region of Kolkata, West Bengal

Central Kolkata consists of several neighbourhoods at the centre of the city, including Bowbazar, College Street, Chowringhee, Entally and Park Street.

Park Street during Christmas


Chowringhee is the central business district of Kolkata and the place of choice for many large business houses. After the British started expanding their settlement outside Fort William in the mid-18th century, Chowringhee was one of the first expansions. During the early British developments around the area, they built huge bungalows and houses all along the eastern end of Chowringhee Road (officially Jawaharlal Nehru Road). However, only a few of them still remains, including The Oberoi Grand, the Janbazar Building, the Chowringhee Mansions, the Asiatic Society and the majestic Indian Museum.

Park Street (officially Mother Teresa Sarani) is Kolkata's foremost dining area with many restaurants and pubs. It also showcases fashionable clothes, books from all over the world and so on. Park Street has retained the British spirit and is so well decorated during Christmas and New Year as if it is still part of the British Empire.

Get inEdit

Map of Central Kolkata

By busEdit

  • 1 Shyamoli Paribahan Bus Depot, 10, Marquis St, +91 33 2252 0802. Provides buses to Bangladesh and a select few destinations in West Bengal. Shyamoli Paribahan handles the border transfer from one bus to another so well, that it seems a better option to many than the direct service.

By metroEdit

The North–South Metro  1  runs over Chowringhee Road, with stops at Esplanade and Park Street.


The Indian Museum
Metropolitan Building
  • 1 House of Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, 155A, AJC Bose Rd. Derozio was a young social reformer and the founder of the Young Bengal group.  
  • 2 Indian Museum, 27, Chowringhee Rd (metro: Park Street  1 ), +91 33 2249 5699, fax: +91 33 249 5696, . closed on Mondays. Established in 1814, this was the first such museum in Asia. Among its famous collection is the urn that held the ashes of the Buddha (though this is generally not on display), a Pillar of Ashoka (the three-lion symbol which became the official emblem of the Republic of India) and numerous rare antiques. A varied collection of exhibits include unique fossils, Buddhist Gandhara art and an Egyptian mummy. The Indian Museum has a library of excellent historical value, with a special focus on the British Raj and Kolkata. Admission: ₹10 (for Indian citizens) ₹150 (for foreign citizens).    
  • 3 Metropolitan Building (Whiteways and Laidlaw Building), 140, Chowringhee Rd (metro: Esplanade  1 ). It was a famous department store in Kolkata during the British period. This neo-baroque emporium—with domes, a clock tower and arched recessed windows—exemplifies fashionable shopping during the British Raj.    
  • 4 Queen's Mansion, 12, Park St.  

Religious attractionsEdit

Tipu Sultan Mosque
  • 5 Church of the Lord Jesus (Prabhu Jisur Girja; প্রভু যীশুর গির্জা PROH-bhoo JIH-shoor GIHR-jah), Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Rd, Taltala. Formerly a Church of Scotland Presbyterian, the Catholic church is a unique one in the city with most of religious services are done in Bengali.    
  • 6 Firinghi Kalibari (ফিরিঙ্গি কালীবাড়ি PHIH-rihng-gih KAH-lih-bah-rrih), 244, BB Ganguly St, Bowbazar. An old Kali temple, said to be 500 years old. The temple is called "Firinghi Kalibari" since Portuguese-born folk singer Anthony Firingee used to come in the temple. Here Goddess Kali is worshipped as "Shri Shri Siddheshwari Kalimata Thakurani".    
  • 7 Mother Teresa’s tomb (Mother House), 54A, AJC Bose Rd, +91 33 2217 5267. The Missionaries of Charity is a new order formed in 1950 by Mother Teresa. Their vow to give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor was put into action with the setting up of several homes. Visit Mother Teresa’s tomb at the Mother House, Nirmal Hriday (home for the dying), Shanti Nagar (for lepers) and Nirmala Shishu Bhavan (the children’s home).
  • 8 South Park Street cemetery, Park St. The final resting place for early British traders and settlers.    
  • 9 Tipu Sultan Mosque (টিপু সুলতান মসজিদ TTIH-poo SHOOL-tahn MOHSH-jihd), 185, Lenin Sarani. Built in 1832 by Prince Ghulam Mohammed, the youngest son of Tipu Sultan. People from all sections of society and religions are allowed to visit and take pictures of this historical premise.    


