Howrah official is a city on its own but in fact it has long grown into one huge city together with Kolkata. Howrah is located on the Western bank of the Hooghly river. Generally Howrah is considered less modern than the Kolkata side.
To zip around between Kolkata and Howrah the ferry service to cross the river Hoogly is very good. There are a number of Banks (on the other side) and the ferries go to such as Armenian, Fairlie, Chandpal, Babughat, Princep. The fare per head is Rs 4, buy the ticket before you board the ferry and retain the ticket till after you have crossed to the other side and have shown it to the ticket checker near the Exit gate or else you will be fined!
Belur Math, Northern part of Howrah (about 4 km from Howrah railway station. You can travel there by bus, auto or taxi. It takes 20-25 mins to get there and around 40 mins to return, because this route is longer and becomes more congested. All modes of transportation are easily accessible from adjacent to the Howrah railway station area/Howrah bus stand. Local trains also go th Belur Math, but going by auto, bus or taxi is much better as they drop you off at the entrance of Belur Math.). It's a worthwhile visit. Situated next to the Ganges one can sit on the banks of the river Hoogly during evening time and relax. Across the river Hoogly is the Dakhineshwar Temple. A visit to the temple is free and so is parking.. edit
By travelling with the "Howrah - Belur Math" local train to Belur Math you might catch a glimpse of the oldest operating Railway workshop in India built in 1853.
Botanical Garden, (situated in the Southern part of Howrah, about 3km from Howrah station, get there by bus or taxi - depending on traffic it will take you anything between 25-45 minutes). Mar-Sept: 5am-5.30pm; Oct-Feb: 5.30am-5pm. A extraordinary place of vivid nature under the smog filled sky of the city. You will value the silence that is only filled by some birds singing. Nature is wonderfully beautiful hereforeigners: Rs.50; Indians: Rs.5. edit
Santragachhi Jheel, Middle part of Howrah city (7 km from howrah station by train, or 6 km from kolkata via Vidyasagar Setu). Santragachhi Jheel is a large lake, located next to the Santragachhi railway station. This lake attracts large number of migratory birds in the winter months, particularly in December and January. The number has increased in recent years, as migratory birds have started to avoid destinations like the lakes in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata. Birds like Saras Crane from North America and Australia, and many other local migratory birds such as Cotton Pygmy Goose, Comb Duck etc. are spotted here during this season. The lake area is owned by South Eastern Railway, though the Forest Department of West Bengal also looks after the place. Efforts are made by local residents, Forest Department and Railways to improve the environment for the birds. Forest Ministry of the State Government of West Bengal intends to convert the lake to a 'wildlife conservation centre'.(22.5820669,88.283338)edit
It might be worth to stroll down Howrah Maidan just for the excitement of a local market busy with street shops selling anything from clothes, to pots, to fruit. By bus or taxi from Howrah station it will only take 10-15 minutes to get there. The only shopping mall in howrah,Reverside Avni Mall,is the biggest in Asia in terms of area.
Local foods you must try are egg, chicken and mutton roll. They are known for their egg chicken roll, which is available anywhere for Rs 40. You will not find these foods anywhere else in the world. Mutton Biriyani is also worth a try, in Nijams or Arsalan in kolkata.
There are not many hotels in Howrah. Look around the station and considered staying in Kolkata.
The Howrah Hotel, 1, Mukhram Kanoria Road (Adjacent to the Howrah Railway Station), ☎ :+91 3326413878/26412149/28490240/55538251 (email@example.com), . checkin: 24 Hours. A heritage property, with a lot of character and one of the oldest hotels of Kolkata. Renowned for homey atmosphere and offers very neat and clean, airy rooms - one of the safest hotels in the locality, with cordial staff. Attached baths and cable TV. Five minutes walking distance from the railway station and bus stand. 5,000 sq ft garden.Rs 150-250+. edit
Fortune Park Panchwati, Lakeland Country Club, Kona Expressway, Howrah - 711403 Tel: 033-39884444 Fax: 033-39881222 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Near Santragachi, 5 Kms. from Vidyasagar Toll Plaza in Howrah, 20 min travel from Esplanade.), . Nestled in a serene and tranquil atmosphere, Fortune Park Panchwati is an ideal place to experience the grandeur, the splendor, the sheer comfort of luxuries of living in a whole new world. The hotel is located on Kona Expressway just 5 Kms. from Vidyasagar Toll Plaza in Howrah. Kona Expressway, declared a national highway, is one of the most promising growth corridors of Kolkata.edit
Sudder Street in Kolkata has many cheap places to sleep- around 200 Ruppees per night equating to 4USD as of February 2012