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How To Reach Kolkata

Travel Options

How to Reach Kolkata by Air

Located around 17kms from the centre of the city, the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is well-connected to all the cities in India and several cities abroad. Kolkata’s domestic terminal is clean, well-maintained and is reputed to be one of the best in the country. It has direct flights to and from several Indian cities and towns. 

The airport was rebuilt in 2013 and it is an impressive looking building. Since it can get crowded during departures, it’s a good idea to come here a little ahead of time. The airlines that connect Kolkata to other cities and countries include Air India, IndiGo, Spicejet, Thai, Air Asia, Dragon Air, Silk Air, Biman, Qatar Airways, and Emirates. 

Outside the airport, there are several ways to get into the city. There are Volvo A/c buses which are comfortable and also city buses that tend to be crowded but cheap. Of course, there are also taxis that you can hire but they cost considerably more. Ola and Uber are operational as well and can also be used to reach your destination. Prepaid taxis are also available in the arrivals lounge.

How to Reach Kolkata by Rail

Located around 17kms from the centre of the city, the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is well-connected to all the cities in India and several cities abroad. Kolkata’s domestic terminal is clean, well-maintained and is reputed to be one of the best in the country. It has direct flights to and from several Indian cities and towns. 

The airport was rebuilt in 2013 and it is an impressive looking building. Since it can get crowded during departures, it’s a good idea to come here a little ahead of time. The airlines that connect Kolkata to other cities and countries include Air India, IndiGo, Spicejet, Thai, Air Asia, Dragon Air, Silk Air, Biman, Qatar Airways, and Emirates. 

Outside the airport, there are several ways to get into the city. There are Volvo A/c buses which are comfortable and also city buses that tend to be crowded but cheap. Of course, there are also taxis that you can hire but they cost considerably more. Ola and Uber are operational as well and can also be used to reach your destination. Prepaid taxis are also available in the arrivals lounge.
Also check out the best time to visit Kolkata here with Thomas Cook.

How to Reach Kolkata by Bus

The city of Kolkata is well-connected to other cities in India by road. The National Highway number 2 and 6 can be used to reach the city from other states in India. The main bus terminus that can be found at the heart of the city is the Esplanade Terminus. Buses are run by Calcutta State Transport Corporation, Calcutta Tramways Company and West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation.

How to Reach Kolkata by Car

If you are keen to travel to Kolkata by road, you can go ahead and do it, but the journey can be quite cumbersome and long if you are travelling from somewhere like Delhi. It takes almost an entire day to reach Kolkata by road from Delhi. There are other options available as well, such as hiring taxis but the costs can be quite high. Shared cabs and shared taxis are also available if you are looking to travel to Kolkata by road. However, these options are not a great idea if you are travelling with family as it can be quite a hassle.

Transportation in kolkata

How to Commute Within Kolkata

Kolkata’s local transport is excellent. Here are some of the ways in which you can get around in the city.

By Autos
Kolkata has plenty of autos and it’s quite easy to hop on one to get around from one point to another. However, they have fixed fares and there are fixed routes as well. Do check with a local about how much is permissible to pay on any particular route. These also act as shared transport sometimes and you will find people sitting beside the driver as well. 

By Bus
Kolkata’s bus network is quite extensive. There are some a/c buses which are good but more often than not, you will come across the non-a/c variants which are crowded and can be quite uncomfortable. In fact, this is a mode of transportation best avoided by tourists as it can get quite hot and stuffy. There are also minibuses but it’s best to give them a wide berth as these can be even more unpleasant.

By Taxi
Kolkata’s yellow ambassador taxis epitomise a different era and the fact that so many of them are still around, proves that Kolkata still has its heart in the days gone by. Even if you’re not so fanciful, the taxis are quite easy to flag down and it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss out on. However, if practicality precedes your emotions, then don’t hesitate to get one of the newer a/c cabs which are white with a blue stripe. App-based taxi services such as Uber and Ola are also available but during rush hours, there’s a surge fare which inevitably pushes up the price of a ride to your destination. 

By Tram
Kolkata’s tramway is the only one in India and it’s a delightful way to travel in the city. It’s slow and the charges are quite regular but more often than not, tourists use the charming tramway network to earn social media brownie points. The trams follow a select few stops such as Sealdah Railway Station, Howrah and Park Circus and the best thing about them is that trams are available from 4 in the morning till 11 in the night. 

By Ferry
While there are bridges to cross the Hooghly river, the faster way to go about it is by ferry. Ferries leave every 15 minutes from Howrah to various jetties in central Kolkata. The ferry rides are short but also quite fun. 

By Metro
As India’s first underground train system, the Metro is the best way to travel across the city. It is well-connected and fast and spans the entire city from north to south. It’s fast and convenient and although at present there’s only one line, there are plans to make two more lines operational within the next two years. Travelling the Metro also means that you’re not allowed to carry bags heavier than 10kg. If you plan to use the Metro service often when you are in Kolkata, it’s a good idea to buy a multi-ride ticket as it saves you from having to queue up to buy the ticket every time. 

By Car
You can hire cars for an entire day for a fixed price and this makes it easier and hassle-free if you want to see the city’s sightseeing spots on your own terms. It can be a little expensive but the pros are that you can decide where you want to go, how long you want to linger over something or simply move on to the next spot. These come with drivers and the cars are airconditioned and extremely comfortable. 

By Rickshaw
In some places in Kolkata, you can still see hand-pulled rickshaws. While these have now been reduced to an item on the tourist bucket list, it’s hard not to be moved by the sight of these men pulling along the loaded rickshaws on their shoulders and backs. It’s a fast dying profession and yet, one that is filled with challenges and difficulties. If you do hop on one, do have some compassion for the poor rickshaw puller and give a generous tip. 

By Suburban Trains
Used by locals for their commute to the city from their homes in the suburbs and vice versa, these are not typically tourist-friendly trains. Kolkata Suburban Railway is the second oldest railway system in Asia. It is built to serve the suburbs around Kolkata and is used significantly by locals. There are several lines here including a circular line which circles around the entire city of Kolkata with 19 stations. 

Thomas Cook’s Kolkata Tour packeges are filled with the beautiful blend of the vintage and the modern. You can also drop into the nearest Thomas Cook branch and let us help you design your dream holiday.

 

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