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Cochin, India

By Lucy | Jun 26 2013

From the rich influences in architecture and charming culture to the little cobble stone streets, friendly people and inviting restaurants, Cochin, India is an inspiring destination (see more here). It should definitely be on your bucket list!

What to do:

The best way to get to know all Cochin has to offer is exploring the city by foot. There is so much to see, experience, and take in.

Paradesi Synagogue and the Jewish quarter – There is a beautiful little area that used to be Jewish quarter but is now known for its great markets and little cobblestone streets. It is not common in India to have synagogues, so this one, built in 1568, is one of the few still in existence and the oldest active in the entire Commonwealth. It is truly incredible and not to be missed.

Ayurvedic Massage – Incredible oils, blended to heal and relax you, are rubbed all over your body to provide better circulation and expel toxins; it's simply divine. As it is an ancient tradition native to Kerala, it's a must do!

The Beach - An absolute must. Go at sunset for one of the most romantic and joyful moments (possibly ever!). As you get to the beach, you will find yourself joined by all the families of Cochin, enjoying the sun set together every evening – it is truly wonderful.

Day trip - A day trip to the rainforest areas in Kerala is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience – think playing with baby elephants in the backwaters – amazing, right? The more traditional, but equally incredible, option is to take a houseboat tour of the backwaters where you will glide by beautiful palm trees and cheerful families as you pass their water-side homes.

Where to stay:

Malabar House – A beautiful and luxurious hotel close to the water. The pool is extraordinary and there is a magical ambiance to the whole place. They have a great restaurant so if staying elsewhere, make sure you at least stop by for drinks or a bit to eat!

Fort House Hotel – this charming old hotel has a dreamy, lush green courtyard and is placed right on the waterfront with a spectacular view. Dinner is served on the dock which is surrounded by little fairy lights - simply enchanting. Elegantly designed rooms all have balconies that look out onto the courtyard. In addition to the wonderful atmosphere, they have a great ayurvedic center in the hotel…bliss.

Where to eat:

Dal Roti - This is a wonderful restaurant with delicious food and a fun, welcoming atmosphere. There are lots of Cochin natives among the travelers – a sure sign the food is authentic. Try the vegetable thali, it is beyond.

Tea - Since Cochin was colonized for a long time by the British and happens to be surrounded by tea plantations, they have a strong love for tea. There are many places to have tea in the Cochin, like Teapot, so go and explore to find your favorite.

Happy travels!