Being a Kolkatian, I’ve grown up amidst the alleys, the aromas, and the ‘addas’ of our beloved city. Every nook and corner has a tale, and as a local, I’ve seen places that have nurtured countless love stories. Join me, a proud Bangali, as I guide you through Kolkata’s most cherished romantic spots. Let’s experience ‘bhalobasha’ in the truest Kolkatian style.
Best Places for Couples in Kolkata: Parks, Gardens, Lakes, and All Things Green
Romance, or as we say in Bangla, ‘bhalobasha’, has countless interpretations. For me, a true Kolkatian, spending moments with my loved one amidst the comforting embrace of nature, surrounded by the vibrant greenery, has always felt special. Remembering those lazy afternoons at our city parks, the intimate boat rides on our local lakes, and the gentle rustle of leaves at the gardens… Ah, that’s ‘shudhu Kolkata’r jinish’. Let me take you through some of these heartwarming spots in our ‘City of Joy’.
Millennium Park, Kolkata
Spanning a beautiful stretch of 2.5 km alongside our very own Hooghly River, Millennium Park has always held a special place in my heart. As a true Kolkatian, it’s impossible to resist the allure of its verdant landscapes, adorned with a plethora of plants, trees, and charming sculptures. And oh, the views! The majestic Howrah Bridge stands tall, painting the perfect backdrop for those intimate sunset moments. But what truly encapsulates the Kolkata essence for me, are the aromas wafting from the myriad of street food vendors. Nibbling on a crispy fish cutlet or digging into a plate of chowmein, all while enjoying the park’s ambiance, is an experience that’s ‘shudhu Kolkata’r jinish’.
Be aware of Scammers here, luring you into smartphone scams to acting fake police.
Location: BBD Bagh
Timings: 10:00 am to 08:00 pm; every day
Entry fee: ₹ 5. And trust me, the taste of Kolkata that you’ll discover inside is worth every penny!
Rabindra Sarobar, Kolkata
Ah, Rabindra Sarobar, or as some fondly call it, Dhakuria Lake – this spot has always been a timeless classic for us Kolkatians in love. An oasis amidst our beloved city’s hustle, this artificial lake in south Kolkata is a refuge, where you can drown out the noise of the world and dive deep into conversations with your beloved. Amidst the lush green surroundings, with the sweet symphonies of birds and the gentle lapping of the lake waters, hours seem to fly by in what feels like minutes.
Getting there? Oh, it’s a breeze! Whether you hail from North Kolkata or the heart of South, the connectivity to Rabindra Sarobar is unparalleled. The place is essentially a landmark. With a bus stop right there, a metro station merely 20-50m away, and Gariahat railway station just a kilometer apart, reaching this lovers’ paradise is a cakewalk.
Now, if you and your date share a penchant for shopping, the bustling lanes of Gariahat are waiting to be explored, offering everything, and all easy on the pocket. And for those shared caffeine moments? Just a couple of lanes away, cafes like 8th Day & Roastery Coffee House beckon with their aromatic brews and unique offerings like Cascara. If hookah’s your thing, Zucca Lounge will not disappoint. More of a pub person? Publik and WhatsUp Cafe are nearby, promising an evening to remember.
Just imagine this: Holding hands, exploring the myriad experiences, all starting from the tranquil laps of Rabindra Sarobar. Pure bliss, ‘shudhu Kolkata’r jinish’.
Timings: Sunrise to sunset; every day
Entry fee: N/A
Eco Park, Kolkata
Ah, Eco Park, the pride of our Newtown. No discussion about romantic spots in Kolkata is complete without mentioning this vast expanse of greenery. Spread over a whopping 480 acres, it’s not just India’s largest park but also a haven for couples seeking serenity amidst our city’s urban clamor. Encircled by a breathtaking 104-acre water body with a quaint island at its heart, Eco Park offers an escape like no other. Imagine rowing with your beloved, the water rippling in response, or letting the allure of musical fountains add a melodic backdrop to your date. With its array of theme areas, there’s always a fresh experience awaiting every time you visit.
