Is Kolkata a Safe City to Visit?
Kolkata is a vibrant city in eastern India that attracts visitors from all over the world. Visitors are attracted to the city for its rich history, culture, cuisine, and warm hospitality. However, safety is an important concern for any traveler, and staying safe is crucial when exploring a new city. In this blog post, we will discuss the safety measures in Kolkata and everything you need to know before planning your trip to the city.
Overview: How Safe is Kolkata?
Kolkata is a safe city for visitors. With a crime rate of 25.6 (per 100,000 population) in 2019, Kolkata is one of the safest cities in India. However, it is always important to stay alert and cautious while traveling, as petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can happen in crowded places.
How to Stay Safe in Kolkata?
Here are some tips to help you stay safe in Kolkata:
1. Avoid Walking Alone at Night:
It is always better to avoid wandering around the city alone at night- even in relatively safe areas as the city can be unpredictable. If you must go out at night, always hire a cab or use ride-hailing services to commute.
2. Stay Alert in Crowded Places:
Kolkata is known for its bustling markets and crowded streets, which can be a hub for pickpockets and bag snatchers. Always keep your valuables like wallets, phone, passport, and jewelry safe and close to you while exploring these areas.
3. Avoid Accepting Food and Drink from Strangers:
If you’re out on the town or attending a social event, always watch what you eat and drink. Avoid accepting food or drink from strangers, and never leave your drink unattended. If possible, stick to bottled water and avoid street-side food vendors, which might not maintain proper hygiene.
4. Be Careful When Using Public Transport:
While public transport is an efficient way of getting around in Kolkata, it is advisable to be cautious while using them. Make sure to use licensed taxis and auto-rickshaws, and always negotiate the fare before getting in. Choose AC buses and trains during summers as it gets very hot and humid in Kolkata.
Places to Visit in Kolkata
Kolkata is a city that has a rich history and culture, and you can explore many places while you’re here. Here are some popular tourist attractions that are safe to visit:
1. Victoria Memorial:
Victoria Memorial is a stunning architecture which is an ode to Queen Victoria. It is a popular tourist destination featuring a museum that showcases India’s pre-independent history.
2. Howrah Bridge:
Also known as the ‘Gateway of Kolkata,’ the Howrah Bridge is an iconic landmark in Kolkata. The bridge spans across the Hooghly River and is the largest cantilever bridge in the world.
3. Dakshineswar Kali Temple:
Located about 20 kilometers from Kolkata, Dakshineswar Kali Temple is one of the famous temples in India. It is a vibrant place that attracts devotees from across the country.
4. Park Street:
Park Street is the perfect place for food lovers. It is a popular place for restaurants and eateries serving a variety of cuisines ranging from regional to international.
The Bottom Line
Kolkata is a safe city for visitors with friendly locals, rich history, and culture, and delicious food. While the city has a low crime rate, it is always wise to stay alert and cautious while traveling. By following the tips we have mentioned above, you will be able to enjoy your trip to Kolkata with peace of mind.
Insider’s Guide to Kolkata, India
Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal and is a city rich in history, culture, and diversity. Kolkata is a melting pot of various religions, cultures, and traditional practices that make it a must-visit destination in India. Before we delve deeper and explore the city in detail, let’s answer the burning question on every traveler’s mind: Is Kolkata a safe city to visit?
Safety in Kolkata, India
Kolkata is generally considered a safe city for tourists when compared to other parts of India. However, it would be best if you still took some necessary precautions to ensure a safe trip. For instance, be wary of pickpockets in crowded areas, especially around tourist attractions. Avoid walking alone in poorly lit areas at night and stay alert to your surroundings, especially when traveling by taxi or public transport.
Local Attractions in Kolkata, India
Kolkata offers a plethora of tourist attractions that cater to different interests and tastes. Here are a few must-visit spots when in Kolkata.
– Victoria Memorial: This iconic marble building serves as a museum and monument dedicated to Queen Victoria. The memorial holds an extensive collection of historical artifacts and exhibits that provide a glimpse into India’s colonial past.
– Howrah Bridge: One of the most famous landmarks in Kolkata, Howrah Bridge is a steel bridge that spans over the Hooghly River. Take a stroll across the bridge to enjoy the stunning views and experience the bustling atmosphere of the city.
– Dakshineswar Kali Temple: This temple dedicated to the goddess Kali, is one of the most visited places in Kolkata. It is particularly popular among pilgrims who come to offer prayers and seek blessings.
– St. Paul’s Cathedral: This magnificent cathedral is over 200 years old and is among the main attractions in Kolkata. Its neo-gothic architecture and historical significance make it worth a visit.
Dining Spots in Kolkata, India
Kolkata is famous for its culinary delights, and no visit to the city is complete without indulging in a few local delicacies. Here are some must-try dishes and dining spots in Kolkata.
– Sweets: Kolkata sweets are famous across India and, perhaps, the world. Be sure to try Rasgullas, Sandesh, and Mishti Doi.
– Street food: Kolkata is renowned for its street food. Whether it is puchkas, jhal muri, or kathi rolls, you can find an array of delicious and affordable street food options in every corner of the city.
– Fine dining: If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, head to places like Indian Accent, Peter Cat, or Oh! Calcutta – all serving excellent cuisine.
Cultural Experiences in Kolkata, India
Kolkata is the cultural capital of India, and hence it offers a rich cultural experience for travelers. Here are some experiences that you should not miss.
– Durga Puja: Kolkata’s biggest festival, Durga Puja, is a celebration that lasts for ten days and attracts millions of visitors. The festival showcases the city’s rich cultural heritage as streets come alive with music, dance, and food stalls.
– Rabindra Sangeet: Rabindra Sangeet is a genre of Bengali songs composed and sung by Noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore. You can enjoy these soulful songs in various music festivals and gatherings throughout the city.
– Art and Theater: Kolkata is renowned for its art and theater scene. Visit places like Academy of Fine Arts and Nandan for experiencing the art and culture of Kolkata.
Local History in Kolkata, India
Kolkata has a rich history to explore, starting from its colonial past to the present-day culture. Here are some historical sites that are worth visiting.
– Fort William: Built during the British era, Fort William serves as a reminder of Kolkata’s colonial past. The Fort served as a stronghold for the British East India Company.
– Marble Palace: The Marble Palace is a unique mansion that showcases the opulence and grandeur of the British era. The palace is home to various artworks, sculptures, and rare antiquities.
– Indian Museum: The Indian Museum is the oldest and largest museum in India, exhibiting over 100,000 collections of antiques and artifacts across six different sections.
Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions in Kolkata, India
Kolkata has many hidden gems that are lesser-known but worth a visit. Here are some off-the-beaten-path suggestions that you should explore.
– Kumartuli: Kumartuli is a quaint neighborhood in Kolkata famous for its sculptors who create beautiful idols of Goddesses. Visit during the Durga Puja festival to see the artisans at work.
– Sahid Minar: Also known as the Ochterlony Monument, Sahid Minar is a 48 meter-high tower designed by J.P. Parker and inspired by the Qutub Minar of Delhi. Climb to the top for breathtaking views of Kolkata.
– Gurusaday Museum: The Gurusaday Museum is a rare collection of rural art and craft that preserves the culture and heritage of Bengal. The museum showcases various artifacts such as masks, pottery, weaving, and textiles.
In conclusion, Kolkata is a beautiful, vibrant, and historical city that offers various experiences for travelers. From cultural experiences and local history to dining spots and hidden gems, Kolkata is a must-visit destination in India. While safety is not a significant concern, it’s always a good idea to take precautions. So pack your bags and immerse yourself in a world of art, culture, and history in Kolkata.
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