Kolkata city is around 80 kilometers west of the Bangladesh border, on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River. It is the main business, commercial, and financial center of Eastern India, as well as the region’s main communication hub.
Kolkata, infamously known as the ‘City of Joy’ has managed to keep its antique appeal and vintage charisma over the years while still emerging as one of the country’s most sophisticated cities. In Kolkata, there are countless sites to explore and activities to partake in. There are many intriguing things to do in Kolkata, from experiencing night-life at park street to absorbing archaeological brilliance at the Indian Museum, visiting the UNESCO world heritage sites to indulging in your favorite books on college street, from witnessing the aura of Howrah Bridge to seeing Mother Teresa’s tomb, whether a visit to the flower market or to the shopping malls you are assured to have an exhilarating experience here in Kolkata.
Here’s a curated list of things to do in Kolkata for an exhilarating experience.
1. Stop by the Victoria Memorial
This beautiful white marble building was created to honor Queen Victoria to commemorate her 25 years in power over India and is nearly identical to the Victoria Memorial in London. The Victoria Memorial is a well-known building associated with the city of joy!
The memorial is encircled by a lush green and well-kept garden with various statues and sculptures spanning 64 acres. At the summit of the memorial, a sixteen-foot tall bronze figure of triumph mounted on ball bearings adds to the overall charm and majesty of the complex.
You can also take a look at the antiques on display at the Victoria Memorial Hall. The Victoria Memorial is stunning and magnificent, especially when lighted at night. The nighttime Sound and Light performances are an unexpected incentive and a must-see for everyone interested in reliving the spirit of the Victorian era in the current world.
2. Grab the exhilarating experience of a tram ride
Trams are inextricably linked to Kolkata’s culture and history. It is now India’s sole public transport system and likely Asia’s only one of its sort. Tram routes travel alongside other cars on specific rails installed along the sides of major roadways. They are similar to little local trains in that they follow the dictates of the traffic signals. The rusted trams retain their antique beauty and are outfitted with a TV and an FM radio.
3. Take a boat ride near the Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge, an emblematic feature of Kolkata, is a giant steel bridge built across the Hooghly River. It is regarded as one of the world’s longest composite bridges. It links Howrah and Kolkata and is also known as Rabindra Setu. It transports over 100,000 automobiles and countless people daily and is as ancient as it is majestic. The magnificence of the bridge, on the other hand, comes alive at night when it is all lit up. You may also take a ferry trip from the launch ghat between Kolkata and Howrah. To say the least, the view of the city from the ferry is priceless, especially at night.
4. Let the Birla Planetarium take you on a tour of the Universe
Birla Planetarium is Asia’s largest and the world’s second-largest planetarium, located on the famed Chowringhee Road near the Victoria Memorial and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Birla Planetarium, located near Kolkata, is a splendid structure built by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on July 2, 1963. It is one of just three planetariums in India.
A tour of the Birla Planetarium is a fantastic opportunity to spark your interest in science and planet motion. A visit here involves a tour of the planets, where intriguing facts about them and other fascinating celestial bodies in our universe are explained.
5. Seek blessings at the enchanting Dakshineswar Kali Temple and Kalighat Temple
Two major Hindu temples in Kolkata are the Dakshineswar Temple and the Kalighat Temple. While Dakshineswar is situated on the eastern shores of the Hooghly River, Kalighat is located in the Anami Sangha suburbs. The Hindu goddess Kali is the deity of both temples. Pilgrims looking for things to do in Kolkata may visit these famous temples and submerge their bodies and spirit in the sacredness of these two immaculate sanctums. For those who want to bask in the essence of spirituality, this is one of the most fantastic activities in Kolkata.
6. Embrace the Historical importance of Fort William
The elegant Fort William is located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River in Kolkata. The fort was named after King William III and was the first British stronghold in the nation when it was built in 1696. The beautiful edifice spans 70.9 acres and is adorned with hundreds of arched windows overlooking lovely green gardens. The building’s surface is adorned with meticulous masonry, which took up to 10 years to complete. However, it was soon discovered that the building had a few flaws, and a new octagonal structure was built, the foundation of which was laid by Sir Robert Clive.
Because of the fort’s importance to Indian intelligence, entrance to its interiors is restricted to army troops and their families. You may, however, visit the palace to admire its gorgeous architecture.
7. Take a stroll down the Park Street
Park Street, often known as Mother Teresa Sarani, is a significant access road in Kolkata. The street runs from Chowringhee Road or JL Nehru Road to the Park Circus intersection. Park Street is claimed to never slumber and to be alive with activity at all times. It has several nightclubs and restaurants since it is a popular hangout in the city. Since the rule of the British Kingdom, the street has drawn a throng and experienced changes that have transformed it into a trendy hangout location.
