Ultimate Guide Kolkata 19 Best things to do

Ultimate Guide Kolkata 19 Best things to do

Discover the vibrant city of Kolkata, India, and immerse yourself in its rich culture and history. From exploring the iconic Victoria Memorial and the magnificent Howrah Bridge to strolling through the bustling New Market and savoring delectable street food, there’s no shortage of incredible experiences in this fascinating city. Don’t miss the chance to visit the impressive Indian Museum, explore the serene gardens of the Victoria Memorial, and witness the stunning architecture of the Marble Palace. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a culture enthusiast, Kolkata has something to offer everyone. Get ready to uncover the best of the city with our ultimate guide! So many things to see and visit in Kolkata, and we’ll help you make the most of your visit.

Park Street

Park Street Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically, Park Street operates from morning until late evening, providing a vibrant atmosphere throughout the day and night.

Need time: Allocate at least a few hours to fully immerse yourself in the diverse offerings of Park Street, from dining to shopping and entertainment.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Park Street is renowned for its iconic restaurants, stylish boutiques, and lively nightlife, offering a diverse range of experiences for visitors.

About Park Street

Park Street, also known as Mother Teresa Sarani, is a bustling thoroughfare in Kolkata and a renowned hub for food, fashion, and entertainment. The street is lined with a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and eateries, offering a delectable variety of cuisine, from authentic Bengali fare to international delicacies. Visitors can also indulge in shopping, with numerous boutiques and stores showcasing trendy fashion, traditional handicrafts, and unique souvenirs. In the evening, Park Street comes alive with vibrant bars, pubs, and clubs, creating an energetic nightlife scene. The street’s lively ambiance and diverse offerings make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a blend of culinary delights, shopping, and entertainment.

Rabindra Sarobar

Rabindra Sarobar Visitor Information

Working hours: Generally open from dawn to dusk every day.

Need time: Allocating at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the serene surroundings is recommended.

Cost to visit: Free entry to Rabindra Sarobar.

Address: Southern Ave, Lake Gardens, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Browse the lakeside paths or enjoy boat rides for a peaceful retreat. Visit in the mornings for a tranquil atmosphere.

About Rabindra Sarobar

Rabindra Sarobar, also known as the “Dhakuria Lake,” is a man-made lake located in the southern part of Kolkata. The picturesque surroundings attract locals and tourists alike, offering a welcome break from the city’s hustle and bustle. Visitors can indulge in a variety of activities such as picnicking, birdwatching, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge. The lush greenery and scenic views make it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of Kolkata.

Kalighat Kali Temple

Kalighat Kali Temple Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 5:00 AM – 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM – 10:30 PM; some areas may have varied hours.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to fully explore the temple and its surroundings.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Kalighat, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

It’s advisable to visit during early morning or late evening to avoid heavy crowds and experience a serene atmosphere.

About Kalighat Kali Temple

Kalighat Kali Temple, one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in Kolkata, is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple’s architecture and rituals showcase the rich cultural heritage of India. Visitors can witness the vibrant religious practices and may choose to participate in the aarti (prayer ceremony), offering a deeply immersive experience. The market surrounding the temple offers a diverse range of religious items and street food, making it an ideal place to soak up the local culture.

Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; closed on Mondays.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site.

Cost to visit: INR 30 for Indian nationals, INR 100 for foreign tourists; additional charges for camera usage.

Address: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071, India.

Avoid visiting during peak hours to enjoy a more peaceful experience.

About Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial is a magnificent marble building that pays homage to the legacy of Queen Victoria. It houses a museum exhibiting a fascinating collection of paintings, sculptures, and historical artifacts. The well-manicured gardens surrounding the memorial offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city life. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll, capture stunning photographs, and admire the intricate architecture. The memorial also hosts sound and light shows in the evenings, adding an enchanting experience to the visit.

Nicco Park

Nicco Park Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, with some areas having varied hours.

Need time: Allocate at least 4-6 hours to fully enjoy all the attractions at Nicco Park.

