Shopping in Kochi can truly give you an exceptionally delightful and memorable experience during your visit. The city allows you to find shopping goods at very affordable prices. You can find handicraft traditions in every district of India, and Kochi is not an exception. When you go shopping in this port city, you will see a variety of crafted items made by local craftsmen. These are sold in shops, streets and even the big stores. Most of these goods are made from locally grown crops such as cane, bamboo and coconut.
If you are into collecting exotic native products, Kochi has an array of camel-bone carvings, metalware, crafts made from coconut shells, wood carvings, carpets and fabrics, jewelry and gems, grass mats and many more.
Visiting the little novelty shops around Kochi will help you decide on what to buy as a souvenir for your friends back home. These shops are well-known in Kochi because of the unique assortments of native items they sell such as beaded jewelries, bangles and other accessories made from bamboo, wood, brass, shells, sandalwood and ivory.
Here are some of the best places where you can shop in Kochi:
Marine Drive — This is the place to go if you want to buy watches, suitcases, bags, perfumes, CD’s and music cassettes.
Penta Menaka Complex — The place has several duty free shops where you can find mobile phones and other electronic items.
MG Road — Here, you can buy different kinds of goods such as toys, jewelry, readymade garments, textiles, handicrafts, home furnishing and decorative items.
Broadway — This is a popular place for its array of shops that sell clothes. It is also where you can find shops selling spices.
Mattanchery — This area is found around the Synagogue, and is a significant place in Kochi for spice trade.
The city also has a number of government emporia, which is the safest place to go shopping in Kochi. These places showcase the best collections of traditional handicrafts of Kerala. Shoppers can also get big discounts from the items if you are good at bargaining. Some of Kochi’s government emporia are Kerala State Handicrafts Development Corporation, Ernakulam Market, Kerala State Handicraft Aex Society and Spices Board.
If you prefer to shop at shopping malls, you can visit Marine Drive, wherein you can buy an array of great items. For a more adventurous experience, you can also visit antique dealers in Kochi, where they sell woven textiles made by hand, together with jewelries and other antique goods.
The shops in Kochi usually open at 10 A.M. You have all day to shop until they close at 8 P.M. You may not want to go shopping on Sundays because the shops do not open during this day. Expect big crowds at shopping areas, especially during the late afternoons when people rush in before the shops close. Also, don’t forget to ask for a bargain for the items you buy, because the vendors will surely give you a discount. Good luck and have fun shopping in Kochi!