Kolkata, the City of Joy, is one of the oldest and most loved cities in India. It also has a rich history to share and an amazing collection of the finest places to visit. No matter what your tastes are, no matter where you are from, it is hard not to fall in love with Kolkata. It is a city with heart, a collection of emotions, and you can feel its pulse beat as you meander through its roads and lanes. In fact, there are a lot of top places to visit in Kolkata when around.
Kolkata is not merely a city. It is an emotion that needs to be felt. It is a canvas colored with every shade. And, if you are in Kolkata, you need to give in to those emotions and learn to be colored by its shades and check out the places that the city has in store.
21 Incredible Places to Visit in Kolkata
1. Indian Museum
Founded in 1814 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata, the Indian Museum is the oldest and the grandest of all museums in India. It is home to some of the rarest artifacts and the exhibition includes Mummies, Mughal painting, coins, armors, and other such items. The museum is one of the most popular tourist places in Kolkata.
- Location: Dharmatala (Esplanade), Kolkata
- Timing: 10 AM – 5 PM (Tuesday – Sunday)
2. Victoria Memorial
An iconic marble building built between 1906 and 1921, it was originally dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria of the British Empire. The massive white palace like the building has been transformed into a museum and is one of the most famous places in Kolkata.
- Location: Queens Way, Kolkata
- Timing: 10 AM – 5 PM
3. Birla Planetarium
Who doesn’t love to look up at a starry sky and wonder what lies beyond? The Birla Planetarium is the perfect place to enjoy and experience the night sky and the cosmic world as never before. The recent modernization and updating of the shows have made it even better. It is the perfect place to visit with the entire family.
- Location: Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata
- Timing: 12:30 PM – 6:30 PM (Monday – Saturday); 10:30 AM – 6:30 PM (Sunday)
4. St. Paul’s Cathedral
You need not be a Christian to visit the cathedral. The St. Paul’s Cathedral is among the first constructions made by the imperial British Empire in India. However, today, it is as much part of Kolkata as any other places in the city.
This massive cathedral is especially known for the gothic architecture and is one of the most visited Kolkata sightseeing options in the city. The calm and serenity it offers is a soothing experience for the mind and the soul.
- Location: Cathedral Road, Kolkata
- Timing: 9 AM – 12 PM & 3 PM – 6 PM (Monday – Saturday); 7:30 AM – 6 PM (Sunday)
5. Jorasanko Thakur Bari
Rabindranath Tagore needs no introduction! A Nobel laureate in the field of literature, he is among the brightest personalities to have ever lived on earth. The trip to Kolkata will remain incomplete without a visit to the historic Jorasanko Thakur Bari.
The home of Rabindranath Tagore, his family, and ancestors. Even though the generation did not carry forward, the legacy remained and the house has become a museum and a place of tourist attraction.
- Location: Jorasanko, Kolkata
- Timing: 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Tuesday – Sunday)
6. College Street
Also known as the boipara in the local Bengali dialect, the College Street got its name due to the presence of some of the finest colleges of India. The Presidency College and Hindu College are two iconic educational institutions present over here.
However, that’s not what brings most of the people down to this place. The stalls along the College Street are the best places to locate some of the oldest and rarest books and also grab a good deal for them. It is a book lover’s paradise. And, do not forget, the Indian Coffee House and Paramount Sherbats & Syrups. You get guaranteed refreshment and true Kolkata experience.
- Location: College Street, Kolkata
- Timing: All through the day. The best time between 10 AM and 8 PM.
7. Dakshineshwar Temple
The bond between Kolkata and Maa Kali, a Hindu Goddess, is quite old. However, it was Rani Rashmoni who strengthened the bond further. Maa Kali wasn’t worshipped in the regular households. It was the effort of Rani Rashmoni that led to a change in this.
The Dakshineshwar Temple was established by Rani Rashmoni battling many odds, and it served an important role behind many historical events. This temple brought together another two iconic figures, Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda and played a vital role that led to the formation of the Ramakrishna Mission.
The grandeur of the place still holds and you simply cannot leave Kolkata without visiting the temple at least once.
- Location: Dakshineshwar, Kolkata
- Timing: 5 AM – 8 PM
8. Belur Math
The Belur Math was established under the Ramakrishna Mission and is one of the finest places for anyone who is looking to break away from the monotony of the city life. The math has its own museum where you can see many items of use by Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Maa Sarada.
You will find many books as well that will give you a better understanding of their lives. The temple offers evening prayers, which is an amazing experience in itself. You can also enjoy the cool breeze blowing across the River Hoogly as you sit by its bank in the lap of nature.
- Location: Belur, Howrah
- Timing: 6 AM – 12 PM & 4 PM – 9 PM
9. Rabindra Sarobar Lake
Not many people are aware of this wonderful location in the heart of a bustling part of the city. The Rabindra Sarobar Lake is a wonderful place to spend the afternoon and evening. You can even sit by the lake until late evening and enjoy the cool breeze.
The ample foliage makes it the perfect place to spend even a hot day. There are benches all across the park surrounding the lake where you can rest and spend some quiet time. It is also quite popular among the evening and morning walkers and joggers as the roads within the park are pretty safe for pedestrians.
- Location: Dhakuriya, Kolkata
- Timing: From sunrise till night.
10. Science City
Science is indeed a marvel and the use of some basic science can create amazing displays. The Science City in Kolkata is one such place where you will find numerous scientific theories put to action. This place is particularly popular among school kids, but also extremely recreational and enjoyable for the adults alike.
From the hall of mirrors to various displays based on illusion to numerous rides, and much more! The Science City is a place where you can spend an entire day without getting bored a bit!
