Hunt for bargains at one of Kolkata’s oldest markets, an indoor arcade with food, clothing and handicraft stalls that’s been serving the city for over 135 years.
Crowded, chaotic and colorful, New Market is a busy and enormous labyrinth of more than 2,000 stalls and shops, many under one roof. Come here to find a vast range of merchandise from cheap clothing and expensive jewelry to fresh fruit and seafood.
New Market dates back to 1874. For many years, it was known as Sir Stuart Hogg Market after the then Chairman of the Calcutta Corporation. His name can still be seen above the entrance of this grand Victorian-Gothic building. The massive arcade has survived two fires in its history and remains one of Kolkata’s most popular shopping destinations.
Give yourself at least a couple of hours to explore the market. Haggling is the norm here, so bargain hard to get the best prices. Many of the stalls are grouped into sections according to the goods they sell, but it can still be difficult to find your way around.
If you need something specific and don’t want to browse aimlessly, ask one of the guides, known as coolies. They can be found congregating near the entrances. For a modest and negotiable fee, they will lead you through the crowds to where you want to go.
Stop for something to eat at one of the restaurants or step outside the market complex and try some tea and crispy bhelpuri from a street vendor. Treat yourself to marzipan and fruitcake at Nahoum and Sons. This popular confectioner has been trading in the same New Market spot since 1902.
New Market is open every day except Sunday and operates from midmorning to early evening. On Saturdays, it closes in the early afternoon. New Market is close to the center of Kolkata and is easily reached by taxis and numerous bus services. The nearest railway station is within a few minutes’ walking distance. Metered car parking is available in the underground parking plaza.