Where to Stay in Kolkata? A guide to important landmarks in Kolkata
Known as the City of Joy, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal. Irrespective of the purpose of your travel - business or tourism - people visiting the city prefer either staying close to one of the two railway stations in Kolkata or in the city center / Park Street area. Below are details of various areas to consider for a hotel stay during your next trip.
Kolkata City Center - Esplanade & Park StreetThe older parts of the city which form the crux of Central Kolkata are the central hub and also the major commercial areas. Climb out of the Esplanade Metro Station and you will find a single row of markets with shops on both sides selling a variety of goods from cheap, pirated ones to reputed brands. Book lovers will find their paradise at Park Street and Shakespeare Sarani, the former is around 1-2 kms away from Esplanade station and is also a metro station in itself. The Eden Garden Cricket stadium considered the ‘Mecca of Cricket’ is also close by and so is the famous Victoria Memorial that now houses a colossal collection of memorabilia of the British Era. The Central area is filled with great accommodation properties and a quick search around will surely leave your hands full.
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Kolkata Railway StationsHowrah Railway Station & Sealdah Railway station are two of the most important railway stations in Kolkata. Howrah station is the larger one with almost 24 platforms and caters to both local and express trains from all over the country. Howrah Station is situated on the opposite bank of the Hooghly River near the famous Howrah Bridge (Ravindra Setu) and is quite easy to reach by bus. The Sealdah Station is a local station that is situated inside the city limits and you will find taxis from here to any part of Kolkata.
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International & Domestic AirportNetaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport connects Kolkata with most of the major cities across the globe and the domestic terminal is also nearby. Keep in mind that both the International as well as domestic Airports are situated near Dum Dum area that is a good 20 kms outside the city center. Even then it won’t be a problem as you will find pre-paid taxis outside the building that will take you anywhere in the city. The rates will vary from Rs.200-300 depending on location and be sure to fix your rates beforehand. Travelers who would like to stay near the airport can find good Kolkata hotels nearby but even then they will be at least 3-4 kms away.
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Kolkata US ConsulateTravelers visiting Kolkata for appointments at the US Consulate could pick one of the hotels in the city center close to Park Street or Esplanade area as mentioned above. You can also find other other near Sudder Street which is pretty close to US Consulate.
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Salt Lake CityIf closed spaces and twisty gullies are not to your tastes then hop on to a taxi and go straight to the eastern parts to the Salt Lake Township. Situated around 10 kms from the city center, it is a planned township built to handle the population growth of the city and also serve as a base for IT and industrial expansion. The city is like welcome balm from the old parts and it is a flurry of activity with malls, restaurants, amusement parks and is relatively pollution free. Hotels in Salt Lake City can be a bit pricier than other parts of the city.
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Tourist attractionsKolkata bears a distinct colonial legacy that can be still seen in some of the famous heritage buildings and structures. The Victoria Memorial is among the most famous era British building that was built to compete with the Taj. The structure is a museum now and hosts a huge collection of British era memorabilia that serves as effective reminders of that age. It is situated close to Park Streetand Maidan and visitors can always get taxis to get there.
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Birla MandirOne of the popular temples in Kolkata is the Birla Mandir that is situated in Ballygunge area. The temple is around 4 kms from the Maidan area and the fastest way to reach is to take the Shakespeare Sarani Road. Stay close to the Esplanade Square and you can always find buses for Ballygunge.
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Underground MetroThe Underground Metro system forms the crowning glory of the transportation system of the city. It joins major areas of Kolkata and travelers will find a lot of good hotels near the metro stations, especially near Park Street, Esplanade, and Girish Park.
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