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

Should you visit Chennai or Kolkata (Calcutta)?

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

Chennai

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 city 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 $27, while the average daily cost in Kolkata (Calcutta) is $35. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Chennai and Kolkata (Calcutta) in more detail.




Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $28 in Chennai For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

A hotel room in Kolkata (Calcutta) is about $30 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chennai $14
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $15
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chennai $28
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $30


Food

The price of a meal in Chennai can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $5.91 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $2.36 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

Kolkata (Calcutta) food costs typically run travelers around $14 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Chennai $5.91
    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:

  • Private In-Home Vegetarian Cooking Class and Meal in Chennai: $35
  • Private Authentic Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with a Local: $49
  • Authentic South Indian Cooking Class and Vegetarian Meal with a Local in Chennai: $50
  • Private Market Tour and South Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with Srividya: $53
  • South Indian Vegetarian Cooking Class Near the Chennai airport: $59
  • Private South Indian Cooking Class and Market Visit in Chennai: $70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kolkata (Calcutta)

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

  • Cooking class and home cooked Bengali meal in New Town, Kolkata: $47


Local Transportation

To get around in Chennai, the average visitor spends $2.41 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

The average price of local transportation around Kolkata (Calcutta) is $4.78 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chennai $2.41
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $4.78

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chennai

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

  • Chennai Airport Transfers : Budget Sedan and SUV Cabs: $15
  • Departure Private Transfer Chennai City to Chennai MAA Airport by Sedan Car: $23
  • Private Transfer from Chennai (MAA) Airport to Chennai City: $42
  • Private Transfer from Chennai City to Chennai (MAA) Airport: $42
  • Chennai to Vellore Transfer by Private Vehicle: $93

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kolkata (Calcutta)

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

  • Private transfer: Calcutta to Calcutta Airport (CCU): $622
  • Kolkata- Transfers+Hotel+Sightseeing (3 Days): $361
  • The Second City of Empire: A Kolkata Heritage Walking Tour with Private Transfer: $124
  • Path of Knowledge: A Heritage Walking Tour of Kolkata with Private Transfer: $124
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Kolkata Airport to Hotel: $41
  • Private Departure Transfer from Kolkata Hotel to Airport: $41
  • Airport Taxi: Round Trip Transfer Between Kolkata & Kolkata Airport CCU: $35
  • Private Guided Walking Tour in Kolkata with Transfer: $35
  • Airport Transfer in Kolkata: $21
  • Kolkata to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport Transfer: $21
  • Airport Transfer - Private Transfer from Kolkata Airport to Hotel: $20
  • Airport Transfer - Calcutta Hotels to Netaji Subhash C.B. Intl. Airport,Calcutta: $16


Entertainment

In Chennai, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $2.56 per person, per day.

Kolkata (Calcutta)'s costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chennai $2.56
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $14

Tours and Activities in Chennai

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

  • Marina Beach: Stroll along India's longest beach on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Night walk tour Chennai: $13
  • Night Walking Tour of Chennai: $15
  • Temple Walking Tour of Chennai: $15
  • Magical Chennai Markets Tour: $19
  • Food Walk Tour Chennai: $19
  • Chennai Street Food Walking Tour: $19
  • Mylapore Walking tour with Breakfast by Wonder tours: $24
  • The Georgetown Bazaar Walk by Wonder tours: $24
  • The Georgetown Bazaar Walking tour by Wonder tours: $24
  • Bazaar Trail Walking Tour in George Town: $25
  • Peacock Trail Walking Tour in Mylapore: $25

Tours and Activities in Kolkata (Calcutta)

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

  • 14 Days Private North East India Tour from Kolkata: $2,827
  • 1Night 2Days Tour of Shantiniketan from Kolkata: $210
  • 2 day trip to Agra from Kolkata with air tickets: $1,073
  • 2 day trip to Agra from Kolkata without air tickets: $503
  • 2Nights/3Days Private Guided Tours of Kolkata with Accommodation: $260
  • 9-Day Colonial Kolkata Tea Estate and Monasteries Private Tour: $1,249
  • Best of Kolkata (Guided Halfday Sightseeing Tour by Car): $56
  • Capturing the City of Joy; Full Day Kolkata Street Photography Tour: $64
  • City of Joy experience, a full day tour of Kolkata: $113
  • Darjeeling Tour Package with Guide from Kolkata - 3 Nights/4Days: $479
  • Day Trip To Agra From Kolkata With Air Tickets: $879
  • Day Trip to Santiniketan (Guided Private Sightseeing Experience from Kolkata): $98


Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Chennai, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $2.84.

The average person spends about $7.64 on alcoholic beverages in Kolkata (Calcutta) per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chennai $2.84
    Kolkata (Calcutta) $7.64



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.

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Chennai vs. Kolkata (Calcutta) Travel Comparison

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