Kolkata (Calcutta)

After a spell of gloom, the nightlife scene has been looking up, largely due to the city’s deathless love for music, theater, and food. Venues in Park Street, Ballygunge, and even the satellite city of Salt Lake host local bands with a loyal following. They perform until midnight, which is late by the city’s (and most of India’s) standards.

During Durga Puja, the city remains up all night. Lounges, sheesha (hookah) bars, and discos all draw well-heeled young entrepreneurs, fashion designers, models, and professionals. Cabs run late into the night and are usually considered safe. Be cautious while traveling on your own, however, especially late at night.

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  • 1. Someplace Else

    Central Kolkata | Bars/Pubs

    Kolkata's favorite pub is compact and always packed—it hosts nine hours of live music every day. Besides talented and popular local bands playing...

    Kolkata's favorite pub is compact and always packed—it hosts nine hours of live music every day. Besides talented and popular local bands playing rock, blues, alternative, and jazz, the venue hosts top international acts frequently. It's a great place to bond with musicians and music lovers—the city is teeming with both.

    The Park Hotel, 17 Park St., Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    33-249–7336
  • 2. Aafra

    Bypass and Beyond | Gathering Places

    A popular hangout for young professionals and those on a date, this sheesha (hookah) lounge also serves a Sunday brunch and has a menu of...

    A popular hangout for young professionals and those on a date, this sheesha (hookah) lounge also serves a Sunday brunch and has a menu of Japanese, Mediterranean and Continental cuisine.

    7th fl., Block G, City Centre Mall, Salt Lake, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    33-88205–85182
  • 3. Big Ben

    Central Kolkata | Bars/Pubs

    Local professionals congregate in this pub, which has skilled bartenders. Coming from the speakers is a mix of rock, pop, and Bollywood music...

    Local professionals congregate in this pub, which has skilled bartenders. Coming from the speakers is a mix of rock, pop, and Bollywood music. Midweek theme nights and special offers on sangria pitchers help pack 'em in.

    Kenilworth Hotel, 1–2 Little Russell St., Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    33-2282–3939
  • 4. Plush

    Central Kolkata | Bars/Pubs

    The Astor Hotel may have fallen out of favor with travelers due to the glitzier and younger competition, but its lounge remains a top draw with...

    The Astor Hotel may have fallen out of favor with travelers due to the glitzier and younger competition, but its lounge remains a top draw with party animals. The spacious interior—a rarity in city nightspots—draws a suitably well-heeled crowd that also comes for the food. The spicy glazed prawns, the clay-oven barbecued chicken, and the Caribbean chicken skewers all come recommended. The drinks are less amazing.

    The Astor Hotel, 15, Shakespere Sarani, Theatre Rd., Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    9830-122–203
  • 5. Tantra

    Central Kolkata | Dance Clubs

    Despite newer, younger venues around town, Tantra still draws the hottest crowd to its dance floor. Favored by those in their 20s, Tantra is...

    Despite newer, younger venues around town, Tantra still draws the hottest crowd to its dance floor. Favored by those in their 20s, Tantra is where film stars and models let their hair down.

    The Park Hotel, 17 Park St., Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    33-2249–7336
  • 6. Underground

    Central Kolkata | Dance Clubs

    Underground is a popular venue, though the crowd gets a bit rambunctious as the evening wears on. ...

    Underground is a popular venue, though the crowd gets a bit rambunctious as the evening wears on.

    Hotel Hindustan International, 235/1 A. J. C. Bose Rd., Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    33-2247–2394

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