Getting around in Kolkata

#1 Oct 28th, 2017, 15:14
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  • Harry05 is offline
#1
In january/february I will be a few (propably about four/five) days in Kolkata. Just wandering what is the best way to get around between certain areas (where I will walk around)
1. Want to use a taxi for this or do they also have service like Uber/Grab or mototaxis? What is the going rate of a taxi?
2. Like to walk around making photos. Are all the areas safe to walk around (by myself) or are there certain no go areas?
3. If making photos of locals (after permission of course), is it usual to tip them? If yes, how much would be going rate?
4. Any advice about not too well known nice local areas to walk around?

Thanks answering in advance.

Harry
#2 Oct 28th, 2017, 15:17
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  • snotty is offline
#2
As for 3, I don't think you tip them.
Well I never got a penny for all the modelling I did!
Sar Pass Trek , Rohtang, Munnar, Badrinath Kedarnath, Vaishnodevi, Goa
#3 Oct 28th, 2017, 16:03
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  • arupratan ghosh is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry05 View Post 1. Want to use a taxi for this or do they also have service like Uber/Grab or mototaxis? What is the going rate of a taxi?
Minimum fare for taxis ( non AC) is Rs 25 ( for initial 2/3 Kms ). But most probably you would be charged more by Taxi drivers. So, I would suggest you to hire UBER cabs. For a half an hour journey by UBER (& 5/6 Kms within the city) charges would be around 130 to 180 INR. Fares are usually less during morning hours & more in the evening.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry05 View Post
2. Like to walk around making photos. Are all the areas safe to walk around (by myself) or are there certain no go areas?
Yes, entire Kolkata is pretty safe. You can freely roam around the streets/lanes & do photography. Probably you may get to see a couple of city-based photographers at some specific places on any day. Don't go to the red-light areas for photography. That could be problematic .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry05 View Post
3. If making photos of locals (after permission of course), is it usual to tip them? If yes, how much would be going rate?
Usually you need not to pay any tips for taking photos of locals in Kolkata.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry05 View Post
4. Any advice about not too well known nice local areas to walk around?
Please visit Creek Row , Elliot Road & Jaan Bazar areas ( besides famous photography-trails like Kumartuli , Dalhousie ( B B Bad ) , Mullick Ghat Flower Market & Nakhoda Masjid ) .
#4 Oct 28th, 2017, 16:31
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  • vonkla is online now
#4
For cheap transport options consider the metro or a bus.
Apart from the already mentioned Kumartali area, the Biological Garden is a nice park to relax.

See the last part of my 2011 journal for details of the days we spend in Kolkata.
#5 Oct 28th, 2017, 20:03
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Places & Telephone nos.
From the thread
Places & Telephone nos.
Kolkata West Benga
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#6 Oct 28th, 2017, 22:36
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#6
Apart from Uber, you use Olacabs also (can book from app).

All places are safe as Arupratan said.

About photography, I would suggest to add urself with some groups if you like to be in a group. Such groups you can find in FB (such as https://www.facebook.com/Kolkataphotographyclub/). If they don't accompany you, at least they can suggest you better (places).

Locals wouldn't ask for tips for photography i guess. Rather it would be better to keep it that way.

Apart from above mentioned places, you can visit: sealdah station, streets near dharmatala, princep ghat, maidan on Sunday, art galleries in the Nandan area, Rabindra Sarovar Lake, Old Jewish neighborhoods, Bow Barracks or bagbazar ghat. I like to roam in the narrow lanes of North Kolkata (but, you be aware of the lanes, though Google map is there).

Best of luck.
#7 Oct 28th, 2017, 23:27
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#7
We used mainly public transport, bus and tram and walked qute a bit and a few time a waved down a taxi
#8 Oct 28th, 2017, 23:30
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#8
OLA rental is recommended. They have plans like 60 km 6 hours, 80 km 8 hours, etc.

https://www.olacabs.com/fares/kolkata
#9 Oct 29th, 2017, 03:33
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#9
Ola has a "no foreigners" policy. OK, not literally, but like many things in India, using Ola requires an Indian mobile number.

The needs of people without Indian mobile numbers are never considered. This is true even at international airports, where you need an Indian mobile number to get a code that allows you to use wifi. To say nothing of things like aadhar cards: you have to provide a mobile number when applying for an aadhar card, but nowadays you need to provide an aadhar number when applying for a mobile number (SIM).

Uber accepts foreign credit cards and foreign phone numbers; of course, Indian app cab drivers are unique in all the world in that they do not trust the app, they want to call and talk to you before coming to pick you up. So using a Uber app with a foreign phone number is somewhat risky although usually it works.
#10 Oct 29th, 2017, 08:46
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The best thing you can do is take the metro rail. Safe?!
I'm a solo woman traveler and always felt safe in Kolkata taking the metro to various areas. I even traveled using the metro at night.
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#11 Oct 29th, 2017, 08:49
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPG View Post Ola has a "no foreigners" policy. OK, not literally, but like many things in India, using Ola requires an Indian mobile number.
Yeah, and that totally sucks.
#12 Oct 29th, 2017, 10:08
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPG View Post To say nothing of things like aadhar cards: you have to provide a mobile number when applying for an aadhar card, but nowadays you need to provide an aadhar number when applying for a mobile number (SIM).
Aadhaar-Mobile number linking: Govt to announce new cell verification method for NRIs, tourists - Business Today.
#13 Oct 29th, 2017, 10:48
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  • Sama is offline
#13

"in discussions"

"one of the alternative mechanisms for verification of mobile numbers of foreign tourists could be through passport, but no decision has been taken yet on the matter."

uh huh.

talk is cheap.

thank goodness for my T Mobile global service.
#14 Oct 29th, 2017, 13:19
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sama View Post The best thing you can do is take the metro rail. Safe?!
I'm a solo woman traveler and always felt safe in Kolkata taking the metro to various areas. I even traveled using the metro at night.
...except there is only one line. Also, it can get miserably crowded.
Last edited by RPG; Oct 29th, 2017 at 23:33..
#15 Oct 29th, 2017, 16:04
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#15
You don't really need any app-cabs, there are plenty of classic yellow cabs standing and roaming around in the city. If you want a higher class taxi with exact meter bill, you can call https://www.megacabs.com/kolkata.php I use them when coming in from the airport (their office is near the exit), because prepaid taxis tend to not drop me at the exact location of my preferred guesthouse, as this is in the Chowringhee/Park Street area, where traffic direction changes according to time of the day. For a cab with a metered bill printed out this is not a problem, as it adds to the final bill, while prepaids essentially lose money by having to drive around a one-way section, and therefore like to drop one somewhere "near" the actual destination.

During the day, avoiding rush hour, the metro is fine to cover some distance.


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