One of the things I love most about India is that it is diverse: you have jungles, deserts, mountains, cities, and beaches and more. Each state is so different in looks, food, culture… everything. That is what makes it so interesting! But, when people ask about what state they should go to first if they can go only one place, I say Rajasthan. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world and has that old India regal charm mixed with dust, dirt, donkeys, and camels. I want to show you how to have the perfect Rajasthan trip and cover all the tourist places in Rajasthan in just two weeks.
Cover all the tourist places in Rajasthan – This is the itinerary for your perfect Rajasthan trip
This is a two-week itinerary for Rajasthan. If you have more time in India, I recommend spending a month here. If you have a six month visa, then certainly a month, and with a 3-month visit, you can arrange to stay in Rajasthan for two weeks at least. This itinerary is mostly to show the best of Rajasthan or all you can see in Rajasthan in just two weeks.
The Cities in this Two-Week Rajasthan Itinerary
There are of course more cities to visit in Rajasthan than this, but I narrowed it down to five because if you bounce around too much, there really isn’t time to enjoy where you are. One of the biggest mistakes first-time travelers to India make is trying to see too much. Of the ones I haven’t mentioned, there are four you might still want to consider adding on if you think you have time: Bikaner (famous for Karni Mata temple – rat temple), Mount Abu, Ajmer, and Ranthambore National Park (tigers).
I’m going to go ahead with the itinerary focusing only on the five cities I bullet-pointed above. Check them out on the map below. There are plus and minus buttons there to zoom in and out. Take a look at where this region is and how spread out these places are. It’s not too much travel between them all which is great.
Getting Around in Rajasthan
It’s very easy to travel to all these places. You can book buses last-minute without issue and do either a Volvo A/C reclining seat bus or you can do a sleeper bus. Here is information on bus travel in India. You can also travel by train which is a little more expensive but you can watch movies and chill out in your bunk rather than be on a bumpy bus. You might want to book ahead a little bit for the trains. You can fly into and out of Rajasthan, but flying between cities here can be expensive as they don’t all have direct flight paths and you’ll have to go to Delhi for a layover, so it’s actually the slowest most expensive option. I do recommend flying into and out of the state though as flights are as cheap as $40-$100 one-way depending on how lucky you are.
The last option is to hire a driver for each city. I do not recommend hiring someone to take you to all of them. Instead, book it one by one with different companies. There are agents everywhere who can arrange. Udaipur to Jodhpur is will cost you 3,500 Rs and none of these journeys should cost more than 5,000 Rs. There’s actually a lot to see by car between Udaipur and Jodhpur.
Within the cities, you’ll find Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaipur has Uber which is a godsend. Here’s a guide to Uber in India. For the places that don’t, you can easily travel around in the city with inexpensive rickshaws.
Udaipur (4 days)
Start your trip arriving in Udaipur. I came by train from Mumbai (17 hours) but you can also fly into Rajasthan. For tips on taking a train in India, check out this post about how it works and this one on safety tips. If you want to fly, see how I used Kiwi.com to fly to 8 places all over India for under $200.
Udaipur is the white city of India, India’s Venice or some would even say it’s the most romantic city in India. I think you should start here because it’s easily accessible by flight, then a quick Uber into town, and it’s the most easy-going chilled out city on this list. It’s relaxing which is not something you can say about the other places. It’s a beautiful city to ease into India. I was there in October twice, five years apart, and it was not crowded at all. It’s the city of Rajasthan I feel the safest in and the most chilled to just wander and see beautiful sites.
From the city palace to a boat ride on the lake palace, it’s just amazing. You MUST stay in a haveli on the lake and I found a princess one for just $50 a night for the cheap rooms and $200 per night for the top of the line suite – the best room in the hotel.
- My little Udaipur guide – all my tips in one place
- Where you should stay (a $50/night place that is AMAZING, favorite hotel in India)
- 20 photos to inspire you to visit Udaipur (coming soon)
- Spiritual and tourist things to do in Udaipur
Jodhpur (2 days)
Jodhpur is an AMAZING city and one that I hope I can go back to for the third time. It’s the BLUE city of India but it’s not all new and fancy looking like Udaipur. It’s dirty, loud, has tiny alleys with donkeys and rickshaws trying to get through and is more real life and not touristy like Udaipur. It’s really like being back in time in an Indian town and I just love it. You must stay in the actual old town area and I 100% recommend my guesthouse in my guide linked below. It has rooms from $36 up to $54 for the suite.
You’ll want to do a tour out to the Bishnoi tribe and take time to see the Mehrangarh Fort, which are the two most memorable tourist things to do in Jodhpur. But you also must make time to just get lost in the blue walls. Don’t forget to eat at Gypsy Diner; best Rajasthani thali ever.