- Location: J.B.S. Haldane Avenue, Kolkata
- Timing: 9 AM – 8 PM
11. Nicco Park
One of the oldest recreational parks of the city, the Nicco Park remains a favorite among tourists and locals alike. The park has a host of various types of rides, all perfectly safe and well maintained. Nicco Park is divided into the dry park and the wet park.
The water park, which forms the wet park, is particularly a hit during the summer months. This place is pretty big and if you plan on enjoying everything, make sure you have the entire day reserved for the visit.
- Location: Sector IV, Salt Lake, Kolkata
- Timing: 10:30 AM – 7:30 PM
12. Eco Park
This is a relatively recent addition to the list of attractions in the city. The Eco Park is quite a large place with a huge water body, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy a cool picnic in the soothing breeze blowing across the lake.
There are quite a few fun activities available, such as cycle riding, boat riding, and a hot favorite – a trip of the Seven Wonders of the World, well the miniaturized versions basically. However, fun nonetheless!
- Location: New Town, Kolkata
- Timing: 12 PM – 8:30 PM (Tuesday – Sunday); 12 PM – 8 PM (Monday)
13. Princep Ghat
If you want to enjoy the beauty of the River Hoogly while also have a fine place to sit and relax, the Princep Ghat is the perfect place for that. It has a long walk along the side of the river with ample trees to keep the place shady and cool. You can either stroll about or sit on one of the benches as you enjoy the view of the river. This place is particularly popular among the youths of the city.
- Location: Fort William, Hastings, Kolkata
- Timing: 8 AM – 10:45 PM
14. Park Street
The best place for party lovers, night owls, and music, drinks, and food lovers has got to be Park Street in Kolkata. From exquisite bars to nightclubs and finest dining spots, Park Street has it all. If you wish to enjoy the nightlife in Kolkata, Park Street is where you need to be.
Christmas celebration at Park Street is as iconic as the Durga Puja celebration all across Kolkata. And if you care to explore further, you might even come across some of the rarest items from the British Empire era at few stores on Park Street.
- Location: Park Street, Kolkata
- Timing: Anytime
15. Mother’s Wax Museum
Well, this one is the Indian version of Madame Tussauds wax museum. Located close to the Eco Park, this is yet another recent addition to the city, but quite popular nevertheless. You will find excellent lifelike wax figures of many eminent personalities of Bengal and India, as well as some international icons. Get ready to be clicked alongside these eminent personalities!
- Location: New Town, Kolkata
- Timing: 12 PM – 7:30 PM
16. South City Mall
Who doesn’t love shopping! And mix it with ample option for recreation, it becomes the perfect combo! South City, one of the largest shopping malls in South Kolkata, has it all. Whether you are looking for the latest in the fashion segment or wish to catch the new movie, you will have all the options at South City. After the remodeling and reopening of the place, it has become even more attractive.
- Location: Prince Anwar Shah Road, Kolkata
- Timing: 11 AM – 9:30 PM
17. Quest Mall
This one can be safely said to be the first premium shopping mall of International fashion brands. From Gucci to Armani, your thirst for the premium fashion brand items will be quenched at the Quest! The mall also houses the finest restaurant and fast-food brands. The Inox multiplex at Quest boasts of providing the best movie experience.
- Location: Ballygunge, Kolkata
- Timing: 10 AM – 10 PM
18. Alipore Zoological Garden
Who doesn’t love to check out animals? The Alipore zoological garden is the perfect place to check out an amazing collection of animals from across the world. A zoological garden is also a great place for a picnic and you need to plan an entire day if you wish to check out the place in its entirety. It can be the perfect family outing. Children particularly love watching the various antics of the animals.
- Location: Alipore Road, Kolkata
- Timing: 9 AM – 4:30 PM
19. Fort William
Named after King William III, this fort is among the oldest buildings representing the British Presidency in India under the rule of the British Empire. The fort stands on the River Hooghly’s eastern bank and remains a major attraction for tourists visiting Kolkata.
The Fort William is currently under the command of the Indian Army and the HQ of the Indian Army, Eastern Command. You can have a fascinating trip of this place, provided you are an invited guest or a member of the Indian Army. Otherwise, you may check out the place from the outside perimeter.
- Location: Hastings, Kolkata
- Timing: NA
20. Eden Gardens
The Eden Gardens is among the largest cricket stadiums. It is the largest in India and second only to Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia, in the world. If you are in Kolkata at a time when there is an International cricket match or the IPL going on in the Eden Gardens, do not miss it at any cost.
The atmosphere inside is electrifying. No wonder, the Eden Gardens is regarded as one of the most prestigious cricket stadiums in the world, at par with the Lords, England or MCB, Australia.
- Location: BBD Bagh, Kolkata
- Timing: As per match
21. Rabindra Sadan
Rabindra Sadan and the area surrounding it is the art lovers’ paradise. From fine arts to theaters to photography to finest movies, you will find it all at one place. Rabindra Sadan itself hosts theaters and plays. The Academy of Fine Arts, right next to it, is the best place to check out art exhibitions by various talented contemporary artists and the artists of the next generation.
Nandan cine lovers’ paradise and this is one of the finest movie halls in the city, at an amazingly low and affordable rate. Do not miss checking out this place while on a trip to Kolkata.
- Location: AJC Bose Road, Kolkata
- Timing: Variable timings
Kolkata is a treasure trove, ready to be explored. The history of the city and its tryst with art, culture, food, and heritage makes it one of the most fascinating metropolitan cities in India. Anyone who has been to Kolkata and explored its true beauty has fallen in love with the city and keeps coming back.
Which is the best part of Kolkata that you love? Is there any other place you will like to add to the list? Let us know about your experience in the city. And do not forget to share this with your friends and family.