Getting to & from Kolkata
Kolkata is well connected to other Indian cities via rail, air and bus services.
By Air – The airport is well connected domestically and has a modest range of international flights. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, formerly Dum Dum Airport, is 15 km (9 miles) northeast. You can exchange currency and get tourist information from two separate booths here. Use the prepaid taxi stand for the 40-minute trip into town.
By Train – The city has three major train stations Howrah, Sealdah and ‘Kolkata’ (Chitpore). Kolkata’s Howrah Junction, just south of Howrah Bridge, connects the city with most other parts of the country. It’s made up of the adjoining Old and New Howrah stations. You should purchase tickets through your hotel or a travel agent, but there is a section specifically for foreigners in the main reservations office (daily 10am–5pm). Trains to destinations farther east and to the northern areas of West Bengal often depart from Sealdah Station; check your ticket to confirm which station you need to be at. Also arrive with time to spare so that you can navigate through the crowds and find out about any changes to the schedule.
By Bus – Buses arrive frequently from Bangladesh and regional destinations.
Getting around Kolkata
Kolkata’s transport system is vast and extensive in order to transport the millions of people that live in the teeming metropolis. As a visitor, this makes it easy to travel around this congested city whether you are a backpacker or a well-heeled traveller. The underground Metro is the quickest and most affordable way to travel around the city as it avoids the traffic jams above ground. However, the trains get packed during peak hour making the journey uncomfortable so travel during non-peak periods.
Taxis are easily available and work on a metre system; try to get a new taxi that has a new metre otherwise you will have to calculate the fare or rely on the taxi driver to give you the correct fare.
Buses are available everywhere and are a cheap way to travel, however it is best avoided during rush hour.
Kolkata is the only city to have trams and hand-drawn rickshaws so a ride on both is an experience to take away with you.