But that’s not all! The recently opened Coffee House in Newtown beckons with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the warmth of quintessential Bengali conversations. A mere stone’s throw away is the Mother’s Wax Museum. Fancy meeting Shahrukh Khan on your date? While he might be in wax, the experience is surreal. And before you head home, don’t forget to stop by the aptly named ‘Kolkata Street Food’ cafe. Their chai is soul-warming, and trust me, their Kathi Roll and Chole Bhature are ‘shudhu Kolkata’r jinish’.
Timings: Summer Timings (1st March to 31st October): 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm (Tuesday to Saturday); 12:00 noon to 8:30 pm (Sundays and Holidays)
Winter Timings (1st November to 28th February): 12:00 noon to 7:30 pm (Tuesday to Saturday); 11:00 am to 7:30 pm (Sundays and Holidays)
Note: Park remains closed on Mondays.
Entry fee: ₹ 30 per person (3 years and above)
So, grab your partner’s hand, and let the City of Joy wrap you in its myriad experiences, starting from the enchanting Eco Park.
Calcutta Botanical Gardens, Kolkata
Stepping into the Botanical Gardens, or as locals affectionately call it, the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, feels like entering a realm of green wonder. This verdant sanctuary, nestled in the heart of Shibpur, Howrah, is not just any garden. It’s the oldest botanical garden in our nation, home to over 12,000 diverse species of plants, sprawled across an impressive 273 acres. A true treasure trove for nature enthusiasts, researchers, and romantics alike.
Every Kolkatian, including me, cherishes the memories created under the expansive shade of the Great Banyan, acclaimed as the world’s largest tree. If you’re here, it’s a sight you cannot miss!
Location: Shibpur, Howrah
Timings: 5:00 am to 5:30 pm; remains closed on Mondays
Entry fee: ₹ 30 for adult Indian citizens. While mobile photography comes free, using a still camera will cost you an additional ₹60. Just remember, commercial shoots are off-limits.
Oh, and if you’re thinking of carrying snacks or refreshments, drop that plastic bottle or chip packet! The garden is stringent about its eco-friendly rules. Gutkha, khaini, and cigarettes are big no-nos. But don’t you worry! The garden takes care of its visitors with cafeterias, purified water stations, and well-maintained washrooms. While the garden itself doesn’t have designated parking, you can easily find roadside parking for a mere ₹30/hour right by the main gate at the route 55 bus stand. Remember, these fees are collected by the local folks.
Wondering about connectivity? Kolkata’s splendid bus network has you covered. Just hop on a Shibpur-bound bus from any corner of the city. If trains are your mode, Howrah station is your destination. From there, the Shibpur route is just a bus ride away. For those who prefer steering their own wheel, the picturesque drive over Vivekananda Bridge, commonly referred to as the New Bridge, is a treat. It effortlessly links Howrah and Kolkata, taking you through scenic vistas of the Bhagirathi river below and the stately Nabanna building, the nerve center of our state’s administration.
So, whether you’re a nature buff, a researcher, or just someone looking for serene moments with loved ones, the Botanical Gardens await with open arms and endless greenery. Pure bliss, ‘shudhu Kolkata’r jinish’.
Nalban, Kolkata Sector V
Nalban – the very name evokes images of tranquil lakeside serenity, shaded by a canopy of green. For us Kolkatians, it isn’t just another spot; it’s an intimate retreat where couples find solace amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. Imagine holding hands with your beloved, the soft hum of boat paddles breaking the water’s stillness, as you float by, stealing precious moments together. This pristine haven, nestled in Bidhannagar, promises not just boat rides, but also inviting spaces for daylong picnics. So, whether you’re in the mood for badminton or simply want to lay back on a mat with your picnic basket, Nalban welcomes you with open arms.
