For a MUCH updated guide, check out my Places to Visit in Jaipur post!
Remember when I told you about the “blue city of India”, well they have a pink one too. Of course. If you’ve been following my Rajasthan adventures, you know that Rajasthan = bright colors, sequined saris, orange turbans, sand, castles, forts, kings, royalty, busy bazaars and delicious spicy food made with desert chiles. So why would the capital, Jaipur, be any different?
The Pink City
Jaipur was the first planned out city of India and pink was chosen because it means “hospitality’ and the Queen and Prince were visiting. “Welcome, we painted our stucco pink for you!” The sandstone itself had a pink tint to it. Fast forward to present day and by law, the capital city is still pink.
If you want a deep feel of Jaipur watch “Exotic Marigold Hotel”– such a cute movie that takes place in Jaipur. You won’t be surprised to find elephants, monkeys, and camels here.
I was so happy to meet up with my Dutch friends from my camel safari in Rajasthan, Barbara and Leonie as well!
Plan Your Route
Jaipur is in Rajasthan, but is only 6 hours from Delhi by bus. It’s a good idea to either A: fly into Bombay, move north through Rajasthan ending in Jaipur, then head to Delhi, and wherever you want from that hub (I chose Himachal Pradesh), or B: fly into Delhi and go to Jaipur first to start your Rajasthan tour.
I paid 220 rupees from Jodhur to Jaipur. I paid 250 from Jaipur to Delhi.
Not bad! These were quick easy rides, but at times I had to go incognito due to people’s staring almost stealing my soul.
Highlight of train ride: finished “The Alchemist”. Lowlights: windows down means more knots in my hair. After this ride I was officially un-brushable and spent the whole ride worrying my bag would fall off the top of the bus during this bumpy ride.
If you aren’t going to the rest of Rajasthan, the “Golden Triangle” that tourists love is Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. Agra is the location of the Taj Mahal.
There are tons of attractions in Jaipur, but sometimes we don’t have time to see them all. Some are more worth your time. So, without further ado, let me just lay it out for you.
You want to make time for:
The Amer/Amber Fort. While the King was here he had 12 wives and 350 mistresses. Seriously. Here you can ride a painted elephant on the road through the Sun Gate. I chose not to because I felt bad for the cutie-pies. Take a rickshaw 11 km from city. At night they will have a light and sound show. Rs. 300 including camera fee/ Rs. 200 for Indians. Elephant rides are only possible in mornings.
Galti Ji pilgrimage site holds natural water springs and Ramgopalji temple, referred to as monkey temple, “Galwar Bagh”. You will have to take a rickshaw here; it’s 10 km from city center. The temple is built in pink stone and you guessed it- there are a LOT of monkeys here. This is free and great at sunset!
the place many people & monkeys go to watch the sunset
Shopping in the Bazaar. This market is great for fabrics if you’re interested in making your own clothes. There are tailors that can help you make kimono, shawls, or dresses. Men can get suits and dress shirts tailored.
Jewelry of course is a main attraction: silver, gold, bangles, and jemstones (shop at Gem palace). If you’re into pottery, Jaipur is famous for it’s blue pottery, and Kripal Kumbh is famous for making it. Beaded slippers are another popular purchase. Markets are closed on Sunday.
City Palace (museum). Fun Fact! When Amer became over-populated and water was becoming short, Jaipur city was built using Vastu shastra (using the elements and nature to flow through the houses. It’s very interesting. I like to call it Indian Feng Shui) and City Palace was built. Located in the center of city, Rs. 150 for foreigners/ Rs. 75 for Indians. Open 10-5.
Hawa Mahal “Palace of the Winds” is next to City Palace, so why not see it too? Rs. 50 for foreigners/ Rs. 10 for Indians.
Overall Jaipur wasn’t my favorite place… but I am not a big city person. I needed to relax and it was a little chaotic. Plus, this happened….
What could it be? Not burning cow poo right outside my guesthouse door to keep away mosquitos because that would smell terrible….
“you’re welcome madam” said the guesthouse owner, clearly very pleased with himself for making his guest so happy. *sigh
I stayed at Devi Niwas which is a guesthouse/the owner’s home. They were rude. We asked for a basic fan room. They gave us a room that had an A/C in it that we did not use. They then said “how do we know you did not use it?” and tried to charge. He told us even though we paid for hot water, he’d like us to be kind and not use it because it’s too expensive for him. He also seriously freaked out at us for being loud… at nine P.M. because his kid had school in the morning. Probably why you shouldn’t run a guesthouse out of your home. One girl didn’t come home because she stayed out drinking. When she came home in the morning, he said she was rude for not calling. He kept saying obviously bad things about her in Hindi, then told her to leave. No, it’s not customary in India to call your hotel if you aren’t making it home that night.
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Omigosh when I was in India, on the overnight train from Ahmedabad to Jaipur, my purse got stolen. Then, I was sick the whole 3 days that I was in Jaipur. Rough memories =( yet, the city is quite pretty and surrounded by nice hills! And one day when I was feeling okay, I bought two beautiful saris at the market. It would be nice to return in better conditions!
that is such a shame! what a bummer. Jaipur was great although I admit my least favorite of Rajasthan.. BUt man you had it rough! Sounds like you’ll have to come back!
