Did you know Thrissur is the oldest planned city in the region? Bet you didn’t! Known as Kerala’s cultural capital, Thrissur is one of the most culturally and socially vibrant places in the state. Most famous for the Thrissur Pooram Festival that is marked by colorful pageantry, elephant parades and some enthusiastic percussions, the city offers a wealth of attractions that are spiritually and historically important.

Read our guide to find out about the best places to visit in Thrissur on your next trip to Kerala.

Places to Visit in Thrissur

1. Vadakkunnathan Temple,Thrissur

Vadakkunnathan Temple,Thrissur

Vadakkunnathan Temple | #1 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

Built in the classic Kerala style of architecture, the imposing Vadakkunnathan Temple is one of the most popular places to visit in Thrissur. Sitting atop Thekkinkadu Maithanam, the temple has been mentioned in ancient Hindu texts like the Brahmanda Purana and is believed to have been founded by warrior Lord, Parashuram. It has many other historical legends associated with it that are quite interesting to note.

The cavernous interiors of the temple are a sight to behold with stunning murals depicting stories from the Mahabharata, wood carved vignettes and frescos. The temple is also the site of the Thrissur Pooram Festival, one of the most spectacular events in Kerala accompanied by colorful events and parades.

  • Location: Near Thekkinkadu Maidan, Thrissur
  • Timings:00 am – 11.00 am, 4.30 pm – 8.20 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free

2. Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple,Thrissur

Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple,Thrissur

Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple | #2 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

With references dating back as far as the 16th century, Guruvayur Temple is one of the oldest and largest temples in India. On top of every travelers’ list visiting Thrissur, Guruvayur Temple is an important place of worship for Hindus who pray to Lord Vishnu here in the form of his Krishna avatar, Guruvayurappan.

Lord Vishnu is depicted in full regalia at the shrine that is also referred to as the ‘Dwarka of South India’ (because of its association with Krishna) and ‘Bhu-loka Vaikuntham’ (Lord Vishnu’s holy abode, Vaikunth, on earth). The temple is super crowded and the wait times are often quite long, but it reverberates with positive spiritual energy that keeps the devotees calm and strong throughout the wait. Do remember that the dress code for visiting the temple is very strict and must be adhered to at all times.

  • Location: Guruvayur Devaswom, East Nada, Guruvayur
  • Timings: Open 24 Hrs.
  • Entry Fee: Free

3. Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours,Thrissur

Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours,Thrissur

Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours | #3 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

Another must-visit place in Thrissur is Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours, an impressive Indo-Gothic church that is considered to be the largest in the country. Constructed in 1814, the church is a testimony to the city’s diverse culture and is worth your time for the brilliant white façade which makes it so identifiable, the imposing interiors with a large nave and 11 altars, and the stunning murals depicting scenes from the Christian scriptures.

The Dolours Basilica is nestled amid verdant parklands and spreads over an area of 25,000 sq. ft. approx. It is one of the most memorable places to visit in Thrissur, so don’t miss to include it in your itinerary.

  • Location: Erinjery Angady, Pallikkulam, Thrissur
  • Timings:00 am – 7.30 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free

4. Paramekavu Bhagvathy Temple,Thrissur

Paramekavu Bhagvathy Temple,Thrissur

Paramekavu Bhagvathy Temple | #4 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

Paramekavu Bhagvathy Temple, one of the most revered places in Thrissur, is dedicated to Bhagvathy – an incarnation of Goddess Durga. Located on the far edge of the Vaddakumnathan temple grounds, this stunning 1000-year-old shrine is also a participant in the Thrissur Pooram Festival, in which a procession of 15 heavily adorned elephants moves from this temple to Vaddakumnathan Temple.

The temple remains filled with devotees paying obeisance to the Goddess all round-the-year. But if you can, time your visit to coincide with this festival and you are sure to be truly delighted.

  • Location: Paramekkavu Devaswom Building, Round East, Thrissur
  • Timings: 4:30 am – 11:30 am and 4 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free

5. Kerala Kalamandalam,Thrissur

Kerala Kalamandalam,Thrissur

Kerala Kalamandalam | #5 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

A flourishing center for the preservation and learning of arts and culture of southern India, the Kerala Kalamandalam was founded by the famous poet, Vallathol Narayana Menon, and Mukunda Raja – his companion – in 1930. Motivated by the desire to preserve Kerala’s dying art forms like Kathakali, the founders created this institution using public-raised funds. It was then patronized by the Maharaja of Cochin and later the Government of Kerala. Today, it is one of the most enigmatic places in Thrissur.

