Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, has a plethora of marvellous architecture that one can witness in the city. The intellectual hub of India, the city denotes its exceptional culture and heritage that is an essential part of the city’s tourism industry. If you are not intrigued yet, given below is the list of the places that one should visit to edify themselves. The rich history, literature, and grandeur of the City of Joy won’t disappoint you for sure. Here are some of the best places to visit in Kolkata.
1. Victoria Memorial
Lying by the banks of the Hoogly River, this large marble building was built between 1906 to 1921. It is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria and now a famous tourist destination. The structure is spread over 57 acres of land and the house of beautiful artifacts is the white marble beauty that captures one’s attention.
Address: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal-700071
Time to visit: 10 AM to 5 PM
Distance from airport: It takes 26 minutes to travel from Kolkata Airport to Victoria Memorial. Approximate driving distance between Kolkata Airport and Victoria Memorial is 22 km or 13.7 miles.
Distance from railway station: It takes 12 minutes to travel from Calcutta Railway Station to Victoria Memorial. Approximate driving distance between Calcutta Railway Station and Victoria Memorial is 10 km or 6.2 miles.
2. Fort William
The Fort was built during the early years of the Bengal presidency of British India. Standing at the eastern banks of River Hoogly, it extends to an area of 70.9 hectares. Also known as the Black Hole of Calcutta, this place was once a temporary jail where British prisoners were detained, but now it serves as the headquarters of the Eastern Command. It is guarded by the Army personnel and visitors are required to take a special permit from the Commanding Officer to visit it.
Address: Maidan, Fort William, Hastings, Kolkata, West Bengal-700021
Time to visit: 10 AM to 5:30 PM
Distance from airport: The distance between Kolkata Airport and Fort William is 14 km.
Distance from railway station: It takes 25 minutes (9.4 km) via Central Ave, and 28 minutes (10.3 km) via Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road.
3. Marble Palace
The Palace is a nineteenth-century mansion located in North Kolkata is famous for its marble walls and floors. The vivid paintings and sculptures illustrate the elegant artistry of the Victorian era. It is one of the most visited tourist places in Kolkata that speak about the rich Bengali traditions.
Address: Raja Katra, Machuabazar, Kolkata, West Bengal-700007
Time to visit: It opens at 10 AM and closes at 3 PM, and remains closed on Mondays and Thursdays.
Distance from airport: Distance between Kolkata Airport Kolkata and Marble Palace is 17 km or 10.6 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Howrah Railway Station and Marble Palace is 9 km or 5.6 miles.
4. Botanical Gardens
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, better known as Botanical Garden is spread throughout an area of 273 acres of land. This vibrant garden has a stunning collection of about 12,000 different specimens of trees and plants, artificial lakes that will help you connect with nature and enjoy the peace. One of the best places to visit in Kolkata,the major attraction of the garden is the enormous banyan tree that is named as the Great Banyan Tree with a large canopy.
Address: Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Botanical Survey of India, Shibpur, Howrah, West Bengal-711 103, Kolkata
Time to visit: 10 AM to 5 PM
Distance from airport: It takes 24 minutes to travel from Kolkata Airport to Botanical Garden. Approximate driving distance between Kolkata Airport and Botanical Garden is 20 km or 12.4 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Howrah Railway Station and Botanical Garden is 7 km or 4.3 miles.
5. Howrah Bridge
The gateway of Kolkata, Howrah Bridge is one of the most historic landmarks in the city that is suspended over the Hooghly River. One of the unique places to visit in Kolkata, Howrah Bridge came into functional in 1943, linking the two cities of Howrah and Kolkata. Although it was renamed as Rabindra Setu in 1965, the bridge is still known by its former name. The grandeur can be enjoyed best on a ferry ride, the river water and night sky gives the perfect portrayal of nature.
Address: Plot No. 20/2 B, K P Roy Lane, Sahid Nagar, Near Jadavpur Police Station, Dhakuria.
