Kochi formerly known as Cochin is a cosmopolitan city by the Arabian Sea coast. It is a major port as well as the financial capital of Kerala. It is a blend of European and Indian cultures, old and new making it a popular tourist destination. There are many cultural and religious sites here, museums and galleries, parks, gardens, beaches. Kochin has variety of markets including the spice market, one of the oldest in the country.
Major tourist sites in and around Kochi: Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, Dutch Cemetry, Fort Kochi Beach, Fort Immanuel, Princess Street, Mattancherry, Pardesi Synagogue, Thirumala Devaswom Temple, Pepper Exchange, Church of Our Lady of Ransom, Marine Drive, Hill Palace Archaeological Museum, NC Maritime Museum, Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy, Bolgatty Island, Vypeen Island, Gundu Island, etc.
Tourism Board Website
When to visit: best time to visit is October to April.
HOW TO REACH
Nearest railway station: Kochi has two main railway stations - Ernakulam Junction Station (South Station), (IR Code : ERS) for long distances, Ernakulam Town Station (North Station), (IR Code: ERN) for Inter City trains.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI) is Located in Nedumbassery, about 29 km (18 mi) from the city center.
For more information see section TravelInfo/Airports/Kochi/Cochin International Airport
Buses: Kochi is well connected to all major cities by national and state highways. Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private bus companies operate scheduled services to almost all major cities in South India as well as Mumbai, Goa etc.
The KSRTC bus stand is in Ernakulam next to the rail line.
Get around: Kochi is connected by metro system. To use the system, either buy a smart card and load it with credit or buy a token each time you want to ride the metro.
Kochi has public and private bus network system.
Kochi has a system of inter-island ferries.
The city is well-serviced by smartphone-app based cab-service providers. Popular services are Ola, Uber and Meru.
Auto rickshaws (also called tuk-tuk or simply autos) are good for shorter trips.
Cycle rickshaws are good for short distances, or places which are too far to walk but too short for taking a bus/taxi/auto rickshaw.
By road: The distance from Kochi to Alappuzha (Alleppey) is about 53 km (32.9mi) via NH 66. It takes around 1-2 hours.
The distance from Kochi to Munnar is about 130 km (80.7 mi) via NH85. It takes around 4 hours.
The distance from Kochi to Kollam is about 138 km (85.7 mi) via NH 66. It takes around 4 hours.
The distance from Kochi to Kovalam is about 212 km (131.7 mi) via NH 66. Ita takes around 5-6 hours.
The distance from Kochi to Madurai is about 294 km (182.6 mi) via NH183 and NH85. It takes around 7-8 hours.
The distance from Kochi to Bengaluru is about 548 km (340 mi) via NH544 and NH 44. It takes around 10 hours.
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