Bordered by Bangladesh, Nepal, Assam, Odissa, Bihar, Bhutan, Jharkhand, and Sikkim – West Bengal is one of the biggest states of India, known for its rich culture, genial climate and tourist attractions. Famous public reformers like Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji, Mother Teresa and Vidyasagar belonged to the West Bengal. Popular as “The City of Joy”, with its capital name Kolkata. Till the year 1911, Kolkata or rather Calcutta was the capital city of India. If you want to enjoy gorgeous beaches, exciting wildlife, historic monuments and many popular tourist attractions, West Bengal is the place to be.
A huge marble building established in 1921 is located in the capital city, Kolkata. Dedicated to Queen Victoria, is now open to public as a museum showing knick-knacks and memorabilia of Raj time. Make sure you don’t miss the musical fountain if you are visiting Victoria Memorial. For the museum Indians have to pay 10 rupees whereas foreigners get charged 150 rupees. The museum opens every day except Monday 10 am to 5 pm
Rabindra Setu also known as “Howrah Bridge” is one of the four bridges that connect Kolkata and Howrah. Howrah Bridge endures the weight of almost 150,000 and 100,000 vehicles every day. Walk on this historical bridge to get refreshed by the cool air that blows across the river. Opened in 1943, the bridge is 705 meters in length and you can probably walk through it in 15 minutes. Don’t forget to see the newly build bridge named as Vidyasagar Setu.
Zoological Garden, Alipore
If you have kids with you, make sure you visit the Zoological Garden. Also known as Kolkata zoo, Alipore Zoological Garden is formally India’s oldest zoological park where you can experience Indian elephant, jaguar, hippopotamus, tiger, lion, giraffe, zebra, wild boar, hog deer, camel, jungle cat, jackal, hyena, nilgai and many other animals. Don’t forget to visit Calcutta Aquarium just lies beside the zoo.
Indians love the sport cricket. If you are in West Bengal, India or rather Kolkata, don’t forget to experience the atmosphere of the famous cricket stadium Eden Gardens. Tourists who are coming to see this ground should visit the ground during the Indian Premier League. Just beside the stadium there is a garden named as Eden Gardens. Don’t miss to see this garden too. Within the walking distance, you can find the Hoogly River bank. Take a boat tour if you are interested to see the famous Vidyasagar Setu closely.
If wildlife and lush green trees attract you a lot, Sunderbans National Park is the place for you. The park is one of the UNESCO heritage sites spread at around the 4100 kilometer square. You can experience white Bengal tigers and mangrove forests in this park. You can hire a boat to visit the Sunderbans.
Digha is the most romantic beach in the West Bengal. Perfect for couples, Digha can be visited to spend some time in a peaceful environment. Thousands of visitors visit Digha each year to experience the majestic beauty of this beach. Other popular beaches in West Bengal are Bakkahali Beach, Diamond Harbour, Falta, Frazerganj Beach, Junput Beach, Shankarpur, Sagardwip and others.
Where to Eat
Aminia, Bajerjee Road
Biryani is one of the popular dishes that people love to eat in West Bengal and definitely Aminia is the best place to enjoy Biryani. Although spicy, but make sure you try, you will never regret. However, if you want to taste Biryani in cheap dirt price, visit Kafila inside the City Center Two.
Oh! Calcutta, Forum Mall
One of the top restaurants in West Bengal, India prepares Bengali dishes following traditional style recipes. You will never regret after enjoying Bengali cuisine of Oh! Calcutta. Prefer to visit restaurant executive tower, VIP road if you are looking for good foods at reasonable rates. The restaurant executive tower also has a bar attached to it.
The Corner Courtyard, SB Road
If you love Italian and Continental cuisine, The Corner Courtyard is the restaurant to be. Serves only non-vegetarian foods, this restaurant is one of the famous in West Bengal. However, tourists who love to taste similar cosines at cheap rates can visit restaurants like The Tea Bush Table, Marco Polo, Mangio, Casa Toscana, Little Italy and others.
Kewpie’s Kitchen, Elgin Lane
Every visitor of West Bengal should taste Bengali cuisines, and no restaurant is better than Kewpie’s Kitchen. Foods will be served on banana leaves in this restaurant. Ask for Bengali Thali, if you are here to enjoy Bengali food.
6Ballygunge Place, Ballygunge
One of the famous Bengali restaurants, 6 Ballygunge Place, is famous for its delicious Bengali cuisines. If you are here, don’t forget to try fish curry, poppy seeds and mustard paste with rice.
City Centre, New Town
City Center, New Town is a home to many small restaurants. If you are in a hurry and want to do shopping without missing delicious Bengali cuisines, visit City Center II. There are many restaurants in this mall where you can enjoy foods as well as shopping with ease.
City Center, New Town
City Center is the hub of tourists who want to do the shopping without wasting too much time. You will find different types of shops including jewelry shop, fashion shops, restaurants, anchor stores, eye care, footwear stores, salon and spas, kid stores, furniture stores and others. However the mall is away from the main Kolkata city, hence you need a car to reach the mall. Don’t forget to shop at City Center too.
South City Mall, Jadavpur
Well, another mall where you can shop as well as enjoy foods. The three-storey mall has different types of shops for all your shopping needs. Even popular restaurants are there for shoppers. However, very expensive though.
Metro Plaza, Maindan
Just opposite to the huge Tata Centre located the Metro Plaza. Get inside and shop whatever you want. The mall features shops like gift shops, footwear shops, jewelry shops, décor stores, baby product shops and others.
If you love to invest in electronic goods, make sure you visit e-mall located in Chandni. There are many shops in this mall offering different types of electric peripherals. You don’t need to go anywhere if you feel hungry while shopping. On the top floor there is a restaurant which can serve you delicious foods at affordable rates.
Flea Market, Esplanade
People who love to bargain a bit can shop at the flea market in Esplanade. Thousands of small shop owners are willing to sell you their products at a cheap dirt price. You will find special clothes in these shops. However, make sure you check the quality of the product before buying.
College Street Market
College Street is the market for people who love books. Thousands of book shops along the road are the perfect place to purchase your favorite books at affordable prices. You can also purchase old books if you want at a reasonably low rate.
Where to Have Fun
Tantra, Not just in West Bengal
Tantra has been famous in all over India always open for people who want to enjoy night life and cocktails. Get ready to dance to the tune played by DJs in the Tantra.
Order your preferred cocktail or just sip some soft drinks while listening to the DJs. There is also a dance floor for those who want to rock the party.
Here at underground, the party never ends. Visit this nightclub with your friends to have some fun time here in West Bengal, India.
If you want to avoid crowds, but still want to enjoy club atmosphere, visit Club Ibiza. This is an ideal place to visit with your friends. There is a multi-cuisine restaurant attached to this club that will serve you with delicious foods.
Drink, dance and watch other enjoying their time here at Venom. Visit this night club any day you will find the same electrifying atmosphere enough to lift your energy.
Enjoy your favorite drink at the bar at Shisha. Shisha is one of the top bars in West Bengal you can visit.
How to Get Around
You have plenty of traveling options if you are in Kolkata city.
Tram is one of the best options if you want to see the city properly. However, Trams don’t go everywhere.
You can chose to hire Taxis if the location doesn’t have tram service. Even the metro service is available in Kolkata.
Most convenient way to the around the city is by bus. Thousands of buses ply every now and then. All you have to know where you want to go or the bus number. You have rail service and long route bus service if you want to visit tourist attractions outside the city.
Foreigners can reach West Bengal easily by taking the aerial route as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport connects the state with other parts of the world.
Sealdah and Howrah are the two main railway stations of West Bengal, India.