  • Take an auto-rickshaw ride from Chandni Chowk to Lohapool, the driver will take you through some back alleys and narrow roads of Kolkata, sit tight and keep faith on the driver.
  • 1 Jyoti Cinema, 32/1, Lenin Sarani. One of the most popular and oldest single-screen movie theatres of Kolkata. Hindi films and English Hollywood films used to be screened regularly. The theatre had a steady audience for its comfortable seating, good screen quality and stereophonic sound.    


  • 1 The Asiatic Society, 1, Park St.    
  • 2 Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata (মেডিকেল কলেজ ও হাসপাতাল, কলকাতা MEH-ddih-kehl KAW-lehj oh HAHSH-pah-tahl, KOHL-kah-tah). Established in 1835, it was the first medical college in Asia.    
  • 3 Presidency University (প্রেসিডেন্সি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় PREH-shih-ddehn-shih BISH-shoh-bihd-dah-loy). Established as Hindu College in 1817, renamed Presidency College in 1855, and upgraded to a university in 2010.    
  • 4 University of Calcutta (কলকাতা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় KOHL-kah-tah BISH-shoh-bihd-dah-loy). Main campus of India's first western-style university established on 24 January 1857. It features Asutosh Museum of Indian Art, which is India's first university museum. The museum has specimens of various phases of Indian art with special emphasis on the art of Bengal.    


Central Kolkata is the central marketplace for the people of Kolkata. There are shops ranging from computer peripherals to paint brushes and accessories, from cloth merchants to foreign (ফরেন PHAW-rehn) goods. There are cinemas and restaurants. Major chain retailers include Pantaloons (22, Camac St).

  • 1 Baithakkhana Market (Sealdah Market). One of the largest markets in Kolkata.    
  • 2 Eagle, 12/2 Lindsay St (in front on New Market), +91 33 98 023 6663. A good place to pick up Indian art films.
  • 3 Earthcare Books, 10 Middleton St (Maidan metro station), +91 33 2229-6551. A wonderful independent bookstore tucked away in an alley leading from Middleton St. As the name suggests, the bookstore specializes in environmental titles but also has a wide range of local subjects and poetry.
  • 4 Entally Market, 58, AJC Bose Rd. One of the old markets in Kolkata. Shops sell ready-made garments, vegetables, groceries, textiles, margarine, fish and fruits. This market was once famously known for its dairy product shops that provided high quality dairy items such as paneer, ghee, yogurt, condensed milk, cheese and butter.
  • 5 Handicrafts (Between Sudder St and Surendranath Banerjee Road). It has several shops selling handicrafts. The largest is at the corner of Surendranath Banerjee Road. Those who are particular about handicrafts can also try 'Dakhinapan Shopping Complex' (see South Kolkata)
  • 6 Mirza Ghalib Street (Free School Street). It is famous for its second-hand bookshops and second-hand record stalls. Rummaging through the LPs for sale on the street, one may find real gems from the jazz age.
  • 7 Oxford Book Store, 15 Park St, +91 33 2229 5455. A large and well-organised bookstore. Good selection of books on India and by Indian writers. Discount books and cafe (Cha Bar, see Drink section) on the second floor.
  • 8 Shree Ram Arcade, 15A, Chowringhee Rd. Open from 10:00-20:00 from Tuesday to Saturday and from 13:00 - 20:00. on Mondays. Sunday holiday.. Full of garment shops.
  • 9 Treasure Island. Open from 10:00-20:00. from Tuesday to Saturday and from 13:00 - 20:00 on Mondays. Sunday holiday.
  • 10 Vardaan Market, 25-A, Camac St, +91 33 22812724, +91 33 22874082. Forerunner of today's large shopping malls, it was the earliest airconditioned market. Little shops and stalls line the walls of this mall selling shoes, handbags, toys, saris, salwar suits and western wear for ladies, shirts, tee shirts and trousers for men and children's clothes for all ages, chocolates and snacks.
  • 11 Westside, Block D22 Camac St, +91 33 22817312, . 11AM to 9PM. The Westside stores have numerous departments to meet the varied shopping needs of customers. These include menswear, women’s wear, kid’s wear, footwear, cosmetics, perfumes and handbags, household accessories, lingerie, and gifts. Fashionable goods are priced a little on the higher side.

