Experience The Best Of Udaipur, India In 72 Hours
Whether you have two days or two weeks to travel, our Udaipur, India city guide covers the must see sites, local food recommendations, where to stay, how much the city will cost, an example itinerary, and how to get around the city - including how to get to and from the airport, bus and train stations.
Udaipur was founded in 1558 and is also known as the City of Lakes. Located in the southernmost part of Rajasthan Udaipur is a popular tourist destination and is known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces. Dubbed "the most romantic spot on the continent of India" by British administrator James Tod, Udaipur is famous for its massive historic forts and palaces, museums, galleries, architectural temples, lakes, festivals and structures. The city has kept a balance between preserving the rituals and traditions of the past while keeping up with the modern advancements and changes in lifestyle. Because of its picturesque and scenic locations, Udaipur has been the shooting location for many Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Indian sections of the James Bond film Octopussy were filmed in the city, the Lake Palace, and the Monsoon Palace. Additionally, Udaipur was voted the Best City in the World in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine, and is now amongst the favorite wedding destinations for Indian as well as foreign nationals. This gorgeous city on the lake truly has something to offer every kind of traveler.
Getting To & From The Airport, Bus & Train Stations
Regardless of your point-of-entry into this city, the fastest, cheapest, and most recommended way to get anywhere in the city is by Tuk-Tuk. You can either contact your hotel or hostel and pre-arrange a pick-up with them or simply exit the terminal and find a driver (very easy).
*This city is very hilly, therefore there is a minimum fare price of 100INR for any tuk tuk, anywhere in the city.
First Things First - What/Where To Eat & Drink?
Udaipur is one of the most popular cities in Rajasthan and boasts some the best restaurants we have experienced in India. Due to its large popularity with locals and foreigners, it is easy to find food not only from the different states of India, but international food as well.
Must-See's Of Udaipur
Udaipur is a thriving ancient city, rich with color, history, and small side streets that act like a maze…But with the right plan, the city can be explored and mastered in 72 hours. Here are 6 must see sights in the city you can’t miss:
Exploring Udaipur Via Motorbike
The best option for getting around the city, for sure (aside from walking). You can rent a motorbike from almost anyone and can explore the entire city this way. You should NOT pay more then 350INR to rent a bike for the day (as told to us by a local). Make sure to ASK for a helmet otherwise you may not get one.
Where We Stay
There are tons of accommodation options in Udaipur, from hostels, Airbnbs, bed & breakfasts, and many 5-star hotels.
“Bunkyard Hostel in Udaipur is a chivalrous Backpacker stay for travellers exploring Udaipur's historical and cultural paths.The Hostel is a charming structure, located just steps away from all the Beautiful Palaces & Historical monuments in Udaipur. Our facilities are thoughtful, colorful and quaint. You have a rooftop to enjoy the serene views over the beautiful lake fabled with palaces and the sight of the Island Palaces afloat the Lake Pichola, certainly goes beyond the Venice of the East!If youíre looking for a Delightful Restaurant featuring local cuisine and contemporary food, it ís all here @Bunkyard with panoramic views from the Restaurant & the Terrace of the splendid scenery & gracious palaces around us. You can enjoy & indulge in the music theme dorms, where music plays from genres like flamenco, Reggae, Jazz etc. . The terrace hosts yoga sessions, parties, social nightsÖ and FREE Chai @Sunset for travellers to socialise and enjoy the breath-taking view. Bunkyard Udaipur offers the perfect setting for rare moments of romance, adventure, fun, excitement and memories to last a lifetime.As night falls, you can gaze at the lake as it turns into one of Udaipur's treasured night views!, from every floor of your Hostel.”
($7/night for a 6 bed mixed dorm or $22.50/night for a private double room).
Travel Tips & Helpful Hints
Do I need a visa? Pretty much every country needs a visa for India. However, 140+ countries are eligible for an E-Visa. The application is long and the fee $100US (for Americans at least) but it makes arriving and getting into India a breeze. Apply and learn more here.
What is the power voltage? The voltage is 220v whereas the US is 110V - so your devices may get a little warm while charging.
What about smoking weed or drinking in the streets? Weed is illegal but is not a huge deal. In Udaipur it is especially relaxed and every tuk tuk driver will offer to sell you a joint. We really recommend this travel bloggers post about weed in India. She breaks down the legality of it all, where you can buy it, when and who you can buy it from and what to do if you get caught.
