There’s something magical about Jaipur. A city full of personality, each block bustles with women clad in brightly colored saris, exotic flavors from street vendors, and motorcycles packed to the brim. The background to it all? Stunning, dusty-pink walls and ornate, larger-than-life architecture – a daily reminder to find beauty in the chaos.
During our stay, we had the chance to experience the beauty of these architectural sites for ourselves. From the modern lines of Jantar Mantar to the intricate detailing of the City Palace, each place left us inspired. We've rounded up a few of these must-see spots for the next time you find yourself in Jaipur...
Nestled on top of a hillside right outside of Jaipur, this 16th century fort towers above the surrounding lakes and villages. We spent hours wandering through the red sandstone fortress – exploring the mazes of courtyards and hidden passageways, going from one jaw-dropping view to the next.
A fan favorite among tourists, be sure to get here early to beat the crowds (and the heat!).
Meaning “calculating instrument,” the Jantar Mantar is a collection of nineteen astronomical instruments used for tracking the position of the sun, stars, and planets. In fact, you’ll find the world’s largest sundial here. We couldn’t get over the unexpected shapes and angles of each instrument, each one a work of modern art.
Close to the City Palace, it takes about an hour to tour the Jantar Mantar courtyard. Heads up - there's minimal shade, so be sure to go in the early morning for cooler temps.
PANNA MEENA KA KUND
An architectural feat of angles and symmetry, the Panna Meena Ka Kund stepwell is simply stunning. Once used for collecting rainwater during monsoon season, the zigzag staircases allowed locals to access the pool for drinking, bathing, and washing clothes.
Located right next to the Amer Fort, we made our visit before we headed up to the fort. Luckily, we had the whole place to ourselves so we could take our time soaking it all in.
A complex of terraces, courtyards, and buildings, the City Palace sits in the heart of Jaipur’s Old City. Home of the Maharaja of Amer, the intricate tilework, brilliant colors, and rich textures are out of this world.
We enlisted for the full tour, but spent most of our time wandering the floors of the main Chandra Mahal Palace. Each floor was more lavish than the last – kicking off with the red velvet and gold dining room, then onto the brilliant blue and white marble hallway (known as the Sukh Niwas), and finishing off with a rooftop terrace overlooking the whole city of Jaipur.
We finished with a stop at the Pritam Niwas Chowk – a courtyard with four gates, each one used for a different season. Our favorite? The “Peacock Gate” stole our hearts with its stunning mix of detailed patterns and bold hues.
Perhaps the most famous of Jaipur's landmarks, the Hawa Mahal stops you in your tracks with its brilliant pink hue and intricate lattice design. An extension of the City Palace, this wall is built in the shape of the crown and is covered in small windows that were once used by the royal women to watch events and festivals in the city streets.
You won’t need long for this visit (just a quick photo op), but trust us, it’s worth the stop.
On the edge of the Aravalli Hills overlooking Jaipur, we headed up to the Nahargarh Fort to catch the sunset. And man, this view did not disappoint. Hiking along the perfectly arched wall, looking out over the dusty pink skyline, you couldn’t help but feel a sense of calm and wonder. Our last night in the city, it made for the perfect farewell to Jaipur.
PLANNING YOUR VISIT...
WHEN TO GO: We'd recommend aiming for October through March. Try and steer clear of April through June. We went in the middle of May, and it was pretty toasty – we're talking over 105 degrees.
WHERE TO STAY: Set up camp at the small boutique hotel 28 Kothi. From its modern decor and serene gardens (not to mention, delicious food), we felt right at home here.
WHERE TO EAT: This city is known for its incredible cuisine, so you've got lots of options here. A few of our favorites? Bar Palladio, Cafe Palladio, Anokhi Cafe, Peacock, and Rambagh Palace. When in doubt, go for the vegetable thali and garlic naan.