A tale of two cities, a walk along the streets of Calcutta is like turning the pages of history. Aging mansions and crumbling colonial facades are interspersed between ramshackle slum dwellings. The former capital of British India, Calcutta has witnessed the country’s greatest grandeur and worst poverty. Today, Calcutta has emerged as India’s intellectual and cultural capital. Start a conversation with a Bengali on almost any topic and be prepared to be there for while. Calcutta’s inhabitants can wax lyrical on just about anything and with some of the best universities in the country they are qualified to do so. Our pick of the best places to stay in Calcutta reflect both its history and sophistication.
Located along the banks of the Hooghly River are two of Calcutta’s main sights: The resplendent Victoria Memorial, a mirage in white marble, and the Belur Math whose shady grounds are a picture to perambulate.
As well as their heritage, Bengalis are mad about their food, in particular fish. There are countless ‘must go’ dining options but our favourites would have to be Oh! Calcutta, for delectable local dishes and the family run Kewpies for some home cooked cuisine.
A visit to the Kumartuli Idol-makers’ village is to witness Hindu culture in practice. These small clay moulded effigies are immersed in the Hooghly River during Hindi festivals (which are in such abundance you’ll have a good chance of catching one). The Durga and Kali festivals are a carnival of colour and noise.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Calcutta are all centrally located and immersed in the city’s heritage.
Still not sure which to book? From boutique to luxury browse through our list of the best places to stay in Calcutta to start to plan your trip. Althernatively you can widen the net and check out all our West Bengal recommendations, or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
This delightful family owned hotel is brilliantly located in the heart of Kolkata. It is one of the few places in the centre that has truly managed to retain its colonial charm and ambiance. Inside it provides space and comfort, lovely decor and just the right amount of quirkiness.
A quirky but hip boutique hideaway in the centre of Kolkata, with a top-notch fine-dining restaurant that’s as much a favourite with locals as guests. Bursting with charm, style and character.
A beautiful, luxury hotel built in the 1880s. It is easy to see why it was the choice of leading historical figures. Even now it hosts grand functions for Heads of State. Elegant, lavish rooms, a lobby known for its 200 year old handmade piano and iconic chandelier, spa, pool, gym. Indulge yourself.