A trip to Kochi is full of unique experiences and stunning places to see. For centuries, Kochi’s merchants traded black pepper and cardamom with Arabian, Chinese and Western customers. The result is a patchwork culture that bears the imprint of these early commercial visitors.
The most recognisable sight associated with Kochi is the Chinese fishing nets, which have been in use since the 14th century. For the perfect photo opportunity, head to the coast in the late afternoon, when the nets are strung up along the harbour.
Another attraction is Mattancherry Palace, constructed by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555. Also known as the Dutch Palace, the building was renovated by Dutch colonists more than 100 years later. Today, it is home to a small museum distinguished by a collection of rare and unusual artwork.
A short drive from the Mattancherry Palace will take you to the Maritime Museum, which is housed in former bomb shelters. The museum traces the history of the Indian Navy and the state’s maritime trade during Portuguese and Dutch rule, through relief murals and information panels.
To learn more about Kerala's culture, head to the Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum, on the outskirts of Ernakulam. To discover what lies beyond the city walls, take the ferry from Fort Kochi out to Vypeen Island and visit Cherai Beach.