When to fly
Cochin has a tropical monsoon climate, which sees temperatures stay steady throughout the year, on average between 23 and 31 degrees Celsius and south-west monsoons bring heavy rains, particularly from May through October.
Tourists book flights to Cochin year-round, but the city sees its peak travel season between the months of December, January and February, when rain is scarce and temperatures hover in the mid-20s. December also sees Cochin come alive with annual festivals. One such example is the Cochin Carnival - one of the greatest festivals of the year, for Cochin residents, although this event is attended by locals and tourists alike. People flock to the colourfully decorated Fort Kochi to witness unique games, people dressed in fancy dress, a massive procession which is led by an embellished elephant, music and fireworks. The Indira Ghandi Boat Race, also held during December, is an annual water sport event and festival which is well worth booking tickets for. Join the other locals and tourists, watching and cheering as the oarsmen race along the backwaters of Cochin.
Cheap flights to Cochin can be found during the off-season months of July, August and September, when monsoon rains fall over the city. The shoulder season months of March and April can be a good time to find deals on airfares as well, although temperatures are at their highest, around 26 to 31 degrees Celsius and the weather can be rainy at times.
The historic port city of Cochin is the perfect starting point for exploring the Indian state of Kerala. The islands that make up Cochin (or Kochi) offer a taste of everything: history, culture, international influence and local culinary delights. The only real question is where to begin exploring this charming city.
Many choose to start their visit by seeing the historic Fort Kochi on the peninsula of Mattencherry. Here, gargantuan Chinese fishing nets line the seashore as old colonial buildings line the neighbourhood’s alleys and streets. Tourists also book their flights to experience the numerous Basilicas and churches that remain as testaments to Cochin’s Portuguese past, as well as the remains of the VOC Gate and David Hall reflect the Dutch side of Cochin’s history.
Certainly, Fort Kochi is a far cry from the cosmopolitan mainland of Ernakulam, where highlights include the Ernakulam Shiva Temple and the shopping mecca known as Marine Drive. Also worth the trip in Cochin is the Hill Palace Museum, where visitors can see the incredible collection of 95 diamonds and thousands of other precious stones that make up the Cochin Royal Crown. While visiting Cochin, the local beaches are a must, too. Cherai Beach is a particularly popular choice for its scenic views and safe shores.
Getting around Cochin
Visitors have little trouble getting around the city, thanks to Cochin’s plentiful public transportation options. A well-maintained bus system connects passengers with destinations throughout the city, while cheap ferries make it simple to travel between the various islands that make up Cochin. Auto rickshaws offer an inexpensive way to travel directly to a destination in local fashion, while taxis, though more expensive, are a more comfortable option.
Travellers can reach Cochin via Cochin International Airport (COK), which is about 19 miles (30 km) from the city centre. The airport, also known as CIAL, is well connected to Cochin through the local public bus system. Travellers can also book a pre-paid taxi 24 hours a day at counters located in both the domestic and international terminals; however, credit cards cannot be used to hire pre-paid taxis.