Time to visit: Open 24 hours
Distance from airport: The distance between the Howrah Bridge and Kolkata Airport Station is 22 km or 13.7 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Howrah Bridge and Howrah Railway Station is 1 km or 0.6 miles.
6. Tagore’s House
Also known as the Jorasanko Thakur Bari, this is the ancestral house of the Tagore family. It is the place where the renowned Rabindranath Tagore was born and also spent his remaining days before death. Since then the residence has been converted into a museum that includes the history of the Tagore family with photos and the literary works of the Nobel Laureate himself.
Address: Ganesh Talkies, 267, Rabindra Sarani, Singhi Bagan, Jorasanko, Kolkata, West Bengal-700007
Time to visit: All days of the week from 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM, except Monday.
Distance from airport: The Distance between Rabindranath Tagore Ashram and Airport Kolkata is 19 km or 11.8 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Kolkata Railway Station and Rabindra Nath Tagore Hospital is 16 km or 9.9 miles.
If you want to get rid of the scorching heat of the Kolkata, this is the right place to go. As the name suggests, this is a water theme park that started in 1999 and covers 17 acres of land. There are numerous options of rides, water slides like the Black Hole, Wave Pool, and other sorts of activities that every age group can enjoy to the fullest.
Address: Kouchpukur, P.O Hathgachia, Near Rajarhat Township, Kolkata, West Bengal-700156
Time to visit: 10 AM to 6 PM
Distance from airport: Distance between Dumdum Airport and Aquatica is 13 km or 8.1 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Aquatica Water Park and Howrah Rail Station is 25 km or 15.5 miles.
8. Dakshineshwar Kali Temple
Located at Dakshineswar on the eastern bank of the Hoogly River, this temple is a pilgrimage site dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni who was an esteemed humanitarian and a devotee to the deity. This architecture was also the residing place of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Maa Sarada who spent a considerable part of their lives here. With the traditional 'Navaratna' style Bengal framework, the three-storeyed temple stands on a high platform with a fleet of stairs.
Address: Rani Rashmoni Road, May Dibas Pally, Dakshineswar, Kolkata, West Bengal-700076
Time to visit: All days of the week from 6 AM to 12:30 PM, and 3 PM to 9 AM
Distance from airport: Distance between Kolkata Airport Station and Dakshineswar Kali Temple is 10 km or 6.2 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Dakshineswar Kali Temple and Railway Station Dakshineswar is 1 km or 0.6 miles.
9. Newtown Eco tourism park
It is an urban park that is deemed as the biggest one in India. Spread over 480 acres of land with 104 acres of waterbody and an island in the middle, this park was inaugurated in December 2012. A perfect retreat for nature lovers, the park has been divided into three major parts: ecological zones, theme gardens, and recreational spaces. There are several attractions and numerous activities that will make the experience worth reminiscing.
Address: Eco-Tourism Park, Major Arterial Rd, Action Area II, Newtown, Kolkata, West Bengal-700156.
Time to visit: (Summer Timings- 1 March to 31 October) Tuesday to Saturday = 2:30 PM to 8:30 PM, Sunday & Holidays = 12 Noon to 8:30 PM.
(Winter Timings- 1 November to 28 February) Tuesday to Saturday = 12 Noon to 7:30 PM, Sunday & Holidays = 11 AM to 7:30 PM. Monday closed
Distance from airport: Distance between Kolkata Airport and Eco Tourism Park New Town is 17 km or 10.6 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Bidhan Nagar Railway Station and Eco Park Kolkata is 14 km or 8.7 miles.
10. St. Paul’s Cathedral
Known for its Gothic architecture, this cathedral was completed in 1847. It is known to be the largest Anglican cathedral in Kolkata and the first Episcopal Church in Asia. The remarkable features of the interiors of the cathedral has a display of many plastic art forms and mementos.
Address: Cathedral Rd, Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal-700071
Time to visit: Monday to Saturday: 9 AM to 12 PM, and 3 PM to 6 PM; Sunday: 7:30 AM to 6 PM
Distance from airport: Distance between Kolkata Airport and St. Paul's Cathedral is 17 km or 10.6 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Sealdah Railway Station and St Paul Cathedral is 6 km or 3.7 miles.
