My favourite city in the Golden Triangle is without a doubt Jaipur. We spent five days here in February after visiting Delhi and Agra and it was such a different experience than the two other cities! First of all, Jaipur claims they are one of the cleanest cities in India and it was definitely the cleanest place we've seen in India. No, it's not clean like we're used to from home, but they're working on it and it's too beautiful to miss just because of a little dirt.
Jaipur is also called "the Pink City" and when you see it you'll know why! Here's a little fun history lesson: Pink indicates hospitality which is why the king painted the whole city pink in 1876 to welcome their guests, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Prince Albert was the one to name Jaipur "Pink City". The first thing you meet when entering the city centre is the pink walls surrounding the city. It's inside these walls many of the spectacular buildings and old bazaars are located. The city wall has seven gates, which are the entrances to the centre. We stayed outside the centre, where the hotels are cheaper, and every day we either walked or drove through the gates - together with hundreds of other rickshaws and cars. Yes, traffic is crazy here! But you get used to it after a while. However, I never learned how to cross the road... Whenever I had to cross it, I would find a local and casually follow them over! Enough about that. I'm gonna show you my favourite photo locations in Jaipur - including all my best insight like costs, opening hours and how to get there. Hopefully you'll love Jaipur as much as I did!
1. City Palace
This place is full of mesmerising views and more photo spots than I can count! To name a few of my favourites theres "Pritam Niwas Chowk", which is four doorways in a courtyard representing the four seasons. Then there's Chandra Mahal, which is all of the royal chambers including the Blue Room and rooms made of coloured glasswork!
Entry fee - If you wish to see all of the best spots then you have to buy the combined tickets for both the museum and the private chambers. The price for the combined tickets are around 3500 rupees (2400 rupees for students). It's a bit expensive compared to the rest of the prices in India but you can spend a half day here and there's a guide included in the price (who can also work as your personal photographer).
When to go - The best time to visit is when they open at 9.30 am. Then you should go straight to Pritam Niwas Chowk to take photos of the doorways without anyone else there. The hardest one is the Peacock Gate - this is the gate people use to go into the courtyard.
How to get there - Located in the middle of the Pink City, the easiest way to reach it is by Tuk Tuk. We payed 100 rupees to go there with Tuk Tuk.
2. Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal or in English, the Palace of Winds, is the most beautiful from the terrace cafés across the street. The best views are from Wind View Café and the Tattoo Café and Lounge with the highest terraces.
Entry fee - It's free to visit Hawa Mahal from the street but to see it from the rooftops you have to pay for drinks or food. The prices are pretty fair. We payed for dinner at sunset and ended up paying around 700 rupees for two people.
When to go - Before noon is the best time to go otherwise your pictures will probably get ruined by the sun's reflection. Both the Wind View Café and the Tattoo Café opens at 8am but another great time to visit is for sunset. This if definitely the most popular time to go to the rooftops and the restaurants are busy!
How to get there - It's located right in the middle of the Pink City so a Tuk Tuk is the easiest way to get there.
3. Amber Fort
Amber Fort or Amer Palace is located 11 miles from Jaipur and one of the main attractions in Jaipur. You can spend a half day exploring the beautiful rooms - mostly because the palace was built as a maze with narrow corridors and it's hard to find your way around! My favourite photo spots here are the gorgeous gate just inside the entrance and the pillars right next to it There's a secret room for the queen to be able to see the city through the tiny holes while the city cannot see her. The tiny holes and the morning light makes the room a must see!
Entry fee - It's 500 rupees per person for foreigners, however, if you are a student it's only 100 rupees! Jacob and I payed the student price and opted for a guide for 300 rupees to help us find all the best spots and it was definitely worth it. He also told us a lot of fun facts about Jaipur and Amber Fort.
When to go - The fort opens at 8am and that's the best time to go! Later in the day it'll be crowded with people at all the best spots.
How to get there - Tuk Tuk or Ola is the best way to get there. It's a 30 minutes drive from Jaipur and located in the hills so an Ola Taxi would be the most comfortable. It is also pretty much as cheap as a Tuk Tuk. We payed 80 rupees for a Ola driver.
4. The Watchtower at Amber Fort
This watchtower is well known but not a lot of people know where it its and it's not the easiest place to go. It's great for both sunrise and sunset. At sunrise the sky turns light pink and the view of the Fort is amazing! The only problem is, you'll have to walk up the steep stairwell in darkness.
Entry fee - FREE
When to go - Sunrise or sunset for the most amazing views.
How to get there - From Amber Fort and the lake it's on the opposite side of the road. There's a small path leading to a stairwell going all the way up to the wall with the watchtowers. If you go on Google Maps you'll find it as Amber Fort View Point.
