Howrah Hotel

Hostel in Kolkata

This characterful 1890 mansion has seen far better days but retains elements of original tile work and Italian chequerboard marble flooring. The inner courtyard is an unexpected oasis of birdsong and the brilliantly antiquated reception has featured in several Indian movies. The best rooms are the upstairs doubles and the tiny, ultra-cheap box singles.

To get here, emerge at exit 1 from Howrah train station’s northern (commuter-area) underpass, cross the bus station and walk one block west, turning right after Hotel Bhimsain.