How to spend your time in Cochin
Whether you enjoy shopping for fabulous gold, silver, diamonds or platinum jewellery at 'Jewel Junction' or dining in style at one of the city's outstanding seafood restaurants, you'll love Cochin. It's a shopper's paradise, a haven for culture vultures and a must for beach fans. Plus, you'll never be short of things to do.
Visit Beautiful Churches with Unique Attractions
Culture lovers might enjoy listening to the wonderful choirs of the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, built in 1558 by the Portuguese, which is one of the city's most important landmarks. Alternatively, the region's Hindu, Jain and Sikh houses of worship all have their own unique features. For example, Chottanikara Devi Temple at nearby Thripunithura is famous for the treatment of a number of psychic disorders such as split personality syndrome, while pigeon feeding is one of the day's most important rituals (every noon) at Dharmanath Desar Jain Mandir in Mattencherry.
An Oasis of Peace and Relaxation
Friendly, easygoing locals and a wide range of therapeutic treatments make Cochin a great 'get away from it all' destination. Ayurvedic treatments are widely available and yoga classes can be found in many of the city's spas and treatment centres. Try Kerala Ayurvedics in the south of the city, Punarva Spa and Ayurvedic Hospital in the north, and Ayurjyothi Ayurvedic Centre or Brahma Prakash Ayurveda Centre near Fort Kochi.
Fantastic Beaches for Sun Lovers
Cherai Beach on Vypin Island is one of the Malabar Coast's most famous beaches, and with good reason. This beautiful beach is surrounded by coconut groves and soft, clean sand leads to the warm, clear waters of the Arabian Sea. You might spot dolphins just off the shore and the beach is ideal for children as well as water sports lovers. There's also a nice backwater close to the beach where you can sail or fish.
For the Foodies
Discover some of the most delicious dishes in India at upmarket restaurants or local eateries where specialities might include Meen Molagitta Curry - a curry made from freshly caught freshwater fish cooked with chilli in creamy coconut milk. The city's coastal location means that seafood is always just off the boats, while its lakes and backwaters are rich with freshwater fish. Vegetarian cuisine is widely favoured and traditional Kochi specialities include Palada, a dessert of rice flakes and milk and Kurukku Kalan, cream yoghurt curry served with rice and toasted banana. Alternatively, head to Fort Kochi beach where you can select your fish at stalls and have it cooked in front of you.
Discover the Glorious Lakes
The city is close to the backwater lakes of southern India and home to India's longest lake, Vembanad. This magical lake is truly enchanting and it seems to change as the day passes. Sunrise is spectacular; watch the sun rise or set from one of the houseboats that can be hired for sailing trips or walk along the banks amid lush greenery.