Did you know? West Bengal is the only Indian state which has the Himalayas, beaches, innumerable rivers, and the Dooars Forests! Seems like the most loved child of geography.
Stretching from tea-clad Himalayan slopes to the emerald mangroves of the Bay of Bengal, West Bengal is truly a vacationer’s delight. The intellectual and artistic realms of Shantiniketan, Sundarbans outlined by mangroves, marvels of Kolkata, the sacred aura of Kalimpong and Mayapur, and toy train rides in Darjeeling are sure to enchant you during your vacation in West Bengal.
Furthermore, decorative terracotta Hindu temples of Bishnupur, laid-back vibes of Siliguri, beach delight in Digha, and the historical significance of Murshidabad is sure to leave you spellbound.
Stroll through the European trading towns and let the age-old structures overwhelm you. The hill towns welcome you with their fresh, aromatic breeze. Moreover, the colossal Khangchendzonga greets you in most of the destinations you explore.
Have you imagined such a companion who is imposing yet beautiful? So, if a vacation to West Bengal is on your cards, here we have some of the best places to visit in West Bengal for an unprecedented holiday.
Best Places to Visit in West Bengal
1. Kolkata – City of Joy
2. Sundarbans – The Largest Delta Region and Unique Mangroves
3. Darjeeling – Ride the UN Heritage Toy Train
4. Kalimpong – Flavors of Buddhism
5. Siliguri – The Triple ‘T’ Famous City
6. Digha- The beach delight
7. Shantiniketan – Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s masterpiece
8. Bishnupur – Tremendous terracotta temples
9. Mayapur – Spirituality and history entwined
10. Murshidabad – A historical pocket
A metropolitan city, Kolkata is the capital city of West Bengal. It is the leader in the fields of arts, literature, music, drama, and theatre, which makes it a must-visit place in West Bengal. Several nobel laureates are known to have contributed to the culture of this city. This is the erstwhile educational, commercial, and cultural centre of Eastern India. Initially recognized as the hub of Mother Teresa’s charitable tasks, Kolkata is now looked upon as the cultural capital of India.
In some pockets, the time has stopped as you can see in its crumbling buildings. Adding to its age-old charm, this is the only city in the country that has a tram network and hand-pulled rickshaws.
With a host of places to visit in Kolkata, you will have a gala time during your trip to this city. And what’s more? The metropolis has been featured in many Bollywood flicks such as Kahaani, Barfi, Piku, Lootera, and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.
Famous For: Historical architecture, street food, festivals, and relics of the British era
Time Required: 2-3 days
Best Time to Visit Kolkata: October to March
Places to Visit in Kolkata
- Howrah Bridge
- Jorasanko Thakurbari
- Park Street
- Indian Museum
- Victoria Memorial
- Dakshineswar Kali Temple
- St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kolkata
- Kalighat Kali Temple
- Science City Kolkata
- Mother House
How to Reach: Kolkata is well connected by flight, rail, and roadways.
Places to Visit Near Kolkata: Midnapore, Hooghly
Located at a distance of about 110 km from Kolkata, Sundarbans is the world’s largest mangrove and the UNESCO World Heritage site. Also, it is the biggest delta region on earth formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal.
Due to its fertility, it is home to a number of flora and fauna species, including the Royal Bengal Tiger – the most untamed wildlife species. If you love to explore the wildlife, Sundarbans is one of the best places to visit in West Bengal.
Currently, the site is populated by almost 250 tigers, several birds, reptiles, and invertebrates such as crocodiles. Sundarbans is also the biggest estuarine woods on earth, where streams and tributaries muddle. These water flows are united by tidal channels and a network of little mangrove islands. Owing to all this, Sundarbans is an unmissable tourist place.
Famous For: White tigers, trekking, and pristine natural reserve
Timings: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Entry fee: INR 60 per person
Time required: 1-2 days
Best Time to Visit Sunderbans: September to March
Places to Visit in Sundarbans
- Sundarbans National Park
- Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower
- Sanjhikheli WatchTower
- Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary and Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project/li>
How to Reach: Canning is the nearest railway station to Sundarbans (48 km). You can board a train to Canning from Kolkata and continue ahead by waterways to reach Sundarbans.
Places to Visit Near Sundarbans: Sagar Island, Kanak Island
[ Plan Your Short Escape to Sunderbans ]
Silver Kanchenjunga peaks, pine-scented slopes, bright orchids, aromatic tea estates, and a toy train ride are just a few attractions that draw travelers to Darjeeling. Once the summer retreat of the British, the place oozes with old-world charisma combined with contemporary charm. Apart from these aspects, Darjeeling tea is well-known all over the planet. Its pleasant weather makes it one of the best places to visit in West Bengal.
You can enjoy vacations in the summers, which will give you a soothing respite from the scorching heat of the bustling cities. A trip to Darjeeling treats you with myriad experiences as well as amazing sightseeing along with a visit to the blissful monasteries. Additionally, you can savor delicious Tibetan fare.
