Cochin or Kochi is the main financial center of Kerala. The densely populated cosmopolitan city has a major port and it’s known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea.
The city was also an important trading center for spices in the past. The Portuguese, Dutch, and English ruled Kochi, which has given the city a unique flavor. Various international and Indian communities have lived in harmony for centuries.
Kochi has a unique culture. Tourists can get an insight into Indian history and trade when they visit this fascinating travel destination. There are several places to visit in Kochi that will enchant you. And, to better plan your trip, keep reading to discover the best 3-day Kochi itinerary!
Best time to visit Cochin
The best time to visit Kochi is October to February when the weather is pleasant. Temperatures range between 17 and 33 °C in winter. Kochi experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. Summers are warm and humid, and the temperatures can range from 22 to 37 °C. Budget travelers prefer to visit Cochi Kerala during summer and monsoon when they can get some great deals.
How to reach Cochin by bus, train or plane
Chochin has excellent rail, road, and air connectivity. Cochin International Airport has fantastic domestic and international connectivity. You can get flights to every major city in India.
Kochin has three railway stations, the largest being Ernakulam Junction or Ernakulam South. It is a major railway junction with trains to every major city in India.
You can travel to Kochi from major cities in South India and Kerala, using the Kerala Road Transport Corporation bus service or neighboring state transport corporations buses. You can drive down to Kochi by taxi or hire a car. Kochi is connected to the rest of the country by three major highways.
Kochi has an excellent public transport system. Cabs, Buses, and ferries are available throughout the day. You can also use Kochi Metro to advance through your Kochi itinerary.
Places to visit during your 3-day Kochi itinerary
Three days is plenty of time to soak in the sights and sounds of Kochi. Some best places to visit in Kochi while planning your itinerary are:
Kochi itinerary day 1
Ernakulam Shiva Temple
The Ernakulam Shiva Temple or the Ernankulathapan temple is one of the prominent temples of Kerala. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of the temple. The temple is considered one of the royal temples of Kochi Maharaj. Devotees worship Lord Shiva in Gourishankara form faces towards the Arabian Sea in the west. The temple festival is celebrated in January or February with great pomp every year.
Kochi has seven synagogues, but only one is operational today. The Paradesi or Mattancherry Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Kochi but the commonwealth. Jewish Refugees built the Paradesi Synagogue in 1568. They arrived in Koshi escaping persecution during the crusades. The synagogue shows the influence of Hindu-Christian architecture and is the only synagogue with two bimahs. The gorgeous chandelier, clock tower, brass railed pulpits, and Chinese hand-painted tiles are among the unique treasures on display, making this a place to add to your Kochi itinerary.
The Portuguese constructed the Dutch Palace or Mattancherry Palace in 1568 as a gift for the King of Kochi. Unfortunately, during the Dutch invasion, some parts of the palace were destroyed. The Dutch Governor repaired and renamed it. The coronation ceremonies of Kochi Maharajas were held at the palace. If you add this to your Kochi itinerary, you’ll see interesting artifacts like the coronation costumes and throne, royal chariots, swords, and other royal artifacts. There are some beautiful murals in the palace depicting scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana and portraits and exhibits of Rajas of Kochi.
The Indo Portuguese Museum in Kochi documents the start of European colonization in Asia. You get an insight into the start and decline of Portuguese colonization in Kochi. There are artifacts, relics, and antique pieces from a bygone era.
Santa Cruz Basilica
The Santa Cruz Basilica is located at Fort Kochi and is one of the eight basilicas in India. The basilica has a beautiful blend of Indo-European and gothic styles. It was the first European church built in Asia. The columns of the church are adorned with intricate frescos and beautiful stained glass. The ceiling has some spectacular paintings of Via Crucis of Christ.
Chinese Fishing Nets
The Chinese Fishing Nets or Cheenavala is synonymous with Kerala is peculiar to Kochi. It is located near Fort Kochi and is one of the must-visit places in Kochi. The Chinese fishing nets have an ingenious design. The nets are fixed on bamboos and teak poles and are weighed down from large stones. Four to five fishermen operate the fishing nets. The fishermen fish in the morning at early evening. The lowering of the nets and being pulled back on the ropes is a mesmerizing sight that needs to be on your 3 day Kochi itinerary!
