Kolkata Culture & history

Our most recommended Kolkata Culture & history

Kolkata: Full-Day Private City Tour with a Local

1. 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

2. 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: 3-Hour British Heritage Walking Tour

3. 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. 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

4. 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: Private House of Mother Teresa & Church Tour

5. Kolkata: Private House of Mother Teresa & Church Tour

After pickup from your accommodation in Kolkata, you’ll head to St Andrew’s Church. This was the only Scottish church in Kolkata and was completed in 1818. Listen as your guide tells stories of the steeple, which was higher than that of St John’s Church and caused some controversy at the time. Next up you’ll visit St Paul’s Cathedral, the first Episcopal Church in the eastern world. The cathedral took 8 years to build and was finished in 1847. Note its Gothic-style stained glass windows and frescoes in the Florentine Renaissance style. Continue to South Park Cemetery, the largest Christian cemetery outside Europe and America in the 19th century. The cemetery covers 8 acres of space and contains graves belonging to prominent British citizens and high officials of the East India Company. Finally visit Mother’s House, the former residence of Mother Teresa. The building remains the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, the organization founded by Mother Teresa. Visit a museum with Mother Teresa’s belongings and see the sisters of the charity at work, before paying your respects at the tomb of Our Angel of Mercy. Lunch is included at a famous local restaurant before you’re dropped back at your accommodation.

Other Sightseeing Options in Kolkata

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What people are saying about Kolkata

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 9 reviews

This tour is complete and gives an overview of Kolkata buildings, different places and people. Finally, the lunch is spent in a discreet restaurant and without great luxury but with excellent food and with great friendliness of the staff.

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 knew a bit about Kolkata already so our guide had time to answer plenty of our questions. The stop for a refreshment came just in time in the heat.

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.

great day. excellent attitude, punctual and personal service. would recommend