Kolkata Tourism
City

Kolkata Tourism

Kolkata Info

  • State: West Bengal
  • Famous for/as: City
  • Altitude: 2 m
  • Pincode: 700001
  • District: Kolkata
  • Language: Bengali,Hindi
  • STD code: 033
  • Weather: Summer 25 to 35°C, Winter 14 to 30°C
The capital of West Bengal and cultural capital of India - Kolkata is the gateway to the mountains of the northeast and marshlands of Sunderbans. Situated on the banks of River Hooghly, it is the heart and soul of the Bengali ‘bhadralokh’ intelligentsia.

History
Kolkata traces its roots to three villages - Sutanuti, Govindapur & Kolkata -  founded by Job Charnock. The city was the seat of the British Empire and capital of India till 1911. Even today, Kolkata boasts of numerous landmarks, reminiscent of the colonial era.

People & Culture
Bengalis are food lovers. Fish and rice form their staple diet. They enjoy evening chitchats over tea and ‘jhalmuri’. Theatre and music, especially Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti, form an integral part of recreation.

Things to Do
Kolkata has a number of sights and sounds travellers can explore. Begin your Kolkata ‘darshan’ with a walk along River Hooghly near Eden Garden or a visit to Millennium Park. The city has a vibrant cultural scene.  Travellers must visit the Kolkata Book Fair held every year in January or February. To add to it, a visit to Nadan and Rabindra Sadan and a tram ride on Red Road should be experienced. Football fans must watch the football derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal Club.

Of the many sights and sounds of Kolkata, attractions that every traveller must experience include Howrah Bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu and the longest cantilever bridge in the world, Vidyasagar Setu, Writers’ Building and Victoria Memorial, which houses a fantastic collection of rare memorabilia brought to Kolkata by the British. Botanical Gardens where the main attraction is a 200-year-old Banyan Tree, Dakshineswar Temple on the banks of Hooghly, Belur Math, Kalighat - 0ne of the 51 Shakti Peeth,  where, according to a legend, one of Sati’s fingers fell - and St Paul’s Cathedral built in Gothic style with stained glass windows and two Florentine frescoes are also great places to explore.

For geeks or history lovers, must-visit sightseeing places in Kolkata are Birla Planetarium, Indian Museum, which houses a varied collection of unique fossils, Buddhist Gandhara art and an Egyptian mummy, Tagore House at Jorasanko and Science City. In Science City, travellers must see the time machine, space theatre and the space flight simulator.  

Food & shopping
Kolkata is renowned for its variety of street food and snacks. Right from the alur chop, samosa and beguni’s, to the mughlai paratha, egg, mutton, chicken rolls and fish kobiraji, these dishes will definitely tantalise any travellers’ taste buds. Dalhousie and Esplanade in Central Kolkata are dotted with many such roadside stalls.

Jhalmuri and fuchka are two other must-try snacks. Fuchka, the Kolkata avatar of paani-puri, has a potato stuffing and tasty tamarind water to go with it. A trip to Kolkata will be incomplete without dipping into roshogolla, roshomalai, langcha, sondesh and misti doi at K.C. Das, Bhim Nag, Sen Mahasoy or Gangurams. For fine dining, Esplanade and Park Street offer a wide choice of multi cuisine restaurants. Flury’s, Peter Cat and Moulin Rouge are some noteworthy addresses in Park Street. Mughlai dishes can be tried at Nizam's in New Market and Aminiya opposite Kolkata Corporation. For authentic Bengali cuisine, travellers can try 6 Ballygunge Place, Bhojohori Manna, Bhooter Raja DiloBor or Aaheli at Peerless Inn that offers exquisite Bengali dishes. China Town in Tangra off EM Bypass offers authentic Chinese cuisine at reasonable prices.

A stay in Kolkata is incomplete without a trip to local markets for buying handicrafts produced in Bengal - teracotta horse of Bankura, Shantiniketan sarees and earthen artifacts from Krishnagar. Gariahat, Dakhsinapan and College Street market have a wide array of shops to buy cotton, tant and silk sarees. The New Market has a fantastic collection of all types of clothing and toys. However, travellers need to haggle to get the best price. 

Travelling to Kolkata

Kolkata has three train stations – Howrah, Sealdah, Chitpur and is well connected to all major cities. All major national and international carriers fly to NSC Bose International airport, Kolkata. October to March is the best time to visit the city. Kolkata is very pleasant during winter.

Travelling within Kolkata
For travelling within the city, options are plenty – Metro rail, suburban trains, circular rail, private and public buses (including AC Volvos on some routes), trams, auto rickshaws, hand-pulled rickshaws, taxis and ferry services on the river front.

​  Contributed by: Smita, HolidayIQ.com Traveller
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Kolkata Traveller Reviews

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Read 210 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.6/7, 1
out of 4825 Kolkata reviews 210
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Nilesh

  • Scout
  • Nilesh
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 3 Reviews
  •  400 readers

"Perfect city for foodies and hookah lovers" new review

  • 5/7
  • Posted 3 days ago
It was a family function come vacation trip.