New MarketEdit

Meat shops at New Market
  • 12 New Market, Bertram St, Lenin Sarani (E of Lindsay Street  ). M–F 10:30AM–7:30PM, S 10:30AM–2:30PM.    

One of the oldest surviving markets in the city. Opened in 1874, it was named Sir Stuart Hogg Market after the commissioner Sir Stuart Hogg and it is still locally known as such. Although the beautiful fountain and benches at the market no longer exist, its popularity has not waned and the beautiful Gothic clock tower recalls the British heritage of the market.

New Market is a good place to sample Indian sweet delicacies and generally soak up the atmosphere of Kolkata. There are also a few handicraft stalls inside. The market is in a large red brick building on Lindsay Street (the road parallel Sudder Street to the north). It has got over 2,000 stalls and is a bargain hunter's delight. The shops are arranged merchandise-wise. It is supposed to be the ultimate marketing experience in Kolkata.


  • 1 Bhim Chandra Nag, 5, Nirmal Chandra St, +91 33 2212 0465, +91 33 2269 7908. Famous for sôndesh. Also makes a variety of sweets.
  • 2 Chung-Wah, 13A, Chittaranjan Ave (Near Chandni Chowk metro station), +91 33 22377003. One of the oldest and best places to sample Chinese food. Drinks served.
  • Gangaur, 2 Russel St, +91 33 22658437. Serves a variety of vegetarian food but is famous for its Rajasthani or Marwari food.
  • 3 Jimmy's Kitchen, 7/1A, AJC Bose Rd (AJC Bose Road-Shakespeare Sarani crossing), +91 33 2290 7139. Chinese food. Drinks available. Popular items: Thai soup, noodles, lung fung soup, prawn, crispy chilli chicken, roast pork chilli, sweet corn soup. Jimmy's Kitchen has two branches: 1. 36F Ruby Hospital Road, 2. 14D, Lindsay Street.
  • 4 Jyoti Vihar, Ho Chi Min Sarani, +91 33 2282 9791. Offers clean and tasty South Indian food. It is completely vegetarian. It is on the same street as the US Consulate.
  • Kabab-e-Que (The Astor), 15 Shakespeare Sarani (inside the Astor Hotel), +91-33 22829957-58. They serve Indian and continental cuisine, but what has made this outlet famous is the variety of kababs that goes wonderfully well with drinks.
  • Kathleen's, Mirza Ghalib St. Pastry shop and an eclectic mix of cuisines dominated by Indian and Chinese styles.
  • Khalsa, Madge Ln (on left side when entering Madge Ln, from Sudder St). offers excellent and cheap Punjabi food.
  • 5 Mission Cafe, 20 Ganesh Chandra Ave, Bowbazar. Vegetarian fast food spot. Dosa, chaats and curry are served at high tables. The cafe is known for its chola-bhatura, a chickpea dish served in a phuchka shell. Turnover is fast here, not even stools to sit on, but it is nonetheless tasty.
  • 6 Mocambo, 25B Mirza Ghalib St, +91 33 2265 4300. Same owners as Peter Cat, but here the cuisine is a bit more rounded. Continental, Indian and even some Chinese dishes are served in upscale surroundings. mains ₹100-₹300.
  • New Embassy, 53A, Chowringhee Ln (right on Chowringhee Road between Theatre Road crossing and AJC Bose Road crossing), +91 33 22827490. Delicious Chinese food.
  • 7 Nizam's, Junction of Hogg St and Corporation Pl.
  • 8 Shiraz Golden Restaurant, 135, Park St (near AJC Bose Rd crossing), +91 33 3099 0175. Noon-11:30PM. Biryani and Mughlai food. Popular items: firni, mutton biryani, brain masala, chicken tikka, chicken reshmi butter masala, mutton haleem.
    Shiraz Golden Restaurant has four food outlets:1. Kankurgachi, 2. Salt Lake Sector III, 3. Ajay Nagar, 4. Nager Bazar.