Great tips on making the most of Jaipur. Its a great city but can be overcrowded. I would stay away from the monkeys though.
Loving these posts on Rajasthan! When I visited India we only made it to Delhi and Agra in Rajasthan, and I’d love to go back and explore the desert areas. It’s such a chaotic and colourful country!
It’s such a crazy place! Every day is exciting.
Love the blog, feels like I am there, someday I hope to go there and live, someday, cross my fingers
Thats great! Hope you get to.
Great tips, I look forward to travelling India one day. I love the photo of the man sitting against the wall, great shot!
Jaipur is good city and famous for its heritage and cultural activities. I like the place name “Chokhi Dhani”. Love the food and tradition of Pink city.
yes it’s great there!
Pink city is cool and Ajmer fort offers the best view in night. Love to walk in this city.
Yes it’s fun to walk around here.
Know what….The best places to stay in Rajasthan, the government run places booked through RTDC. …rajasthan tourism…..my favourite is a small room with amazing views of jaipur from the top in Nahargarh fort….It feels as if you are in air …flying over jaipur. …check out on Google.
ohh I agree, I stayed with one somewhere- I can’t for the life of me remember where!
I love your photos Rachel bringing back so many memories. I liked Jaipur as the fort and palace by elephant was pretty awesome. So sorry about the hassle you got from the landlord. I’m afraid it’s par the course. I had similar in Delhi.
I booked a deluxe executive €17.00 room and even though they collected me at the airport, I rang and confirmed that very morning, oh, and I had already paid, they claimed that they knew nothing about me. Sigh!
Yikes, I would be so annoyed about what happened to you in Delhi. I had a fairly rough time in Delhi too as it was where I acquired Dengue!
Nooo! That must have been so awful. :( Delhi isn’t / wasn’t my favourite place. Udaipur is more my thing LOL!
Rajasthan is so amazing! I did a roadtrip there last year and we ended up all the way into the Thar desert, so cool! :D
Thats awesome, I loved my time in the desert as well!
Well, I know which guesthouse NOT to stay in, when I finally make it to Jaipur (whenever that might be!) Paying for hot water but not being allowed to use it, plus burning cow poo and a yelling owner…yeap, that’s a no for me haha!
Anyway, Jaipur is high on my list of places to visit in India, along with Udaipur. I love the fact that the city is pink, and the whole Rajasthan region is the first thing I think of when India comes to my mind. Maharajahs and moghuls and handsome, sword-wielding men on horseback…
I think you will be sorely disappointed by the maharajahs these days, big old bumps on a log they are! The sword-wielding men seem to be in hiding as well lol. Maybe I was staying in too crappy of places to meet these high born men! lol
Really inspiring post thankyou. I’ve not made it to India yet unfortunatly, but I can’t wait!
I hope you make it some day, it’s paradise!
Great guide! So informative, as always. I didn’t know Jaipur is called the pink city! I love the snapshots of monkeys. The ones we came across in Bali were crazy and aggressive, how about the Indian ones? Are they friendly?
Thanks girl :) These ones were pretty into playing with each other, although in the mountains the monkeys were way more wild and would steal. There is a Hindu god, Hanuman and he’s the “monkey god” so the monkeys flock to his statues and temples… the locals will take sticks to protect themselves while visiting!
hi Rachel..wanted to know if you are in jaiput still..
No, I’m not :/
Hello Rachel , Do you know about any place for Hippie parties in Pushkar? Or any hotels who arrange this kind of programme.
Hey Rachel! First of all love your blog! My friends & I are headed to Jaipur in a few weeks. Our Indian friend’s relatives said that the cities outside of Jaipur are cool to see if you hire a car etc. I read online that Bhangarh and Abhaneri are cool, but was wondering if you had any recommendations? Thanks!
Hey! I have only been to Jodhpur, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan which are all easily accesible like 5-6 hours bus between them if you go in a route. but as for day trips outside Jaipur, I don’t know :(
Wow, varied reviews for my city, thank you Rachel for awesm blog.. it can be tough for tourists i know, best is book govt guesthouses and dont trust touts, unfortunately petty profit seekers forget hospitality.
Yes, it’s absolutely somewhere I need to revisit as that visit was when I was so new to India!
Hi Rachel, I’m a solo female traveler and I am headed to Delhi. I just came across a day trip from Pacific Classic Tours to Jaipur from Delhi by car with a driver and guide. I have tried to do my research on this but I can’t quite tell if it is worth the 5 hours each direction to see Jaipur. What do you think?
Also as a solo female would you trust a situation like this? A majority of the day will be light and in populated areas however the drive back will definitely be dark.
Thanks in advance.
Hey it’s impossible to say about trusting the situation – you need to make sure it’s a reputable company. I haven’t heard of them. But Jaipur is a big city, so it won’t be THAT different from Delhi, maybe look into Udaipur?