With remnants of the colonial era still existing within the walls of this city, Kolkata is an amalgamation of rich history and culture. Being a coastal city, winters are the best to travel in and around here. Kolkata generally has dry winters and it's a pleasant time to tour the city and explore the culture and heritage of the place without getting tired of the heat. So, let's look at some of the places in Kolkata to visit during winter.
Located at the heart of Kolkata, this white marble monument is reminiscent of the colonial era and its architectural brilliance. With the structure standing 200 feet tall, you’ll also see a 16-foot ‘Angel of Victory’ placed on top of the central dome. Conceived as a memorial for the first empress of British India, Queen Victoria, the structure now serves as a museum.
A museum now, the structure houses a total of 25 separate galleries. It has about 30,000 treasured artifacts, including paintings by Western and Indian artists as well as rare photographs. One of the main galleries here is the Royal Gallery, which is full of oil paintings and personal belongings of Queen Victoria. The Durbar Hall Gallery has a series of paintings, each depicting the cultural heritage of both India and Britain.
Spreading over 64 acres of land, the garden surrounding the memorial is a great spot for photographs. The memorial also hosts a light and sound show in the evenings, titled ‘Pride and Glory- The Story of Calcutta’. From the main city, it’s just 5.6 kilometers (19 minutes) away. The fastest route to reach here is via Dufferin Road. You can easily book a cab or hire a taxi to get here.
Established by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore, Shantiniketan is exactly what its name means - ‘Abode of Peace’. It is now a major focal point of Bengali art and culture and one of the most renowned universities in the world, thanks to the school established by the Nobel Laureate here in 1901.
While you’re at Shantiniketan, make sure to visit major attractions like Tagore’s Ashram, Vishwa Bharti University, Rabindra Bhaba Museum, and other such places. It is known for its many festivals. If you are visiting Kolkata in winter, you cannot miss out on the Poush Utsav which is celebrated every year in the month of December. Be prepared to be engulfed by the folk dances and music, and the colorful stalls. When you talk about a festival, you can’t forget the food! You’ll get to enjoy authentic Bengali cuisine, ranging from everything sweet to everything spicy, waging a war of flavors in your mouth.
Located at a distance of 200 kilometers (4 hours 2 minutes) from Kolkata, the best way to get here is by road (via NH 19 and Suri Rd). You can easily get buses or taxis from the city to reach here.
Also Read: Kolkata Travel Guide
Howrah Bridge, also called Rabindra Setu (after Rabindranath Tagore), is one of the most iconic landmarks in Kolkata. Built over the Hooghly River, this huge steel bridge is the sixth-longest cantilever bridge in the world. Constructed without any nuts or bolts, the bridge was one of a kind during the time it was built. It has been a major attraction in Kolkata mainly because it represents Bengal’s history and culture. Standing for over 80 years, it has also witnessed a lot of historical events including World War II. During the construction, the government feared attacks from the Japanese; this was why the bridge did not have an official inauguration!
Since it has separate lanes for pedestrians, you can take a walk across the bridge and discover the true essence of the city and its people. Don’t miss out on the Mallik Ghat Flower Market which is under the east end of the bridge. The colorful makeshift sheds open as early as 3 in the morning and fills the surroundings with a sweet fragrance. If you are a photographer, this is the perfect place to get some beautiful shots.
Located just about 3 kilometers (16 minutes) from the city you can get there via Mahatma Gandhi Road. You can easily travel by bus, which is the cheapest way (INR 18 - 26) to reach Howrah Bridge.
Also Read: 10 Best Restaurants In Kolkata For Families
Located in the eastern part of Kolkata, Chinatown is the only Chinese settlement in India. As you step into the place, you’re sure to be transported to East Asia. The immigration happened around 1820 when a Chinese businessman set up a sugar mill here. Once home to about 20,000 ethnic Chinese Indian nationals, the population has now considerably dropped. But the people here still follow Chinese customs and traditions.
Visit the age-old heritage buildings that tell the story of the refugees that came here from China during World War II. Most tourists visit the place for its budget-friendly but authentic Chinese cuisine. But before going to restaurants, you must try authentic Chinese breakfast at Tiretta Bazaar. Here you’ll get to try momo, pau buns, pork rolls, and wontons from 6 am to 8:30 am. Chinatown is filled with little shops that sell Chinese spices, medicines, and showpieces. You can buy pretty and unique showpieces from here to take as souvenirs.
