Kolkata Rickshaw

Destination

Kolkata Holidays

Where India and Britain collide

Kolkata is no stranger to the limelight. The city – formerly Calcutta – was the capital of British India from 1772–1911, when New Delhi took the reins. Today, it remains the capital of West Bengal and India’s second-largest city, but the colonial-era architecture stands firm as a nod to its past.

The Victoria Memorial is a prime example. Built 1906–1921 in memory of Queen Victoria, its grand, white-marble façade fuses elements of both British and Indian design. The ornate Indo-gothic St Paul’s Cathedral is considered the first Episcopal Church of the eastern world.

There’s another altogether messier side of Kolkata to temper every inch of picture-perfect colonial grandeur, though. Set off through the streets and you’ll pass chaotic urban slums, sprawling street markets, and the kind of day-to-day life that doesn’t fit neatly into designated parameters.

Find a perch right in the thick of things, sip a clay cup – or bhar – of sweet, spicy chai, and you’ll soon see why French author Dominique Lapierre named this the City of Joy.

Destination Highlights
  • Former British capital of India
  • Bustling street markets
  • Indo-gothic St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Chaotic backstreets
Essential Information
  • Time Zone GMT +5.5 hours
  • Currency INR - Indian Rupee
  • Visa Information British citizens are required to obtain a visa from the Indian embassy prior to arrival.
  • Language Hindi and English are widely spoken.
  • Flight Time A short 2 hour 25 minutes from Delhi.
  • Health Information Some vaccinations are recommended when travelling to certain areas in India. Please contact your GP for vaccination requirements.

Top Tips from our Experts

George

Destination Specialist

"Be sure to take a walking tour of Kolkata, with a local guide you will see a side to Kolkata that many tourists don't see. It really take syou off the beaten track."

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