The infuriating cliché of India being a land of just Maharajas and elephants had to have originated somewhere. Our best guess would be Jaipur. This majestic city was founded in 1726 by Maharaja Jai Singh II. The days of the Maharajas are long gone now, but their vibrant legacy still remains in the form of India’s most fascinating architecture, culture and food.
There are many places to visit and things to do in Jaipur. Everything from the painted pink buildings of Old Jaipur to the imposing ramparts of the Amer Fort will take you back to a bygone era. Even the little things from pani puris on the roadside to more memorable experiences like elephant rides up fort-roads will charm you in ways no other city can. Here are 40 incredible fun things to do in Jaipur on your next trip.
40 Things to do in Jaipur on your Next Trip
1. Take A Walk in the Old Town
The Old City of Jaipur is a remarkable blend of old and new. The city is enclosed behind the red sandstone walls put up by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Walk through any of the seven gates, each of which are more intricately designed than the other. The old city will give you an insight into how the royals lived. The old city houses some of Jaipur’s most iconic attractions, including the Jaipur Palace, Jantar Mantar, and the Hawa Mahal. It’s also home to some of the most popular cafes, eateries, and the oldest theatre in the city.
2. Watch The Light Show At Jantar Mantar
The term Jantar Mantar literally means “instruments to measure the harmony of the heavens” and that’s exactly what there are. This medieval astronomical observatory was once used to measure the positions of the stars and planets. The monument consists of 19 instruments, each of which are bound to amaze you. Every evening around 6:30 pm, a light and sound show is held at the complex, giving you the history of this remarkable city and even more spectacular monument. The vivid coloured lights and documentary will leave you in awe.
3. Ride an Elephant at Amer FortOne of the best things to do in Jaipur is to spend a day exploring the majestic Amer Fort and Palace. But why just walk up the fort road when you can ride up to the main entrance on the back of an elephant like the Maharajas of old? These gentle giants are decorated with painted patterns and colourful litters on their backs to effortlessly carry tourists to the top of the hill. Once at the fort you can marvel at the numerous courtyards, intricate stone carved jali windows, and massive ramparts. Do remember to get here early to avoid crowds bargaining for a ride.
4. Visit A Spectacular Art GalleryJaipur boasts one of the richest cultures in the country and the city’s art proudly exhibits this. There are numerous contemporary art galleries in the city which house captivating paintings and sculptures from local artists. They have combined the city’s cultural heritage with modern suave to create something entirely new and alluring. A few art galleries to visit are Gallery Artchill, Samanvai, Naila, Nidhi, and Modern Art Galleries. Each of these galleries showcases varied exhibits, representing tribal and folk art.
5. Take A Night Tour Of The Amer FortIf you’ve ever wanted to see the Amer Palace in its all majesty, the night is the best time to do it. Bright lights illuminate the stately structure with different intensities that bring out a more elegant side to the fort. A tour of the fort at night costs four times the regular entry fee but is completely worth the money. The tour will take you through the Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-E-Aam, Ganesh Pol, Jaleb Chowk, Man Singh Palace, Sukh Niwas, and the Charbagh. A spectacular sound and light show is also put up every evening giving you the glorious history of the palace and fort. You can also get the chance to enjoy a captivating music show with traditional Kathak dancing.
6. Take A Camel SafariTravelling to Rajasthan and not visiting the Thar desert is absolutely pointless. One of the most enchanting experiences you can have in Rajasthan is travelling through the arid desert on the back of the ship of the desert. It might seem like a bit of a challenge to ride a camel at first, but once you get the hang of it there’s nothing like it. You can choose a relaxed one-day safari on the outskirts of the city or choose more challenging but in-depth safaris that last for up to seven days.
7. Cycle Up To Nahargarh Fort
If you prefer the outdoors, one of the best activities to do is take a cycling expedition up to the Nahargarh Fort. The climb up the hill is steep and riddled with hairpin bends but the view at the top is nothing short of spectacular. You will spot many resident birds like peacocks, parakeets, and Indian Rollers. Halfway up the hill you can marvel at a view of the stunning Man Sagar Lake and carry on to the pinnacle where you can walk along the imposing ramparts of the fort. You can also enjoy a hot cup of coffee or an ice-cold milkshake at the Padao Open Bar and Restaurant on top of the fort.
