18 Fun and Unique Things to Do in Kolkata | 2024 (with Photos)

Rosalia Ignatova

Rosalia Ignatova - Travel Writer

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! I'm Rose, an avid traveler and explorer who loves uncovering hidden gems and unique experiences in cities around the world. Join me as I share some fun and exciting activities to check out in Kolkata for your next adventure!

Fun and Unique Things to Do in Kolkata

Anyone interested in learning more about India's vibrant culture and history should visit Kolkata, West Bengal.

With so many things to do in Kolkata City, the city offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the Mallick Ghat Flower Market, science museums, and Dakshineswar Kali Temple.

Anyone looking for an unforgettable travel experience will find Kolkata to be the ideal destination due to its historical significance and vibrant culture.

There are plenty of things to do in Kolkata City, from wandering around the top attractions to enjoying the local street food and recreational activities.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

The Oberoi Grand Kolkata

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Winter months. October to February. Pleasant weather.

Average Temperature

Hot and humid climate all year round

Transportation Options

Buses, trams, taxis, rickshaws, metro, ferries, walking, cycling.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Start by exploring the iconic Victoria Memorial, a stunning marble edifice that bears witness to the city's colonial past, and take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Hooghly River for a taste of the city's bustling riverside charm.

To truly immerse yourself in the local experience, venture into the maze-like streets of the Kumartuli neighborhood, where skilled craftsmen breathe life into intricate clay idols, especially during the festive season. As day turns to night, indulge your taste buds at Flurys, Kolkata's legendary tearoom, and savor delicious pastries while soaking in the old-world charm of Park Street – the epitome of Kolkata's cultural melting pot.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Travel guide or map of Kolkata
  2. Travel documents
  3. Local currency (Indian Rupees)

What Not to Miss

  1. Victoria Memorial
  2. Howrah Bridge
  3. Dakshineswar Kali Temple
  4. Marble Palace
  5. Indian Museum

What to Avoid

  1. Overlooking street food
  2. Underestimating traffic conditions
  3. Ignoring public transport options

1. Visit the Sundarbans National Park

Sundarbans National Park

A trip to the Sundarbans National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the famous Royal Bengal Tigers, is among the best things to do in Kolkata.

The park requires an entry fee and contains the largest area of mangrove swamps in the world, providing visitors with an incredible view of the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

The Sundarbans National Park is unquestionably one of the tourist attractions in Kolkata for everyone who enjoys nature, adventure, or animals.

2. Visit Howrah Bridge to Capture the Landscape

Howrah Bridge

The Howrah Bridge in West Bengal, India is an iconic landmark and the sixth-longest bridge of its ilk in the world. 

This thrilling location offers a breathtaking view over the Hooghly River and requires no entry fee, making a visit to the Howrah Bridge one of the best things to do in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Howrah Bridge connects Kolkata and Howrah, which are both cities on the west bank of the Hooghly River, and is the busiest cantilever bridge in West Bengal and the entire globe.

The Howrah Bridge is a must-see destination that offers a mesmerizing landscape, whether you're a history enthusiast, a photographer, or just seeking a picturesque place to visit.

3. Visit the Largest Science Museum in the Indian Subcontinent

National Council of Science Museums

The National Council of Science Museums is in charge of Science City, which is the largest science center in the Indian subcontinent and Asia.

A must-visit destination on your list of things to do in Kolkata, West Bengal, Science City offers a variety of interactive exhibits, shows, and activities that cater to kids and adults alike.

The National Library of India is a suggested trip for people seeking out further educational attractions.

Don't forget to check out the nearby College Street, which is famed for its many bookstores and historic buildings. Furthermore, a visit to College Street should be on the list of educational things to do in Kolkata for those interested in academics.

4. See St. Paul's Cathedral and St. John's Church

St. Paul's Cathedral

Visits to Kolkata's St. John's Church and St. Paul's Cathedral are unquestionably worthwhile. Both cathedrals offer a serene and tranquil atmosphere to visitors and feature a traditional style of architecture.

While St. John's Church was the first Anglican church and one of the first structures built by the East India Company, St. Paul's is the bishop of North India. Beautiful stained glass windows may be found throughout St. John's Church.

The best part is that neither cathedral charges an entry fee, making them open to the public and one of the top things to do in Kolkata.

5. Stop by The Famous Victoria Memorial Palace

Victoria Memorial Palace

One of the must-visit tourist attractions in Kolkata is the Victoria Memorial.