And if the day’s adventures leave you with a hankering for a drink, fret not! The Bar at Nalban ensures that you can indulge in a tipple or two, all while relishing some delightful starters. The ambiance? Perfect for pouring out your heart to your special one. As day turns to dusk, the streets outside Nalban, lined with shimmering lakes, radiate a charm of their own. And if your heart craves some cocoa warmth, a leisurely 10-minute walk will lead you to Suchali’s Artisan Bakery. A sip of their heavenly hot chocolate paired with their gourmet offerings, and you’ll swear it’s ‘shudhu Kolkata’r jinish’.
Location: Nalban Bheri, Bidhannagar
Timings: 9:00 am to 8:15 pm; every day
Entry fee: N/A (separate charges for boating apply)
Reaching this idyllic spot is a breeze. Simply hop onto any bus heading to Salt Lake Sector V, College More, or Swasthya Bhavan. Each of these stops is just a brisk 5 to 10-minute walk away, making Nalban easily accessible and all the more enticing. So next time you wish for a perfect day out, you know where to head. Nalban awaits!
Historical Monuments: ‘Purono Kolkata’r Prem Kahini’ (Old Kolkata’s Love Tales)
In the vibrant canvas of Kolkata’s romantic haunts, the city’s historical edifices are not just brick and mortar; they’re ‘smriti’r patay’ – pages of memories. These age-old structures, standing tall amidst the evolving cityscape, have cradled countless love stories within their ancient walls. Imagine a stolen glance under the arches of a colonial relic or whispered promises amidst the echoes of bygone eras. For couples in the ‘City of Joy’, these monuments offer a timeless rendezvous, blending the charm of yesteryears with today’s fervor. Dive into the romantic chronicles of ‘Purono Kolkata’ and let these historical treasures rekindle the eternal flame of love in your hearts.
Prinsep Ghat: ‘Kolkata’r Premer Ghat’ (Kolkata’s Pier of Love)
Ah, Prinsep Ghat! This iconic gem, nestling by the serene Hooghly, is not just another spot in Kolkata; it’s where the city’s heartbeats of love echo. Enveloped by the grandeur of a British-era monument and blessed with breathtaking views of both the river and the majestic Vidyasagar Setu, it’s the quintessential haven for couples. As the golden hues of the setting sun dance on the river, the place takes on an ethereal charm, urging you to pour out your deepest emotions.
Now, what’s a romantic rendezvous without a taste of the local? Boating over the Bhagirathi, feeling the gentle ripples of water, and then satiating our taste buds with the city’s street food, be it the spicy Pav Bhaji or the classic Chowmein, has always been my dream date. And for all the ‘chhobi premiks’ (photography enthusiasts) out there, bring out your DSLRs; this place is a canvas waiting to be captured!
Location: Fort William, Hastings
Timings: Open round the clock
Entry Fee: N/A
Navigating your way to this romantic heartland is no Herculean task. Hop on a bus that’ll drop you off at Fort William or Prinsep Ghat bus stops. If the metro is more your style, disembark at Esplanade or Park Street Metro Station and enjoy a brief, invigorating walk – a perfect warm-up to the romance that awaits!
Victoria Memorial: ‘Kolkata’r Shohorjontro of Love and Legacy’
Ah, Victoria Memorial! Not just a mere architectural marvel, but Kolkata’s emblem of timeless romance. Standing tall in its alluring beauty, this splendid structure, painted with strokes of British grandeur, is more than just a monument – it’s an ode to countless love tales that have unfolded amidst its verdant lawns. As you stroll through the museum, taking in tales from yesteryears, don’t forget to steal moments on the sprawling greens, whispering sweet nothings and capturing memories with the monumental backdrop.
