Required Travel Documents
For US Citizens (other nationalities should check their appropriate embassy sites), a valid passport and Tourist Visa is required to travel to India. Visas can usually be obtained within a few weeks by filling out an application online and submitting all required supporting documentation by mail or in person.
The Indian Embassy outsources all Visa processing to a 3rd party. Full details can be found here:
The types of Visas and fee structures are a bit difficult to follow but most of you will likely want a 6-month, multiple entry tourist Visa for US citizens which has a fee of $80.
The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport opened a new, modern International terminal last year making travel in/out of the city much easier. You should expect to arrive into the city and even depart for your return trip at odd hours, however (Midnight to 3:30AM is not out of the ordinary). Arranging car service to/from the hotels at any time of day should not be an issue.
There are no direct flights from the US to Kolkata so you should expect at least one layover. The layover may be in one of the other major US cities (Delhi or Mumbai most likely) or somewhere in between. At best, the total travel times will range between 19-22 hours with a single stopover from a major US port like New York City.
The following airlines fly directly into Kolkata:
In the past, travel agents could usually get the best fares but at this point, common travel sites like kayak.com or skyscanner.com will provide the best rates. A few of the India-centric travel sites below may provide additional discounts if you time your searches just right:
Where to Stay
There are plenty of 4- and 5- star hotels in Kolkata that provide lovely accommodations and a very high quality of service. The problem is, transportation in Kolkata could be a nightmare. If you are staying in remote areas (where remote equals 5 miles away from your desired destinations), travel times could be upwards of 2-3 hours. As such, we recommend the hotels below:
The Park Kolkata
In the heart of Park Street, Kolkata's epicenter of great food and nightlife, the Park hotel will host our reception on Monday the 8th. We have secured a block of rooms from them at a discounted price (the final rate is still TBD). A large number of folks will likely stay here meaning transportation to/from each event venue will be fully coordinated.
The Taj group is renowned across India for delivering impeccable service and gorgeous properties. This hotel is very close to the wedding venue (and within a short drive of all of the other event venues) so would be a convenient spot for those looking for a more luxurious retreat.
Oberoi Grand Hotel
If you're looking for old world charm and a bit of aristocratic style, there is still only one 'Grand' hotel in the region. Also located near Park Street, the Oberoi Grand boasts a uniquely Kolkata flair. It's tough to find rooms here but if you do, you won't be sorry!