Best things to do in Kerala 2024

17 Best things to do in Kerala

Experiencing the Enchanting Wonders of Kerala

Imagine a land where verdant hills kiss the sky, backwaters welcome you with serene gestures, and vibrant festivals dazzle your senses. Welcome to Kerala, a paradise on the southwestern tip of India. Known as “God’s Own Country,” Kerala offers a blend of rich culture, aromatic cuisine, lush landscapes, and warm-hearted locals. If you’re planning to visit from abroad, here’s an extended look at the best things to do in Kerala to ensure your journey will be unforgettable. in this guide we will explore the best things to do in kerala 

Top 15 tourist places in Kerala

Houseboat Stays in Alleppey

If you’re looking for a serene escape, opting for a houseboat stay in the backwaters of Alleppey (Alappuzha) is a must. As you drift down tranquil canals flanked by swaying coconut groves and paddies, you’ll experience a slice of Kerala’s rustic charm.

  • Houseboats are essentially floating hotels, replete with modern conveniences, traditional Kerala architecture, and a dedicated crew to tend to your needs.

  • Imagine waking up to the sound of gentle water lapping against the boat while lush greenery greets you outside your window.

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Things to do in Munnar

Canoe Trips and Village Tours

Though houseboats offer an expansive view of the backwaters, for a closer look at daily life, consider a canoe trip or a village tour.

  • Canoeing through narrower water channels allows you to observe village folk at their daily chores, from fishing to coir making.

  • Village tours often include visits to local schools, homes, and bustling marketplaces, providing a more intimate experience of Kerala’s cultural fabric.

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Things to do in Kerala for couples

Exploring the Western Ghats

Munnar: The Tea Haven of Kerala

Nestled amidst the scenic Western Ghats is Munnar, renowned for its sprawling tea plantations and cool climate. A visit to this hill station transports you to a world where time moves slower, and nature’s beauty is magnified.

  • Drive along narrow, winding roads flanked by lush tea gardens and mist-covered valleys.

  • Visit the Tea Museum to delve into the history and intricate process of tea production, along with sampling different tea varieties.

Trekking and Wildlife in Wayanad

Wayanad’s untouched forests and varied terrains are a trove for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.

  • Trekking Routes: Several trails lead you through dense forests, sparkling waterfalls, and ancient caves. Popular treks include the Chembra Peak and Edakkal Caves.

  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: The Muthanga and Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuaries offer safari tours where you can spot elephants, tigers, and various bird species in their natural habitats.

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Top 5 tourist places in Kerala

Immersing in Rich Culture and History

Kochi: A Blend of Modernity and Tradition

Kochi (Cochin) is often your entry point to Kerala and holds within it a fascinating mix of old-world charm and contemporary vibes.

  • Fort Kochi: The historic Fort Kochi area features colonial-era architecture, quaint cafes, and charming streets. Don’t miss the iconic Chinese fishing nets and a visit to the St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India.

  • Jewish Synagogue and Mattancherry Palace: These spots provide a glimpse into the rich, multicultural past of Kochi with their intricate designs and historical significance.

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Tourist places in Kerala for 3 days

Kathakali and Traditional Arts

No visit to Kerala is complete without experiencing its traditional art forms.

  • Kathakali Shows: These classical dance-dramas, characterized by elaborate costumes and face-painting, recount tales from Hindu epics. Look for performances in Kochi or cultural venues across Kerala.

  • Kalaripayattu: This ancient martial art form is often showcased in exhibitions where skilled practitioners display their agility and combat techniques.

“Witnessing a Kathakali performance feels like stepping into a mythical realm where art and reality blend seamlessly.”

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Kerala tourist places list with Images

Relishing Kerala’s Flavors

Traditional Kerala Cuisine

Kerala’s cuisine reflects its coastal nature and affinity for spices. Here are some must-try dishes:

  • Sadya: An elaborate vegetarian feast served on a banana leaf, typically part of festivals and special occasions. Expect rice, sambar, avial, thoran, pickles, and more.

