Kolkata, the City of Joy, is about beautiful colonial buildings, idyllic trams, sinful Bengali treats, energy-packed football matches and brilliant literature. There are plenty of scenic and interesting places to explore around the city too, which you can easily reach by car or bike. Whether you love the thrill of forests, the peace of beaches or the mystery of historical hotspots, there are all types of road trip options to satisfy every traveller’s passion.

Keep reading to know about the best places to visit from Kolkata via road:

1. Chandannagar

Sacred Heart's Church

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

Tourists are drawn to the quaint city of Chandannagar chiefly because of its picturesque location (on Hooghly River’s western bank) and its French colonial past. Teeming with history, elegant architecture and religious attractions, Chandannagar easily features on the list of top weekend getaways from Kolkata. The city is also renowned for its Jagadhatri Puja celebrations as it allows visitors to admire stunning lighting and amazing craftsmanship at pandals and during processions.   

  • Distance from Kolkata: 48 km
  • Estimated driving time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • Top attractions: Chandannagar Museum, Patal Bari, Chandannagar Strand, Nandadulal Temple and Sacred Heart Church

2. Raichak

Raichak | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

This riverside village is counted among those road trips from Kolkata that offer calmness, earthy vibes and respite from the chaos of urban living. Those who love to photograph nature, explore the rustic way of life or admire colonial-era structures can choose Raichak as a weekend getaway. You can also relish freshly-caught fishes during your trip and shop for local handicrafts.    

  • Distance from Kolkata: 54 km
  • Estimated driving time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Top attractions: The Ffort, Diamond Harbour and its lighthouse, Chingrikhali Fort, Joynagar, and Aashram of Ramkrishna Mission

3. Tarakeshwar

Looking for religious places to visit from Kolkata? Tarakeshwar is ideal for you, especially if you are devoted to Lord Shiva. Apart from paying your respects at the famous Baba Taraknath Temple, you can admire its traditional Bengali-style architecture, complete with an atchala and natmandir. You can take a dip in the holy Dudhpukur Tank as well if you want your deepest wishes to be fulfilled. Festivals like Neel Puja, Charak Puja Mela and Gajan see many tourists flocking to Tarakeshwar. 

  • Distance from Kolkata: 63 km
  • Estimated driving time: 2 hours
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Top attractions: Deulpara Buddha Temple

4. Sundarbans

Sundarbans | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

Sundarbans is undoubtedly one of the best road trips from Kolkata, as it is known far and wide for its mangrove forests and remarkable biodiversity. Nature-lovers will fall in love with the unique types of trees as well as the variety of wildlife in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even if you are not lucky enough to spot a Royal Bengal Tiger, you might catch a glimpse of jungle cats, leopard cats, wild boars, foxes, deer and the Indian grey mongoose. Birds like the Jungle Babbler, Mangrove Whistler and Black-Capped Kingfisher can also make for beautiful photos. A boat safari is your best bet for spotting river dolphins, while touring local villages will show you how people coexist with nature.     

  • Distance from Kolkata: 109 km
  • Estimated driving time: 3 hours (before taking a boat)
  • Best time to visit: September to March
  • Top attractions: Sundarban National Park, Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower, Netidhopani, Sajnekhali Watch Tower, Kanak, Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project

5. Mayapur

Situated at the confluence of the Ganges and Jalangi rivers, Mayapur is home to several religious sites and is a spiritual getaway, especially for Radha-Madhava devotees. If you are someone who wants to know all about the Hare Krishna Movement, then the global headquarters of ISKCON in Mayapur is a must-visit. You can explore the architecture of the temples that dot this place, the history behind them, and learn all about Vedic principles. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Ganges and capture breathtaking sunsets on their cameras. 

  • Distance from Kolkata: 123 km
  • Estimated driving time: 4 hours
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Top attractions: ISKCON Chandrodaya Temple, Sri Chaitanya Math, Chand Kazi’s Samadhi, Sri Devananda Gaudiya Math and Yoga Peeth

6. Bishnupur

Bishnupur | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

Intricately carved Hindu temples made of local terracotta are this picture-perfect town’s claim to fame. Those who have a keen interest in history, architecture and art can plan a short getaway to Bishnupur and explore its rich heritage that dates back to 1600 AD. Many temples here boast distinct designs like domed tops, curved cornices, stucco decoration, and convey tales from the Puranas. It is also easy to travel onwards from Bishnupur and visit scenic hills and forests like Susunia Hill and Jhilimili, if you are in the mood for adventure, nature photography or some serenity. 

