Jaipur, or the ‘Pink City’, is commonly visited as part of the popular ‘Golden Triangle’ tourist route in India (and you can read my top 10 things to do while touring the Golden Triangle here). Jaipur has plenty of things to see and do and they are quite well spread out across the city. As such, I would recommend travelling by Uber throughout Jaipur to get to different places, as this form of transport certainly feels like the safest (and cheapest) way to travel. On this basis, most of the city’s attractions can be covered over the course of a two-night stay with an itinerary as follows:
On arrival into Jaipur International Airport, head to your accommodation via the Patrika Gate, an incredibly ornate structure which seems to serve no other purpose than being incredibly beautiful.
After dropping off your suitcases, make your way over to City Palace. This complex of courtyards, architectural structures and gardens was built by the founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, and, to this day, the Royal Family of Rajasthan still reside in (the private sections of) the Palace. Take your time exploring the Palace and be sure to have lunch on site at Baradari, an upmarket restaurant offering both Indian and international (mainly Italian) dishes.
City Palace is located next to the Jantar Mantar, a UNESCO World Heritage site which features a collection of nineteen giant astronomical instruments. After spending a couple of hours in the grounds of City Palace, wander around Jantar Mantar and check out the world’s largest stone sundial.
Make a booking in advance for dinner at Peacock Restaurant. Offering a wonderfully inexpensive international menu, the food at Peacock is excellent and the ambience is even better, with little twinkling lights and live music in the evenings.
If you choose to stay at Umaid Mahal, kickstart your day with the hotel’s buffet-style breakfast (and make sure you try their medium-spiced masala omelette), before taking an early taxi to the Amber Fort. This is another impressive palace complex, but this one is located outside of the city centre. You can read more about the Amber Fort in my blog here. En route to the Fort, be sure to ask your taxi driver to make a quick stop by the side of Man Sagar Lake, so that you can appreciate, and take a few photos of, the beautiful Jal Mahal palace in the middle of the lake.
After exploring the Amber Fort, make your way back to the city centre for lunch at Masala Chowk, an open-air food court with a number of kiosks serving a good range of different street food options.
With a full stomach, make your way over to the Hawa Mahal – arguably Jaipur’s most iconic landmark. This palace (the architecture of which is often likened to a honeycomb) was built with over 900 windows, to enable the ladies of the royal household to watch street scenes and processions without being seen. It is fascinating to explore the Hawa Mahal’s grounds and to take in the panoramic views from the building’s fifth floor.
Finish off your day in Jaipur with dinner at Niro’s, opting for the restaurant’s incredibly popular butter chicken dish.