A holiday in Calcutta can make you the envy of all your friends back home. Kolkata is a city full of surprises, and if you're the kind of traveler who's game for the thrill of discovering new places, people and cultures, Calcutta is the perfect holiday destination for you.
The best time to plan a holiday in Kolkata is between September and March. Winters here are never too biting to bear, so you can look forward to a pleasant stay in Kolkata. The city offers a wealth of holiday options for everyone, ranging from art lovers to museum hoppers.
If you're on a holiday in Calcutta, the best way to get around the city is by using the extensive public transport facilities. Local buses are often jam-packed, but the underground train system, known as the Metro, is a less hassling way of riding through the city.
Trams are intrinsic to the landscape of Kolkata. They're reminders of an era gone by, when everything didn't proceed at break-neck pace and people had the time to travel in leisure. If you're on a holiday in Calcutta, chances are you'll have enough time on your hands to try a tram ride. Trams ply only on selected routes in Kolkata, but even if they're going nowhere near sightseeing spots in Calcutta, it's worth your while to take a lazy tram ride and soak in the ambience of the city. Do try the Tram Heritage Tour run by the Calcutta Tram Company.
For the tourist whose view of Kolkata has been shaped by City of Joy, hand-pulled rickshaws can still be spotted in many parts of Kolkata. If you want a rickshaw ride, cycle rickshaws operate in select parts of the city.
Taxis are also available in plenty in Calcutta. Or else, you can chip in part of the fare and get to know a few strangers as you get to your destination in a "share-auto".
For the foreign tourist in Calcutta, the BBD Bag area is home to a large number of banks and is the best place to head to for money-changing facilities. A few banks also have their branches in the Calcutta Airport. You can also apply for permits to travel to places such as the Sunderbans, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.