As far as drinking goes, it is not permissible to drink in public and the police will fine you. So have a good time at the bars.
*Note: A lot of restaurants here sell beer illegally (it is an expensive license) - therefore it will not be on their menu. Ask the price of their beer first, otherwise you will be charged 1.5x - 2x what you should - and there is nothing you can do about it (yes, I learned this the hard way).
What is the currency and its value? The currency used in India is called the Indian Rupee (INR). The current value (at the time writing) is INR 70 = $1 USD.
What is the weather like? Always hot!? The weather in India substantially differs depending what part of the country you are in. The monsoon seasons are different for different regions of this massive country. Believe it or not, India can be brutally cold certain times of the year. Research the weather for every location you plan to visit before you leave.
Are cows really just roaming the streets? Yes, goats and pigs too! And it’s awesome! Don’t touch them though.
“You talk a lot about haggling with the locals - isn’t that rude”? Fair question, but no. As told to us by our local Indian friend, Raj, Indians like to haggle, its like a game, it lets them know you are interested. If you ask the price and say “too high” and walk away, they will say nothing back to you, assuming you are not interested at all. If you come back with a price (50% of what they offered) it lets them know you are interested in maybe buying something. They will be excited at this prospect and negotiate with you until you both find a happy price.
72 hours in Udaipur Example Itinerary:
This is a gorgeous city, located on the lake and surrounded by mountains, temples, forts, palaces, and winding roads. We recommend spending the first day just walking around, getting lost, shopping, talking to locals, eating everything and taking a million photos. this will be a good way to orientate yourself in the city and have a better understanding of what you want to pay for over the next 2 days.
Enjoy breakfast on the top most patio at Sun N Moon Cafe.
Since your in the area, on your way to the City Palace, check out the Jagdish Temple.
Explore the massive City Palace complex.
Grab a nice curry lunch near the palace.
After lunch, go exploring, shopping or take a boat ride around the lake.
For sunset, we recommend heading the Monsoon Palace.
Grab some breakfast at one of the many cafes near the water.
Take a boat to the Jag Mandir (Lake Garden Palace) and spend hours exploring this awesome island palace. *If you go before 2pm, you will pay half the cost as you would in the evening.
Once you are satisfied, take a boat back to the Ghat (where the boats depart from) and grab some lunch.
Keep exploring. There are many more temples you can visit that are not listed on this post.
At 6pm head to the Museum (on the water, in front of the City Palace) to buy your tickets for Dharohar. As stated above, this Live Rajasthani Cultural show is very popular and will sell out. Buying your ticket for the 7pm show, now at 6pm will ensure you get not only a ticket but a good seat. Try to sit up front for awesome pictures. *Note, there is a tree in the middle of the seating area - again getting here early means you wont have this as your view. Additionally, you must pay 150INR for permission to take photos (even with your cell phone - they watch the audience very closely so dont try to sneak them).
Since it is your last night, head to Ambrai Restaurant (near the Ghat - directly across the water from where the show is). Enjoy a nice dinner by candlelight taking in the delicious food and breathtaking views of the City Palace.
So What's It Going To Cost?
Here is how much we spent, and what we spent it on, in 72 hours.
Food: Breakfast: We spent $2.50 USD each morning drinking Chai and eating at either our hostel or Sun N Moon Cafe.
Lunch: $2.50 USD at local restaurants; usually ordering curry of course.
Dinner: $4 USD each evening, too.
Total for Food = $9.00 USD each/per day.
Beer: So cheap! 100INR ($1.20) for a large bottle beer.
Total for Beer = $2.40-$4.80 USD each/per day.
Accommodation: Bunkyard Hostel is one of the best rated/cleanest hostels in town.
($7/night for a 6 bed mixed dorm or $22.50/night for a private double room).
Transportation (Including getting to and from the airport): Take a tuk tuk from your point of entry to your hotel (100INR). Rent a motorbike one day if you want to explore outside the main touristy area (350INR) and walk.
Total for Transportation = $8.
Activities: If you see all the sights mentioned on this post (including renting a motorbike), you can expect to spend:
Total for Activities = $20 USD.
So, What Did We Spend In 72 Hours?
That's $40.50USD per person, per day.
Yeah you can live off 40 bucks a day. How awesome is that!