Kolkata is known as the city of joy and has something for everyone. After Mumbai, Kolkata is the 2nd largest city in India and also the capital city of West Bengal. Kolkata’s five top tourist places are Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Princep Ghat, and Tagore’s House. It has famous cricket stadiums. We have compiled a comprehensive list of the 17 best places to visit near Kolkata. Whether you’re interested in historical sites, entertainment venues, or religious landmarks, this list has something for everyone.
Kolkata is 49 km from the Bay of Bengal, which is the nearest ocean to Kolkata. It is situated on the Eastern Bank of the Hooghly River, and the Bangladesh border is also 80km away from Kolkata. It has a diverse culture, so the city is a famous destination for tourists. The city is also famous for Durga Puja. UNESCO has also mentioned the celebrations of this festival. Bakkhali Beach is the cleanest beach in Kolkata, but Kolkata itself doesn’t have any beaches. You can visit the nearest beach, Bakkhali, but some other beaches are in Shankarpur and Tajpur. You can also visit Mandarmani and Digha. Bakkhali is just about 126 km away from Kolkata.
How many days are enough for Kolkata?
Whether you’re traveling alone, with family, or with friends, Kolkata is the perfect getaway for a weekend trip. Kolkata is a landlocked city. Each person has no specified ideal duration because everyone has different needs, interests, and preferences. But a 1-week tour is a reasonable amount of time, as it is neither too short nor too long. You can explore most places (other than hills) in 3 – 5 days. Here are the 17 best places to visit near Kolkata.
1. Belur Math
A visit to Belur Math is allowed from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Belur Math is the headquarters of Mission and Ramakrishna Math. The temple of Belur Math is a main attraction for tourists. This temple is famous due to its magnificent architecture. Motifs of all religions—Hindu, Christianity, and Islam—are installed on walls to depict the unity of all religions.
There is also a museum and affiliated institutions on the temple’s premises. The Arti in the temple is different from other temples. Visitors have to sit for meditation, and sweets or flowers are not offered after Arti.
2. Nicco Park
This park is also famous as the Disneyland of West Bengal. The park opens from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and its entry fee depends on the rides you select. This park has entertainment and recreational activities.
The park’s operation system relies on the solar system, which is pollution-free. Visitors can enjoy various thrilling rides, and shows are organized for entertainment and educational purposes. It is my favorite among the best places to visit near Kolkata for a great family time.
Rishyap is a small village in the Kalimpong district, located 89 km from Kolkata. Dense forests surround it, making it the best place for nature Gems. Pine, birch, and fir-like forests are abundantly present there, and their beauty attracts millions worldwide.
The place is abundant in natural beauty with a clean, pollution-free environment. If you want to spend quality time in solitude with the company of nature, then Rishyap is a top suggestion for you. The nearby attractions of Rishyap are Tiffindara, Lava, and Kolakham-like places. Tiffindara is a sunrise and sunset point, while Lava is a unique hill station. Similarly, the Kolakham is a beautiful village near the Neora Valley.
4. Science City Kolkata
The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and has an INR 50 entry fee. This Museum in Kolkata is a perfect fusion of science and fun. Built in 1997 to develop science learning, the Museum developed a special aquatic section to provide knowledge about fish and aquatic insects. Aquariums have exotic fish to see. This Museum is equally famous with kids and adults. You can see yourself taking various shapes on the ground floor due to optical mirrors. It’s one of the best places to visit near Kolkata with your kids.
5. Tajpur Beach
This beach can be visited at any time and has no entry fee. This beach is 127 kilometers from Kolkata and is an offbeat place to visit that is still unaffected by pollution. The beach has a serene environment with sunshine and sunset moments. As it is not crowded, you can see red crabs on the seashore, which gives a crimson color to the beach’s sand. This place is a perfect place to spend time in solitude.
6. Victoria Memorial
Victoria Memorial was built to celebrate the completion of 25 years of Queen Victoria in India. This white marble building is a splendid monument in the heart of Kolkata and is an excellent mimic of the Victoria Memorial in London. Lush green gardens surround this beautiful and iconic structure, and a sound and light show is also arranged for visitors in this beautiful complex. It remains open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Mondays and national holidays.
7. Fort William Kolkata
Another gem on the list of best places to visit near Kolkata is the Fort William. Fort William in Kolkata remains open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and has no entry fee. This Fort was built in 1696 and named after King William III. This grandeur and historic Fort is spread over 70.9 acres, and hundreds of windows are fitted in fort construction, which opens towards lush green gardens. This Fort is now under the Indian army; up to 10,000 army personnel can use it as accommodation. Only army personnel and relatives are allowed access to the Fort, but visitors can visit the palace to enjoy its majestic architecture.
Read also: Kolkata to Shimla, A journey of a lifetime
8. The Indian Museum
The entry hours of this Museum are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the whole week except Monday, and the Museum has an entry fee of INR 10 for Indians and INR 150 for foreigners. This Museum is India’s most prominent and the ninth-oldest Museum in the world. This Museum has old sculptures and mummies. Paintings of the Mughal royal family, ornaments, fossils, skeletons, and armor related to history The Museum has 35 galleries distributed into six categories according to the galleries’ collections.
