Kolkata - the city of palaces and joy is located on the east bank of the Hooghly River and is known as the “Paris of the East.” Kolkata holds a special class of richness due to its culture, food, temples, monuments and bazaars - all of them are the best on earth. This city is one of the largest cities in India and is densely populated. Because of its multiple attractions and fun environment, there is plenty to do and see, here.
Here is a list of the top 10 things you must do if you are in Kolkata:
1. Kalighat Kali Temple
Kalighat Kali Temple is one of the most visited and sacred sites in Kolkata and is dedicated to the Hindu goddess, Kali. While walking through the temple, you will pass through a street that’s packed on both sides with religious items, you can purchase. I must mention that the line to get in the actual temple, to see the statue of Kali is sometimes crazy long and enough to make you very bored. The Kalighat Kali Temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and other Hindu devotees. To enter the temple, first remove your shoes outside, but if you just want to walk around the outside of the temple, you don’t need to remove your shoes.
Kalighat Kali Temple
Address: Anami Sangha, Kalighat, Kolkata
Website: Kalighat Kali Temple
2. Victoria Memorial
The Victoria Memorial is one of the largest marble buildings, in Kolkata. While in west Bengal, when you visit the Victoria Memorial, you will feel like you are in Europe. This iconic structure is dedicated to Queen Victoria, who is also referred to as “Empress of India”. With its British and European touches, the hall also includes some Mughal Indian design elements. This memorial is 103 meters (338 feet) in length, 69 meters (226.4 feet) wide and 56 meters (183.7 feet) high. If you have time and you stay until 7 PM, you can enjoy the musical fountain dance, outside the entrance.
Address: Maidan, Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Kolkata
Website: Victoria Memorial
3. Writers' Building
The Writers’ Building is referred to as Kolkata’s first three storied building and is located in the northern part of BBD Bagh. The place is so called because it once housed the clerical and administrative staff of the East India Company and today it houses the office of the Chief Minister and the main state secretariat. This beautiful building was designed by Thomas Lyon, in 1777 and it has undergone several extensions and changes over the years. The Writers’ Building is one of the major landmarks of the City of Joy and a must-see place, in Kolkata.
Address: BBD Bag N, Lal Dighi, BBD Bagh, Kolkata
Website: Writers’ Building
4. Marble Palace
The Marble Palace is a splendid building, full of breathtaking examples of lavishness that speak to the over-the-top, luxurious lifestyle that the raja once had. The palace is located in the northern part of Kolkata and is close to the residence of Rabindranath Tagore. It is quite a contrast from the poverty you see in Kolkata and the irony becomes more apparent, as you tour the palace. You will be amazed to know that the entire gallery of the Marble Palace has a collection of artwork amassed by one individual. Here, you can find exclusive paintings of Reynolds, Rembrandt, Van Goyen and Rubens.
Address: 46 Mukteram Babu Street, Kolkata, 700007
5. Indian Museum
The Indian Museum makes for a fascinating visit, due to its unique exhibits and artefacts. This museum is said to be the first museum founded in India and it also claims to be the largest, multipurpose museum not only on the Indian subcontinent but all of Asia. The museum hosts huge collections and galleries, spanning many different subjects, including archaeology, art, geology and even Egyptology. It is very busy, so go early in the morning, to avoid the crowds.
Address: 27, Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Colootola, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata
Website: Indian Museum
6. Nicco Park
Are you in Kolkata and missing Disneyland? No worries, Nicco park is the place for you. It is said to be Disneyland of Kolkata. This amusement park is a place where not just kids but even adults can let their hair down and have a fun day. With well-maintained rides and slides, the park offers a gamut of fun activities for amusement park enthusiasts. You can spend hours and even days here with beautiful lake and big food courts. Great place to spend a whole day with family and friends.
Address: Jheel Meel, Sector IV, Salt Lake City, Kolkata
Website: Nicco Park
7. Indian Botanical Garden
If you are bored from visiting archaeological monuments, take a relaxing trip to the Indian Botanical Garden. This garden is full of lush flora and the shades of green will soothe and relax your tired mind. It has a cactus house, river overlook, palm collection and a boating lake, with splendid giant Amazonian lily pads. This place is a natural encyclopaedia for almost every plant in the world.
Indian Botanical Garden
Address: Shibpur, Howrah, West Bengal
Website: Indian Botanical Garden
8. Belur Math
Unlike the Kalighat Kali Temple, Belur Math is a clean, safe and peaceful place to relax. Belur Math is located on the banks of the Hooghly River and was founded by Swami Vivekananda, in 1898. This place is well known for its architectural elegance, sacred associations, clean environs and spiritual atmosphere. It incorporates the motifs of various religions, by symbolizing the harmony taught by Sri Ramakrishna. You can also choose to walk around the gardens, but you’ll need to catch its beauty with your mind, as photography is strictly prohibited.
Address: Belur, Howrah, West Bengal
Website: Belur Math
9. Terreti Market
If you wake up early in the morning, around 7:30 AM and think you won’t find anything to eat, I must say you are wrong. Terreti Market is a local bazaar, known for its breakfast and often attracts hungry diners that have just finished a night of partying. You can enjoy mouthwatering momo dumplings, Chinese baozi and soup noodles, here.
Address: Tangra, Kolkata, West Bengal
10. Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in India and endures a huge number of cars and trucks daily, as one of the busiest places in Kolkata. If you are wanting to cross the bridge and think you will wait for when it is less busy, think again - don’t expect to wait and gaze at this wonder for too long. This bridge was renamed Rabindra Setu Bridge, but it is still popularly referred to as Howrah Bridge.
Address: Howrah, West Bengal
Journey through the Paris of the East
So, you can see there are many places to visit in Kolkata, from historic monuments to fun parks. Whenever you travel in Kolkata, you will see community neighbourhoods, with a strong bond. Kolkata has grown rapidly in the last few years and it is still improving. Enjoy your wonderful journey to Kolkata and create a flawless plan, in a few simple steps.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.