Victoria Memorial is a large marble building that is now a museum dedicated to Queen Victoria.

Visitors can get a glimpse into the fascinating history of the city at the Victoria Memorial Hall, which serves as a symbol of both the city and the British Raj.

One of the best things to do in Kolkata is to pay a visit to Victoria Memorial, which is also a wonderful opportunity to learn about British rule in India.

6. Visit The Indian Museum

Indian Museum

Visit the Indian Museum if you're looking for educational things to do in Kolkata.

The museum, which is the ninth oldest museum in the world and largest in India, is situated in Central Kolkata, West Bengal.

The foundation stone of the Indian Museum was laid down in the year 1814, and it houses an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits that reflect India's rich cultural and scientific heritage.

Everything from antique sculptures and coins to meteorites and fossils is available for visitors to investigate. 

Even though an entry fee is required, the Indian Museum is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in history and culture.

7. Visit The Mother House Of The Missionaries Of Charity

Missionaries Of Charity

Anyone interested in the life and legacy of Mother Teresa should pay a visit to the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity.

It is situated in Kolkata and holds Mother Teresa's tomb in addition to being the world headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity.

One of the best things to do in Kolkata for people who want to honor Mother Teresa and discover more about the legacy of Mother Teresa towards the ill and underprivileged is to visit the Mother House.

8. Get Awestruck at the Famous Marble Palace

Marble Palace

The Marble Palace in Kolkata is a magnificent home with spectacular architecture that combines Mughal, Indian, and European styles.

The palace has a sizable collection of sculptures, paintings, and antiquities from all over the world, and its walls and floors are entirely constructed of marble.

One of the best things to do in Kolkata is to visit the Marble Palace, which is free to enter but requires a permit from the West Bengal Tourism Information Bureau in advance.

9. Visit Salt Lake to Enjoy a Boat Ride

Boat Ride

Salt Lake, also known as Bidhannagar, is a popular destination in Kolkata for its serene environment and boat tours on the lake.

An entry fee is required to enter the lake area, but it's worth it for the peaceful boat ride.

After the ride, visitors can also enjoy delicious street food in the environs of Salt Lake.

With its natural beauty and recreational activities, Salt Lake is a must-visit for those looking for quiet things to do in Kolkata.

10. Visit the Haunted South Park Street Cemetery

South Park Street Cemetery

A visit to the South Park Street Cemetery is an interesting and spooky attraction that is among the things to do in Kolkata.

Built during the British era of administration in India, this cemetery contains the graves of many British citizens.

Numerous activities, including boating, cycling, and picnicking, are available in the park.

All things considered, exploring the South Park Street Cemetery is a singular adventure that mixes history and excitement.

After their visit, visitors can continue their enjoyment and relaxation at India's biggest urban park, the eco-tourism park.

11. Learn about Kolkata's Colonial Past at Fort William

Fort William

Fort William, one of the remnants of British India, is a must-visit location for anybody interested in Kolkata's colonial heritage. Fort William is named after King William III.

Fort Williams is currently controlled by the Indian Army and is located on the east bank of the Hooghly River.

Additionally, tourists can still see the surroundings of Fort William and learn more about its history and construction.

One of the best things to do in Kolkata is to visit Fort William.

12. Birla Planetarium: Treat Your Adventurous Soul

Birla Planetarium

A renowned destination and one of the top things to do in Kolkata is the Birla Planetarium, which is close to the Victoria Memorial.

The planetarium requires an entry fee and offers visitors a unique and interactive experience to learn about the universe and the stars.

The building itself is a circular, one-story building with a traditional Indian design, which adds to the attractiveness of the area.

The Birla Planetarium is likely to satisfy your adventurous soul, whether you're a science aficionado or just looking for an engaging experience.

13. Visit Kolkata for Durga Puja

Nalin Sarkar Street Durga Puja

Durga Puja, one of the biggest and most colorful festivals in India, is an incredible time for visiting Kolkata.

It commemorates the devotion to the Hindu mother goddess and is observed in September or October and has been recognized by UNESCO.

Durga Puja is celebrated in grand style, especially in Kolkata, with enormous pandals (marquees) displaying intricate idols of the goddess.

The festival is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Kolkata during this holiday season and a wonderful way to see the city's cultural richness.

14. Tour The Belur Math

Belur Math

Anyone visiting Kolkata should not miss Belur Math. The Belur Math Temple complex, which is located on the west bank of the Hooghly River, is a major destination for pilgrims who belong to the Ramakrishna movement.

