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Kolkata
Travel Guide

The former capital of the British Raj is a friendly city blessed with architectural diversity, festivals and an eclectic cuisine.

Once the capital of British India, Kolkata is the bustling capital of West Bengal and often referred to as the cultural heart of India. Colonial landmarks battle for space with colorful temples and lively markets present a sensory overload. Public gardens offer a respite from this hot and crowded, yet ultimately rewarding destination.

Many attractions are in and around the Maidan, a huge public park where locals relax and play cricket or soccer. Marvel at the marble Victoria Memorial before tracing Kolkata’s colonial-era history at the Calcutta Gallery. Visit British-built monuments such as Fort William and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Find archaeological relics, including centuries-old Hindu sculptures, at the Indian Museum.

Walk or take a rickshaw to the BBD Bagh district, or Dalhousie Square, to see more examples of the city’s past, such as the Raj Bhavan and the neo-Gothic High Court. Watch a cricket match at the Eden Gardens and sample street food cooked by vendors at nearby Fairlie Place.

Take a taxi or rickshaw across the River Hooghly via the impressive Howrah Bridge. Visit the flower market at Mullick Ghat and see devotees offer prayers at shrines. Admire giant lilies and a centuries-old banyan tree at the picturesque Indian Botanic Garden, a 15-minute drive from Howrah Bridge.

Shop and bargain for fabrics and leather goods in New Market. Explore the chaotic streets of Barabazar Market while browsing textile shops and spotting religious sights. Stroll down Phears Lane in Old Chinatown, famous for sweetshops, teahouses and kebab stores. Along Park Street, elegant restaurants present Kolkata’s tangy Bengali cuisine.

Kolkata proudly showcases Bengali and Hindu art, dance and music. A popular festival is the 5-day Durga Puja, a flamboyant event with music, parades and performances at pop-up temples.

Kolkata is close to the border with Bangladesh and you can reach it via India’s excellent network of long-distance buses and trains. The city’s international airport has connections to major destinations around the world.

Where to stay in Kolkata

Top hotels in Kolkata

The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata
5 out of 5
15 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata, West Bengal
The price is Rs6,000 per night from 28 Feb to 1 Mar

This family-friendly Kolkata hotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of New Market and Eden Gardens. Netaji Indoor Stadium and Victoria ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (481 reviews)
Celebrated grandeur of life at The Oberoi Grand

"In connection with my work and personal desire, I have traveled to many places and stayed in many big hotels in India and internationally. No doubt this personal trip at The Oberoi Grand was the best amongst them all. We enjoyed the stay in king class hospitality. The management gave us a free upgrade ..."…"

Reviewed on 23 Nov 2020

The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata
Holiday Inn Express Kolkata Airport
Holiday Inn Express Kolkata Airport
4 out of 5
28 Jessore Road, NSCBI Airport, Dum Dum, Kolkata, West Bengal
The price is Rs2,295 per night from 2 Mar to 3 Mar

This family-friendly Kolkata hotel is located near the airport, 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from City Centre 2, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Mother's Wax Museum and Biswa ...

5/5Exceptional! (3 reviews)

"Everything was perfect...staff is very friendly & courteous and always available when required"…"

Reviewed on 29 Nov 2020

Holiday Inn Express Kolkata Airport
The Rajbari Bawali
The Rajbari Bawali
3 out of 5
Village & P.O. North Bawali, 24 Parganas(South), Kolkata, West Bengal
The price is Rs8,500 per night from 1 Mar to 2 Mar

Situated in Kolkata, this resort is within 20 miles (32 km) of Kalighat Kali Temple, South City Mall and Alipore Zoo. Rabindra Sarobar Stadium and Rabrindra ...

5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)

"An excellent property with excellent staff and food"…"

Reviewed on 25 Dec 2018

The Rajbari Bawali
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Kolkata

LBD Resorts & Hotels
LBD Resorts & Hotels
3.5 out of 5
31/1, N.C. Chowdhury Road, Kasba, Kolkata, West Bengal
The price is Rs2,200 per night from 28 Feb to 1 Mar

Located in Gariahat, this aparthotel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture and within 3 miles (5 km) of South City Mall and Quest ...

LBD Resorts & Hotels
OYO 14632 Himalaya Guest House
OYO 14632 Himalaya Guest House
2.5 out of 5
Mb 698 Major Arterial Rd S-E Mahisbathan, Beside Sectorv Breeze Connector, Kolkata, West Bengal

Located in Sector V, this apartment building is within 3 miles (5 km) of Axis Mall, Biswa Bangla Convention Centre and Salt Lake City Centre Mall. Nicco Park ...

OYO 14632 Himalaya Guest House
OYO 71524 Be 302
OYO 71524 Be 302
2.5 out of 5
BE 302 BE 302 BE Block Sector 1, Bidhannagar annagar, Kolkata,, Kolkata, West Bengal
The price is Rs5,129 per night from 28 Feb to 1 Mar

Located in Sector 1, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Salt Lake Central Park and Salt Lake City Centre Mall. Nicco Park and Columbia Asia Hospital ...

OYO 71524 Be 302
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Kolkata

Reviews of Kolkata

3.8

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
21
5 - Excellent 24.705882352941178%
4 - Good
36
4 - Good 42.35294117647059%
3 - Okay
23
3 - Okay 27.058823529411764%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 4.705882352941177%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 1.1764705882352942%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

5 Mar 2020

Felt very safe. Very busy city do not go expecting peace and quiet. Bustling and not touristy. We loved wandering and walking and seeing the street life. The Victoria monument is stunning and we highly recommend a wander around the sculptures area.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

2 Mar 2020

It is my birthplace, my root to the city is deep. It makes me nostalgic.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

18 Feb 2020

Okay. People are oddly rude. Not all but some especially taxi drivers.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

5 Feb 2020

Nothing in particular.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

30 Jan 2020

Narrow crowded roads it take a lot of time to cover small distances. Comparatively more congested and not a clean city.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

27 Jan 2020

I had last visited Kolkata in 2013 and my wife had visited in 2000. A lot has changed but for the worse.The streets were choked with hawkers particularly, the central areas. Processions and sloganeering were the favorite pastime, it seemed.

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