Top 15 things to do in Kolkata this winter

Nestled along the banks of the Hooghly River, Kolkata, often referred to as the "City of Joy," transforms into a captivating haven during the winter months. The city, with its rich history and cultural vibrancy, beckons both locals and visitors to partake in a myriad of activities that define the essence of the season.

Kolkata

From festive celebrations that illuminate the cityscape to immersive cultural experiences that unveil the layers of Kolkata's heritage, the top 15 things to do in Kolkata during winter promise a tapestry of memories that will linger long after the season has passed.

1. Explore the Winter Wonderland at Victoria Memorial:

Victoria MemorialBegin your winter escapade by visiting the iconic Victoria Memorial. Adorned with festive lights and decorations, the surroundings create a picturesque winter wonderland. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and immerse yourself in the historical charm.

  • Recommendation: Attend the evening light and sound show for a captivating historical narrative set against the backdrop of the monument.

  • Time: 2-3 hours

  • Cost: Entrance fee to Victoria Memorial: INR 30 (Indian nationals) / INR 500 (foreign nationals)

2. Indulge in Winter Delicacies at Flurys:

flurys kolkataWarm up your taste buds with a visit to Flurys, Kolkata's legendary tearoom. Savor delectable pastries, rich hot chocolate, and a variety of winter treats in the cozy ambience of this historic establishment.

  • Recommendation: Try their iconic rum ball, freshly baked Christmas cakes, and pair them with a cup of their signature hot chocolate.

  • Time: 1-2 hours

  • Cost: Pastries and hot chocolate at Flurys: INR 500-800 per person

3. Attend the Kolkata International Film Festival:

Kolkata International Film Festival

Celebrate the art of cinema at the Kolkata International Film Festival, held annually during the winter months. Join film enthusiasts from around the world to experience a diverse range of cinematic masterpieces.

  • Recommendation: Attend Q&A sessions with directors and actors for a deeper understanding of the featured films.

  • Time: Varies based on film schedule

  • Cost: Ticket prices vary; check the official festival website for details

4. Take a Boat Ride on the Hooghly River:

Boat Ride on the Hooghly River

Enjoy the crisp winter air by taking a boat ride on the Hooghly River. Admire the city skyline and historic landmarks as you cruise along the river, creating unforgettable memories against the backdrop of the winter sunset.

  • Recommendation: Opt for a sunset cruise to witness the city transitioning from day to night, creating a mesmerizing panorama.

  • Time: 1-2 hours

  • Cost: Boat ride prices start from INR 200 per person

5. Experience the Kolkata Christmas Festival:

the Kolkata Christmas Festival

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit at the Kolkata Christmas Festival. Enjoy live music and cultural performances, and indulge in Christmas shopping at the vibrant markets that pop up across the city.

  • Recommendation: Attend the Christmas Eve celebration on Park Street for a festive atmosphere, complete with carol singing and a jubilant crowd.

  • Time: 2-3 hours

  • Cost: Free entry; expenses for food, shopping, and rides vary

6. Visit the Indian Museum:

the Indian MuseumExplore the extensive collections at the Indian Museum, one of the oldest museums in Asia. The cultural and scientific exhibits provide a perfect indoor escape from the winter chill.

  • Recommendation: Explore the Coins and Medals Gallery, featuring rare coins dating back centuries, providing a glimpse into India's economic history.

  • Time: 2-3 hours

  • Cost: Entrance fee to Indian Museum: INR 20 (Indian nationals) / INR 500 (foreign nationals)

Also read: West Bengal: Tagore's Residence Santiniketan Achieves UNESCO World Heritage Status

7. Attend a performance at Nandan:

Nandan

Nandan, the cultural hub of Kolkata, hosts a variety of performances, including plays, concerts, and film screenings. Check the schedule and attend a cultural event to add a touch of the arts to your winter experience.

  • Recommendation: Check the schedule for independent film screenings and engage in discussions with emerging filmmakers.

  • Time: 2-3 hours

  • Cost: Ticket prices vary based on the event.

8. Stroll through Park Street:

Park Street

Take a leisurely walk down Park Street, adorned with festive lights and decorations during the winter season. Explore the trendy cafes, vibrant pubs, and upscale restaurants that line this iconic street.

  • Recommendation: Try the diverse culinary offerings, from street food stalls to upscale restaurants, showcasing Kolkata's gastronomic diversity.

