Must see places in Kerala for Tourists
Titled God's own country with love, the state has a lot to offer from natural beauty, wildlife, a melting pot of culture and everything a tourist could ask for.
You require India e-Tourist Visa or Indian Visa Online to witness the amazing places and experiences as a foreign tourist in India. Alternatively, you could be visiting India on an India e-Business Visa and want to do some recreation and sightseeing in India. The Indian Immigration Authority encourages visitors to India to apply for Indian Visa Online rather than visiting Indian Consulate or Indian Embassy.
Alleppy (or Alappuzha)
Christened the Venice of the East, Alleppy or Alappuzha is a must-visit destination in Kerala. The destination is best known for its backwaters that are a network of canals, rivers and lakes which run throughout the state. There are options for tourists to stay in Kettuvallams which are houseboats overnight or go on a ride for a few hours across the backwaters. Alleppy is home to a plethora of temples and churches for tourists to explore as well. The Vembanadu lake which is the longest in India is at the heart of the backwaters and the sunset seen from the Island on the lake is not to be missed.
Locationn- Around 75 kilometres from Kochi, an hour’s journey
Staying there - Luxury boathouse experience – Tharangini Houseboats or Cosy Houseboats
Hotel - Ramada Inn or Citrus Retreats
Munnar is the most divine hill station in Kerala in the Western Ghats region. As you zoom past mountains you can see many plantations of tea and spices while moving across the mountains. On your visit to Munnar be sure to make your way to the Echo point to get some stunning views and also shout as loud as you can. The Atukkal and Chinnakanal Waterfalls in Munnar is also a go-to spot to marvel at the beauty of the gushing waters. You should also head to Kundala lake while you are at Munnar.
Location – Around 120 kilometres from Kochi, three and a half hour’s journey (hilly region)
Hotel - Fort Munnar or Misty Mountain Resorts
The beaches of Kovalam will make you want to stay here forever as you feel the sand in your feet and the sea breeze in your hair. Kovalam is your go-to destination to get away from the hustle and bustle of a city. Poovar Island is a famous resort thirty minutes from Kovalam where you will be surrounded by water on all sides. The Neyyar river meets the Arabian sea near the Island and makes for a wonderful sight for the eyes.
Location – Around 20 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram, less than half an hour’s journey
Hotel - Vivanta by Taj Green Cove or Hotel Samudra
Kochi (or Cochin)
The gateway of Kerala is known to be the economic capital of the state. The Fort Kochi area is popular amongst tourists due to its unique architecture built and influenced by the Portuguese. Muziris is a destination about an hour from Kochi which is a famous ancient harbour famous for a heritage tour where you visit all the old churches, temples and synagogues. As per a legend, it is said to be the first mosque built in India as well. Do not miss out on taking the mandatory picture with Chinese fishing nets in the evening here.
Hotel - Radisson Blu or Novotel
Foreign nationals coming to India on e-Visa must arrive at one of the designated airports. Both Kochi (or Cochin) and Trivandrum are designated airports for Indian e-Visa with Kochi being a designated seaport as well.
Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryElephants a common sight at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
You will spot elephants at every nook and corner at Thekkady while going on a jungle safari through the deep green forests of the region. The Periyar Lake is a famous spot thronged by tourists where you can hire a boat and enjoy the ambience of the scenic location. The sanctuary is open to tourists throughout the year and you can take a safari on boats and get mesmerised in the beauty of the nature surrounding you.
Location - Thekkady, around 165 kilometres from Kochi, four hours journey
Staying there – Springdale Heritage Resort
Wayanad is another tourist favourite hill station in Kerala and is home to plenty of plantations ranging from coffee, pepper, cardamom and other spices. The entire mountain landscape is covered in lush and thick greenery. The Chembra peak is a popular hike taken on by tourists to see the beautiful scenery of Wayanad. The Muthanga Wildlife sanctuary is only 40 minutes away from Wayand where you can spot deers, bison, cheetahs and bears. The Meenmutty falls are another delightful place to visit as you can watch the cascading waters of the falls. The Edakkal caves require some effort to get there but it is worth every bit of the effort.
Location - Around 90 kilometers from Calicut, around three hours journey
Staying there – Homestays are very popular in the area
TrivandrumPadmanabhaswamy temple, Trivandrum
The capital city of Kerala, home to the most affluent and rich culture in Kerala. The famous Padmanabhaswamy temple built by the Kingdom of Travancore in the 16th century is thronged by Hindus from everywhere around the globe. For history and art buffs, Trivandrum has plenty to offer with many art galleries and museums with unique, ancient and prized collections.
Varkala Beach is a famous spot visited by tourists and is only an hour away from Trivandrum. It is famous as the beach is situated on a cliff and during sunrise and sunsets the spectacles from the beach are marvellous. The Jayatu earth centre opened in 2016 is an hour away from Trivandrum but a must-visit site with the world’s largest bird sculpture.
Staying there – Hotel Galaxy or Fortune Hotel
Popularly known as the city of sculptures and the city of spices in Kerala. The quiet and isolated Kappad Beach is a must visit in Kozhikode as you will not see many tourists here. The Beypore beach which is one of India's oldest ports is also a great place to relax and enjoy the beach waves. The Kozhikode beach is a beautiful spectacle in the evenings. The Kozhippara falls nearby set in the Malappuram ranges are a delight to see.
Staying there – Park residency or The Taviz Resort
The erstwhile capital of the Kingdom of Cochin. The city is seen as the cultural capital of Kerala. The famous Thrissur Pooram is a festival of celebration, processions and music. The famous Athirppally falls known as the Niagra of India is less than 60 kilometres from Thrissur. The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoon from June to September and there is a beautiful picnic spot near the falls.
Location - Around 95 kilometres from Kochi, two hours journey
Staying there – Hotel Peninsula or Dass Continental
FAQs on Places to Visit in Kerala
What are the must-visit backwater destinations in Kerala?
Kerala is renowned for its tranquil backwaters, and Alleppey (Alappuzha) is a must-visit destination. The intricate network of canals, lakes, and rivers offers a serene experience. Houseboat cruises through the backwaters provide a unique glimpse into the local way of life.
Which hill stations are worth exploring in Kerala?
Munnar is a popular hill station nestled in the Western Ghats, known for its lush tea plantations, mist-covered mountains, and diverse flora and fauna. The scenic beauty, pleasant climate, and various trekking opportunities make it a favorite among nature lovers.
What are the iconic beaches in Kerala?
Kovalam Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Kerala. With its golden sands and clear blue waters, Kovalam attracts both domestic and international tourists. The beach is known for its lighthouse, providing panoramic views of the Arabian Sea.
Which cultural destinations should not be missed in Kerala?
Fort Kochi, with its rich history and multicultural heritage, is a cultural hotspot in Kerala. The area is dotted with colonial-era buildings, diverse art galleries, and the famous Chinese fishing nets. The Jew Town and Mattancherry Palace are also significant cultural attractions in Fort Kochi.
Are there any wildlife sanctuaries that are a must-visit in Kerala?
Periyar National Park, located in Thekkady, is a renowned wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. It is home to diverse flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, and various species of birds. The Periyar Lake within the sanctuary offers boat safaris, providing visitors with a chance to observe wildlife in their natural habitat.
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