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When & How

Cochin, Kerala

Being a coastal city, Cochin is almost always humid and hot, the temperature rarely dips below 20 degrees C.

The best time to go is between October and February when the temperatures are not too high and the humidity is bearable.

If you are looking for an off-season trip we recommend going in the monsoons (June to September) when the city gets lush and green. Though the rains do limit your experience of walking or bicycling around, the flipside is that you get great rates from hotels.

Having a large Catholic and Christian population, Christmas is celebrated fondly in Kochi. A merry-making feast called the Cochin Carnival is celebrated at Fort Kochi every year during the last ten days of December.

For 8 days in January/February is the Ernakulathappan Utsavam, held at the Ernakulathappan temple in Fort Cochin. The highlight is the procession of 15 wonderfully decorated elephants with music and fireworks alongside.

How to get there

Cochin is well connected to the rest of India. The easiest way to get there is to fly. If you have more time and prefer less expense then trains are a good option.

By air:
Cochin Airport has a domestic and international terminal: http://cial.aero/

There are direct flights from most large cities in India (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai etc…) and from a few international destinations including most of the Middle East and some of South Asia such as Malaysia and Singapore.

The airport is actually around 45-50 km from Fort Cochin and 30 Km from the main town of Ernakulam. From the airport catch one of the regular, orange, state-run, air-conditioned Volvo buses or hire a prepaid taxi all the way to Fort Cochin. The journey can take over 2 hours due to traffic so always leave plenty of time.

By rail:
Cochin city has two main railway stations, Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. Trains come in from all over India including Mumbai, Goa, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. Also, go here to catch trains for Alleppey and other parts of Kerala.

By bus:
Cochin is a little far from anywhere to come in via bus but there are connections from Bangalore and a few other cities in Kerala. The main terminus in Fort Cochin is up at the top of the island by the beach and close to all the old town’s best hotels. 

Getting around

They are currently in the process of building a metro in Kochi but it looks like it will be a good 5 years before that project sees the light of day.

The bus system in Kochi is good and with the Volvo AC bus connecting the airport to the tourist hub of Fort Kochi and the main town of Ernakulam, it’s a nice inexpensive mode of transport.

The ferry system in the city is great and connects Ernakulam and Vypin to Fort Cochin. Not only is it a fun experience but it’s a really inexpensive quick way to get about. Cochin is probably one of the only cities in India with such an extensive use of ferries and boats.

Auto rickshaws and taxis are good for day tours if you would like to cover most of the tourist trail as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to bargain with auto guys as they often take you for a ride (pun intended). It is also possible to hire taxis for a day.

Unlike the rest of Cochin, Fort Cochin is quite an easy place to get around on foot along the old stone pavements and pleasant streets.