Cheap flights to Kochi, or Cochin as it is also known, are available in this India port city located near the Arabian Sea. Kochi is served by the Cochin International Airport (COK) located about 30 kilometres northeast of the city. The fourth largest airport in India, Cochin International is the home base for Air India as well as several smaller airlines offering cheap flights to Kochi. The city is also well served by rail with three stations in the city. The busy southern station has 128 scheduled trains per day. Finally, while not a main transport method, Kochi is also home to a ferry line and several cruise ship companies offering services to nearby islands and ports.
Kochi flights bring passengers to a destination offering both state-owned and private bus lines that are clean and affordable, but they do not have a large number of stops. Therefore, the best way to get around Kochi is either to hire one of the wild three-wheeled auto rickshaws or a taxi. The road system has not kept up with population growth, so car rental is not recommended to anyone but the most seasoned traveller.
Kochi flights bring visitors to a city that dates back to the 1500s and this rich history shines brightly in the local architecture. The beautiful churches reflect the Portuguese influence on the city. The oldest and finest is St Francis, the oldest European-built church in India. Once the resting place of Vasco de Gama, the building is open to visitors. Other Portuguese inspired treasures include the Vasco House and the Mattancherry Palace. Kochi is home to many religions. The Cheraman Juma Masjid, built in 629, may be the oldest mosque in India. While in Manttancherry, stop by the Jewish Synagogue. Built in 1568, the building is decorated in Chinese tile and Belgian chandeliers.
Three fine museums celebrate the history of India and Kochi. The first is the Hill Palace, located about 16 kilometres from the city. The former home of the Raja of Kochi, this museum houses the crown jewels of the region and a fine collection of archaeological treasures. Next is the Museum of Kerala History with its interactive displays of the region's history. Finally, the Parikshith Thampuran Museum is another royal building converted to a museum. It houses a collection of contemporary art. Conclude the day with a sunset stroll along Fort Kochi beach. Enjoy the unique view of the Chinese fishing nets, known locally as Cheenavala, silhouetted against the ships in the port before sampling the locally caught fresh fish from the stalls lining the shore.
As a port city, Kochi has a series of beautiful beaches on the mainland and small islands. Cherai Beach, on the north end of Vypeen Island is lined with coconuts palms. For family fun, visit Veega Land, located a few kilometres from Kochi, offering water slides and amusement park rides as well as family-friendly shows. For shopping with a local flair, head to MG Road, lined with small shops selling clothing, handicrafts, carvings, jewellery, and the spices that made the area famous.
Dining in Kochi means enjoying the bounty of the sea, often cooked with coconut and spices. Whether purchased from a seaside stall or a fine restaurant, seafood is the city's speciality. At Fort Kochi, visitors can buy fresh caught fish and have it cooked to their taste on the spot. After dinner, visitors can catch a Kathakali performance at The Cochin Cultural Centre. Kathakali is a storytelling dance with elaborate costumes and gestures. Tourist nightlife is found at the hotels and in Fort Kochi. Cheap tickets to Kochi pay off in great entertainment and cultural opportunities.