If you have time at hand, go to the Coffee House at College Street which is over fifty years old. It's a favourite place for gossiping and gathering for people for all ages. Apart from hot and cold coffee, you'll also get fried snacks.
Submitted by Abhishek
Bengali people are very proud of their culture, and there is lots of to see in and around Calcutta. If you have come here, it is worth driving down for a coupe of hours, or a taking train, to Shantiniketan, the university town established by Rabindranath Tagore. The best part is they have kept it exactly as it was. They haven't commercialised it at all. You still get that old-world feel. Also, the World Cup will be played around February-March, which is spring - the best time to visit Shantiniketan. It is known for its celebration of the festival of Holi, or Basant Utsab as we call it. You have got to experience Holi here at least once. Deep Dasgupta
Take a boat ride
Cruise down to Sunderban through the Hooghly. Calcutta was built on either side of the river. You can see old buildings, small towns on the banks through the cruise. Deep Dasgupta
Walk through the city
Take an organised walk through Chowringhee or a three-hour river cruise. You'll get a glimpse of everything from the colonial heritage to Park Street razzmatazz and Kolkata aristocracy. Contact www.calcuttawalks.com for details. Costs from Rs 1250 per person.
Shop in New Market
Amble through New Market, a century-old market that's hard to beat for ambience. The better shopping has shifted to boutiques and malls, but look out for kitschy bargains.
Walk - the best way to see Kolkata, especially the older parts of the city, is to walk. Walk around the Maidan area - the lungs of the city - and New Market/Park Street/Chowringhee, and around north Kolkata, the Indian quarter where the rich merchants and landlords built their stately houses.
Submitted by Space Crunch
Keep an open mind
Kolkata has some of the most squalid and abject poverty in any Indian metro but it has a charm that has attracted travellers for a couple of centuries. If you open your mind you can look beyond the filth you can still see traces of what was once the second city of the Empire, the mercantile and cultural cutting edge of India.
Submitted by Aparna Jain