10 Weekend Destinations from Kolkata for the Wanderlust Traveler in You (2023)
The 35-year-old Kolkata is known for several different things, and tourism is one of the most important ones. This town is famous for being the capital of West Bengal and for being the second-largest city in India and for its people and vibrant cultural heritage. Commonly known as the “City of Joy,” Kolkata is a bustling metropolis where people’s dreams come true. As you might already know, Bengalis are known for being gifted with artistic abilities. That is why so many renowned personalities including Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, Oscar winner, Satyajit Roy, and others are from there.
Apart from the said facts, Kolkata also played a vital role in bringing India its freedom. But did you know that Kolkata is also lucky enough to be in such a geographical location close to a large number of beautiful weekend destinations?
The places surrounding Kolkata are so versatile that you will be surprised that you did not know many of their names. They are not all naturally gorgeous. Some of them hold tremendous historical importance to India, whereas the others are breathtakingly beautiful. Some of the sites near Kolkata offer tourists a sense of tranquility, whereas others offer them a glimpse into the life of the tribal people from the region. In this blog, we are going to discuss the best weekend destinations near Kolkata in great details. Despite being so wonderful, some of these destinations are located at an hour or two drive from the heart of the city. By reading this blog, you will have no problem planning some short vacations from the city of joy.
Top 10 Weekend Destinations Near Kolkata for a Fabulous Vacation
The destinations mentioned in the following part of this blog are quite popular in West Bengal and India. Study them carefully to have a wonderful trip.
Located considerably close to Kolkata, Mayapur is one of the most important religious destinations for the world’s ISKCON community. Commonly known as the “spiritual capital of the world,” Mayapur offers a great perspective of life to the tourists at a short time. Apart from being home to the largest temple in the world, Mayapur is a beautiful site. As this town is located at the intersection of the sacred Ganga river and the beautiful Jalangi river, the city’s scenic view is pretty great.
The town is mostly famous for being the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna known to humankind. If you are a spiritual person who loves spectacular architectural structures, Mayapur is an excellent site for you. The best part about your weekend destination trip to Mayapur is that, within two days, you will get to cover the entire region.
Distance from Kolkata: 146.7 km.
Time to reach: If you visit there by car, it will take you not more than four and a half hours, or else if you stay there by train, it will take you only three and a half hours to reach there.
Places to see: Gaudia Math, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, SrilaPrabhupada Pushpa Samadhi Mandir, and others.
Best time to visit: October to February.
2. Henry’s Island
If you are a nature lover who wants to spend someday amid serenity and mesmerizingly beautiful views, then Henry’s Island is a great weekend destination from Kolkata for you. Located pretty close to Bakkhali, this island is one of the unique sites in West Bengal. Created by the Fisheries Department of West Bengal Government, this island is a combination of nature and tranquillity. Surrounded by white sands and turquoise blue water, Henry’s Island is loved by tourists across the globe.
This private island lets you enjoy the Bay of Bengal like no other place in India. When you reach there, you will forget that you are in West Bengal. Tourists love to explore the site by strolling on the beaches and relaxing by the sea. While visiting there, do not forget to try the lip-smacking delicious dishes served in the local shacks.
Distance from Kolkata: 125 km.
Time to reach: It would take you around three and a half hours from Kolkata to get Henry’s Island by car. You can also go there by public bus or local trains.
Places to see: JamboDweep, Fraserganj Wind Park, Bakkhali Beach, Crocodile Breeding centre, and others.
Best time to visit: November to March.
One of the most famous and essential weekend destinations near Kolkata is the Sundarbans. This site is not only crucial to West Bengal, but also India. Since the Sundarbans got the acclaim of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been visited by several tourists across the globe. When you explore the delta of Sundarbans for the first time, you will get lost in its beauty. This region is spread across an area of 4264 square km, and a massive part of it constitutes a National park and tiger reserve.
