Updated 2016

Why you should add Kolkata (Calcutta) to your RTW/Indie Trip

Go back in time to the glorious capital of British India and lose yourself in a magical city, where remnants of British rule mix with today’s madness. It’s “busy, dirty, smelly, friendly,” as the locals like to say
  • Get a feel for an India that is different from some its other huge cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
  • Perhaps nowhere else in the world are the contrasts between rich and poor so evident - while the poverty can be tough to digest, this is representative of India as a whole.
  • The former capital has some amazing architecture to explore and photograph.
  • The food in India differs from region to region, and Calcutta is no different. Take advantage of the sweet tooth that many from the city have.
  • Kolkata is known as the intellectual and cultural capital of India according to Indians.

Read: A Riverfront Trip to Watch the Natives.

Indie travel tips for Kolkata

  • Learn more about the Indian culture in the thriving Bengali arts scene - dancing, poetry, music, theater, and film.
  • Check out Maidan, a huge open parkland across the street from Fort William, a huge British Citadel that is nearly 250 years old.
  • Kolkata is a massive city that sites along the banks of the Hoodhly River, which is a tributary of the Ganges. The Howrah Bridge area around BBD Bagh and Chowringhee are the most popular places for tourists.

Read: Kolkata Awakes.


Find a flight to Calcutta to get started. Once in the city, there are plenty of transport options for travelers. Rickshaws (both auto and human pulled), taxis, metro, tram, train, bus, and ferry are all possibilities.

If you want to get out of the city and travel around India, both buses and trains are available.

Read: Platform Four, Kokata.


Hostels in Calcutta are going to be your cheapest options, but don't discount hotels, as there are some affordable hotels that are nicer and cleaner than some of the hostels.