Go here to witness students learning the region’s traditional art forms and to experience the grandeur of the place.

  • Location: Thrissur – Shoranur Road, Thrissur District, Cheruthuruthy
  • Timings: 00 am – 5.00 am
  • Entry Fee:1000 (for Indians), $20 USD (for foreigners)

6. Shakthan Thampuran Palace,Thrissur

Shakthan Thampuran Palace,Thrissur

Shakthan Thampuran Palace | #6 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

Of all the places to visit in Thrissur, the Shakthan Thampuran Palace is the most intriguing one. Once the seat of power of Shakthan Thampuran – the 18th-century ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin, this palace is built in the unusual Kerala Naalukettu and Dutch architectural styles. It was converted into a museum in the year 2005 and is visited for its beautiful architecture and its expansive collections on display.

Don’t miss the exhibit on ancient writing systems from the region, the Bronze Gallery, which showcases 12th-century bronze relics, and an exhibit that showcases ancient household items in copper and bronze.        

  • Location: Stadium Rd, Chembukkav, Thrissur
  • Timings:30 am – 4.30 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free

7. Marottichal Waterfalls,Thrissur

Marottichal Waterfalls,Thrissur

Marottichal Waterfalls | #7 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

One of the most popular places to visit in Thrissur is Marottichal Waterfalls, located just 20 km from the city. The waterfall is an exquisite natural formation nestled in lush, green forests and has a plunge pool beneath where you could swim (or splash around!). An awesome vignette, away from the hustle-bustle of the temple town, Marottichal is the perfect place to spend the day in the arms of bountiful nature.

  • Location: Marottichal Village, Thrissur District
  • Timings: Open 24 Hrs.
  • Entry Fee: Free

8. Chavakkad Beach,Thrissur

Chavakkad Beach,Thrissur

Chavakkad Beach | #8 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

Along the sparkling Arabian Sea, Chavakkad Beach is one of the cleanest beaches you’ll ever encounter on the west coast of India. A surprising place to visit in Thrissur, Chavakkad Beach is famed for being the estuary (azhimukam) of the local river and many people come to witness the river joining the sea here.

Close to Guruvayur Temple, the beach is mostly crowded by local fishermen and families out for the day enjoying the sea breeze. Not too far from the city, this beach is a must-visit for a relaxing experience.

  • Location: Poovathur – Amala Nagar Road, Thrissur District
  • Timings: Open 24 Hrs.
  • Entry Fee: Free

9. Snehatheeram Beach,Thrissur

Snehatheeram Beach,Thrissur

Snehatheeram Beach | #9 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

While on the subject of beaches, the tranquil Snehatheeram Beach on the outskirts of Thrissur is a great place for families (especially the ones with kids, as there’s a kids’ park near the beach too) and groups of friends to relax and enjoy a day by the sea. This beach is not really high up on tourists’ lists, which means you get to enjoy the wide expanse of the shore without huge crowds and noise.

Don’t miss out on the restaurants close to the beach serving delicious local foods.

  • Location: Thalikulam, Thrissur District
  • Timings: Open 24 Hrs.
  • Entry Fee: Free

10. Thrissur Zoo and State Museum,Thrissur

Thrissur Zoo and State Museum,Thrissur

Thrissur Zoo and State Museum | #10 of 10 Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

One of the oldest zoological gardens in India, the Thrissur Zoo and State Museum first opened in 1885. Spread over 13.5 acres of land, the zoo looks like most others till you get to its star display – the biggest skeleton of an Indian Elephant! Home to a wide variety of animals like the big cats, hippos, sloth bears and deer, snakes and many species of birds and primates, Thrissur Zoo also includes an interesting Natural History Museum, an Art Museum and a Botanical Garden on its premises.

A really welcome place to visit especially if you are traveling with children, this zoo cum museum must not be missed on your trip to Thrissur.

  • Location: Town Hall Rd, Udaya Nagar, Chembukkav, Thrissur
  • Timings:00 am – 5.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)
  • Entry Fee:6 for adults and Rs.4 for children

Some other interesting places to visit in Thrissur are Our Lady of Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral, Mala Synagogue and Punnathur Kotta – the famed elephant sanctuary close to the Guruvayur Temple.