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Kolkata

Culture & history

Our most recommended Kolkata Culture & History

Kolkata: Custom Private Full Day Tour

1. Kolkata: Custom Private Full Day Tour

Your custom tour of Kolkata begins at a suitable time for you where your English-speaking guide will pick you up from your hotel. Enjoy exploring Kolkata in the comfort of a private air conditioned private vehicle while your local guide gives you recommendations of sites to visit throughout the day. You can visit the famous Victoria Memorial, Flower Market, St. Paul Cathedral church, Dakshineshwar temple & more interesting places. Take a tour of the Prinsep Ghat to enjoy a delicious Indian cuisine. You also have the option to visit famous temples in Kolkata like the Kali Temple, Dakshineshwar temple & more. Peek into the life of great Indian Poet Rabindranath Tagore. The tour lasts for 8 hours. Please note that monument fees and any food purchased during the tour are not included in the tour price.

Kolkata: Full-Day Private City Tour with a Local

2. Kolkata: Full-Day Private City Tour with a Local

Discover the highlights of Kolkata on this private sightseeing tour with a local English-speaking guide. Travel comfortably in an air-conditioned sedan or SUV (allotted depending on the number of passengers) and explore famous landmarks such as the Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the Kalighat. Get a complete insight into locals' lives by also visiting lesser-known areas, such as the flower market and Belur Math. Start at a time convenient for you with pickup from your hotel. Setting out early is recommended to avoid rush-hour traffic. First, make your way to the Mullick Ghat Flower Market and watch a mass of people at Asia's largest flower market. Then, admire the Victoria Memorial's galleries, statues, and gardens. Continue to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the first Anglican Church in the eastern world, whose unusual “Indo-Gothic” design has survived a series of massive earthquakes. Next, head to Princep Ghat to marvel at the views of the Vidyasagar Setu Bridge. From there, visit the fascinating Dakshineshwar Kali Temple on the banks of the River Hooghly, and learn about the significance of this deity to the Bengalis. After exploring the temple, board a ferry to Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, which preaches the unity of all religions. Pay homage to Mother Teresa at the Missionaries of Charity's Mother House, where she lived for over two decades. Finally, capture images of the famous Howrah Bridge as a wonderful memory of your day in Kolkata. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back to your hotel.

Kolkata: Full-Day City Tour with Lunch

3. Kolkata: Full-Day City Tour with Lunch

Begin your full-day tour of Kolkata at the Mausoleum of Job Charnock, the founder of modern Kolkata in 1690. Visit St John’s Church which was built in 1787 by architect James Agg. This majestic stone and brick structure became the principal Cathedral of Calcutta in 1815. A highlight of the Church is the “Last Supper” painting on its walls. The next destination is the iconic Writers Building. Built in 1777, it was meant for the lower bureaucracy of East India Company. Today this Greco-Roman masterpiece is the seat of the West Bengal state government. Your guide will shed light on the landmark events which took place in India’s freedom struggle with the Writers Building as the backdrop. Since this is a working office, you will see it from outside. Proceed then to the Governor’s House, a remarkable building which was built for Marquess of Wellesley in 1803 by the famous English architect Charles Wyatt. The Governor’s House follows a Neoclassical style with distinct Baroque overtones. Continue with a visit to India’s largest and oldest museum; the Indian Museum was built by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1814 with Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist as the founder curator. It has a magnificent collection of relics, ornaments, fossils, skeletons, antiques, armors, and paintings from different eras. After lunch, visit the legendary Victoria Memorial built by George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, and Viceroy of India. Dedicated to Queen Victoria, this architectural gem built in marble is a great place to experience the essence of the Victorian Era, set in the middle of the hustle and bustle of modern Kolkata. On the last leg of the tour, take a cruise over the holy River Ganges and explore the City of Joy from its waters. Pass by numerous ghats and under the iconic Howrah Bridge before this magnificent experience comes to an end.

Kolkata: Private Full-Day Spirituality & Temples Tour

4. Kolkata: Private Full-Day Spirituality & Temples Tour

Your tour will begin with a visit to the 200 year old temple Kali, before changing our course to head onward to St John’s Church. This church was one of the first cathedral churches built by the British in Kolkata, and it's neoclassical architecture holds the grave of Job Charnock. You will then encounter the Magen David Synagogue, with interior walls containing memorial plaques dedicated to the well-known Jews of Calcutta. From here you will visit Nakhoda Masjid, the principal mosque of Kolkata. You will then view the Pareshnath Temple, complete with architectural brilliance and stained glass all over, before enjoying lunch. Following lunch, you will head for the Dakhineshwar temple and the Belur Math. These two temples are separated by the river Ganga and you will enjoy a great experience on the cool and calm ride over the Ganges. End your day with a refreshing Kolkata Masala Chai before being dropped off at your hotel.

