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How to Spend 2 Days in Kolkata

How to Spend 2 Days in Kolkata

As well as housing a string of historical must-sees, the sprawling Indian city of Kolkata—formerly known as Calcutta—has plenty more up its sleeve, from river cruises and ambient temples to literary quarters, hectic markets, and gritty backstreets. Here are our tips for discovering West Bengal’s multifaceted capital in two jam-packed days.

Day 1: Hit the Sights and Nighttime Scene

**Morning:**Begin by exploring Kolkata’s top landmarks, from the Victorian buildings from its time as the British Raj capital to recently built attractions. Take a half- or full-day tour of must-sees such as the Victoria Memorial and Writer’s Building, visit the Parshwanath Jain Temple, and view the Howrah Bridge across the River Hooghly.

**Afternoon:**With the star sights covered, experience the “real” Kolkata: the poorer neighborhoods synonymous with the city. Guided slum tours take in areas normally overlooked by visitors, while tours of the Mother House—once the headquarters of the charity-giving Catholic nun Mother Teresa—reveal how her care for Kolkata’s poor continues today.

**Night:**Now’s the time to unwind and discover the city’s culinary scene and nighttime buzz. Head out on a guided evening food walk to sample local snacks and Bengali dishes in the popular haunts of Park Street and College Street. Be sure to arrive hungry—most tours include generous tastings.

Day 2: Backstreets, Bazaars, and Culture

**Morning:**Go off-grid today and lose yourself in Kolkata’s hectic markets. Choose a tour that incorporates the maze-like New Market, Burra Bazaar (Burrabazar), and flower market. Some market-tour options also cover sights missed by standard itineraries, such as Princep Ghat and a Hooghly ferry ride, to give you a wider take on the city.

**Afternoon:**Explore Kolkata’s multifaith heritage with a tour of its eclectic religious sites, including the Hindu Dakshineswar Kali temple and Nakhoda Mosque. Alternatively, a guided walk along bookstall-lined College Street showcases Kolkata’s literary leanings, while a tour of Black Town—historically home to wealthy Bengali residents—spotlights its mansions and courtyards.

**Night:**Conclude your Kolkata stay with a sundown River Hooghly cruise: passing temples, markets, ghats—flights of steps leading to the river—and the Howrah Bridge, all illuminated by the sunset. For another memorable finale, book a dining experience at a local’s home and savor a home-cooked meal as you chat about Kolkata life.

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6 Tours and Activities | All Kolkata Tours

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Guided Kolkata Sightseeing Trip by Car, Walk & Sunset Cruise Excursion Trip

Guided Kolkata Sightseeing Trip by Car, Walk & Sunset Cruise Excursion Trip

star-5
See the highlights of the big, bustling city of Kolkata on an easy full-day trip. Experience the culture and beautiful architecture of the city three ways: via car, on food, and by boat along the Hooghly River. This is a private tour, so you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide. Fit a lot of sightseeing into one day without worrying about hailing taxis or other logistics.
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  • 6 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$55.72
Price varies by group size
From
$55.72
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Evening Excursion: Sailing towards the Goddess Through Sunset River Cruise

Evening Excursion: Sailing towards the Goddess Through Sunset River Cruise

star-4
Take a chilled-out evening cruise along the Hooghly River at sunset and enjoy seeing the city of Kolkata from a different angle. This ticket saves you the time and hassle of lining up to buy a ferry ticket. Kolkata is a big, busy city; leave all that behind as you cruise down the river, spotting the silhouettes of temples and grand colonial-era buildings along its banks. Receive a welcome drink and evening snacks, too.
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  • 3 hours
From
$48.75
Price varies by group size
From
$48.75
Price varies by group size

Small Group Kolkata Uptown Food Tour

Small Group Kolkata Uptown Food Tour

star-5
Kolkata has a great culinary culture not found elsewhere in India and on this private food tour, you'll get to sample some of its tastiest offerings. Along with a guide, you'll get the chance to sample everything from spicy chai tea to jumbo prawns, as well as curried fish mousse steamed in banana leaves, onion bhajis (fritters), and the traditional sweets for which Kolkata is known across India.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.26
From
$50.26

Explore the Religious Sites in Kolkata

Explore the Religious Sites in Kolkata

Kolkata is a multicultural and multi-religious city, and you'll visit some of the most interesting and beautiful Hindu, Muslim, Jain, and Christian sites on this tour. Learn about the culture and history of the city, as well as the diverse architectural and artistic styles that you'll see. You'll be able to see and do more than you could comfortably manage if touring independently, while benefiting from the assistance of local guide.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$152.00
Price varies by group size
From
$152.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Slum Tour: A Different Side To The 'City Of Joy'

Slum Tour: A Different Side To The 'City Of Joy'

Looking beyond Kolkata’s tourist sights into its slum areas is best done with a guide to provide background and ensure you don't get lost. This shared walking tour steps up: with a guide to lead you around one of these districts. See how the inhabitants live, discover their hardships in ensuring life’s necessities, and leave with a better understanding of Kolkata’s slum communities than you might if on your own.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.99
Price varies by group size
From
$69.99
Price varies by group size

Stroll Through The Popular Book Street

Stroll Through The Popular Book Street

Stroll along the pathways of the largest book market in India at College Street, aka Boi Para (Book Street), a prominent centre of Kolkata’s literary crowd. It is the largest pre-owned book market in the world. It is said, if you do not find a book in College street, then it probably never existed.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.99
Price varies by group size
From
$69.99
Price varies by group size