Fort Kochi is popular for the Cheena-Vala or the Chinese Fishing nets, but it has a whole bunch of tourist attraction for all kind of tourists and is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.So take your pick of what you like to do when you are in Fort Kochi. If you are looking for pure relaxation then book one of the upmarket heritage properties with a good view of either the sea or the harbor and go for some Ayurveda massage, have some chilled beer in the balmy weather, read a book under the sun or just take a nap. If you want to be the regular tourist, then list down the popular tourist places like the Jewish Synagogue, the old Portuguese churches , the Dutch palace and the Fishing nets etc and hire a cab and go around, if you want to be a little more adventurous, you can take an auto or just hire a cycle and go around the places. One can also head out south to Allepy or Kumarkom to enjoy the backwaters.
If you want to add a zing to your travel, here is my list of 10 things you can try and make your stay at Fort Kochi funky & interesting!!!
1. Take a walk;you can cover the entire list of places to visit in Fort Kochi on foot; The circuit is about 8.5 kms with well laid roads so do it on your own pace; start early to avoid the sun & the crowd. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes. Read up the history & enjoy the stroll. Don't miss out on the little Jew town in Matanchery.
2. After the walk try a good Ayurveda massage in one of the many traditional/ new age spa's.
3. Buy Spices from the wholesale market instead of the tourist shops....there are shops that are many centuries old or just stroll through the lane and enjoy the spicy-fragrant air!
4. Check out the funny & quirky and sometime artist-y graffiti on the walls across the town in small alleys and pathways. You will find everything from Mahatma Gandhi to local Fisher-woman to the Local Working class heroes on the walls
5. There are some old heritage buildings that are now converted into hotels and offer an amazing views;Xandari Harbour, has a pool package, but doesn't have a liquor license, but the Seagul Restaurant not only serves good food, it has a great view and some awesome food as well;you can just drop into one of them and spend an entire day chilling with beer & food.
7. Explore the sea front; on a less tourist-traffic day you can walk around the coastline and sit on one of the benches and see the sun go down or just sit & Read a book. You can also walk around and enjoy the beach at Cherai.
8. Go watch the Kathakali dancers do their make up in front of Live audience and follow it up with the performance. Though the performances are not exceptional but the make-up portion is certainly a must-do.
9. Visit the St. Francis Church for the sheer thrill that Vasco De Gama's body was once buried here. There is also the Basilica & The Fort Emmanuel and the residence of the Bishop apart of many named and un-named, small & big old heritage buildings, Churches & lighthouses.