Are you confused about which place you should pick while planning on visiting India? Of course, the list is huge when we are talking about such a diverse country like India. But Kolkata can make your journey a memorable one. They say Kolkata has something that the other cities are lacking. If you are a city person, then the beautiful heritage, the rich culture, and delicious foods (especially sweets) are enough for making your visit special. Whether you are looking for unique places to visit in Kolkata at night or nearby tourist spots in Kolkata the city never disappoints anybody.
Kolkata used to be the capital of British India until 1911, so it is easy to guess that most of the old British architecture is in Kolkata. But the city of joy has more things for visitors. From tasting the mouthwatering Bengali cuisines to having a heritage walk, this city would never disappoint you. The cultural capital of India has countless tourist places but today you will explore those best ones. Read the following list to discover the best places to visit in Kolkata.
A must-visit place when you are visiting this city, Victoria Memorial is undoubtedly one of the iconic tourist attractions in Kolkata. The monument was founded in 1921 to commemorate the twenty-fifth reign of Queen Victoria over India. The beautifully architected memorial has a museum inside with a total amount of 25 galleries including the Royal gallery, Calcutta Gallery, Queen’s hall, the National leaders’ gallery and more.
Victoria Memorial has a beautiful garden that adds life to this place. You can also enjoy the light and sound event called Son-et-Lumiere in the evening but the show remains closed during Monsoon months, July-September. Entry tickets of this memorial are available for 30 INR (Indians), 100 INR (SAARC Countries) and 500 INR (Foreigners). You need a garden ticket of INR 20 to explore the garden area of the Victoria Memorial.
Kalighat Kali Temple
Kalighat Kali Temple is one of the most visited tourist spots in Kolkata. Known as one of the sacred Shakti Peethas, this Kali Temple was reconstructed under the Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family’s patronage in the early 19th century. You can visit the Nakuleshwar Bhairav Temple which is located opposite the Kali Temple. Visitors also love the Arati during the evening time. Try to avoid weekends and festival days, you will get a long queue.
The Indian Museum
One of the significant mentions when it comes to the best places to visit in Kolkata in 2 days. The Indian Museum holds the crown of India’s oldest museum, which was founded over 200 years ago. This place is heaven for museum freaks. From a 4000 years old Egyptian Mummy to 100,000+ exhibits store, this museum has all. The main attraction could be that 35 galleries have been divided into six categories.
You will find a library and a bookstore in the museum premises. Tickets are available for per head 10 INR (Indians) and 150 INR (Foreigners).
Science city in the largest science center in the Indian subcontinent. This place is one of the top tourist attractions of Kolkata, with major attractions like Space Odyssey, Science Park, Earth Exploration Hall and more. If you are coming with your kids, then Science City is the top recommendation.
The entry fee costs INR 60 per person but if you are going to do some activities like visiting space theatre, gravity coaster or time machine, you need to pay extra. They have some special combo packages for groups, so it would be helpful if you are visiting as a group. You can try the ropeway too.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Situated at the bank of Hooghly River, Dakshineswar Kali temple carries the history of Kolkata. This temple was founded by Bengali philanthropist Rani Rashmoni over 150 years ago. This place is very popular among locals, especially because of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who had spent most of his life in this temple.
The view of the Hooghly river in the afternoon is magnificent. Also, you can enjoy your time taking a little walk on the newly founded Skywalk in Dakshineswar Temple. Try to avoid visiting on weekends.
The heart of the Ramkrishna movement, Belur Math was founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Millions of visitors around the world come here throughout the year. It takes nearly 30 minutes from the Dakshineswar Temple to reach Belur Math which is located to the opposite side of the Hooghly river. Ferry service is always available from Dakshineswar.
A museum called Ramakrishna Sangraha Mandira at Belur Math is a must-visit place added in the list of tourist places in Kolkata. If you are visiting there during the evening time, do not forget to witness the Arati, which is performed by the monks of Belur Math with the song ‘Khandana Bhava–Bandhana’ (composed by Swami Vivekanda himself). You can buy books from the bookstore in the monastery premises.
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
The birthplace of Rabindranath Tagore, Jorasanko Thakur Bari is the cultural center of Kolkata. You will get the essence of old Zamindari heritage and the contribution of the Tagore family enrich the Bengali culture. Inside you will find a museum called Rabindra Bharati Museum which is very enjoyable and informative. The museum has a countless number of books, manuscripts, journals, personalia and paintings. The museum also has the Japan gallery, China gallery, US gallery that explores Rabindranath’s visits and relations with these countries.
This place also arranges a Light and Sound show during the evening time. Tickets are available for per head INR 20 (Indians), INR 30 (SAARC countries) and INR 150 (Foreigners). Also, you need an extra charge for the Light and Sound show and photography.
College Street Book Market
When you are in Kolkata, you should visit the College Street book market once, even if you are not a book lover. This market is the second-largest handbook market in the world, and you will find any book at the cheapest price here. Well, College Street is not all about books, you can also enjoy street foods and even visit the famous Indian Coffee House.
If you are thinking that Kolkata is a city of only old buildings, then Eco Park can change your mind. Eco Park is an urban park inaugurated by the current Chief Minister of West Bengal, is located on a 480 acres plot and surrounded by 104 acres of a waterbody.
The park is divided into different areas like the lake zone, active zone. two theme zones and more. So, you need a full day outing plan to visit this park. Foods are available to purchase here but it could be a little costly compared to outside. The entry ticket costs INR 30 but if you are planning to do some activities, you need to pay some extra charges. Do not forget to watch the 7 Wonders’ replica at Eco Park. All these reasons make it one of the top places to visit in Kolkata for couples.
Sundarbans National Park Trip
If you have some extra days then you can arrange a trip to Sundarbans National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tiger reserve. The main attraction of this place is the Royal Bengal Tiger. Besides tigers, you will get to see beautiful birds, deers and crocodiles.
This place is a little far from Kolkata (110 km distance), so you need at least 2 days for this trip. You can take a train to the nearest railway station or hire a car. But bus services are also available from Kolkata.
The list of places to visit in Kolkata mentioned above will definitely help you to make your Kolkata tour epic. The list also covers some of the best nearby places to visit in Kolkata that you can add to your itinerary. If you are planning to explore some other cities in India then don’t forget to check our other travel guides in India.