The best place to start a Calcutta trip is from College Street. It is an entire street filled with only bookshops. You get all kinds of books here. On myriad subjects. The entire place has a culture of its own. It is very colourful and bubbling with energy. Places like Coffee House or Presidency College reek of history. The Naxalite movement began here. Every lane has a story to tell, a different era to revisit. Some of the really old buildings of the city are near here.
Park Street is the heart of Kolkata, with its variety of cuisines and the pretty giftshops. Buildings like St. Xaviers College and Stephen Court are remnants of the British rule here.
This is the biggest shopping arena in the city where you literary get everything. This place is very interesting because sweaty, haggling hawkers are juxtaposed against the majesty of the Grand Hotel. Dalhousie or Dharamtalla is a place which is infested with buildings from Calcutta's colonial past.
A museum and a seat of history. Then walk along to visit the Indian Museum, the Government Art College and Birla Planetarium.
Academy of Fine Arts, Mohur Kunj and Nandan are places of cultural interest. The Kolkata intellectual community dominates this area. You can catch movies or plays at these places, or be lucky to watch a live performance of any artist. Rabindra Sadan leads to Camac Street, where each street is different and alive with the hustle of city life. But in the nooks there are quaint little Tibetan shops with their peaceful dark décor and delicious food.
Not the most interesting places, but definitely a Kolkata trip remains incomplete without exploring this bit.
The best time to visit this place is right before the Durga Pujo, the largest event in the city in October. Because this is the place all the idols are made and it looks beautiful. But anytime in the year too, one may get to meet the talented and skilled workers. there are idols being made all the year round.