Jaipur is my favourite city in India. Welcome to the ‘pink city’. I’m so thrilled that you are here to join me for a sun-soaked, salmon-pink adventure.
As the last stop on the golden triangle tour, Jaipur is one of the greatest cities in the world to shop. Alongside an abundance of luxurious hotels, it’s a real-life Aladdin’s cave. Go on a hunt for gemstones and tribal textiles; this is where insiders buy handmade, traditional crafts and design.
Right, let’s plan your itinerary!
1. Amber Fort (Amer Fort)
Out of all of the attractions in Jaipur, I urge you to see this fort. Okay, it is a drive away, but the devil is in the detail; it’s an architectural goldmine. Prepare for your best pics yet, with intricate detail on the walls and views across the city and countryside. The king lived here with 12 of his wives – and 350 mistresses. Bet he was busy!
2. Hawal Mahal
Fun fact: this is a building with a law to stay pink, and I’m here for it. It’s a honeycomb-shaped ‘palace of the winds’ dotted in peekaboo windows. Architectured for the royal women who would watch the street parades from above, the king had many anonymous wives. It’s next door to City Palace so pop over to the following location once you’ve got your Hawal fix.
3. City Palace
The royal family once ruled their terra-cotta homeland by painting all of their sandstone buildings. Today, it’s an artistic masterpiece built in the form of courtyards, gardens, gateways and buildings. A striking blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture, this palace represents the richness of Indian history. It’s built right in the centre of the old city, so the journey should be easy-peasy.
4. Jantar Mantar
This one is a bit random, myself and my travel buddy were wondering why they built this here. But, don’t rule it off just yet. It’s the world’s largest stone sundial — I highly recommend a visit for the science, space and astrology enthusiasts. A good one for the kids, I would describe it as an interactive outdoor museum. Nineteen instruments allow you to see planetary positions and how they were used to calculate date and time by the sun’s positioning. There is a craved monument for each star sign. I loved seeing the symbol for Scorpio: intense and romantic. Hmm, that’s almost accurate.
5. The Iconic Stepwells
I didn’t manage to fit this one, but I Instastalked other travel bloggers piccies, and they’re beautiful. I luckily managed to find similar steps in Rajasthan, but the Jaipur ones are incredibly popular and a photographer’s dream. It’s a chance to see authentic India, and the surrounding areas, filled with friendly curious locals.
The places I didn’t get to go but would add to your list: Galta Monkey Temple and Nahargarh Fort. Oh and don’t miss the beautiful palace floating in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake: half of the building is still hovering, but the bottom half is submerged. They’re currently restoring it so you can’t go inside, but you won’t miss the viewing spots filled with tourists.
You’ll be pleased to hear that Uber is in Jaipur and it’s safe! There is also a similar service called Ola. All drivers are, of course, tracked. Jaipur has developed well over the years and is incredibly modern. If you want a full day of sightseeing, I would recommend hiring a private driver (the preferred mode of transport for many Westerners). For cheaper options, book a tour here.
Three – five days is enough to see all of the beautiful Jaipur.
Vacay-ers – Jaipur has many Western hotel chains like Marriot and Holiday Inn etc. I stayed in Hilton Jaipur, which as a global hotel, is a great all-rounder and is very accommodating to all cultures. Honestly, you have to check out their breakfast & dinner buffet — I’ve never seen so many world foods stations under one roof. There is also a rooftop pool which I didn’t get to use, but it looks incredible! The most ‘Instagrammable’ luxurious (pricey) hotel is Jai Mahal Palace, which I went for dinner. Otherwise, ITC Rajputana is a great budget option that all of the essential amenities at an affordable price.
I highly recommend booking a reservation at Jai Mahal Palace for an I’m-on-holiday-so-might-aswell dinner because the palace itself is truly magical. The restaurant at the Hilton Jaipur is decently priced and well-known for its famous Rajasthani speciality dishes.
*Subject to affordability, food may be a tad pricey.
I hope you found my guide to Jaipur useful. India has been on my bucket list since I was a little girl, and I’ve never been anywhere quite like it. Jaipur well exceeded my expectations. I’m always keen to answer any travel questions so don’t hesitate to fling me a comment!