The Belur Math Temple complex also has minor temples devoted to different deities in addition to the main temple.

Visitors are welcome to participate in spiritual discussions and listen to devotional music during daily worship.

The architecture of the complex is a blend of different styles and traditions, making a visit to the Belur Math Temple among the spiritual things to do in Kolkata.

15. Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden

This Botanical Garden, commonly known as the Calcutta Botanical Garden, is a must-visit attraction that requires an entry fee.

Previously known as the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, the gardens were founded by Colonel Robert Kyd, an army officer of the East India Company.

The garden is home to a vast assortment of uncommon and exotic species, including the renowned banyan tree.

One of the top things to do in Kolkata for environment enthusiasts is to visit the lovely landscaped gardens, lakes, and greenhouses.

16. Visit Mullick Ghat Flower Market at Sunrise

Mullick Ghat Flower Market

For photographers and flower enthusiasts, Mullick Ghat Flower Market is a must-visit location.

One of the largest in Kolkata and Asia, the market comes alive at sunrise when the fresh blooms arrive.

Buying flowers at this market is one of the popular things to do in Kolkata, West Bengal, and is close to the Howrah Bridge.

The flower selection at the market is diverse, ranging from domestic marigolds to exotic orchids.

The activity of the sellers and purchasers creates a vibrant and active environment.

For memories that will last a lifetime, don't forget to take photos of the market's breathtaking sights.

17. Visit The Park Street: Shop Your Heart Out

Park Street

In Kolkata, India's thriving commercial district known as Park Street, shoppers can indulge in retail therapy to their hearts' content. Consequently, it is one of the things to do in Kolkata for shoppers.

Visitors can browse the numerous shops, malls, and boutiques that line this famous street and provide a wide selection of souvenirs, clothing, and accessories.

Park Street is a great addition to the list of things to do in Kolkata because it offers visitors the chance to experience delectable street food after a long day of shopping at the area's many restaurants. Lastly, an entry fee is not required to visit Park Street.

18. Try your Hand at Street Photography at New Market

New Market

A visit to the New Market, formerly known as Sir Stuart Hogg Market, is among the free things to do in Kolkata and a great spot to capture the city's vibrancy.

A popular location for street photographers in Kolkata is The New Market.

This historic market offers a lively atmosphere with a variety of people, things, and colors to photograph.

There is a diverse selection of both contemporary goods and traditional Indian goods.

Additionally, the New Market is a great location to practice street photography without spending a dime. So, add a trip to this market to your list of things to do in Kolkata.

FAQs: Fun & Unique Things to Do in Kolkata

Below are answers to questions about things to do in Kolkata.

What is the famous thing in Kolkata?

Kolkata is famous for its rich cultural heritage and tourist attractions. These include iconic landmarks such as the Howrah Bridge, The Victoria Memorial Hall, and South Park Street Cemetery, as well as popular destinations like Science City, Fort William, Mother Teresa's Tomb, and Eco-Tourism Park, among other things to do in Kolkata.

How can I have fun in Kolkata?

There are several fun things to do in Kolkata for kids and adults alike, such as visiting the Sundarbans National Park, exploring the New Town Eco Park, touring the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, and taking a boat tour on the Hooghly River.

How can I spend my whole day in Kolkata?

There are so many things to do in Kolkata for a whole day. You can start by enjoying a Chinese breakfast, strolling along the Howrah Bridge, visiting the Marble Palace and the Indian Museum, getting souvenirs at Quest Mall and flowers for your loved ones at the Mallick Ghat Flower Market, enjoying the serene atmosphere of the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, and close your day by relishing some delicious street food.

Are 3 days enough in Kolkata?

Yes. 3 days are more than enough to enjoy the various things to do in Kolkata, such as visiting Eden Gardens, Science City, St. Paul's Cathedral, and St. John's Church, going on a temple tour, visiting a children's park if you have kids, exploring botanical gardens, and visiting the iconic Calcutta Public Library.

Summing up: Things to do in Kolkata, West Bengal

As is clear to see from this guide, there are lots of interesting things to do in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Every traveler will note something interesting about Kolkata, from the historical importance of its science museum to the relevance of Mother Teresa and other Kolkata attractions.

Kolkata has it all, you can get lost in its bustling culture, or just unwind and savor beverages at the Indian Coffee House.

Book your next vacation to Kolkata and discover the local culture of this stunning city in the Indian subcontinent.