India's Iconic 'Pink City' Is Continuously Voted One of the Best in the World

Jaipur, the capital of India's Rajasthan state, is a destination filled with beautiful palaces, a rich history, and luxury hotels. Here's how to plan the best trip.

Amer Fort, Amber Palace is a fort located in Amer, Rajasthan, India
Photo: Mrinal Pal/Getty Images

Jaipur, nicknamed the Pink City, forms a key point on the Golden Triangle, the tourist circuit that connects New Delhi, Agra, and Rajasthan. Jaipur's nickname is a nod to the pink buildings within its historic core, among them the iconic Hawa Mahal.

Jaipur is also continuously named one of the best cities in the world by Travel + Leisure readers. A city of sprawling palaces, it's also home to ornate architectural masterpieces and sweeping views of lush green hills and idyllic lakes. It is the first planned city in India and has earned UNESCO World Heritage status for setting an exceptional example of indigenous city planning. And its streets feel a little more manageable than the congested labyrinths of New Delhi and Mumbai, especially for first-time visitors to India.

This is a city that inspired Paul McCartney to write "Riding into Jaipur" and became the backdrop of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movies. It is a place to enjoy the performing arts, to feast on sumptuous meals in the banquet halls of royalty, and to reminisce about a bygone era of Maharajas. Ride elephants and explore Mughal architecture by day and enjoy some of the world's finest hotels by night.

Jaipur is also a shopper's paradise, offering everything from fine jewelry and intricate handmade art pieces to a variety of textiles.

Visitors can fly directly into the city or take a train, bus, or private car from New Delhi. The fastest route is by high-speed train, which takes just under four hours.

Time Zone

Jaipur is in the Indian Standard Time Zone. Indian Standard Time is 10 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Eastern Time, and India does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Best Time to Go

Jaipur is warm all year long, but the most comfortable time to visit the Pink City is between October and February. This is when the days are clear and breezy and when visitors can expect to find the most pleasant temperatures. Visit between March and July and you may find yourself exploring sprawling castles that pre-date air conditioning in stifling heat. During these months, temperatures in Jaipur can soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Things to Know

Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan and the 10th most populated city in India. It is known as the Pink City, a nickname earned for a color elegantly woven throughout the city. Jaipur forms one point of the Golden Triangle, a tourist trail that connects New Delhi, the Taj Mahal, and Rajasthan. Jaipur is only 167 miles from New Delhi, but it is an entirely different world. Founded in 1727, Jaipur is the first planned city in India. Instead of a complicated labyrinth of roads, the city is built on a street grid that makes it easier to navigate than Delhi or Mumbai. Jaipur is a place to explore the palaces of pre-colonial India, dive deep into Indian history, and relax in world class hotels.

Currency: Rupee (Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Hindi, English, Dhundari

I don't speak Hindi: main hindi nahin jaanta hoon

I'm lost: main haar gaya hoon

I would like: main chaahoonga

Calling code: + 91 0141

How To Get Around

Trains: Jaipur has big ambitions for local transit, but it still has a ways to go in realizing them. Jaipur's metro serves an eight-mile stretch of the city and has just one operating train line. If you're looking to get around by public transit, bus is a better bet.

Buses: Jaipur operates city buses, some with air conditioning. Several tour companies offer sightseeing bus tours as well.

Taxis: Several taxi companies operate in town and many can be booked online. India's iconic yellow and green auto rickshaws also are widely available.

Ride service: Ride sharing is available through Uber and Ola in Jaipur. Taxi and private car services also are available.

Best Hotels

The Leela Palace Jaipur

Address: Jaipur-Delhi Highway, NH 11, Kukas, Rajasthan 302028, India
Phone: +91 1426 350 000
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This gorgeous five-star hotel is a feast for the senses set against the backdrop of the Aravalli mountain range. Spread over eight acres, this hotel is a palatial respite that's home to some of the city's top restaurants.

