From the aromatic tea gardens of Darjeeling or the splashing sea waves towards the coast of the Bay of Bengal (the largest bay in the world)- West Bengal tourism has always been pouring with engaging attractions. In fact, it is not just about the tourists, the heart-warming and welcoming locals of the state have created a new world where prevails an amusing culture.
Durga Pooja celebrations, Bengal Tiger, Toy Trains of Darjeeling, and Sundarbans are some of those things that have constantly been boosting tourism in West Bengal.
The state has been much embellished with striking architecture like the Metropolitan Building, General Post Office, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and of course, Victoria Memorial.
Matching the footsteps with thriving modernization, there is no wonder that West Bengal has preserved its brilliant past as well. Mountains, coastal areas, or plains; travelers have wider options to choose something that best matches their style. We have arrayed brimming information in this West Bengal Travel Guide for the ease of travelers like you.
An insight about West Bengal Tourism
The enormous state of West Bengal has a huge array of options when it comes to tourism. The fun and experience offered by the entire state match its size. West Bengal is brimming with heritage sights without missing out on the serene and mesmerizing destination. Often known as the heaven for food lovers, nature enthusiasts, West Bengal has also kept the stakes for avid adventurers’ sky high.
Where some cities in the state are known for their culture and food, you will often come face to face with places that are intoxicating and spell-binding. Overlooked by the Himalayan range, there are some of the finest hill stations in India like Dooars and Darjeeling. So, whatever you wish to do, wherever you wish to go, whichever landscape intrigues you more, whatever cuisines you wish to taste- West Bengal has it all.
If you are one of those who are always keen to visit art galleries, explore offbeat destinations, enjoy the local shopping centers; the state is dotted with plenty of such attractions.
How to Reach
West Bengal is one of the most visited states of India. If you are planning on visiting here you can choose any of the three modes to travel. It depends on your budget, time, and destinations you wish to cover. However, here are the options available for you.
If you don’t want to spend much effort and time on traveling then the best way to commute is by airplane. West Bengal has two major airports Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose located in Kolkata and Bagdogra International Airport serving Siliguri. Both these airports are active international ports and regular flights to & from different states and countries ply from both of these.
You can get down at any of these airports and cabs are readily available around the clock. You can rent one to your destination.
Although there are approximately 20 railway stations in West Bengal, there are 5 main and probably the busiest of them all. Namely- Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Kharagpur, and New Jalpaiguri. Trains from different states ply to and from these stations. If you are planning on taking a train to your next destination anywhere in West Bengal; you can get down at any of these stations (whichever is nearest to your destination.)
All these stations are busy throughout the day around the year so you will have no difficulty in finding a taxi, cab, or auto anytime in the day.
People taking a road trip to West Bengal is common and nothing out of the usual. The roads throughout the state are smooth and well-connected to all the parts. Including the National Highways that connect West Bengal to other states; the intercity road connectivity is also smooth.
Apart from intercity and intracity cabs, you also get the option of traveling via bus. The bus connections and routes are extensive all over the state making it a good mode to travel while in Bengal. While in Kolkata you can use the tram service to go from one place to other. While in Darjeeling, do not forget to enjoy the toy train ride.
Why visit West Bengal?
West Bengal is rich in culture, cuisines, attractions, and destinations. So you can plan your trip to this versatile state of the east for its temples, wildlife, adventure activities, cuisines (especially sweets), jungle safari, spirituality, museums, colonial-era monuments, hill stations, beaches, culture destinations, heritage attractions, UNESCO recognized toy train, and much more.
Best time to visit West Bengal
The best time to visit West Bengal is during the winter season which is between October and March. The weather remains comfortable throughout the day and often clear skies. It gives you a great time exploring, trying out different adventure activities, and other things to do.
However, this is not it, about West Bengal because the state has some of the best hill stations that actively host travelers and families on vacation. So, plan your tour to West Bengal keeping these two factors in mind.
Best places to visit in West Bengal
West Bengal is a huge state with a lot of top-notch places to visit. Its beautiful location between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal offers diversity in places to visit for travelers. Here is a list of the best places to visit in West Bengal:
- Jaldapara National Park
These are some of the best destinations that can be visited in West Bengal on your next trip. All these destinations have multiple eye-captivating sights, cultural heritage, and boastful monuments to keep you engaged.
Things to do in West Bengal
West Bengal offers a plethora of things to do to all travelers. There are a lot of things that would make your trip to Bengal exciting, entertaining, and unforgettable. From exploring the serene lanes of Darjeeling or Dooars to spending time at the cultural cities like Shantiniketan; West Bengal will spoil you with options and choices.
The list of things to do in West Bengal is simply endless and for every kind of traveler. A few intriguing things to do in different cities of this Eastern State of India include trekking, paragliding, bird watching, jungle safari, savoring delicacies, hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, enjoying water parks, exploring museums, shopping, and much more.
Where to stay in West Bengal
Accommodation in West Bengal is top-notch and the state boasts a variety of options. All these accommodation options cater to the needs of travelers. The list of hotels in West Bengal starts from 3 stars and goes up to having multiple 5-star luxury hotels in different cities. Some of the finest options include:
- Fortune Park Panchwati
- Polo Floatel Kolkata
- The Vedic Village
- ITC Royal Bangalore
- The Oberoi Grand Kolkata
- Courtyard by Marriott Siliguri
What to eat in West Bengal
West Bengal is one of those places that delight the foodies. From the world-famous Rossogulla and Mishti Doi to Fish-Rice and Indo-Chinese Fusion. There are a lot of delicious food options available throughout the state. All you need to think about is selecting from the menu (which becomes difficult at times.) Some of the best cuisines of West Bengal are:
- Bhetki machh’er paturi ( a non-vegetarian dish)
- Shukto (vegetarian dish)
- Shaag Begun Borir Ghonto (vegetarian dish)
- Ilish (Hilsha) machh’er jhol ( non-vegetarian dish)
- Phool kopi’r dalna (vegetarian dish)
- Pomfret machh’er jhol (non-vegetarian dish)
- Potol’er dolma (vegetarian dish)
Shopping places in West Bengal
There are plenty of reasons why you should take a tour of West Bengal. One of them is surely shopping. West Bengal is a wonderful and colorful place with an extensive array of options when it comes to shopping. From local roadside shops to local markets and shopping marts; you name it Bengal has it?
Bengal is famous for Bengali sarees and exotic handicraft items. You can visit the local shops and check out the entire market for something that you would love to have. While going out on a spree keep in mind that the shopping will remain incomplete if you didn’t shop for your sweetmeat. So, create a list of items before heading out.
Here are some of the best places to shop:
- New Market, Kolkata
- Oxford Book store
- Dakshinapan shopping centre
- Bara Bazaar
- Hong Kong Market
A few interesting facts about West Bengal
There are some interesting facts that lure people time and again. Some of them are listed below:
- Indian Museum is the largest Indian Museum
- First underground metro in India
- The only place where you will get tram service in India
- Rickshaw pullers still exist
- Ghum Railway Station of Siliguri is the highest altitude railway station in India
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1999 by UNESCO.
- The Great Banyan Tree of Shibpur Botanical Garden is approximately 250 years old and a wonderful site for nature lovers.
- Has the third largest cricket stadium in the world- Eden Garden
- Kolkata Book Fair happens to be the third-largest book fair in the world.
- They have some of the best Indo-Chinese fusion food.