8. Take a Boat to the Jal MahalThe Jal Mahal is one of the most serene locations in Jaipur. Located in the middle of Lake Sagar, this palace will enchant you the second you lay eyes on it. It was once used as a shooting lodge by the Maharajas but has become the most photographed monuments in the city. The best way to get to the palace is a boat ride across the still waters of the lake. You can take about 30 minutes to take pictures of the structure and return to the bank to sample some of the food there.
9. Attend The Jaipur Literature FestivalEvery January, Jaipur hosts one of the grandest celebrations of bibliophilia in the world, the Jaipur Literature Festival. Some of India’s best, including humanitarians, historians, politicians, and more are drawn to this spectacular celebration. The festival has hosted numerous great personalities including the Dalai Lama, Stephen Fry, Oprah Winfrey, and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. This is a great place to connect with like-minded folks and listen to some excellent debates and seminars from the brightest minds in the world.
10. Visit Jaipur’s Resident MummyEver wanted to see a mummy in real life? Then, you should visit Albert Hall Museum whose Egyptian exhibit boasts of the 2,300-year old mummy of Tutu, a family member of an ancient Egyptian priest. The Museum is also another excellent example of Jaipur’s stunning architecture, which is designed in the Indo-Gothic style. The other collections in this museum include old muskets, Japanese dolls, and precious vases from many Chinese dynasties.
11. Experience Peace At The Birla TempleWhether you’re religious or not, you cannot deny the pristine beauty of the Birla Temple. Located at the foot of the Moti Dungri Hill, this all-marble temple stands out of the regular brown landscape and is one of the most beautiful things to see in Jaipur. The temple boasts paintings from a number of Hindu deities on the insides. The outside walls of the temple depict several figures from other religions, including Buddha, Jesus Christ, Confucius, Socrates and more.
12. Shop At Johri BazaarJaipur’s Johri Bazaar is a delightful place for ornament and jewellery lovers. This bazaar is located in the old city and is famous for the sale of precious stones, especially emeralds, topaz, and diamonds. You can also pick up highly embroidered lehengas, sarees, and exquisite fabrics.
13. Steal A Deal At Bapu BazaarThe ever-busy Bapu Bazaar is located in the old city near Sanganeri Gate. You can shop for Jaipuri fabrics, mojari footwear, embroidered clothing, leather products, handicrafts and much more here. However, you will have to be able to bargain a little to get the best deals in the bazaar.
14. Check out the World Trade Park
The World Trade Park is one the biggest mall in Jaipur and is known for its sharp, modern design. It’s the perfect place to head to shop from the biggest Indian brands or catch a new movie. You can also enjoy a hearty meal at one of the many restaurants here.
15. Go on a Hot Air Balloon RideOne of the most thrilling experiences in Jaipur is viewing the city from a hot air balloon floating hundreds of feet above in the air. You can take an hour off and fly over all of Jaipur’s most iconic forts and palaces. The rides normally take place a little while before the sun sets, so you get to watch a gorgeous sunset from the sky.
16. An Evening out at Chokhi DhaniIf you’re looking for an authentic experience of Jaipur’s culture and food, the best place to visit is Chowki Dhani. This mock Rajasthani Village is located 20km from the city and offers tourists the chance to truly experience Rajasthan. You can enjoy a hearty Rajasthani thali while watching exciting dance and music performances, puppet shows and acrobats. It’s also the perfect place to take your kids with several activities meant to keep kids entertained.
17. Take An Evening Stroll Around Jawahar CircleBordered by pretty rose gardens, lush hedges, jogging tracks and street-food stalls, the Jawahar Circle Garden is the perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing. The musical fountain here is beautifully lit up in the evenings and displays calming videos. There’s also a park for children to play in and have a great time.
18. Catch a Movie At Raj MandirWatching a late show at the famed Raj Mandir Theatre is one of the best things to do in Jaipur at night. In an age of modern multiplexes and uniform design standards, this late Art Deco meringue building is a cinematic and architectural landmark and a source of pride for every Jaipur citizen.
19. Go Bird Watching At Man Sagar Lake
Tucked away in the heart of the city is an oasis of green called the Man Sagar Lake. If you’ve ever had in interest in birds, this place in the city is perfect to visit. You can spot a number of resident breeds such as Egrets, three varieties of Cormorants, Herons, Common Moorhen and Stilts, among many others that flock to this lake all year round. The end of winter in the city holds a special treats for Ornithologists and bird admirers alike, spotting migratory returning to their homes.
20. Witness The Annual Kite Festival
Jaipur is known for its colourful festivals and one of the most vibrant ones is the annual Kite Festival held during Makar Sankranti in January. Kite flying competitions are held around the city with people from all around the world participating. Make sure you sample the sugary delights such as Feeni and Gajak in stalls around the kite flying venues at this time.
