A historic neighborhood with multicultural heritage, unique architecture and a living museum, all at the same place. Yes, we are talking about a tiny antique and spice market called the Jew Town in Kochi, Kerala. Jew Town Kochi is the most popular and vibrant place for antique lovers and shopaholics. The little township is not just a market but a place that offers a glimpse into India’s rich diverse cultural history. A walk through the tiny streets of Jew Town will introduce you to not just Indian antique pieces but also pieces from Europe, Arab and China. So, if you are looking for a culturally rich vacation, head straight to Jew Town to discover some of the most unique antiques in the country.

Book Your Fort Cochin Heritage Tour Here

Jew Town Kochi Then And Now

jew street mattancherry is a great place to spend an entire day
Image Source:

Jew Street Kochi is one of the oldest Jewish settlements in India which dates back to the 16th century. The King of Kochi gave a piece of land to the Jews for spice trading. It was a bustling place with many Jews but after Israel was formed in 1948, most of them left for Israel. The quaint town between Mattancherry Palace and Paradesi Synagogue has colonial buildings that have antique and unique stuff. This is what attracts visitors from around the world. 

Today, Jew Town Kochi is a colorful riot of products, bustling with shops of spices and hidden antique treasures. Although the Jewish population has dwindled significantly, the legacy of their presence and the old-world charm continues to be a prominent feature here.

A Little More About Jew Town Market Kochi

Location: Old Cochin, Kochi

Jew Town Kochi Timings: 5:00am to 9:00pm every day

Entry Fee: No entry fee

Famous For: Street Market, Shopping for antiques and spices

Best Time To Visit: January, February, March, April

Top Attractions In Jew Town Kochi

jew town market kochi
Image Source:

Jew Town is not just about shopping for antiques and spices, there is something more to this little township. Here are some of the best things you just can’t miss at Cochin’s Jew Town.

Book Now: Fort Cochin Cycling Tour

Mattancherry Palace

What was once a Dutch Palace functions as a historical museum today. The Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese in 1545 and gifted to the Royal family of Cochin. Back then it was an important center for trade, administration and governance for the region. One of the most striking features of the palace is its stunning architecture which has the influence of Portuguese, Dutch, and traditional Kerala style.

Paradesi Synagogue

This prominent landmark in Jew Town was built by the King of Kochi, Bhaskara Ravi Varma in 1568 for European Jews who sought asylum in Kochi. A successful blend of European and local influences was the result of this architectural masterpiece. The Chinese hand-painted floor tiles, the magnificent Belgium crystal chandeliers and gallery of paintings that narrate the history of the Jewish community are the highlights of this place.

Sarah Cohen’s Embroidery Shop

Sarah Cohen, a Paradesi Jew who lived on Jew Street was a skilled hand embroiderer who created art on a piece of cloth. Her work was so good that she set up an embroidery Shop with the help of her caretakers and other skilled artisans. They make and sell hand embroidered kerchiefs, table cloths, kippah, and other Jewish articles. After her death in 2019, her caretakers have kept her legacy alive by continuing to make and sell embroidery work by other skilled employees.

Jew Street

Last but not the least, Jew Street is a bustling market street with antique shops filled with a captivating collection of artifacts. There are also an eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants that offer a delightful culinary experience. For fashion enthusiasts, there are a selection of clothing stores on either side of the streets. And don’t forget to explore the spice shops and perfume museum. Your shopping in Kochi is incomplete without a visit to Jew Street.

best place for spice shopping in kochi
Line up of different spices in the market.

Also Read: 14 Traditional Markets In India You Have To Explore

Every corner of Jew Town Kochi transports one through centuries of history, culture, and tradition. The colorful architecture, aroma of spices in the air and a long line of shops feels like you have stepped into a different world. So the next time you are in Kochi, take a stroll through Jew Street for an immersive experience.


Why did Jews come to Kerala?

The first Jews reached Kerala more than 2,000 years back during the time of King Solomon. The main motto of their arrival in Kerala was for trade.

How many Jews are left in Kochi?

There is no actual count of the number of Jews living only in Kochi, however there are 26 Jews living in different parts of Kerala such as Cochin, Kottayam and Thiruvalla.

Are Jew Street and Jew Town the same?

Jew Street is a small street in Jew Town and they are more or less the same. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kochi because of its legendary antique shops.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here