Jaipur is the starting point for most Rajasthan itineraries and what a place to start! It's an incredibly colourful and diverse city, and if you are keen on photography you will be in for a treat. We've visited twice and would happily go again, there is so much to see.
It should be on every traveller's bucket list. Given most trips here are around two to three days, we've narrowed down the 10 best spots for you.
Here are 10 incredible places to visit in Jaipur that you just have to see!
Being awed by the beautiful Hawa Mahal from the Wind View Cafe
Hawa Mahal was built to allow women to watch parades on the Main Street without having to be in public. Now it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Hawa Mahal is stunning at ground level, but once you get up to the roof top opposite it really comes to life. The Wind View Cafe has an incredible view of this stunning building and you can enjoy it with a glass of chilled lassi.
It is the best spot for photos and you can appreciate all the fine details and minute differences between every window.
Nahagarh Fort for stunning city sunset views
There's no better place to be in Jaipur than Nahagarh Fort when the sun is setting. It has the perfect vantage point high above the city, giving panoramic views looking west where you can watch the sun slowly drop below the horizon. We really enjoyed walking along the pink walls and checking out all the different lookout points.
Tickets are 200 rupees per person for foreigners and includes one free drink (tea, coffee, water or soft drink) which you can drink at sunset point. There are tables and chairs set up and it is an even higher vantage point to watch the sunset.
You can check out our guide to visiting Nahargarh Fort to plan the perfect sunset in Jaipur.
Amber Fort for Maharaja grandeur
We've visited Amber Fort on both trips to Jaipur and it blew us away as much on the second visit as the first. This huge fort was clearly designed with complete wow factor in mind. It's a really big site so definitely leave yourself several hours to explore fully. Once inside, the beautiful Amber Palace showcases Rajasthani architecture and gives an insight into the lives of the Maharajas.
The fort itself is free to explore but if you want to enter the palace it costs 500 rupees for foreigners. Even if you are on a tight budget don't miss the palace. The detail is absolutely beautiful, with stunning mosaics and intricately decorated doors. It is one of our favourite places in all of India.
Devouring the best Lassis in town at Lassiwala
We love lassis and have tried hundreds of them in our trips to India and Nepal. But the lassis at Lassiwala in Jaipur are up there with the very best. This little shop on M1 Road has been in business for over 80 years and it is always buzzing with locals; a clear sign that they are the best in town.
They come in three flavours, sweet, salty or plain. We went for sweet and it was delicious, served in a pink clay cup that perfectly matches the pink city architecture.
Small lassis cost 30 Rupees (about 45c USD) and large ones cost 50 Rupees (70c USD). Make sure you stop off on the way to Hawa Mahal or the forts!
Feel like you've stepped into a modern art painting at Panna Meena Ka Kund
Panna Meena Ka Kund looks like it could be a piece of modern art or one of those paintings where the staircases continuously go round in circles. As soon as you see it, you will be mesmerised by the symmetry and uniformity of the stairwells.
It is just a few minutes by car from Amber Fort, so a great place to add onto your itinerary. Entrance is free.
Taking the pink city to a whole new level at the City Palace
If Amber Fort wasn't enough, then the City Palace in the middle of Jaipur should give you your fix of royal palaces. Decorated in a bold pink throughout, the City Palace is beautiful and packed with intricate detail throughout. Unlike Hawa Mahal the City Palace is fully furnished inside which for us made it even more interesting.
You can only visit a portion of the palace as the current Maharaja of Jaipur still resides in the palace. However, you still see a lot and is one of the best places to visit in Jaipur. Tickets for foreigners are 500 rupees.
Be transfixed by the lake palace - Jal Mahal
You probably couldn't pick a better location in the whole of Jaipur to build a palace than where Jal Mahal is! Sadly you cannot go inside as it is closed off to visitors, but you can appreciate it from the road or one of the many hill top views.
We didn't know about this beautiful palace until passing it on the way to Amber Fort. Well worth stopping on route to the forts.
Stay in a traditional Haveli
It is not just the Maharaja of Jaipur who lives in a beautiful building, as the city is full of stunning Havelis (traditional houses). Many have been converted into hotels and they are by far the best places to stay on any trip to Jaipur.
We stayed in the Umaid Mahal, a colourful haveli that was close the centre of town. It had some really ornate rooms that were very comfortable, as well as a rooftop restaurant that served amazing Indian food! It was great to stay somewhere that felt uniquely Indian. It was pretty good value at $40 USD a night and we much preferred the experience to the ordinary guesthouse we stayed in last time, which could have been anywhere in the world.
Exploring the inside of the Hawa Mahal
Now that you've seen the outside of it, why not check out the view from inside Hawa Mahal. The architecture is beautiful, although we did wish it was still furnished to have seen it in its best light. As well as the beautiful architecture, you can enjoy the views of the hustle and bustle of the main street from the peaceful haven of Hawa Mahal.
Entrance is 200 rupees for foreigners. If you are going to visit multiple palaces and forts you may want to purchase the combo ticket that will get you a small discount.
Escape the heat at the Stepout Cafe
It can get pretty hot in Jaipur (43oc when we were there), so the Stepout Cafe with decent food and air conditioning was a welcome break. It serves western as well as Indian cuisine, has lots of quirky art on the walls and even has a reading room to while away the hours. It also has board games so we took an hour out of our day to sit and have a game of scrabble! : )
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Are you planning a trip to India? Would you visit any of our favourite places in Jaipur? Let us know in the comments below!