The Best Places to People-Watch in Kolkata

Abhijit Kar Gupta/ Flickr
Abhijit Kar Gupta/ Flickr
Photo of Sridevi Nambiar
23 January 2017

The vibrant, dynamic and historic city of Kolkata has much to offer the curious traveller – ancient monuments, spectacular architecture, street food and more. But the city’s energetic and diverse population is an attraction in itself. Here we bring you a list of the best places to people-watch and take in the multiculturalism in the City of Joy.

Howrah Bridge

Map View
More than 150,000 people walk across the Howrah Bridge every day.
More than 150,000 people walk across the Howrah Bridge every day. | © Abhijit Kar Gupta/ Flickr
If Kolkata had to be defined by a single image, it would be a picture of the stunning Howrah Bridge. Connecting Kolkata with the adjacent industrial city of Howrah over the Hooghly river, the bridge is bustling with activity throughout the day – more than 150,000 pedestrians use it daily. Whether it’s commuters travelling to work or vendors transporting goods, there’s always something interesting to see on a walk over this landmark.

Mallik Ghat Flower Market

Map View
The colourful, vibrant 15-year-old Mallik Ghat Flower Market is always a fantastic place to people-watch. Located by the Howrah Bridge, the flower market is one of the largest in the city and is always bustling with activity. Packed with flower vendors and customers from all walks of life buying and selling flowers and garlands from around the country, a trip to the market is a quintessential Kolkata experience.

Howrah Junction Station

Kolkata’s many historic and large railway stations are rewarding destinations for crossing paths with plenty of interesting people. The Howrah Junction Railway Station, the oldest and one of the largest in the country, welcomes 2 million commuters every day. Across the Hooghly river from Kolkata at Howrah, the station opened in 1853 and is one of the busiest in the country today. Commuters from all walks of life, along with railway porters and vendors trying to sell to passengers, blend together to give you much to observe.

Station Rd, Howrah Railway Station, Howrah

Bernard Gagnon /WikiCommons

Howrah Junction Railway Station is the oldest railway station in India | © Bernard Gagnon /WikiCommon

Old Chinatown or Terreti Market

Market, Chinese, Asian, Fast Food
Map View
Kolkata’s Chinatown, the only remaining Chinatown in an Indian city, is a fantastic place in which to people-watch while enjoying cuisine prepared by the city’s Chinese Indian population. Bustling with patrons and vendors trading in all kinds of fresh produce, meat, Chinese herbs and other items, Terreti Market is a Kolkata experience that’s not be missed.


Kumortoli is a famous potter’s colony in northern Kolkata. The streets are lined with numerous potters’ shops where you can catch workers absorbed in sculpting idols, usually of Hindu gods and goddesses. Kumortoli is the only remaining neighbourhood of its kind in an area that was once filled with artisan communities.


Kumortoli is home to Kolkata's sculptors and potters and is the city's last remaining artisan community |© Sujay25/ WikiCommons

Kumortoli is home to Kolkata’s sculptors and potters and is the city’s last remaining artisan community | © Sujay25/ WikiCommons

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