Kolkata Ultimate Itinerary: Visiting Kolkata for the weekend and wondering how to spend your time? This extensive two-day itinerary covers the city’s Bengali heritage as well as several iconic attractions and hot new restaurants. Kolkata is one of those cities where it is best to go around on foot, so wear comfortable footwear. let’s get started!
48 Hours in Kolkata: The Ultimate Itinerary
Day 1: Morning
8 a.m.: Begin by familiarizing yourself with Kolkata’s British heritage. The British established the city in 1690 as a trading post and later developed it as their capital. Many impressive historical buildings BBD. are situated. The Bagh neighbourhood, which was the central business district known as Dalhousie Square under British rule. Walking through it is a relaxing way to relax in the city and admire the different architectural styles. The complex consists of 55 historical heritage buildings dating back to 1695 and 1947.
Notable ones include the General Post Office, Writers’ Building, Treasury Office, Reserve Bank of India, Raj Bhavan, Stephen’s House, The Great Eastern Hotel, Town Hall, High Court, St. Andrew’s Church and St. John’s Church. Go on a guided walking tour, such as one organized by Calcutta Walks, to learn about the detailed history behind each building.
10 am: Take a taxi to Indian Coffee House to recharge with breakfast and coffee. The cafe dates back to India’s independence movement in the early 1940s, when it was a popular meeting place for freedom fighters, social activists, revolutionaries and bohemians. It remains a favorite hangout spot for college students and intellectuals.
11 am: Visit the iconic Howrah Bridge; Spread across the Hooghly River, it connects Kolkata with Howrah on the other side. This massive, busy, steel bridge was built during World War II and is considered a marvel of engineering. It’s tempting to walk on it, or just watch the constant stream of traffic.
You will find the famous flower market of Kolkata at Mallik Ghat on the left, under Howrah Bridge. It has existed since the mid-19th century and is one of the largest markets in Asia. The market is full of life and colour, but be aware that it can be overwhelming if you are not used to the crowds.
Day 1: Afternoon
12:30 PM: Have lunch at an authentic Bengali cuisine restaurant. Depending on your budget, try aheli for fine dining at the Peerless Inn or Bhojohori Manna for a casual bite. If you are a seafood lover then you will especially love the cuisine.
2 pm: Browse the shops at New Market, or visit one of the museums in nearby Kolkata. The Indian Museum is not only the oldest museum in the country, but it is also one of the oldest museums in the world. Its three storeys are filled with a variety of exhibits showcasing the cultural history of India from the prehistoric period to the Mughal period.
4 pm: Cross the grounds and stroll along the banks of the Hooghly River from Babu Ghat to Prinsep Ghat. This section is paved and well maintained and provides a panoramic glimpse of daily life. Named after the eminent British scholar James Prinsep, Prinsep Wharf has a 19th-century Palladian-style white verandah in his memory. If you are feeling hungry, grab something to eat from the street food stalls along the promenade. Relax for a while on the lawns of Prinsep Ghat and enjoy the views.
Day 1: Evening
5:30 pm: Hire one of the traditional wooden boats for a sunset ride on the Hooghly River at Prinsep Ghat. You have to negotiate the rent. Expect to pay 400 to 500 rupees ($5.50 to $7) for 45 minutes to an hour.
7:30 pm: After getting ready back at your hotel, spend the evening along Park Street- the hub of dining and nightlife in Kolkata. The road is lined with restaurants. There are some old favorites that have been around for decades, such as Mocambo for sizzlers, trincas for a continental baked dish, or Peter Kat for chelo kebabs. Chic new restaurants include the Spice Club, which offers contemporary takes on Indian food, and Pa Pa Ya, which serves a variety of Pan-Asian cuisine. Barbecue Nation is a reliable alternative to the grill.
9:30 p.m.: The Park Hotel on Park Street is the focal point of entertainment. Choose from two bars, a pub, and a nightclub. Other options for live gigs are the Hard Rock Cafe, The Lords & Barons (a popular new pub), and Trincas for classic retro hits.
