4.2 / 5

Fort Kochi
๐Ÿ“ Fort Kochi, KeralaView map โ€บ

๐Ÿ—“ Best Time To Visit:October to February

โฐ Open Hours:24 hours

๐ŸŽ’ Things To Do:Visit St. Francis Church, Explore Chinese Fishing Nets, Visit Kochi Beach, Explore the Kochi Fort

๐Ÿ’ฐ Budget:No entry fees, budget depends on personal expenses

๐Ÿ‘ฅ Traveller Types:Families, Solo Travelers, History Buffs, Photo Fanatics

๐Ÿ“ Known For:Historical landmarks, Colonial Architecture, Beautiful Beaches, Unique Chinese fishing nets

๐Ÿš… Distances:13 km from Ernakulam Junction Railway Station, 44 km from Cochin International Airport, 20 km from Cochin City Centre

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Local Cuisine:Try local delicacies like Appam, Kerala Sadya, Seafood

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Historic Sites:St. Francis Church, Dutch Cemetery, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica

๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ Museums:Kerala Folklore Museum, Indo-Portuguese Museum

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Shopping:Buy spices, handicrafts, traditional Kerala sarees from local markets

๐ŸŽ‘ Scenic Beauty:Picturesque views of Arabian Sea, lush greenery, sunset at Kochi Beach

๐Ÿ“ธ Photography Spots:Chinese Fishing Nets, Kochi Beach, Colonial Buildings

๐Ÿ’ก Tips:Respect local customs and traditions, Avoid littering, Be aware of touts

๐Ÿ‘Ÿ Walking Tours:Explore the colonial history and culture through walking tours in Fort Kochi

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Fort Kochi: A Complete Travel Guide To The Queen of The Arabian Sea

Fort Kochi is a charming and historic destination that offers a glimpse into the rich and diverse heritage of Kerala.

Located on the western coast of India, Fort Kochi is often known as the โ€˜Queen of the Arabian Seaโ€™ for its scenic beauty and strategic importance.

Fort Kochi has been a melting pot of cultures for centuries, as it was influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch, British, Chinese, Jewish, and Arab traders who visited or settled here.

Today, Fort Kochi is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that attracts visitors from all over the world with its unique attractions, activities, cuisine, festivals, and art.

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If you are looking for a memorable and enriching vacation in Kerala, Fort Kochi is a perfect choice. Whether you are interested in history, culture, architecture, nature, or food, Fort Kochi has something for everyone.

In this guide, we will show you the best things to do, places to see, how to get there, where to stay, and more in Fort Kochi.

So, get ready to explore this fascinating city with us and discover why it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.

You may also like to read: Mission Fort Kochi- A thorough guide through it's streets and history.

Best Time To Visit Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is a year-round destination that can be enjoyed in any season. However, if you want to experience the best weather and avoid the crowds, the ideal months to visit Fort Kochi are October to March.

During this time, the climate is pleasant and cool, with temperatures ranging from 20ยฐC to 32ยฐC.

You can also witness some of the major festivals of Kerala, such as Onam, Navratri, Christmas, and Cochin Carnival. These festivals showcase the rich culture and traditions of Fort Kochi and Kerala, and offer a lot of fun and entertainment for visitors.

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You can also indulge in various activities such as boat cruise, beach walk, fishing, sun bath, sand castles building, dolphin sighting, and swimming at the Fort Kochi Beach.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you can also visit Fort Kochi during the monsoon season (June to September), when the prices are lower and the scenery is greener. However, be prepared for heavy rains and high humidity during this time.

Things to Do in Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is a place where you can experience the best of Keralaโ€™s culture and heritage. There are plenty of things to do in Fort Kochi that will keep you entertained and engaged throughout your stay. Here are some of the top activities that you should not miss in Fort Kochi:

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Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets at Sunset:

One of the most iconic sights of Fort Kochi is the Chinese Fishing Nets that line the shore. These are large wooden structures that operate on a cantilever system and are lowered into the water to catch fish.

They are believed to have been introduced by Chinese traders in the 14th century and are still used by local fishermen today.

The best time to see them in action is at sunset, when the sky turns into a riot of colors and the nets create a stunning silhouette against the horizon.

You can also buy fresh fish from the fishermen and have it cooked at nearby stalls.

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Experience the Kathakali Dance Drama at Kerala Kathakali Centre:

If you want to witness the traditional dance drama of Kerala, head to the Kerala Kathakali Centre where you can watch a live performance of Kathakali.

