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.
Take a boat down the Hooghly
Experience a country-boat ride on the Hooghly. Go to Princep Ghat or Babu Ghat, fix a price with a boatman (between Rs 50-100), and cruise down the river the way it's been done for millennia.
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Park Street bars
Most of the many bars dotting Park Street will offer you a tipple and a snack at prices that will not pinch.
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
Tips for Travellers
Drink lots of fluid. Kolkata is humid at the best of times and a day out can leave one dehydrated. Recharge by drinking lots of water. Try the tea, too, especially when it's sold in small earthenware pots. The tea is boiled and so is safe, and the pots are broken after use and so are hygienic - and eco-friendly.