If you are a wildlife lover, the Sundarbans will not disappoint you. Famously known for being the home to the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers, Sundarban is a paradise for wildlife and nature lovers. While visiting there, do not forget to check out the wild mangrove forests that constitute the world’s largest bio reserve. Moreover, it is also globally famous for being one of the seven wonders in the world.
Distance from Kolkata: 110 km.
Time to reach: Reaching Sundarbans would take approximately three hours of your time. You will have to take a ferry from Namkhana or Sonakhli to get the region after travelling by car from Kolkata.
Places to see: Bhagaatpur Crocodile Sanctuary, Sudhanyakhali Watchtower, Sajnekhali watchtower, and others.
Best time to visit: October to February.
4. Shanti Niketan
To know about the culture and heritage of West Bengal, you will need to visit Shantiniketan. Globally famous for being the residence of Rabindranath Tagore, Shantiniketan is not merely an education centre. It is a site where education meets creativity. Even though this site is home to the Visva Bharati University, its surroundings will tell you a different story. The entire region is so naturally beautiful and peaceful that you will forget you are on a university campus. This area is known quite well among different nations of the world due to its approach to teaching.
Students there, study amid the vast wilderness of nature. Apart from the said aspects, Shanti Niketan has a lot of historical sites. If you go there, you will get in-depth knowledge about the Nobel Laurette poet. The red soil, Baul songs, and gorgeous handicraft items will make you fall in love with the area.
Distance from Kolkata: 163 km.
Time to reach: It would not take you more than three and a half hours to get to this amazing weekend getaway destination from Kolkata if you drive a car. Or else, you can avail a train and that you take you around two and a half hours.
Places to see: Visva Bharati University, Chhatimtala, Kala Bhavan, Amarkunja, and others.
Best time to visit: June to February.
When it comes to the best weekend destinations near Kolkata, we cannot leave out the off-beat sites. Junput is among the off-beat locations that are becoming quite famous among the tourists who love seclusion and natural beauty. Located in PurbaMedinipur, this area is known for its pristine beaches, mesmerizingly beautiful sea, and tranquillity. Even though this region is not widely famous for its sightseeing spots, people visit Junput to escape their hectic life in the bustling metropolis.
Many travellers love swimming in the sea of Junput, and many people love loitering in its lovely beaches. If you want you can also get yourself rejuvenated by fishing over there. Junput is a beautiful site to bask in the beauty of nature.
Distance from Kolkata: 157 km.
Time to Reach: You will get there by car within three and a half hours.
Places to See: Marine Biology Museum, KapalKundala Mandir, Dariapur lighthouse, and others.
Best Time To Visit: July to March.
Soon becoming one of the most popular beaches in West Bengal, Tajpur is a fantastic site for a quick getaway. Located pretty close to Digha, this beach town is way calmer and secluded than Digha. As Tajpur’s beach is way more significant than the other beaches in West Bengal, many tourists are opting it. The entire ambience surrounding this town is so serene that you will want to visit it over and over again. A few years ago Tajpur was a virgin beach, but now people cannot stop seeing there.
Many tourists visit Tajpur many times a year to have a peaceful vacation. This site is also great for adventure enthusiasts. From paragliding to banana boat riding, Tajpur has everything for everyone. Apart from the gorgeous Bay of Bengal and adrenaline-inducing activities, Tajpur is quite famous for its food as well. While visiting there, do not forget to relish the delicious seafood dishes prepared by its beaches.
Distance from Kolkata: 172 km.
Time to reach: If you drive there, it will take you not more than three and a half hours to get there.
Places to see: Tajpur beach, Mandarmani, Digha, and others.
Best time to visit: July to February.
If you are a history lover and want to explore the architecturally beautiful buildings of Bengal, Bishnupur is the best site for you. Many people consider it one of the best weekend destinations from Kolkata because of its historical importance. This town reached its prosperity in the 17th and 18th century. That is why most of the gorgeous temples located there are from the said time. Bishnupur is mostly known for Terracotta design. This design is quite prevalent in all the historical structures and temples over there.
