Kochi (Cochin) is the main city of Kerala state in India and one of Indias bigger cities in the south.
After spending a few days there this is what I recommend for the best things to do in Kochi in one day.
Most of the best sites are all within walking distance of each other.
I haven’t included day trips from Kochi just what to do in the city itself.
Best Things To Do In Kochi
Chinese Fishing Nets
At the Vasco Da Gama square area by Mahatma Gandhi beach you can see the Chinese fishing nets, which are iconic to Kochi.
They date back 500 years and are still used to this day and you may even see them in use.
The best time to see them (imo) is around sunset for the atmosphere.
Try a Ayurvedic Massage Treatment
Ayurveda is an ancient alternative form of medicine in India that dates back 3000 years ago.
You can find Ayurvedic Massage treatment centres around Kochi and it’s one of the better areas to try it.
You can get a simple normal massage but they have a lot of different techniques and you can try them all in one session (recommended).
From warm oil being poured over your forehead to steam machine and others, it’s a ‘massage’ treatment you won’t forget.
Warm oil on forehead massage table.
Paradesi Synagogue, Jew Town, & Mattancherry
Ok ‘Jew Town’ might be a weird way to describe the Jewish quarter (also said as Jew Street) but as you can see in the picture below in the writing it’s the correct way to say it for the area.
The Jews of Jew Town are the oldest Jews in India but it’s slightly misleading these days as there are actually only 5 Jews left in the town.
They’re known as the Cochin Jews.
The area is very relaxed to walk around and is actually one of my favourite places in Kochi.
Why? Old town vibes, good coffee and chilled cafes, spices everywhere, good shopping although mostly souvenirs and can be a bit pricey so bargain hard.
In the same area, but not part of Jew Town itself, is the Mattancherry Palace built by the Portuguese, colonial buildings, temples, and more.
The Paradesi synagogue is 400 years old and adds to the old town charm.
Fort Kochi is the main area that people visit in Kochi as many of the sites are there such as the Chinese fishing nets, beaches etc.
You can see the St Francis Church which is the oldest European church in India going back to the 16th century.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is one of the best churches in India and is in the Fort Kochi area.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica in Kochi.
See a Kathakali Dance in Kochi
A kathakali dance is one of the most classical Indian dances you can see.
The dancers (mostly male) get dressed up in bright colourful clothes and make-up and along with drummers tell stories through dance.
The place to see it is in Fort Kochi at the Kerala Kathakali Centre near Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica.
The best way to see Kochi in one day is to spend the morning in the Mattancherry, and Jew Town area, then the afternoon exploring the things in Fort Kochi.
In the evening head to the Chinese fishing nets and Mahatma Gandhi beach for sunset vibes, grab a seafood dinner, followed by a kathakali dance.
Kochi and the south of India in general is a hot tropical area and if there one day in Kochi, particularly the old Fort Kochi area, is worth your time.
You can find places to stay in Kochi here.
For more reading about India this is my post about travelling across India from the Himalayas to Kochi.
Yeah Kochi was the end stop of an epic Indian trip.
And my post about spending time in Sikkim high in the Himalayas.
Get travel insurance for India. I use World Nomads Travel Insurance (get a quote with that link) and highly recommend them.
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