If you only have 3 days in Kolkata, you will want to make the most of your time to experience the city’s unique culture, historical landmarks, and cuisine. Here’s an itinerary for spending 3 days in Kolkata, the City of Joy.
Start your day with a visit to the Victoria Memorial, the iconic landmark of Kolkata, built to commemorate Queen Victoria. The Indo-Saracenic revivalist style makes you fall in love with its architecture. You can visit the museum hall from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm on weekdays excluding Monday. You can even explore the beautiful ‘Maidan’ just beside Victoria Memorial, with horses around it and you can take a small ride as well.
How about paying a visit to the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral? It’s just a short 5-minute walk away from Victoria. You’ll be surely amazed by the stunning Gothic architecture and breathtaking stained glass windows. This incredible cathedral was actually designed by a British architect, William Nairn Forbes. Trust me, it’s definitely worth a visit!
Next head towards Birla Planetarium, an incredible astronomy and space science center that will blow your mind. They have this amazing projection system that creates an ultra-realistic depiction of the night sky. It’s like you’re actually floating among the stars! And oh, don’t forget to catch the Start & Planate show while you’re there. It’s a fantastic way to explore our universe from a whole new perspective. Trust me, this place is a total winner for both kids and adults.
For lunch, head to Kewpie’s or Koshe Kosha for some authentic Bengali cuisine. They have a wide range of mouthwatering dishes for you to try, such as sorshe ilish, chingri malai curry, luchi-alur dom, mutton kasha, and shukto served with white rice. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you for this culinary adventure!
After a proper authentic Bengali lunch visit the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, a Hindu temple located on the banks of the Hooghly River, dedicated to Goddess Kali. Prepare to be captivated by its stunning terracotta architecture. Just a quick heads-up, to maintain the peaceful and sacred atmosphere of the temple, electronic gadgets aren’t allowed inside. But no worries! You can safely deposit them in the lockers outside. After your temple visit, take some leisurely moments by the river. Find a cozy spot on the stairs and let yourself be embraced by the serene ambiance and gentle breeze coming from the Hooghly River.
Now, let’s satisfy our taste buds with a delightful dinner at either Bhojohori Ranna or Babu Masai, two fantastic restaurants conveniently located right next to each other. Make sure you try their mouthwatering signature dishes like Ilish vapa and paturi. You can also try out paratha and tadka here as they simply taste amazing! These restaurants offer a delightful mix of cuisines, but with a special Bangali touch.
Kickstart your day with a visit to the Kalighat Temple, nestled on the banks of Adi Ganga. This stunning Hindu temple is dedicated to the fierce Goddess Kali and is a sight to behold. Inside, you’ll find a sanctum sanctorum and a spacious hall called the Nat Mandir. The main attraction is Maa Kali, adorned with dazzling gold and silver ornaments and three majestic eyes.
Fun fact: this temple is believed to be one of the revered 51 Shakti Peethas. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the divine aura and embrace the spiritual energy of this sacred place.
Have you ever pictured yourself coming face-to-face with an actual Egyptian mummy? If yes, your next destination would be the Indian Museum, one of the oldest museums in India. This place is a true treasure chest filled with a vast collection of artifacts that will leave you amazed. Explore the fascinating world of archaeology, geology, zoology, and botany as you discover rare and ancient artifacts from various fields here.This museum has a remarkable collection of painting and sculptures from different parts of India that will truly take your breath away.
For lunch head to 6 Ballygunge Place. Don’t forget to try their authentic ‘Dab Chingri’ which is prawn, cooked with the ‘malai’ of coconut and served inside it. Whenever I visit this place, my staple food combo is always Dab Chingri white rice.This restaurant has a collection of antique furniture and vintage photographs of Kolkata. The ambiance of the restaurant is warm and welcoming, making it a perfect destination for locals and tourists alike.
After an authentic Bengali lunch, get ready for a boat ride. Your next stop would be Princep Ghat. Originally built as a landing stage for boats, it is now a leisure spot with gardens, fountains, and statues. The Greek inlays make the structure of Princep Ghat, highly majestic and a perfect spot for photoshoot. Enjoy the cool breeze from the river and the sunset on the boat.
Head over to the Vibrant Park Street – the ultimate destination for an unforgettable nightlife experience! Get ready to immerse yourself in a buzzing atmosphere filled with excitement. Experience live music, sip on delicious cocktails, and treat your taste buds to mouthwatering food at spots like Peter Cat, Mocambo, Carpe Diem, The Lords and Barons. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy dinner or a lively night out, Park Street has got you covered.
Start your day with a visit to the Howrah Bridge, one of the most iconic landmarks of Kolkata. If you don’t visit this particular place, your Kolkata tour will definitely be incomplete. You can take a boat ride to get different perspectives of the bridge. Enjoy the boat tour, explore the oldest flower market in Kolkata and the local specialties.
Next, head to the Marble Palace, a beautiful mansion built in the 19th century by wealthy merchants. Its stunning architecture and a jaw-dropping collection of art and antiques will leave you remembering about this place over and over. But here’s the catch – photography is a big no here unless you have a special permit. However, don’t let that stop you from exploring every nook and cranny of this magnificent place and experiencing its unique wonders firsthand. So, go ahead and take a leisurely stroll, soak in the beauty, and witness all the specialities it has to offer in every step!
For lunch, head to Oh! Calcutta. They serve an incredible authentic Bengali Thali that you absolutely have to try. Not only is the food amazing, but the restaurant itself is beautifully decorated with an elegant and stylish touch. You’ll feel like you’re immersed in the rich culture and heritage of Kolkata, all presented in a sophisticated and stylish manner.
Next, visit Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission founded by Swami Vivekananda. A spiritual center with beautiful architecture and a serene atmosphere. At evening attend the ‘Sandharati’ – the ritual of worship and devotion performed at that time. At the exit you’ll get a Papdi Chaat stall and you should definitely try their different variety of chaats. This place is a complete bliss!
In the evening, head to the New Market area (Esplanade), this place is for street shopping. You can buy jewelry, clothes, and handicrafts at various shops and stalls. It’s a fantastic place to immerse yourself in the local shopping scene and discover some delightful treasures.
After all that shopping fun, it’s time to satisfy those hunger pangs with some mouthwatering street food for dinner! And lucky for you, the New Market area is a haven for foodies, offering an endless array of options. One spot I highly recommend is the Zakira street food area. They’ve got it all— kebabs, rolls, biryani, and Indo-Chinese just to name a few! So prepare your taste buds for an explosion of flavors and treat yourself to a feast at Zakira.
Don’t forget to hop into one of those iconic ‘Yellow Taxis’ for a memorable ride and some delicious street food ! You can try rolls, chaat, puchka, jhal muri, ghoti gorom. These local specialties will take your culinary adventure to the next level!
But wait, there’s more! Before you head back, make a special stop at the ‘Kolkata Musti Hub.’ It’s a haven for sweet lovers where you’ll find all the renowned sweet brands under one roof. Located in the vibrant Newtown area right beside Eco Park, it’s the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and take home some delectable treats.
Research: Sanhati Saha