11. Alipore Zoo
The Alipore Zoo, also known as a zoological park is one of the oldest and biggest tourist attractions of Kolkata. Opened as a zoo since 1876, it covers an area of 46 acres of land. The place is mostly popular for its 250-year-old resident, an Aldabra giant tortoise named Adwaita who expired in 2006. There are several exotic animals and bird species that will surely captivate the admiration of animal lovers.
Address: 2, Alipore Rd, Alipur Zoological Garden, Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal-700027
Time to visit: All days of the week except Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM (Ticket Counter)
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Garden)
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Aquarium)
Distance from airport: Distance between Alipore Zoo and Kolkata Airport is 22 km or 13.7 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Alipore Zoological Gardens Kolkata and Railway Station Kolkata is 7 km or 4.3 miles.
12. Science City Kolkata
Well known as the largest science centre in India, the centre was formed in July 1997 by the director-general of NCSM (National Council of Science Museums). The centre is divided into two parts, the Science Centre and the Convention Centre. The layout comprises of various striking structures like a Space Odyssey, Earth Exploration Hall, Dynamotion and many more. For those who are awestruck by technology and architecture, this is a must visit place.
Address: JBS Haldane Avenue, Basanti Hwy, Kolkata, West Bengal-700046
Time to visit: remains open all days of the year (except Holi) from 9 AM to 8 PM
Distance from airport: Distance between Kolkata Airport and Science City is 18 km or 11.2 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Science City and Kolkata Railway Station is 9 km or 5.6 miles.
13. National Library
The National Library of India is one of its kind paradise for all the book lovers out there. Spread out at 30 acres of land, the largest library in India has a collection of more than 2 million books. Their stock includes books, periodicals, and titles of at least fifteen languages which are not usually accessible everywhere. The various range of monographs and manuscripts will surely keep you hooked for long.
Address: National Library, Belvedere Road, Kolkata, West Bengal-700027
Time to visit: Monday to Saturday- 9 AM to 8 PM, closed on Sundays and Government of India holidays.
Distance from airport: Distance between Kolkata Airport and National Library is 19 km or 11.8 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Howrah Railway Station and National Library is 8 km or 5 miles.
14. Birla Industrial and Technological Museum
The main founders of science and technology in India, this museum was set up by the Birlas to illustrate their industrial achievements. Established in 1956, the museum is the hub of basic concepts of science that includes Children’s Gallery, Mock-up Coal Mine, and different workshops that will fascinate both the young and old.
Address: 19A, Gurusaday Dutta Road, Beck Bagan, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal-700019
Time to visit: Monday-Friday (9:30 AM to 6PM), on Saturday and Sunday (10:30 AM to 8 PM)
Distance from airport: Distance between Birla Industrial Technological Museum and Airport is 22 km or 13.7 miles.
Distance from railway station: Distance between Birla Industrial Technological Museum and Railway Station is 5 km or 3.1 miles.
15. CIMA Art Gallery
The Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA) was opened in Kolkata in 1993 with the assistance of a leading Indian media group ABP Ltd. The gallery was designed with the supervision from renowned art galleries from New York and London. The gallery hosts number of exhibitions that captivates one’s attention, and also organise seminars that gives a platform to the aspiring artists.
Address: Sunny Towers, 2nd Floor, 43, Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue, Kolkata, West Bengal-700019
Time to visit: 11 AM to 6:30 PM, except on Monday (3 PM to 6:30PM)
Distance from airport: Distance from CIMA Art Gallery to Kolkata airport via Bangaon is 20.7 km
Distance from railway station: Distance from CIMA Art Gallery to Kolkata railway station via Canal E Road is 10 km
These were some of the most popular tourist spots in Kolkata, which you should visit when you are in the city of joy. Also, if you are in the city, you should visit the best places to eat in Kolkata.
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