Rambagh Palace

The Rambagh Palace hotel in Jaipur, India
Courtesy of The Indian Hotels Company Limited

Address: Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, India
Phone: +91 141 238 5700
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This sprawling luxury hotel offers just 78 luxury rooms and suites set around a picturesque Mughal garden. The former palace of the Maharajas is home to some of the finest restaurants in Jaipur and has hosted guests including Prince Charles and Jackie Kennedy.

The Oberoi Rajvilas

The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, India
The Oberoi Rajvilas, premier hotel guest room, Jaipur, India. Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Address: Babaji Ka Modh, Goner Rd, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302031, India
Phone: +91 141 268 0101
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This luxury hotel pays homage to the heart of the Pink City, borrowing the color throughout the property. If you're looking for lots of privacy, a dreamy pool to lay beside, and a personal experience to make you feel like royalty, you can find it here.

The Raj Palace

Address: Jorawar Singh Gate, Amer Rd, Chokdi Gangapol, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Phone: +91 141 263 4077
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Walking into this heritage hotel is like entering another era. This is a place to revel in Jaipur's intricate design work and to lounge in luxury — or the gorgeous hotel pool. Don't miss the afternoon tea.

Jai Mahal Palace

Address: Jacob Rd, Civil Lines, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006, India
Phone: +91 141 222 3636
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This epic hotel is set within 18 acres of gorgeous Mughal gardens. The five-star property has 100 rooms and suites in the heart of the Pink City, the historic inner core of Jaipur. It also boasts a spa, cigar bar, and private dining unlike anything you've ever experienced.

Best Restaurants

Mohan Mahal

Address: Jaipur-Delhi Highway, NH 11, Kukas, Rajasthan 302028, India (Inside the Leela Palace)
Phone: +91 1426 350 000

This gorgeous restaurant takes the authentic Rajasthani cuisine dinner to a whole new level. Just decide between vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and let the chef take you on a flavorful journey through several local specialties.

Preet Mahal

Address: Jaipur-Delhi Highway, NH 11, Kukas, Rajasthan 302028, India (Inside the Leela Palace)
Phone: +91 1426 350 000

Preet Mahal draws its inspiration from Italian Trattoria serving traditional Italian comfort food including Pizzas, Pastas, Risottos with warm service in an elegant setting along with an alfresco area.

Suvarna Mahal

A plate of Indian cuisine at Suvarna Mahal at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur
Courtesy of Taj Hotels

Address: Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, India (Inside the Rambagh Palace)
Phone: +91-141-2385700

This upscale Indian restaurant is housed in what was once a palace banquet hall. This is an opulent space filled with gilded mirrors and ornate frescoes and a place to feast on the favorite dishes of pre-Colonial Indian royals. Don't miss the Rajasthani spicy lamb curry or the chicken with mango and saffron.

House of Han

Address: Crowne Plaza, Sitapura Industrial Area, Tonk Road, Jaipur
Phone: +34 914 77 34 38

Located inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, this restaurant is the place to go for Dim Sum in Jaipur. Beyond Dim Sum, you'll find a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from China, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Don't miss the signature olive fried rice.


Address: Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, India (Inside the Rambagh Palace)
Phone: +91-141-2385700

If you like trains, you're going to love this lounge style restaurant inside the Rambagh Palace hotel. The restaurant is set inside a restored steam engine and the recreated Victorian train station it's pulled into. On the menu, you'll find a variety of global cuisines including Indian, Mediterranean, Asian, and Mexican items. There's also a selection of pizzas.

Things to Do

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds in Jaipur, India
Getty Images

Address: Hawa Mahal Road

This is the heart of the Pink City. The five-story architectural icon is made of red and pink sandstone and sits at the edge of the City Palace in Jaipur's historic core. Hawa Mahal's exterior looks like a honeycomb and boasts 953 small windows whose latticework has become famous around the world.

Amber Palace, also known as Amer Fort

Address: Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India

This palace is about a half-hour drive outside of Jaipur, but it too has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This palace traces its history to 1592 and Sheesh Mahal, the hall of mirrors, is one of its can't-miss spots. Amber Fort is also a popular spot for elephant rides.