  • Distance from Kolkata: 140 km
  • Estimated driving time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Top attractions: Rasmancha Temple, Lalji Temple, Jorebangla Temple, Madan Mohan Temple, and Radha Shyam Temple

7. Santiniketan

Easily among the best road trips from Kolkata by car, the small and charming town of Santiniketan is known widely due to the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s generous contributions. The poet, writer, painter and music composer was responsible for making Santiniketan a unique educational hub where students were encouraged to embrace nature, be creative and carry forward the artistic legacy of yesteryears. Today, you can explore many beautiful learning centres and heritage buildings in peaceful natural settings apart from Tagore’s abode, meditation spots and museums. Tourists can also visit Santiniketan during the popular Poush Mela festival and shop for pretty local handicrafts. 

  • Distance from Kolkata: 163 km
  • Estimated driving time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Best time to visit: July to February
  • Top attractions: Tagore’s Ashram, Rabindra Bhavan Museum, Chattimtala, Upasana Griha, Kala Bhavan, Deer Park, Kankalitala, Uttarayan Complex, China Bhavan, Sangeet Bhavan and Nippon Bhavan

8. Digha

Digha | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

The coastal town of Digha has always been a favourite for beach lovers, when it comes to road trips. Overlooking the Bay of Bengal, Digha allows tourists to simply laze around, splash around in the waves and capture unforgettable sunrises and sunsets. You can also head to aquariums to learn more about marine life, experience spiritual bliss at the temples, or engage in water sports like snorkelling, skiing, parasailing and zorbing. Foodies can look forward to enjoying curries or fried dishes prepared with freshly-caught fishes and served with steaming hot rice. 

  • Distance from Kolkata: 183 km
  • Estimated driving time: 4 hours 50 minutes
  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • Top attractions: New Digha Beach, Udaipur Beach, Shankarpur Beach, Talsari Beach, Old Digha Beach, Chandpur Beach, Chandaneswar Temple, Amarabati Park, and Marine Aquarium cum Regional Centre

9. Jamshedpur

Flanked by the rivers Subarnarekha and Kharkai, the beautifully planned Jamshedpur has something for everyone. Those who are enthusiastic about nature and wildlife can visit the parks, sanctuaries and lakes in this sprawling city. From leopards and tigers to elephants and barking deer, you can catch a glimpse of some gorgeous animals. The parks and lakes are perfect for relaxing, playing with kids, soaking in some peace and stopping to smell colourful flowers. Tourists can also explore the religious hotspots and find out about the culture of tribes like Munda, Santhal, Ho and Oraon. If you are passionate about sports, you can pay a visit to the JRD Tata Sports Complex or the Keenan Stadium. 

  • Distance from Kolkata: 286 km
  • Estimated driving time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Best time to visit: November to February
  • Top attractions: Dimna Lake, Jubilee Park, Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Hudco Lake, Russi Modi Centre for Excellence, Bhatia Park, Bhuvaneshwari Temple, Jayanti Sarovar, Sir Dorabji Tata Park, Golpahari Temple, Rankini Mandir, Tribal Culture Centre, Jubilee Lake, Sakchi Masjid, and St. Mary’s Church

10. Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

Are you inspired by the teachings of Lord Buddha and looking for a trip that can enrich your mind and soul? Then, Bodh Gaya is certainly one of the best weekend getaways from Kolkata. As one of the top pilgrimage site for Buddhists as well as non-Buddhists, this tranquil village is home to the renowned Mahabodhi Temple Complex, built with bricks. It indicates the spot where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. Apart from many striking Buddhist temples, tourists can visit museums, monasteries, and temples of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese origins. The Tibetan Refugee Market is a good place for collecting souvenirs and handicrafts. 