Cost to visit: Entry fee is approximately 200 INR for adults and 150 INR for children. Additional charges apply for rides and attractions.

Address: Jheel Meel, Sector IV, Salt Lake City, Kolkata, West Bengal 700106

Nicco Park offers a variety of thrilling rides, serene gardens, and entertaining shows, making it an ideal destination for both adrenaline junkies and families with kids.

About Nicco Park

Nicco Park, located in the bustling city of Kolkata, is an amusement park renowned for its wide array of attractions suitable for visitors of all ages. The park features a mix of thrill rides, water rides, and soothing green spaces. Visitors can enjoy classic rides such as the Cable Car and the Water Chute, as well as pulse-pounding adventures like the Cyclone and the Flying Saucer. The park also hosts entertaining live performances and features a food court offering delectable local and international cuisines. With its convenient location and diverse offerings, Nicco Park guarantees an exhilarating and fun-filled experience for all.

Science City

Science City Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM; closed on Mondays except on public holidays.

Need time: Allocate at least 3-4 hours to fully explore the interactive exhibits and activities.

Cost to visit: INR 50 for entry to Science City, additional charges for some attractions and exhibitions.

Address: J.B.S Haldane Avenue, Topsia, Kolkata, West Bengal, India, 700046

Consider visiting Science City during weekdays to avoid large crowds.

About Science City

Science City in Kolkata is an expansive science center and museum, offering a wide range of hands-on exhibits, a space theater, and various interactive displays covering topics from the human body to space exploration. It’s a great attraction for both adults and children, providing an educational and entertaining experience. The facility also hosts regular science shows and workshops. The intriguing mix of fun and learning makes Science City a must-visit destination for science enthusiasts and families.

Indian Museum

Indian Museum Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM; closed on Mondays and national holidays.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site and appreciate the exhibits.

Cost to visit: Admission fee for Indian Museum is INR 20 for Indian citizens and INR 500 for foreign nationals. There may be additional charges for special exhibitions or guided tours.

Address: 27, Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Colootola, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016, India

The museum can get crowded, especially on weekends and during holidays, so consider visiting during weekdays for a more relaxed experience.

About Indian Museum

The Indian Museum in Kolkata is the oldest and largest museum in India, renowned for its extensive collections encompassing archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology, and art. The museum’s galleries feature a diverse range of artifacts, including sculptures, coins, paintings, and textiles, providing a comprehensive overview of India’s rich cultural heritage and natural history. Visitors can marvel at the famous Egyptian mummy, ancient sculptures from the Harappan civilization, and the iconic Ashoka Pillar. The museum’s architecture itself is a spectacle, with its fusion of classical and Indian styles. Overall, a visit to the Indian Museum promises an enriching and educational experience, offering a deeper understanding of India’s diverse traditions and history.

Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge Visitor Information

Working hours: 24 hours; the bridge is accessible round the clock for pedestrians and vehicles.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to appreciate the structure and surroundings.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Howrah Bridge, Hooghly River, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Fun fact: The Howrah Bridge is one of the busiest bridges in the world, with an estimated daily traffic of over 100,000 vehicles and countless pedestrians.

About Howrah Bridge

The iconic Howrah Bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu, is not just a means of crossing the Hooghly River but an emblem of Kolkata’s identity. The best way to experience the charm of this cantilever bridge is by taking a leisurely stroll to witness the city’s vibrant life and the picturesque sunset over the river. As you walk, immerse yourself in the lively street scenes, savor the aroma of local street food, and capture the mesmerizing views of the majestic Ganges River. Don’t forget to capture the stunning night view of the bridge illuminated against the dark sky.

Alipore Zoo

Alipore Zoo Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; closed on Thursdays and some public holidays.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site and enjoy the animal exhibits.

Cost to visit: INR 30 for adults and INR 10 for children (aged 5-12); free for children under 5 years of age.

Address: Alipore Zoo, 2, Alipore Rd, Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal 700027, India.