City Palace

Address: Tulsi Marg, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Pink City

Next to Hawa Mahal, this is one of Jaipur's top attractions. Until 1949, this was the ceremonial and administrative seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. It hosted religious and cultural events in a collection of buildings surrounding open courtyards.

Jal Mahal

Address: Man Sagar Lake, viewable from Nahargarh Fort

Jal Mahal is a majestic palace rising from the center of Man Sagar Lake. This palace seems to float on top of the glassy water, but a close look shows it's partially submerged. Just one of its five stories is now visible. The building isn't accessible, but you can catch a glimpse of its former glory from Nahargarh Fort.

Jantar Mantar

Brihat Samrat Yantra sundial at Jantar Mantar Observatory
Getty Images

Address: Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India

This is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site you won't want to miss, especially if you're fascinated by astronomy. The Jantar Mahal is a collection of 19 astronomical instruments built in the early 1700s. It is home to the world's largest stone sundial.

Nahargarh Fort

Address: Krishna Nagar, Brahampuri, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India

This magnificent force was once a key point in the city's defense. It's connected to the Jaigarh Fort and offers sweeping views of the city of Jaipur as well as the Jal Mahal, which is no longer accessible to tourists.

Jaigarh Fort

Address: Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302028, India

Jaigarh Fort is located 500 feet above sea level, in the Aravalli mountain range. It was built in 1726 to protect the Amer Fort palace complex and overlooks the Amer Fort and Maota Lake.

Best Shopping

Johari Bazar

Street vendors selling fresh produce in Johari Bazaar
Getty Images

Address: Johari Bazaar Road

This is one of the best known shopping spots in Jaipur. Johari translates to jeweler, and jewelry is a market specialty. Shoppers can expect to find traditional Rajasthani jewelry made from gold and precious stones as well as a variety of traditional Indian clothing.

Bapu Bazar

Address: Bapu Bazaar Road

Bapu Bazar is the place to buy Mojari, a popular local shoe made of camel skin. Shoppers can also expect to find a variety of Rajasthani textiles, crafts, and traditional Indian clothing including lehengas and sarees.

Tripolia Bazar

Address: Kanwar Nagar

Tripolia Bazar is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Jaipur. This is the place to shop for bangles and colorful fabrics. You can also expect to find a variety of fine carpets and rugs.

Chandpole Bazar

Address: Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302007

If you've got a dream home to furnish, you'll want to pay this 300-year-old market in the heart of the Pink City a visit. This market is home to hundreds of vendors and best known for its intricately carved marble statues.

Nehru Bazar

Address: Film Colony, Modikhana

You'll find a variety of gorgeous clothing items and textiles here, but the big draw are the juttis, a traditional North Indian style of shoe. Juttis are a Jaipur specialty, and you'll find the best of them at Nehru Bazar.

Neighborhoods to Know

Pink City: This is the old city, the historic core of Jaipur where you'll find key sights including Hawa Mahal, City Palace, and several local markets.

Sindhi Camp: This modest residential neighborhood is east of Pink City. This is a transport hub and a place brimming with authentic street food and affordable accommodations.


The days are marked with warmth all year long in Jaipur, though nights can get chilly from December to February. Summer comes early with peak temperatures that can rise above 100° Fahrenheit April, May, and June. Monsoon season runs from July to September, cooling down temperatures and lowering hotel prices for visitors who don't mind the rain. October to June bring cool breezes and moderate sunlight, making it the most popular time of the year to visit. You may want to pack a jacket, though. Temperatures can dip into the 40s in January.

The following are average temperature highs and lows by month in Fahrenheit.

January: 46°F to 74°F
February: 54°F to 81°F
March: 63°F to 92°F
April: 72°F to 101°F
May: 80°F to 108°F
June: 81°F to 105°F
July: 78°F to 96°F
August: 76°F to 92°F
September: 75°F to 95°F
October: 68°F to 95°F
November: 58°F to 87°F
December: 50°F to 78°F

Apps to Download

Aarogya Setu: Government COVID-19 Contact Tracing App

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Incredible India: Official Tourism Ministry App

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IRCTC Rail Connect: Indian Railways App

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