21. Feed A Monkey At Galtaji Temple
Located 10 km away from the city, the Galtaji Temple is different from most other places of interest in Jaipur. This complex is home to populous colony of monkeys, giving it the name Ramgopalji Temple, which colloquially means Monkey Temple. Langurs and rhesus macaque populate the complex, but it is the smaller species that’s the more popular one, even being featured in National Geographic’s series, Rebel Monkeys. If you’re a little gutsy, you could try feeding the monkeys, but be prepared to be mobbed by dozens of the furry little things.
22. Go On Safari To Ranthambore National Park
If you’re in the city for a good week or so, why not spend a day the beautiful Ranthambore National Park. The park is home to the majestic Bengal Tiger and hundreds of species of flora and fauna. It was once used as a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur. The best season to visit is from November to March when the weather is pleasant. Take a jeep safari in the national park which starts around 6 in the morning. The guides will show you around the park and who knows you might even spot a tiger.
23. The Indian Coffee House
Tucked away in an easily missable alley off M.I. Road is the Indian Coffee House. The chipping paint and old decor might not look like much, but you can count on this little cafe to take you back in time. Everything from the waiters donning turbans to arched windows are sure to charm you. You can be sure to have a few heart to heart conversation here over a steaming cup of coffee and some crispy pakoras.
24. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth At Zolocrust
No matter how much food you eat you know you’ll always have room for dessert and the best place to satisfy your cravings is Zolocrust. This gourmet pastry house at the Hotel Clarks Amer serves the most delicious pizzas, cakes, pastries, and muffins, all right in front of you so you know every ingredient is fresh. In fact, the bakery is so confident of its quality, there is no back kitchen and everything from mixing the dough to washing the dishes happens right in front of you.
25. Chill Out At Snow Planet
Did you ever wish for snow in the scorching heat? When you’re in Jaipur, your wish will come true at Snow Planet. You can have a snowball fight with your best buddies, slide down ice-covered slopes, or make snow angels all in freezing -5° C temperatures. It’s the perfect way to escape the heat of the desert.
26. Go Crazy At Poochka & Co.
Love golgappa and pani puri but are you scared of getting a bad tummy? In Jaipur, you’ll never have to worry. Just head to any one of the Poochka and Co. stores in the city, for delicious pani puri, made with baked puris, the freshest ingredients, and bottled water. You can also enjoy Bombay sandwiches, bhel puri, Kolkata Jhal Muri and golgappa in 20 different flavours.
27. Pick Up Blue Pottery
One of the most striking arts to come from Jaipur is the art of making blue pottery. Even though the art originated in Turkey, it is recognized as the traditional craft of the city. You can pick up a few of these beautiful pieces of art as souvenirs or gifts. You’ll find everything from tiny trinket boxes to ashtrays to vases in Jaipur’s colourful markets. A few great places to pick up these souvenirs are Kripal Kumbh, Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre, M.I. Road, and Golimar Garden Scheme. You could also ask around and get to take a couple of courses on how to make these beautiful pieces.
28. Try Camel’s Milk
If you’re adventurous with food, why not give camel’s milk is a try. The milk is supposed to taste a little salty with smooth and refreshing. One of the best places to try a glass is the National Research Centre on Camels. You can learn a few interesting things about these ungulates and spend a little time with them as well. Another great place to try it is at a Saras Parlour in the city.
29. Watch A Play At Ravindra Manch
If you enjoy theatrical arts, one of the best places to visit in Jaipur would be Ravindra Manch. This theatre is located in Ram Niwas Garden and was set up to be one of the largest cultural centres in India. It was opened in 1963 and is easily one of the oldest modern theatres in the city and have churned out some brilliant talents in Indian cinema including Ila Arun and Irrfan Khan. You can catch a number of spectacular plays in the theatre all round the year. If you’re lucky, you could also attend a couple of theatre workshops that are held in the campus.
30. Go Glamping At Tree House Resort
Glamping, a portmanteau of glamour and camping, is all the rage in Jaipur now and is certainly an experience to have. If you love camping but don’t really want to give up the luxuries of a hotel, this activity is for you. The Tree House Resort is one place that offers glamping in a luxury treehouse called a nest. Here you can enjoy lush greenery around you and amenities like a comfortable bed, leather chairs, and more. You can enjoy activities like bird watching, outdoor movies, tennis, and more all in one place.
