Buoyant Lifestyles

10 Offbeat Instagrammable places in Kolkata, India

Of yellow taxis, centuries-old buildings, colonial architectures most of which are coloured in red, Kolkata definitely excels in one element which is – Colour! These old buildings most of which are in shambles, the historical monuments, the yellow taxis displaying the busy roads of Kolkata a spectacular appeal. The crowded markets, the street side tea stalls, everything makes the city very special and indeed photogenic. There are innumerable spots and specific neighbourhoods that which can be called as top Instagrammable places in Kolkata. So let’s discover which are these top 10 most Instagrammable places in Kolkata.

Of course, I am deeply attached to the city of joy after innumerable visits for the past two years. During all those times I made sure to explore the city in the best possible way. My friends who were my constant companion helped me to get the best feel of Kolkata.

But why are we looking into Instagrammable places in Kolkata? The reason – we love to update our Instagram feed with the best shots, don’t we? Along with Rajasthan, Goa, Pondicherry, Kolkata is one such place which is Instagrammer’s favourite.  Below is the list of the most Instagrammable places in Kolkata, India.

10 Offbeat Instagrammable places in Kolkata, India

1. College Street

College Street is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Kolkata. Located in Central Kolkata it is famous for book markets and also popularly called as Boi Para (Boi- Book and Para- Lane in Bengali). It houses some of the most iconic places in the city like The Indian Coffee House. It is a popular place of adda (casual meeting) which was visited by the popular singers, writers, scholars, artists and other eminent personalities.

Students, ex-students of Presidency College, Calcutta University, and other educational institutions located in College streets visited the Coffee House for long hours of discussion. Along with its iconic significance, the Coffee House is one of the Instagrammable places in Kolkata. You just need to hold your camera, every angle is a perfect frame.

Along with the Coffee House, the book markets of college street are quite a camera-worthy locations. They serve as amazing backdrops for portraits or street photography. Lanes after lanes there are bookstalls and people no one is really bothered if you are clicking a picture. A simple walk along the long stretch of college street with yellow taxis plying every moment, trams passing by and the iconic Kolkata rickshaws, is sure to give you immense pleasure. Every moment is worth clickable.

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one of the most Iconic Places of Kolkata – The Indian Coffee House

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2. Metcalfe Hall

Yet another offbeat Instagrammable place in Kolkata and one of my personal favourite is the Metcalfe Hall. Located at the junction of Strand Road and Hare Street Metcalfe Hall is a heritage building that dates back to the colonial era of Kolkata. It’s a memorial built in the honour of Sir Charles T. Metcalfe, the Governor-General of India, for his efforts towards freedom of the press. The Hall is now turned into an exhibition centre with a display of various aspects of Bengal.

The exhibition hall displays popular and classic movie posters, lively black and white posters from old neighbourhoods of Calcutta, various artefacts related to Bengali wedding, a display of Goddess Durga. All these present excellent frames worthy for your Instagram account.

The best part is that photography is allowed inside but I am not sure about videography. My favourite corner was the second floor which was decorated with photo frames of classic Bengali Movie posters. It’s definitely one of the most offbeat Instagrammable places in Kolkata.

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The grand Metcalfe Hall building

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3. Esplanade

Well, another of my favourite Instagrammable places in Kolkata is Esplanade. The Metropolitan Building on the Chowringhee Road near Kolkata is amazingly photoed friendly. Any pictures clicked with a yellow taxi which plays just abundantly on that road with the Metropolitan Building in the backdrop presents an amazing Instagrammable shot. Though you have to be careful as that is also one of the busiest roads of Kolkata.

I like clicking those buildings which have some history or story of its own. The Metropolitan building is no different. It was built in 1905 and later Post Independence Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. owned the building.  Even the streets markets new Esplanade provides an excellent frame. For street photography lovers Esplanade is sheer delight.

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4. The Victoria Memorial

One of the most popular and sought after location in Kolkata. First-timers make sure to visit the Victoria Memorial on first priority. And why not! it’s one of the most spectacular places to visit in Kolkata. Built between 1906 and 1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria, portrays the rich architectural heritage of Colonial India. Made of white Makrana Marble its design will remind you of the Taj Mahal. It’s is a photography lovers paradise. Starting from the gates each and every angle is just perfect to get the right photos. Photography is allowed outside.

If you are lucky enough the sunset and sunrise views from Victoria Memorial is something you will be happy about. The working hours of the Victoria Memorial Gallery are from 10 a.m to 6 p.m and it’s open all days except Monday and National Holidays.

Whereas the visiting hours of the Garden area are March-August: 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. September to February: 5:30 a.m to 6 p.m. The garden is open whole year even on Holidays. The Garden area is a very popular spot for wedding shoots and other professional photography.

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5. St. Paul’s Cathedral

Located just adjacent to the Victoria Memorial is the St Paul’s Cathedral. It is one of the most Instagrammable Churches in Kolkata due to its Gothic Architecture. On weekdays (Monday to Saturday) its open from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. On Sunday its open from 7:30 am to 6 p.m. Photography is not allowed inside the church but on the premises, it’s allowed and provides an excellent frame for photography lovers.

The St Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican Church and which is a first of its kind built anywhere outside the territory of Great Britain. When I visited St Paul’s Cathedral it was raining and I could click some beautiful reflections of the cathedral. On weekends you will find the place crowded. So for better photographs being an early worm would really help.