Location: Queens Way
- Museum: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Closed on Mondays and National Holidays)
- Gardens: 5:30 am to 6:00 pm, every day
- Museum: ₹ 30
- Gardens: ₹10
Navigating here is a breeze. The Victoria Memorial bus stop is right at the doorstep, or if metro rides are your thing, hop off at the Exide More Metro and you’re just a short walk away. The memorial, an epitome of British elegance, is always abuzz, sometimes a tad too crowded, but that’s the charm of popular spots, isn’t it? And, how can one forget the regal statue of the queen herself, overseeing her domain?
Recently, our revered Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji breathed new life into this legacy. The newly inaugurated section, ‘Bidrohi Bharat’, stands as a tribute to the dauntless spirits who championed our freedom. Delve deep into history, with exhibits showcasing the brave hearts’ tools – from box bombs to rifles. And, art lovers, brace yourselves! A dedicated section showcases the genius of Bengal’s very own, Abanindranath Thakur. A journey through his paintings and sculptures is nothing short of transcendental.
Ah! And the park! While its beauty can make hearts flutter, be wary of the ‘chapri’ lovebirds finding their own little nooks. But then, what’s Kolkata without its myriad shades? A visit here, I assure, will be a dance of history, love, and sheer beauty.
Marble Palace Museum: ‘Kolkata’r Aitihasik Sonar Tukro’
Ah, the Marble Palace, or as locals often fondly say, “shudhu Kolkata’r ek sonar tukro” (just a golden piece of Kolkata). Nestled in the heart of north Kolkata, this 19th-century palatial mansion stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and architectural splendor. Built mostly from marble, its gleaming walls and floors have seen countless tales of romance and artistry. As you step inside, you’re greeted with an array of artistic statues, grand Victorian furniture, ornate chandeliers, antique clocks, and illustrious paintings by maestros like Van Gogh and Reynolds.
Location: Raja Katra, Machuabazar
Timings: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; closed on Mondays
Entry fee: N/A.
Truly, an entry into a world of marvel without any cost. As you saunter through, don’t miss the adjoining zoo, home to diverse animals and birds, capturing the essence of Bengal’s biodiversity. This stately mansion, still occupied by the descendants of Raja Rajendra Mullick, stands as one of Kolkata’s best-preserved treasures.
Getting here? Quite the easy task! With its proximity to Burrabazar, one of Asia’s largest markets, a quick glance at Google Maps or the beloved local ‘Pathadisha‘ app will guide you seamlessly. Indeed, for those with a penchant for history and art, a visit to the Marble Palace is like a delightful tryst with Kolkata’s golden past.
Romantic Places in Kolkata: Restaurants Where You Can Bond Over Food
Ah, “Bengali’r pet pujo!” (The Bengali way of celebrating food) – a testament to the love Bengalis have for their food. In the heart of Kolkata, where romance intertwines with gastronomy, what better way to express your love than by diving deep into the flavours of the city together? Sure, there might be thousands of blogs recommending high-end spots and expensive treats, but as the saying goes “Ami toh local, eat local.” So here, we won’t just talk about places that carry the legacy of being old or are situated in a five-star. No, we will unearth those hidden gems that serve genuine goodness. From authentic Bengali delicacies to global cuisines, the city offers a myriad of dining experiences perfect for those “dui jon ek sathe” (two souls together) moments. Dive in, and let the culinary magic of Kolkata add the perfect spice to your romantic date!
Saptapadi Bengali Restaurant – For The Love of Authentic Bengal Cuisine
Address: 49B, Purna Das Rd, Golpark, Hindustan Park, Gariahat, Kolkata, West Bengal 700029, India
Phone: +91 84207 22098
Web: Visit website
Ah, Saptapadi – it’s not just a restaurant; it’s an emotion, especially for the Bengalis! Named after the classic 1961 Bengali romantic drama starring the legendary Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar, the ambiance at Saptapadi is reminiscent of the golden era of Bengali cinema. When you step in, you’ll be greeted with movie stills and vintage portraits of the stars, while the soft romantic melodies of Bengali cinema serenade you.
