How to spend 2 days in India’s Pink City
Jaipur was the city that I was really excited to visit. I don’t know if that was because I heard that it’s ‘Pink city’ or just because I wanted to escape from chaos and have a bit of a peace. But I didn’t run away far enough because even though Jaipur is really charming and I enjoy my time there, it is a very busy, very chaotic, loud and crowded city.
So let me say first – Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It has a population more than 4 million people and I think most of them lives in the city centre (haha joking, but it’s really busy). Translated from hindi, Rajasthan means ‘the land of kings’ and while travelling in this state you will see so many beautiful palaces, forts, havelis, gardens and really really feel royal vibes, especially here in Jaipur!
Jaipur traces back its origins to the beginning of 18th century, when it was planned and built from scratch by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Later at the end of 19th century, just before Prince of Wales visit they painted most parts of the city in pink color. The color was refreshed a few more times (before the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana) and since then this city got its Pink City name.
How long you should to stay in Jaipur?
Jaipur is a big city with a deep historical background so there are a lot of beautiful ancient places to visit, architecture to see and streets to wander. Jaipur has a lot to offer for its visitors. I would say that it would be perfect to spend 3 days in this city, but also if you are very tight on your trip 2 days are more than enough to see the main attractions and to really connect with this place.
Where is it and how to get there?
Jaipur is situated in eastern border of Thar desert and is located 268 km (167 miles) from India’s capital New Delhi. There are a few ways how you can reach Jaipur:
- Hire a private driver. Safe and expensive (comparing to other options). You can ask in your hotel about it.
- Flight. Jaipur has its own international airport!
- Bus. There are some buses that goes from bigger cities (check for tickets and journey time on 12go.asia or redbus)
- Train. Jaipur is well connected via rail from all big cities including Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Udaipur, Chennai, Kolkata, Jodhpur, Bangalore and others. You can read more about Indian trains here.
- A one day (or more days) tour. You can book it in your hotel, or tripadvisor or any other travel agency that you like. Take a day trip from Delhi or Udaipur, or the whole ‘Golden Triangle’ tour (together with Delhi and Agra).
How to get around Jaipur?
I guess you’re wondering how to get around Jaipur if you travel on your own or as a couple or with a few friends. So there are a few options for you. You can always use Ola app which is amazing, works exactly like Uber (which is also good to use), you are able see how much the journey will cost you and it’s pretty safe. Also on your way you can always hop on one of million auto-rickshaws, just don’t forget to haggle the price before you get into it. The best part about it is that you can always ask driver to wait for you somewhere near to bring you back!
Another option is to ask the staff in your hotel to organise and hire a private vehicle for you, price depends on whether its a car or a tuk tuk or any other. I can actually offer you one amazing tuk tuk driver/guide Samir. I spent 2 days driving around Jaipur with him and I had the best time! I do not get anything from him, it’s just my personal recommendation for you! He has a page on Facebook – Friendly Tuk Tuk Tour with Khan Samir – Jaipur. If you tell him that Lithuanian girl recommended him – he might give you a special price (can’t promise that).
Jaipur travel guide
This is my recommendations how to spend two days in Jaipur. You don’t have to follow it blindly as I wrote it down, you are more than welcome to change it the way you’d see it more convenient for you!
Things to see and do in DAY ONE (getting those royal vibes)
- ISHWAR LAT (SARGASULI)
Start your day with breathtaking view of Jaipur! Ishwar Lat (also called Swargsooli) which literally means ‘heaven piercing minaret’, is a 20 meters (60 feet) high tower near Tripolia Gate, it was built by Raja Ishwari Singh in 1749 to celebrate a grand victory. The ir nothing much to do there, but when you get up to the top the views are really something not to miss on this trip!
Opening times – 9am to 4.30pm daily, entry fee – 50 INR for Indians; 200 INR for foreigners.
- GATORE KI CHHATRIYAN (MEMORIALS OF KINGS)
Hop on transportation you have and go just off the Jaipur-Amber road where beautiful Gaitore is located. This place is where the former Maharajas of Jaipur are resting. The chhatris (dome-shaped pavilions, very common in Rajasthani architecture) are made of white marble decorated with extraordinary carvings, which makes it to stand out of yellow sandstone hills and it is a really unique place to visit.
Opening times – 10am to 5pm daily, entry fee – 30 INR for Indians; 100 INR for foreigners.