The zoo can get crowded on weekends and public holidays, so visiting on weekdays is recommended for a more relaxed experience.

About Alipore Zoo

Established in 1876, Alipore Zoo is one of the oldest zoological parks in India, spanning over 45 acres. It houses a diverse range of animals, including royal Bengal tigers, Indian elephants, and various avian species. The zoo aims to educate visitors about wildlife conservation and plays a crucial role in breeding and research programs for endangered species. The picturesque setting of the zoo provides a serene atmosphere for leisurely strolls and picnic outings.

Shaheed Minar

Shaheed Minar Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to explore the architecture and historical significance.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Esplanade Row, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700069, India

It’s recommended to visit in the morning to avoid crowds and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

About Shaheed Minar

Shaheed Minar, also known as the “Ochterlony Monument,” is a prominent landmark in Kolkata. The monument, built in 1828 in honor of Major-General Sir David Ochterlony, was later rededicated to the martyrs of the Indian independence movement. The impressive structure stands at 48 meters and offers panoramic views of the city from the top. Visitors can appreciate the intricate architectural details and soak in the historical relevance of the site. Surrounding gardens provide a tranquil setting for reflection and photography, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and photographers alike.

St-Paul’s Cathedral

St-Paul’s Cathedral Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM; closed on Sundays for visitors, but open for service. Please note: hours are subject to change, so it’s advisable to check ahead.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to admire the architecture and tranquil surroundings of St-Paul’s Cathedral.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: Cathedral Rd, Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071, India

Please note: Visitors are requested to maintain decorum and observe silence within the premises as it is a place of worship. Photography may not be allowed during prayer hours or services.

About St-Paul’s Cathedral

St-Paul’s Cathedral, a striking example of Indo-Gothic architecture, is a serene refuge amidst the bustling city of Kolkata. The cathedral, built in 1847, boasts magnificent stained glass windows and a peaceful courtyard, offering a spiritual retreat for visitors. The beautifully maintained gardens and the historical significance of the site make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and architecture aficionados alike. Moreover, the cathedral is a great spot for photography enthusiasts to capture the essence of Kolkata’s colonial heritage.

Birla Planetarium

Birla Planetarium Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM; closed on Mondays and public holidays.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to fully explore the exhibits and attend a show.

Cost to visit: INR 100 for adults, INR 50 for children; additional fees for special shows.

Address: 96, Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071, India

Take the time to explore the nearby Victoria Memorial, a stunning architectural masterpiece with beautiful gardens.

About Birla Planetarium

The Birla Planetarium in Kolkata is a hub of astronomical education and entertainment. With its striking spherical architecture, the Planetarium houses an impressive collection of astronomical tools and artifacts, offering a fascinating insight into the cosmos. Visitors can immerse themselves in cosmic wonders through captivating shows that are both educational and entertaining. The planetarium’s well-curated exhibits and informative presentations make it a must-visit for space enthusiasts and families. As one of the oldest planetariums in India, it continues to inspire and educate visitors on the marvels of the universe. Don’t miss the opportunity to delve into the mysteries of space and time at the Birla Planetarium.

Marble Palace

Marble Palace Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; closed on Mondays and Thursdays. Some areas may have varied hours, so it’s advisable to check in advance.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the extensive art collection and the beautiful architecture of the palace.

Cost to visit: Free admission to the public. However, prior permission is required for entry, which can be obtained from the West Bengal Tourism Information Bureau or the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation.

Address: 46, Muktaram Babu Street, Jorasanko, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

There is no photography allowed inside the palace, and it’s recommended to maintain decorum while visiting this historical gem.

About Marble Palace

The Marble Palace in Kolkata is a splendid mansion known for its exquisite marble walls, floors, and sculptures. Built in 1835, the palace is home to an extensive art collection that includes paintings by renowned artists like Rembrandt, Reynolds, and Rubens, as well as an array of antique furniture, beautiful chandeliers, and rare curios. The lush greenery of the garden surrounding the palace adds to the serene ambience.

It is advisable to obtain permission before visiting to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience as visitor access is restricted.

