The city of Cochin (Kochi) is a multi-cultural delight, boasting influences from the Portuguese, Dutch and British who spent over 400 years battling for control of the region which resulted in each culture leaving behind its own heritage.

Fort Cochin is a particularly serene part of the city, with its streets lined with spice traders, heritage buildings and stunning boutique hotels. Cochin’s most interesting sites include the Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, The Dutch Cemetery and Jew Town.

Aside from the many historic and cultural landmarks, the city is also famed for its seafood, with a superb range of restaurants dotted around. It is also the place to take in a traditional Kathakali performance – a classical Keralan art form combining music, painting, dance and literature with performers dressed in elaborate costumes and spectacular face-paint. Cochin makes the ideal starting/finishing point for those looking to explore the beautiful state of Kerala and surrounding Western Ghats and is certainly worth spending at least a couple of days in the city itself.

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