- AMBER FORT/AMER PALACE
If you haven’t been to Amber Fort can you even say that you’ve been in Jaipur? Absolutely not! This place is worth a visit. Amber (also called Amer) Fort is located about 11 kilometres away from Jaipur. Since 1592 Amber was the capital of Rajasthan, it was built strong and safe enough to defend itself against attacking enemies, but later it was moved to a place what we know now as Jaipur. Honestly this fort was the most beautiful I had visited in whole Rajasthan, the palace with all of the magnificent carvings, precious stones and mirrors, and the whole structure it’s made entirely of red sandstone and white marble. The place is out of this world.
Opening times – 9am to 5pm. Entry fee – 100 INR for Indians, 500 INR for foreigners.
- PANNA MEENA KA KUND
The stepwell that you do not want to miss! Stepwells are a very common thing in Rajasthan as most of its land is dry desert. Locals say that this stepwell was used to collect and store the water which was used in temples and household in Amber town. It’s very close to Amber Fort so it’s do those two together as later you might have to go all the way back.
No entry fee. If you want to go down the stairs you might need to pay a bit for a local supervisor.
- JAL MAHAL (LAKE PALACE)
On your way to Amber Fort you should’ve seen the beautiful big lake with a floating structure in the middle of it. So that’s the Jal Mahal! Jal Mahal was built long time ago, back in 1750 by Maharaja Madho Singh with just one intention – to have it as a duck hunting party place for him and his buddies. Funny right? Anyway, the light, bright sandstone walls and the deep blue water and all the surrounding area makes it a really magical place to see in Jaipur. Visitors are not allowed inside of this palace (unfortunately), but you can sit and relax admiring the views from afar.
Do not even try to skip this place! Galtaji is an ancient pilgrimage centre in Jaipur, it is also known as Monkey Temple now! Well, Monkey temple is actually Galwar Bagh and it is almost at the end of the complex which also includes other temples, pavilions and holy kunds (natural springs and water tanks). When I was walking there I had a feeling that I just discovered the ancient Hindu town. You will see, it has those vibes. Be prepared to meet loads of monkeys, locals will ask you for donation and to buy bananas. Some of the monkeys are trained to sit and walk on peoples shoulders for pictures, if you’re interested in that…
Opening time – 5am to 9pm. Entre fee – free for everyone.
- SISODIA RANI PALACE AND GARDEN
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II built this place for his Queen Sisodia at the beginning of 18th century. It is a beautiful multi-layered palace with built in fountains, springs, pavilions, gardens and flower beds – a true expression of love. The most interesting part of this place is the Radha and Krishna paintings all over the palace. It is quiet a big area to explore so make sure you have time for that.
Opening times – 8am to 6pm daily, unless they have bookings for weddings or other private events. Entry fee – 90 INR for Indians, 130 INR for foreigners.
- ALBERT HALL MUSEUM (CENTRAL MUSEUM)
This is a very impressive building. It is built in 19th century using the Indo-Sarcenin architecture style, which is one of my favourites. The museum displays a wide range of metal objects, wood crafts, carpets, stone and metal sculptures, arms and weapons, natural stones and ivory goods. I won’t blame you if you do want to skip the museum after all day of walking around everywhere. But please go in the evening at least to see the lights on the building. You won’t regret it!
Opening times – 9am to 5pm. Entry fee – 20 INR for Indians, 150 INR for foreigners.
After that you should really visit MASALA CHOWK – food market! Beautiful different type of Indian cuisine in one place! Delicious food, friendly people and very clean. Entry costs 10 INR, opening times – everyday from 8am till 10.30 pm.
Things to see and do in DAY TWO
- WALK AROUND PINK CITY
- CITY PALACE
Located in the middle of the Pink City the City Palace Complex was designed and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II at the same time when Jaipur was established. Beautiful mix of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, this palace is still home to the royal family (they have a private part of the palace).
You know I always have that good feeling about going to city palaces, you can find so much about the history of the city, which is very important when visiting new place. But… I didn’t go there. I read in other blogs and than my local friend told me that it’s not really worth it, and as a budget backpacker when I saw the entry price I just thought maybe next time… So I included it on a list because it’s a goddamn CITY PALACE, but it’s totally on you if you want to go or not really.
Opening times – 9am to 5pm. Entry fee – 190 INR for Indians; 500 INR for foreigners.
- JANTAR MANTAR
Jantar Mantar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the same guy who built all Jaipur. It contains sixteen geometric devices, designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun. I honestly didn’t understand anything what I saw (don’t worry there are signs explaining everything), but I think it’s incredible to witness that kind of thing.
Opening times – 9am to 5pm. Entry fee – 50 INR for Indians; 200 INR for foreigners.
