Fort Cochin, aka Fort Kochi, is an historic district and a main draw for tourists in Cochin (Kochi). It’s a charming neighborhood full of colonial-era homes (many of which have been converted into boutique hotels), lovely old houses of worship, charming shops and markets, and the city's famous Chinese fishing nets that flank the harbor.
Fort Cochin is a charming historic area on the western end of Cochin notable for its blend of local Malayali and colonial (Portuguese, Dutch, and British) architecture. Here you'll find most of Cochin's most interesting attractions, including St. Francis Church, the Santa Cruz Basilica, the Paradesi Synagogue, and Mattancherry Palace. There’s also a small beach; visit around sunset for a chance to see some of the city’s famous Chinese fishing nets in action. Book a private or group tour, some of which include a Kathakali dance performance.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Fort Cochin is great for culture lovers, shopaholics, and anyone looking to take some gorgeous photos.
- Wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a hat, as the sun can get strong here.
- Fort Cochin is best explored on foot, so comfortable clothes and shoes are a must.
- While it’s expected that you bargain at craft stalls, it’s not appropriate at the area’s many high-end boutiques.
How to Get There
Fort Cochin sits on the northwestern part of Cochin, an historic area filled with attractions, including churches, old Dutch-style homes, and the city’s famous fishing nets. It’s west of the main city of Ernakulam on the mainland, and it takes around a half-hour by taxi to get to the fort, without traffic.
When to Get There
Fort Cochin is great throughout the year, though weather is a big consideration for many travelers. The monsoon season from around June through November can mean lots of flash rainfalls and high humidity, while March, April, and May can be unbearably hot. The driest, coolest time of year is during the winter (December through February), but this is also the most crowded season.
Cochin’s Jewish Community
Cochin has been home to a small Jewish community, possibly since as early as the time of King Solomon, though only a handful remain to this day. The old city is home to the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth, dating back to 1567, located in an historic area known as Jew Town, with numerous antique shops and even a restaurant serving traditional Cochin-Jewish cuisine.