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The 15 Essential Sites to Visit Kolkata (Calcutta)

Why visit Kolkata or Calcutta?

Visit Kolkata or Calcutta the capital of Bengal and the second largest city in India in terms of population and you may know it thanks to Mother Teresa who worked in this city. But put aside the image of total poverty you have of this city (if that is the case): Calcutta is much more viable than New Delhi for example and the city is easily visited on foot. You should avoid the deafening and polluted main boulevards and go for a stroll in the small streets to meet the locals. On-site, the Victoria Memorial stands out from the crowd. Kolkata is a backpacker destination par excellence and the emotion is there!

Main places of interest in Kolkata

To help you organize your stay in Calcutta, we have listed the visits and places of interest to do in Calcutta.

Do you plan to visit to Kolkata, India? Go through our blog & get the 15 essential activities to do and see in Kolkata !

If you want a total change of scenery for your vacation, head to Calcutta! Now called Kolkatta since 2001, it is the capital of West Bengal. With its 15 million inhabitants, it is the third largest city in the country after Delhi and Bombay. A city disconcerting by its size, its population density, its culture and its architectural heritage, it is unfortunately also known because of its pollution and the poverty that reigns there. Visiting Calcutta will bring you its share of surprises, and one thing is certain: it will not leave you indifferent.

To help you organize your stay more easily, we have listed the 15 best things to do in Calcutta and its surroundings!


  1. The Victoria Memorial
  2. The flower market
  3. The New Market
  4. The Mother Teresa Museum
  5. Howrah Bridge
  6. The Indian Museum
  7. Science City
  8. Dakshineswar Kali Temple
  9. Maidan Park
  10. The Marble Palace
  11. Nicko Park
  12. Tagore’s House
  13. Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Calcutta
  14. The Botanical Garden
  15. Also to see and do in Calcutta and its surroundings
    How to get to Kolkata?
    Where to stay in Kolkata?

The Victoria Memorial

The Victoria Memorial is a gigantic white marble monument, located in the heart of Calutta. It is one of the most famous monuments in West Bengal, which has become a museum and a popular tourist spot.

Dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria (1819–1901), this memorial not only honors the reign of the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent, but is also a splendid architectural gem in the neo-oriental style. It is a must-see place to visit if you want to experience the essence of the Victorian era.

The Flower Market

Open day and night, the Calcutta flower market (Mullick Ghat Flower Market) is truly imposing.

There are a multitude of sellers there, the colors are magical and the scents irresistible. It lies under the Howrah Bridge and extends along the railway track. Here, locals sale & buy flowers as offerings to the gods or at weddings…

The New Market

The New Market is an indoor market located in the heart of the city that attracts many shoppers, bargain hunters and tourists. With its large Gothic structure, it is the oldest and most dynamic of all Calcuttian markets.

Its rows of stalls brimming with spices, fabrics, typically Indian souvenirs and its street food vendors make it a must-see if you’re looking for what to do there. Take the opportunity to bring back souvenirs to your loved ones!

The Mother Teresa Museum

In Calcutta is the Mother Teresa Museum (Mother House), mother of the poor, orphans and neglected. In particular, we can see his tomb there, located in a large, bare room. Nearby, a museum looks back on his life and presents the few objects that belonged to him: religious objects, shoes, furniture…

Passing the interior courtyard, we arrive at another building housing Mother Teresa’s room upstairs. Everything has been preserved as is! It is not possible to enter, but you can observe the small room in which she lived and died in 1997. If you wish, you can attend the mass which takes place very early in the morning. daily in the main chapel.

The Howrah Bridge

Cross the Hooghly River using the Howrah Bridge! A true architectural marvel, it has served as the setting for numerous films since the 1950s and you can’t miss it: it is 705 meters long and is crossed every day by around 80,000 vehicles, more than a million pedestrians and thousands of cattle!

