Jaipur Travel Guide: Things to do, DIY Itinerary, How To Get There And More
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As the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, Jaipur is one of India’s most popular cities among tourists. Part of the so-called “Golden Triangle” with New Delhi and Agra, travelers come to Jaipur to experience a city teeming with palaces, temples, magnificent forts, colorful bazaars, and of course—lots of cows. All these plus stunning architecture, culture and a lively culinary scene all combine to make what is also known as “the Pink City” a can’t miss destination in India.
To help you plan your trip to Jaipur, here are some useful information on things to do, places to see and eat in Jaipur.
When is the best time to visit Jaipur?
The months of October until May are the ideal time to visit Jaipur. Scorching weather prevails from June until August. This writer arrived in Jaipur on the month of January and found the day time temperature of 20°C and the nighttime 8°C pleasant and bearable with thick clothing. The winter temperature from December to February slowly warms into the succeeding months. The Jaipur Literature Festival in January, the Holi Festival in March and the Gangaur Festival also in March attracts many visitors to the city.
How to get to Jaipur?
Although there are no direct flights from Manila, Jaipur is easily accessible when you’re in India as it is well-connected to three leading networks of transportations such as via Air, Railway and Land, from all major cities in India and some parts of Asia.
Jaipur is served by Sanganer Airport which is located approximately 10 kilometers from the city center. The airport has both International and Domestic Terminals. Airlines flying to Jaipur from other Indian cities are Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo, GoAir, Alliance Air, AirAsia India and Spicejet for domestic travel. For international flights, AirAsia X (from KL), Oman Air (from Muscat), Thai AirAsia (from Bangkok), Air Arabia (from Sharjah) and Air India Express (Dubai) are also available. This writer flew to Jaipur via Kuala Lumpur on an AirAsia X flight.
Jaipur has three Railway junctions located at Durgapura, Jaipur Main and Gandhinagar, therefore, connecting it to all major cities in India like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Agra and more. For those opting to travel by train in class, a train service called “Palace on Wheels” offers a week-long luxury train travel from New Delhi-Jaipur-Chittorgarh-Udaipur-Jaisalmer-Jodphur and Agra.
The highways of NH8, NH11, and NH12 connect Jaipur to the main roads traversing the vast Indian sub-continent. AC Volvo and Non-AC deluxe buses service the route going to and from Jaipur multiple times daily. Most bus companies pick up passengers from various points in Sindhi Camp and Narayan Singh Circle in Jaipur.
Travel time and distance from Jaipur to nearby cities are as follows.
- Delhi to Jaipur – 269 Km (4h 13 min)
- Agra to Jaipur – 237 Km (4h 15 min)
- Jodhpur to Jaipur – 338 Km (5h 8 min)
- Bikaner to Jaipur – 343 Km (5h 20 min)
- Jaisalmer to Jaipur – 592 Km (8h 36 min)
By Rented Car
Travelers from New Delhi sometimes choose to rent a car going to Jaipur. Travel time is around 4-5 hours and the rate ranges from 2,000-3,000 Indian Rupees (one-way). Riding apps like Uber and OLA can also be used when traveling from New Delhi to Jaipur and vice versa.
Getting around Jaipur
Like most cities in India, the main transportation in Jaipur are the auto-rickshaws (Vikram), public buses and the Metro Train System. Although the Old City (the Pink City) is very walkable, you can easily go around and outside the city center by taking these main modes of transportations. There are designated bus stops found all over the city. Make sure what bus numbers you need to ride to your destination. You can check this link to learn about the bus routes in Jaipur. The first phase of Jaipur Metro completed in 2014 now operates a total length of 9.63 kilometers or a total of 9 stations from Chandpole Bazaar to Vivek Vihar.
Where to Eat in Jaipur
Although Jaipur may not be a hotbed of fine-dining establishments serving gourmet cuisine yet, the local culinary culture here is made more fascinating by the bountiful street food scene where one can taste a variety of street food and numerous hole-in-the-wall establishments.
