Fort Cochin and Alleppey are a part of this one week Kerala itinerary.
So this covers how to get to Alleppey from Cochin in one of the cheapest ways possible.
These are the basic steps:
- Walk to the Fort Cochin ferry station (maybe 15 minutes)
- Take the Fort Cochin to Ernakulam ferry (maybe 15 minutes)
- Walk to the Ernakulam bus station (maybe 20-30 minutes)
- Take the bus to Alleppey! (maybe around 1.5 to 2 hours)
If you want to be a little quicker getting to the bus station, taking an Uber or rickshaw from the Ernakulam ferry station to the bus station could work out well.
If you want to be even quicker, you can take an Uber or rickshaw from Fort Cochin to the bus station.
I was staying in Fort Cochin, but I took the bus from Ernakulam.
I generally think getting on the bus from the place it starts makes it easier when you’re unfamiliar with the area.
I also think that you can better guarantee yourself a seat the earlier on the bus route that you get on the bus.
Leaving from Ernakulam also gives you the chance to leave Fort Cochin in part Kerala-style! aka by BOAT! 😉
Map of Fort Kochi to Alleppey
To get a better idea of the visual, have a look at the map below, or see the map in google maps!
Cochin to Alleppey train?
There are a number of trains running from Cochin to Alleppey, so taking the train can also be a reasonable option for this route.
So as long as you don’t mind a general class train ticket, you can show up to the Ernakulam train station, buy a ticket, and then board the next train to Alleppey.
This will likely take 1-2 hours.
The Ernakulam train station is located in a kind of similar area as the bus station, so the directions to get to the train station from Fort Cochin is basically the same as getting to the bus station.
You can check train timings on trainman.
You can see an example of taking a general class train for the opposite direction with how I took the Alleppey to Cochin train.
Cochin to Alleppey taxi?
Taking a taxi to Alleppey would also be an option.
According to this Alleppey Beach guesthouse (with a rooftop sleeping area!) in 2019, a taxi from Fort Cochin will probably be around 1,600 rupees (US$25).
Cochin to Alleppey ferry boat?!
There is currently no public ferry that connects Cochin to Alleppey.
So getting to Alleppey by boat isn’t really an option here.
What’s the ultimate way to get to Alleppey from Fort Cochin?!
aka the very Kerala way aka in part by public ferry! You can’t get to Alleppey by boat the WHOLE way, but you can still get on the waters a little!
If you’re backpacking around Kerala, you’ll probably be staying around Fort Cochin since this is the backpacker area of Cochin.
So although you’re staying in Fort Cochin, to get the bus to Alleppey, you’ll want to get to the Ernakulam bus station.
To get from Fort Cochin to Ernakulam is a bit of a distance, and there are 2 main ways that you can get to the Ernakulam bus station from Fort Cochin.
One way is to take a rickshaw or taxi.
But of course the better way is to get there by ferry!
Then once you’re on the Ernakulam side, you’ll continue onward to the bus station by foot, rickshaw, or uber.
Here’s what your journey might look like from Fort Cochin to Alleppey!
Walk to the Fort Cochin ferry station
Depending on where you’re staying in Fort Cochin, this will likely be around a 15-20 minute walk.
Once you get to the ferry station, you’ll buy a ticket.
How much is a ferry ticket from Fort Cochin?
The cost of the ferry from Fort Cochin to Ernakulam is 4 rupees! That’s maybe 5 cents in US currency.
What is the ferry schedule from Fort Cochin to Ernakulam?!
You can have a look at the Kerala state waterways website that may or may not be accurate.
What you can take away from these schedules is that the ferry timings are frequent.
So you will be just fine showing up to the ferry station without knowing exactly when the next ferry is going to come.
You probably won’t have to wait too long for the next ferry!
And then when the next ferry does come…
Take the Fort Cochin to Ernakulam ferry!
Arrive at the Ernakulam ferry station
Walk to the Ernakulam bus station
You’ll probably pass a bus station that’s located near the ferry station.
But you’ll want to keep walking, as you won’t find a bus headed to Alleppey at this one.
Arrive at the Ernakulam bus station!
Once you’ve reached the Ernakulam bus station, it could be good to head straight to the station master office or inquiry booth.
Here, you can ask when the next bus to Alleppey is.
The last time I was at the Ernakulam bus station, the booth disappeared.
But there’s the “station master” office, so you can definitely ask there!
What is the Cochin to Alleppey bus schedule?!
Similar to the Cochin ferry schedule, the exact bus schedule isn’t really something you need to be all that concerned about.
The important thing to know is that bus timings from Ernakulam to Alleppey are frequent.
You can have a look at possible bus timings for Cochin to Alleppey.
The accuracy of online bus schedules can’t be guaranteed, but they are good to determine frequency of bus timings.
And since there are so many buses, it means that you can generally just show up to the Ernakulam bus station and you won’t have to wait too long for the next bus to Alleppey.
I was once told by someone living in Alleppey that there are buses between Cochin and Alleppey every 5 minutes.
This might not quite literally be true ALL the time – I think I had to wait for 15-20 minutes 😉 – but the point here is that there are tons of buses on this route so you will be able to find one without having to worry about being at the bus station at a certain time.
So just take your time getting from Fort Cochin to Ernakulam and enjoy your last moments in Cochin. 😉
Take the next bus to Alleppey!
So in my case, the next bus to Alleppey was actually a slightly “better” bus.
This orange bus had kind of plush chairs, A/C, and closed windows. (Crazy!) 😉
But, it did eventually start to get crowded…
But the benefit of getting on a bus from where the route starts is that you will likely be getting on a pretty empty bus!
So getting on the bus from the Ernakulam bus station means that you are nearly guaranteed a seat for your bus ride to Alleppey.
If you’re traveling around the backpacker cities of Kerala, you’re probably more likely to be getting on a bus that looks like this.
How much did this bus to Alleppey cost?
You pay for your bus ticket once you’re on the bus, and my bus from Cochin to Alleppey cost 122 rupees (US$2).
Arrive in Alleppey!
It’ll probably take around 2 hours to get to Alleppey.
So depending on where you are staying in Alleppey, you may want to get off at the Alleppey bus station, or possibly earlier.
If you’ll be staying near Alleppey Beach, it could be helpful to get off before you get to the Alleppey bus station.
You can ask a bus worker to let you know about the stop, or you can keep your eye on google maps with your GPS.
But even if you miss the stop that’s closer to Alleppey Beach, no problem. The Alleppey bus station is just an extra 5 minute drive or so.
CHILL IN ALLEPPEY!
So that’s how to get from Fort Cochin to Alleppey on the cheap!
And now… what to do in Alleppey?!
Be sure to check the perfect one day in Alleppey for the day after you arrive.
Once you’ve gotten your fill of the backwaters, you can spend the rest of your time near Alleppey Beach!
HAPPY COCHIN TO ALLEPPEY BUS RIDE!
Be sure to take a look how to spend one day in Alleppey so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Alleppey!
Also be sure to take a look the Kerala Travel Guide for one week in Kerala so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Kerala!
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.
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Hostels in KeralaFor a hostel with international standards in Kerala, try Zostel!
More Zostels in Kerala:
Zostel is a top backpacker chain across India, and I've stayed at many Zostels in India! And outside of Kerala, if you'll be passing through Gokarna as you go from Goa to Kerala (here are options of how to get from Goa to Kerala!), then Zostel Gokarna is in an amazing location too! Here are pictures from the on-site cafe that overlooks the ocean.
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff:
Retreats in KeralaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, also see:
- Yoga retreats in Kerala
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!