A Travel Price Comparison for India Chennai vs. Kolkata (Calcutta) for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chennai or Kolkata (Calcutta)?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Chennai or Kolkata (Calcutta)? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Chennai or Kolkata (Calcutta)?


Formerly known as Madras from its colonial history, Chennai today is one of India's largest cities and capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on the Bay of Bengal in southeastern India with an extensive stretch of sandy beaches, plenty of dining and shopping, a number of historic temples, monuments, and churches, plus amusement parks and more.

Kolkata (Calcutta)

Formerly known as Calcutta, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal, India. Featuring colonial architecture, galleries, temples, and festivals, the city has flourished from its roots as an East India Company trading post in the 18th Century to a thriving metropolis. Today Kolkata is a diverse center of culture and bustling activity.

Which place is cheaper, Kolkata (Calcutta) or Chennai?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Chennai is $30, while the average daily cost in Kolkata (Calcutta) is $37. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chennai and Kolkata (Calcutta) in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chennai $16
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chennai $32
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $34
Compare Hotels in Chennai and Kolkata (Calcutta)

Looking for a hotel in Chennai or Kolkata (Calcutta)? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Chennai

Hotels in Kolkata (Calcutta)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Chennai Hotel Prices and Kolkata (Calcutta) Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chennai $2.63
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $5.15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chennai

Also for Chennai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Chennai Airport to Hotel Transfer: $13
  • Chennai Airport Transfers : Budget Sedan and SUV Cabs: $15
  • Departure transfer: Chennai hotels to Chennai International Airport: $19
  • Chennai - Private Departure Transfer from Hotel to Airport : $19
  • Departure Transfer from Chennai Hotels to Chennai airport: $20
  • Chennai - Private Arrival Transfer - From Airport to Hotel: $20
  • Affordable Chennai Airport Transfer: $24
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Chennai Airport MAA to Chennai city by car: $24
  • Departure Private Transfer from Chennai City to Chennai MAA Airport by car: $24
  • Chennai International Airport to Hotel-Private Arrival transfer: $25
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chennai International Airport: $28
  • Bangalore - private departure transfer from Hotel to Airport : $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kolkata (Calcutta)

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kolkata (Calcutta):

  • Path of Knowledge: A Heritage Walking Tour of Kolkata with Private Transfer: $165
  • The Second City of Empire: A Kolkata Heritage Walking Tour with Private Transfer: $150
  • Build Your Own: custom private tour of Kolkata with transfers: $69
  • Private Transfer from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (CCU) Airport to Kolkata: $60
  • Private Transfer from Kolkata to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (CCU) Airport: $60
  • Airport Taxi: Round Trip Transfer Between Kolkata & Kolkata Airport CCU: $49
  • Kolkata Airport to Hotel Transfer by Private Car: $43
  • Airport Transfer in Kolkata: $35
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Kolkata Airport: $32
  • Kolkata - Arrival transfer from Airport to Hotel: $28
  • Private Transfer Kolkata Airport CCU To Kolkata Hotels Drop: $22
  • Airport to Hotel Transfer with Assistance : $21

Is it cheaper to fly into Chennai or Kolkata (Calcutta)?

Prices for flights to both Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Chennai $6.45
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $14

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chennai

For Chennai, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • 2 Hour Street Food Tour in Sowcarpet Chennai : $37
  • Private In-Home Vegetarian Cooking Class and Meal in Chennai: $46
  • Private Vegetarian South Indian Cooking Class in Chennai : $48
  • South Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with a Passionate Baker: $48
  • South Indian Vegetarian Cooking Class in Chennai with Menna: $54
  • South Indian Vegetarian Cooking Class Near the Chennai airport: $62
  • Traditional Tamil Brahmin Vegetarian Cooking Lesson with a Local in Her Home: $74
  • Private Authentic Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with a Local: $76
  • Private 3-Hour Cooking Lesson and Meal in Chennai: $100
  • Authentic South Indian Cooking Class and Vegetarian Meal with a Local in Chennai: $122
  • Private South Indian Cooking Class and Market Visit in Chennai: $152
  • Food Trail In Sowcarpet With Transport And Dinner - Chennai: $220

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kolkata (Calcutta)

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Kolkata (Calcutta).

  • Bengali Nights Kolkata Food Tour with 13+ Tastings: $35
  • Alleyway Food Tour: $37
  • Cooking experience in Authentic Bengali House with Lunch/Dinner: $41
  • Cooking class and home cooked Bengali meal in New Town, Kolkata: $52
  • Dinner Cruise on Ganges Kolkata 3Hrs: $59
  • Traditional Bengali Cooking Class in Kolkata in a Local Home: $64

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chennai $2.79
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $15

Tours and Activities in Chennai

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Chennai.

  • Private Night Walking Tour Chennai: $13
  • Walking Tour Chennai: $14
  • Chennai Night Walk Tour ( 2 hours guided walking tour): $16
  • Chennai Walking Tour ( 2 hours guided tour): $16
  • Magical Chennai Markets Tour (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $17
  • Chennai Walk of Divinity (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $17
  • Chennai Street Food Crawl ( 2 hours guided walking tour): $22
  • Food Walk Tour Chennai: $25
  • Night Walking Tour of Chennai: $26
  • Chennai Cultural Walking Tour: $26
  • Village Tour around Mahabalipuram: $27
  • Mylapore Walking tour by Wonder tours: $29

Tours and Activities in Kolkata (Calcutta)

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Kolkata (Calcutta) are as follows:

  • 02 Days Guided Private Tour of Kolkata : $225
  • All inclusive full day tour of kolkata: $106
  • Best of Kolkata (Guided Halfday Sightseeing Tour by Car): $82
  • Calcutta Contrast Tour: $37
  • Capturing the City of Joy; Full Day Kolkata Street Photography Tour: $85
  • Cultural Confluence of Kolkata - Culture Kaleidoscope Tour: $37
  • Custom Private Guided Kolkata Sightseeing Trip w/ Optional Add ons: $148
  • Custom Private Kolkata Sightseeing Trip with Optional Guided Trip: $43
  • Cycling tour around Kolkata: $37
  • Day Tour Of Kolkata: $24
  • Discover Kolkata - An Immersive Experience in the City of Joy: $56
  • Downtown Kolkata Private Tour (By Air Conditioned Car): $213

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chennai $3.10
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $8.33

Sample the Local Flavors in Kolkata (Calcutta)

Also in Kolkata (Calcutta), these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Pub Crawl Kolkata: $40

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chennai and Kolkata (Calcutta), we can see that Kolkata (Calcutta) is more expensive. And not only is Chennai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chennai would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chennai and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Kolkata (Calcutta) would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Kolkata (Calcutta) than you might in Chennai.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Chennai Expensive? and Is Kolkata (Calcutta) Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Chennai or Kolkata (Calcutta)?

Kolkata (Calcutta) has a larger population, and is about 7% larger than the population of Chennai. When comparing the sizes of Chennai and Kolkata (Calcutta), keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.

Related Articles for Kolkata (Calcutta)