The Rajput Room
Address: Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Road, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan
An upscale restaurant worth your every Rupees, The Rajput Room is set inside Rambagh Palace and adorned with grand decoration mirroring Jaipur’s city palace. Serving an appetizing selection of Indian, Asian and Continental cuisine, this is a great place to splurge on some great tasting food.
Address: B4-E, Prithviraj Road, Opposite Central Park Gate No. 4, C-Scheme, Jaipur, Rajasthan
This laid-back but cozy place has a rooftop dining place where you can get a mesmerizing view of Jaipur’s Central Park. Add that to the cool interiors and the fine tasting set of Indian food in their menu, and you get an affordable and fancy place to have a memorable meal with your friends.
Jaipur Modern Kitchen
Address: 51, Dhuleshwar Garden, Sardar Patel Marg, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Housed inside a mid-19th century heritage establishment in the C-Scheme neighborhood, Jaipur Modern Kitchen serves an array of Indian vegetarian and Mediterranean dishes. With a hip and trendy interior, this joint also highlights its ingredients that are sourced organically.
Address: 100, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Santha Bagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Have a pleasant time at this place that serves the best Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialties in a finely designed dining room. Pair your food with their in-house blend of iced tea, brewed coffee, and Moroccan mint tea.
Hawk View Restaurant & Bar
Address: 76 Raja Mal Ka Talab, Chandi Ki Taksal, Behind Kale Hanuman Ji Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Located in the old city, this rooftop restaurant offers pleasant views of the bustling city and Nahargarh Fort. Hawk View serves Indian vegetarian cuisine including a sumptuous set of Thali dishes. In the afternoon to nighttime, you will also be entertained by live Indian music performed by two young cultural performers.
Address: 1st Floor, Sunraj Villa, 2 Mysore House, Jacob Road, Madrampura, Civil Lines, Jaipur, Rajasthan
A quaint little nook adorned with colorful mural art, this bistro also doubles as an organic and home store. The bright interiors pair well with their delicious menu items like: falafel canape, sushi, crepes, beetroot hummus, pasta, and tofu burgers.
Address: Near Jorawar Singh Gate, Gangapole, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Set in a Haveli (traditional Indian mansion), Samode Haveli offers a royalty-vibe dining experience and dishes a tasty fusion of Mughai, North Indian, Continental, and Rajasthani cuisine. Always included in everywhere to eat in Jaipur listicle articles, the must-try here includes: Laal Maans, Butter Chicken, Aloo Goobi, Rajasthani Thaali, and Dal Makhni.
Address: 312, MI Road, Jayanti Market, New Colony, Jaipur, Rajasthan
This popular Lassiwala roadside Lassi stall has been a local favorite since 1944. They serve a refreshing Lassi at 30 Rupees for 200 ml and 60 Rupees for 400 ml. Lassi is a blend of yoghurt (or ‘dahi’ in India) water, spices and sometimes fruit.
These are just a few standout places to eat in Jaipur. The real food adventure though can be found on the street. Take time to try out such staple Jaipur street food like Chaat (comprise of lentils, chutney, fried crackers, dried nuts), samosas, omelets, sweet treats and more.
Best places to stay in Jaipur
Accommodations in Jaipur are aplenty ranging from backpacker hostels to medium range to luxury. There’s too many to list one by one, so here is a brief guide on the neighborhoods where all these best places to stay are located at.
This is probably the best place to stay if you’re looking to spend your days in Jaipur exploring the old city on foot. The City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and numerous bazaars are all within walking distance with each other. Also, the best place to experience the street-food culture of Jaipur. This writer stayed in this neighborhood at Zostel Jaipur.
A peaceful neighborhood away from the bustling old city. Still part of the city center, it is also strategically located near rows of hotels, cafes, shops, and restaurants.