  • Seafood Delicacies: Prawn Moilee (prawn curry in coconut milk), Karimeen Pollichathu (pearl spot fish wrapped in banana leaf), and Chemmeen Curry (spicy shrimp curry) are must-tries for seafood lovers.

  • Appam with Stew: These lacy rice pancakes paired with a coconut milk-based stew, usually with chicken or vegetables, are a breakfast favorite.

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Tourist places in kerala for 3 days from bangalore

Spice and Tea Plantations

Kerala’s rich soil produces a diverse range of spices and tea.

  • Spice Farms: A guided tour through the spice farms in Thekkady can be a sensory delight. Learn about the cultivation of spices like black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and vanilla.

  • Tea Tasting Sessions: In regions like Munnar, many tea estates offer tasting sessions and shop visits where you can purchase freshly processed tea and other organic products.


kovalam tourist places

Kovalam: The Beach Paradise

Kovalam is one of the most popular beach destinations in Kerala, offering a mix of relaxation and activity.

  • Lighthouse Beach: This is the busiest beach, known for its iconic lighthouse that offers panoramic views of the coastline.

  • Hawa Beach: A quieter alternative to Lighthouse Beach, ideal for sunbathing and swimming.



varkala places to visit

Varkala: The Cliff Beach

Varkala offers a unique coastal experience with its striking cliffs and pristine beaches.

  • Papanasam Beach: Known for its natural springs and pristine waters, this beach is a serene place for swimming and sunbathing.

  • Cliffside Cafes: Perched atop Varkala’s cliffs, these cafes offer not only delicious food but also spectacular sunset views.

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Kerala festivals list

Witnessing Kerala’s Festivals

Onam: The Harvest Festival

Onam is the most significant festival in Kerala, celebrated with grandeur and zest.

  • Pookalam (Floral Rangoli): Intricately designed floral arrangements adorn homes and public spaces.

  • Vallam Kali (Snake Boat Races): Thrill yourself by witnessing the snake boat races, especially famous in the backwaters.

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12 festivals of Kerala

Thrissur Pooram: The Festival of Festivals

Held in April-May, Thrissur Pooram is an extravagant display of cultural unity and spiritual fervor.

  • Elephant Parade: Decorated elephants, traditional drum performances, and fireworks make this event a visual spectacle.

  • Kudamattom: This is a synchronized display of colorful parasols atop elephants, performed by skilled participants.

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Wellness Tour Package in Kerala

Embracing Wellness in Kerala

Ayurvedic Treatments

Kerala is the birthplace of Ayurveda, and it’s a global hotspot for wellness tourism.

  • Ayurvedic Spas and Retreats: These offer therapeutic treatments that range from simple massages to detoxifying retreats, focused on holistic well-being.

  • Yoga and Meditation Centers: Many centers offer personalized programs that integrate yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda for a rejuvenating experience.

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ecotourism destinations in kerala

Eco-Tourism and Responsible Travel

Kerala’s lush landscapes provide ideal settings for eco-tourism activities.

  • Periyar Tiger Reserve: Participate in eco-tourism programs like jungle walks and bamboo rafting that aim to promote sustainable travel while providing you a close-up view of flora and fauna.

  • Muziris Heritage: Discover Kerala’s ancient trade history through the Muziris Heritage Project, which promotes the historic spice route and responsible travel practices.


Best things to do in Kollam

  • Houseboat Day Cruise: Enjoy a relaxing day cruise on a houseboat along the vast Ashtamudi Lake. Surrounding Kollam city with Munroe Island at one end, this cruise offers breathtaking views and tranquility. Take a canoe ride along the canals of Munroe Island, making it one of the best things to do in Kerala for a serene backwater experience.

  • Thankassery Fishing Harbour: Visit one of the largest fishing harbours in Kerala, Thankassery, for an authentic glimpse into the lives of local fishermen. Experience firsthand the bustling activities and vibrant atmosphere of this important coastal hub, a must-visit place in Kerala.

