A first-timer’s guide to Jaipur, India’s Pink City


Hi! We’re Thysia and Kelvin, the faces behind Tasting Sunsets. In this blog post we’ll take you on a journey through Jaipur, also known as the Pink City of India. It’s the biggest city and the capital of Rajasthan, and a part of India’s Golden Triangle. Jaipur has completely won us over with its lively colors, amazing buildings, and beautiful palaces. Stick with us as we uncover why Jaipur is an absolute must-see when you’re exploring India!

Best time to visit Jaipur

The best time to visit the Pink City is from October to February. During these months, the days are clear and breezy, offering the most pleasant temperatures for visitors. When we went in January, it was around 22°C, just perfect for exploring all the sights!

Amer Fort 3
Amer Fort
Panna Meena ka Kund 2
Panna Meena ka Kund

How to get around Jaipur

Firstly, you need to make your way to Jaipur. You have a few options: flying in, or arriving by car, train, or bus. When we came from Agra, we opted for the train.

However, we overlooked that it was Republic Day, resulting in a whopping 9-hour delay! So, we had to scramble for a last-minute cab, which ended up costing us more.

Luckily, we got a refund for our train tickets! To avoid such surprises, check beforehand if it’s a holiday and whether the train is susceptible to delays. If you want certainty, we suggest taking the bus instead of the train. It’s a safer bet!

Once you’re in Jaipur, there are various ways to get around. You can hop on taxis, buses, or rickshaws. We highly recommend using rickshaws. They’re much cheaper than taxis and give you a taste of local life. On top of that, they’re often the fastest option, too! Before you hop on, make sure you know the standard fare to avoid any surprises. Don’t forget to haggle!

Another handy tip: try Ola, the local ridesharing app. It’s cheaper than Uber! With options like auto rickshaws, cars, and taxis, you have plenty of choices for getting around. By using Ola, you’ll know the price of the ride before it starts – the best way to avoid surprises!

We suggest taking a look at this useful list of things you should know before heading to India. It’s a great way to kickstart your trip fully prepared!

Best things to do in Jaipur

Now that you’ve got the lowdown on the ideal time to visit Jaipur and how to move around, let’s dive into exploring the must-see sights in the city. Ready to uncover the places in Jaipur that you absolutely shouldn’t miss?

Hawa Mahal

One of Jaipur’s most famous sights is Hawa Mahal, also called the Palace of Winds. This five-story palace has a stunning pink exterior and features 953 intricate windows. Situated right in the center of the Pink City, you can’t really miss it.

Originally, Hawa Mahal was built to let royal women observe daily life without being noticed. They could peek through the tiny gaps in the windows to see the street below without revealing their faces. Plus, the design allowed for a refreshing breeze to flow through, keeping the palace cool during the summer. A great landmark all around!

Hawa Mahal

City Palace

The beautiful City Palace is a top spot in the Pink City. It was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in the 18th century, and still serves as the royal family’s home today. The palace has lovely gardens, pretty courtyards, and colorful, fancy buildings with amazing details. Make sure to plan enough time to visit! The place is huge and will definitely keep you busy and interested.

City Palace
City Palace 3

Amer Fort

Amer Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits atop a hill overlooking the city. You have four levels to explore, each boasting enchanting courtyards, stunning textures, captivating colors, and intricate details. To avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit early in the morning.

Consider hiring a local guide to enrich your experience with insights into Amer’s history and culture. And don’t forget to catch the popular Light and Sound Show every evening at 6:30 PM, where the fort’s history comes alive through dazzling lights and captivating visual effects.

It’s a fun and informative way to discover the fascinating tales of this magnificent fortress! Again, we’re sure you’ll spend several hours here.

Amer Fort
Amer Fort 4

Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar is another UNESCO World Heritage site you can’t miss when visiting Jaipur. This intriguing astronomical observatory showcases 19 stone instruments for tracking time and celestial bodies like the sun and moon. Make sure to check out the Samrat Yantra, the world’s largest sundial. It’s not only very precise but also visually striking with its geometric designs and vibrant yellow color. Even if you’re not into astronomy, it’s definitely worth a visit! It was our top spot in Jantar Mantar.

Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar 2

Jal Mahal

Jal Mahal, also known as the Water Palace, is a stunning palace that seems to emerge from the heart of Man Sagar Lake. Although it appears to float on the water’s surface, a closer inspection reveals that it’s partially submerged. It’s quite impressive, especially considering it was constructed 400 years ago! They built the fortress when the lake was empty, after construction was completed they filled the lake with water. Super cool! Unfortunately, visitors aren’t allowed inside, but you can relax on the lakeside and admire the breathtaking view.

Jal Mahal

Panna Meena ka Kund

Panna Meena ka Kund, also known as Amer Stepwell, is our favorite spot in Jaipur. This ancient stepwell is a photographer’s paradise with its impressive symmetrical design! The fact they built something so beautiful all those years ago: just mind blowing!

Keep in mind that since 2023, visitors can no longer go down the stairs for safety reasons. There are local guards to keep the monument safe.

Panna Meena ka Kund

Patrika Gate

Another favorite spot of ours is Patrika Gate, the most picturesque spot in town. The pastel colors and intricate details are absolutely stunning! Situated just a 30-minute drive from the city center, this gate marks the entrance to Jawahar Circle Garden, constructed in 2016 as Jaipur’s ninth gate. To beat the crowds, it’s best to visit early in the morning as this is a popular spot for all kinds of photo shoots.

Patrika Gate
Patrika Gate 2

For more inspiration, make sure to discover 9 best things to do in Jaipur.

Where to stay in Jaipur

The C Scheme neighborhood is a great area to stay if you want to explore Jaipur’s attractions. It’s close to all the main sights, and gives you a taste of the city’s top district. We stayed at Horn Ok Please Jaipur, a hostel with fantastic value for money and top-notch service. We spent € 23 per night for a private room with a shared bathroom, which also included breakfast.

Where to eat in Jaipur

Jaipur boasts incredible food spots where you can savor both authentic Indian cuisine and international dishes. Below, we highlight our top 3 restaurant picks in the city.

Anokhi Café

At this organic café, you’ll find a range of salads, sandwiches, pastries, and juices. The menu changes with the seasons, so there’s always something new to try. Don’t miss their delicious carrot cake, it’s absolutely amazing!

Masala Chowk

While not a traditional restaurant, Masala Chowk is a must-visit on this list. This open-air food court is a paradise for street food lovers, offering a wide array of incredible options. We’re still dreaming about those mouthwatering pakoras!

Bar Palladio

If you’re looking for a romantic dinner spot, look no further than Bar Palladio. With its charming outdoor seating area and stylish indoor bar, it sets the perfect ambiance. Every detail of Bar Palladio is photo-worthy. Make sure to try one of their pasta dishes, accompanied with the Pink City cocktail!

We hope this Jaipur travel guide has answered all your questions regarding the Pink City. If you’re seeking more India inspiration, check out our guide on the perfect day trip to Agra and 6 unique things to do in Delhi. Plus, we’ve got plenty of tips for exploring other Asian countries like Sri Lanka and Thailand. Wishing you safe travels!

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