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One of India's biggest cities, Kolkata is often considered to be the nation's cultural hub, with an intriguing blend of stupendous Colonial landmarks and a sprawling modern skyline. Each year millions of people take flights to Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, which is served by many other international cities. This spirited city is also known as the 'city of palaces', and is home to India's oldest zoo.
You can't visit Kolkata and not take the time to admire this awe-inspiring Hindu temple, which was officially 160 years old in May 2015. The meticulously designed Dakshineswar Kali Temple include a dozen beautiful shrines, and is a fine example of Bengal architecture.
Completed in 1921, the Victoria Memorial commemorates one of Britain's most influential monarchs, Queen Victoria, and was constructed with Makrana marble. Today, it's a popular exhibition gallery, telling the story of Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, and showcasing the divine landscape paintings of Thomas Daniell.
Celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2014, the Indian Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country, with dozens of galleries exhibiting artefacts ranging from animal skeletons to Buddhist statues. This museum even houses a special Egyptian mummy, which is estimated to date back to approximately 2,000BC.
See the towering Shaheed Minar monument, which was built in the 1820s when this region was part of British East India. You could also have a walk around the picturesque Maidan park, a vast green space that has been coined the 'lungs of Kolkata'. If you have the time, visit the famous Eden Gardens cricket ground, which was 150 years old in 2014 and holds numerous international cricket matches.
Some of the most sought-after luxury hotels in Kolkata include the exquisite Hyatt Regency Kolkata, the majestic The Oberoi Grand, and opulent The Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata. Other highly rated, more affordable establishments include the friendly Tatvam Residency, the stylish Hotel Casa Fortuna, and the elegant Hotel 233 Park Street.
You can enjoy some delicious, authentic local cuisine at the Dum Pukht restaurant, the Eden Pavilion Restaurant, Peshawri, or Sonargaon. There are also plenty more restaurants in Kolkata serving a variety of other international cuisines. For some equally divine Italian cuisine, try the West View Restaurant, head to the Barbeque Nation restaurant for some mouthwatering international barbecue-themed dishes, or go to Pan Asian for other wonderful Asian flavours.
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|Food and drinks||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 litre)||£1.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£3.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£30.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£30.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£312.00|