Kerala given the apt tile of “God’s Own Country”, nestled alongside the Malabar coast, is a state where civilizations has flourished alongside the beauty of nature. Vast lands draped in plush green foliage, quite backwaters with the only sound of whispering nature and a soothing climate with an amicable ambience. This is the mesmerizing essence of the wildness of the landscape and an uninhibited energy that envelops Kerala’s environment. Indulge in the splendour of these prismatic lands and be a part of its bountiful rustic beauty. Kerala is also known as the ‘Spice Garden of India’ owing to its prominence as a spice exporter since 3000 BCE.

Come relish in the state that possesses everything to aid your itchy feet. The beautiful backwaters, picturesque hill station and idyllic beaches are some of the most famous places to visit in Kerala.

Here is a list of the best 20 tourist places to visit and things to do in Kerala in 2020

1) Kochi

Chinese fishing nets Kochi
Photo – nicnac1000, Flickr

Kochi, the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”, the land where technology and nature have flourished hand in hand. A city with a glorious past, beautiful present and prosperous future. Kochi has garnered a name for it as one of the most famous places of Kerala. Not only that it is has been listed as one of the best tourist destinations in India. This city is truly a paradise for people searching for breathtaking vistas of nature’s most exquisite features blended with all the ease of evolving tech. The essence of its Portuguese, Dutch And British lineage has not been overshadowed by modernisation and still lingers in its grand edifices. This port city’s vibrant culture, heritage and traditions bundled with Kerala’s iconic sublimity is something to behold. Gleaming beaches, picturesque backwaters, grandiose monuments, thriving flora and fauna are just a peck of the entire picture. The Chinese Fishing Nets are the most popular sight to see in Kochi. With an endless scope of thrill and adventure, this place is undoubtedly one of the ultimate destinations of India.

2) Munnar

Munnar Kashmir of South India quaint hill station
Photo – Shanmuga Velan, Flickr

Munnar, the “Kashmir of South India”, a quaint hill station ideal for a trip that will instil ardent love and philia in your life and is among the best places in Kerala. A perfect romantic getaway and a famed honeymoon destination for the newlyweds to get the spark of love in the romance-filled ambience of this place. The sprawling greenery with jaw-dropping sights enough to impart you with a feeling of ecstasy. Munnar has seen a constant rise in the tourism sector for this offers you with one of the best exotic vacations you are ever going to have. Repleting with enchanting views of beautiful cascading waterfalls, age-old dolmens of Muniyara and the one of its kind echo point, Munnar won’t disappoint the traveller in you. Not only that but the profound wildlife that inhabits these lands will just make you fall in love this place. A walk through the forests where one can sight a diverse flora and fauna is among the best things to do in Munnar.

3) Alappuzha

Alappuzha Houseboat
Photo – yugantarora, Flickr

Honoured with the title of “the Venice of the East”, Alappuzha is most certainly one of the best places to visit in Kerala. Its resemblance to Venice with respect to having abundant water bodies all over the region like beautiful canals, backwaters and beaches. Lush green paddy fields under drizzling sunlight, serene backwaters embellished with palm trees on sides, a stunning climate with light bracing winds giving rise to tiny ripples on the surface of tranquil lakes; this is the beauty of Alappuzha. Set off on a soul-nourishing journey to explore the beauty of the Venice of the East on the luxurious houseboats rowing over the mildly salty water of the lagoons which will make you think this is one of the best activities to do in Alappuzha. Assuredly this place is worth being one of the best places to visit in Kerala.

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4) Thekkady

Elephants Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Photo – Tom, Flickr

A place endowed with stunning landscapes, the astounding cornucopia of flora and fauna and blissful greenery enveloping the lands. The all year long soothing climate makes this an evergreen place to visit. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most famous tourist places in Thekkady. Known for its flourishing green foliage that comprises of lush evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests and open canopy savanna grasslands. The strewing flora and fauna furnish an alluring environment for nature lovers to marvel at and appreciate its natural beauty deeply. Its awe-inspiring landscapes also include spellbinding lakes beside which herds of wild elephants, deer and bison that come down to drink from which just intensifies the sublimity of the milieu. Don’t forget to put this on your list of exploring the most beautiful tourist places in Kerala.

