Jaipur – the city of colours and also one of the best places to witness the exquisite royal culture of Rajasthan. My heart fluttered every time a colleague or friend spoke about Jaipur. Hence, this longing to explore Jaipur grew stronger with each passing day. Therefore, one fine Saturday morning in October, I decided to explore Jaipur on my own. For safety concerns, I decided to rent a car in Delhi using Savaari. It is a safer, convenient and faster option. I grabbed my shades, hat, and sunscreen as I had chosen the month of February for my trip. Jaipur could get extremely hot during its summer months.
My Savaari taxi from Delhi to Jaipur took about 5.5 hours to reach. Winding down the highways along with some utterly delicious Indian food en-route was all I needed to kickstart this weekend getaway.
How to travel around the Pink City – the best way to explore the city
One of the best ways to travel around is by renting a taxi in Jaipur. A lot of tourist attractions in Jaipur are spread out, therefore you save up on a lot of money (mind you, a lot of money) if you hire a car on rent for a day to take you around. I hired a taxi on rent in Jaipur which took me around the city for 8 hours.
A few tips
One of the things I learned in Jaipur was to never travel around with less cash. You must have cash at all times. Not just to pay for your transport (local tuk tuks), you will also need to pay in cash to buy a ticket to enter most monuments in Jaipur. Hence, do not forget to carry sufficient cash with you. If you have INR, 2000, change it to INR 100 or 500 rupee notes.
Places to stay in Jaipur
This was the first time I traveled alone in India. So safety was a big concern, but believe me when I say this, Jaipur is one of the safest places to do a solo-tripping in India. For women, too! You can stay in a hostel if you are a budget traveler. I stayed in a hostel because you end up meeting some really amazing people from different corners of the world. There are a lot of options for hotels too, and for all budgets.
Some of the hostels I recommend are:
- Okay Horn Please
- Free Birds
- Backpackers Headquarters
Unmissable things to do in Jaipur
Jaipur City Palace
The City Palace in Jaipur is not as grand as the one in Udaipur. But it still has some amazing architecture for people like us to marvel at. One of the most iconic structures here is the royal archway doors located in the center. If you are a bookworm, you will immediately identify the door as the cover of the best seller novel, The Palace of Illusions. I would recommend that you buy a ticket which covers entrance into this palace, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall Museum, Nahargarh/Jaigarh fort, and more. It’s around 1000 rupees but is worth the money and will also save you money!
Also, do stop at the cafe inside the Palace. They serve some amazing muffins.
You cannot go to Jaipur and not visit the Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds. Hawa Mahal is literally in the center of the city and is one of the first places people rush to when in Jaipur. With 953 latticework windows, I was stunned from the moment I stepped into Johari Bazaar. While there is not much to do at the palace, but this place is a big hit among photography nerds like myself.
Do stop by at Wind Cafe for some amazing chai and food.
About 15 km from the city center, Amer Fort is one of my personal favorites. I suggest you head out to explore Amer Fort in the morning to beat the crowds in the afternoon. Also, the weather is great in the morning. Historically, the Amer Palace was residence to the Royal Family of Jaipur. And built in Rajasthani style, this palace defines extravagance in the truest sense of the term. And once you are done admiring how gorgeous the fort is, you can catch some great views of Jaipur and the Nahargarh fort from up here.
8 am to 5.30 pm during the day.
7 pm to 10 pm. at night.
Jaipur has two forts – Nahargarh fort and Jaigarh fort. And given a choice, I would suggest, you choose the former. The Nahargarh fort has a far more impressive view. I could enjoy a birds-eye view of all the colourful lights coming from the city below. Definitely, a great place to sit back, relax and enjoy the view with a cup of chai.
Places to eat
- Chokhi Dhani for some authentic Rajasthani thalis
- Café Palladio for Italian and other international cuisines
- Kalyan Rooftop and Indoor Restaurant for Rajasthani food
- Jaipur Adda for snacks
- The Rajput Room for Indian, Continental and Asian
- Zolocrust for desserts
- RJ 14 for North and South Indian
- Taruveda for Italian, Japanese and Continental