The streets in northern Kolkata are more crowded and narrower than those elsewhere in the city. This is where hand-pulled rickshaws still run along winding, skinny alleys, and old mansions seem to brood over the past. This—the old village of Sutanuti—is also where the Indians lived while the British spread their estates east and south of Fort William and Dalhousie Square (B. B. D. Bagh). The architecture reflects Italian and Dutch influences.
North Kolkata's attractions are somewhat scattered. You'll need to take taxis at least sporadically. The bazaar areas surrounding Mahatma Gandhi Road, universally known as M. G. Road, are at once intensely commercial and residential; tourists are only occasional, despite the fascinating sights and vibe. You may attract some curious stares, but anyone you stop and speak to is bound to be friendly and welcoming.