While exploring the city, you will see pieces of shreds of evidence from the Malla dynasty. In the 16th century, this area was the cultural capital of Bengal. Still, now, handicraft items and sarees from Bishnupur are famous worldwide. There are so many sites over there that you will need at least three days to explore them all.
Distance from Kolkata: 140 km.
Time to reach: It would take you around three and a half hours to get Bishnupur from Kolkata.
Places to see: Shyam Rai Temple, Kalachand temple, Radha Govinda temple, Garh Darwaja, and others.
Best time to visit: November to February.
Mandarmani is becoming is one of the most popular weekend destinations near Kolkata. If you love the sea, delicious food, and tranquility, Mandarmani will be an excellent site for you. Even a few years earlier, not many people knew about this seaside village, but now, due to the hard work of the West Bengal government’s tourism department, this town has become a seaside resort for many people. People from different parts of India visit there to spend a few days amid natural beauty. It is famous for being the home to the longest drivable beach in India.
If you love driving, you must go along the white sandy beach by the Bay of Bengal in Mandarmani. There are so many breathtakingly resorts in the region with private beaches, that you will want to go there annually. The glistening water of the sea amid the greenery of palm trees of Mandarmani will stay in your mind for a long time.
Distance from Kolkata: 170 km.
Time to reach: By road, you will reach Mandarmani within three and a half hours. If you go there by train, it will take you to said time.
Places to see: Mandarmani beach, Tajpur beach, Digha, and others.
Best time to visit: June to March.
Undoubtedly the most popular tourist destinations in West Bengal, Digha is loved by millions of travelers for several decades. With low gradient sandy beach, majestic Bay of Bengal, beautiful palm trees, and vibrant culture, Digha is an excellent weekend getaway near Kolkata. Most people love the Digha beach as it is perfectly safe for swimming, unlike other sea beaches in India. The entire town is so colourful and full of life that you will have a great time exploring it.
Digha is a paradise for foodies as well. There are so many eateries, restaurants and roadside shacks that you will have a fantastic time tasting the dishes prepared over there. Now, the West Bengal tourism department has renovated Digha and made it even more beautiful. It is a great place to escape your hectic life for a while.
Distance from Kolkata: 183 km.
Time to reach: If you drive, you will reach Digha by three to four hours. You can also go there by availing trains.
Places to see: Amarabati park, New Digha beach, Mohona, and others.
Best time to visit: July to March.
Located pretty close to Bishnupur, Mukutmanipur is one of the most beautiful sites located near Kolkata. This place is famous for being home to the second-largest earthen dam in India. Despite being humanmade, the scenic view surrounding this reservoir is breathtakingly gorgeous. People from across West Bengal go there to have fun picnics with their friends and families. You will genuinely be stunned by its surrounding lush greenery and the vast expanse of waterbody when you reach there.
Moreover, gorgeous hills surround the region, making it even more enthralling. Although this site is popular among Bengal people, many people from different parts of India know about this. That is why the beauty of this site is still intact.
Distance from Kolkata: 234 km.
Time to reach: The trip from Kolkata to Mukutmanipur would take you around five and a half hours. Places to see: Kangsati river bank, Deer park, Ambikanagar, and others.
Best time to visit: November to February.
All the sites mentioned in this blog are within three to four hours of driving distance from Kolkata. We have included them in the list of best weekend destinations from Kolkata because they are all equally beautiful and important to the state’s tourism. People love these sites so much that many of them visit there, multiple times in their lives.
By exploring these places, you get to witness their natural beauty and the lives of their local people—the best way to explore these regions by driving from Kolkata. If you do not have a car, do not panic, the transportation system in West Bengal is quite good. You will have no problem in getting buses or trains to explore the said sites. We hope by reading this blog, you get a lot of necessary information about places near Kolkata.