‘The City of Joy’ the perfect nickname for Kolkata. Why? Yes, the oldest metropolitan Calcutta and now Kolkata City have always come to me with full of Masti (fun), good food, especially Misti (Sweets), and much more shopping in a reasonable price. Well, good to mention first, I’m going to use some Hindi and Bengali words here, after all, Travel Kolkata Like a Local, right? 😉 Come on now explore with me…
Sorry, I just can’t remember till now how many times I did visit Kolkata. But as a true traveler, it started in 2013 and every year I do visit because I love Kolkata, India. Here I never think myself from another country, always feel like I’m in my own city, probably for the same language (Bengali), same culture and mostly same food habit.
Travel Like a Local [Marquis Street]
Travel Kolkata Like a Local: ‘Three Points’ To Recall
Learning the local language (Hindi or Bengali)
Hindi, the national language of India is most preferable always to communicate here. Just giving one example, how effective it is. This time it was a cool welcome to me by many locals from Kolkata and it was amazing hearing from them, “Aarey aageyi, itne dinoke baad” (What a pleasure! After a long came back again). Trust me, this gesture by them made me smile and replied them back with full of love and respect. Also, knowing different languages helps to boost your confidence always no matter whether it’s just for travel or some other reason.
Good understanding of culture and tradition
After all, through traveling we do get a huge chance to understand different countries different culture and tradition. And it’s a good practice if you always open your eyes to understand those more deeply for the well being of your own purpose as well. You got to know here in Kolkata all locals love their own culture. Most are Hindu in religion and from Bengali custom. They enjoy many festivals like Pohela Baishakh, Durga Puja, Deepawali, Holi. They love Bengali dishes like rice with fish curry, green vegetables and mostly sweets and sweet curd. But all varies area basis too, like in Marquis street, you’ll see only Bihari Muslim people and they love to practice Hindi and their favorite food choice is beef with roti (bread). But in Gariahat you will see all Bengali people only and they follow the Bengali culture.
Ability to mix with local people
Most importantly, you must have the ability to mix with local peoples, yes, it’s needed your body language matters a lot when you are from another country. Your presence should be friendly, healthy and of course by maintaining all limits. A solo female traveler must know how to maintain that when traveling in India and it’s in Asia 🙂 The same example used for language can also be mentioned here as it shows how smartly, you can handle a situation in terms of language, culture and your own approach, actually all related to each other.
How about Budget Travel in Kolkata?
Well, let’s try to save some money and find out some standard, but less cost destinations to move around. And here how I travelled like a local in Kolkata, India 🙂
Where to Stay
Every time I have chosen Marquis Street, good to stay here, many budgets but standard hotels are available. You can try Hotel 21, Paradise Hotel International or Paradise Guest House to stay. Easy communication service available from this street, mostly connected with main areas and places through tram, bus, taxi and auto in low fare. Good for shops and eat nearby. By walking you can go to many popular streets and travel destinations. My favorite Sudder Street and Park Street are also near from this area. The Chitpur Railway Station is also near from Marquis Street and many Dhaka to Kolkata bus services are available as well.
Popular Yellow Taxi in Kolkata [Elgin Road]
Where to Eat
Many, many places you can do that so. Unbelievably, food lovers you must visit Kolkata at least once if you try to taste ‘Many Varieties in Food’. Many tasty street foods are available. Oh worry about hygiene, come on try once, it is. And of course, many veg and non-veg restaurants are available in every street. My favorite Bengali cuisine restaurant is Kasturi, it’s not budget restaurant and for that you can try Arafat and Dawat restaurant on Marquis Street. Oh yes, and for this summer must try pure fruit juices from almost every corner of the street. I love that always 🙂
Find More: Seven Best Restaurants in Kolkata To Try
Yummy Street food for breakfast at Marquis Street, Kolkata
Where to Visit
Just take a bus from near Arafat hotel, opposite of Marquis Street and visit nearby popular travel destinations like The Indian Coffee House on College Street, this one also known as Boi Para. And then you can go for Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Park, Missionaries Of Charity Motherhouse, New Market and Esplanade. If you love movies, then you can enjoy one show at New Empire Cinema nearby New Market, here ticket price is really very less but worth to watch here. From Esplanade you can catch the metro and make a visit at Oxford Bookstore on Park Street, a must visit place for all book lovers.
Find More: Top 3 Things To Do in Kolkata
Missionaries of Charity
Where to Shop
For western outfits in a reasonable price I always prefer many boutique shops in Sudder Street, I love those designs a lot. And one more must visit shopping destinations mostly for girls is Gariahat market. Try once, you’ll understand why should you shop from here. Here at a very low price you’ll get very smart and classy outfits, but no quality guarantees from the street one and for that you try inside wholesale markets here. You can also go for shopping with much discounts in Big Bazaar and Baazar Kolkata at Lindsay Street. And New Market is always the most popular shopping destination for all in Kolkata.
Shopping at New Market Kolkata
Lastly, I always enjoy conversations with locals. Hey, Hi, Hello, Namaste… Lets’s start and trust me, you’ll love and enjoy your traveling. And that’s the best thing about your journey, here you get the chance to know yourself again and again with something new always 😉
And here all photos are by (©nafisa_habib) and captured with Lumia720, Walton and Nikon CoolPix P600.
One of my friend was right to say once “We are bound to fall in love with Kolkata for various good reasons“. Truly, we are 🙂 and so next I’m coming to explore with various tasty foods in Kolkata you must try once. Stay Tuned…..
Speak your mind. Do you love being in Kolkata? What attracts you the most here?