Chinatown is located quite close to Kolkata, just about 2 kilometers (15 minutes) away. You can get there via Mahatma Gandhi Rd and Central Ave/Chittaranjan Ave. You can easily take a bus or taxi from the city to reach your destination.
Also Read: Best Places To Visit In Kolkata
Being the ninth oldest museum in the world, and the largest museum in India, The Indian Museum is the pride of Kolkata. The foundation stone for this museum was laid in the year 1814 and it has some of the finest collections of skeletons, fossils, ornaments, Egyptian mummies, and Mughal paintings. It also has some of the oldest coins and sculptures dating back to the second century AD. The museum has about 35 galleries divided into categories.
Completed in 1875, this grand structure stands strong to date. Take your time marveling at the beauty of the architecture and be transported back in time. Make sure to visit the library inside the museum, which has a vast collection of about 50,000 books and journals. It also has a shop that sells children's books, art albums, and other such items. Also don’t forget to visit the Bharhut Gallery, Egypt Gallery, and Gandhara Gallery among others.
Located in Chowringhee, the entry fee for Indian nationals is INR 50, and INR 20 for children below 5 years. Foreigners need to pay INR 500. The museum is just about 3 kilometers (17 minutes) from the main city and you can easily get here via Jawaharlal Nehru Road.
A little outside of Kolkata, this place is a must-visit if you happen to have more time on your hands. Bishnupur, also known as Vishnupur, gets its name from the Hindu deity, Lord Vishnu. The glorious past of this city is reflected in its beautiful architecture and its traditional handicrafts like weaving and pottery. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the city prospered as the capital of Malla Kingdom. The Malla Kings are the ones responsible for the famous terracotta temples here.
Explore the marvelous architecture here that has features like Bangla roofs, multi-lobed arches, and domes. Make sure to visit the Shyam Ray temple and the twin shrines of Jor Bangla and the Rasmancha. The walls of these temples are covered in beautiful terracotta tiles that depict scenes from Ramayan and Mahabharata.
You can also visit the Jor Bangla temple and Bishnupur Museum. This museum is the only one dedicated to art and architecture in the district. You’ll come across an invaluable collection that consists of sculptures from the 12th century, coins, and artifacts. Make sure you check out the music gallery and the tribal art gallery here since these are often overlooked.
Located at a distance of 138 kilometers from Kolkata, it’ll take you about 4 hours to reach Bishnupur. You can travel via Ahilyabai Holkar Rd/Bankura - Beliator - Sonamukhi - Khandaghosh - Nischintapur Rd/Champadanga-Dankuni Rd and SH 2. Cabs and buses are easily accessible, but make sure you carry enough snacks on your trip there since it's hard to find good dhabas on the roadside.
If you are interested in the ‘what was it like back then’ or even if you just want to enjoy some peaceful scenic beauty, Kolkata is the place for you. It’s a romantic getaway, which will awaken the poet in you even if you are not a person of words! This friendly metropolitan city always has its arms open for you, but it's sure to give you a warm welcome, especially in winter. So pack your bags and get on board that train, because you’ll never have another amazing trip like this again.
Which Is The Most Expensive Part Of Kolkata?
Alipore is considered as the most expensive part of Kolkata. Apart from that, parts of South Kolkata and Ballygunge are also considered to be posh.
What Is Kolkata's Famous Food?
Fish items are very popular in Kolkata. Thanks to this, one of the most popular dishes here is Macher Jhol. Also make sure you try kathi rolls, and puchka!
What Is The Biggest Market In Kolkata?
Known for its variety, Bara Bazaar is the most popular and biggest market in Kolkata. It is a great place to shop for anything under the sun.
Which Is The Most Famous Place In Kolkata?
Victoria Memorial is one of the most famous places in Kolkata. Other attractions like Howrah Bridge and Park Street are also quite popular.
Is There Any Beach In Kolkata?
Since Kolkata is a coastal city, it has a lot of beautiful beaches like Bakkhali, Tajpur, and Mandarmani.
Are 2 Days Enough For Kolkata?
2 days are enough to visit the major attractions of Kolkata. On your first day, you can explore central and south Kolkata while on the second day, you can visit the north of Kolkata. It's better to plan your trip well and hire a driver to take you around the city.
Which Is The Best Visit Time To Visit Kolkata?
Winter offers a pleasant climate in Kolkata during winters, so it's best to travel here at this time.