Our top 10 favourite places in Jaipur, India

Our top 10 favourite places in Jaipur, India

28 Kothi Hotel - 

A totally tranquil oasis in the middle of the bustling city of Jaipur.  Being just a 5 room hotel, it is boutique in size but big on warm welcome.  Being owned by the same family that owns the oldest jewellers in Jaipur - The Gem Palace, each room has been named after a precious stone; Sapphire, Peridot, Topaz etc.  The icing on the cake is that the hotel serves guests THE most amazing food, including delicious thali dinners that you can enjoy in the beautiful garden under the warm starry sky.

Rambagh Palace Hotel - 

If you are looking to stay somewhere high end with fascinating history, then the Rambagh has it all.  Known as the Jewel of Jaipur and recently voted the best hotel in the world by Trip Advisor, the hotel is a museum of the past in itself.  Still owned by the Jaipur Royal Family, there are black and white photographs everywhere showing its rich history of famous visitors.  The central courtyard gardens lit up at night, the marble corridors with carved domed ceilings and the majestic front lawns with wild peacocks calling, it's the stuff of fairytales.  Even if you just go for a meal or coffee, in my opinion it's a must see.   

Amer Fort - 

Also known as Amer Palace or Amber Palace, this stunning example of ancient Indian architecture is a Unesco World Heritage site and used to be home to the Rajput Maharajas (one time rulers of Rajasthan) and their families.  Today it is a fascinating fort to visit and explore.  The Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is an absolute highlight.  I also recommend going to the evening light show outside in the grounds of the fort, where you can be educated on the fascinating history of Amer Fort with an accompanying light show.  I went on my last trip to Jaipur and it really was a pinch me moment, looking out over the hills of Amer at dusk.  

Hawa Mahal - Palace of Winds   

Built in 1799, the magnificent Hawa Mahal's honeycomb style exterior was constructed to allow royal ladies to view festivities in the street with out being seen.  The buildings iconic red sandstone exterior is an exquisite monument to times gone by.  You can climb the 5 storey's (best first thing in the cool mornings) to imagine what is what like observing the colourful streets festivals and celebrations below. 
Just over the street from the Hawa Mahal, you can find the Tattoo Cafe. They have taken advantage of having the best balcony in town to take that perfect instagram photo of the Hawa Mahal.  It's better than trying to take one from the street, which normal results in just trying to avoid being run over ;)  All they ask is that you buy a coffee or a meal for the privilege of using their photo spot.

Anokhi Museum & Shop - 

Anokhi is a clothing company started in 1970 by a husband and wife team John and Faith Singh who wanted to showcase the skills of struggling local block printers.  The Singhs were trailblazers as a model for alternative ethical and sustainable business practices.  The clothing museum is a wonder, housed in a renovated haveli (traditional townhouse) that was another project of the Singhs.  The property they bought had been empty for over 400 years, when they began sympathetically restoring it using local craftsmen and women.  The result eleven years later, was an award from Unesco.
The visit to the Anokhi store is a great way to spend an hour shopping for beautiful ethically made block printed clothing and a coffee in the cafe next to the store.   

Amer Stepwell -

A stepwell is literally a well that was used to collect rainwater for the local community and is accessed by hundred of steps around the inside walls.  Aside from having a practical function, the 200 metre deep well with its criss-crossing step design is an architectural phenomina, of which attracts thousands of tourists every year.  These days it is not possible to walk down the stairs for safety reasons, but you can spend some time here photographing the 16th century well.

ar Palladio - 

This is normally my first port of call on the night I arrive in Jaipur.  It is another architectural and design lovers dream, although this bar/restaurant is owned by  Italian Barbara Miolini, and designed by Dutch Marie - Anne Oudejans.  Together they have beautifully restored the building situated in the gardens of the Niwas Palace Hotel where "people from across the globe can share stories, find inspiration and unwind".  There is a fairy-lit outside area with individual tented canopies amongst the mango trees and wandering peacocks and an inside bar/dining room which has the most beautiful hand painted murals.  The menu in the restaurant is Italian and the drinks European, but the atmosphere is most definitely Jaipurian. 

Ele-Safari - 

It is common to see elephants wandering around the city, but the welfare of some can be questionable.  At Ele-Safari you can visit, feed, wash and even ride elephants that live in the sanctuary, knowing that they are well looked after.  The money raised goes back to keeping the elephants safe and cared for and it also goes towards the elephants keepers families and children's education. I went here with my son in 2020 and we had an amazing time feeding Tara (Star in Hindi) sugarcane and washing her before we had a quick ride around the sanctuary with Tara's keeper.  Another "pinch me" India moment!        

Pink City Bazaars - 

There are various market areas inside the walls of the pink city for different shopping requirements.  For example, the Johri Bazaar is a haven for jewellery lovers, the Chandipol Bazaar is great for discovering handicrafts and marble work and the Kishanpol Bazaar is famous for Rajasthani dyed fabrics and wood carvings.  It can be hectic walking through the bazaars so it is best to go in the mornings (most markets open at about 10am) or later in the cooler evenings, (markets close at about 11pm). 
The street food available in and around the markets is generally delicious and it's a good way to sample some authentic food that locals snack on.  Samosas, Pyaaz Kachori (fried pastry with spicy onion filling) or Lassi (yogurt based drink) are all to be had at cheap prices.  Speaking of Lassi, a visit to well known Lassiwala on MI Road is a must.  They have been serving lassi in the traditional Kulhads (traditional clay cups) for over 50 years. 

City Palace - 

Like Amer Fort, this is a gem not to be missed.  Still occupied by the Jaipur Royal Family, the incredible opulence of a life once lived is evident everywhere you walk.  There are stunning collections of regal costumes, textiles and accessories, all once worn by Maharajas, Maharanis and their families.  There are two very large solid silver water urns on display, the largest in the world apparently.  Weighing in at 345kg of silver each, They were used to carry holy water  from the Ganges all the way from Jaipur to London for a Maharaja of the time.  As it is still a royal home, there are guards dressed in the most fabulous uniforms of all colours; brilliant red, golds and pinks, it is a photographers heaven.  However, the areas I enjoyed most were all the dimly lit rabbit warren corridors that you can walk through, imagining yourself as an Indian princess on her way to a grand dinner, dressed head to toe in a glittering sari.
It's a palace of dreams. 

All photos ©️rize

back to journal

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.