“Is one day enough in Kochi?” is the most likely question asked by travelers running short on time. Well, one day isn’t enough to explore Kochi but you surely can go sightseeing around Kochi in that amount of time.
I’ve traveled to Kochi time and again. Each time, a new aspect of the city comes to the fore. Not only is Kochi beautiful but is also culturally rich. If you’re pressed against time and are asking the, “is one day enough in Kochi?” question, let me help you out. Whatever you choose, you can totally make it worth your hard-pressed time.
In my current blog, I will be exploring all these options for you. Suit yourself and depending on your preference as a traveler, you can choose your pick. So, let’s get started.
Is One Day Enough in Kochi?
Kochi is rightfully known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea.’ It is the dream destination for great sea views, backwater tours, local sightseeing, cultural performances, Ayurveda treatments and delicious Malabar food.
As a traveler, you can spend an entire day experiencing any one of the above-mentioned things. You will be surprised to know that many travelers do visit Kochi for a single day and night for these same reasons.
Well, I am also one of those travelers. I once visited Kochi just to witness a Kathakali performance from Bangalore. So my point is that if you struggling with the, “Is one day enough in Kochi?” thought, don’t stress yourself out. Rather, make the most of your time.
|Things that can be pursued within a single day in Kochi
Spending a full day at a beach or several beaches.
Being a part of island life
Local sightseeing in mainland Kochi
Pampering yourself with Ayurvedic treatment
Witnessing a Kathakali performance
Day-long food tour
See, how even 24 hours suffice if you’re willing to make an informed choice. You can make a pick from any of these activities. Choose what suits you best and you will surely end up spending a lovely time in Kochi.
A Day in Kochi for Beach Lovers
One day is enough in Kochi if you plan to spend quality time on anyone or many of its beaches. Now, beaches in Kochi are located within the city as well as a little further from mainland Kochi.
The beaches within mainland Kochi are quite commercialized and witness traffic due to cargo ships and carriers. Beaches that are located outside the mainland are much more serene.
|As a traveler having 24 hours in hand, I highly insist that you head to an offbeat island beach of Kochi and spend your entire day there. If you’re lucky, you will be able to catch a glimpse of exotic birds and even dolphins. Trust me; you don’t want to miss those sights.|
Whatever decision you make, it is important that you stick to a set itinerary or a schedule. That way, you will be able to save time and move around more.
Kochi one Day Itinerary for Beach Lovers
Arrive at mainland Kochi at night and check in to a hotel near a beach of your preference → Sleep early.
Wake up early morning → Have breakfast → Head to your choice of beach → Spend your time by the beach frolicking around.
Hop on to another beach and have lunch or stay at the same beach → Indulge in sea sports or just wait for catching a glimpse of a dolphin.
Savour snacks by the beach itself → Observe Chinese fishing nets → Watch the sunset → Head back to your home city.
Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Tropical Islands?
If any traveler asks me that is one day enough in Kochi for a tropical island retreat, I’d say yes. There are numerous islands surrounding Kochi. All you have to do is head to any one of them and spend all your 24 hours there.
I will go as far as saying that if you choose an island over just a beach, you can do so many things in just a day’s time. You get the advantage of enjoying yourself on a beach if you happen to be on an island. Thus, this serves a double purpose.
|Getting to any island that you desire from mainland Kochi will require you to travel till the Jetty Point for the specific island. From there, board a ferry. It will cost you less than 5 INR to reach the island’s Jetty Point. Once you reach there, head to your hotel, beach, backwaters or any other place you like in a local bus, auto or a cab.|
One of my favourite islands in Kochi is Vypin. I have spent so much time there that I really know the place well. You can choose to travel solo to Vypin Island or hang out with friends or family.
Additionally, you can head to any of the other islands present in the sea surrounding Kochi.
Kochi one Day Itinerary for Island Travel
Arrive at mainland Kochi early morning → Head straight for the Jetty Point →Board a ferry → Land on your desired island → Check in to a hotel on the island itself → Have breakfast → Take a morning stroll by the nearest beach or head to the backwaters on the island.
Have lunch comprising of snacks at the beach or by the backwaters or perhaps at a small cafe nearby → Take a canoe ride across the backwaters or pursue some water sports at the beach.
Wait for the sun to get near the sea and watch it set beautifully → Click lots of pictures of the dazzling colours.
Get back to your hotel, have dinner and sleep → In the morning, take a ferry back to mainland Kochi and from there head back to your home city.
24 hours in Kochi: Sightseeing
If any tourist asks me that is one day enough in Kochi for going sightseeing, I’d say yes it is.
In fact, even if you stay for more than a day in Kochi, you will not want to spend more than a few hours touring mainland Kochi.
Reason being, the outskirts of Kochi have way more places to offer than mainland Kochi. So just less than 24 hours will be enough for touring the places.
|Due to the increasing sea traffic in recent years, the native dolphins of Kochi have started to come near the harbour waters of the Fort Kochi area. So, if you happen to sit down at an open-air restaurant from where the harbour waters are visible, look carefully for dolphins.|
The lanes of the Fort Kochi area are quite pretty. They have clear foreign influences over them. Sightseeing places that you should certainly visit are Jews Street, Synagogue, Folklore Museum, Spice Market, Jain Temple, Tirumala Temple and antique shops.
You can hire an auto-rickshaw and ask the driver to take you to all these places. They lie in close vicinity to each other. In case you have spare time, do visit the Maritime Museum as well.
Kochi one Day Itinerary for Sightseeing
Arrive at Kochi early morning → Check into your hotel –> Have breakfast → Head out and search for an auto-rickshaw → Ask the driver to show you one part of Mattancherry.