5) Kovalam

Kovalam Beach
Photo – Bijukumar KN, Flickr

Kovalam has acquired a world-renowned name for having the most idyllic beaches which make this place one the best places to visit in Kerala. The crystal-clear turquoise blue waters, the agitated froth moving back and forth on the shore, the golden beach lined with an array of slender coconut trees and the most famous and distinctive view of the light-house standing at the edge of the shore overlooking the pristine sea. These attributes have garnered quite a name for this beach on a worldwide basis. This place is replete with resorts for the most deluxe stay. Ancient Hindu Temples, grand churches and mosques are also the part of its dynamic splendour and are great places to visit in Kovalam.

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6) Kollam

Ashtamudi Lake Kollam
Photo – picnic wale, Flickr

Truly one of a kind and also first of its kind, the Kollam Beach, Kerala’s first ‘Beach Wedding Destination’. Also identified as Mahatma Gandhi Beach, this beach has the most alluring sights that will flatter you. The shimmering sand embellished with the flourishing green foliage of the other side makes for an extremely comforting view. Located in the heart of the city, Ashtamudi Lake, known as the gateway to the huge network of the scenic backwaters of Kerala. One of the most striking tourist attractions in Kollam. Carter to the fun and frolic of the Kollam Fests, Kollam’s own annual festival, a signature event unveiling the rich culture and heritage to the eyes of the world. Coming here and being a part of this festival is no doubt among the best things to do in Kerala.

7) Kumarakom

Kumarakom Houseboat lake
Photo – rakesh singh, Flickr

Home to the longest lake in India and the largest lake in Kerala, Kumarakom is a hotspot for tourist all across the globe. This city encompasses the best of what Kerala has to offer its guest the most lavish setting of the Vembanad Lake. One can truly revel in the laid-back charm of rowing over the serene waters which are the habitat of vibrant marine life, on a Kettuvallm (houseboat). A perfect way to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and relish one of the best things to do in Kumarakom. A bird sanctuary displaying the diverse avifauna and the sparkling beauty of the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall is also the major attractions of Kumarakom. Don’t miss the chance to pay a visit to Kerala’s one of the most beautiful tourist places in Kerala.

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8) Vagamon

Vagamon or Wagamon hill station and land of coconuts
Photo – vinodjohnson, Flickr

Vagamon or Wagamon, a hill snuggled in the Kottayam district in the land of Coconuts. The well-renowned magazine publication National Geographic Traveler has listed this place under the 50 most attractive places to visit in India, a well-deserved position owing to the plentiful alluring spectacles this place has to furnish. Strewn meadows, brisk stimulating breeze, piquant waterfalls and the rambling rivulets make this place a coveted tourist place in Kerala. You can enjoy the panoramic bird’s eye view of the blissful hills and lush green meadows through the caressing blanket of clouds by going paragliding. This is definitely one of the best adventure activities to do in Vagamon.

9) Kozhikode

Spices and Pulses Kozhikode
Photo – Glyn Williams, Flickr

Welcome to the “City of Spices”, where you’ll be taken in by the ambrosial fragrance of the profound spices this place has to offer. Kozhikode has come a long way through since it used to be one of the major cities on the spice trade routes in the ancient time and now has grown into a city with booming technology and infrastructure. The rustic charm of this place still lingers in its environment and is reflected upon the culture and traditions of the native people. No wonder this place has earned the title of one of the best cities to live in by many famous philosophers. Aquarium, Esplanade, radio stations, fishing villages, ancient Mishkal Masjidh, seafood restaurants and Lions Children’s park are some of the best places to visit in Kozhikode. This city truly is among the best tourist places to visit in Kerala.

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10) Wayanad

wayanad scene
Photo – Magic Moment, Flickr

Wayanad, one of Kerala’s most precious gems, entices its visitors with some of the most striking landscapes it owns. The magnificent waterfalls, insightful historical caves and the scattering greenery that flourishes all around makes visiting this place one of the best things to do in Kerala. Most famous for its wildlife sanctuaries which are the abode of much exquisite range of flora and fauna which is perpetually flourishing in a quaint environment which is an integral part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. There are even accommodations to satiate the needs of every adrenaline junkie out there like involving themselves in adventure sports like trekking and mountain biking can also be made a part of this journey. These are some of the best adventure activities to do in Wayanad. Wayanad’s innate natural beauty is enough incentive to make this district a part of your Kerala visit list.

