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KolkataIndia

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

Ballygunge, Kolkata, India

Ballygunge

3.5/5Good!(13 area reviews)

Restaurants and shopping are notable features of Ballygunge. You might consider stopping by Quest Mall while you're exploring the neighbourhood.

Ballygunge
Park Street, Kolkata, India

Park Street

4/5Very Good!(13 area reviews)

If you're spending time in Park Street, you might enjoy attractions like Park Street Cemetery and Asiatic Society. You might also enjoy the neighbourhood's ample dining options before hopping on the metro at Park Street Station to see more of the city.

Park Street
Tangra, Kolkata, India

Tangra

4.5/5Wonderful!(10 area reviews)

Visitors to Tangra enjoy its restaurants, and if you want to do some exploring, Milan Mela is worth a stop.

Tangra
Eco Tourism Park showing boating and a lake or waterhole

New Town

4/5Very Good!(38 area reviews)

New Town is noteworthy for its restaurants, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Eco Urban Village and City Centre 2.

New Town
Kolkata showing night scenes

Garia

When in Garia and the surrounding area, you'll want to check out sights like South City Mall or Kalighat Kali Temple and hop on the metro to see more of the city at Kavi Nazrul Station or Shahid Khudiram Station.

Garia
Kolkata which includes interior views and religious aspects as well as a large group of people

Sealdah

4/5Very Good!(7 area reviews)

When in Sealdah and the surrounding area, you'll want to check out sights like New Market or Eden Gardens and hop on the metro to see more of the city at Central Station or Chandni Chowk Station.

Sealdah

Top hotels in Kolkata

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Swissotel Kolkata
Swissotel Kolkata
5 out of 5
City Center New Town, Action Area 2D, Plot No. 11/5, Kolkata, West Bengal
Rs6,350
per night
10 Apr-11 Apr

Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Nicco Park, Salt Lake Stadium and Dakshineswar Kali Temple. Science City and Howrah Bridge are ...

4.4/5Excellent! (283 reviews)

"I highly recommend Swissotel, the staff the friendliness. The breakfast buffet has many vegetarian and vegan options also lunch. They have free dinner included with the executive suit. And the jetted tub was great. Great service, we will definitely be regular customers."…"

Reviewed on 2 Feb 2020

Swissotel Kolkata
Kenilworth Hotel, Kolkata
Kenilworth Hotel, Kolkata
4 out of 5
1 & 2 Little Russel Street, Kolkata, West Bengal
Rs6,100
per night
2 May-3 May

This family-friendly Kolkata hotel is located in the business district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Victoria Memorial and New Market. Eden Gardens and Alipore Zoo ...

4.2/5Very Good! (163 reviews)

"Great location, great breakfast, even the traffic around it is not as bad as one would fear."…"

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2020

Kenilworth Hotel, Kolkata
Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences
Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences
5 out of 5
CF11 Action Area 1C, New Town Rajarhat, Kolkata, West Bengal
Rs6,000
per night
16 Apr-17 Apr

This family-friendly Kolkata hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Axis Mall, Mother's Wax Museum and Ecospace Business Park. Nicco Park and ...

4.1/5Very Good! (129 reviews)

"The hotel was a very nice hotel. There were a few issues with the maintenance (the light in the closet would not turn off all night, the blinds were jammed) but it was a very nice place."…"

Reviewed on 10 Feb 2020

Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences

Popular things to do in Kolkata

New Market
Image for New Market

New Market

4/5(28 reviews)

Hunt for bargains at one of Kolkata’s oldest markets, an indoor arcade with food, clothing and handicraft stalls that’s been serving the city for over 135 years.

New Town Eco Park
Image for New Town Eco Park

New Town Eco Park

4.5/5(16 reviews)

Known for its diverse ecological landscapes, man-made lake, children’s play area and musical fountain show, this ecological park is fun for all the family.

Victoria Memorial
Image for Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial

4.5/5(31 reviews)

See photographs and paintings charting Kolkata’s history at this marble palace dedicated to England’s Queen Victoria, the former Empress of India.

Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Image for Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Dakshineswar Kali Temple

4/5(15 reviews)

Admire architectural beauty and see important religious icons at this sacred temple complex on the banks of the Hooghly River.

Howrah Bridge
Image for Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge

4/5(33 reviews)

Set foot on or glide under a famous Kolkata landmark, a colossal engineering feat that’s inspired many movie-makers.

Belur Math
Image for Belur Math

Belur Math

4/5(13 reviews)

Find out about the history of Belur Math, a well-known monument in Howrah. Stroll along the lakeside or visit the monuments in this culturally rich area.

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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