9. Alipore Zoo
Alipore Zoo is also known as Kolkata Zoo. The hours of the Zoo are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it is closed on Thursday. The entry fee is INR 25 for adults and INR 10 for kids under five years old. This Zoo is an attractive place to explore the wildlife and is best for family picnics and nature lovers. The Zoo has various attractions, such as Primate House, elephant House, Reptile House, and Panther House. A separate children’s Zoo is also affiliated with this Kolkata Zoo.
10. Henry’s Island
Henry’s Island is 130km from Kolkata, and October to March are the best months to visit. This Island is just 10km from Bakkhali Beach and has an INR 15 entry fee. The coastal beauty of the beach is an adventure to see and among my list of best places to visit near Kolkata. Visitors can explore the mangrove forests of Henry’s Island, which is famous for its tranquility. Visitors can swim in seawater and drink fresh coconut water under the clear blue sky.
11. Birla Industrial and Technological Museum
Birla Industrial and Technological Museum has an INR 50 entry fee weekly from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is another unique science museum in Kolkata. This place, known as Birla Park, was later converted into a museum. Its galleries and 3D shows are top attractions for tourists. A vast library and a fully air-conditioned auditorium are also located inside the Museum.
The Sundarbans are a natural wonder located 100 kilometers from Kolkata. It is the largest mangrove forest in the world and attracts millions of people worldwide each year. These forests have a diversity of flora and fauna of macro and micro specified. Adventure lovers can explore the forests and discover the wildlife.
These forests are the habitat of Bengal tigers, deer, and many bird species. These are famous because of the presence of the Royal Bengal Tiger, which means mangrove colonization there. Royal Bengal Tigers are the only mangrove tigers in the whole world.
13. Mandarmani Beach
Another place to visit near Kolkata is Mandarmani Beach, which offers scenic beauty. This beach is an excellent place to enjoy with families and also for couples. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy many activities like banana boating, parasailing, and jet skiing at this beach. Golden sand and calming waves on the beach are best for enjoying the atmosphere.
Read also: 12 one-day picnic spots near Kolkata
14. Eden Gardens
The Eden Garden is a beautiful cricket stadium in Kolkata. This stadium is spread over 50 acres and is the world’s second-largest cricket stadium. The first and largest stadium in the world is the Motera Stadium, located in Ahmedabad. This place is famous for hosting cricket matches, and you can also visit with the permission of the Cricket Association of Bengal. The Bengal Cricket Association owns this stadium.
Multiple national and international cricket matches were held in this stadium. The most famous matches are the 1987 World Cup final, the 1996 World Cup semi-final, the 2001 Test match between India and Australia, and the 2016 World Twenty20 final.
15. Roopark Village
Roopark Village is an eco-friendly theme resort in a village and one of my favorite spot on the list of best places to visit near Kolkata. This resort is in a picturesque village, Panchlingswar, 28km from Balasore railway station. The visitors are welcome to park by beating the drum and presenting fresh juice. The resort is built using the style of other tribal houses and has a beautiful natural environment. This resort is the best mixture of modern facilities and local craftsmanship. The cottages at this resort are made of natural wood material.
Haldia is a town with a river port located 118km from Kolkata. Thus, the town is rich in culture and heritage and has many historical temples to visit. The most famous temples in Halida are the Gouranga Dham, the Jagannath, and the Mahishadal Rajbari. The visitors can enjoy shopping at local markets and also get a chance to enjoy Bengal Street food.
The famous Bengal street foods are jhal muri, fish fry, and puchka. Halida also has oil and gas plants along with multiple petrochemicals. That’s why it is also called an industrial hub.
17. Digha Beach
Digha is also a famous beach destination near Kolkata, at 187km from Kolkata. This beach is also attractive due to its pristine beauty and is the best getaway for nature lovers. October and February are the best months to visit this beach. During this time, you can enjoy relaxed and pleasant breezing and a calm and peaceful environment. You can enjoy multiple attractive activities, like parasailing and boating. You can also enjoy horseback riding and camel riding, which are adventurous activities there.
Along with Digha Beach, you can also visit Udaipur Beach, Shankarpur, and Talasari Beaches, as they are closely located in Digha Beach, so you don’t need any extra separate tours to visit them. Besides its beauty and calm, Digha Beach has a marine aquarium. A science center is also located there.
What should you be careful about during your trip to Kolkata?
Kolkata has a lot of tourist attractions inside the city and nearby places, and you should plan your next trip to Kolkata. But during your trip, you should respect the discipline of places. For example, during your museum visit, try to avoid touching the models and keep a distance. Try to throw all your trash in a dustbin so these places can be enriched with a clean environment. Dress appropriately while visiting religious places and participate in worship to gain spiritual peace. The vibrant markets of Kolkata have a lot of variety to buy souvenirs from and many places to visit near Kolkata. The street food of Kolkata is also very delicious, but be careful because, with extra spices, you can face stomach problems. Also, be careful about drinking water from local taps. Plan your next trip to the city of joy and make your trip memorable forever.
With its rich history, diverse culture, and numerous attractions, Kolkata is truly a city worth exploring. Whether you’re interested in historical sites, entertainment venues, or natural beauty, Kolkata and its surrounding areas have something for everyone. From the magnificent architecture of Belur Math to the serene beaches of Tajpur and Mandarmani, there is no shortage of amazing places to visit near Kolkata. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to discover the beauty and charm of this vibrant city.
Stay tuned for more adventure guides from Salam Travellers.