Founded by two maestros in the kitchen, Chefs Ranjan Biswas and Swarup Mondal, who have an impressive decade of experience working in luxury hotels, this restaurant offers a delightful mix of contemporary and time-honoured dishes. While they’ve expanded with more branches in Saltlake and other parts of the city, we reminisce about the original spot – the one that started it all. The signature dishes like the “Saptapadir Avinaba Murgi” and “Saptapadir Avinaba Mangsho” are a must-try!
Transport-wise, it’s conveniently located. Jump on a bus headed to Gariahat, and a brief 5-minute walk will lead you to Saptapadi. If the metro is more your speed, then the Rabindra Sarobar metro station is merely two lanes away. And what’s a trip to Gariahat without indulging in some shopping? After savouring the delicacies at Saptapadi, digest your meal with a shopping spree at the pocket-friendly Gariahat market. And, if a serene walk is on your mind, Rabindra Sarobar is just around the corner, as mentioned in our earlier article segment.
Diving back into the Saptapadi experience – it truly stands out in the vicinity. The staff, courteous as ever, often give recommendations that just hit the spot. And talk about efficiency! No endless waiting for your food here. Everything we ordered, from Aampora Sarbat, Basanti Pulao to Ilish and Daab Chingri, arrived promptly and was an absolute delight to the taste buds. If you find yourself around Gariahat and are hankering for some authentic Bengali fare, give Saptapadi a shot. It’s leagues ahead of the nearby establishments.
And for those looking for that little extra touch – they gift you a group photo after your meal. Truly a keepsake from an unforgettable dining experience in the heart of Bengal – “Shudhu Kolkatar giniş!” (Truly Kolkata’s treasure!).
Balwant Singh’s Eating House: The Midnight Culinary Oasis of Kolkata
Bengal may be known for its delicate roshogollas and sandesh, but dive a little deeper into Kolkata’s streets, and you’ll discover the robust flavours of North India at the iconic dhabas of the city. Among these, Balwant Singh’s Eating House, fondly referred to as Balwant Singh Dhaba, shines the brightest, especially during the quiet of the midnight.
Situated in Bhawanipore, Kolkata’s upscale neighbourhood, this dhaba isn’t just a place to eat; it’s an experience. Imagine this: It’s midnight, the city sleeps, but a part of it, a buzzing corner, is alive and kicking, much like a club set in the middle of the street. The tantalizing aroma of food fills the air, punctuated by animated conversations and the clinking of cups. And amid this, a cup of chai from Balwant Singh’s – arguably the best midnight tea you’ll find in the entire city.
Their menu caters to vegetarians and boasts a variety of dishes, all reasonably priced. But while you’re in the neighbourhood, don’t just stop at Balwant Singh’s. The lanes around house a multitude of dhabas and eateries, each offering its unique flavour palate. From Azad Hind Dhaba‘s sumptuous plates to the smaller establishments dotting the road, there’s a dish for every palate.
Craving something sweet after your meal? The vicinity doesn’t disappoint. Head over to Sharma Snacks for some crispy jalebis or pop into Gupta Sweets, a veritable treasure trove of delicacies. Whether you’re in the mood for the Rajasthani Ghewar, the Mathura peda, or Kolkata’s very own baked roshogolla, these lanes have you covered.
Coming back to Balwant Singh’s Eating House, while most of their offerings hit the mark, there’s one concoction that evokes a mixed bag of reactions – the Doodh Cola. A rather unconventional blend of milk and cola, it might not sit well with everyone (including yours truly). It’s an acquired taste, to say the least. However, their North Indian spread is nothing short of delectable, making the dhaba a must-visit spot.
So, next time you find yourself in Kolkata, with hunger pangs at midnight, you know where to head. Dive into the bustling lanes of Bhawanipore and discover the “Uttar Bharatiya” flavours in the heart of Bengal! “Ektu Bangali, ektu Punjabi, shudhu Kolkatar giniş!” (A bit of Bengali, a bit of Punjabi, truly Kolkata’s treasure!)
