Have you ever felt that a particular place, city or town has a very royal aura? Like it has been home to kings and queens in the past and their presence can still be felt? Well, if you haven’t, head to Jaipur and you’ll know what I mean!
With numerous places to visit and things to do in Jaipur, even 3-4 days wouldn’t be enough to take in the beauty of this royal city. This city of Rajasthan has a timeless, majestic feel to it and just by wandering through the streets I could tell – there must be some great historic tale linked to its every nook and cranny.
When you’ve been around the place, you realize that it is, in fact, a ‘Pink City’, as it is fondly called. That’s because all older architecture makes heavy use of a particular shade of pink that is actually quite wonderful.
The unique architecture is complemented by an equally distinctive cultural ethos. This enthralling city’s flamboyance and higgledy-piggledy streets are so inviting that no traveler would be immune to its charm.
Highlights of our Road Trip to Jaipur
- Drives around Jaipur, especially when going uphill the Amber Fort.
- The Lassi! Jaipur is a foodie’s paradise. You’ll get amazing lassi and malpuas everywhere.
- Camels, elephants, and horses after every 20-30 minutes taking you back to the ancient times.
- Stars twinkling over the Amber Fort during Music and light show when it looks all the more resplendent and all the more mighty.
- Feeling like a village dweller in Chokidhani. Being served 6 course Rajasthani meal with utmost hospitality.
- Luxury camping at Lebua – cycling, camel riding, and much more…
Even as the city is becoming more and more modern, the indelible mark of the past hovers in the city’s very atmosphere. Even Lonely Planet recommends visiting Jaipur. It should be done for an exciting royal experience.
Get to know about things to do and places to see in Jaipur, India. We have shared our favorite tales from the land of grand palaces and colorful streets:
Begin your Trip with a Visit to the Amber Fort
The mighty and handsome Amber Fort that stands tall and looks down at the Aravalli ranges gloriously. Romance the bygone era of Royalty at Amber Fort – a showcase of the magnificence of kings in ancient times. I was already awed by the beauty of this 16th-century monument, all thanks to Jodha Akbar that was filmed here. And I must add, I wasn’t disappointed at all.
The panoramas from castle’s terrace are simply gorgeous, and they look even more breathtaking during the night. Yes, we went there twice – once to soak in the beauty of the monument with a guide at tow; the second time during the night to enjoy the famous ‘Sound and Light Show’. It was indeed a stunning spectacle of music, light, and sound. There was a nip in the air in the night as with a lesser number of visitors and twinkling lights, the palace looks way prettier.
Amber Fort Highlights
- Entry fees for Sound and Light Show have been revised to 250INR | 3.7USD for both Indians and Foreigners.
- Photography is prohibited inside the fort during the Sound and Light Show.
- When visiting Amber Fort, it is best to opt for a guided tour as guides there are friendly enough to answer all your queries. They narrate the tales related to each and every section of the fort in depth. It is perhaps better to have a guide by your side as he will take you to those points from where you can get the best glimpse of the rugged terrain around the fort.
- My most favorite part of the palace was exploring the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ where one of the most iconic songs ‘Jab Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya’ was filmed. Yes, this fort has been in many Bollywood films!
Ditch the Complexities of City Life and Enjoy at Chokhi Dhani
What could be a better proposition for city folks to cut away from the laborious routine and enjoy the life of a village dweller? Well, it’s an experience like no other. The rural life of Rajasthan is replete with folk music, Rajasthani food, and bucolic architecture.
- Chokhi Dhani is a mock Rajasthani village which gives a feel of a fairground and keeps you entertained with its various cultural activities, folk dances, camel rides, etc. Other than that, you can enjoy flame throwing, henna painting, puppetry, and magic show over there.
- One thing you can’t miss at Chokhi Dhani is the hospitality – the way they serve food. Though dal, bati, churma, and mal puas are way better if you have them in the market (taste wise), but the feel of sitting on the ground and being served all the food with so much respect truly reinstates the fact that in India, Atithi Devo Bhav.
- It is definitely one of the touristy places to visit in Jaipur. In fact, if you have been looking for hotels in Jaipur, you can choose to stay at Chokhi Dhani Resort, Jaipur. The village shuts down at 11 PM.
Splurge at the Johri and Bapu Baazar
If there’s one place that attracts visitors by the hordes then it has to be Johri and Bapu Baazar. Famous, crowded, yet a shopper’s paradise! Both the bazaars are pedestrianized and you can easily shop for anything and everything that you want. You name it and the bazaars have it!
From colorful jackets, lehenga cholis, suits, to juttis, traditional handicrafts, jhola bags, kurtis, bangles, beaded necklaces, and food stalls, you’ll find everything here for dirt cheap rates. The markets are most famous for selling sanganeri prints, batik prints and bhandhej. Not just shopping, taking pictures of all those colorful displays was a fun thing to do!
