Kolkata is a place where each day celebrates the human experience. It is a city that embraces its contrasts, from the opulent colonial-era buildings to the bustling, chaotic streets. No matter where you turn, there is always something to see, taste, and experience. But if you have explored every nook and cranny of Kolkata and are craving something new & exciting, here are the best places to visit near Kolkata! Plenty of hidden gems are just a stone's throw away from the city, waiting to be discovered.
If you're up for a short road trip, we've got you covered with our top picks for places to visit near Kolkata within 100 kilometres. There's something for everyone, from quaint little towns to serene nature reserves.
So pack your bags, grab your buddies, and prepare for a fun-filled adventure. You might find a new favourite hangout spot or weekend getaway destination. Let’s explore the beauty of West Bengal beyond the city limits!
Shibpur is a port town located on the banks of the Hooghly river in West Bengal. Shibpur has been an important trade hub since the Mughal era. It is home to Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, where you can find over 12,000 species of vegetation worldwide, including plants from Nepal, Malaysia, and Brazil. Don't miss the great banyan tree, a massive tree with a circumference of over 486 metres, standing tall for centuries. Shibpur is one of the best places to visit near Kolkata for nature lovers and history buffs.
Distance from Kolkata: 11 km
Best time to visit: November - February
2. Dakshineswar Kali Temple
If you're looking for nearby places to visit in Kolkata, you can't go wrong with the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. Situated on the eastern banks of the Hooghly river in the small town of Dakshineswar, this stunning Hindu temple is a must-see destination for anyone looking for a tourist spot near Kolkata.
The beauty and charm of Dakshineswar Kali Temple are truly remarkable - so much so that a trip to places near Kolkata is often considered incomplete without a visit to this temple. Not only is it steeped in spiritual history, with the mystic sage Ramakrishna Paramahansa and his wife Sarada Devi associated with it, but it also has a fascinating socio-political history.
Founded by Rani Rashmoni of Bengal in 1855, the temple was opened just two years before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, India's first war of independence. The temple's architecture is also noteworthy, as it features the traditional 'nava-ratna' or nine spires style from the Bengal School of Architecture. So whether you're a history buff or a spiritual seeker, Dakshineswar Kali Temple is worth a visit when exploring places near Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 13 km
Best time to visit: October to March, 06:00 am to 12:30 pm and 03:00 pm to 08:30 pm
3. Santragachhi Jheel
Santragachhi Jheel is a hidden wonder located near the Santragachi railway station. This large lake offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and is especially popular among birdwatchers looking for serene places to visit near Kolkata within 100 kilometres . During winter, particularly in December and January, the lake becomes a haven for migratory birds. Their numbers have increased in recent years due to decreased visits to other destinations, such as the lakes in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata. For nature lovers and bird enthusiasts, Santragachhi Jheel is one of the best places to visit near Kolkata within 100 kilometres.
Distance from Kolkata: 14 km
Best time to visit: December - January
4. New Town Eco Park
You don’t need to look further than the New Town Eco Park if you are looking for nearby places to visit in Kolkata. The New Town Eco Park is one of the largest urban parks in India. The park is a haven for nature lovers with its beautiful coconut tree-lined promenade and various gardens dedicated to specific plants, including roses, bamboo, and tea. Plus, adventure seekers can enjoy activities such as archery, boating, kayaking, zorbing, and shooting. The butterfly garden is a must-visit for all ages, and in the evenings, the park is magical for a leisurely walk. The sheer beauty of this park makes the eco-park one of the top places to go near Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 18 km
Best time to visit: October - February
5. Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary
For those interested in exploring exciting places near Kolkata, the Chintamani Kar Bird sanctuary, known as ‘Kayaler Bagan’ among the locals, is a must-visit destination. Situated in the heart of Kolkata, this sanctuary is home to various avifauna and insect fauna, including birds, butterflies, insects, land molluscs, reptiles, and mammals. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature by experiencing the rich flora and fauna found at Chintamani Kar Bird sanctuary, an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.
Distance from Kolkata: 22 km
Best time to visit: Spring and winter months
6. Kolkata Snake Park
Calling all thrill-seekers! If you're up for an adrenaline-pumping experience, the Kolkata Snake Park is the place for you. While your friends might occasionally make you feel like you're surrounded by massive snakes, these creatures pale compared to the real ones you'll encounter at Snake Park. Spread across 2 acres of lush greenery, this park is one of the top tourist places near Kolkata. It's not for the faint-hearted, though, as you'll come face to face with snakes like the king cobra, python, and marsh crocodiles. You can channel your inner Bear Grylls as you venture through the dozens of snake pits. Are you ready to take on this heart-racing adventure?