11) Munroe Island

Boating Munroe Island
Photo – gireeshda, Flickr

Situated where the two of the most alluring water bodies, Asthamudi Lake and the Kallada river mingle together, Munroe Island is truly among the most beautiful tourist places in Kerala. The constellation of eight small islets forms this trancing island adorned by tall coconut trees carpeting the entire place. Replete with luxurious resorts furnishing the most genial experience, with all accommodations for an impeccable stay. Go on a bird watching tour witnessing the diverse avifauna migrating from the ends of the world. Or interact with the locals and see the fascinating process of coir retting, their central occupational work. Boating through the narrow canals of the while having an awe-inspiring view of the resplended mangroves is among the best activities to do in Munroe. This place is also surrounded by quaint little hammocks which just intensifies splendour.

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12) Kasaragod

Bekal Fort Kasaragod
Photo – dr.p.santhosh kumar, Flickr

Be enthralled by the impeccable beauty of the secluded lands of Kasaragod endowed with the most magnificent sites that send you into a state of elated bliss. This place has everything to hold your eyes captive long enough to make you fall for its inherent beauty. Places like the Ananthapura Lake Temple, poised at the centre of emerald green waters which creates a serene environment that furnishes the most soothing and soul-nourishing experience. The enchanting Ranipuram hills, the imposing Bekal Fort, and the pristine beaches are all some of the ultimate destinations in Kasaragod. Embrace yourself to have a journey filled with mesmerizing sights and tranquillizing surroundings. Kasaragod is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kerala.

13) Nelliyampathy Hills

Nelliyampathy Hills Ranges
Photo – Abhilash Ramachandran, Flickr

A treat for all the excursionist out there, the Nelliyampathy Hill ranges are not to be missed. The calming ambience of the milieu is enough to quench your wanderlust. Majestic hills caressed by the conglomeration of supple white clouds, almost a literal manifestation of ‘seventh heaven’. Explore the striking lands extending to great lengths harbouring plenty of incredible vistas. Have a frolic near the baronial Pothundy Dams which is a well-renowned picnic spot or catch a sight of the verdure paddy fields. This place is sprawling with privately-owned resorts and hotels so a comfy stay is not at all a concern here. Trekking is one of the most popular sports activities in Nelliyampathy and is coveted by many zealous travellers. One can also spectate tall sparkling waterfalls which also magnifies the overall brilliance of this peculiar site. No wonder Nelliyampathy Hill range is deemed as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kerala.

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14) Guruvayur

Elephant Sanctuary Guruvayur
Photo – Renjith Menon, Flickr

Guruvayur or Guruvayoor, a temple town enveloped in a divine aura, where thousands of devotees come for spiritual guidance. The abode of the holy Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple. It is one of the most famous places in Guruvayur as hinted by its name. This well-renowned temple is also known as the “Bhooloka Vaikuntam” which translates to the scared house of the Almighty Vishnu. This is one of the most sought-after edifices of worship all across the country. The divine deity, Lord Vishnu’s idol is embellished with gilded garments sparkling with intricately exquisite work. This town is straggling with sacred grounds and is a paradise for pilgrims. Apart from its majestic sanctity, Guruvayur is also famous for the Elephant sanctuary. The Punnathur Kotta an old-world fort houses an Elephant camp where more than 500 elephants can be found wandering across an area of 11.5 acres of land. Visiting this “Palace of Elephants” is one of the best things to do in Guruvayur.

15) Malampuzha

Rock Garden Malampuzha
Photo – hussain zakir, Google

One of the ultimate destinations of South India, Malampuzha is a town which appeals to a large crowd of tourist all year long. It anchors many praiseworthy sites and also facilitates some amusing and thrilling activities for you do try your hand at. Among the most visited places in Malampuzha is South India’s sole rock-cut garden bestowment of the illustrious artist Nek Chand. Here one can savour the astounding vistas of a perfect blend of man-made creations and nature’s pristine beauty. Sparkling fountains, picturesque flower beds with ornate designs, and intricate sculptures chiselled by some of the most famous sculptures of South India. The panoramic view of the magnificent dam is just a cherry on top. Capture all these spellbinding sights sitting on the ropeways which furnishes you an aerial view of the entire garden and its surroundings which will vitalize your senses.

The entire town is blessed with a plethora of picnic spots which just adds to its attraction. Don’t make the mistake of missing out on so much of the things that this town has to offer. It is worthy of being among the top places to visit in Kerala.