Fort Cochin is a seaside town in the southwestern part of Kochi. It has a quaint old-world charm, with glimpses of a bygone era. The fort witnessed the 1st Dutch-Portuguese war in the 17th Century. The tsunami in 2004m reduced the size of the beach. The beach has small walkways and is ideal for an evening stroll. You can see the ruins of the Old Portuguese fort and the Dutch Stormberg fort. Vasco Da Gama Square, adjacent to the beach, has a lively atmosphere. You can have some delicious seafood while looking at the beautiful sunset. It is one of the places to visit in Kochi, universally enjoyed by tourists.
Kochi itinerary day 2
Thrikkakara Vamana Temple
The Thirikkakara Vamanamoorthy Temple is dedicated to Lord Vamana, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The idol is in the form of Lord Vamana is placing his foot on Asura Mahabali. The beautiful temple is in village Thrikkara. Devotee celebrates the ten days Onam festival held between August and September with pomp and jot. The temple has an electrifying atmosphere during the festival and is on the list of must places to visit in Kochi.
Museum of Kerala History
The Museum of Kerala History is one of the oldest art and history in Kochi. You get a glimpse of the lives of 87 prominent personalities, who shaped Kerala’s society. Visitors will enjoy the sound and light in English and Malayalam. There are three galleries – the Museum of Kerala History, Dolls Museum, and Museum of Modern Art.
St. George Forane Church
George Forane Church or Edathua Palli is a Syro-Malabar Church. The church is one of the places of Kochi, important to Christian Pilgrims. It is one of the oldest churches in the state. The statue of St. George on horseback stabbing a snake under his horse hooves is displayed. The church has an interesting blend of history, myth, and folklore. The beautiful church perfectly blends European and Keralite architectural styles.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is a mangrove forest located in the heart of the city. You can spot many species of migratory birds when you visit the thick forest year. The dense forest is home to unique flora and fauna. The Sanctuary is called The Green Lungs of Kochi because it helps to control pollution levels in the bustling city. Add it to your Kochi itinerary if you want to escape the city for a bit.
Our Lady of Ransom Basilica
Our Lady of Ransom Basilica is a famous pilgrimage for Christians. People come to seek the blessings of Mother Mary from all over the country. Vasco da Gama built the church in 1524. The church was the first church in Asia dedicated to the Holy Spirit. The Portuguese rebuilt the church in 1676. The picture of Mother Mary is said to have healing properties.
Cherai, one of the best Kerala beaches, is around 30 km from Chennai. This beach is on Vypin island and is a merging point of the Arabian Sea and backwaters. The scenic Cherai Beach is surrounded by coconut grooves. It is one of the places in Kochi you should take a step back and soak in the beauty. You can have a relaxing swim at the beach followed by delicious fresh food at the various shacks near the beach. You may be lucky to spot dolphins near the beach. Children enjoy collecting seashells at the seashore.
Kochi itinerary day 3
Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple
Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple is considered one of the best temples of Kerala, so it should be on your Kochi itinerary. Built by the royal family of Kochi is one of the oldest temples in the Kochi Kingdom. It is one of the must-visit places in Kochi. The Santhanagopala Murthy a form of Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity of the temple. The temple is known for the annual Vrishchikoltsawam festival held in November or December.
Raja Rajeshwara Temple
Lord Parasurama is said to have built the Raja Rajeshwara Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 108 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Linga is over 1000 years old. Various kings have renovated the temple through the centuries. It is one of few temples in Kerala that does not have a flagstaff.
Hill Palace Museum
The Hill Palace Museum is Kerala’s largest archaeological museum. The Museum was earlier the Imperial Administrative Offices and Official Residence of Maharaja of Kochi. As the name suggests, the museum is on a hill and has beautifully landscaped gardens with fountains and ponds. There are 49 buildings, built-in Kerala traditional architectural style in Hill Museum grounds. The 54 acre of the Hill Palace Tripunithura houses a museum, deer park, pre-historical part, and Children Park.
Marine Drive overlooks the calm backwaters of Kochi. The picturesque walkway is 3-km long and is a perfect location to relax alone or with your family and family. Marine Drive is clean and well maintained. There are several landmarks, you can spot while walking like – The Rainbow Bridge, The Houseboat Bridge, China Net Bridge, and the GCDA Shopping complex. Marine Drive helps you get a feel of the city. You can choose boat rides of different duration ranging from 1 to 3 hours, from Marine Drives. It is one of the popular places in Kochi, visited by locals and tourists.
Recommended tours for your Kochi itinerary
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