  •  Distance from Kolkata: 473 km
  • Estimated driving time: 10 hours
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Top attractions: Great Buddha Statue, Thai Monastery, Royal Bhutan Monastery, Muchalinda Lake, Cankamana, Chinese Temple, Indosan Nippon Japanese Temple, Vietnamese Temple, Vishnupad Temple, Jama Masjid, Dungeshwari Hills, Root Institute for Wisdom Culture, Burmese Vihara Monastery, Sujatha Temple, Archaeological Society of India Museum, Ajapala Nigrodha Tree, Daijokyo Buddhist Temple and Animesh Lochana Chaitanya Shrine

11. Puri – Konark

Konark | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

For a beach-lover, Puri is among the most enjoyable destinations that are easy to reach by road from Kolkata. It is also a prominent religious site for Hindus, owing to the presence of the 12th-century Jagannath Temple. The Konark Sun Temple is a mesmerising 13th century CE affair that is close to Puri and often covered on the same trip. You can have a wonderful time by unwinding on the many beaches, photographing wild waves and stunning skies, or visiting the craft villages nearby to pick up local artworks. The scenic Chilika Lake is easy to reach from Puri. You can also visit Puri during Ratha Yatra, celebrated in honour of Lord Jagannath, and join the grand procession.  

  • Distance from Kolkata: 504 km
  • Estimated driving time: 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • Top attractions: Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri Beach, Narendra Tank, Lakshmi Temple, Raghurajpur Artist Village, Swargadwar Beach, Vimala Temple, Gundicha Temple, Sudarshan Crafts Museum and Sakshi Gopal Temple

12. Kurseong

Kurseong | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

The list of road trips from Kolkata cannot be complete without hill stations. And Kurseong is surely one of the top preferences in this regard. Offering a soothing climate and memorable views almost throughout the year, this city is perfect for those who wish to connect with nature. Rolling tea gardens, unique museums and quaint heritage buildings promise a delightful holiday here. If you are passionate about wildlife, don’t miss the graceful Deer Park in the Dow Hill area. Remember to shop for some of the best tea leaves in the world when you are in Kurseong.   

  • Distance from Kolkata: 588 km
  • Estimated driving time: 14 hours 30 minutes
  • Best time to visit: March to June and September to December
  • Top attractions: Makaibari Tea Estate, Ambootia Tea Estate, Ambotia Shiva Mandir, Eagle’s Craig, Forest Museum, St. Andrew’s Church, St. Paul’s Church, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum

13. Darjeeling 

Darjeeling | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

With the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga in its backdrop, Darjeeling has always been a favourite hill station for people in Kolkata. Verdant tea gardens, gentle hills and the amazing weather were reasons why the British chose this picturesque town as its summer getaway. The narrow-gauge toy train is one of the biggest attractions of Darjeeling apart from the ropeway suspended over breathtaking landscapes. National parks, gardens, monasteries, quaint hamlets and museums add to the appeal of this place. You can enjoy long treks, click spectacular sunrises, explore lush forests, admire wildlife, and shop for exotic tea leaves in Darjeeling.   

  • Distance from Kolkata: 617 km
  • Estimated driving time: 15 hours 45 minutes
  • Best time to visit: April to June
  • Top attractions: Tiger Hill, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Nightingale Park, Darjeeling Rock Garden, Singalila National Park, Darjeeling Peace Pagoda, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Darjeeling Observatory Hill, Ghoom Monastery, and Bengal Natural History Museum

14. Kalimpong

Kalimpong | 14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

14 Road Trips to from Kolkata

Kalimpong is one of the best places to visit by road from Kolkata if you love a great location, pleasant weather and charming colonial-era buildings that transport you to olden time. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas and overlooking the Teesta River, this pretty town attracts nature enthusiasts in droves. You can indulge in hiking, trekking or river rafting if adventure is on your mind. There are plenty of monasteries, wildlife parks and vantage points that offer unique views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and sunsets and sunrises. Apart from local handicrafts and souvenirs, you should also shop for some delectable cheese that Kalimpong is famous for.   

  • Distance from Kolkata: 625 km
  • Estimated driving time: 15 hours 50 minutes
  • Best time to visit: March to May and September to November
  • Top attractions: Durpin Dara Hill, Morgan House, Deolo Hill, Galingka, Jang Dong Palriffo Brang Gompa, Thongsa Gompa, Crockety, Sericulture Research Institute, St. Theresa Catholic Church, Neora Valley National Park, and Lepcha Museum

So, get ready to hit the road and escape from the humdrum of everyday life. You can comfortably plan any of the above road trips from Kolkata and discover new things without having to take long leaves from work.