Kochi the historic harbour city is also Kerala’s commercial capital. Cochin International Airport is approximately one hour north of the city. Being a harbour city, Cochin has a number of different areas – mainland, peninsulas and islands. The main areas are connected by road bridges.
Most of the places of tourist interest are situated on Fort Cochin and this is where many people like to stay. Places to visit in Fort Cochin include Mattancherry (Dutch) Palace with its wonderful murals; Jew Town and the Synagogue; St Francis Church, the oldest European built church in India. It is interesting to watch the fishermen operating the Chinese fishing nets and this is also a good place to take in a Kathakali performance. There is an excellent range of accommodation and local restaurants in Fort Cochin
Visitors do not have to stay in Fort Cochin, there are plenty of other options in the surrounding area. If you stay on the mainland or one of the islands you can still visit Fort Cochin. Staying on the mainland reduces the transfer time to Cochin Airport and Ernakulam city is excellent for shopping. There are some good hotels on Willingdon Island – although the island itself is rather industrial and has a large naval base. Vypin is an island north of Fort Cochin and this is where you will find the city’s best beach – Cherai.
Cochin Airport is inland and north of the city. Depending on the traffic it can take an hour and a half or more to get to Fort Cochin. Therefore for an early departure it makes sense to stay close to the airport. There are a cluster of hotels around the airport.