Located in the Southern part of Jaipur’s city center, Raja Park boasts of a colorful neighborhood where you can witness lively activities and samples on the street-food culture as well.
One of the main roads in Jaipur, M I Road is dotted with some of Jaipur’s landmarks like the Aimeri Gate, the Raj Mandir Cinema and a wide-ranging choice of restaurants, cafes and street-food stalls.
Located in the Western part of Jaipur, this is where some of the city’s luxurious accommodations are situated. Quieter than most neighborhoods, it offers a relaxed nightlife, shopping, and food scene.
Places to See in Jaipur
The iconic facade of Hawa Mahal is one of the must-see landmarks in Jaipur. Also known as the “Palace of the Winds”, this architectural marvel standing pyramidical 50 feet high is made of red and pink sandstone and highlighted by 953 jharokha windows embellished with latticework. Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 and is a prime example of Rajput architecture prevalent in Jaipur during those days. It served as an extension of the women’s chamber where the royal ladies would peek at the windows to observe the everyday life outside. The narrow design of the hallway and the direction it faces allows the wind (“Hawa” in Hindi) to circulate inside—thus giving the palace its moniker.
Oozing with a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the City Palace covers a palatial complex nearly the size of one-seventh of the whole of the Pink City. Inside, you can get magically lost into a series of lush gardens, royal residences, private halls, courtyards, museums, and olden buildings. The Chandra Mahal—the residence of the current Maharajah of Jaipur—is also located inside the City Palace compound.
Albert Hall Museum
Also known as the Central Museum, the Albert Hall Museum conveys a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, it was first opened in 1987. Today, the museum is visited by art enthusiasts because of its impressive collections of paintings, metal sculptures, crystal works, carpets, Ivory and other historical artifacts.
Spread atop the rolling Aravali Hills, the 16th century Amer Fort with its massive walls and maze of passageways, once shielded the Mughal Empire from fierce enemies. Today, it has become part of “Hill Forts of Rajasthan”—along with five other forts—inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Impressive architecture abounds inside in the form of temples, gates, ramparts, royal residences, courtyards, and halls—with each of the structures telling interesting bits of history.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jantar Mantar is a complex that houses nineteen 18th-century architectural astronomical instruments including the world’s largest sundial. It was completed in 1734 upon the order of Maratha Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II. This observatory that measures celestial positions and timings uses the methods of “Ptolemaic positional astronomy” used by earlier civilizations. The instruments at Jantar Mantar used to supply accurate readings before towering modern buildings blocked the view of the nighttime sky.
The smallest of the three forts in Jaipur but famous for its location atop a hill overlooking the Pink City and the stunning sunset. Built in 1734, the Fort houses an array of palaces and temples designed in a fusion of Indian and European architecture. You can also visit Jaipur’s Wax Museum inside.
The Jal Mahal Palace was built in 1734 and served as a palace of the Maharaja of Amber before rising levels of the lake bed submerged the palace’s four floors and leaving the fifth floor and the rooftop as the only visible structure. Today, this Rajput-architecture designed palace appears floating magically over the calm waters of Man Sagar Lake. The intricate walls and arching pillars are still visible even from afar. A visit here is in order especially if you are coming from Amber Fort—as this lake palace is located along the way going back to Jaipur’s Pink City.
In Jaipur, bazaars fill all corners of the ‘Pink City’ with at least 7 main bazaar districts. To fully explore these bazaars, it is highly recommended to walk from Hawa Mahal going to Chandpole and Bapu Bazaar. Along the way, you will pass by countless shops selling an assortment of items from jewelries, colorful fabrics, footwears (especially the “jootis” –a specialty women’s shoes of Rajasthan), utensils, carpets, trinkets, blanket, elephant pants, sarees, leather bags and a whole lot more. It’s safe to assume that you won’t leave Jaipur without extra luggage filled with assorted fancy items.