16) Kavil Pattanam

Kavvayi River Kavil Pattanam
Photo – parvezgulshah, Flickr

Kavil Pattanam, a port around which revolves in numerous legends and tales penned in history by some of the greatest travellers of all time like Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo. The brush of time has evolved this dainty little town which was once revered among the major spice and gems trade centre, into a beautiful island obscure from the eyes of many. Scattered across the districts of Kannur and Kasaragod, this scenic cluster of islands is encircled by one of the largest backwaters in all of South. Fed by the river Kavvayi, get ready to lose yourself amidst these alluring backwaters. Venture into a quest where you can delve into the serene sublimity of these unexplored islands get enamoured by the picturesque Kavvayi backwaters. Explore these lesser-known islands for this is surely one of the best place to visit in Kerala.

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17) Kizhunna

Kizhunna beach
Photo – Clarie Cooper, Flickr

If you seek for a delightful day at a beach secluded from the rest of the beaches with swarming population, you are in luck since Kizhunna beach happens to be one of those. This is truly a hidden treasure as it offers such a pleasingly unusual experience at the sea which will leave you awestruck. Calm and clear blue waters, gentle waves rushing back and forth at the shore, mildly warm golden beach inlined with coconut trees to give you a proper coastal experience. The perpetually bracing winds will blow away all the weariness of the mind and body. An evening stroll along the pristine shores of this beach or a nourishing sunbath in the light of the day will surely loosen your knots and are the best activities to do in Kizhunna. This place offers you a chance to revel in solitude and view the spectacle while contemplating, which makes this place of the best places to visit in Kerala. The non-monsoon season is the most ideal time to visit this place.

18) Kannur

Mangrove Forest Kannur
Photo – Prashob Adithiruthy, Flickr

Frequented by many travellers all year round, Kannur is a place that offers many wonders of extremely versatile nature for a wholesome vacation. Lying on the cusp of Malabar Coast of Kerala, this city is bestowed with a breathtakingly striking landscape. The natural beauty of this place is complemented by the vivid culture of this place. Exceptional beaches, ancient temples, historical monuments and a clump of gorgeous outing spots, all an integral part of wondrous spectacles and many more are the places to visit in Kannur. Traces of the colonial era mingled with a vestige of the Dutch and the Portuguese which still lingers in the architectural designs and structures around the city. Kannur is also popularly known as the Land of Looms and Lords owing to its exceedingly proficient art of weaving, a skill that has been passed on through generations. The prolific explorer Marco Polo has given this city the epithet of a ‘great emporium of spice trade’. This is a land of many wonders and among the most famous places in Kerala.

19) Kuttanad

Paddy Field Kuttanad
Photo – Praveen, Flickr

Have a taste of rural India in the ‘Rice Bowl of Kerala’, Kuttanad. A piquant low-lying village where rice farming has flourished to the point that won its well-deserved title. The most salient aspect of this village is its enchanting views of the countryside which presents a grand spectacle alluring many visitors to this place. A distinctive feature of this village is that it is the only place in the world where you can witness farming done up to 2 meters below sea level. You will get the best of what this place has to offer during the harvest season where one can also catch a glimpse of a diverse avifauna. A plethora of verdure replete with amazing scenic views. One can experience the rural lifestyle and acquire a deeper insight into it taking a bite of the daily bread of the village people. Brace yourself to witness a deep affinity between nature and man flourishing in a symbiotic relation. The welcoming smiles of the locales will instantly make you melt and develop a strange philia for this place. No doubt it is among the most beautiful places to visit in Kerala.

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20) Malappuram

Madin Grand Masjid Malappuram
Photo – umernujoom, Flickr

Malappuram, a district with a glorious history and rich and vibrant culture and heritage. The name’s literal translation is a land perched atop a hill. This district gives a vivid perception into the cultural heritage of Kerala as the district’s own acculturation is mirrored with it. Get enlightened at one of the most auspicious kernels of Hindu-Vedic learning and knowledge of Islamic philosophy. The festivities of the places of worship of Hindu and Muslims are among the most frolic events of this place which is much-coveted by masses. You can also rejoice in the richly joyous occasion and form a bond with the culture of Kerala. The radical art forms and rituals are also sure to capture your attention and beautify your experience of Kerala sightseeing. Make sure to add this place to Kerala tourism.

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