If you’re planning to visit Kochi for Rubyconf India 2017, here are some frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please ask the question on the Kerala Ruby mailing list.
Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a port city of the southern state of Kerala. Kochi is located on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea. The city is about 206 km north of Thiruvananthapuram, the state’s capital. Kochi is easily accessible by air, rail and road.
The city has an international airport; it is known as the Cochin International Airport. The airport is located in Nedumbassery, about 38 km from Kochi main city. About 9 domestic and 17 international airlines connect with this airport. Bus and taxi services are easily available to travel from the airport. The city also has a second airport which is a Defence Airbase and is not open to the public.
Kochi is well linked with major cities and states of India. Kochi has two major railway stations; they are the Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. The railways stations at Aluva, Thripunithura, Kalamassery, Kumbalam, Nettoor and Aroor serve the city outskirts and surrounding metropolitan area.
Kochi is well connected by road to adjoining cities and states via several state and national highways. Kochi is well link with the National Highway number 47, 17, 49, 47A and 47C. The city is also well connected with several state highways. Buses and taxis services are available daily in Kochi.
The city has private bus operators and the state public transport KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation). (Some of the buses may not have signs in English.)
Uber and Ola Cabs apps can be used for hiring cabs within the city.
Taxis can also be hired from taxi stands located all over the city. Other options are auto-rickshaws and private rent-a-cars and bikes. You can find taxi and auto rickshaw stands outside the city railway stations.
The venue for the conference is Le Meridien.
Le Meridien is located about 38km from the airport. There are prepaid taxis available at the airport (costing around Rs. 1000). There are taxi booking counters at both the domestic and international terminals. You can also contact them at +91 484 2610115 (Extn: 2242).
You can also book cabs using Uber or Ola Cabs apps in Kochi.
Buses are available to Kochi from the airport. Buses to Ernakulam, Vyttila or Fort Kochi will take you to Vyttila, which is about 4km from the hotel. From here, you can take a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to the hotel.
Kochi has two main train stations - Ernakulam Town (also called Ernakulam North), which is 10km from the venue, and Ernakulam Junction (or Ernakulam South), which is about 8km away. You can travel by prepaid taxi or auto rickshaw from either station.
If you’re traveling by bus to Kochi, most buses will take you to Vyttila Hub, which is about 4km from the venue. You can take a taxi or an auto rickshaw from here.
Type C, D, M - 220V, 50Hz.
The local language is Malayalam, but many people in Kochi can communicate in English.
If you’re traveling to India from abroad, please note that India withdrew old currency denominations of Rs. 500 and 1000 in Nov 2016. As a result, there might be restrictions on how much cash you can withdraw from ATMs. Use your credit/debit card, whenever possible.
The Rupee is available in denominations of Rs. 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 2000. Coins are available in denominations of Rs. 1, 2, 5 and 10.
Kochi has tropical weather, and it is generally quite hot and humid. January is relatively cooler, with daily temperatures in the range 22-32C (72-90F).
If you’re visiting from outside India, and need a SIM card while you’re in India, you can purchase a SIM card from kiosks at the Cochin airport.
It might take 24-48 hours for new SIM cards to be activated.
Some places to visit in Kochi:
Other activities nearby:
If you have a day or two before or after the conference, you might want to visit some of these places.
While you’re in Kochi, make sure that you try out the Kerala cuisine. If you’re staying in Le Meridien, there are two restaurants in the hotel - Latest Recipe and Ember where you can try local cuisine.
Some of the other places you can try in Kochi: