The City of Joy truly lives up to its sobriquet as far as shoppers are concerned as Kolkata delights them with its vibrant markets. Shopaholics flock to these shopping places in Kolkata especially for the exquisite range of sarees, including Laal Paad (the quintessential red and white saree), the thin Tant saree, the embroidered Kantha saree and the storytelling Baluchari or Swarnachari saree. Solapith handicrafts, Kalighat paintings, terracotta artefacts, conch shell bangles, Putul dolls, jute products and Dhokra craft are some of the other popular items that you must look out for while shopping in the city.
Although it is convenient to visit the shopping malls in Kolkata, the real fun lies in exploring its local markets. Here are some of the popular shopping places in Kolkata that you must head to during your visit to this cultural hub of West Bengal.
Shopping Places in Kolkata
1. New Market, Kolkata
The name of this shopping place in Kolkata is a misnomer as New Market is, in fact, the oldest market in the city. It was the first municipal market to be built during the colonial rule in India in 1874 and was named Sir Stuart Hogg Market in 1903. This Victorian Gothic shopping arcade with over 2000 shops is well organised as shops selling similar items are at one place, making it easy for you to scour the options. The best part about shopping in New Market is that you will find everything that you are looking for, such as sarees, accessories, shoes, toys, crockeries, etc.
- Location: Lindsay Street, Kolkata
- Timings: 10 am to 8 pm (10 am to 2:30 pm on Saturdays, Closed on Sundays)
- Known for: Clothes, Fashion Jewellery, Household items
- Nearest Metro Station: Esplanade
2. Chandni Chowk Market, Kolkata
Just like its famous namesake in New Delhi, Chandni Chowk Market in Kolkata is a shopper’s paradise where you get an incredible range of things at affordable prices. This is unarguably the best place to shop for electronics in the entire city as you get some cool gadgets at pocket-friendly prices. Do roam around the market before purchasing anything so that you get an idea of the available options and prices. Moreover, if you are good at bargaining, then this is the perfect place to make the best use of it.
- Location: Bowbazar, Kolkata
- Timings: 10 am to 8 pm (Closed on Sundays)
- Known for: Electronics
- Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk
3. Burrabazar, Kolkata
Burrabazar, also spelled Bara Bazar, is one of the oldest and busiest shopping places in Kolkata that has developed into a commercial hub from a humble textile market. It is one of the largest wholesale markets in India and is divided into around 25 segments that have a group of shops selling similar items, such as textiles, electronic goods, cosmetics, etc. Since this shopping hub sells everything imaginable, all small and big companies source their raw materials from here. The market remains crowded throughout the year, but becomes chock-a-block with shoppers during the festive season. Along with shopping, do try the delicious street food served here, such as jhalmuri, dahi kachori, chilla, kulfi, etc.
- Location: Burrabazar, Kolkata
- Timings: 10 am to 7:30 pm (Closed on Sundays)
- Known for: Wholesale Market, Clothes, Household items
- Nearest Metro Station: Mahatma Gandhi Road
4. Gariahat Market, Kolkata
Gariahat Market is one place where you can find everything in your list, ranging from beautiful Bengali sarees and accessories to even pets and is, thus, one of the busiest markets in South Kolkata. This market has both branded stuff as well as local items to cater to the shopping needs of affluent as well as budget-conscious shoppers. Haggling is something that is recommended to make some amazing deals at this market. Apart from the innumerable stores and stalls, this market also has several restaurants and food joints to calm the hunger pangs that you experience after hours of shop-hopping.
- Location: Ballygunge, Kolkata
- Timings: 11 am to 8 pm (Closed on Sundays)
- Known for: Clothes, Shoes, Accessories
- Nearest Metro Station: Kalighat
5. Hatibagan Market, Kolkata
Hatibagan, literally translating into elephant garden, is one of the oldest markets in Kolkata that used to sell pets. However, the majority of the market was destroyed in a fire, after which the shopping scenario turned a bit gloomy, but not for too long as it again gained popularity and is back in business. Nevertheless, there are still a few shops that have been operational for over a century here. Among the incredible array of products that are available in the market, make sure you purchase silk sarees here as these are not only the finest but also low priced. Another highlight is the Star Theatre, where you can watch a movie at really affordable prices.
- Location: Shyambazar, Kolkata
- Timings: 10 am to 8:30 pm
- Known for: Silk and cotton sarees, Star Theatre
- Nearest Metro Station: Shyambazar
6. Floating Market Patuli, Kolkata
Last but not least, Floating Market Patuli is one of the must-visit shopping places in Kolkata only because of its unique set-up. Inspired by the floating markets in Bangkok, India’s first floating market was launched in Kolkata in January 2018 with the aim to rehabilitate shopkeepers of Baishnabghata-Patuli market who lost their shops due to the widening of EM Bypass. The market is segregated into sections with shopkeepers selling vegetables, fruits, groceries, flowers, fish, meat and others on over 100 boats that shoppers can reach by walking on the wooden pathways. So whenever you are in Kolkata, make sure you visit this one-of-its-kind market in India.
- Location: Lake Patuli, Kolkata
- Timings: 6 am to 9 pm
- Known for: Being India’s first floating market
- Nearest Metro Station: Shahid Khudiram
While talking about the popular shopping places in Kolkata, one cannot skip mentioning College Street which is the largest book market in India and the largest second-hand book market in the world. Furthermore, the vibrant and colourful Mullick Ghat Flower Market is one of the biggest flower markets in Asia. If you are looking for stunning jewellery, head straight to Bowbazar for traditional, modern, fusion and all sorts of innovative designs and styles. You can even visit Chowringhee Lane to buy beautiful terracotta artefacts and home décor items. Once you are exhausted after the shopping spree, energise yourself with a delicious meal in any of the popular restaurants in Kolkata.