The Best Independent Bookstores in Kolkata

Biswarup Ganguly/WikiCommons
Biswarup Ganguly/WikiCommons
Sridevi Nambiar

Kolkata isn’t just home to some of India’s most celebrated writers and influential publishing houses, but also to many of its finest independent bookstores. With storied pasts, rich collections and enticing décor, Kolkata’s most charming bookstores are a must-visit for finding your next read.

1. Seagull Books

Bookstore, Cinema, Theater

Established in 1982, this cosy bookstore also happens to be a pioneering publisher with a wide range of books on the arts, cinema, theatre studies, philosophy and more, often translated into English from a variety of languages. If you’re looking to browse through carefully curated collections of non-fiction reads within a magical, warmly lit and quiet spot, then this is your paradise. The delicately designed space also plays host to a range of music performances, book readings and other events.

Dasgupta & Co

One of the originals on College Street, Kolkata’s bustling used-book market, Dasgupta & Co is bound to delight any keen reader. Boasting many rare finds and first-edition prints, along with an impressive collection of fiction and non-fiction, this modest store has been gracing Kolkata since the late 19th century. While the shop has plenty to offer for anyone exploring Bengali literature, there’s also a decent collection of books in regional languages from around the country.

54/3, College St, College Street

2. Chakraborty and Chatterjee

Established in 1910, this is yet another College Street treasure that has managed to survive in Kolkata amid the surge of e-books and chain stores. Home to various rare prints and editions, a rich collection of Bengali literature as well as super-affordable copies of popular fiction and non-fiction, Chakraborty and Chatterjee is nothing short of a pilgrimage site for the true book lover.

Bankim Chatterjee St, Baithakkhana

3. Earthcare Books

Bookstore, Park, Shop, Store

Specialising in topics of environmental issues and sustainable development, this delightful little store also serves as a space to host workshops, readings and more. In addition, Earthcare Books publishes and distributes books on social justice issues, as well as actively partaking in ventures targeting forest regeneration and organic farming. With vintage photos of the city it calls home hanging among the packed shelves, this gorgeous shop is a energising and inspiring space for visitors.

4. National Bookstore

Bookstore, Building, Store, University

With a huge collection of non-fiction and educational reads, the National Bookstore has been an immensely popular stop on College Street for generations of Kolkata’s students. Established in the late 20th century, the store is housed in a prominent, historic building near Presidency University, which happens to be one of the city’s oldest educational institutions.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article