Galtaji Temple (Monkey Temple)
Located 10 kilometers outside of Jaipur, Galtaji Temple is a complex comprised of a series of temples and is known as an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site. Galtaji is highlighted by a natural spring that streams out of the hill and fills a series of pools referred to as “sacred kunds”, where the pilgrims bathe. It is also known as the “Monkey Temple” because of the presence of countless Rhesus Macaques.
Raj Mandir Theater
Said to be one of the most beautiful movie theaters in India, the Art Deco Raj Mandir Theater is the best place to experience Bollywood in Jaipur. Watch a Bollywood film with a crowd of locals oohing and singing along while munching on some of the favorite movie snacks of Indians.
Best Places to Shop in Jaipur
Jaipur best typifies the ‘bazaar-crazy scene’ of Rajasthan. Inside and outside the Pink City are several bazaars that sell a wide variety of interesting items. From silverware, clothing, jewelry, spices, dried nuts, fruits, vegetables, traditional shoes, organic products and more are available at these markets. Here are Jaipur’s main bazaars where you can enjoy memorable shopping experience.
- Johari Bazaar –Jewelry
- Tripolia Bazaar –Bangles
- Bapu Bazaar –All Jaipuri Items
- Chandpole Bazaar –Handicrafts
- Anokhi –Colorful Garments
- Gaurav Tower –Local Products
- The Gem Palace –Antique Charms
- Kishanpole Bazaar –Textiles
- Nehru Bazaar –Traditional Jootis
- Sireh Deori Bazaar –Street Shopping
- Mirza Ismail Road –Pottery
- Tibbati Market –Local Souvenirs
- Kripal Kumbh –Blue Pottery
- Aravali Bazaar –Home Decor Items
- Purohit Ji Ka Katla –Wedding Items
Travel Tip: Because haggling is a birthright in India, Haggle hard. Unless you’re shopping in an upscale boutique store, you should always try to haggle down—in a polite manner—to an average of 20-40 percent of the original asking price. Indian vendors appreciate a good haggling skill by smiling back at you before bobbing their head sideways and saying “Okay, no problem”
Jaipur additional travel tips
Plan your trip ahead of time
Booking ahead of time will help you in scoring cheaper airfare and reserve the best place to stay. Be on the look-out also for seat-sales and other airline promos. Take note of the best months to visit Jaipur and anticipate room rates to increase during this time, so make sure to also book ahead and reserve online. Despite the crazy street activities, Jaipur remains a fairly walkable city. Make sure to include increasing your stamina as part of your trip preparation to Jaipur because you might want to take long walks when exploring the Pink City.
Nearby side trip destinations
If you’re spending a long time in Jaipur, you can make a weekend or daylong side trips to these nearby places.
- Bikaner – is a 5-hour drive or bus/train ride from Jaipur where you can visit the Junagarh Fort, the Laxmi Niwas
Temple and the Shivbari Temple
- Jaisalmer – is another city in Rajasthan that sizzles with dessert vibe set in an ancient city surrounded by forts, palaces, beautiful Havelis (traditional Indian mansions) and sand dunes.
- Jodphur – is where you will see the famed “Blue City” and the jaw-dropping Mehrangarh Fort.
- Udaipur – is another Rajasthan city known for its scenic spots and beautiful lakes and palaces.
While most locals are very friendly and willing to help without asking anything in return—in cases you get lost or something—there are a few locals acting too friendly who will engage you in a conversation. After getting your trust they will ask you to visit their jewelry store and if you say “Yes”, it will be almost impossible to leave their store without buying jewelry because of their power of persuasion. Best to say a firm “NO” at any invitation to visit a store, shop or factory when you don’t plan on buying anything.
There are several ATM’s and Money Changers located in Jaipur so withdrawing money and exchanging currency won’t be a problem. Most restaurants and bazaar stalls accept Mastercard and Visa credit cards and debit cards.
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