Kolkata Tourism

Kolkata is called the ‘City of furious, creative energy’. Four words which describe the spirit of this city so well. Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of Bengal. It is the cultural capital of India and also the former political capital during the British times. It is the largest commercial centre in East India. It is also the home of the West Bengal legislative assembly.

It is said that you will either love this city or hate it. No matter what happens, you will definitely not forget it. The wealth of Bengali culture is seen in its literary, artistic and scholastic thought. Bengal Renaissance, led by Swami Vivekananda, Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the changing factor in the new face of Kolkata in the British Raj. The city also started a nationalist movement reacting against the prevalent academic art styles in the early 20th century. It has been known for the quality education that it provides through the different universities in the city.

Great artists, poets and revolutionary leaders who took India by storm have been from this city – and their influence will be found throughout Kolkata tourism. It is noted for its distinct architectural style. The city is recognized for its appreciation of Indian classical music and Rabindra sangeet. Theatre and films are an important part of Kolkata. Oscar winning Director Satyajit Ray was from Kolkata and made his films in Bengali. 

Bengali literature is rich with the works of authors such as Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, KaziNazrul Islam, and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. They are known all over the world for their progressive work.

Whenever you travel in Kolkata, you will see paras, or community neighbourhoods with a strong bond. The residents always engage in intellectual or creative talks in the evenings – you’ll find them hanging around popular tourist places of Kolkata.

 Kolkata has grown rapidly in the last few years. It is the 8th biggest urban agglomeration in the world.

Essential travel information and Kolkata tips for your visit

Essential Info in Kolkata

  • Time Zone- UTC+05:30
  • Currency- Indian National Rupee (INR)
  • Electricity: Power in India is 230 Volts, 50 Hz. Internet 3G compatibility (4G recently introduced)
  • Languages- Bengali, Hindi and English
  • Security- Numbers for emergency
  • Ambulance - 108
  • Fire- 101
  • Police 100
  • Tipping- Tipping is appreciated but optional


  • In case of international tourists, always carry your Indian visa with you.
  • Carry a security belt to hold your important documents and money.
  • Carry photocopies of your important documents.
  • Communicate with the lively and eloquent locals. It will help you gain a deeper perspective.
  • Try the local cuisine and street food of the city.
  • Bring a phrase book and city guide with you. It will make the trip more fruitful and you will be well informed about a site before visiting it.
  • Dress according to the area that you are visiting.
  • Bargain when you buy anything. Vendors charge much more than what the commodity is worth.
  • Travelling with a few companions is recommended.
  • Carry sunglasses, scarves and sunscreen lotion during summer visit.
  • Beware of the pickpockets; there are a lot of them In Kolkata.


  • Do not travel at night on your own. Do that only if you have a trustworthy person who knows the city with you.
  • If travelling alone, don’t publicize it.
  • Do not litter in Public.
  • Do not fall for scams of local agents and touts. In need, contact a police officer or approach the traffic policeman.
  • Do not wear a lot of jewellery while travelling and avoid carrying cash. Carry a debit card instead.
  • Don’t miss visiting the Learning centres that Bengalis are so proud of!

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Kolkata

  • Know the pollution level of Kolkata before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 73.95 (High)
    • Water Pollution 68.57 (High)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 62.5 (High)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 66.78 (High)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 54.46 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 68.57 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 66.9 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 53.7 (Moderate)
  • How safe is Kolkata for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Kolkata.

    • Burglary and Theft 50.44 (Moderate)
    • Mugging and Robbery 48.88 (Moderate)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 50.22 (Moderate)
    • Corruption and Bribery 82.5 (Very High)
    • Car Stealing 47.81 (Moderate)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 50 (Moderate)
    • Attacks 42.19 (Moderate)
    • Drug offense 38.17 (Low)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 73.03 (High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 44.03 (Moderate)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 48.67 (Moderate)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 25.45 (Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 56.76 (Moderate)
  • Quality of Life Index of Kolkata is 92.45 (Moderate)

    • Safety Index 48.62 (Moderate)
    • Climate Index 60.9 (High)
    • Pollution Index 79.25 (High)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 61.1 (Very High)
    • Cost of Living Index 24.45 (Very Low)
    • Health Care Index 57.74 (Moderate)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 10.97 (Moderate)
    • Purchasing Power Index 53.86 (Low)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Kolkata

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.01 USD
    • International Movie per seat 3.54 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 31.87 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 45.32 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 33.02 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ​and subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo