Mattancherry PalaceNext, walk back to Mattancherry to visit the Mattancherry Palace. The palace was built by the Portuguese in 1557 as appeasement offering to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, for having previously demolished one of his palaces. It was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch, thereby earning the name Dutch Palace. While the exterior is nondescript, the interior is a visual treasure - stuff for your eyes to feast on.- Entry fee - INR 5. The palace is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.- Visiting hours - 10 AM to 5 PM on all days except Fridays.- Photography within the palace is prohibitedCheck out the exquisite murals depicting the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and pieces from Hindu mythology. The key characters of these Indian epics are shown to have features exhibiting oriental influence, and are painstakingly painted using tempera paint in rich warm tones that seem to make the walls glow.Have more time on your hands?While Kochi is a great destination for a weekend getaway, it never really runs out of places to visit, making it perfect for a longer stay. If you have the luxury of time, check out the Indo-Portuguese Museum, the Kerala Folklore Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Kathakali Center (attend a Kathakali show even!), experiences such as backwater rides, river-boating, and staying on a house-boat. Also, squeeze in a visit to Cherai Beach and Willingdon Island.With a little bit of planning, you can also attend the next Biennale in Kochi - a culmination of contemporary art displays that's sure to leave you awestruck and inspired. 🙂Recommended StayI stayed at the Riverside Heritage Bungalow for two days and one night in Kochi, and I could not recommend this place more! It isn't very close to the Fort area, but it has everything you'd want for a relaxing weekend getaway - super-clean and well-stocked cottages, delicious authentic Kerala food, private backwater access, and lovely hosts. Although not as cheap as hostels and other backpacker stays, it still works up to an affordable amount considering all the amenities available. The current rate per night is INR 1,700/-.