  • Jatayu Earth Centre: Explore the Jatayu Earth Centre situated atop a 350-meter-high hill, away from Kollam town. It houses the world’s largest bird sculpture, Jatayu, inspired by Hindu mythology. Discover the cultural and mythological significance of this iconic landmark, offering one of the best things to do in Kerala for myth enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

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  • Village Tour (Maranalloor): Explore the rural charm of Maranalloor with a village tour. Visit the historic Maranalloor Siva Temple, which dates back 600 years. Take a leisurely walk through vegetable farms and banana plantations. Visit pottery making and handloom units. Experience authentic Kerala hospitality with lunch at a village home. Conclude with local shopping, immersing yourself in village life, one of the best things to do in Kerala.

  • Kottoor Elephant Rehabilitation Centre Visit: Located near Neyyar Dam reservoir, the Kottoor Elephant Rehabilitation Centre houses around 17 elephants. Learn about elephant conservation and their care here, making it one of the best things to do in Kerala for wildlife enthusiasts.

  • Neyyar Dam Visit: Discover Neyyar Dam, an irrigation project on the outskirts of Trivandrum. Participate in activities like boating, trekking, and bamboo rafting amidst picturesque landscapes, offering some of the best things to do in Kerala for adventure seekers.

  • Poovar Island Boating: Experience the serene backwaters of Poovar on a motorboat ride. Explore mangrove islands and witness a breathtaking sunset at the golden beach where the Neyyar River meets the Arabian Sea. Boating in Poovar is one of the must-do activities and best things to do in Kerala for nature lovers.

  • Ponmudi, the Golden Hills: Visit Ponmudi, situated 55 km from Trivandrum. Drive through 22 hairpin bends to reach this hill station at 1000 meters above sea level. Explore Kallar River and Meenmutty Waterfall in the deep forest, offering some of the best things to do in Kerala for nature enthusiasts.

  • Vizhinjam Harbour: Explore the bustling fishing harbor near Kovalam Beach. Witness fishermen auctioning their catch and experience the vibrant local life at one of the must-visit places in Trivandrum.

  • Trivandrum Heritage Walk: Embark on a heritage walk around Padmanabha Swamy Temple and its surroundings. Discover the rich history and cultural heritage of Trivandrum through its streets and buildings, offering insights into Kerala’s past and present, a top choice for the best things to do in Kerala.

  • Vellayani Lake: Visit Vellayani Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Thiruvananthapuram district. Enjoy its serene beauty and explore the surroundings, offering a peaceful retreat and one of the best things to do in Kerala for nature lovers.

  • Attukal Bhagavathy Temple: Visit the renowned Attukal Bhagavathy Temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy. Explore its religious significance and cultural heritage, a spiritual experience and one of the best things to do in Kerala for devotees.

  • Vizhinjam Harbour: Discover Vizhinjam Harbour, a major seaport known for its strategic location and maritime activities. Explore its deep-water capabilities and observe the bustling port activities, making it one of the best things to do in Kerala for maritime enthusiasts.


Best things to do in Alleppey

  • Shikkara Boat Ride: Take a shikkara boat ride along the narrow canals of the Vembanad Lake. It takes you through the villages of this beautiful waterlogged land with green paddy fields. Take a closer look at the lives of the villagers while enjoying the serene beauty of Kerala. This shikkara boat ride is one of the best things to do in Kerala for a peaceful and scenic experience.

  • Village Walk: Take a morning stroll along the banks of the sleepy village town. Explore the local life and culture of Kerala’s villages, making the village walk one of the best things to do in Kerala to connect with authentic rural life.

  • Temple Visit: Visit the Mullakkal Devi Temple or Ambalapuzha Krishna Temple situated on the outskirts of the town. Explore the rich religious and cultural heritage of Kerala through this temple visit, an essential experience and one of the best things to do in Kerala.

Best things to in Kumarakom

  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Nestled along the serene Vembanad Lake, this sanctuary is a haven for bird enthusiasts. Witness a mesmerizing variety of resident and migratory birds in their picturesque wetland habitat, creating an unforgettable experience for nature lovers. Visiting the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is one of the best things to do in Kerala.

