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Dreaming of a trip to India? While destinations like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata are typical tourist favorites, don’t overlook the beauty of the walled city of Jaipur. With magnificent forts, and a wonderfully rich history, the old city of Jaipur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, bursting with unique and diverse things to see and do.

In this Jaipur city guide, we take a deep dive into this unmissable location, providing all the essential information you need to visit Jaipur with confidence.

Jaipur sign
The city of Jaipur is a great place to start your India explorations
Photo credit: Ankita Jaiswal

Where is Jaipur?

Jaipur is the capital and largest city of Rajasthan in northeastern India, and is considered to be one of the country’s major cities. Named after its founder, Maharaja Jai Singh II, the city of Jaipur sits around 170 miles from New Delhi. This puts it 5.5 hours ahead of GMT, and 10.5 hours ahead of the US east coast. 

While it may not be one of the most popular tourist destinations in India for US travelers, it often becomes a firm favorite of those who do visit it, with many falling in love with its old-world charm.

Why is it called the ‘Pink City’?

You may have heard Jaipur referred to as the ‘Pink City’, and there’s a good reason why. When Sawai Jai Singh planned the city, he ordered the buildings to be designed in a similar way to Amer Palace, with its orange-hued sandstone.

Later, in preparation for a visit from the British royal family, the decision was made to refresh the exteriors, resulting in painting almost the entire city pink. And that’s how we got the ‘Pink City’.

Popular sights in Jaipur painted pink include the Amber fort, City Palace complex, Sanghiji Jain temple, and Hawa Mahal. Hawa Mahal has even earned the nickname ‘The Pink Palace’ due to its color. 

hawa mahal jaipur
The beautiful Hawa Mahal palace is one of the many pink buildings across Jaipur
Photo credit: Ankita Jaiswal

When to visit

Jaipur can be visited year-round. However, it tends to get extraordinarily hot during the summer months, and most of the annual rainfall comes between July and August. This means winter is usually the more popular choice with visitors, with October to March considered to be high season. During this time you can generally expect temperatures to vary from 52°F overnight to 90°F throughout the day. 

Keep in mind that some events, activities, and celebrations can draw crowds from all over the world, and these periods can be quite busy. The international kite festival, held every January, is one of them. During these events, you might find that local hotel prices are higher than usual, and that popular attractions like the City Palace are a little busier.

View of Jaipur city
Jaipur in the summer can be very hot, so make sure to plan your sightseeing accordingly
Photo credit: Ankita Jaiswal

What to do

Jaipur has some gorgeous accommodation options, but don’t spend all your time in your luxury hotel. While the entire city is a World Heritage Site in its own right, there are two additional UNESCO World Heritage Sites waiting to be explored here: the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory, and the historic hill forts of Rajasthan.

There are plenty of other things to see and do here too. Along with the Hawa Mahal, consider visiting…

Jaipur Forts

Perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Jaipur is Amer Fort, with its wonderfully intricate carvings. It’s also commonly referred to as Amber Fort, or Amber Palace, and was the residence of Sawai Jai Singh II during his Amer rule.

Today, visitors can take elephant rides around the grounds of Amber Palace, or enjoy the beauty of Maota Lake behind the palace.

amer fort elephant rides
The elephant rides around Amer Fort allow you to see the stunning building from all angles
Photo credit: Ankita Jaiswal

You should also take the time to visit the stepwell of Panna Meena ka Kund next to the Amer Fort. The yellow stone structure was built in the 16th century for the people of Amer to gather water, with steps on each side of the large well leading down to the fresh water at the bottom.

If you fall in love with Amer Fort, we definitely recommend checking out other forts within the Jaipur area, such as Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort.

Jaipur Palaces

An exceptional example of the fantastic palaces in Jaipur is the beautiful Jal Mahal. Nicknamed the ‘Water Palace’ due to its unique location in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, it is stunning when lit up at night.

If you have time, don’t miss out on Rambagh Palace; a former guesthouse for the royal household and now one of the most opulent hotels in the world.

Sisodia Rani Palace – another Jai Singh creation – and the Sheesh Mahal with its light-reflecting glass architecture, are also both well worth a visit.

Jaipur Temples

If you’re keen to explore some of Jaipur’s religious sites, you’ve got plenty of choice. We recommend the Govind Devji temple by day, and the Birla temple in the evening to watch the sunset. Another option is the 18th-century Garh Ganesh Temple, built for one of the Hindu Gods, Lord Ganesh.

