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A Guide to Shopping In Kolkata

Kolkata, a 330-year-old city is home to some of India’s best local markets. From cotton sarees to budget-friendly handicrafts, shopping in Kolkata is an experience to cherish.

Team ZZ

India’s third largest city and unproclaimed culture capital, Kolkata is a confluence of artistic spirits and intellectual minds. Noble and squalid, the city is an eclectic hub of people who are still transitioning from Calcutta to Kolkata. A 330-year metropolis city, Kolkata is known for colonial-style architecture, complex Bengali cuisine, suburban malls, and winding streets. Lined along these bustling streets is the Kolkata market, home to generations of sellers who will lure you to make a purchase with their persuasive methods and friendly banter.

Shopping places in Kolkata

1. New Market

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Shopping in Kolkata is incomplete without a visit to the city’s oldest and most revered spot–New Market. Flanked with over two thousand shops and stalls, it is one of the best shopping places in Kolkata to find anything and everything under one roof. Put your bargaining caps on as you head out on a hunt to find a variety of handloom sarees in Jamdani, Taat, and Tussar Silk. With them, you can find exquisite handmade jewellery, silver items, handbags, and footwear shops to splurge on. After a hectic day of running around, step out for a gastronomic meal of churmur and lip-smacking pani puri.

Location: Lindsay Street

Things To Buy: Clothes, jewellery, bags, and snacks

Timings: 10 am to 8 pm

2. Bara Bazaar

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Kolkata’s famous market, Bara Bazaar is a popular shopping hub among locals looking for budget buys. Similar to Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, if you want to indulge in wholesale shopping in Kolkata, this market is the place to go. From reasonably priced spices, cosmetic dupes, second-hand electronics, affordable toys, and unique imitation jewellery–bara bazaar is all about making value purchases. Just be wary of shops selling fakes under the pretence of original brand names.

Location: Mahatma Gandhi Road Metro Station is the closest stop

Things To Buy: Grocery, toys, cosmetics

Timings: 10:30 am to 7:30 pm (Closed on Sunday)

3. Gariahat Market

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Offering a unique experience of street shopping in Kolkata, Gariahat Market runs along an entire stretch of the road under makeshift tents. The buzz in the area is overwhelming and chaotic. Stay calm and take a stroll along the narrow path as local hawkers lure you to buy super-affordable clothes, imitation jewellery, footwear, and handbags. There are also some delicious food stalls to curb hunger pangs in between shopping sprees.

Location: Rash Behari Ave, Ballygunge

Things To Buy: Women’s accessories, footwear, fresh and artificial plants

Timings: 11 am to 8 pm (Closed on Sunday) 

4. College Street

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A haven for bibliophiles, College Street is one of the largest shopping places in Kolkata for books and writing materials. Spilling over the pavement are rare first-editions, as well as new and second-hand books available at throw-away prices. It is the largest book market in India and the largest second-hand book market in the world. Grab a copy of your favourite read and head over to ICH (Indian Coffee House) as you dive into a plate of fresh fish kebabs, and coffee and unwind in Kolkata’s lazy vibe.

Location: Park Street

Things To Buy: All kinds of books

Timings: 10 am to 9 pm

5. Dakshinapan

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A popular Kolkata shopping market, Dakshinapan is known for its mind-boggling collection of handicrafts and handlooms. Get your hands on Kolkata's famous clothes, handcrafted jute products, tribal antiques, and alloy figurine souvenirs. One of the best shopping places in Kolkata, Dakshinapan has a beautiful emporium and several gift shops ideal for budget gifting.

Location: Gariahat

Things To Buy: Tribal handicrafts, Local Handloom products

Timings: 11 am to 7:30 pm

6. Hatibagan

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Hatibagan market in Kolkata is a paradise for saree lovers. Housing the best collection of cotton sarees for everyday wear, this Kolkata market will leave you spoilt for choice. Hatibagan's near market area was once a hub to buy the best animals, birds, and feathered products in the city. Destroyed in a fire incident the market is gradually regaining its lost glory.

Location: Aurobindo Sarani Road

Things To Buy: Cotton sarees and suit materials

Timings: 10 am to 10 pm

7. Chowringhee Lane

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Sprawling along the lanes of Chowringhee road is an unofficial market for shopping in Kolkata. Lined with local artisans selling the most intricate and breathtaking terracotta artefacts, you can also get a steal deal for exquisite art pieces. Spend time first analysing your choice of artefact, bargain for a good price, and if possible ask for home delivery.

Location: Near Oberoi Grand Hotel, Chowringhee Road

Things To Buy: Artwork and Terracotta products

Timings: NA

Housing some of the finest shopping hubs in India, Kolkata is everything and nothing without its warm locals. When looking for shopping places in Kolkata, try to experience the city’s unfiltered beauty through the rustic streets and lanes with hidden gems. You’ll be surprised at the quality, variety, and price of products these tiny stores have! 

Photo: Shutterstock
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