Day 1: The new flyover from the airport to VIP road is a relief as it has reduced traffic by 50% and we reached our residence around 5 pm. The weather was the worst possible though as it started raining incessantly around 6 pm but we somehow managed to wade our way through waterlogged lanes and get into the car around 7 pm and left for 22, Camac St. , one of the more posh areas in Calcutta. We went to a new place named The Factory Outlet (TFO) which is a cool pub offering delicious food like peri-peri fries, nachos, etc. And amazing cocktails. Post our drinks session, we went to the restaurant next door, Ivory Kitchen which is owned by the famous chef Sanjeev Kapoor. It's a must visit place if you like North Indian food and you have to try the dish named Shaam Savera. We ended the day with some lip-smacking coffee and good hookah at Aqua Java in Elgin Road.

Day 2: We went for lunch to a new cafe in Elgin Road named the Biker's Cafe which is themed on (obviously) bikes. Had great Hookah (I was intent on having Hookah everyday as Calcutta is one of the few cities in India where it is not banned) and some really tasty pasta and wood-burn thin crust pizza. Followed it up with coffee at Au Bon Pain in Park Street.

Day 3: Morning was spent attending the family function at Rangoli banquet while evening was spent having hookah ;) at De Fresco in AJC Bose Road and reasonable yet tasty Chinese cuisine at Hotel Lytton near Park St. (warning: super slow service)

Well it was a short trip so that's all I did but if you have a longer trip planned and have never visited Calcutta before, make sure to try a tram journey, visit Victoria Memorial, Birla Planetarium, Science City, Nicco Park and Eden Gardens, take a ferry ride from Babughat to Princep Ghat, have jhaal muri and phuchka on Russell street, have rosogolla and sondesh in the local Bengali shops, try the underground metro if you are not from Delhi, shop at New Market, try biryani and maacher jhol, and the list goes on and on.
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Saurabh Katiyar

  • Explorer
  • Saurabh Katiyar
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 2 photos
  • 9 Reviews
  •  353 readers

"Visit to realize why it was the first metro" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 6 days ago
See the modern co-exist with a bygone era with ease. People are friendly and helpful. Yellow taxis were available everywhere except when there is an ad hoc strike for a whimsical reason. Radio cabs were also available. Metro work were going on for many years but still to come up. Enjoy a ride in a tram, the only city in India where you may.
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P Bagaria

  • Connoisseur
  • P Bagaria
  • Lives in Guwahati
  • 10 Reviews
  •  364 readers

"Kolkata - the old city, with plenty of promise" new review

  • 5/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
I was staying in the city for just a couple of days, as it had been a small get together. Kolkata seems like a city, where one needs to know his way, and then everything seems very smooth. Using a radio taxi/uber etc. For commuting, and staying in central/south Kolkata was fun. I had spent the entire time between camac street, park street, and the grounds, so did not face much traffic. Also could locate all the amenities without any hassles.
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Aman U

  • Expert
  • Aman U
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 25 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  756 readers

"Kolkata is a foodies paradise" new review

  • 5/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
Kolkata is a gastronomical delight with the variety of cuisines for all types of eaters. Beyond that the place has a deep history but getting lost slowly. Visiting Swami Vivekananda's house was walk in the past. The transportation is improving and probably at par with the best in the country. Cleanliness has also improved over the years.
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Subrata Das

  • Scout
  • Subrata Das
  • 3 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  517 readers

"Awesome experience" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Kolkata is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings - have a look at each of them. I am very happy to travel Kolkata and I feel proud. It is very good for sight view. It is an awesome feeling to travel Kolkata.
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Alok Kumar

  • Explorer
  • Alok Kumar
  • 4 photos
  • 7 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  645 readers

"City of Joy" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
Kolkata, the city of joy lives up to its expectations. A beautiful city with nice and friendly people. This city is one of the most popular city in India but even then it has a lot to offer. Right from the food to the places to visit. The must visit place in Kolkata are Howrah bridge, Dakshineshwar, Kali Ghat, Eco Park, and Bara Bazaar if you are up for some taste buds.
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  • 1 vote

Chandan

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  • Chandan
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 4 photos
  • 8 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  1831 readers

"An excellent experience"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
My experience is good to visit, I really enjoyed there. If you are looking for special destination you can take this option. There environment is good, weather is always good. There are lots of temple like kalighat, dakshineswar etc, and most of the ancient place buildings you can visit. You can also enjoy the water park and enjoy their street food like egg roll, paratha and biryani in Bara Bazar.
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  • 1 vote

Shaurya Jain

  • Tourist
  • Shaurya Jain
  • Lives in Lucknow
  • 5 Reviews
  •  5 helpful votes
  •  1305 readers

"Not that pleasant"

  • 5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
It was good not that pleasant but was above average. This trip was purely for a business purposes therefore I cannot recommend anything about the tourism related things. But the people are good and helpful so you will have a great experience in the city.
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  • 4 votes

Siddhart Sanket

  • Connoisseur
  • Siddhart Sanket
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 11 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  6569 readers

"An awesome place"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Kolkata is really a good place where no one will sleep in hunger. Food is very tasty and at cheap rate. Full Kolkata peoples depends on metro, bus and local train. Always people stay busy with their work. One must visit this place at the month of October-November.
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  • 2 votes

Sai Kiran

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  • Sai Kiran
  • Lives in Hyderabad
  • 4 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  1457 readers

"Kolkata - a joyful experience"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
I have stayed here for 2 months, the crowd and heritage is what makes Kolkata one of the most adorable places. Sightseeing and shopping: Heritages of Kolkata are many and are a must visit. There are many historic places to visit and metro here is very good.
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Animesh Animesh Avan kumar B banerjee Animesh, Animesh, Avan kumar and 7871 other people have been to Kolkata.
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