Places to visit in West Bengal in India

17 Things To Know Before Travelling to West Bengal, India

1. Destination Overview of West Bengal:

West Bengal is a state in the eastern part of India, located in the eastern part of the country. It is bordered by the countries of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan, as well as the states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. West Bengal is known for its vibrant culture, its rich history, and its majestic natural beauty. It is home to some of India’s most famous tourist destinations, including Kolkata, Darjeeling, and Sundarbans National Park.

2. Top Activities to do in West Bengal:

• Visit Kolkata: The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is home to some of the country’s most iconic tourist attractions, including Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, and Indian Museum. It is also a great place to explore India’s culture, with its vibrant street markets, ornate temples, and delicious cuisine.
• Take a Trip to Darjeeling: This scenic hill station is a great destination for tourists looking to experience the best of the Himalayas. It is known for its tea plantations, breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains, and the famous Himalayan Toy Train.
• Explore Sundarbans National Park: Located in the south of West Bengal, Sundarbans National Park is home to the world’s largest population of Bengal tigers. It is also a great place to explore the region’s rich wildlife, with its diverse range of birds, mammals, and reptiles.
• Enjoy the Beaches of Digha: The beaches of Digha are a great destination for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. The sandy beaches and the azure waters of the Bay of Bengal make it the perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming.

3. Best Places To Stay in West Bengal:

• Luxury Places: Taj Bengal, JW Marriott, Park Plaza, ITC Sonar.
• Mid Range: Hotel Guru Vishram, The Golden Park, The Oberoi Grand, The Peerless Inn.
• Budget Friendly: Hotel Kingston, Hotel Siesta, Hotel Galaxy, Hotel New Bengal.

4. How to Travel to West Bengal?

West Bengal is well connected to other parts of India by air, rail, and road. All major cities in India have direct connections to Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. The nearest airport to Kolkata is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, which is located just 15 kilometers away from the city center. The city is also well-connected to major cities in India by railway lines.

5. Must Try Local Food and Drink in West Bengal:

• Hilsa Fish Curry: This spicy dish is made with Hilsa fish, which is a type of fish found in the rivers and streams of West Bengal. It is usually cooked with mustard, spices, and coconut milk.
• Luchi and Cholar Dal: Luchi is a deep-fried Indian bread, which is accompanied by a spicy lentil curry called Cholar Dal. This is a popular breakfast dish in West Bengal.
• Mishti Doi: This sweet yogurt-based dessert is a must-try in West Bengal. It is made with milk and jaggery, and is served chilled.
• Rosogolla: This delicious sweet is made with cheese and sugar syrup, and is a favorite of West Bengal.
• Bhapa Ilish: This is a popular dish in West Bengal and is made with steamed Hilsa fish and mustard sauce.

6. Best Places to Eat in West Bengal:

• Flury’s: This famous confectionery in Kolkata is known for its delicious pastries, cakes, and sandwiches.
• Oh! Calcutta: This restaurant specializes in Bengali cuisine and has a variety of dishes to offer.
• Bhojohori Manna: This popular Bengali restaurant in Kolkata serves traditional meals and has a variety of dishes to choose from.
• Mocambo: This is one of the oldest restaurants in Kolkata and is known for its delicious seafood dishes.
• 6 Ballygunge Place: This is a popular eatery in Kolkata and serves a variety of Bengali and North Indian dishes.

7. Weather and Climate:

West Bengal has a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. The best time to visit West Bengal is between October and March, when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. July and August are the hottest months of the year and should be avoided.

8. Local Customs and Etiquette in West Bengal:

West Bengal is a conservative state and it is important to dress modestly in public. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothing, and men should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts. It is also important to be respectful of religious sites and traditions.

9. Popular Scams in West Bengal:

• Pickpockets: Pickpocketing is a common problem in crowded areas such as markets and railway stations. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings and keep their valuables close.
• Taxi Scams: Tourists should be wary of taxi drivers who try to charge more than the agreed fare. Always agree on a fare before getting into the taxi.
• Fake Guides: Fake guides may offer to show visitors around and charge exorbitant fees. It is best to avoid them and hire a reliable guide through a reputable agency.

10. Suggested Trip Duration:

West Bengal can be explored in a minimum of 5 days, and up to 10 days for a more comprehensive experience.

11. Total Estimated Budget Per Person:

Stay: $25 – $200 per night
Food: $10 – $20 per day
Activities: $10 – $50 per activity
Tickets: $10 – $50 per ticket

12. Nearby Cities:

• Kolkata (120 km)
• Darjeeling (265 km)
• Siliguri (335 km)
• Gangtok (435 km)
• Bhubaneswar (540 km)

13. Local Language and Communication in West Bengal:

The official language of West Bengal is Bengali. English is also widely spoken in the state. There are English-speaking guides available at most tourist sites.

14. Accepted Currency and Money:

The Indian rupee is the official currency of West Bengal. Major credit cards and debit cards are accepted at most places. Tipping is not expected but appreciated.

15. Health and Medical Information:

No vaccinations are required to visit West Bengal, but visitors should take precautions against mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Medical facilities are available in major cities, but for emergencies, it is best to contact the nearest embassy or consulate.

16. Packing Tips for West Bengal:

Visitors should pack light, comfortable clothing and shoes, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and insect repellent. A light raincoat and an umbrella are also recommended.

17. To Sum Up:

West Bengal is a beautiful destination in India, known for its vibrant culture, its rich history, and its majestic natural beauty. From the iconic Howrah Bridge in Kolkata to the stunning Himalayan views in Darjeeling and the abundant wildlife in the Sundarbans National Park, there is something for everyone to enjoy in West Bengal.

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