Visitors are astounded by the opulence and cultural heritage preserved within the Marble Palace, making it a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts in Kolkata.

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens Visitor Information

Working hours: The Botanical Gardens in Kolkata are typically open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with some areas having varied hours.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the stunning natural beauty and diverse plant collections of the Botanical Gardens.

Cost to visit: Entry to the Botanical Gardens is free of charge, making it a wonderful budget-friendly attraction for travelers.

Address: Botanical Gardens, Shibpur, Howrah, West Bengal, India

The Botanical Gardens is a verdant oasis, and visitors are recommended to bring along insect repellent and sun protection during their visit.

About Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens in Kolkata is a paradise for nature lovers, offering a serene escape from the bustling city. As one of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in India, it boasts an impressive collection of rare and exotic plants, including the iconic Great Banyan Tree. The gardens also feature picturesque ponds, stunning flower beds, and a beautiful palm house. The peaceful ambience and lush greenery make it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic amidst stunning natural surroundings.

Belur Math

Belur Math Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 6:00 AM – 11:30 AM and 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM; open every day of the week.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the site, including the prayer hall, museum, and gardens.

Cost to visit: Free entry to Belur Math.

Address: Belur Math, Belur Rd, Howrah, West Bengal, India.

Belur Math is a serene place, offering a peaceful escape from the bustling city. Don’t miss the evening Aarti, a spiritual ceremony that is truly uplifting.

About Belur Math

Belur Math is a significant pilgrimage destination, known for its architectural splendor and religious importance. Founded by Swami Vivekananda, it stands as a symbol of unity of all religions. The main temple, with its stunning blend of architectural styles, is a sight to behold. Visitors can explore the museum, displaying artifacts related to Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda. The lush gardens provide a tranquil setting for reflection and meditation. This spiritual haven offers a glimpse into the principles and beliefs of the Ramakrishna Mission, and a visit here promises a deeply enriching experience for travelers seeking spiritual nourishment.

Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically open from 5:30 AM to 11:00 AM and from 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Need time: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to fully explore the temple and enjoy its serene surroundings.

Cost to visit: Free

Address: 29, Ashutosh Chowdhury Ave, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal 700019, India

Birla Mandir offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city, making it a great place for quiet contemplation and relaxation.

About Birla Mandir

The Birla Mandir, also known as the Lakshmi-Narayan Temple, is a stunning architectural marvel located in the heart of Kolkata. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. Made entirely of white marble, the temple stands as a symbol of devotion and architectural grandeur. The intricate carvings and detailed sculptures adorning the temple walls are a sight to behold. Visitors can spend time admiring the intricate craftsmanship, meditating in the peaceful surroundings, and enjoying panoramic views of the city from the temple complex. The serene ambiance and the spiritual significance of this place make it a must-visit for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of Kolkata’s rich cultural heritage. Don’t forget to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting the temple, and remember to remove your shoes before entering the inner sanctum. Photography may be restricted inside the temple, so it’s best to inquire about the rules upon arrival. Whether you’re a history buff, a spiritual seeker, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, Birla Mandir offers a unique experience that should not be missed during your visit to Kolkata.

Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically open from 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM. Some areas may have varied hours, so it’s best to check in advance.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the beautiful grounds and attractions at Eden Gardens.

Cost to visit: Free entry to Eden Gardens.

Address: BBD Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Due to the large area and various attractions within Eden Gardens, it’s advisable to wear comfortable shoes and carry sunscreen, especially during the summer months. Be cautious of the heat and stay hydrated throughout your visit.

About Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens is more than just a cricket stadium; it’s an iconic destination in Kolkata, known for its lush greenery, tranquil lakes, and historic monuments. The gardens offer a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of the bustling city, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll, picnics, or simply soaking in the serene ambiance.

Visitors can also explore the Victoria Memorial, a stunning architectural masterpiece located nearby, or indulge in some local street food from the vendors around the area. The gardens hold a special place in the hearts of locals and are a must-visit for anyone seeking a bit of tranquility amidst the vibrant energy of Kolkata.