  • Kumarakom Village Tour: Wander through charming villages, interact with friendly locals, and gain insights into traditional Kerala lifestyles. Explore paddy fields, coconut groves, and quaint houses, connecting with the authentic essence of rural Kerala. Taking a Kumarakom Village Tour is among the best things to do in Kerala.

  • Shikkara Boat Ride: Drift along the tranquil backwaters of Kumarakom on a Shikkara boat, where every ripple of water carries a story. Enjoy the serene beauty of Kerala’s backwaters with a Shikkara boat ride, a must-do activity in Kerala.

  • Houseboat Ride: Set sail on an enchanting houseboat journey, a quintessential Kerala experience. Traverse the breathtaking backwaters on a luxurious houseboat equipped with modern comforts. A houseboat ride is one of the best things to do in Kerala for a relaxing and scenic experience.


Best things to do in Munnar

  • Trekking in Kolukkumalai: Embark on an exhilarating journey to the lofty heights of Kolukkumalai. Trek through mist-covered trails, surrounded by lush tea plantations.
  • Trekking and Hiking in Lekshmi Hills: Navigate diverse terrains, from dense forests to rolling meadows, as you explore the pristine beauty of nature.
  • Jungle Jeep Safari: Unleash your inner explorer on a thrilling Jungle Jeep Safari. Traverse through rugged terrains and dense jungles, encountering native wildlife in their natural habitat.
  • Cooking Class: Immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of Kerala with a hands-on cooking class. Learn the art of preparing authentic dishes using traditional techniques and local ingredients.
  • Panther Rock, Munnar – Kolukkumalai Tea Estate: Visit Simhapara (Lion Rock), resembling the panther statue from the movie Black Panther. Located 8,500 feet above sea level, it offers breathtaking sunrise views and proximity to the Kolukkumalai and Thappadamlai mountain ranges. This unique experience is one of the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Tea Museum, Munnar: Explore the KDHP Tea Museum, also known as the Tata Tea Museum, situated in Munnar. Learn about the rich history of tea production in Kerala. Visiting this museum is one of the best things to do in Kerala for tea enthusiasts.

Best things to do in Thekkady

  • Gavi Jungle Safari: Enjoy jungle sightseeing, trekking, a visit to the cardamom plantation, museum, and spice plantation, view Sabarimala Temple, and experience pedal boating.
  • Aangamoozhi Jungle Safari: Experience forest entry, a 110 km jeep drive including 90 km of bird watching, a coracle ride, and boating in the lake.
  • Moozhiyar Dam: Stop for a photo at the Penstock pipe.
  • Kakki Dam: Enjoy a scenic walk around the dam.
  • Aanathodu Dam: Explore the walking points around the dam.
  • Pampa Dam: Admire the view of the Pampa Dam.
  • Kochupampa: Experience boating in a serene setting.
  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Boating, Thekkady: Visit the Periyar Tiger Reserve, spanning 777 sq. km, home to diverse flora and fauna. Participate in eco-tourism programs like bamboo rafting, tribal dance, nature walks, night trekking, border hiking, the Periyar Tiger Trail, eco-lodge accommodations, and jungle camps. This is one of the best things to do in Kerala for nature lovers.
  • Traditional and Cultural Arts Kathakali: Kerala offers a rich tapestry of traditional dance, drama, and music. Enjoy unique art forms like Kathakali, Ottamthullal, Chakyarkoothu, Krishnanattam, Koodiyattam, Padayani, Kalaripayattu, Pavakathakali, Theyyam, Velakali, Thiruvathirakali, and Kolkali. Experiencing these art forms is one of the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Kalaripayattu Theatre: Witness Kalaripayattu, Kerala’s traditional martial art. This art form, with its historical significance, is showcased during festivals and special occasions. Many also explore kalari treatment and Marmachikitsa for their medicinal benefits.