The Indian Museum

If you want to spend half a day learning, you should go to the Indian Museum! It is one of the oldest museums in the world and the first major museum built in the Asia-Pacific! You will then be able to explore the museum’s 60 galleries, grouped into six sections (Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Botany) and discover Egyptian mummies or even the ashes of the Buddha!

Science City

Science City, or The City of Science, the only one of its kind in India, was inaugurated on July 1, 1997. It is one of the largest Science City in the world.

Educational, fun and enriching, don’t hesitate to visit it if you visit Calcutta with your family, the children will love it!

Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Does visiting religious temples inspire you? So set off to discover the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. This is a magnificent Hindu temple, dedicated to the goddess Kali. During your visit, you will be able to see a statue of this goddess, as well as 12 shrines in honor of Shiva, the famous Hindu god. Fun fact: in the 1850s, a wealthy widow dreamed that Kali asked her to build a temple in Calcutta. Immediately dreamed… Immediately done!

And if you like temples, don’t miss the Kalighat Temple, another must-do in Calcutta! A true historical, cultural, sporting and leisure center of the city of Kolkata, it is good to walk there in summer because of the freshness and greenery that can be found in this park.

Maidan (Park)

If you want to escape the hubbub of the city and the pollution for a walk, go to Maidan Park, the lungs of Calcutta! The site, which extends 3.2 km from north to south and 1.6 km from east to west, is located in the heart of the city, surrounding Fort William which you can also visit at the same time.

The Marble Palace

Why visit the Marble Palace in Kolkata? Because it is one of the best preserved Bengali bourgeois residences in the neoclassical style in the city! It is still inhabited today by the Mullick family who built it in the 19th century and has a garden and a bird park that you must also see!

Nicco Park

If you are coming to Kolkata with children, Nicco Park is one of the most exhilarating visits you can take! This amusement park covers 16 hectares and brings together more than 30 attractions to satisfy young and old.

And you’re looking to cool off, visit the Wet-o-Wild water park located within Nicco Park!

Tagore’s House

Still spared from mass tourism, Tagore’s house is a former residential palace from the 18th century and today a museum in memory of Rabindranath Tagore. During your visit, you will be able to discover the history of the Tagore family as well as the impact they had on the Bengali renaissance movement.

Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Calcutta

Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Calcutta is a neo-Gothic religious building decorated with stained glass windows and Florentine-inspired interior frescoes.

Monument built in 1847 by the English, it was built to replace the Saint-Jean church. St. Paul’s Cathedral in Calcutta is located in the southern part of the city’s large green space called “Maidan”, close to the Victoria Memorial.

The Botinical Garden

The Calcutta Botanical Garden (Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden) covers 110 hectares!

Stop at the foot of the spectacular banyan fig tree: two and a half centuries old, it measures no less than 420 m in circumference: a micro-forest in itself! The botanical garden’s greenhouse, or Palm House, is home to dozens of varieties of palm trees, bamboo and other exotic flowers.

To see and do also in Calcutta and its surroundings

  • Taste chai – Calcutta is the tea capital of India: it is there that you will taste succulent Chai teas, sweet teas made from milk and spices. So why not stop at one of the city’s many “tea huts”?
  • Prakriti Tirtha – Located less than 20km from Calcutta, it is the largest park to date in India
  • Prinsep Ghat
  • Belur Math
  • Birla Industrial and Technological Museum
  • Alipore Zoological Gardens
  • Taste local food on a Kolkata Food Tour

How to get to Kolkata?

There are numerous flights, lasting at least 13 hours with at least one stopover, to Calcutta from Europe. The province rather serves cities like Bombay or New Delhi. From these airports, you will then be able to fly to Calcutta very easily. To compare the prices of flights to India, consult the website of our partner Ulysse.

Where to stay in Kolkata?

Very decent Guest Houses and hotels are located in the heart of the city, for all budgets. To the south are the more upscale neighborhoods of the city, but also the quieter ones. If you prefer to be in the city center, then look for accommodation on Sudder Street: this is the guest house street par excellence.

Do not hesitate to read our article “about Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kochi”

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