Kannur Travel Guide

Discover the top places to visit, food and drink scene, where to stay, and everything you need to know about the local culture and customs of Kannur in this comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Kannur

Kannur is a beautiful district located in the Malabar region of Kerala in Southern India. It is renowned for its beautiful beaches, ancient temples, historical monuments, and vibrant cultural scene. Kannur is also famous for the theyyam ritual, a form of dance that is unique to the region. The district is well connected by air, road, and rail, making it a convenient destination for travelers from all around the world.

List of Places to Visit in Kannur

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Kannur has a rich history and culture, and there are several museums and historical places that tourists can visit to learn more about the district’s past. Some must-visit places are:

  • St. Angelo Fort: Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, this fort is a beautiful example of European architecture in India.

  • Arakkal Museum: This museum is dedicated to the Arakkal family, which ruled over Kannur for several centuries.

  • Pazhassi Dam: This dam is located in the Pazhassi Raja Wildlife Sanctuary and is a popular spot for picnics and sightseeing.

Natural Attractions of Kannur: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Kannur is blessed with natural beauty, and there are several outdoor adventures and scenic views for tourists to enjoy. Some popular places to visit are:

  • Muzhappilangad Beach: It is one of the few drive-in beaches in India and a must-visit for all beach lovers.

  • Meenkunnu Beach: This is a picturesque beach that is ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

  • Parassinikadavu Snake Park: This park is home to a wide variety of snakes and other reptiles and is a great place for nature lovers.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kannur

Kannur is a beautiful district with plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking. Some popular routes are:

  • Paithalmala Trek: It is a 1.5-kilometer trek that takes you to the top of a hill with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

  • Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is home to several species of birds, butterflies, and animals, and hiking here is a great way to appreciate the beauty of nature.

Best Things to Do in Kannur: Activities and Tours

Kannur offers plenty of activities and tours for tourists to enjoy. Some popular ones are:

  • Theyyam Festival: It is a popular festival in Kannur where performers dress up in elaborate costumes and perform traditional dances.

  • Ayurvedic Massage: Kerala is famous for its ayurvedic massages, and Kannur has several spa and massage centers that offer authentic treatments.

Week-Long Itinerary for Kannur

Day 1: Visit St. Angelo Fort —> Explore Payyambalam Beach —> Visit Arakkal Museum.

Day 2: Visit Muzhappilangad Beach —> Explore Thalassery Fort —> Visit Kavvayi Islands.

Day 3: Trek to Paithalmala —> Visit Kottiyoor Temple.

Day 4: Visit Parassinikadavu Snake Park —> Explore Meenkunnu Beach.

Day 5: Visit Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary —> Explore Anjarakandi Hill.

Day 6: Visit Ezhimala Beach —> Enjoy traditional ayurvedic massage.

Day 7: Participate in Theyyam Festival —> Shopping for souvenirs.

Food and Drink Scene of Kannur

Must-Try Dishes

Kannur’s cuisine is a blend of traditional Kerala food and Arabian and European influences. Some must-try dishes are:

  • Malabar Biriyani: This is a traditional biriyani made with aromatic rice, spices, and meat or vegetables.

  • Fish Moiley: It is a delicious fish curry made with coconut milk and spices.

  • Parotta: It is a layered flatbread that is traditionally served with a spicy gravy.

Local Beverages

Kannur is famous for its tea and coffee. Some popular beverages are:

  • Sulaimani: It is a traditional tea made with lemon juice and spices.

  • Kaapi: It is a strong, filtered coffee that is popular in Kerala.

Where to Stay in Kannur: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Kannur has a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Some popular hotels, hostels, and guesthouses are:

  • Mascot Beach Resort

  • Hotel Blue Nile

  • Backpackers Inn

  • Kannur Beach House

What to Buy in Kannur: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Some popular souvenirs and local products to buy in Kannur are:

  • Handloom sarees and dresses

  • Spices

  • Coconut oil

  • Cashews

Local Culture and Customs of Kannur

The people of Kannur are warm and welcoming to tourists. Travelers should be respectful of the local culture and customs, including dress codes when visiting temples and other religious places.

Best Time to Visit Kannur

The best time to visit Kannur is from October to May, as the weather is pleasant and the chances of rainfall are minimal.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kannur


  • Carry a hat, sunscreen, and drinking water when visiting beaches and outdoor locations.

  • Respect the local culture and dress appropriately when visiting religious places.

  • Try the local cuisine and attend cultural festivals.


  • Litter, especially on beaches and other natural locations.

  • Disrespect the local customs and traditions.

  • Go swimming in the sea during rough weather.

Safety and Health

Safety in Kannur

Kannur is generally a safe and secure destination for travelers. However, tourists should take usual precautions, such as not carrying large amounts of cash and valuables and avoiding shady areas at night.

Health in Kannur

Kannur has several hospitals and medical facilities that offer quality healthcare. However, tourists should carry a basic first aid kit with medicines, especially if they have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Getting to Kannur: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Kannur

Kannur International Airport is the nearest airport, located approximately 30 kilometers away from the city center. It has regular flights to major Indian cities, such as Chennai, Mumbai, and Delhi.

Bus Stations Near Kannur

Kannur has a bus station located near the railway station, and it has regular services to major cities and towns in Kerala and neighboring states.

Other Options

Kannur is well connected by rail, and there are several trains that stop at Kannur Railway Station. Travelers can also hire private taxis or use local transport such as auto-rickshaws and buses.

How to Get Around in Kannur

Kannur has several transport options for tourists, such as auto-rickshaws, taxis, and public buses. Tourists can also rent motorbikes and bicycles to explore the city at their own pace.

Where to Go Next from Kannur: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Some popular nearby destinations and excursions from Kannur are:

  • Wayanad: This is a picturesque district located in the Western Ghats, famous for its tea plantations and wildlife sanctuaries.

  • Coorg: Located in neighboring Karnataka, Coorg is a popular hill station that is famous for its coffee plantations and scenic views.


Kannur is a beautiful destination that offers a mix of culture, history, and natural beauty. This comprehensive guide covers all the essential information that tourists need to plan their trip and make the most of their time in this amazing district.