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Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Travelers ?

“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.

Since you have around 24 hours to see this lovely south Indian locale, you’d want to make every minute count. You can either choose to spend your day exclusively on the beaches or spend time at a distant island or perhaps just go around touring mainland Kochi. 

You can also go on a day long food tour or indulge yourself in Ayurvedic treatment or simply watch a splendid cultural performance. My point is that 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.

Also useful:

Traveling Solo to Vypin Island: Kochi’s offbeat retreat

Kochi food guide: What to eat and where to eat ?

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 to 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.

Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Beach Lovers?

One day is enough in Kochi if you plan to spend quality time on any one of its beaches or even by the 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

Night

Arrive at mainland Kochi at night and check in to a hotel near a beach of your preference Sleep early.

Morning

Wake up early morning Have breakfast Head to your choice of beach Spend your time by the beach frolicking around. 

Afternoon

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.

Evening

Savour snacks by the beach itself Observe Chinese fishing nets Watch sunset Head back to your home city.

is one day enough in kochi

The overall vibe of Kochi is so relaxing that you can easily spend an entire day by the beach. The only issue might be the heat. So a suggestion from my end would be to rent an umbrella and beach chairs. That way you you get to enjoy the view without feeling warm. In the current picture, my guy and me are relaxing early morning by the side of Cherai Beach. Picture credits: Akriti Mattu

Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Tropical Islands?

If any traveler asks me that is one day enough in Kochi for tropical island retreat, I’d say yes it is. There are numerous islands surrounding Kochi. All you have to do is head on any one of them and spend all your 24 hours there.

I will go as far as to say that if you choose an island over just a beach, you can do so many things in just a day’s time. Not to forget, the beaches that will be there.

You get an advantage of enjoying yourself on a beach if you happen to be on an island. Thus, this easily 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

Morning

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 backwaters on the island.

Afternoon

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.

Evening

Wait for the sun to get near the sea and watch it set beautifully Click lots of pictures of the dazzling colours.

Night

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.

Is one day enough in kochi

Kochi is surrrpunded by numerous islands. My personal favourite is Vypin Island. Picture credits: Akriti Mattu

 Is One Day Enough in Kochi for 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 harbor waters of 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. The 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 at all these places. They lie at a close vicinity to each other. In case, you have spare time, do visit the Maritime Museum as well.

Kochi one Day Itinerary for Sightseeing

Morning

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.

Afternoon

Find a good sea side restaurant and have lunch Watch out for dolphins Re-tie up with the same driver and ask him to show you the remaining places of Mattancherry.

Evening

Quit the auto around the main town Observe the drill of Chinese fishing nets.

 Night

Head back to your hotel Have dinner and sleep to check out next morning.

is one day enough in kochi

This is the Fort Kochi area just in front of the Kochi Beach. Large ships, vessels and oil containers make frequent passage here since Kochi is a port. There is a lot to see around the Fort Kochi area. If you’re lucky, you can even see dolphins here every once in a while. Picture credits: Akriti Mattu

Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Indulging in a 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 allows.

Be careful in selecting an authentic Ayurvedic place only and not a merely commercialized one. A lot of hotels and home stays 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 every body has a specific biological energy. It is referred to as a dosha).

Kochi one Day Itinerary for Ayurvedic Treatment

Night

Arrive in Kochi and check in your hotel Have dinner and sleep.

Morning

Wake up fresh and take a shower Have breakfast and head for your Ayurvedic treatment pre-noon.

Afternoon

Keep relaxing and let the positive vibes sink in Have very light lunch and try not exposing yourself to the sun at once.

Evening

Head back to your home city.


Is One Day Enough in Kochi for Witnessing a Kathakali Performance ?

Kathakali is an ancient Indian classical story telling 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 complimented with music and vocal performance.

The performers of this beautiful form are male dancers. They put on elaborate make up 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, Kutchipudi 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 timings. So check before hand.

Kochi one Day Itinerary for Watching a Kathakali Performance 

Afternoon

Reach Kochi by afternoon Check in your hotel and have lunch  Take a brief nap.

Evening

Reach the Kathakali Dance Centre by 4:45 pm Be seated Witness an hour of make up application by the artists on stage.

Night

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.

Morning

Head back to your home city early morning.

Is one day enough in Kochi

A trip to Kochi cannot be complete without witnessing a Kathakali performance. Trust me, it will give you goose bumps. Kathakali is one of India’s oldest dance forms that has its origins in Kerala itself. Kochi is one of the places in the state of Kerala to watch a LIVE performance. Picture credits: Akriti Mattu

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 home made food outlets, Kochi has them all. All you have to do is choose your favourite cuisine. If you want to find out the best food items and restaurants to eat as a traveler, feel free to read this very useful Kochi food guide.

Kochi food tour should not be about restaurants but about the 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

Morning

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 Mattancherry area.

Afternoon

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. 

Evening

Spend the evening watching 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.

 Night

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.

Is one day enough in kochi

A fresh catch from the sea along with raw lemons, tomatoes and onions makes for one hell of a snack in Kochi. Every time, I’ve visited Kochi, my primary diet has always been sea food. If you’re a vegetarian, you can choose dishes from the native cuisine. They are good for even first time visitors. Picture credits: Akriti Mattu

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 connect with this lovely region and its people.

Happy wayfaring.

About the Author

Akriti Mattu

Akriti Mattu

Founder at Budget Wayfarers

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