Best things to do in Vagamon

  • Experience authentic Kerala cuisine with hands-on cooking classes.
  • Witness the enchanting Kathakali dance performances, a must-see in Kerala.
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride along Marine Drive in Kochi, one of the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Explore the sustainable tourism practices at Kumbalangi Model Tourism Village.
  • Discover Kerala’s majestic temples and their architectural grandeur.
  • Indulge in various water sports at Cherai Beach.
  • Experience thrilling water sports like kayaking and parasailing.
  • Soar through the skies with paragliding, one of the best things to do in Kerala for adventure enthusiasts.
  • Ride high with zipline cycling, an exhilarating activity in Kerala.
  • Engage in a variety of adventure activities such as rock climbing and trekking.

Best things to do in Cochin

  • Experience authentic Kerala cuisine with hands-on cooking classes. One of the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Witness the enchanting Kathakali dance performances, a must-see and one of the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride along Marine Drive in Kochi, one of the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Explore the sustainable tourism practices at Kumbalangi Model Tourism Village, truly one of the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Discover Kerala’s majestic temples and their architectural grandeur. Temple visits are among the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Indulge in various water sports at Cherai Beach, one of the best things to do in Kerala.
  • Experience thrilling water sports like kayaking and parasailing, definitely among the best things to do in Kerala.
Best things to do in Wayanad
  • Experience the tranquility of camping amidst Kerala’s natural landscapes.
  • Embark on a night trail for a unique way to explore Kerala’s wildlife and scenery.
  • Trek and hike to the stunning Chembra Peak, one of the best things to do in Kerala for nature lovers.
  • Visit Kuruva Dweep, an uninhabited island rich in biodiversity.
  • Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on Pookode Lake.
  • Boat at Banasura Sagar Dam, one of the best things to do in Kerala for adventure enthusiasts.
  • Visit the historic Thirunelli Temple nestled in the Wayanad forests.
  • Engage in a variety of adventure activities, perfect for thrill-seekers.
  • Take a village walk to experience the local culture and lifestyle.
  • Visit a tribal farm to learn about traditional farming practices.
  • Indulge in experiential tourism, one of the best things to do in Kerala to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and environment.

Best Things To Do In Kerala

In Kerala, every moment is an opportunity to delve into extraordinary adventures. Glide through tranquil backwaters on traditional houseboats, trek through lush tea plantations, spot exotic wildlife, and embrace the healing touch of Ayurveda. Immerse yourself in cultural celebrations, indulge in gastronomic delights, and discover the warmth of genuine hospitality.

FAQs: Best Things to Do in Kerala

Kerala is known for its backwaters, beaches, and hill stations. Key attractions include Alleppey (for houseboat cruises), Munnar (tea gardens), Fort Kochi, Thekkady (Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary), and Kovalam.

The ideal time to visit Kerala is between September to March when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. The monsoon season (June to August) is also a great time for Ayurveda treatments.


A houseboat cruise in Alleppey or Kumarakom offers a unique journey through Kerala’s scenic backwaters with traditional cuisine and a glimpse of village life.

Yes, some prominent festivals include Onam (August-September), Thrissur Pooram (April-May), and the Snake Boat Race (August), offering rich cultural experiences.

Kerala’s cuisine includes dishes like Appam with Stew, Puttu and Kadala Curry, Kerala Sadya, Fish Moilee, and Malabar Parotta with Beef Fry.

The best places for wildlife spotting are Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, and Eravikulam National Park. These areas offer guided tours and treks.

Adventure seekers can enjoy activities like trekking in Munnar, bamboo rafting in Periyar, paragliding at Vagamon, and surfing at Varkala Beach.

Kerala is generally considered safe for solo travelers, including women. It’s always recommended to take standard precautions such as avoiding isolated areas at night and staying in known accommodations.

Travelers can move around Kerala using public transport like buses and trains, hiring taxis, or renting cars. Auto-rickshaws are also a common mode of transport for shorter distances.

Kerala is famous for Ayurveda. Tourists can find numerous wellness centers and resorts, especially in places like Kovalam, Kumily, and Alleppey, offering treatments and spa services.

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