  • Time: 2-4 hours

  • Cost: Expenses for food and drinks vary based on the chosen establishment

9. Participate in the Kolkata Literary Meet:

Kolkata Literary MeetEngage your intellect at the Kolkata Literary Meet, an annual event that brings together renowned authors, thinkers, and literature enthusiasts. Attend thought-provoking discussions and book readings in the heart of the city.

  • Recommendation: Attend book launches and discussions on contemporary literature, enhancing your understanding of diverse literary perspectives.

  • Time: Varies based on the schedule

  • Cost: Free entry; expenses for books and refreshments

10. Enjoy a Picnic at Eco Park:

Picnic at Eco Park

Embrace the winter sunshine with a picnic at Eco Park. The lush greenery and serene lakes provide a perfect setting for a day outdoors, complete with friends, family, and delicious winter snacks.

  • Recommendation: Pack a picnic basket with local snacks like puchka (pani puri) and enjoy them by the lake, surrounded by the scenic beauty of the park.

  • Time: 3-4 hours

  • Cost: Entry fee to Eco Park: INR 20 (Indian nationals) / INR 100 (foreign nationals).

11. Shop for winter fashion at New Market:

winter fashion at New MarketUpdate your winter wardrobe by exploring the stalls at New Market. From trendy winter wear to traditional Bengali handicrafts, this bustling market has something for everyone.

  • Recommendation: Explore the underground section for winter essentials like shawls, scarves, and leather goods.

  • Time: 2-3 hours

  • Cost: Varies based on personal shopping preferences; bargaining is common in New Market

12. Take a Heritage Walk in North Kolkata:

Heritage Walk in North Kolkata

Discover the rich history of North Kolkata with a heritage walk. Visit architectural gems like Marble Palace, Jorasanko Thakur Bari, and Sovabazar Rajbari, each telling a tale of the city's glorious past.

  • Recommendation: Engage a local guide for a personalized tour, delving into the historical anecdotes behind each landmark.

  • Time: 3-4 hours

  • Cost: Guided heritage walk fees vary; approximately INR 500-1000 per person

13. Experience the Kolkata Poush Mela:

the Kolkata Poush Mela

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Kolkata by attending the Kolkata Poush Mela. This traditional fair, held during the winter season, showcases folk art, crafts, traditional music, and dance. Explore stalls offering handmade crafts, taste authentic Bengali cuisine, and witness vibrant performances that capture the essence of Bengal's cultural heritage.

  • Recommendation: Consider attending in the late afternoon or evening when the fair is illuminated with festive lights, creating a magical atmosphere. Don't hesitate to try lesser-known delicacies and engage in spontaneous interactions that often lead to discovering hidden gems within the fair.

  • Time: Varies based on the event schedule; plan for at least 3–4 hours to fully immerse yourself in the festivities.

  • Cost: entry fee of INR 20 (for Indian nationals) or INR 100 (for foreign nationals); additional expenses for food and crafts.

14. Explore the Street Art in South Kolkata:

Street Art in South Kolkata

Wander through the streets of South Kolkata and admire the vibrant street art that adorns the walls. Many local artists showcase their talents, turning the city into an open-air gallery.

  • Recommendation: Take a guided street art tour to understand the stories and inspirations behind each mural, supporting the local art scene.

  • Time: 2-3 hours

  • Cost: Free; expenses for transportation if opting for a guided tour

15. Relax at Princep Ghat:

Princep Ghat

Conclude your winter exploration by unwinding at Princep Ghat. The serene ambiance, combined with a view of the Vidyasagar Setu, makes it an ideal spot to reflect on your winter adventures.

  • Recommendation: Visit during the golden hour, capturing the sunset and the beautifully illuminated Vidyasagar Setu, creating a tranquil setting for reflection.

  • Time: 1-2 hours

  • Cost: free; expenses for refreshments if desired.

Also read: 10 Offbeat Weekend Getaways from Kolkata

As the winter winds embrace Kolkata, the City of Joy unfolds a captivating narrative of cultural richness and festive vibrancy through its top 15 activities. From the regal glow of Victoria Memorial to the culinary delights at Flurys, and the intellectual buzz of the literary meet to the traditional allure of Poush Mela, each experience contributes to the city's tapestry.

As you meander through Park Street's festive lights, explore the diverse stalls of New Market, or engage with street art in South Kolkata, you witness a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.

Concluding your winter journey at the tranquil Princep Ghat and the illuminated Vidyasagar Setu casting reflections on the Hooghly River, you're left with enduring memories of Kolkata's enchanting winter, a time when the city's soul truly comes alive.

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