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Kolkata is one of the major metropolitan cities of India. Capital of state of West Bengal, the city is densely populated with nearly 5 million inhabitants in 2016. Extensive and diverse opportunities offered by the city has attracted many people from across the country as well as abroad. Kolkata is a popular expat destination due to its growing economy and affordable cost of living.

Kolkata may be an ideal destination if you are interested in moving to India. There are numerous accommodation options available in the city.

Kolkata is known for its abstract and progressive heritage; as the early capital of India, it was the centre of advanced Indian literary and aesthetic thought.

Although a developed metropolis, it suffers from some drawbacks, mainly social ills like urban pollution, overpopulation and traffic snarls etc..

Kolkata's neighborhoods

Kolkata is mainly divided into 3 different zones, namely the North, the City-center and the South. Each of these zones consist of several neighborhoods that include business, commercial and residential quarters.

The city centre is a business hub that also hosts several government organisations, office buildings, banks, schools, hotels and the Central post office. Finding accommodation in this area may not be easy, and will likely be expensive.

The North, also known as the Old City, includes neighbourhoods such as Chitpur, Cossipore, Shyambazar, Shobhabazar, Sinthee, Dum Dum, Baranagar, Sodepur and Khardah. These are lively and busy areas.

To the south, you will find upscale neighborhoods that include Alipur, New Alipur, Ballygunge, Golf Green, Lansdowne, Bhowanipore,Tollygunge, Jodhpur Park and Lake Gardens. Alipur is the greenest and calmest neighborhood in Kolkata.

Finally, some of the modern and most developed neighbourhoods are Ballygunge and Salt Lake. In fact, Saltlake is the chosen residential favourite of newcomers and IT professionals including expats who are working in the city. The locality’s biggest charm lies in its meticulous planning, commercialised urban appeal and nice residential nooks with apartment buildings and complexes.

There are some really good market places in Kolkata that are worth exploring. Popular purchases include textiles, handicrafts, terracotta items etc..Some of the markets that you can try are New Market in Chowringhee road or Bara Bazar near Howrah Bridge etc.. There are also other interesting places like big multiplexes, book stores, upscale restaurants, museums and parks.

Types of accommodation

Kolkata can offer you a wide range accommodation options namely, apartments, houses and villas. There are different types of apartments available. You will find numerous options in terms of space, design and facilities. There are also individual houses available in different locations. These houses are primarily found in isolated neighbourhoods, and may have a small yard or a garden in some cases. These accommodation options are ideal for those who prefer quiet surroundings.

It is advisable to carefully check the housing units before finalising the deal, as they might require some repairs or renovation works.

Rent prices in Kolkata

Although the rental prices have risen in the past few years, these vary from one neighborhood to another and also according to the type of accommodation. Individual houses are more expensive than apartments.

A single-bedroom apartment may cost an average of INR 10,000 per month in the city-centre and around INR 5,000 per month in the outskirts. For a three-bedroom apartment, you will need an average of INR 26,100 per month in the city-centre and some INR 15,000 per month in the outskirts.


It is highly recommended that you enquire about the rental market and compare the rent prices, as sometimes owners tend to charge more when it comes to foreigners.

Searching for accommodation

You can browse housing websites in order to find accommodation in Kolkata. Indeed, there are several general and specialized housing websites, as well as other virtual platforms that can help you in your home search. You can also check out classified ads in local newspapers.

But if you don’t want to spend much time house-hunting, then it would be wise to register with a real estate agency which can help you find the right accommodation. You will be asked to pay commission to the agency, which is generally equal to a month's rent. You will also have to pay a security deposit to the owner, which is generally equal to six months rent, when signing the lease documents.

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