6 Things You Must Do In Kochi
The city of Kochi (formerly known as Cochin) in Kerala has been attracting traders and travellers for over 600 years and as a result of which has immense Dutch, Portuguese and even English influences. Kerala is known for its spice trade, but Kochi is so much more than that. While the rest of Kerala is laid-back and calm, Kochi attracts visitors with its relaxed charm and fun things to do and explore. The next time you visit this city, apart from the regular touristy spots, these are a few things you must do.
Shop in Fort Cochin
Fort Kochi is a beautiful part of the city that’s dotted with European heritage and a cosmopolitan temperament. The best way to explore it is by walking around and discovering the Chinese fishing nets; the St Francis Church, which once housed Vasco Da Gama’s grave; the trendy restaurants and little cafes; and, of course, some lovely boutique shopping. It’s a tourist-friendly spot, with lots of foreigners and locals, making it almost a melting pot of people from all over the world. It’s a relaxed, laid-back area and ideal to spend a couple of hours scouting and discovering what Kochi has to offer.
Dine at Malabar Junction
A popular boutique hotel in Kochi, Malabar House is located in the trendy Fort Kochi district. The colonial-style hotel is a hot favourite among travellers, but even if you can’t stay there a meal at the restaurant is a must. The menu is a mix of local treats and popular international cuisines with plenty to choose from. A word of advice: don’t leave without trying their signature chocolate and mango flavoured samosa.
Explore the Jewish Town
Though there aren’t many Jews left in Kochi, the Jewish quarter is a great place to stroll through and do a bit of sightseeing. The synagogue (though you can’t take pictures inside) is bang in the middle of the Jewish Town and surrounded by a number of spice shops, antique stores and small cafes.
Eat (or Stay) at Vivanta by Taj – Malabar
Pamper yourself by spending at least a night in the luxurious Taj Malabar hotel. If the superb view of the waterfront, comfortable rooms and the amazing infinity pool don’t impress you, the breakfast spread most definitely will. The food at this hotel is excellent and to really spoil yourself on this trip, catch a meal at their fine-dining restaurant, The Rice Boat. Here the chef whips up meals off the menu and caters to your every whim and fancy.
Dine with Nimmy Paul
Celebrity blogger and chef Nimmy Paul has been teaching and writing about Kerala cuisine for decades. Not only does she invite people into her home for exclusive cooking classes, but also opens up her home to travellers who wish to experience an authentic homestay and eat and live with a local. For those interested in food, there is no one better to teach you the art of Malayali food.
Tour the City’s Funky Street Art
There’s a very young and vibrant air to Kochi. If you like art, this city will not disappoint you. A stroll through some of the popular spaces like Bazaar Road or Fort Kochi will give you a glimpse of some amazing street art and graffiti, usually done during the Kochi Muziris Biennale.