5. Panna Meena Ka Kund
This stepwell has become insta-famous and for good reason. It's yellow/pinkish, symmetrical and extremely photogenic! Even with its status of fame, it's actually doesn't receive that many tourists. Mostly instagrammers or tourists with a local guide.
Entry fee - It's free to visit but going into the stepwell is actually not allowed. If you're lucky, you can make a deal with the guard. We payed 500 rupees to do it, but I've heard other people only payed 100 rupees...
When to go - Early morning is best. Not only to get the photos without the sun being too harsh but also to be there without any other tourists - if there's people around then they won't let you walk down the stairs. Go for sunrise and then walk to Amber Fort and see the fort afterwards.
How to get there - Tuk Tuk or Ola is the best way. It's a 10 minute walk from Amber Fort, so it's a bit further away from the main city. You can easily find it on Google Maps as Step Well Jaipur. In the morning (without too much traffic) it takes about 30 minutes to drive there.
6. Patrika Gate
This is actually the entrance to a park called Jawahar Circle Garden, a city park with nightly fountain shows. The gate looks amazing and pink from the outside, but when you go inside it's even better! It's so colourful! If you look one way it's full of pastel colours and beautiful murals and when you look the other way it's deeper and more contrasting colours. It's a popular spot for wedding photoshoots so cross your fingers and hope that they're not in the middle of a shoot when you go!
Entry fee - FREE
When to go - It's always open, but if you want to get pictures without no one else in it - go early in the morning.
How to get there - It's located near Jaipur Airport which means it is a bit further away from the city, which is why a Tuk Tuk or Ola/Uber is necessary. If you are flying to/from Jaipur Airport you can go see it on the way to/from the city.
7. Caffé Palladio
This is actually an Italian restaurant but the Café interior is basically an attraction by itself! It's full of beautiful wall paintings, mirrored walls and a gorgeous garden - also the food is amazing! This is the perfect place to get "a little break from India". It's like the Indian traffic and noise don't exist in here, therefore, making it the perfect escape!
Costs - We payed 1400 rupees for a two-course meal for two people.
When to go - They open at 12.30 pm and that's the best time to go before the crowds arrive (it's a popular lunch spot). Except for Sundays when they open at 10.30 am and Tuesdays when they are closed.
How to get there - It's about 10 minutes away from the city centre and the best way to find it is by Tuk Tuk or Ola. You might have to show them the location on maps since not every one knows about this place. There's a sign at the big road saying "Caffé Palladio" then you have to walk about 50 meters down a smaller road.
8. Bar Palladio
While the Caffé is completely pastel coloured, the bar and restaurant is completely blue and white. When you step into Bar Palladio it's like stepping into a new world. It's the perfect dinner spot with candle-lit tables and small tented pavilions with fairy lights to light up the evening sky!
Costs - We payed about 2000 rupees for dinner for the both of us. It's more expensive than the usual Indian meal, however, still twice as cheap as an equivalent meal in Europe.
When to go - They open each day at 6pm and it's a good idea to make a pre-booking reservation.
How to get there - Compared to the location of Palladio Caffé, it's on the other side of the road. It's part of "Narain Niwas Palace Hotel" so you have to drive through the gates into the hotel's parking lot. Here's the location on maps.
9. Nahargarh Fort
You've probably seen the photos of people walking on the walls of Nahargarh Fort on Instagram. I went there with the same idea but after seeing the wall in real life I wasn't going anywhere near the edge of that wall! From a distance the wall looks pretty normal. but in reality it's a head taller than me (and I'm a tall gal). Still it's one of the best views of the sunset and also overlooking the city of Jaipur.
Entry fee - 50 rupees for parking and 50 rupees to go into the fort but to get beautiful views of the wall and the city you don't have to go inside, you can just go to the right of the entrance and follow the wall.
When to go - Sunset!!
How to get there - It's located on the edge of the Aravalli Hills. The road is very hilly and not meant for Tuk Tuks... The best way to get there is to order a taxi through your hotel, but make sure you order a taxi to go wait for you and take you back down. The Tuk Tuk and cars up there are charging extra to take people back down. We payed 800 rupees for a taxi from our hotel.
10. Albert Hall Museum - by night
This is just something we discovered by mistake when we drove by one night and decided to stop and look. When the sun sets, A light show starts on the front facade of Albert Hall Museum and it's really pretty.
Entry fee - FREE
When to go - After sunset!!
How to get there - It's located right outside the city centre, therefore, a Tuk Tuk or an Ola is the best way to reach it. We payed 100 rupees to be taken here.
Thinking about going to India? Don't forget to read All you need to know before traveling to India - including safety tips, costs, visa application, how to avoid scams and Delhi belly!