8. Go for a spine chilling adventure at South Park Street Cemetery
South Park Street Cemetery is one of the world’s oldest non-church cemeteries, dating from the 18th century. The Archaeological Survey of India presently maintains it as a historic site in Kolkata. The majority of the graves at the South Park Street Cemetery are artistically pleasing and appealing. As a result, it has a distinct appeal that draws a huge number of tourists. Some graves are mysterious, while others are comforting. Grave 363 is the oldest of these tombs and belongs to a woman who never wanted her name disclosed. The tomb architecture is mostly a blend of Gothic and Indo-Saracenic styles, with small copies on stone.
9. Explore your inner scientist at the Science City Centre
The Science City, India’s first of its type, opened on July 1, 1997. It is a key attraction for both people of Kolkata and visitors to the city. It is one of the world’s finest and largest scientific museums, and it gives a fascinating method to learn science. The Science City in Kolkata is the largest science center in the Indian Subcontinent, according to the National Council of Science Museums. It is located in Kolkata at the intersection of the EM Bypass and JBS Halder Avenue.
The science city is an excellent combination of education and entertainment. There is a unique area dedicated to the aquatic realm where you may study every detail of the numerous fishes and insects. These aquariums house some of the most unusual fish. Overall, Science City will provide you with an unforgettable time with your friends and family, making your vacation well worthwhile.
10. Visit the Indian museum
The Indian Museum, the world’s ninth oldest museum and the largest in India, is located in Kolkata. The Indian Museum’s foundation stone was placed in 1814, and it has been a center of diverse activity ever since. It is popularly known as ‘Jadughar,’ and it has the best collection of modern art, sacred Buddha relics, Egyptian mummies, and antique sculptures. The Indian Museum also has some of the most magnificent collections of jewelry, fossils, skeletons, antiquities, armors, and breathtaking Mughal art.
The museum now has 35 galleries separated into six categories: art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology, and economic botany.
11. North Kolkata Attractions
North Kolkata is where historic Kolkata may be found in all its splendor. The picturesque region is filled with narrow streets and hundreds of old-world structures. The region, which includes Belgachhia, Shyambazar, Chitpur, Shobhabazar, Maniktala, Jora Sanko, and other places, serves as the town’s principal commercial and residential center. The Sealdah station, one of India’s main train hubs, and the recently completed Kolkata station are both nearby.
Here’s what you can do in North Kolkata.
12. Have fun at the South City Mall
The South City Mall, located on Prince Anwar Shah Road in the city’s southern suburbs, is a cutting-edge shopping complex with a 1,000,000-square-foot shopping space. Customers may choose from a variety of unique international and national retailer brand stores that fill the space. There is also a cinema in the mall where moviegoers may spend their day.
13. Sip Coffee at the Indian Coffee House
The Indian Coffee House is a Kolkata institution that existed long before Barista and Starbucks. It serves an eclectic population of college students unwinding over adda, even some who have graduated but still returning to this area, and coffee on the historic College Street, just opposite Presidency College.
Since before independence, the location has been a hotbed of intellectual discussion and a favorite hangout for many freedom fighters, revolutionaries, and powerful individuals. In a sense, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with people like Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Chandra Bose, Satyajit Ray, and Manna Dey.
14. Take a Drive through the Salt Lake City
Salt Lake is home to some of the city’s best new clubs and nightlife spots, so it’s only natural to want to end your day with a few drinks. Aside from being a terrific way to rest after an exciting day, this is also an excellent opportunity to mingle with and learn about the neighborhood’s rising youthful population.
15. Have Fun at the New Town Eco Park
The Kolkata Eco-Tourism Park is the biggest urban park built to encourage eco-tourism in the city. It is India’s largest urban park, covering over 475 acres of land. The beauty of the setting is enhanced tenfold by a body of water that encircles the park and forms an island in the center. Picnickers and individuals looking for a brief break from their humdrum lives frequent it. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the gorgeous and well-kept scenery. All of the park’s facilities are intended to reduce the negative impacts on the environment by avoiding pollution and preserving the natural scenery.
16. Experience Spiritual Bliss St. John’s Church
St John’s Church is one of Kolkata’s oldest churches, having been constructed during the time of the British Kingdom when the city served as the capital of British India. It is a magnificently well-kept edifice that attracts history and architectural aficionados due to its distinctiveness and antique features. One may note the distinctive towering characteristics of St John’s Church, which are typical of neoclassical architecture. The color palette and stained glass windows contribute to the structure’s uniqueness. The church maintains complete stillness allowing guests to sit in peace for at least a moment allow guests to sit in tranquility for at least a moment, the church maintains complete stillness.
17. Grab a Bite at Terreti Morning Market
Once inhabited by 20,000 Chinese, the city has seen a significant decrease in population, yet it has maintained its gastronomic culture. People come from all around to experience authentic Chinese cuisine, especially during Chinese New Year, when the streets are festooned with Chinese decorations and small dragons on the stores and residences. The most popular Chinese dish is Chinese breakfast, which consists of rice dumplings and broth, although there is also an Indian variation of Chinese. You must, however, be an early riser for this. Visit the store no late than 5.30 a.m.; stocks last until 6.30 or 7 a.m. You know how deals only last as long as stocks last, right?
