10 Best Places To Visit In Kolkata That Will Blow Your Mind

Written By: Mehrosh Shamim

Steeped in colonial heritage and boasting a rich intellectual and artistic legacy, Kolkata offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern dynamism. From magnificent architectural marvels to bustling markets, from serene riverside ghats to buzzing street food stalls, there is something captivating for every visitor. So, let's embark on a virtual tour of some of the most fascinating places to visit in Kolkata, where tradition meets contemporary allure.

1. Victoria Memorial

2. Howrah Bridge

3. Indian Museum

4.  Science City

5. Dakshineswar Kali Temple

6. Eco Park

7. Science City

8. St. Paul’s Cathedral

9. Botanical Garden

10. Jorasanko Thakur Bari

1. Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial is the most popular and excellent place to visit in Kolkata. This white marbled ornate building, practically a copy of the Victoria Memorial in London, was created in remembrance of Queen Victoria to commemorate her 25 years of rule over India. It is surrounded by a well-kept garden that spans 64 acres and contains various statues and sculptures. At the summit of the memorial, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze statue of victory mounted on ball bearings adds to the overall attraction. There are 25 galleries in total, with illustrated works of Shakespeare, the Arabian Nights, and volumes on music and dance. Evening light and sound shows are a popular attraction and are a must-watch. 

  • Timings: Museum – 10:00 am to 05:00 pm; closed on Mondays and National Holidays and Garden – 05:30 am to 06:15 pm; every day

  • Entry Fee: Museum – ₹20 for Indians; ₹500 for foreign nationals and Garden – ₹10 per person

  • Light & Sound Show Timings: October - February: 6:15 PM - 7:00 PM (Bengali), 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM (English) and March - June: 6:45 PM - 7:30 PM (Bengali), 7:45 PM - 8:30 PM (English)

  • Light & Sound Show Price: INR 10 (Bengali), INR 20 (English) 

  • Nearby Attractions: Eden Gardens (3.9 km), and Indian Museum (1 km)

  • Location: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Maidan, Kolkata 

2. Howrah Bridge 

Howrah Bridge, an iconic feature of Kolkata, is a large steel bridge built over the Hooghly River. It is regarded as one of the world's longest cantilever bridges. It connects Howrah and Kolkata and is also known as the Rabindra Setu. It has a daily traffic of over 100,000 vehicles, making it one of the top places to visit in Kolkata. It stretches for around 1500 feet across the Hooghly River and is 71 feet wide. You can also take a ferry trip from the launch ghat between Kolkata and Howrah. The view of the city from the ferry, especially at night, is priceless. 

Interesting Fact: This bridge is exceptional in that it was built without a single nut or bolt and is held together only by rivets.

  • Ideal Duration: 30- 35 minutes 

  • Entry Fee: None 

  • Nearby Attractions: Belur Math (6.3 km), and Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden (7.1 km)

  • Location: Kolkata, West Bengal 

3. Indian Museum

The Indian Museum is the world's ninth oldest museum and a prominent sightseeing attraction in Kolkata. It is popularly known as 'Jadughar,' and it houses the best collection of contemporary paintings, sacred Buddha relics, Egyptian mummies, and antique sculptures. The museum currently has 35 galleries separated into six categories: art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology, and economic botany. There are also numerous historic religious treasures and artifacts. There is also a library and a bookstore on the museum grounds.

  • Timings: March to November (10:00 AM to 5:00 PM) & December to February (10:00 AM to 4:30 PM)

  • Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours  

  • Entry Fee: For Indians (INR 10/-), and for foreigners (INR 150/-)

  • Nearby Attractions: Belur Math (6.3 km), and Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden (7.1 km)

  • Location: Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Dharamtala

4. Science City

The Science City, India's first of its type, opened on July 1, 1997. It is one of the world's best science museums and a top sightseeing location in Kolkata. There is a part devoted to the aquatic world. The ground floor of the science city contains numerous visually appealing optical illusions. Tornadoes, energy balls, ocean waves, and quicksand are all must-sees. Time Machine is a popular attraction among all visitors. You may also ride the ropeway to obtain a bird's-eye perspective of the city and enjoy cable car trips. The Digital Panorama is a one-of-a-kind display that highlights significant stages in human evolution over the last 6 million years. 

