With the exception of Cinnamon, where Bangalore-based buyers show off their exceptional eye for modern Indian design, and a small branch of the ever-popular Fabindia (1/279 Napier St.; tel. 0484/221-7077; www.fabindia.com), Fort Kochi itself caters primarily to mass tourist tastes. The goods for sale are neither cheap nor exceptional. You'll have far more fun exploring the antiques dealerships in neighboring Mattancherry, most of which are jam-packed with weird, wonderful, and genuine pieces from Kerala's multifangled past; catch a rickshaw to Crafters, then wander around this area. The biggest outfit in the area, Crafters is less likely to offer discounts, but dig around the dark corners of the little shops tucked around this legendary antiques shop, and bargain hard: Try offering half of the quoted price, and settle halfway between the two. If you'd like to do your shopping in slightly more salubrious environs, then definitely set aside some time for Ethnic Passage. Also in Jew Town and worth popping into is Galleria Synagogue Art Gallery (tel. 0484/222-2544), where local artists are well represented; art and antiques lovers should also check out Lawrence Art Gallery in Synagogue Lane (tel. 0484/222-3657). Finally, do stop off at Traveller's Paradise -- you may go in only to support a worthy cause, but you'll probably emerge with bulging eco-friendly bags.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.