31. Marvel At The Vintage Car Rally
January is one of the best times to be in Jaipur. Not only is the weather amazing, the month brings with a number of vibrant festivals you just can’t miss. One of the most spectacular events is the Vintage Car Rally. Gorgeous automobiles that once belonged to royalty or the high class are exhibited and then paraded around the city in absolute grandeur. This is the perfect chance to see a Rolls Royce Phantom I or the more recent Fiat Padmini all in one spot and in perfect condition. All we can say is that this is an automobile lover’s dream.
32. Chai At Tapri- The Tea House
Chai is the essence of life in India and what trip is complete without a steaming cup of it. One of the trendiest tea houses in Jaipur to visit is Tapri. This charming little tea shop was opened by two friends after they decided to leave their boring corporate lives behind. The ambiance here is rustic but positive with colourful kettles, wooden decor, and cosy book nooks. There over 70 delicious dishes to try here and over 45 varieties of tea.
33. Get To Know The Jaipur Book Lovers Club
If you’re a bibliophile, Jaipur has something special in store for you. The Jaipur Book Lovers Club is a great community where you can exchange your opinions on literature of all kinds, meet fellow bibliophiles, and bond over a cup of coffee. You’ll also get access to some new and exciting new releases.
34. Have A Cold Brew At Ta-Blu
Lay back and enjoy an evening of leisure at Ta-Blu on the rooftop of the Hotel Clarks Amer. The rooftop bar is designed to reflect the glorious past of the city with intricate pillars, blue hued decor, and colourful tiles. You can enjoy a lovely view of the city from here while enjoying an ice cold beer. The pub also hosts an annual music festival in winter, which brings in musicians from all around the world.
35. Try Paan At Annu Mobile Paan Bhandar
Some of you might not like paan, but in Rajasthan, no meal is complete without it. The best paan in the city happens to come from Annu Mobile Paan Bhandar. Don’t let the name fool you though, the store is a pioneer in the paan supplying business and has some of the most unique flavours in the city. The ice paan, chocolate paan and orange paan are particular favourites among locals. If you’re feeling brave, you can try the fire paan, which is lit up before being given to you.
36. Have An Egg-cellent Feast At Sanjay Restaurant
Love eggs? Then the best place to visit in Jaipur would be Sanjay Restaurant. This little food joint opened up in 1981 by Mr. Sanjay and today is a hotspot for locals and tourists alike. Over 150 egg based delicacies are made and served here. You can enjoy a humble boiled egg or settle for a more exotic dish like egg pizza. Even the egg desserts here are to die for!
37. Enjoy A Stunning View From Isar Lat
Isar Lat, commonly known as Sargasuli, is another stunning piece of architecture. This tower was built in 1749 by Maharaja Ishwari Singh to mark his victory against Raja Madho Singh. This seven-storey minaret is said to be one of the highest towers in the city. We recommend heading here early and getting to the top for a spectacular 360 degree view of the city.
38. Morning Jog At Central Park
The best way to start off a day is with rejuvenating jog, so while you’re in Jaipur why not kick off your mornings in one of the beautiful parks in the city. Jaipur’s Central Park lies in the heart of the city and is beautifully decorated with sculptures, a musical fountain, a temple and lush greenery all around. The park also has its own walking and jogging track stretching 5 kms long. You can also take the time, have a seat in the park and watch the thousands of migratory and resident birds that reside in the park.
39. Experience Jaipur’s Nightlife
Most people wouldn’t associate the majestic Jaipur with a wild nightlife, but do not judge too harshly. Granted, the nightlife might not be as exciting as Goa or Mumbai, but you’d be surprised at what the city has to offer. There are number of pubs, lounges, resto bars and discotheques in the city. A few popular ones to visit are Blackout, the Dragon Club, the Amigos Bar, On The House, the Grunge Lounge Bar, Aza, and Steam Lounge Bar.
40. Outdoor Sports At Kukas
Get your adrenaline pumping the next time you’re in Jaipur in the satellite town of Kukas. There are number of outdoor sports clubs here that offer exciting activities for tourists and locals alike. You can enjoy ziplining, zorbing, archery, quad bike racing, rock climbing, rappelling, bungee jumping, paintball and so much more all at a reasonable price. It is the perfect way to end your Jaipur trip.
It would be an injustice to sum up the Pink City in a few words. Jaipur is a sophisticated city, a town of vintage car rallies, palaces, and these activities are only a few of the things you can do. Do visit this magical city and share your experiences with us!