Remember that even though it might be scorching hot in Jaipur, it’s important to dress respectfully when visiting these temples. This means modest, formal dress, with no mini skirts, ripped shorts, etc allowed.

galta ji mandir temple jaipur
The temple complex of Galtaji is slightly outside of the city but well worth the trip
Photo credit: Ankita Jaiswal

Modern Jaipur

Apart from the monuments in the city, visiting the local bazaars of Jaipur is a must-do. The old city lanes are surrounded by terracotta walls and arches, you’ll see colours everywhere. From the spice market to fresh vegetable market to some beautiful turbans and jewellery, there’s never a dull moment here.

Join a local guide for a street food walking tour to learn more about the tasty treats on offer in Jaipur. You’ll want to for sure try one of the famous samosas, and the lassi (a yoghurt based drink) is the perfect pairing with anything spicy.

lassi in jaipur
This is one of the best places to get lassi anywhere in Jaipur
Photo credit: Ankita Jaiswal

Love Bollywood films? Watch a movie in the huge Raj Mandir cinema and enjoy the fun atmosphere. The cinema was built in the 1970’s and is famous all over India because of its incredible architectural design and size.

Slightly outside the city center, the Jawahar Circle is a huge circular park with a large fountain in the middle but the main attraction is actually the entrance gateway. The Patrika Gate is based on the original seven ornamental gates that were once used to access the walled city, with intricate details and beautiful designs.

patrika gate jaipur
The Patrika Gate is a fascinating mix of traditional and modern architecture
Photo credit: Ankita Jaiswal

Join us in Royal Rajasthan for a classic India tour!

Rajasthan is the India that you have seen in movies and dreamt of visiting. Literally “the land of the kings”, Rajasthan is home to numerous flamboyant palaces and colorful cities filled with typical Indian street life. You’ll experience the food of Jodhpur, the sunset of Udaipur, the dunes of Thar Desert, and the magnificent Taj Mahal. We’ve created an itinerary where you will not only see palaces, you will stay in them. You’ll also be treated to cultural delights such as henna painting, Bollywood dancing and yoga. Pack your bags – you’re in for two weeks of intense color and vibrant life, unlike anything you’ve experienced.

Is Jaipur worth visiting?

If you’re looking to experience a traditional Indian village, bursting with old-world charm and rich in Indian history, then Jaipur should definitely be on your list.

If you’re not sure that the city warrants an entire trip to itself, there are plenty of other tourist destinations that you could add on to make this a multi-city vacation. There are many cities you could visit either before or after Jaipur, for example, Delhi is situated just down the Jaipur-Delhi highway. Indian Railways operates a number of different routes from Jaipur to places like Agra where you can visit the iconic Taj Mahal. 

Jaipur, Delhi, and Agra actually come together to form the ‘Golden Triangle’, and you’ll find many tour operators offering trips that take in all three cities to provide a truly unforgettable India experience.

Is it safe to visit Jaipur?

Jaipur is a safe city to visit, and the central tourist area in particular is considered to be a low-crime region. If you stay in high-quality or popular hotels in the city center, and remain aware of your surroundings, it’s unlikely that you will feel unsafe while in Jaipur.

However, as with absolutely any city on the planet, it’s important to keep your wits about you and know where to turn to for help.

Important things to know

The Albert Hall Museum is a stunning sight and an excellent place to try some of Jaipur’s best street food
Photo credit: Ankita Jaiswal

Here are our top tips for visiting Jaipur:

  1. Remember that this is a planned city, with six distinct sections, so it’s hard to get lost. Go explore.
  2. Don’t hire a car unless absolutely necessary. City buses and the metro are excellent for getting around.
  3. Try the street food at Masala Chowk near the Albert Hall Museum, named for Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband.
  4. Looking for a souvenir? Jaipur is famous for its gemstones, mined in the local Aravalli hills before being cut and polished by local artisans. The gold and silver jewellery made with these stones makes for a great gift to take home. 
  5. If you’re planning to visit the city center bazaar, go at night; it’s a unique experience.
  6. While you can’t take photos inside many temples, you can snap away at the ‘Pink City’ exteriors.

Making the most of your time in Jaipur

With so much to see and do in Jaipur, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming trying to schedule everything and get the most from your time in the city. That’s why we’re here. Get in touch with us to find out more about our tours to India, visiting Jaipur, Jodhpur, Agra, Udaipur, and more.


AWS Staff

This post was published by the Adventures with Sarah team. Click here to find out more about the people that make everything at AWS happen.

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