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Weather in December

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Birmingham, UK
posts: 10
Weather in December

Hello everyone!

We are travelling ot Calcutta for a week in mid-December and I was wondering if anyone could suggest what the weather is going to be like. I have been reading online and the figures vary a great deal, from 9 degrees to 25!

Also, we are staying in the Hyatt and understand it is about a 30 minute walk into the centre of Calcutta. Is this a pleasant walk or would taxis be advisable?

I'm sure I'll have more questions before our trip!

Thanks,

Gemma.

Cannock, United...
posts: 203
reviews: 2
1. Re: Weather in December

Gemma

As far as the weather is concerned you need have no worries! Temp in the city will be pleasant during the day, although much warmer than in Birmingham!! Even evening temps will be higher than we're used to here in the Midlands. So, shirt sleeves during the day, and poss light jacket or cardigan at night.

Personally, I'd take the taxi option from the Hotel. As a westerner you'll stick out like the proverbial sore thumb in Kolkata, and when I was last there 4 years ago, I think our party WAS the tourist attraction!! Also, being a westerner, you may attract the attention of the local beggar population, and be continuously pestered for money. Once in the city things aren't too bad - we walked around quite freely. My wife actually said that she felt safer walking around Kolkata at night than she did in many places in the UK! Be prepared for crowds! There are over 14 million people in the city - and sometimes it may appear that they're all walking the opposite way to you! Don't worry! Kokata is a very friendly place and the people are great!

I'm sure brave1 will add more to this, and I'd take his advice any day as far as the city is concerned!

Tony

Birmingham, UK
posts: 10
2. Re: Weather in December

Thank you :)

Glad the weather will be nice. I'm hoping it is warm enough to use the outdoor pool. Will pack my swim gear and wait and see!

Taxi's sound like a good idea. Do you have any idea how much it would cost from the Hyatt to the city centre? Also, when we are in Calcutta and wanting to return to the hotel, how would we get one? Can you hail one like you can in London etc?

I'm really looking forward to the trip. I've never been to India before and I can't wait!

Cannock, United...
posts: 203
reviews: 2
3. Re: Weather in December

Gemma,

If there's one thing there's no shortage of in Kolkata it's taxis! Be careful though as some will try and get more money from you than the ride would normally cost! Ask the driver how much the trip will cost and keep your eye on the meter - it should be zero when you get in and not switched off till you arrive at your destination! Fares themselves are not too expensive and the hotel will have a good idea of how much the trip will be.

It will be plenty warm enough for swimming!

Some advice on food. Avoid things like salads unless you can be sure that they've been washed in pure water. My advice would be stick to cooked food.

Also keep a bottle of water in the bathroom for cleaning your teeth and on no account drink tap water - so easy to forget when you're used to doing so at home!

The worst area I came across for mosquitoes was the airport so be prepared for that too!

Tony

Kolkata (Calcutta...
Destination Expert
for Kolkata (Calcutta), Darjeeling, India
posts: 7,475
reviews: 13
4. Re: Weather in December

I live 5 minutes away from the Hyatt, and its too far to walk to the city centre from there. Whoever said it was a 30 minute walk works in marketing, I'm sure.

Not a problem though. As Tony said, there are plenty of taxis available from the Hyatt, it will cost you just a little more than a Pound, (Rs 80-100 in INR) to get from there to Chowringee. You should not pay anything much over this. The taxis go by meter, the official rate is exactly double the meter fare + Rs 2, but to be fair they do expect a bit in tips from tourists.

In the evenings too, you will have no problems finding a taxi back, but they charge a little more than the official meter rate. No need to hail them, they will find you.

Or you could just hire a car for the day. No need to take it from the Hyatt who charge an arm and a leg, I can put you in touch with private agencies who will give you near local rates. More expensive but comfortable.

Good information from the ever dependable Tony about the rest. I do think though it will be a bit chilly in the pool, but hey we do not have English winters so pack your swimwear anyway.

Safe trip and if you need more help let me know.

Kolkata (Calcutta...
Destination Expert
for Kolkata (Calcutta), Darjeeling, India
posts: 7,475
reviews: 13
5. Re: Weather in December

I did forget to mention, in India hiring a car implies driver included, not self drive. Don't even try.

Birmingham, UK
posts: 10
6. Re: Weather in December

I am glad you said that; don't think hubby would be keen on driving.

Do you have any tips for making sure we hail a legitimate cab? How much is an acceptable tip? I think I will budget rs 200 per journey. On a different note, how long is the taxi journey to the city centre from the hyatt, and vice versa? I did wonder if it was actually a 30 minute walk after looking at a map.

Thanks so much for the great advice!

Kolkata (Calcutta...
Destination Expert
for Kolkata (Calcutta), Darjeeling, India
posts: 7,475
reviews: 13
7. Re: Weather in December

The city centre you are probably looking at is a shopping mall in Salt Lake itself, not at the centre of the city so to speak. The actual heart of the city is Chowringee, which is a 30 min *drive* by taxi away, as opposed to City Centre Mall and multiplex, which is a 30 min *walk* away.

While city centre mall is sufficient in terms of shopping needs and restaurants, if you want to sightsee like the museum, or Victoria Memorial you shall have to take a taxi. The taxi trip will cost you around 150-200, but as I mentioned before it should be double of what's on the meter + Rs 2. So you have a guideline to go by.

As for cabs, you can try the KolkataCabs service, which provide AC taxis which are more expensive than the regular taxis. They are what you should use for sightseeing, and regular taxis for getting around.

http://kolkatacabs.com/home.html

If it doesn't work out for you, let me know. I'll see which service my company is presently using and give them a call.

Newcastle-under-Lyme...
posts: 245
reviews: 40
8. Re: Weather in December

Cabs in Kolkata are painted yellow and have a meter. Any tip is legitimate, but make sure you mention that you are giving the tip or 'baksheesh'. However brave1's suggestion for hiring a car for the day is a good one. I have done it myself occasionally. It is convenient and inexpensive (less than Rs 100 per hour). For your peace of mind you might want to leave the driver's name and the car's registration number with the hotel desk before you start your trip.

Birmingham, UK
posts: 10
9. Re: Weather in December

Thanks so much for all the great advice.

I think hiring a car may be a good idea for a day or two. I'll have a look on the link, thank you for that.

What are the must see things to do and see in Calcutta? Are there any restaurants that you would recommend?

Also, do you think that malaria tablets are necessary in December? I've read conflicting information online and would rather not take them if possible.

Iowa City
posts: 886
reviews: 1
10. Re: Weather in December

If you are staying in the city, I think, you get away without any Malaria prophylactics. You could rent a car through your hotel, it would be a bit more expensive, but the car would be a lot cleaner, and generally, nicer. The "yellow" taxis in CCU are plentyful, and pretty miserabale(sorry).

Points of interest-the Calcutta Museum, Victoria memorial, Dakhineswar Temople-Belur Math, Swabhumi-very close to your hotel-sort of heritage center with open airb craft shps, restaurants etc. If you want to try some Indian food(bengali)-try the O'Calcutta at the Forum mall in south Calcutta.My advice to visitors to CCU would be just relax, have an open mind, and enjoy.

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