A Handy Travel Guide: What to See in Kolkata

Kolkata is an epic city steeped in history. It’s a melting pot of culture, tradition and heritage. It’s a bustling metropolis where old and new, past and present, vintage and contemporary coexist together. The blending is seamless and weaves a striking juxtaposition that manifests in the city’s many sentiments – art, theater, food, football, movies and politics.

Stories, Old and New

From Job Charnock’s first arrival in Bengal to the execution of Mangal Pandey to the Hindu-Muslim communal riots in the 1970s – Kolkata is no short of tales to tell. Touted as the glorious British capital from where the Company started building their trading base in India, the city also witnessed how it became the epicenter of anti-British campaigns and programs.

Though Kolkata is no longer the British capital (the Imperial Rule has long ended), it has earned the title ‘cultural capital’ of the country. Standing amidst the dwindling ruins of colonial heritage, Kolkata is now a modern city with more than 4.5 million people and a flourishing economy. Ardent tourists, domestic and international travel to this part of the country to savor the majestic past set against an even vibrant present.

If you are one of them, we recommend the following THINGS TO DO to breathe in the real feel of the city – after all, Kolkata is all about feelings and experiences!

  • First and foremost, take a trip down the city’s rich colonial past, and what better way can that be than the Victoria Memorial – an architectural wonder built by the British to commemorate Queen Victoria. Don’t miss the Victoria Museum inside.

  • For those fluttering romantic feels, tag along your significant other and board on a sunset cruise ferrying along the Hooghly River. The experience is phenomenal, especially when it sails underneath the ever-so-gorgeous Howrah Bridge.

  • Keep aside a couple of days to make a quick day trip to Barrackpore to visit Mangal Pandey Park and Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, right on the banks of the River Ganges.

  • If you are keen to go the offbeat path, we suggest visit the Armenian Church in the Old China Bazaar or explore the narrow lanes of Bow Barracks, one of the oldest Anglo-Indian communities in the nation.

  • How can we miss talking about food! Kolkata is a true blue gastronomic heaven. Try the famous Kathi rolls at Kusum’s on Park Street or simply savor scrumptious Biryani at Aminia. If you want to try authentic Bengali cuisine, head to Bhojohori Manna or Oh Calcutta. They roll out mouthwatering Bengali dishes like Bhetki Paturi, Chitol Macher Muithiya and Shorshe Ilish. Lastly, we can’t end any food discussion in Bengal without satiating the sweet tooth in you – Shondesh, Rosogolla, Jeleepi and Mishti Doi are a few must-try sweet dishes. Simply devour!

  • To take back a sliver of Kolkata, haunt New Market (or Sudder Street) and its long list of souvenir and curio shops. Build during the colonial era, New Market is now a sprawling market selling everything from fresh produce to vintage knick-knacks to junk jewelry. Highly recommended.

Where to Stay

Whenever you decide to explore a city, we suggest staying in a place which is strategically located. Hotel VIP International, a 3 star hotel near Esplanade Kolkata scores high on location as well as myriad comfort features. With a history of top notch customer service, this hotel near park street Kolkata ticks off all the boxes of quality service, modern amenities and comfortable rooms. For more information, check out our homepage.

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