Historical monuments dilly dally with modern cafés. Fort walls are lined with colourful shops. Bustling markets boast of gorgeous wares. And everything is bathed in a nostalgic shade of pink.
Jaipur, less than 4 hours away from the bustling capital city of Delhi, needs to be on your itinerary irrespective of how short or long your trip to India is! Read on to find out why
Best Time To Visit Jaipur
It’s best to visit Jaipur between November and February when temperatures range between a comfortable 25 °C and 30 °C. Summer months (March-August) should be avoided because it gets very hot during that time and this makes it hard to explore the city. Shoulder months (August-November) are unpredictable – expect warm weather peppered with rains.
Accommodation in Jaipur
If you’re in Jaipur for a special holiday or enjoy luxury hotels, then we’d highly recommend a stay at Fairmont Jaipur. The hotel resembles a palace and offers unparalleled service. In fact we would go so far as to say, it is some of the best we’ve experienced anywhere in the world. All rooms and suites are extremely well-equipped with large baths, extravagant toiletries, spacious bathrooms, and four-poster beds. We’d recommend booking a room with a view of the Aravalli Hills to make the most of your stay at Fairmont Jaipur.
The hotel offers a number of dining experiences to its guests but we’d highly recommend sampling an Indo-Persian meal at Zarin and the Indian high-tea experience at Anjum. The hotel also offers a scenic sunrise tea experience in an open-top jeep, which we would recommend if you enjoy experiential activities. If you’re visiting Fairmont Jaipur on a special occasion / honeymoon, we’d recommend their terrace dining experience where a table, surrounded by hundreds of marigolds and roses, is set up especially for a couple. Watch the sunset and dine on a sumptuous meal surrounded by dozens of lanterns. You can compare prices and book a stay at Fairmont Jaipur here.
If you’re on a budget, we’d recommend looking for an apartment on Air BnB. Jaipur has some gorgeous apartments at affordable prices. Just make sure you double check amenities such as private parking, wifi etc before booking a place.
Things to do and see in Jaipur
There is no dearth of things to see and do in the city. We spent close to a week in Jaipur and relished exploring its historical and culinary gems. Here’s a list of 13 of our favourite things to do and see in Jaipur
The City Palace is the focal point of tourism in Jaipur and with good reason. It’s stunning courtyards, gardens, and compounds are bound to leave you spellbound. We would suggest keeping aside at least half a day to explore City Palace when you are in Jaipur
Standing at the very edge of the Aravalli Hills, Nahargarh Fort offers incredible views over the city of Jaipur. Make sure you take a short little detour to the stepwell right outside the fort walls too. Try to visit around sunset.
Amer Fort or Amber Fort as it is sometime known is as impressive from the outside as it is from the inside. Marvel at the facade before you drive in. Once you’re in, you are bound to be impressed by the intricate designs on the walls, the lavish mirror work on the walls, and splashes of colour that make the interiors of Amer Fort truly special.
There is no shortage of historical monuments or forts in Jaipur but Jaigarh fort is my personal favourite. That’s because it is affords stunning views of the city of Jaipur and the surrounding countryside. Jaigarh Fort is also the only fort where you can drive within the premises of the fort. This makes exploring a joyride, even on a hot summer’s day.
The Hawa Mahal is an icon in Jaipur. The pink palace was first built for Rajasthani women to be able to observe processions and celebrations on the road without leaving the confines of the palace. Today it is at the very centre of the hustle bustle of Jaipur. Since the facade is the prettiest part, we’d suggest skipping a visit to the interiors. Instead go early and get yourself a table at one of the cafés overlooking the Hawa Mahal.
Albert Hall Museum
We’d suggest a visit to the Albert Hall Museum irrespective of whether you’re a museum person or not. It is the oldest museum in Rajasthan and the building, surrounded by hundreds of pigeons, is worth photographing. If you are a museum person, then do spare an hour to explore the collection of carpets, paintings, and sculptures housed in the building as well.