Fort William

Fort William Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM; closed on Mondays and public holidays.

Need time: Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the historic site and its surroundings.

Cost to visit: Free entry for all visitors.

Address: Hastings, Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal 700022, India

For a serene experience, plan your visit during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds.

About Fort William

Fort William, situated on the banks of the Hooghly River, is a significant historical landmark in Kolkata. Constructed during the colonial era, the fort was named after King William III and served as a military stronghold. The sprawling grounds of the fort offer a peaceful retreat amidst the bustling city. Visitors can explore the well-maintained lawns and take leisurely walks while admiring the architectural beauty of the fort. Additionally, the area surrounding the fort provides picturesque views of the river, making it an excellent spot for photography enthusiasts. The serene ambiance and rich history make Fort William a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

Aqua Marina Water Park

Aqua Marina Water Park Visitor Information

Working hours: Typically 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; some areas may have varied hours.

Need time: Allocate at least 4-6 hours to fully explore the place and enjoy all the attractions.

Cost to visit: Entrance fee for adults is approximately INR 600, and for children, it is around INR 400. Please note that prices may vary based on the season and special events.

Address: Aqua Marina Water Park, Kona Expressway, Howrah, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

It is advisable to visit the park early in the morning to beat the rush and make the most of your time at the water park.

About Aqua Marina Water Park

Aqua Marina Water Park in Kolkata is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The park offers a range of thrilling water slides, wave pools, and other water-based attractions suitable for visitors of all ages. In addition to the exciting rides, the park also features picnic areas and food stalls, making it a perfect place for families and groups of friends to spend a fun-filled day. The park is well-maintained, with lifeguards on duty to ensure the safety of all visitors. With its convenient location and enjoyable atmosphere, Aqua Marina Water Park is a must-visit for anyone looking for a refreshing and entertaining experience in Kolkata.

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FAQ

What are the must-visit attractions in Kolkata?

There are several must-visit attractions in Kolkata, including the iconic Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Marble Palace, and the Indian Museum. Make sure to explore the vibrant markets, such as New Market and Gariahat, to get a taste of the local culture and shop for souvenirs.

What are the best things to do in Kolkata?

Some of the best things to do in Kolkata include taking a leisurely boat ride on the Hooghly River, exploring the historical architecture in North Kolkata, visiting the Mother House to pay homage to Mother Teresa, and experiencing the vibrant nightlife in Park Street. Don’t miss indulging in the delectable street food at places like Tiretti Bazaar and Dacres Lane.

What is the best time to visit Kolkata?

The best time to visit Kolkata is during the winter months of October to March when the weather is pleasant and ideal for exploring the city. Avoid visiting during the monsoon season, from June to September, as the city experiences heavy rainfall, which can disrupt travel plans and outdoor activities.

Is Kolkata safe for tourists?

Kolkata is generally considered safe for tourists, but it’s essential to exercise the same level of caution as in any other major city. Be mindful of your belongings, avoid isolated areas at night, and use reputable transportation services. It’s also a good idea to be respectful of local customs and dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites.

What are some unique cultural experiences in Kolkata?

Kolkata is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, and there are several unique experiences that travelers can enjoy. Attend a traditional dance performance, such as Kathak or Bharatanatyam, visit a local art gallery to admire the work of talented Bengali artists, or partake in a Bengali cooking class to learn the secrets of authentic regional cuisine.

How can I get around Kolkata?

Kolkata has a well-established public transportation system, including the iconic yellow taxis, buses, and the efficient metro rail. Auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are also popular for short distances. For a more personalized experience, consider hiring a private car and driver, especially if you plan to explore attractions outside the city.

What are some etiquette tips for visiting Kolkata?

When visiting Kolkata, it’s important to respect the local customs and etiquette. Greet people with a friendly ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’, dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and always ask for permission before taking photographs of individuals or in certain areas. It’s also customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or a place of worship.

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