind, and enjoy the stunning sunset on its beach.

16. Take a Stroll Down Princess Street

Princess Street

One of the oldest streets in Kochi, Kerala, is Princess Street, which is situated in the center of Fort Kochi.

Princess Street, with its lovely structures from the colonial era and its charming businesses, will transport you back in time.

When the weather is nice, the best time to visit Princess Street is early in the day or late at night.

You can take a leisurely stroll down the street and then take the Marine Drive promenade to the ferry dock to take a boat back to Fort Kochi. For more exploration, take a ferry to Vypeen Island.

17. Take Time to Learn About The History Of Fort Kochi

Mattancherry Dutch Palace

Fort Kochi's history is indeed fascinating. Fort Kochi is a small fishing village in Kerala with diverse cultures, which is reflected in its history.

The Mattancherry Dutch Palace is one of its main attractions and is an excellent place to learn about the Dutch influence on the area.

Fort Kochi was also once a major center of the spice trade, and remnants of that time can still be seen today.

From the Chinese fishing nets to the Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi offers a unique blend of history and culture.

18. Treat Yourself to Fort Ayurveda Spa

Fort Ayurveda Spa

The Fort Ayurveda Spa, located in the Fort House hotel in Fort Kochi, offers a range of relaxing treatments based on Ayurvedic principles.

Tourists now frequently visit this spa because of its excellent services and glowing testimonials.

The spa offers the ideal escape to restore and renew your mind, body, and soul with its tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.

Therefore, the Fort Ayurveda spa is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a place to treat yourself to a healing experience while in Kochi.

19. Visit Cherai Beach

Cherai Beach

Cherai Beach is a beautiful spot to visit after you reach Kochi. It's known for its serene atmosphere, golden sand, and gentle waves, making it an ideal place to relax and unwind.

You can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and taking long walks along the shore.

There are also various water sports activities like parasailing, jet-skiing, and boating to keep you entertained. Visit Kerala to experience the serenity of Cherai Beach.

A day trip to the Beach will avail you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery and peaceful ambiance.

A prior visit to Cherai Beach will make your journey to Cochin International Airport relaxing.

20. Spot Dolphins on a Sunset Cruise


In addition to being a lovely experience, an evening cruise in Kochi offers a fantastic chance to see dolphins.

The voyage gives a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea, and the cool air adds to the experience's appeal.

With any luck, you might catch a glimpse of playful dolphins leaping out of the sea or swimming next to the boat.

Bring your camera so you can record the sunset and the dolphins' wonderful moments.

Don't miss the opportunity to experience this natural marvel and the stunning Arabian Sea while you are in Kochi.

21. Visit The Hill Palace Museum

Hill Palace Museum

For history lovers, the Hill Palace Museum in Kochi, Kerala, is a must-see destination. The museum complex takes pride in being the state's largest archaeological museum.

The Kochi royal family originally resided in the palace, which has since been transferred to the Kerala government.

A deer park, a heritage museum, and a wonderfully designed garden are all part of the museum.

Ancient manuscripts, paintings, weapons, and other relics from various centuries are among the exhibitions on view, which let visitors learn more about the region's rich history and culture.

So, visit Kochi to appreciate the importance of this museum.

22. Visit Fort Nagar

Fort Nagar

Due to its lovely waterfront promenade overlooking the Arabian Sea, Fort Nagar in Fort Kochi is a fantastic tourist destination.

It provides breathtaking views of the ships entering the harbor as well as the well-known Chinese fishing nets.

There are numerous top-notch cafes and restaurants in the area that serve delectable regional cuisine.

The adjoining children's park is another well-liked family destination. enjoy a boat trip to get a fresh view of the port, watch the sunset, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade.

FAQs: Things to Do in Cochin

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about things to do and places to visit in Cochin.

How can I spend my day in Kochi?

When visiting Kochi, make sure to start your day admiring the natural beauty right from the Cochin International Airport, go on a sunset cruise, visit Fort Kochi or Fort Cochin and its beach, see the Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi, visit the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica of Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, and Mattancherry Palace. Lastly, catch a Kathakali dance performance.

What is the famous thing about Kochi?

Fort Immanuel in Fort Kochi Beach is a famous tourist attraction in Kochi that reflects the rich cultural and historical heritage of the city. Additionally, other famous attractions include St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Jewish Synagogue in Jew Town, Mattancherry Palace, and Fort Kochi.

What are the three main tourist attractions of Cochin?

The three main tourist attractions of Cochin are Mattancherry Palace, Fort Kochi, and Jew Town. Mattancherry Palace is a stunning Portuguese architecture, Fort Kochi is a historical fort and the Fort Kochi beach, and Jew Town is an area known for its markets and synagogues.

Is one day in Kochi enough?

One day in Kochi is not enough to fully explore all that the city has to offer. However, within a day, you can visit St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi, Jew Town, Kochi Port, and Vasco da Gama Square. End your day by going on a houseboat trip in the evening.

Summing up: Fun & Unique Things to Do in Cochin

As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do in Cochin. The city offers a wealth of cultural experiences for visitors because of its cultural and historical significance.

Visit Kochi to explore the ancient Fort Kochi, see the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets, visit the Santa Cruz Basilica and Saint Francis Church, and admire the Mattancherry Palace.

Furthermore, there are numerous museums and art galleries to visit in Cochin, including Hill Palace Museum, Mattancherry Palace, and Indo Portuguese Museum.

Take a walking tour of Princess Street and enjoy the local food of South India.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your Kochi trip and explore the exciting places to visit in Cochin.