Shopping in Kolkata is like a treasure hunt. You don’t know- in which alley or tiny shop, you will find your perfect buy at a great price.
Kolkata is one of those rare metros in India, which has maintained its ingenuity along with the modernization of the city.You can feel it in terms of markets of Kolkata.
There are swanky malls like City Centre 1 & 2, South City, Forum, Quest mall etc. , and then there are classic flea markets like Gariahat, New market, Esplanade to name a few.
If you think that the ones, who are little bit of orthodox, don’t follow the hullabaloo about the glamorous shopping malls- shop from the flea markets, then you are wrong. Even the hip, gen-next also populate the bust footpaths of Kolkata and bargain tooth and nail to strike the best deals with hawkers/vendors.
If you are coming in Kolkata for the first time, then it would be wise not to just limit yourself within the glossy shopping malls, but to wander around the various street markets that Kolkata has to offer.
The 8 best places to shop at Kolkata
1 Gariahat Market
You need to visit the sidewalks of Rashbehari Avenue and Gariahat Crossing before festivals such as Durgapuja or Nobo-borsho (Bengali new year) to see the rush, and believe in the fact that Gariahat is one of the many lifelines of the ‘city of Joy’.
From electronic gadgets to cosmetics, from second-hand books to readymade garments, from shoes and bags to various home-decors, pickles, flowers- Garihat market is a crazy mishmash of things under one roof – a great place for hardline bargainers to be.
2 New Market
Previously known as Hogg Sahib’s market (founded by Sir Stuart Hogg during the british era), New Market is almost an institution itself. An important chapter in Kolkata’s history and heritage, New Market is situated inside a redbrick building on Lindsay Street.
A vast area clustered by shops selling everything under one roof- from garments-jewllery-cosmetics to various food items, fresh meat, herbs (that are pretty rare in other parts of Kolkata) and many more. New Market has some iconic shops that are serving customers over the years.
One is Nahoum’s- the legendary bakery that is part of most of the Kolkata households, during Christmas and New Year.Another one is Chambalamba- the pretty, jewellery store selling traditional as well as tribal jewellery in various precious and semi-precious metals.
3 College Street Market
Colloquially named as ‘ Boi para’- College Street market is the proof of Kolkata’s love for books.
Just like Avenue Road of Bangalore , College Street is best for bargain hunters for a book.
It ‘s a paradise for any bibliophile who loves to- hunt down for rare books tirelessly, browse through books, smell the pages of a brand-new book- all rolled into one.
But even if you are not a bookworm, you can visit College Street Market, as it houses some lovely traditional saree shops- selling from Kanjeevaram to Bengal’s pride- dhakai jamdani etc.
4 Dakshinapan Market
One of the landmarks of South Kolkata, Dakshinapan market is an unique building with a vast, open area and it is adjacent to Nazrul Mancha, a premiere theatre hall in Kolkata
.There are various state emporiums in Dakshinapan where you will get authentic textiles, artifacts, handlooms, bags, jewellery etc.
And when you will feel tired by all those browsing and shopping, don’t forget to head towards the cute, little Dolly’s teashop inside Dakshinapan. They offer a wide range of tea and lovely sandwiches as well.
5 South City
The breakthrough mall came up in the year 2008, and from then on, it’s become one of the famous shopping destinations of Kolkata.
Located at the bustling Prince Anwar Shah Road at South Kolkata, South City houses many international brands such as- Veromoda, United Colors of Benetton, French Connection as well as our very own Pantaloons, Shopper’s Stop, Wills lifestyle etc.Spencer’s retail in the basement is one of the major crowd pullers of South city, especially on weekends.
6 Quest Mall, Park Circus area
This cutting-edge shopping mall has brought iconic brands like Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Prada to Kolkata, and made the shopaholics and fashionistas alike of the city- to go bonkers.
7 City Center, Salt Lake
Mainly renowned for it’s unique design and the kund area in front of it, City Center has some premier stores located inside it as well as some specialty restaurant and a large food court.
8 Shriram Arcade
A premier shopping center at Esplanade, Kolkata- Shriram Arcade retails garments, jewellery, bags, shoes, gadgets, kids items and what not.
The main USP of this place is that, it sells products of good quality and they don’t cost a fortune like that of trendy shopping malls. So it’s a good place for bulk shopping.
Besides these above mentioned places, there are other hot shopping spots in Kolkata like- Mani Square shopping mall, Burrabazar market, City Center 2, Forum etc.
So do a little bit of homework, talk to your local pals, list down your needs and you are set to conquer the shopping-front of Kolkata.