Day 2: Morning
6 a.m.: If you didn’t party last night, try to wake up early to enjoy the famous Chinese breakfast at Tiretti Bazaar in Kolkata’s Old Chinatown district. Chinese immigrants began arriving in the late 18th century and are an important part of the city’s fabric. Community members sample delicious steamed momos, hand-made sausages, stuffed buns, pork rolls, and fish ball soup at their roadside stalls serving fresh dishes from 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.
7:30 am: Take a taxi from Dakshineswar Kali Temple, located on the banks of the Hooghly River, about 35 minutes north. This magnificent 19th-century temple is dedicated to the presiding deity of Kolkata, Kali, and is where the saint Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa served as the chief priest before the Belur Math was founded. His disciple, the global spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda, also received initiation at the temple. Divine energy especially prevails in the early morning when the ground is calm.
10 am: Continue to explore the culture of the city by visiting Kolkata’s native Bengali Quarter. The district, including Bagbazar and Sovabazar, was home to the Bengali aristocracy. To get there, take a taxi 20 minutes south of Mayor Ghat and walk down Chitpur Street/Rabindra Sarani, which is said to be Kolkata’s oldest street. Keep an eye out for street art near Bagbazar Ghat. After one kilometer (0.6 mi), turn left on Raja Naba Krishna Street and follow about 500 meters (0.3 mi) to the 18th-century Sovabazar Rajbari, the old palace of the local royal family.
It is also worth taking a short detour to the Kumartuli potters’ colony, especially from June to January when idols are made for various festivals. If you want to go on a guided walking tour, the Sunati Trails of The Ganga Walk is a recommended option.
Day 2: Afternoon
12 noon: From Sovabazar Rajbari, head to Mitra Cafe or Arsalan for lunch. The former has been in business for over a century and is one of the oldest restaurants in Kolkata. This is a simple and inexpensive “cabin cafe” that offers quick Bengali bites including fish and chicken kabiraji cutlets. Alternatively, Arsalan is suitable for longer meals in an air-conditioned setting. Serving North Indian Mughlai cuisine, the restaurant is also famous for its distinctive Kolkata-style biryani.
1 p.m.: Take a taxi 20 minutes south of Victoria Memorial Hall. This gorgeous white marble relic of the British Raj has been converted into a museum amidst sprawling landscaped grounds that is an attraction in itself (and a perfect place to relax after lunch). The museum’s recently revised galleries showcase the history of British rule in India and include paintings, rare photographs, manuscripts, textiles, and armors. A gallery is dedicated to developing the city as the British capital.
4 p.m.: After exploring the museum for a few hours, freshen up with an English high tea. There are a few options to choose from, the most central of which is the Elgin Fairlon Hotel. Built-in 1783, this distinctive hotel was recently given a facelift; High tea is served every afternoon in its dining room. The luxury Taj Bengal Hotel serves a great spread of sandwiches, cakes, tea, and coffee in its Promenade lounge. Meanwhile, the hip and contemporary Karma Kettle is a specialty tea company and one of India’s finest tea blends. Its leafy tea room offers Indian (Burra Sahib) as well as English (Gora Sahib) high tea. Have some Tantric Indian teas while you’re there—they make great gifts!
Alternatively, if you’re interested in Mother Teresa’s humanitarian work, visit the Mother House to see where she lived.
Day 3: Evening
6 pm: The Bengali cooking experience of Calcutta Walk is a must for foodies who want to learn the art of Bengali cooking. You will be guided through a market to familiarize yourself with the ingredients before attending a cooking demonstration led by a Bengali housewife or by the owner of one of the best restaurants in Kolkata. End with authentic Bengali sweets.
Those who prefer art to cook can check out the exhibitions at the Lalit Kala Akademi, which features works by up-and-coming local artists. Or, check out the Harrington Street Arts Center (open until 8 p.m.) for contemporary Indian and international works.
8 p.m.: Head to Camac Street for dinner. This entertainment complex features trendy new restaurants and bars, such as Scrapyard for craft beer, Fatty Bao for Asian, and SAZ – American Brewery for gourmet grills and burgers. Nearby, Gabbar’s Bar and Kitchen has a Bollywood theme and specializes in molecular gastronomy and cocktails.
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