  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM

  • Ideal Duration: 3-4 hours 

  • Entry Fee: INR 50/- per head 

  • Nearby Attractions: Mother House (3.4 km), and Birla Temple (3.2 km)

  • Location: JBS Haldane Ave, Mirania Gardens, Topsia 

5. Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Dakshineswar Kali is a prominent Hindu navratna temple on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, presided over by Bhavatarini, a manifestation of Goddess Kali. Rani Rashmoni, a devotee of Goddess Kali, had it built in 1855. Aside from the main shrine, there are several rooms built along the complex's perimeter walls. Shrines to many gods can be found in these rooms. One is devoted to Lord Shiva, one to Radha Krishna, and one to Rani Rashmoni. Additionally, there is a bathing ghat on the river. Furthermore, the temple is well-known for its link with Sri Ramakrishna. 

  • Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM & 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM

  • Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours  

  • Entry Fee: None

  • Nearby Attractions: Jorasanko Thakur Bari (3.9 km), and Nivedita Bridge (0.5 km)

  • Location: Dakshineswar, Kolkata 

6. Eco Park

The Kolkata Eco-Tourism Park is a large urban park built to encourage eco-tourism in the city. It is India's largest urban park, covering over 475 acres of land. The beauty of the setting is enhanced tenfold by a body of water that surrounds the park and forms an island in the center. It is a popular picnic spot and one of the greatest places to visit in Kolkata. It is divided into three sections: natural zones, gardens, and recreational zones, making it an ideal place to relax and unwind. Visitors can pick from a variety of activities to suit their needs. They also feature cottages and conference halls for rent for personal or corporate purposes.

  • Timings: Summer season- March to October (12:00 PM to 8:30 PM) & Winter season- November to February (12:00 PM to 7:00 PM)

  • Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours  

  • Entry Fee: INR 30/- 

  • Nearby Attractions: Biswa Bangla (0.3 km), and City Centre (1.7 km)

  • Location: Major Arterial Road, Biswa Bangla Sarani

7. Nicco Park

Nicco Park is a popular amusement park for both pleasure and recreation. The park features a variety of entertainment rides and shows that are not only entertaining but also informative. Nicco Park is also the world's first amusement park to be awarded a 'Social Accountability' accreditation. The 40-acre park has attractions including the Pirate Ship, Sky Diver, roller coasters, Water Chute, Bull Ride, Moon Raker, and Cyclone, to name a few. It has a wave pool, multiple water slides, a children's pool, an artificial waterfall, and a rain dance with taps. There's also a restaurant where you can sample some of the best Chinese and Tandoori food. 

  • Timings: 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM

  • Ideal Duration: 5-6 hours 

  • Entry Fee: INR 300/- per head (includes 13 rides in amusement park), and INR 1000/- per head (includes all Rides & Attractions in the amusement park + water park) 

  • Nearby Attractions: Science City (4.3 km), and Central Park (1.4 km)

  • Location: Salt Lake Bypass, Jheel Meel, HM Block, Bidhannagar

8. St. Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral that runs under the CNI - Church of North India and is the top sightseeing spot in Kolkata. This massive structure transports you back to colonial times and sends you down memory lane. It is Asia's first Episcopal church. The construction is designed in the Indo-Gothic style, with a cascading white edifice, a soaring spire, and colourful tinted windows. It contains a large nave, a grand altar, and a chancel, as well as carvings and paintings illustrating significant moments and events in Christian history. The cathedral complex also holds artifacts from previous worshippers as well as a library donated by Bishop Wilson. 

  • Timings: Monday - Saturday: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM , and Sunday: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

  • Ideal Duration: 30-40 minutes 

  • Best Time To Visit: Morning hours

  • Nearby Attractions: Birla Planetarium (170 m), and Mother House (3 km)

  • Location: Cathedral Rd, Maidan, Kolkata

9. Botanical Gardens 

The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, often known as the Botanical Garden, is a large 273-acre garden. The Garden is home to 12,000 living perennial plants as well as thousands of dried out plants collected from all around the world. The Great Banyan Tree, which is said to have the world's second largest canopy, is the garden's main feature. This entire flora is cared for in 25 different divisions, glass houses, greenhouses, and conservatories. In reality, the tea that is today grown in Assam and Darjeeling originated in these gardens. 

  • Timings: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

  • Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours 

  • Entry Fee: INR 20/- for camera, INR 10/- for Indians, and INR 100/- for foreigners 

  • Nearby Attractions: Howrah Bridge (1.1 km), and Prinsep Ghat (1.1 km)

  • Location: Shibpur, Howrah 

10. Jorasanko Thakur Bari