Famous For: Tea estates, handmade artifacts, and Tibetian fare
Time Required: 4-7 days
Best Time to Visit Darjeeling: February to March, September to December
Places to Visit in Darjeeling
- Tiger Hill
- Darjeeling Zoo
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
- Darjeeling Ropeway
- Batasia Loop
- Observatory Hill
- Mahakal Temple
- Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park
- Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda
- Dali Monastery
- Kanchenjunga Viewpoints
- Happy Valley Tea Estate
How to Reach: Board a train or hire a cab to Siliguri. From there, you can directly reach Darjeeling by train or bus.
Places to Visit Near Darjeeling: Siliguri, Kalimpong
Replete with monasteries, Himalayan scenery, glass-like lakes, emerald gardens, and British architecture; Kalimpong exudes laid-back vibes, perfect for a relaxing vacay. It is a small hill town in the northern region of Darjeeling that spells serene charm. Sprawling along a saddle-shaped mountain ridge, the town overlooks the untamed Teesta River.
Khangchendzonga peak empowers over the place, blessing it with ethereal beauty. If you are into hiking, grab some of the best experiences here. If you love nature, Darjeeling is one of the most beautiful places to visit in West Bengal for a great holiday experience. Also, a holiday in Kalimpong is for you if you are an adventure enthusiast, food aficionado, or want to indulge in the serenity of temples and monasteries, apart from admiring nature-kissed environs.
Famous For: flower export industry, an erstwhile trade gateway between Britain and India, several adventure avenues
Time Required: 1-2 days
Best Time to Visit Kalimpong: March to June, September to December
Places to Visit in Kalimpong
- Deolo Hill
- Hanuman Temple
- Pratima Devi Tagore House
- Lepcha Museum
- Tharpa Choling Monastery
- MacFarlane Memorial Church
- Jelepla Viewpoint
- Teesta Bazaar
- Morgan’s House
- Shanti Kunj Nursery
- Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Monastery
- Neora Valley National Park
- TiffinDara Viewpoint
- Rishi Bankim Chandra Park
- Crookety House
- Thongsa Gompa
- Nurseryman’s Haven
- Dr. Graham’s Home
- Nature Interpretation Centre
How to Reach: Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Kalimpong, which is connected to several Indian cities. Delhi, Kolkata, and Guwahati have direct flights to Bagdogra airport. From the airport, you can hire taxis to reach Kalimpong.
Places to Visit Near Kalimpong: Chuikhim, Pabong, Siliguri
A picture-perfect destination, Siliguri presents a beautiful blend of nature-kissed scenery and urban culture. This is the second most important city in West Bengal after Kolkata. Its snowy mountain peaks, aromatic tea estates, rich wildlife, and several sacred sites with amusement options makes it one of the stunning places to visit in West Bengal. The pleasing city at the foothills offers plenty of wildlife safari opportunities as well.
The Jaldapara National Park is a prime attraction of Siliguri. Spread over an area of around 215 km, this park is home to riverine forests and grasslands. It is also known for its population of Royal Bengal Tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinos, and species of deer. Visit this place in Siliguri and enjoy an elephant ride. While in Siliguri, do not forget to visit North Bengal Wild Animals Park,which is spread over an area of 300 hectares and contains a wide range of flora and fauna.
Famous For: Tea, tourism, and timber
Time Required: 1-2 days
Best Time: October to February
Places to Visit in Siliguri
- Salugara Monastery
- ISKCON Temple
- Mahananda Weir Wildlife Sanctuary
- The Science City
- Sevoke Kali Mandir
- Madhuban Park
- Coronation Bridge
- Savin Kingdom
- Hong Kong Market
- Chilapata Forest
- Kanchenjunga Stadium
- Lokenath Temple
- Sed-Gyued Monastery
- Tea Garden
- Suryasen Park
How to Reach: Bagdogra airport is the nearest to Siliguri and connected with various cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Kolkata, and Chennai. Bangkok and Paro are among the international destinations that have flight connectivity with Bagdogra airport.
New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station and is connected with New Delhi and Mumbai along with many cities of West Bengal.
Siliguri is well connected through West Bengal State Road Transport Corporation (WBSRTC) and some private travel services with several cities around.
Places to Visit Near Siliguri: Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Mirik
This is a coastal resort town that draws vacationers for exciting beach activity at Digha Beach. It is not just lovely but also clean and offers the most beautiful sunset in West Bengal. Apart from this, Digha has many other beaches that are pristine and scenic. The place is the perfect vacation spot for families and couples alike. Additionally, it is a much-preferred destination for a refreshing weekend getaway. Apart from beaches, Digha is dotted by museums, temples, and research centers. So, get ready to delight in a pleasurable holiday to Digha in West Bengal.
Famous For: One of the world’s widest beaches
Time Required: 2 days
Best Time to Visit Digha: October to February
Places to Visit in Digha
- Amarabati Park
- Digha Science Centre and National Science Camp
- Digha Mohona Watch Point
- Talaseri BeachDigha Gate
- New Digha Beach
- Marine Aquarium & Regional Centre
- Wonderland Kajal Dighi
- Biswa Bangla Park Old Digha
- Biswa Bangla Park Old Digha
How to Reach: The nearest International Airport is Kolkata (186 km away). You can also reach Digha by bus services. Howrah and Kharagpur offer train connectivity to Digha.