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6. North Kolkata

When I mention North Kolkata the areas including Shobabazar, Shyambazar, Hatibagan is indeed one of the top shot places for getting Instagram worthy clicks. The hundreds of years old buildings, the narrow lanes gives the perfect old world charm while drifting you to the Colonial era. Some of the buildings are in very critical condition thus a signboard hangs outside warning it as “বিপজ্জনক বাড়ি “. Most of these buildings are brightly coloured and you can unhesitatingly click pictures but from outside.

Some of the lanes of North Kolkata bears beautiful graffiti art on the walls. I shall cover those in a separate blog post. Most of the North Kolkata neighbourhood is situated by the bank of river Ganga. The holy river presents an excellent backdrop for your Instagram worthy pictures.

If you are a sucker for old doors and windows then North Kolkata is definitely is your spot. Almost every door of the old buildings is photo worthy. Most of the lanes of North Kolkata is similar, exploring these lanes means long hours of walking. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothes. North Kolkata is well connected by metros and buses so reaching there won’t be of much trouble.

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At a lane in Hatibagan area of North Kolkata
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Some of the lanes in North Kolkata will surprise you with wonderful Graffiti art

Few of my Instagram post clicked at North Kolkata

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7. Hindustan Park

One of the poshest and popular neighbourhood in Kolkata is Hindustan Park. A huge number of cafes, boutique cafes, boutiques, it’s a favourite hangout spot of all in South Kolkata neighbourhood. Pancham er adda, Sienna Cafe, Roastery Coffee House, Byloom cafe, are some of the most Instagrammable cafes in Kolkata.

One most popular building situated just opposite to Byloom boutique is the Art Rickshaw building. The painting done outside the building is a piece of art in itself. They keep on changing the painting. So you can get a different set of shots just from one single location. It has been one of my favourite Instagrammable places in Kolkata. Also some of the lanes may surprise you will lovely grafitti art.

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#instagrammableplacesinkolkata #kolkata +bestplacesinkolkata #kolkatatour #kolkatatravelguide + instagrammable places in kolkata

8. Kumartuli

One of my favourite and frequently visited places by tourists and photography lovers from all over the world is Kumortuli. You can read a detailed post of Idol Making lane of Kolkata, Kumartuli here – Kumartuli in Kolkata-A Photowalk

There are a lot of lanes and each houses idol-making studios that have been the family business since generations. Some of these lanes are accessible only after buying a ticket. Whereas some lanes are inaccessible by outsiders.

This place is quite popular as a portfolio or various brand shooting locations by photographers. Do not disturb the artists while at work, maintain silence and leave the studio once you finish clicking pictures. Most of the artists feel annoyed when there is too much of a crowd.

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9. Princep Ghat

Of beautiful sunsets, a boat ride across the river Ganga, view of the majestic Vidyasagar Setu, Prinsep Ghat is definitely photographer’s paradise. When you are doing the boat ride or from the bank itself you can get the most picture-perfect view of the Vidyasagar Setu. I have written a detailed post on my visit to Prinsep Ghat in Kolkata. Do read here-  An Evening By the Prinsep Ghat in Kolkata

Visit during sunrise or sunset to capture different hues of the sky. Avoid visiting during rain or on a gloomy day as you won’t be able to capture the splash of colours on the sky. Also, night view of the Vidyasagar Setu brightly lit up can be captured best from the Prinsep Ghat. It’s one of my favourite place to spend some quality time with my friends and family and also absolutely one of the popular Instagrammable places in Kolkata.

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With the backdrop of Victoria Memorial, lush green fields, beautiful trees Maidan is definitely one of the best places for some candid photography. It is the largest Urban Park of Kolkata and most of the time remains thronged with local young boys playing cricket or some flying kites.

It can be easily reached by metro as the Maidan, Park Street, Rabindra Sadan Metro are the nearest ones to reach. The best time to visit is in the morning or evening, the place is frequented by tourists and there are lots of food stalls nearby.

Maidan is also one of the popular places visited by photographers for pre-wedding shoots.  The best Instagrammable view comes with a shot of the Victoria Memorial forming the backdrop amidst the green stretch of the park. Another magnificent photograph is of the Iconic Tram that makes its way through the Western part of Maidan. You have seen this Tram shot is most Bengali films.

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A glimpse of Maidan with the Victoria Memorial as a backdrop

Bonus tip:

The markets of Kolkata are a perfect place if you want to capture the busy market life of Kolkata. For that, you must visit Mallick Ghat Flower Market, one of the largest flower market in Asia.

The Indian Museum Kolkata is yet another Instagrammable places in Kolkata. The magnificent white building itself poses perfectly for your lens. It is located in Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Park Street. It’s closed on  Monday and open from 10 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. on Tuesday to Friday and 10 A.M. to 8 P.M on Saturday and Sunday.

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The beautiful building of The Indian Museum, Kolkata

Well, that was all about the 10 most Instagrammable places in Kolkata, India that you must explore when things get back to normal. To be precise the whole city of Joy is photo perfect. You need to take your camera and start exploring the streets. I am sure you won’t be disappointed at all. Happy photographing. Read now and explore later. Planning is the only thing we can do during this lockdown and I should say plan a lot!!

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6 thoughts on “10 Offbeat Instagrammable places in Kolkata, India

  1. India is an absolutely breathtaking country! And Kolkata definitely embraces that beauty. I love the whimsical colors used in the art around southern Kolkata! Your list is amazing and really gives some great ideas for people to visit. I’d love to see the Indian Museum in person one day.

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