Kolkata: Uptown 15-Taster Food Tour

5. Kolkata: Uptown 15-Taster Food Tour

Greet your guide outside Esplanade metro station at 5:00pm and catch the train up to a district little visited by foreigners and known for its cuisine. When you disembark, you'll dive straight in with an exotic lasse found at a local street vendor before hopping into a tiny joint that's been whipping up some of the best masala curries in Kolkata for more than a century. As you eat, your guide will tell you stories of old Calcutta. Jump aboard a local bus for a short journey up to one of Kolkata's most celebrated seafood restaurants where you'll try their signature jumbo prawn covered in chingri coconut cream sauce and a mouth-watering curried fish mousse steamed in a banana leaf. After leaving you'll clamber aboard one of the old richshaws, the only place where these wooden carts still exist in India and take a short tour of the area en route to the next foodie stop. Gorge on a prawn kabiraji at a legendary kitchen started by a Scot in the 19th Century. Kolkata might seem busy, but your guide will take you on a walk down through a peaceful district pointing out temples and local life along the way. As you meander the backstreets of old Kolkata, you'll try tasty titbits from the city's most famous onion bhajis to zingy gram salads made from herbs and pulses. Sip on local ginger infused chai tea before jumping on board one of the old trams that have been plying the streets of Kolkata for over a century for a short journey to College Street. Here, piles of school book sellers are passed by university students on their way back from lectures. Drop into a local cafe to sample a famed coconut sherbet drink and then dive into Begali treats at a nearby sweet shop. The evening finishes in the faded grandeur of an old colonial coffee shop where students are busy debating, ceiling fans whirl overhead, and waiters serve coffees in traditional garb. This isn't just a foodie tour, it's a tour into the heart of Kolkata.

Kolkata Full-Day Street Photography Tour

6. Kolkata Full-Day Street Photography Tour

Start your journey at 8:00 with hotel pickup in a private AC cab and drive to different streets of Kolkata. First visit the flower market, one of the largest in India. The market over here provides a paradise for street photographers with all the action and scenery of this market. We stay here for one hour. Your next stop, known as Sudder Street, is famous for tourist and backpackers due to its abundance of cheap hotels and eateries. From food carts, pulled rickshaws, ambassador taxis, street vendors, cows, goats, smells, colors, and people everywhere you look. It’s never boring around Sudder Street. Next, drive to the College Street, home of the largest second hand book market in the world. Small colorful book stalls line the streets for just under a mile. You'll stay here for forty-five minutes. Later as you head for your lunch, click the streets sitting in the car on the way to the restaurant. After lunch, you'll move to the Park Street, Lined with cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, it’s more upscale here than the rest of Kolkata. While it’s lost a little of its luster with more commercialization than the rest of Kolkata, it still retains some of its old world charm. The duration of your stay over here is around 40 minutes. Next you'll drive to your last destination for the day, known as Queens Way/Victoria Memorial. The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building on Queens Way that was built over a century ago in dedication to the memory of Queen Victoria. Now it’s also a museum, but the reason you should come here for Street Photography isn’t for the building, but for the 64 acres of grounds and gardens surrounding it. At the end of the tour, get dropped back to the hotel.

Kolkata: 3-Hour British Heritage Walking Tour

7. Kolkata: 3-Hour British Heritage Walking Tour

Embark on a journey to capture the essence of Kolkata as you explore on foot some of the most iconic and prominent landmarks of the city’s Colonial heritage. Choose from flexible options of a private tour, exclusive to your booking, or a join-in tour, where you can meet other travelers. You can also request a hotel pickup and drop-off for added convenience. The tour's first stop is the Writer's building, built in 1777. Once used for the lower bureaucracy of the East India Company, today this stunning Greco-Roman masterpiece is the seat of the West Bengal state government. Next, walk to the Mausoleum of Job Charnock, who in 1690 bought the villages of Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata and over time transformed the region into the capital of East India Company. At the site, learn about how in recent times, a High Court ruling has discredited him as the founder of the city. Continue the tour onto St John’s Church, a majestic stone building built in 1787, which became the principal cathedral of the region in 1815. One of the church’s highlights includes a painting of the Last Supper on its walls. Follow your guide to the Governor’s House next, a remarkable building built for the Marquess of Wellesley who came to Kolkata as the Governor General of East India Company in 1798. Built in 1803 by the famous English architect Charles Wyatt, the Governor’s House follows a Neoclassical style with distinct Baroque overtones. As you admire the fine architecture of the building, learn about how the Crown gained rule over India during the Colonial era. Take a stroll around The Indian Museum next, and marvel at the magnificent collection of relics, ornaments, fossils, skeletons, antiques, armors, paintings and more. Finally, visit the legendary Victoria Memorial, an architectural gem built from marble. Here you can really experience the essence of the Victoria-era, set in the middle of the hustle and bustle of modern Kolkata.