Let me warn you- shopping in Jaipur is going to be a real test of your bargain skills, but make sure you get all the stuff you like. This is because the quality and rates that you’ll find here are incomparable. I bought a lovely batik dyed lose pants and a jhola bag with an elephant embroidered on the top of it. Priceless!
Take a Quick Stop at the Central Museum Jaipur
Housed in gorgeously florid Albert Hall, Central Museum Jaipur has been built in tandem to the English and North Indian architecture. The museum exhibits relics from the history of Jaipur, which includes carpets, tribal dresses, miniature paintings, wooden carvings, folk art, and even an Egyptian mummy. We spent about an hour inside the museum and going through a lot of archways and courtyards.
- All those who love history and culture should definitely pay a visit to this museum. It is actually nice to take pictures of the magnificent building when all the birds are sitting atop.
- You can easily find a tonga or a rickshaw from the central museum to visit any other attraction like Hawa Mahal or City Palace.
- Entry fee to the museum is 20INR | 0.3USD for Indians and 150INR | 2.25USD for foreigners
Gorge on Jalebis, Kachoris, and Moong Dal Pakore
There’s no staying away from street food when visiting Jaipur. We were really keen on trying street food of Jaipur as we love Delhi’s street food, and I must tell you the food here is equally flavorsome. While I personally loved kachoris we had from the shop in front of Amber Fort, Harsh became a fan of dal bhajia – a street food made of yellow dal and stuffed with coriander as well as spices.
- A piece of kachori would set you back by 18INR | 0.270USD and a samosa by 10INR | 0.150 USD. Moong dal pakoras would cost you about 10INR | 0.150 USD.
Sample Kulhad Lassi at Panch Batti Circle
Kulhad lassi – it’s not just lassi; it’s a dessert! Here in Jaipur, people drool over kulhad lassi and it would be a rarity to find the shop ‘Lassiwala’ at the corner of Panch Batti Circle, not being overcrowded. Dashed with thick malai and froth on top, lassi at this shop would be a scrumptious treat to your taste buds.
Lassi is actually intrinsic to the life of people in Jaipur. Locals love this treat and for most their day begins only after a kulhad lassi drink. It’s easy to guess why Lassiwala is famous – their drink melts-in-your-mouth and are sanitized. 🙂
- A small glass of Kulhad lassi would set you back by 25INR | 0.35SD and a large one would cost 50INR| 0.75SD.
You cannot Say ‘No’ to a Tonga Ride
If camels and elephants are not your stuff then a tonga ride will definitely be. Get on a rickety horse carriage (tonga) just as a local would and check off places to see in Jaipur. A breezy tonga ride will let you witness the striking beauty of this wonderful city.
- As each city has its own attractions, tonga ride is sure to grab your attention just like it did mine.
- This unique mode of transportation will take you back to the time of royalties and you’ll have an incredible amount of fun during the entire journey.
- Tonga rides in Jaipur will definitely be a hit with the tourists having kids. There are many places to visit in Jaipur with your kids. You just need to plan smartly.
- There are no fixed rates; a small ride would cost you 50INR | 0.75USD.
Spare time? Glamping at Lebua is a Must!
This is something which is rare in a place like Jaipur where palaces and forts dominate the city heavily. That is why this had to be on the list. It’s not your regular camping; it is typically glamorous camping with utmost comforts while being surrounded by nature. I would strongly recommend everyone to include luxury camping in their list of things to do in Jaipur. It can be an incredibly exciting experience for the honeymooners who are seeking something different to do on their break.
All those cravings for something different – pleasures of camping as well as outdoorsiness – luxury tents are ‘PERFECT’. We stayed at Lebua Lodge at Amer – an astounding glamping retreat.
Some optional stops, we’d recommend to the ones who have spare time in Jaipur are:
- Hawa Mahal: A fine example of ancient India architecture, this distinctive mark is a must explore for all those visiting Jaipur. Claustrophobic people should avoid the narrow, cramped corridors here at all costs. (Remains open from 9-5)
- City Palace: Also called the Chandra Mahal, City Palace is located in the heart of Jaipur City. It remains open from 9-5 so you can plan your trip accordingly.
- Nahargarh Fort: We wanted to go to Nahargarh Fort during the evening but were suggested against it by all the locals and our hotel staff. They advised us to visit in daylight expressing some safety concerns. Though we even did not have much time to visit the fort and catch the bird’s eye view of Jaipur city from the fort but we would love to do that sometime in future.
- Jal Mahal: Another amazing architectural palace that offers a splendid view of the Man Sagar Lake and the Nahargarh hills bordering it is Jal Mahal. A one-time visit to this place never hurts. Moreover, you can visit this place during the evening as a lot of people gather here to click pictures and have fun. A lot of food hawkers can be found selling corn cobs, chole kulche, lemonade, etc.