Chowringhee RoadEdit

  • Aheli, Peerless Inn Hotel, 12, Chowringhee Rd, +91 33 2228-0301. Authentic Bengali food, served in brass utensils in a Bengali marriage environment. Drinks not served. +phone=+91 33 4400-3900
  • Ban Thai, Oberoi Grand, 15 Chowringhee Rd, +91 33 2249-2323. Week days - Open only for Dinner from 7PM to 11:30PM Weekends - Open for Lunch from 12:30PM to 3PM and for Dinner from 7PM to 11:30PM. For an authentic taste of Thailand, visit Baan Thai. Widely recognised as the premier Thai restaurant in the country. Drinks served. Around ₹4,000 for two people. Drinks extra.
  • 9 Rallis, Esplanade, 10D, Chowringhee Rd (metro: Esplanade  1 ). Vegetarian restaurant known for various kinds of snacks. Chats and South Indian foods are common. Famous for non-alcoholic drinks including various kinds of milkshakes.

Park StreetEdit

  • 10 Drive Inn, 10 Middleton St (same as Earthcare Books), +91 33 2217-2247. An outdoor restaurant offering a wide range of good vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare (Indian/Chinese). AC area is available, the staff speaks good English and is friendly. Meals from around ₹70.
  • 11 Kwality, 17, Park St (next to Oxford Book Shop). Been around for years with sharply dressed waiters serving tasty tandoori and north Indian food to well-off locals. Try their Chhola-bhatura. Mains from ₹100.
  • Moulin Rouge (not to be confused with Paris night club), 31, Park St, +91 33 2229 9397.
  • Oasis, 33, Park St, +91 33 2229 9033. Cosy restaurant with variety of foods. Has a small bar service counter with three stalls.
  • 12 Waldorf, 13 D, Russel St (Near crossing with Park St), +91 33 65354952. Serves delicious Chinese food

Sudder StreetEdit

  • 13 Blue Sky Cafe, 3, Sudder St (on the corner of Chowringhee Ln). The food is cheap, the place is clean and the service is truly fantastic. Great if you are on an extended stay as they offer both Indian and some Western food. You will not find nicer waiters anywhere. Try the freshly squeezed juices.
  • Curd Corner (near junction with Chowringhee Ln). This small hole-in-the-wall eatery is quite an institution in the area, and a generation of travellers have gorged themselves on the fresh and thick yoghurt. Check out the filter coffee and 'mock' cappuccino. Service staff don't speak English, which makes it hard when their menu is in English.
  • 14 Raj's Spanish Cafe, 7, Sudder St (hard to find alleyway entrance close to intersection Mirza Ghalib St), +91 33 4001 4373. 8AM-10PM. Serves breakfast and espresso-based coffees. Mexican, pizza, and other Western staples. mains ₹100.



There are a number of cafe chains (Barista, Cafe Coffee Day etc) on Park Street, near the junction with Mirza Ghalib Street.

  • 1 Cha Bar, 2nd floor, Oxford Book Store, Park St. A modern and chic cafe with a great selection of teas, including herbal, smoothies. Cha Bar also sells coffee, but this is of mediocre quality. A large window offers views of St life below, while the books provide a literary dimension. Cha Bar is an excellent place for a budding writer or a day dreamer.
  • 2 Indian Coffee House, 1F, 15 Bankim Chatterjee St (just off College St), +91 33 2241 4869. A venerable old establishment run by the Indian Coffee Workers Co-op Society. The high ceilings, peeling paintwork, skylights and workers in traditional uniforms create an image straight out of the 1920s or 1930s movie. In addition, the coffee (and the food) is good and cheap.
  • The Street, GF, Park Hotel, Park St. The universal colors of chic decor, black and red, are used extensively to give this cafe a warm but modern feel. Good selection of coffees and healthy snacks opposed to what the name might make you think. This cafe is about as far from representing Kolkata St life as you could possibly get, but it makes a good alternative to the ubiquitous Baristas and Coffee Days.


  • 3 Fairlawn Beer Garden, 13/A Sudder St (inside Hotel Fairlawn), +91 33 2252 1510. Only serves beer. Eccentric atmosphere with greenery everywhere. Famous among travellers and volunteers. Great place for meeting people and early evening drinking. Snacks and dinner available.
  • 4 Olypub, 23 Park St, +91 33 64520472. 11AM to 11PM. A fine afforable bar
  • Super Pub, Sudder St (opposite of Fire Station). Air-Conditioned and clean place. Serves beer and hard liquor and seasonal fruit juice. Snacks and eateries are reasonably priced.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under ₹1000
Mid-range ₹1000 to ₹3000
Splurge Over ₹3000

Sudder Street is at the centre of Kolkata's backpacker area, and many of the budget hotels geared towards travellers are on and around this street.