Kathakali is a classical art form that combines elaborate costumes, makeup, gestures, music, and storytelling to depict stories from Hindu epics.

The performers undergo rigorous training and preparation to master this complex and expressive art form.

At the Kerala Kathakali Centre, you can also see other cultural shows such as martial arts, classical music, and puppetry.

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Explore the Colonial Architecture and Heritage of Fort Kochi:

Fort Kochi is a treasure trove of colonial architecture and heritage that reflects its past as a trading port and a settlement of various European powers.

You can admire the Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences on the buildings, churches, cemeteries, palaces, museums, and streets of Fort Kochi.

Some of the notable landmarks that you should visit are Santa Cruz Basilica, St Francis Church, Mattancherry Palace, Paradesi Synagogue, Dutch Cemetery, Indo-Portuguese Museum, and David Hall Gallery. You can also take a guided walking tour or a tuk-tuk tour to learn more about the history and culture of Fort Kochi.

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Shop for Antiques and Souvenirs at Jew Town:

If you love shopping for antiques and souvenirs, you will enjoy exploring Jew Town, a historic area that was once home to a thriving Jewish community. Today, Jew Town is a bustling market that sells a variety of items such as spices, handicrafts, jewelry, textiles, furniture, lamps, paintings, books, and more. You can find some rare and unique pieces here that will make great gifts or mementos of your trip. You can also visit the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth nations, which is located in Jew Town.

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Taste the Authentic Kerala Cuisine at Local Restaurants:

No trip to Fort Kochi is complete without tasting the authentic Kerala cuisine that is famous for its spicy and flavorful dishes. You can find a range of restaurants and eateries that serve delicious Kerala food such as appam (rice pancake), puttu (steamed rice cake), idiyappam (rice noodles), dosa (rice crepe), sambar (lentil stew), avial (mixed vegetable curry), fish molee (fish curry), karimeen pollichathu (fried fish), beef fry (spicy beef dish), parotta (layered bread), and more. You can also try the local snacks such as banana chips, pazham pori (banana fritters), and achappam (rice flour cookies). Donโ€™t forget to end your meal with a cup of hot Kerala tea or coffee.

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Enjoy the Beach Activities and Festivals at Fort Kochi Beach:

If you are looking for some fun and relaxation, head to the Fort Kochi Beach where you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. You can indulge in various activities such as boat cruise, beach walk, fishing, sun bath, sand castles building, dolphin sighting, and swimming. You can also witness the annual Kochi Carnival that takes place every year on the white sands of the Fort Kochi Beach. The carnival is a colorful and lively celebration that features parades, dances, music, games, competitions, and fireworks. It is a great way to experience the festive spirit of Fort Kochi.

Visit the Maritime Museum and Learn about the Indian Navy:

If you are interested in learning about the history and achievements of the Indian Navy, you should visit the Maritime Museum in Fort Kochi. The museum displays various exhibits such as antique pistols, navy warships, aircraft carriers, medals, uniforms, and photographs that showcase the naval heritage of India. You can also see a special section dedicated to post-independence naval victories, which include Junagadh Operation, Goa Liberation, Indo-Pak Conflicts of 1965 and 1971, Operation Cactus, Operation Pawan, and Kargil War.

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Admire the Art and Culture at Kashi Art Gallery and David Hall Gallery:

If you are an art lover, you will be delighted by the art and culture scene in Fort Kochi. You can visit the Kashi Art Gallery and David Hall Gallery, two of the most prominent contemporary art galleries in Fort Kochi that exhibit local and international artists. You can see a variety of artworks such as paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and videos that reflect the creative and diverse expressions of Fort Kochi. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee or a bite to eat at the cafes attached to the galleries.

Relax and Rejuvenate at an Ayurvedic Spa or Yoga Centre:

If you want to pamper yourself and rejuvenate your body and mind, you can visit an Ayurvedic Spa or a Yoga Centre in Fort Kochi. Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that uses natural herbs and oils to treat various ailments and promote wellness. You can choose from a range of treatments such as massages, facials, scrubs, wraps, steam baths, and more that will make you feel refreshed and revitalized. Yoga is a practice that combines physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation to improve your health and happiness. You can join a yoga class or a workshop that will teach you the basics or advanced techniques of yoga.

