Details: Kolkata, India
Multiple airlines offer connecting service from Washington to Kolkata. Round-trip fares start at $1,066.
WHERE TO STAY
13A Sudder St., 011-91-33-2252-1510
Dating back to 1783, this affordable, well-located hotel sports colonial-era quirks and a garden overrun with plants, the perfect spot to sip a fresh lime soda. Rates from about $60 a night.
15 Jawaharlal Nehru Rd., 011-91-33-2249-2323
You may blow the bank account staying at this palace, but you'll feel like a modern maharaja. Rooms from about $440.
WHERE TO EAT
2 Elgin Lane, 011-91-33-2475-9880
This serene oasis on a back street features a superb thali of Bengali cuisine and a betel leaf confection to seal the deal. Thalis start at about $4.
6 Ballygunge Place
6 Ballygunge Pl., 011-91-33-2460-3922
Another tucked-away gem with two airy dining areas and such well-executed local favorites as cauliflower with poppy seeds. Most dishes under $5.
Forum Mall, Elgin Road, 011-91-33-2283-7161
This restaurant may sit atop a mall, but the food is anything but pedestrian. A must for brunch, including a buffet with more than a dozen exotic dishes. Less than $10.
27 Park St.
Serving only kati rolls, the best fast food you may ever eat: a paratha rolled around a fried egg, kebab, red onions, green chilies and hot sauce. Always a line, always under a dollar.
WHAT TO DO
Kali Travel Home
22/77 Raja Manindra Rd., 011-91-33-2558-7980
Take a rigorous and informative walking tour conducted by a friendly Australian expat. They also arrange cooking classes with Kolkata housewives. Both cost about $10.