Private Kolkata Tour with Victoria Memorial & Tonga Ride

8. Private Kolkata Tour with Victoria Memorial & Tonga Ride

At 9:00 AM your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel lobby to start an enchanting tour exploring the wonders of the famous City of Joy – Kolkata. The first stop is the monumental symbol of Kolkatam, the Victoria Memorial. Designed by Sir William Emerson, the Victoria Memorial is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic style. The architecture of Victoria also has elements from the Mughals that adds to the elegance of the structure. The garden especially was designed by Lord Redesdale and Sir David Prain. This special memorial was established to honor Queen Victoria. Now it's time for a fun tonga ride, which is often referred to as the heritage ride along the VIP circle area. The exclusive city tour continues with a drive around St. John’s Church. St. John’s is one of the first architectural wonders created by the British during their stay in Kolkata.  The spiritual journey continues with the visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was established in the year 1839. In the year 1874, St. Paul’s was consecrated. Now it's time to got to a local restaurant where you can enjoy lunch. After lunch, the next stop for the day is Howrah Bridge. The bridge connects two major cities of West Bengal, namely Howrah and Kolkata. The area around Howrah Bridge is the house of two major places – Mullik Ghat and the colorful flower market. Finally, the last stop of the day is the famous South Park Street Cemetery. In the 19th century, it was marked as one of the largest Christian cemetery outside America and Europe. 

Kolkata: Half-Day Morning Tour w/ Flower Market

9. Kolkata: Half-Day Morning Tour w/ Flower Market

Start your journey at 07:00 with a hotel pick-up, where your guide will brief you about the day's activities. You will start by visiting a flower market from where you can get a perfect picture view of the Howrah Bridge. Next, make a visit to Prinsep Ghat and enjoy a Masala Chai on the bank of the river. A small boat ride can be arranged upon request at your own cost. Later, visit Victoria Memorial, a large marble building built from 1906 to 1921 and dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria. Afterwards, visit St. Paul Cathedral Church. Construction started in 1839 and is said to be the largest cathedral in Kolkata. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back off at Park Street, where you will be free to explore the city on your own.

Kolkata Church Walk: Convergence of Different Faiths

10. Kolkata Church Walk: Convergence of Different Faiths

Explore the confluence of different faiths from around the world in Kolkata, the City of Joy. Take a guided 3-hour walking tour in a group of no more than 12 people, and find out about centuries of the city's rich history, culture, and architecture as you visit various places of worship. Begin your tour at St. John's Church at 8 AM and then walk to the breathtakingly beautiful Magen David and Neveh Shalome Synagogues, the biggest and first synagogues in Kolkata respectively. Trace the history of Baghdadi Jews in India at Neveh Shalome, swoon at the buildings' interiors, and interact with the local informative keepers, who all happen to be of the Islamic faith. Once you're done, follow your guide to the Armenian Church of Holy Nazareth, the center of the Armenian community in India. Explore the beautiful architecture of a church that is believed to be the oldest in India, find out more about the Armenian community, and discover the oldest known grave in the graveyard. Next up is the Holy Rosary Cathedral, also known as the Portuguese Church. Founded in 1690 with the influx of the Portuguese community in the city, this church bears testament to the Portuguese and their history in Kolkata. Listen to your guide's informative commentary, full of interesting facts and details about the church. After the Portuguese Church, pay a visit to the Beth El Synagogue, the third Jewish synagogue in the city. Although this synagogue no longer runs services, you'll be mesmerized by the exceptionally well-maintained interiors of this place. Get lost in the surroundings with your guide as you learn further about the architecture and history of the synagogue. Finally, head toward your last stop, St. Andrews Church. Explore the only Scottish church in Kolkata, one of the heritage sites of the city, before bidding goodbye to your guide. The tour concludes here at St. Andrews Church.

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What people are saying about Kolkata

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 9 reviews

The tour was well thought out and was tailored very individually to our wishes. With a very personable guide who was competent and smart and spoke very good English. He was able to answer our questions competently and has actually brought us a great deal closer to the spiritual world of Calcutta. A little tip: bring or get your mountain pines, because you often have to put on and take off your shoes.

Avik is a super highly motivated guide. He told us a lot about the history of Calcutta and showed us streets that we would never have found. The food was delicious. The Bengali cuisine in particular is very tasty

The guide Abhishek, was polite, courteous and shared information, though at times not necessarily accurate. Overall, would strongly recommend the service to visitors to Calcutta.

We had a great day! We learned a lot about Kolkata, Indian history and culture, and explored some big sights but also some smaller, really interesting neighborhoods.

Since the tour was private, we were able to influence the course at any time. Our guide Abhishek was very nice and always friendly. Recommended.