Find a good seaside restaurant and have lunch → Watch out for dolphins → Re-tie up with the same driver and ask him to show you the remaining places in Mattancherry.
Quit the auto around the main town → Observe the drill of Chinese fishing nets.
Head back to your hotel → Have dinner and sleep to check out the next morning.
Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Indulging in an Ayurvedic Treatment?
Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing practice. It has its origins in India. Kerala has done a decent job of keeping it alive for its natives as well as travelers.
As somebody spending about 24 hours in Kochi, you can get yourself the most basic Ayurvedic treatment i.e the massage. You can go for other procedures as well if your schedule and pocket allow.
|Be careful in selecting an authentic Ayurvedic place only and not a merely commercialized one. A lot of hotels and homestays provide Ayurvedic treatments in Kerala. So try booking a place that will allow you to stay overnight and offer you the Ayurvedic treatment. A basic massage will cost you around 2000 INR.|
Ayurvedic massage in Kochi is done using herbal medicated oils. It is carefully carried out by experts. The duration is usually 45 minutes to an hour.
The pressure points and strokes vary in each massage. These are based on the age and medical condition of the individuals. The most basic massage essentially includes a seven-position therapy to treat the body physically, mentally and also emotionally.
This is done to balance out the doshas (Ayurveda believes that everybody has a specific biological energy. It is referred to as a dosha).
Kochi one Day Itinerary for Ayurvedic Treatment
Arrive in Kochi and check-in at your hotel → Have dinner and sleep.
Wake up fresh and take a shower → Have breakfast and head for your Ayurvedic treatment pre-noon.
Keep relaxing and let the positive vibes sink in → Have a very light lunch and try not to expose yourself to the sun at once.
Head back to your home city.
Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Witnessing a Kathakali Performance?
Kathakali is an ancient Indian classical storytelling dance form that has its origins in Kerala. The narrative in Kathakali is communicated to the audience through footwork and gestures of face and hands. This is complemented by music and vocal performance.
The performers of this beautiful form are male dancers. They put on elaborate makeup and every colour is symbolic. Kochi is one of the best places in Kerala to witness a Kathakali dance performance. If you truly want to spend a full day in Kochi embracing its culture, do watch a splendid performance at any of the Kathakali venues.
|My personal favourite venue is the Kathakali Dance Centre. You can book the tickets and make a reservation online. It will cost you 350 INR to witness the complete performance.|
You know if you’re interested, you can also watch any other dance form like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniyattam. Additionally, you can observe the ancient martial arts forms like Kalaripayattu as well.
All of these performances happen at the same venue but at different times. So, check beforehand.
Kochi one Day Itinerary for Watching a Kathakali Performance
Reach Kochi by afternoon → Check in your hotel and have lunch → Take a brief nap.
Reach the Kathakali Dance Centre by 4:45 pm → Be seated → Witness an hour of makeup application by the artists on stage.
Witness an entire Kathakali performance from 6 pm to 8 pm → Interact with the performers later → Head back to your hotel → Have dinner and sleep.
Head back to your home city early morning.
Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Taking a Food Tour?
A trip to Kochi is incomplete without taking a food trip around the city. If you’re here for just one day, this is a lovely way to spend your time.
From pretty cafes to small eateries, from plush restaurants to homemade food outlets, Kochi has them all. All you have to do is choose your favourite cuisine.
|Kochi food tours should not be about restaurants but about specific delicacies. So please don’t go by the fancy restaurant marketing, but by genuine delicacies being served anywhere in Kochi.|
Food in mainland Kochi is far better than on the outskirts. Do try the native Kerala cuisine especially the grand thali (a large plate comprising of multiple dishes, drinks and desserts) and the sadya (prepared on a large scale during feasts) served on a fresh and clean banana leaf.
Kochi one Day Itinerary for Taking a Food Tour
Reach mainland Kochi and check-in your hotel → Get ready and skip eating breakfast at the hotel → Take an auto or a cab and head to Sri Krishna Cafe in Mattancherry → Order a Masala Dosa. They make it out of this world here. A large Masala Dosa can be savoured for around 40 INR → Hire an auto and go sightseeing around the Mattancherry area.
At about 1:30 pm, head for lunch → Savour lunch at ‘Kayees Biryani’ at Mattancherry itself. Authentic Kerala food is served here. Order any Biryani here. All of them will cost you less than 200 INR → Head to the Marine Museum nearby.
Spend the evening watching the sunset and sipping fresh coconut water. You cannot miss coconut water if you’re in Kochi. If alcohol fascinates you more, try the locally prepared Toddy but only from registered outlets → Sip a small quantity only and hire a cab or an auto till ‘Paragon’ at Eddapally. It will take around 40 minutes to reach here from Mattancherry.
Arrive at Paragon in Eddapally → At Paragon, there is a huge variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to choose from as a foodie. So dine here. My favourite dishes from here are Chettinadu Kozhi Rasam (traditional soup) Thattukada Chemmeen (spicy fish dish), Ghee rice (clarified butter and rice) and Appam (Kerala style pancake) –> Take a cab back to your hotel and sleep. You could also head back to your home city.
Note: If you wish, you can try out Kerala meals on a banana leaf at Dhe Puttu restaurant.
Kochi as a travel destination has so much to offer that exploring it within 24 hours will not suffice. So to answer the initial question that “is one day in Kochi enough?” my answer would be yes for sightseeing but no for deeper exploration.
However, don’t lose heart. You can always re-visit this place whenever you find time. On your next trip perhaps, you can add more places to your Kerala itinerary. That way, you will be able to make a connection with this lovely region and its people.
Happy wayfaring 🙂