Places to See in and around Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is not only a destination in itself but also a gateway to many other attractions in and around Kochi. You can easily take a day trip or a short excursion to some of these places that will enrich your experience of Kerala. Here are some of the places that you should see in and around Fort Kochi:

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Chinese Fishing Nets: One of the most iconic sights of Fort Kochi is the Chinese Fishing Nets that line the shore. These are large wooden structures that operate on a cantilever system and are lowered into the water to catch fish. They are believed to have been introduced by Chinese traders in the 14th century and are still used by local fishermen today. The best time to see them in action is at sunset, when the sky turns into a riot of colors and the nets create a stunning silhouette against the horizon. You can also buy fresh fish from the fishermen and have it cooked at nearby stalls.

St Francis Church: The oldest European church in India and the burial site of Vasco da Gama

Santa Cruz Basilica: A Gothic-Style Church with Artistic Grandeur

Mattancherry Palace: A Museum that Showcases the History and Art of Keralaโ€™s Royal Families

Paradesi Synagogue: The Oldest Active Synagogue in the Commonwealth Nations

Dutch Cemetery: The Final Resting Place of Many European Colonists

Indo-Portuguese Museum: A Museum that Preserves the Portuguese Influence on Fort Kochiโ€™s Art and Architecture

Vypeen Island: An Island that Offers Scenic Views, Beaches, Lighthouses, and Fishing Villages

Cherai Beach: A Serene Beach that Offers a Scenic View and Natural Beauty

How to Get to Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is easily accessible from various locations by different modes of transportation. You can choose the one that suits your budget, time, and convenience. Here are some of the ways to get to Fort Kochi:

By Air: The nearest airport to Fort Kochi is Cochin International Airport, which is about 36 kilometers away. You can take a taxi, a bus, or a metro from the airport to Fort Kochi. The taxi fare is around Rs. 800-1000, the bus fare is around Rs. 100-150, and the metro fare is around Rs. 50-70. The travel time is about an hour by taxi or metro and about two hours by bus.

By Train: The nearest railway station to Fort Kochi is Ernakulam Junction, which is about 12 kilometers away. You can take a taxi, a bus, or a ferry from the railway station to Fort Kochi. The taxi fare is around Rs. 300-400, the bus fare is around Rs. 20-30, and the ferry fare is around Rs. 5-10. The travel time is about half an hour by taxi or ferry and about an hour by bus.

By Bus: There are regular buses that connect Fort Kochi with other cities in Kerala and neighboring states. You can find buses from KSRTC Bus Stand or Vyttila Mobility Hub in Ernakulam to Fort Kochi. The bus fare is around Rs. 20-30 and the travel time is about an hour.

By Ferry: One of the most scenic and enjoyable ways to get to Fort Kochi is by ferry. You can take a ferry from Ernakulam Jetty or Vypin Jetty to Fort Kochi Jetty. The ferry fare is around Rs. 5-10 and the travel time is about 15-20 minutes. You can also enjoy the view of the backwaters, the islands, and the Chinese Fishing Nets along the way.

Where to Stay in Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi offers a range of accommodation options for every budget, preference, and style. You can find hotels, resorts, homestays, hostels, guesthouses, and heritage properties that cater to your needs and expectations. Here are some of the suggestions for where to stay in Fort Kochi:

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(c) Brunton Boatyard - Booking.com

Hotel Forte Kochi:

If you are looking for a luxury and heritage hotel in Fort Kochi, you can book a room at Hotel Forte Kochi. This hotel is located in a restored Portuguese mansion that dates back to the 16th century. It offers spacious and elegant rooms with modern amenities, a rooftop pool, a restaurant, a spa, and a garden. It is also close to many attractions such as Santa Cruz Basilica, St Francis Church, and Chinese Fishing Nets.

Brunton Boatyard:

Another option for a luxury and heritage hotel in Fort Kochi is Brunton Boatyard. This hotel is located in a former shipyard that was built by the British in the 19th century. It offers cozy and comfortable rooms with colonial decor, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar, and a library. It also offers a stunning view of the harbor and the sea.

Costa Gama Homestay:

If you are looking for a budget and homely accommodation in Fort Kochi, you can book a room at Costa Gama Homestay. This homestay is run by a friendly and helpful family that will make you feel at home. It offers clean and cozy rooms with basic amenities, a common kitchen, a terrace, and a garden. It is also close to many attractions such as Mattancherry Palace, Paradesi Synagogue, and Jew Town.