Panna Meena Ka Kund
This little-known stepwell has become quite insta-famous over the years. It might be a little hard to find but the stepwell is kind of cute. However do be warned – after a couple of serious accidents in the recent past, there is 24 hour security at the stepwell and nobody is allowed to climb onto the stairs to get any photographs.
Patrika Gate and Jawahar Circle
If you’re a keen photographer, then consider driving down to the gorgeous pink gates at Jawahar Circle. These gates are a recent addition to the landscape of Jaipur, but definitely need to feature on your itinerary for Jaipur.
Gatore Ki Chhatriyan & Maharani Ki Chhatri
These two sites are home to a series of Royal Tombs. The Kings’ Tombs (Gatore Ki Chattriyan) are more impressive but if you enjoy going off-the-beaten-path, then we’d recommend a visit to Maharani Ki Chhatri too. You’ll be amazed at how gorgeous and intricate the tombs are!
Galta Ji Temple
An ancient Hindu Temple, Galta Ji is a short drive away from Jaipur. Even if you’re an atheist like me, I’d recommend a visit purely for anthropological reasons! It boasts of a series of temples and water tanks (kunds) built into the hills and makes for a fascinating history lesson.
Jal Mahal, literally translates to Water Palace. True to its name, this palace is in the middle of the man made Sagar lake. Unfortunately you need special permission to visit the Palace. However we’d definitely suggest walking to the lake for a great view of the Jal Mahal and the surrounding lake.
No list of things to do in Jaipur would be complete without a visit to a bustling marketplace. Bapu Bazar is the answer to that! There’s nothing you won’t find here – from sweetmeats to colourful scarves, there’s something for everyone at Bapu Bazar. Indulge in some banter, bargain, and have a good time.
If you’re a foodie but you’re a tad apprehensive about plunging headlong into the world of Indian street food, then Masala Chowk offers the perfect introduction. It is a congregation of over 100 of the most famous food stalls of Jaipur in one place. It’s a unique concept and make it easy to sample a number of local delicacies at one go. Go hungry and eat your heart out.
Cafés and Restaurants
Jaipur is a modern city and boasts of a series of cafés. I’ve divided our favourites into two sections – cafés that are ideal for coffee and tea connoisseurs and cafés that are incredibly scenic but offer mediocre food/drinks. Here goes:
Scenic Cafes & Restaurants
The Stag – This restaurant offers great views over Amer Fort. Drop by for brunch or a meal. The seats overlooking the fort are almost always taken, but do try your luck.
Padao Restaurant – This al-fresco restaurant, located inside Nahargarh Fort, offers gorgeous views of the city of Jaipur. There is a small entry fee levied upon entry (INR 100/person). Food is strictly mediocre, so we’d recommend visiting it around sunset just for the views and a drink or two!
Wind View Café – This café, overlooking The Hawa Mahal, offers a perfect vantage point for a photograph of the Pink Palace. We suggest going as early as you can (it opens at 8 am) as it tends to get crowded as the day progresses. Entrance is free and food/drinks are overpriced because of the view but we’d say it’s worth it! Check out the view
Curious Life Coffee Roasters – The speciality coffee movement is slowly making its way to Jaipur and Curious Life Café is a manifestation of that phenomenon. The coffee isn’t the best we’ve had but it is better than what you’d get anywhere else in the city – one for coffee connoisseurs.
Tapri The Tea House – This is India, the home of masala chai. If you’re a tea lover, then you must hit Tapri Cafe. It’s extremely popular with Jaipur’s youngsters, so you will see a lot of locals around. A great selection of tea and snacks to go with.
Taru Veda Bistro – This cafe and boutique offers a unique ambience and is ideal for a meal with family or friends. It gets really busy, so try booking ahead if you can.
That’s it – everything you need to know about visiting Jaipur in one place. We hope you have an amazing time in the city. We’d suggest combining a trip to Jaipur with many other beautiful places in Rajasthan and India. If you do visit Jaipur, send us photos for Bruised Passports’ behind-the-scenes channel. We’d love to share them with our readers 🙂