  • 1 Broadway Hotel, 27A Ganesh Chandra Ave, Chandni Chowk, +91 33 22363930, +91 33 2236 3931, . Check-out: 24 hours from when you check in. Despite lacking AC the very large rooms with high ceilings make for a great space and the price is definitely right. Don't miss the authentic ambience of the restaurant and bar of this 1937-built hotel. Supposedly due to the hotel's popularity rooms are often difficult to get unless you book ahead, however, try hanging around and see if one magically opens up while you're there (especially if you're first offered a more expensive room). Upper triple rooms have balconies. Also one of the few places which serves beer with a plate of sliced cucumber. ₹775 double with private bathroom.
  • 2 Mahabodhi Society of India, 4A, Bankim Chatterjee St, +91 33 2219 9294. A small, but interesting Theravedan Buddhist temple located in an historic building. There is a library and shrine room on the second floor. Meditation classes are held every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. There's a guesthouse as part of the monastery which is although simple has a lot of features. ₹250 room with a private bathroom, ₹150 for a room with a communal bathroom; ₹60 dormitory.
  • Hotel Galaxy, 3, Stuart Ln (off Sudder St), +33 2252 4565. Clean, simple, and convenient location.
  • 3 Hotel Maria, 5/1 Sudder St, +91 33 2252 0860. dorm ₹80, Very basic, creatively graffiti-ed rooms with and without attached bathroom from ₹300 as of Feb 2015. Grumpy service, cheap laundry, dank bathroom/toilet and no wifi. Very central location, takes no bookings, so arrive early (8:30AM onwards).
  • 4 Hotel Modern Lodge, 1, Stuart Ln (off Sudder St), +91 33 2252 4960. Not very modern, but cheap and fairly clean. ₹150 for a single with a shared cold-water bathroom. ₹100-₹250.
  • Hotel Royal Palace, +91 33 2252 5280, +91 33 2252 4178. Clean and large A/C & non-A/C rooms with private bath, colour TV, STD/ISD. ₹350-₹750.
  • 5 Seacom Inn YMCA, 25 Chowringhee Rd (near corner with Kyd St), +91 33 2249-2192, . An extremely drab and dark hotel that appears not to have received a lick of paint since its founding in the mid-19th century. However, in some ways, that is the hotel's distinctive charm, and so it may appeal to strict traditionalists. There is a simple restaurant on the second floor. The food is nothing special, but the balcony offers a great view of the buzzing city below. Non A/C single ₹600, with A/C ₹850.



The Oberoi Grand in 2007

Stay safeEdit

Although most of Chowringhee is considered safe, one noted problem here is the drug dealers around Sudder Street. However, as the dealers obviously do not want to draw undue attention to their activity, they are not persistent and are rarely a threat.

Police stationsEdit


There are other smaller internet cafes on Sudder St such as Net Freaks, but they are often very busy.

  • 6 Gopal's Planet, 7 Tottie Ln (Coming from Sudder St, walk 50m (150ft) into Tottie Ln. On your left-hand side, same building as Raj's Guesthouse, ground floor), +91 9674273616, . 8AM-11PM. Friendly, quiet internet cafe off Sudder Street with relatively modern computers, AC and free chai (with Wi-Fi, Skype, printers, phone calls, etc.). They also rent bicycles and sell train tickets. Their coffee and snacks are good as well.
  • 7 Hotline Services, 7, Sudder St (near the Astoria Hotel, at the back of the parking lot between Roop Shringar clothing shop and Metro Beauty Parlour. Identified with a large illuminated sign in red). It has a room jam-packed with high-speed computers, and charges ₹15/hr. They also sell CDs of various styles of Indian music for around ₹150/each and have a selection of hand-woven material and cotton clothing from all over India. The hotline also provides a coffee and snack service.



Go nextEdit

Routes through Central Kolkata
North KolkataEsplanade  N   S  South KolkataEND

This district travel guide to Central is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.