- HAWA MAHAL
Hawa Mahal is one of the most iconic and most visited and photographed place in Jaipur. It literally means the Palace of Winds. This palace was built with loads of all kind of windows which served as an air-conditioner, blowing cool air throughout the palace, that’s why it was great summer palace for the king and his family back in 18th century. Also as a place where the ladies of the royal household could observe everyday life without being seen themselves! Isn’t that cool? You can view this masterpiece from outside, across the road – there are quite a few cosy cafes with amazing view to Hawa Mahal. Or you can go inside and walk the ground once royal family was walking. Or you can do both!
Opening times – 9am to 5pm. Entry fee – 50 INR for Indians, 200 INR for foreigners.
They say that Jaipur is the best place to do your shopping in India, especially if you are looking some textile products, like rugs, scarfs, sarees and anything else All the places that I will mention here is in Pink city, walking distance from City Palace and Hawa Mahal, very easy to reach.
Bapu Bazaar – they say that it’s a main market in Jaipur. You can find a lot of Rajasthani products ranging from textiles, perfume and camel skin products (do not recommend leather products, but just saying what’s a sad reality). Oh and don’t forget to have a look at Majori shoes – unique embroidery pattern footwear that is commonly found just in Jaipur!
Tripolia Bazaar – that’s basically all street, the one where Tripolia Gate stands in the middle, full of shops (and people). Very busy and colourful market where you can find everything from clothes, to spices, beautiful jewellery and shoes.
Don’t forget to bargain, ok?
- SUNSET AT NAHARGARH FORT
You haven’t seen a beautiful sunset in India if you haven’t been at Nahargarh Fort. It lies on a Aravalli Hill, the northern part of Jaipur. This fort was was built in 1734 and was later expanded in 1868 and had served as a barrier defending city against enemies attacks, you will spot a long wall which is connected to Jaigarh Fort. Nahargarh literally means abode of tigers, which is funny because royal family was living in the fort houses during the summer (haha dad joke). Today this fort holds a few restaurants and a wax museum (haha I know right) and it is a place for picnics and the best sunset spot for locals and visitors. Don’t skip this place!
Opening times – 9am to 5.30 pm (but restaurant is open till the last one breathing). Entry fee – there is a small fee for a car drop at the entrance which is around 30-80 INR depending on vehicle, and if you want to visit main complex – 200 INR for foreigners and plus 700 INR for wax museum just if you want to go there.
If you have more time in Jaipur you can also visit:
- JAWAHAR CIRCLE GARDEN/PATRIKA GATE
This is an unique large circular park located 30 minutes away from city centre with a beautiful green areas, rose garden and a number of jogging tracks, seating and picnic areas. It also attracts a lot of visitors for its Musical Fountain which creates spectacular shows with all kinds of effects and colourful lights. It is one of the best places to relax and unwind after strolling around the busy streets of Jaipur. The entrance to the park is called Patrika Gate which is one of the most photographed places in India! So get your camera’s ready for the best Instagram shot of your life!
Opening times – 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Entry fee – free.
- JAIGARH FORT
Another popular and worth a visit fort in Jaipur. It’s about 15 kilometres away from Jaipur not so far away from Nahargarh Fort. Jaigarh Fort was built by Sawai Jai Singh II in the early 18th century in the middle of the hills. This fort was built as a protection for Amber Fort against the enemies, served as a military base, but has a beautiful green areas and breathtaking views to the city of Jaipur.
Opening times – 9am to 5pm. Entry fee – 70 INR for Indians, 150 INR for foreigners.
Where to stay?
Hostels – GoStops Jaipur. Pretty chilled place, in a beautiful area, not in the centre. I loved all GoStops, they had the best Masala Maggie I had ever tried.
Also you can look for Zostel Jaipur – the staff is always amazing, game and chill areas are awesome.
Budget private – Blue King – It is perfect if you are on a budget and want to be a bit closer to city centre and have a wonderful view from rooftop terrace.
Luxury – Umaid Bhawan – If you want to spend a bit more and treat yourself with a nice comfy bed, soft sheets and loads of privacy, this one is perfect! You will have the best time swimming in the pool and sipping the drinks at rooftop restaurant.
General Tips for safe travels:
- Apps to help on your way:
- Maps.me – amazing app for using the city map while you have no connection to internet.
- Ola app – for booking cabs (or even auto-rickshaws)
- There is a general dress code for female travellers while wandering around India. I am sure you heard that India is known as more conservative than western countries in all ways, so keeping your shoulders and legs from the knee upwards covered would not only show the respect for the culture but also saves you from unwanted attention.
- Be aware of common scams. If it seems to be to good to be true – it’s a scam.
- Pick-pocketing is a thing all over the world. Especially in the busy places, near tourist attractions keep your belongings close to you.
Send You loads of Love!
Stay adventurous and see you on the road! x