Of all the centers of learning located in the College Street vicinity, the Presidency College is the most respected. Established in 1817, it’s one of the oldest and most prestigious academic institutions in India and the place where filmmaker Satyajit Ray attended university. Directly across the street is the nationally famous Indian Coffee House, where students cram each night for heated debates over a cup of coffee. Haggling is expected, and visiting with a guide can be helpful in getting good deals.
Things to Know Before You Go
- College Street is a must-visit for bookworms, especially those seeking out rare finds.
- Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and sunscreen.
- You’ll be expected to bargain, as it’s part of the shopping experience. Never pay the first offered price.
How to Get There
College Street is located in Central Kolkata and, as the name suggests, it's right by the university and within a few minutes' walk of the Mahatma Gandhi Road metro station. If you’re taking a taxi, have them drop you right in front of the University of Calcutta and explore the rest of the area on foot.
When to Get There
The booksellers on College Street are open from mid-morning until evening every day except Sunday. You're best off visiting first thing in the day to avoid crowds and get the best deals (discounts are often offered to the first customer of the day), while evenings and Saturdays can be busy and crowded.
Where to Shop in Kolkata Kolkata offers plenty of great places to shop (and browse), with various markets focused on different wares. While College Street is the place to go for books, you'll find souvenirs and cheap clothes in the backpacker haven of Sudder Street. Gariahat Road is a great place for textiles, while both Chowringhee Road and New Market are worth visiting for photo ops alone, with everything imaginable.
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