Shopping in Cochin
"Shopping opportunities in Fort Kochi India"
All information below is subject to change
Fort Kochi has mostly shops and popular markets close to the water. Otherwise, for spices you should head for the spice shops in Mattancherry.
Me and my former class mates from development studies noticed that the prices tend to be higher in Fort Kochi than say, Ernakulam, Varkala or Trivandrum.
Bargaining is a must, whether you're in the market or in the shops!
Here's some shopping alternatives for you!
Fort Kochi Markets
I saw two markets in central Fort Kochi. One right next to St. Francis church which is the largest one, and one small market in Fort Kochi next to the Chinese fishing nets.
You can find nice gifts like jewelry, elephant hangings, handicrafts like small wood elephants and Buddha statues, toys, bags and puppets.
The only thing I bought here was necklaces, one for Rs 140 and one for Rs 100. I bargained down to Rs 200. It could have been much lower, but these sellers are tough. There are lots of tourists here and few stalls so they don't drop the price that much.
Where: Church Road and River road
Want information on the Spice Market in Kochi? Click here for information (link opens in a new window)
Shops in Fort Kochi
You'll find handicrafts in all sizes and materials, wall hangings, clothing, sarees and paintings. Many of them look small from the outside, but when you step inside -- the shop is huge!
I bought a striped bag (Rs 275) and a lovely vintage jewelry box covered in ivory and turquoise murals (Rs 250). It's allowed to bargain at the shops, and managed to get these two for Rs 200.
My former class mates purchased small wall hangings with elephants on it for Rs 450 and larger ones for Rs 800. They had to bargain as hell though!
Electronics: First I thought that the shops in central Fort Kochi were the only shops there. I was looking for a place to fill up my local SIM-card and was redirected to Kunnupuram Junction.
I didn't see many locals around Princess street except for those who worked at hotels, homestays and restaurants. I later found out that in Kunnupuram Junction - that's where 'all' the locals in Fort Kochi are shopping.
Here you can find many shops selling mobile phones, camera gear, small supermarkets and much more. It only took 10-15 minutes to walk from Princess street to Kunnupuram Junction.
It was like walking from one world to another. This part of Fort Kochi was totally unknown to me.
Where: Shops are scattered on Princess street, Bastion street and around Kunnupuram Junction.
Idiom bookstore is a great bookstore if you ask me. They have a good selection of fiction and 'heavier' academical books. They sell both Indian and international books.
This is where I bought Aravind Adiga's famous book: The White Tiger for Rs 299 completely new. A very good book, but also quite disturbing!
I spent a lot of time at Idiom - to me it was almost meditative and quiet, and a getaway from the rickshaw and tout hassle on Princess street. They have chairs where you can sit down and read.
I definitely recommend this place.
Where: Bastion street, close to Vasco de Gama homestay
Their opening hours can be a little unpredictable. Sometimes when the owner is out for lunch or an errand, it takes a while before he's back. That's at least how I experienced it.
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