Places to Visit Near Dighas: Kharagpur, Kolkata
In the neighborhood of Bolpur, Shantiniketan literally translates to the abode of peace. Shantiniketan witnessed the rise of schools established by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore with just five students and five teachers. His vision is now transformed into a university town – Visva-Bharati University.
It was initially christened Brahmacharya Ashram, following the ancient forest hermitages’ tradition. It is noteworthy that Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore built the very first building in the area (in 1863) that was a guest house.
What made Shantiniketan different from other schools is its approach to holding classes. Unlike common norms, Shantiniketan held classes under a tree, where students can learn amidst nature. Students were also provided with free food and not charged anything for education.
Famous For: With several courses in various fields, Shantiniketan is most famous for Sangeet Bhavan (the music department) and Kala Bhavan (the art department).
Time Required: 2 days
Best Time to Visit Shantiniketan: July to March
Places to Visit in Shantiniketan
- Biswa Bharati Campus
- Kankalitala temple
- Amar Kutir
- Khoai boner hat
How to Reach: Bolpur is well-connected by regular trains from Kolkata, Bardhaman, Howrah, and Sealdah. You can also reach Bolpur by frequent bus services from Kolkata.
Places to Visit Near Shantiniketan: Kalikapur Rajbari, Ghurisha
A town in Bankura Dist, Bishnupur is now being planned as the state’s first heritage city. Blessed by a glorious past, the town hails from the 694 AD period in the annals of history. Its architecture is unique and known for detailed terracotta work that still stands intact. Its terracotta tiles illustrate episodes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
It is not just Bishnupur’s terracotta temples that have earned fame to its name but also its terracotta jewelry, pottery, and artifacts. Additionally, the town is also popular for the Bishnupur School of Painting and School of Hindustani Music.
Famous For: Medieval terracotta temples and Baluchari sarees
Time Required: 2-3 days
Best Time to Visit in Bishnupur: October to March
Places to Visit in Bishnupur
- Radhe Govind Temple
- Shyam Ray Temple
- Dalmadal Kaman Canon
- Jorbangla Temple
- Madanmohan Temple
How to Reach: Kolkata international airport is the nearest airport to Bishnupur. Regular trains from Howrah are available to reach this town. Bishnupur also has good connectivity with Kolkata, nearby towns, and the rest of the state by bus services.
Places to Visit Near Bishnupur:
Bardhaman, Bankura, Kolkata, Shantiniketan, Midnapore
A laidback destination with a tasteful blend of spirituality and historical richness, Mayapur stands at the confluence of Jalangi and Hoogly. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Lord Krishna is believed to be born here in 1486 AD.
Founded by Bhakti saint Vinod Thakur, Mayapur is a famous Vaishnavite pilgrim centre. It is among nine dhams of the 9 sacred islands. Together, all the islands resemble a lotus flower and are known as Navadwipa. The place experiences tourists teeming from far and wide to marvel at its temples and scenery.
Famous For: Chandrodaya Temple
Time Required: 2-3 days
Best Time to Visit Mayapur: November to February
Places to Visit in Mayapur:
- ISKCON Chandrodaya Temple
- Yoga Peeth
- Goswami Maharaj Temple of Dashavatar
- Chand Kazi Samadhi
- Samadhi of Prabhupada
- Mayapur Market
- Shri Chaitanya Math
How to Reach: Kolkata international airport is the nearest airport to Mayapur. If you want to reach Mayapur by train, board a train from Howrah Junction. By road options to reach this town are many. Krishnanagar is the nearest depot to Mayapur to reach by bus or cab.
Places to Visit Near Mayapur: Kolkata, Murshidabad
Known for its historical importance, Murshidabad is among the major tourist places in West Bengal. It stands on the bank of River Bhagirathi and famous for its Mughal and British historical past. The place has been a silent spectator to many Nawabs who ruled it.
It was initially Maksudabad but when the Diwan of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa – Nawab Murshid Quli Khan shifted the capital here, he renamed the place – Murshidabad. Plassey is just 40 km from this place, where the famous battle was fought in 1757 between Nawab Siraj-ud-Doula and Lord Clive of the East India Company.
Famous For: Silk
Time Required: 2 days
Best Time to Visit Murshidabad: October to March
Places to Visit in Murshidabad
- Hazarduari Palace
- Nizamat Imambara
- Jahan Kosha Canon
How to Reach: By Air: Kolkata airport is the nearest to Murshidabad. The railway junction closest to Murshidabad is Berhampur Court. Frequent buses ply from Kolkata to Murshidabad and Berhampur.
Places to Visit near Murshidabad: Shantiniketan, Kolkata
[ Take a look at our exclusive Murshidabad Tour Packages ]