Zostel Kochi:

If you are looking for a backpacker and social accommodation in Fort Kochi, you can book a bed at Zostel Kochi. This hostel is located in a colorful and quirky building that has a graffiti wall, a mural staircase, and a rooftop cafe. It offers dorms and private rooms with funky decor, free wifi, lockers, and laundry facilities. It also organizes activities such as walking tours, pub crawls, movie nights, and games.

You may also like to read: Fort Kochi, Kerala: Quaint & Beautiful

Fort Kochi is a destination that will captivate you with its charm and diversity. It is a place where you can experience the best of Keralaโ€™s culture and heritage in one city. Whether you want to explore the colonial architecture, watch the traditional dance drama, shop for antiques, taste the spicy cuisine, or enjoy the beach activities, Fort Kochi has it all.

We hope you enjoyed this guide to Fort Kochi and found it useful for planning your trip. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and happy travels!

Fort Kochi Reviews

Morning was bad today, while trying to adjust GoPro on the helmet i broke the mount and bumped my head on the entrance gate ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ. Some how decked up my bike with bags, finished breakfast and started for my journey enroute Cochin. My head was paining and was worried about how am i going to shoot without the mount on the helmet. After travelling about 2km had to feed my bike. The guy at the fuel station enquired about me and asked me "how is Kerala, do you like it?", I just forgot everything I was worrying about ๐Ÿ˜Š. Never had anyone anywhere while travelling asked me this question. With a happy face I again started my bike. This was the first time I ever saw tea plantations, I just asked a localite to confirm "Tea plantation?". Repeated the question for 3 times, finally he said "no no no that is tea plantationo", so I had missed the "o" from English accent of Malyalam ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. Trying to speak Malyalam is like twisting your tongue to the every possible extent ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. Also Malyalam letters are more circular than Kannada, in short fatter and circular jalebis ๐Ÿ˜‚. But people were humble enough to greet and welcome. The next 35 km were just awesome, tea plantations, betelnut trees and cloudy weather. It just made my day. For travelling ghat section of 35 Kms I took 2.5 hrs. My eyes, GoPro and phone were effortlessly trying to capture every little thing ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜. From yesterday I had been seeing different shades of Kerala. The ghat section in Waynad upto Kozhikode is just mesmerising ๐Ÿ˜ and should be done atleast once in a lifetime. Forgot the bumped headache, broken mount bla bla bla ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ. From Kozhikode to Cochin around 170 kms it's a single road so the travel was not so good, my butt had already given up and my clothes were wet due to humid climate. Today did a total of 272 Kms. As soon as I entered Cochin at around 5.15 pm the scenic sea coast with sunset, Chinese fishing nets and dockyard just again made me forget my bodily pains ๐Ÿ˜Š. To reach Cochin fort had to take my bike through a Jetty boat, was 1st time experience getting transported in a Jetty boat ๐Ÿ˜Š. Finally GPS Baba took me to the room i had booked ๐Ÿ˜Š. Cochin fort was ruled by Portuguese. Here places are all set for Christmas celebrations and most of the tourists are foreigners. So the environment was just like Goa and lighter on pocket ๐Ÿ˜. This was luckily the best time to be here. Met a European guy who was also on a solo trip for 3 weeks in India, had some genuine conversations with him, was good meeting him. Tommorow will explore Cochin fort area and leave for down south ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š
The next day morning, we got up early to see the Sunrise at the Fort Kochi beach, but the weather wasn't favourable. It was raining there, so ended up sleeping for another 2 hours. The beach is just 900 mtrs from our homestay, so we thought to walk down the streets. How could we miss the Cocunut water on the land of coconut trees. We headed towards the beach after having cocunut water. The beach is peaceful and calm, you can see the Chinese fishing net from there and the wall on the street is full of graffitti work. We had our breakfast over there. Spent around 30 mins at the beach. The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica church is just 500 mtrs from the beach, originally built by Portuguese. It has the Gothic architectural style. 