10 Fun Things You Can Do In Kolkata For INR 50 Or Less

Editors posted on 18 August
Want to get to know the City of Joy, but are on a budget? Here’s a list of things you can do for under INR 50. It has plenty of incredible sights, attractions and strolls that are all-in, no strings attached cheap AF. From gorgeous city parks to boat rides past the Howrah Bridge, Kolkata  is a city waiting to be cracked open and explored.

Gawk At Ancient Art & Books At Victoria Memorial

One of the city’s most iconic locations, Victoria Memorial is so much more than just a pretty monument. This huge all white palace was built between 1906 and 1921 in Indo-Saracenic revivalist style and dedicated to Queen Victoria. The VM has over 20 galleries inside — the royal gallery, the national leaders gallery, the portrait gallery, central hall, the sculpture gallery, the arms and armoury gallery and more. It houses a large collection of the works of English landscape painter Thomas Daniell and his nephew, William Daniell. They have some rare and antiquarian books such as the illustrated works of William Shakespeare, the Arabian Nights, the Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam. At the palace museum, you can gawk at the Queen’s gowns, accessories, vintage interiors and furnishings.  All through the year, the place hosts events like art exhibitions, book readings and talks, and concerts. And these are all free. 

Entry: INR 10 and INR 20.

Museums

1, Queens Way, Kolkata

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Take A Tram Ride

Take your camera and set out on a tram ride. Kolkata Tramways offers some very scenic routes where you can travel amidst old heritage sites, historical buildings, and the lush green of the Maidan. If you want a tour of old Calcutta, try tram route 36/8, which starts from Kidderpore, and goes via B.B.D. Bag, Chitpur, and ends at Esplanade and Bagbazaar. For heritage and nature, try route 30, which goes from Kalighat to Howrah Station and takes you through the lush spaces of Maidan and the famous Strand Road. There’s also a scenic route on the southern side – route 25 from Gariahat to Esplanade – that takes you through iconic places like Elliott Road and Lenin Sarani. Kolkata Tramways also runs its own heritage tour. 

Tickets: INR 20.

Sip On The Sharbat at Paramount

This iconic joint in College Street is close to completing a hundred years. Started by freedom fighter Nihar Ranjan Majumdar in 1918, Paramount used to be a facade for a revolutionary den — legends like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Pulin Behari Das and Satin Sen held secret meetings using the shop as a camouflage. Sharbat was an excuse – the real agenda  was nurturing the Swadeshi movement. Apart from political leaders, Paramount has hosted Kazi Nazrul Islam, SD Burman, Satyajit Ray, Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen… the list of stalwarts is endless. Have the daab sharbat, cocoa malai, green mango, and the vanilla sharbat. You can carry bottled sharbat syrups home too. 

Price: From INR 40.
Juice & Milkshake Shops

1/1/1-D, Bankim Chatterjee Street, College Square, College Street, Kolkata

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Take A Ride On The Ganges

The city is situated on the banks of the Hooghly, a distributary of the Ganga. Walk down to the ghats to enjoy the most spectacular sunsets over the river. You can get a boat or a ferry, particularly in the evenings — the view is beautiful when the Howrah Bridge is lit up. It gives you goosebumps when the boat makes it way slowly down the Hooghly and the magnificent bridge comes closer and closer till you are sailing under it. It’s perfect for a romantic evening out on the water. You’ll even get very ‘Titanic’ pictures! 

Tickets: INR 5 to 10.

Have Coffee With Legends

The Indian Coffee House is a Kolkata legend, and was around much before Barista and Starbucks came along. Just opposite the Presidency College on the historic College Street, it plays host to an eclectic crowd of college students chilling over adda (including those who have passed out but keep coming back to this spot) and coffee. Originally called Albert Hall, it was founded in 1876. The likes of eminent personalities like Rabindranath Tagore and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose have frequented the iconic Coffee House. This place with its humongous high-ceilinged hall has been the breeding ground of several political and cultural movements.

Price for a cup of coffee: About INR 20.

Cafes

15, Bankim Chatterjee Street, Opp. Presidency College, College Square, Kolkata

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Get Spooked

Besides being a popular spot for photographers and botanists, one of the city’s oldest burial grounds is also infamous for paranormal activities. Bravehearts who visit the cemetery claim to see shadows moving, feeling the odd presence of the unnatural and even feeling sick upon entering. They recently held a concert inside the cemetery.

Entry: INR 20 and INR 50 with camera.

Other

184, AJC Bose Road, Mullick Bazar, Park Street Area, Kolkata

Phuchka And Jhalmuri At The Lakes

Binge away on the iconic Kolkata streetfoods, jhaalmuri and phuchka at the epic little street stalls around the Lakes in South Kolkata. But finish eating before you enter either the Lakes – food is not allowed inside.

Cost: INR 10 onwards.

Pose With The Taj Mahal At Eco Park

You can now see replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World in Kolkata. Spend an idyllic weekend taking way too many selfies and posing generic poses! Want to try your hand at archery and see how well you hit the bull’s eye? Eco Park provides shooting ranges for aspiring archers at just INR 50 for five arrows! In fact there’s tons of stuff you can do here for cheap. 

Entry: INR 20.

Parks

Major Arterial Road, Action Area 2, New Town, Kolkata

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Read A Book At India's Biggest Library

We’d go here just for the amazing green and open 30-acre space it is located in. Also because it is the biggest library in India (and one of the oldest). Established in 1936, it boasts of a collection of more than 21,00,000 books including digitised books, maps, periodicals, manuscripts etc. The best part is that membership here is free of cost, all you need is be above 18 years of age to register in the lending division and access the huge archive of books. Some of their digitised resources are even accessible online.

Entry: Free.

Libraries

Belvedere Road, Block A, Alipore, Kolkata

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Have A Sambusak At A Century Old Jewish Bakery

It’s a legendary confectionery shop that was started by a Jewish family {it is named after them} more than a century ago and has become one of the most popular food stops in the city. During Christmas, people throng here for the their rich fruit and plum cakes and Easter eggs (ironic that a Jewish bakery is now known for Christmas cakes and Easter eggs!). It was set up in 1902 by Nahoum Israel Mordecai who came to Kolkata from Baghdad. Till today, they have held on to the teakwood furniture,  glass-fronted display cases and cash till that they started with.

Cost: About INR 30.

Bakeries

F-47, Hogg Market, New Market Area, Kolkata

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