Distance from Kolkata: 26 km
Best time to visit: July to September
For history enthusiasts in Kolkata, Barrackpore is a destination worth exploring. This town, located in West Bengal, is the oldest cantonment in India and played a crucial role in the 1857 Indian Mutiny led by Mangal Pandey. This mutiny was a turning point in India's fight for independence, inspiring freedom fighters and leading to the dissolution of the East India Company. Barrackpore is one of the top places to visit near Kolkata, if you want to explore India's rich history and its fight for independence. The place will surely leave a lasting impact on you.
Distance from Kolkata: 26 km
Best time to visit: October - March
If you are looking for top places to visit near Kolkata, Achipur is a destination that's not to be missed! This little corner of West Bengal offers a taste of authentic Chinese culture and heritage, thanks to its history as an old Chinese colony. Achipur is named after the Chinese businessman Atchew Tong and is a gateway to learning about the history of the Chinese community. You can even enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Hooghly river and take in the stunning views of the surroundings. While Achipur is one of the quietest and most peaceful places to visit near Kolkata, it comes alive during the Chinese New Year celebrations when the whole area turns into a bustling fairground. So if you're interested in exploring the history of the Chinese community or want a fun day out, head over to Achipur and immerse yourself in the unique blend of Indian and Chinese cultures.
Distance from Kolkata: 32 km
Best time to visit: During the Chinese New Year celebration
Discover this hidden wonder of Kolkata by exploring places to visit near Kolkata within 100 kilometres. One such place is the beautiful town of Serampore, only 25 kilometres away from Kolkata. Serampore is a place that oozes history and culture, and as a traveller, you will love exploring its many gems. From the well-preserved Serampore College, the oldest degree-granting college in India, to the beautiful St. Olav's Church, which still bears the monogram of King Christian VII of Denmark-Norway. Walk through the neoclassical-style Goswami Rajbari or visit Unique Lodge, an old family home now serving as a museum. Don't forget to visit the cemeteries where William Carey and other historical figures rest in peace. Serampore is a perfect day-long getaway that takes you back in time and offers a glimpse into the unique history of this old colonial town. Places to go near Kolkata don't get much better than this!
Distance from Kolkata: 39 km
Best time to visit: Anytime during the year. Although, it is advisable to steer clear during monsoon
If you are looking for whimsical places to visit near Kolkata, your search ends with Chandannagar. Chandannagar is a nearby place to visit in Kolkata that should definitely be included in your travel itinerary. This historic town showcases the French legacy in India, dating back to the late 17th century. The city features charming French-style architecture, including the Sacred Heart Church, Heritage Museum, and French Cemetery, the must-visit places to see. Don't miss out on exploring the unique Patal Bari, which is submerged in water during high tide, and the picturesque Mango Garden, perfect for a peaceful escape.
Distance from Kolkata: 45 km
Best time to visit: Anytime, except monsoon season
It is not for nothing that Chinsurah is known as the “Europe on the Ganges”. The mystical beauty of Chinsurah is a result of its rich legacy, which has inspired renowned author Ruskin Bond to write the famous story Sussana’s Seven Husbands. This town has a significant European influence, evident in its architecture, as it was once a port for Dutch settlers. Among the many famous attractions are the Dutch Gardens, the Dutch Cemetery, and the Octagonal Tomb of Susanna Anna Marina. These are just some reasons why Chinsurah is considered one of the most charming places near Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 50 km
Best time to visit: Anytime
Sundarbans is a stunning tourist spot near Kolkata that tops the list when looking for the nearest tourist spot, Kolkata. Sundarbans make for an excellent option for a weekend getaway. Located in West Bengal, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses one of the most extensive mangrove forests in the world, spanning over 14,000 hectares of land. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride amidst the dense forests and spot exotic flora and fauna. The forest has over 300 species of plants and a wide variety of wildlife, including the endangered Bengal tiger. The state government has taken measures to protect the forest and promote ecotourism, making it a must-visit destination.
Distance from Kolkata: 98 km
Best time to visit: September - March
We are sure this list of top tourist places near Kolkata must have inspired you to plan a trip to the nearest tourist spot, Kolkata. And since you'll already be in Kolkata, you can't miss out on the best street food dishes and places in Kolkata. Indulge in mouthwatering treats like kathi rolls, phuchka, and jhal muri at popular food joints like Nizam's and Vardaan Market.
But to truly experience the city's cultural richness, why not consider exploring the Rajbaris near Kolkata? These heritage properties offer a glimpse into the grandeur of old Kolkata and are perfect for those looking for a unique and authentic stay.