12 PM was our check-out time, so we returned to our Nest, freshened up, packed our bags and left for Mattencherry Palace. This palace is popularly known as Dutch palace as Dutch carried out some extension in 17th century and originally built by Portuguese in 16th century. The main attraction of the palace are the paintings of Ramayana and Hindu epics. Apart from that, how the city was originated, who ruled when were all described. People spend 1-2 hours here. The ticket fare is 5INR per person. Please note here, this place is open everyday from 10am to 5 pm except on Fridays. Our train was at night for Bangalore, and it was around 1 pm then. We both were hungry, our plan was to have dinner in Kaise biriyani. One of our colleague from Kochi recommended us this place. We took ferry from materncherry to Marine drive road of Ernakulam. The restaurant is near Lakshmi hospital, exactly 900 mtrs from Marine drive jetty point. We had Malabar fish biriyani there. Next destination was India's largest shopping mall. We booked Ola share from the restaurant, the fare was 66 INR, which is very affordable. The driver we met was from Kannur, I had been there before few months ago so mostly we were talking about beaches and cuisines of Kannur. He gave me his number and said, "next time whenever you plan for Munnar, I will help you out". Travel to a new place, meet new people, explore yourself and have a story worth telling !
We started from Bangalore on 7th Feb 2016 at around 8:45 am and landed at Cochin international airport by 9:45 am. As we were hungry we had our breakfast at Airport Food Court. The lady serving the dishes welcomed us by realizing we were tourist and new to the city and served the food with smile and warmth which i have never seen in any other city. We finished our food and went to airport bus stop. It was decided that we will not spent more on transportation and thus took bus to Fort Kochi (Runs every hour or half from International airport) Our Travel Cost Details are as mentioned below Transportation Cost: Home to Bangalore Airport-Rs870/- Bangalore to kochi- Rs 1400 per person( We took flight because bus would cost us near about same and will consume more time. Trains were not an option for non availability and time consumed) Kochi airport to Fort Kochi โ€“Rs 84 Two wheeler (Access) Hire cost for three day-Rs 1050 Petrol Cost-Rs400 (for approx. 270km) Fort Kochi to airport-84 Cochin Airport to Bangalore-Rs 1400 Bangalore airport to home- Rs 720 Total Cost incurred on transportation=5058 per person+ 1 extra person(2960) We reached Fort Cochin at 12:30 pm and were heading towards the much talked tourist attraction of Fort Kochi " The Chinese Fishing Net" The sight of the Chinese nets, suspended in mid air and standing in line on the beaches,is breathtakingly beautiful. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most photographed sights in Kochi. Best time to visit is during sunset.
Day 1 : I landed in Kochi International Airport which is almost 40 KMs from the Kochi city. I was so overwhelmed being in Kerala for the first time in my life. It took me few minutes to getting soaked myself into the land whether was weather was so awesome. I took an AC bus whose last destination was Fort Kochi. I would still advice you to use the AC bus from the airport even when it will take you through the entire Kochi City ( It takes almost 3 hours to reach Fort Kochi due to the traffic ) but it would be still better to have an 80 INR ticket rather than spending 800-900 INR in a private cab. I reached Kochi at 5:00 pm and fort kochi around 8:00. It was already dark and i went straight to my room which i booked before coming here. Fort Kochi has the concept of Home Stay. Traditional homes providing you rooms to stay. If you are alone then you would get a room easily for 500-600 INR. Fort Kochiis beautiful , in fact beyond beautiful especially at night. The deserted streets , buildings with Portuguese and Dutch architecture , dim street lights which would be surprisingly calm , beautiful churches , everything would contribute a lot to your felicity. You will surely feel that your day 1 was worth it ( even when you haven't seen anything yet ). You could go out for an evening stroll or for dinner , there are lot of places to eat , Kashi Cafebeing the best.
The buildings and the finely lined by lanes of Fort Kochi makes it one of the most beautiful colonial architecture towns in India. The churches, the synagogues and the temples, all exist here peacefully. Fort Kochi is a melting pot of cultures, language, identity and most of all art. The Bienelle Festival happens at Pepper House and other locations during peak season. During season, you will easily find more foreigners on this island than Indians. It's also known at Mattancherry locally and Welington Island to make it sound cooler. Hire a bike, bicycle or just walk up the alleys and soak in some sun. Go to a cafe or two. See museums and at times performances at the several performing arts venues that it boasts. It's basically a place that has an activity on offer for everyone. Stay: Very many options for all budgets but the ones I recommend are Maritime Hostel, Backpackers hostel by KTDC (BEST LOCATION), Vedanta Wake Up. The Fort Hotel is good for those with slightly higher budgets. Food and Drings (as mallus call it):Hotel Seagull - A Restaurant that draws me back to Fort Kochi. Every sunset in Fort Kochi is religiously spent at this picturesque pier bar. Grab some beer or some local port wine staring at the movement of ships in the busy harbour of Cochin. Carry a book in case you are not into sheeps.. oops ships. :PKashi Art CafeFusion Bay
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