Peak Season: October to March is the best time to visit the city. October sees the beginning of autumn in Kolkata, which apart from ushering in the festival season, makes for pleasant weather. In winters, temperatures drop to as low as 9°C, and there’s occasional rainfall too.
Shoulder Season: June to September are the months when the monsoons hit Kolkata, rendering the city into lush green haven. For travellers who don’t mind the rain, this is when the city is at its most beautiful.
Off-season: April to May is the time when Kolkata is scorching hot, but after sundown, the heat is bearable. Hotel prices and air fares drop during these months, and so does the tourist population.
Budget for Kolkata
For Budget Travellers: INR 800 - 1200 a day
Accommodation in hostels and basic fan rooms in guesthouses: INR 350-700
Food in local shops and street eateries: INR 100-200
Public Transport in metro and buses: INR 5 - 100
Sightseeing (Entry-tickets & shows): INR 10 - 200 (INR 500 and upwards for foreign nationals)
For Mid-range Travellers: INR 1500 to INR 3000 a day
Accommodation in mid-range hotels and homestays with air-conditioning and TV sets: INR 1000 - 2500
Food in mid-range cafes and restaurants: INR 300 - 500
Local transport in auto-rickshaws and yellow taxis: INR 100 - 300
Sightseeing & Tours: INR 10 - 1000 (INR 500 and upwards for foreign nationals)
For Luxury Travellers: INR 7500 and upwards
Accommodation in 4* or 5* hotels: INR 5000 and upwards
Food in upscale restaurants and bars: INR 1000 and upwards
Kolkata, or Calcutta (also Cal), is a kaleidoscopic melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. There's quite possibly no Indian festival that the city doesn't celebrate with glorious hoopla. Each month sees small festive marquees popping up at every corner of the street and come October, throngs of women enwrapped in silk sarees and red bindis convene around the city, undeterred by the ever-present rains. This celebration alone is reason enough to travel to Kolkata. From the glut of vibrant attractions, the city also holds a rich vehicular heritage ranging from the big yellow taxi that floods both parts of the city (Calcutta and Howrah) divided by the reticent river Hoogly, to the hand-pulled rickshaws and rickety trams meandering the roads. Tourists will hardly ever run out of things to do in Kolkata. Starting from Kumartuli, a traditional potters’ quarter, famed for its sculpted idols of gods and demons, to the architectural spectacle, that is the Howrah Bridge, Kolkata city will engulf you with its sights, sounds and scents. Calcutta’s biggest, most prismatic wholesale flower market on Mullick Ghat, Victoria Memorial, the old Chinatown Tiretta Bazaar, the magnificent Nakhoda Masjid and Jorasankho (Rabindranath Tagore’s ancestral home) are few of the most picturesque places to visit in Kolkata.