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Mural art in Mattancherry Palace Museum | © Mark Hills / WikiCommons
Mural art in Mattancherry Palace Museum | © Mark Hills / WikiCommons

The Best Museums in Kochi, India

Picture of Charishma Thankappan
Updated: 13 January 2018

Museums are one of the primary sources of insight into a place. Visiting a museum right at the beginning of your travel itinerary helps you learn about the history and evolution of the region, its culture, and traditions. Kochi has several different kinds of museums to boast of that unravel its varied facets. From art, history and maritime biodiversity to naval, here are eight museums that you can visit in the city.

Museum of Kerala Arts & History

The Museum of Kerala Arts & History, aka Kerala Museum at Edapally, Kochi, is one of the oldest art and history museums in the city. The institution, founded by R Madhavan Nair in 1986, aims to present and bring focus to the rich and varied heritage of Kerala.

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

Closest Metro and Bus Stop: Pathadipalam

Ticket Price: ₹ 8 per adult, ₹ 5 per child

Kerala Museum, Salem-Kanyakumari Highway, Koonamthai, Edappally, Koonamthai, Edappally, Ernakulam, Kerala, India, +91 4842 541 768

Marine Biodiversity Museum

The Marine Biodiversity Museum offers a glimpse into the biodiversity present in the sub-continental seas through specimens collected from estuaries and deeper coastal waters. The collections are arranged systematically, exhibiting six holotype specimens beside a dolphin and three Antarctic birds.

Timings: 11 am to 6 pm (closed on Sundays)

Closest Ferry and Bus Stop: High Court

Ticket Price: ₹ 20 per adult, ₹ 10 per child

Marine Biodiversity Museum, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Abraham Madamakkal Road, Ayyappankavu, Ernakulam, Kerala, India, +91 4842 394 357

Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum

The Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum, constructed in 2009 as a non-profit organisation, is a treasure trove that showcases the vibrant heritage that Kerala exudes through numerous art and dance forms. It is a unique venture that preserves the fascinating folk art forms of Kerala and brings it to the people of the state by conducting shows at its theatre.

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

Closest Ferry and Bus Stop: Thevara

Ticket Price: ₹ 100 per adult, ₹ 50 per student

Kerala Folklore Museum, Door No 26-2059C, Pandit Karuppan Road, Near Thevara Ferry Junction, Thevara, Kochi, Kerala, India,+91 484 2665452

Cochin Port Maritime Heritage Museum

On May 27, 2014, 86 years since the first ship docked in Cochin Port, the Cochin Port Maritime Heritage Museum opened as a part of the Port Day celebrations. The museum exhibits a collection of rare photographs connected to the saga of the construction of Cochin Port.

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays)

Closest Ferry and Bus Stop: Embarkation and Bristow Road

Ticket Price: ₹ 10 per head

Cochin Port Maritime Heritage Museum, +91 4842 582 199

Hill Palace Museum

The Hill Palace Museum, built in 1865, was the official residence of the erstwhile rulers of Kochi. It was taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1980 and converted into a museum, with the official inauguration in 1984. Oil paintings, murals, sculptures, manuscripts, and belongings of the Kochi royal family are on display here.

Timings: 9 am to 4:30 pm (closed on Mondays)

Closest Bus Stop: Hill Palace

Ticket Price: ₹ 30 per adult, ₹ 10 per child

Hill Palace Museum, Hill Palace, Karingathira Road, Ernakulam District, Irumpanam, Thrippunithura, Tripunithura, Kerala, India+91 4842 781 113

Indian Naval Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum, located at INS Dronacharya in Kochi, describes the formation of the Indian Naval force, which is one of the 10 strongest naval powers in the world today. Exhibits teach visitors about the maritime history dating back to Indus Valley civilisations and Kerala’s famous naval hero Kunjali Marakkar.

Timings: 9:30 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

Closest Ferry and Bus Stop: Fort Kochi and Chirattapalam

Ticket Price: ₹ 40 per adult, ₹ 20 per child

Indian Naval Maritime Museum, 

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A unique piece of navigational equipment at the SNC Maritime Museum | © Charishma Thankappan

Indo-Portuguese Museum

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Fort Kochi, and the distinct cultures of these two peoples intermingled inextricably, leaving imprints in architecture, daily lives, faith, and every other aspect of life. With the efforts of Dr Joseph Kureethra, the resultant rich cultural heritage is showcased here.

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

Closest Ferry and Bus Stop: Fort Kochi and Chirattapalam

Ticket Price: ₹ 20 per adult, ₹ 10 per child

Indo-Portuguese Museum, Bishop Kureethara Road, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India

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Bishop’s house inside the Indo-Portuguese Museum complex | © Charishma Thankappan

Mattancherry Palace Museum

Around 1955, the then-King of Cochin built and gifted the Portuguese the palace, which the Dutch later extended and renovated; the building was then popularly known as the Dutch Palace. The exquisite mural paintings, executed in the best traditions of Hindu temple art, are still visible and forms the major attraction here.

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

Closest Ferry and Bus Stop: Mattancherry or Star Junction

Ticket Price: ₹ 10 per adult, ₹ 5 per child

Mattancherry Palace Museum, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala, India, +91 4846 068 716