18. Explore the Sir Stuart Hogg Market
Exploring the Sir Stuart Hogg Market, also known as the New Market, is one of the best things to do in Kolkata.
There are divisions inside the market for almost anything you may want, from handicrafts to goat meat. The entire land surrounding the market is buzzing. There are several great restaurants, street food booths, pushcarts, and crowds of people.
19. Visit the Historical National Library
The National Library is one of the finest things that has occurred to Kolkata. It is one of the largest libraries in the Indian Subcontinent in terms of volume and the first in the Eastern region of India. Kolkata, as the first modern city of the British Empire outside of Great Britain, has various advantages, the most notable of which is its rich past in terms of architecture, art, and culture. The library is spread out across 30 acres.
20. Go shopping at the Quest Mall
Some other shopping destination in Kolkata includes the Quest Mall opened in 2013 and features a variety of retailers, food courts, gaming rooms, a cinema, and other amenities. The INOX multiplex at this location offers six screens.
21. Get a view of the Eden Gardens
The Eden Gardens is a magnificent, well-maintained cricket ground in Kolkata’s B. B. D. Bagh district, near the State Secretariat and the Calcutta High Court. It was founded in 1864 by Governor-General Auckland, who christened the gardens and cricket pitch upon his sisters Emily and Fanny Eden.
Lord Dalhousie also imported a three-story Burmese pagoda in crimson and bright yellow. Eden Gardens Stadium is home to various sports, most notably cricket, which is played just across the lawn. It is a popular sporting location, often hosting one-day, test, and T20 matches. It is now the home ground of the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders and the provincial Bengal Cricket Team.
22. Buy Flowers at Mullick Ghat Flower Market
If you are in Kolkata, you should not miss out on visiting the famed Mallick Ghat Flower Market. Visit this ghat at the southeastern side of Howrah Bridge early in the morning when wholesalers arrive with freshly harvested flowers. The roadway is illuminated in a variety of hues, making it an ideal location for photography. One of the enjoyable things to do in Kolkata is to buy a bunch of flowers when leaving the market.
23. Go for a Trip to Sundarbans National Park
Sundarbans National Park, known for having the world’s largest mangrove forests, is located around 110 miles south of Kolkata in West Bengal, India. It is both a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve known for its Royal Bengal tigers, among other things, as well as roaring rivers and gorgeous estuaries. Sundarbans National Park is located in the Sundarban delta, which stretches into Bangladesh. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a wide range of bird and animal species, including salt-water crocodiles.
Planning for a trip to Mumbai? Here’s a Complete Guide to 12 Amazing Things to Do in Mumbai.
24. Visit the Botanical Garden
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, also known as the Botanical Garden, is a large 273-acre garden located in Shibpur, Howrah, near Kolkata.
Today, the colorful garden is regarded as one of the most beautiful manicured gardens in the country, with meandering land topography and breathtaking manmade lakes. Nature enthusiasts will adore visiting this region and spending some quiet and serene time amid nature in the garden.
25. Indulge in some Lip Smacking Street Food
The Cultural Capital of India is a foodie’s paradise, especially for those with a sweet craving. Bengali sweets are well-known and require no introduction; yet, the hot, tangy, and delectable street food of Kolkata will keep you puzzled as to whether you prefer the fiery Bengali cuisine or the melting tastes of the sweetmeats. Additionally that the traditional Chinese and Tibetan cuisine available here, then you’ll be spoiled for choice.
26. Pay a visit to the Mother House
Mother House, often known as the Missionaries of Charity, is a religious organization founded by Mother Teresa in 1950. Saint Teresa of Kolkata is a Latin Church or a Roman Catholic religious community. Members of the Mother House offer free services to those who are impoverished.
A section of the home has been set aside for devotees to pay their respects to Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa’s Tomb and an exhibition showcasing her work through images, awards, and publications may be found here. Some of her things, such as her sarees, sandals, and purse, are also on show. This is where Mother Teresa began and finished her humanitarian ministry. During her lifetime, she established a community that is still active today.
There are unlimited things to do in Kolkata. Some of the other things to do in Kolkata include visiting the marble palace, explore on sun yat-sen street, going on a temple tour, and getting mesmerized by the incredible building and traditional style.
However, the best time to visit Kolkata is during the festival of Durga Puja. You are sure to be left in complete awe. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Durga Puja is the biggest festival celebrated at the top scale of grandeur in the City of Joy.
You may take a tram ride, browse in the local markets, and sample the local food. You may also go to the well-known Sundarbans. There’s more to this lively city than Rosh Gulla and bookshops, believe me. The amount of excitement and activity hiding behind every street and lane in this vibrant metropolis will astound you. So make a thorough schedule and be sure to record all of these exciting things in your trip journal.