Kolkata’s Chinese Delights: The Legendary Chowman and Beyond
Kolkata, a melting pot of cultures, has always embraced the aromatic flavours of Chinese cuisine with open arms. And spearheading this culinary love affair is none other than the renowned Chowman. While the city boasts of various Chinese eateries, Chowman holds a special place in Kolkatans’ hearts, much like its sibling – Oudh Biryani 1590, which tantalizes with its rich biryanis. But today, let’s journey through the oriental trails of Chowman.
Our gastronomic adventure at Chowman began with the Exotic Veg in Oyster Sauce, where an assortment of vibrant veggies met the subtle oyster sauce in a harmonious waltz. The Four Treasured Mushroom, with its creamy texture and garlic undertones, emerged as a delight for vegetarian patrons, given that Indian-Chinese cuisine often leans towards non-vegetarian fare. Yet, it was the oyster-sauced veggies that won our hearts with their simplistic and genuine flavours. A sip of the Thai Lemonade and Summer Fresh mocktails elevated the experience, providing a refreshing counter to the dishes.
But it was the Wok Tossed Prawn in XO Sauce and Lamb with Basil and Chilli that stood out. Each prawn, drenched in a sweet-spicy concoction, was a treat, while the lamb, aromatic and infused with basil, red chillies, and mint, played a spicy, tangy symphony in our mouths.
For mains, we went with the Thai Chilli Prawn and Lamb Rendang Curry, accompanied by Vegetable Fried Rice. The lamb, simmered slowly in coconut milk and accentuated with curry leaves, was a creamy, spicy revelation. Chowman’s finale, the Darshan with Vanilla Ice Cream, wrapped up our feast beautifully.
Priced reasonably starting from INR 300, with its calming ambiance and tunes echoing the spirit of China, Chowman guarantees an authentic experience.
Yet, Chowman isn’t Kolkata’s only Chinese gem. The rapidly rising Shanghai also deserves applause. And for those willing to delve deeper, Tangra’s China Bazar awaits. Nestled near Topsia, this area, dominated by Kolkata’s Chinese community, offers myriad restaurants, each echoing the authenticity of homeland recipes. Admittedly, it’s a bit chaotic and perhaps not for everyone, but for the true food adventurer, it’s a must-visit.
In the end, whether you’re at the sophisticated Chowman or navigating the bustling lanes of China Bazar, one thing’s for certain – Kolkata’s Chinese game is strong and irresistible. So, “Chalo, Kolkata’r Chinatown-e ek chinênsh éshor kori!” (Let’s indulge in a Chinese feast in Kolkata’s Chinatown!)
Conclusion: ‘Kolkata’r Prem-er Gaan’ (The Love Song of Kolkata)
As we journeyed through the heart of the ‘City of Joy‘, unraveling its romantic tapestries, one thing became clear: Kolkata isn’t just a city—it’s an emotion, a testament to love in all its forms. Be it the serene embrace of its lush gardens and lakes, offering couples a tranquil escape, or the timeless tales whispered by its historical edifices, echoing ‘Purono Kolkata’r Prem Kahini‘; Kolkata has always been a city where love thrives.
And then there are its restaurants, places where couples bond over sumptuous meals, merging the authenticity of Bengali tastes with global cuisines. From traditional Bengali delights to the spicy notes of North Indian dhabas and the oriental charm of its Chinese haunts, Kolkata ensures that love is always seasoned with flavours.
So, as the sun sets over the Hooghly, painting the sky with hues of romance, remember this: “Kolkata prem kore, prem’e mêshay, aar prem’e gaay” (Kolkata loves, blends in love, and sings of love). Whether you’re rekindling old flames or sparking new ones, this city offers myriad backdrops to write your own ‘Prem-er Gaan’. ধন্যবাদ, Kolkata, for being the timeless muse of countless love stories.