- My little guide to Jodhpur that covers everything from food to palaces to see
- Visiting the Bishnoi tribe and seeing the local life
- 20 photos to inspire travel to Jodhpur (also coming soon)
Jaisalmer (3 days)
sorry for the blurry photo, it was pre-blogging days
I know you want to do a camel safari – it’s one of the top experiences people look for in India and I was no different when I first came here. It was in my top five experiences from my first trip! Jaisalmer is on the outskirts of Rajasthan a bit, near the border of Pakistan, in the Thar desert. The town itself has some shops and tourist hostels but the thing to do is go via camel to the desert and sleep under the stars. It’s a great experience.
I put three days here but you can really interchange this and do two here and 3 in Pushkar, the next city listed, or keep it how it is. There isn’t a lot to do in Jaisalmer but it has a unique desert vibe which is indescribable. Pushkar, on the other hand, has a lot of tourists and things to do so you might prefer more days there.
Pushkar (2 days)
Pushkar “the rose garden of Rajasthan” is a place that some people choose to skip out on during their time in Rajasthan, but I did really enjoy this town. The lake is what makes Pushkar famous as it’s said that a bird carrying immortality water dropped it into the lake here, and it’s one of 5 pilgrimages Hindu’s might make in their lifetime. It’s a city hidden in the Aravali Hills that has a real hippie vibe – with tourists walking around barefoot drinking “special lassis”. Because it’s so touristy, you do need to be aware of scams near the lake. Don’t forget to get up for an amazing sunrise here!
- Pushkar travel guide: where to stay, eat, chill
Jaipur (3 days)
India’s pink city! It’s beautiful but huge and can be stressful. My first time to Jaipur, I stayed two days and hated it. I just hated it all – I had a horrible time being ripped off and lost. But, I have gone back and given it another chance and THANK GOD because it is the best city! I went with a friend who knows the city well, and we shopped at the best places, ate at the best cafes and partied until 3 in the morning. It’s a modern city with Uber so you can avoid the scamming a bit with rickshaws. I will be going back here my entire life for sure. There are a lot of things to do and see so I’ll link it all below.
- My little guide to Jaipur with all my secret tips
- A look at the Samode luxury properties in Jaipur
Essential Travel Tips for your Rajasthan Trip
- Don’t forget you need a visa to travel to Rajasthan (and all of India). I am a fan of iVisa to get a quick 60-day visa. If you need a guide to getting a visa longer than 60 days, here are my posts for US Citizens and for UK Citizens who want to stay in India up to 6 months.
- I recommend you travel India with health insurance. World Nomads is recommended by Lonely Planet, Nat Geo, and me! I’ve used it for years. You can get a quick quote here. Check out what exactly it covers and doesn’t.
- If you’re headed to India, you can also check out my Guide to India which is a 100,000-word ebook with 6 years of travel knowledge – it will make sure you have the most epic trip. Read more about it here.
- Budget travels, check out this hostel guide to India here which has top chain hostel brands you’ll find in Rajasthan. Otherwise, I love using Agoda to compare different hotels which give great rates in India.
- Those of you who want a tour of the state, check out G Adventures.
Blog posts you might find helpful
- Step by step planning your trip to India from scratch
- 100 tips for India travel
- How to spend less than $20/day in India
- The best India itinerary for 1 month, 2 months, and 3 months
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Yep! Really useful article Rachel as I absolutely love Rajasthan. We have three weeks to play with, so we should be able to get everything in quite nicely, plus Delhi, Agra & Mandawa. I didn’t like Delhi at all, but I’m willing to give it another try, by investing more time there. Eek!
I feel ya on Delhi. I really think it’s the kind of city you need a friend in (local) to kind of show you around and tag along with so you can see the best without all the stress. Great you’re giving it another go! Can’t wait to see how your trip turns out.
Aww! That’s awfully sweet of you to say so.
I do have a blogger / photographer friend who lives in Delhi with his wife & kids. I met him at TBEX in the Philippines. He’s usually a Speaker, so if he’s not at TBEX Ostrava in the summer, he said they’d be happy to show us around. We’re in hotels / haveli’s on most of our Indian travels but I booked a HomeStay (ish), in South Delhi in a house owned by a French artist this time around, in order to get a more homely feel, as a soft start to our most exciting trip!
Soooo perfect! A homestay is the way to go and the fact it’s an expat will show you such another side of Delhi. I wanna come, too! lol
Hi Rachel, I’m so pleased I found your blog. It’s super helpful! My partner and I are going in India 22 dec till 22 Jan. We plane on spending two weeks in Kerala first and then two weeks in Rajasthan. We are looking at flying from Kochi to Jaipur ( no direct flights to Udaipur unfortunately). But your itinerary would still work well. I’m thinking Jaipur-Pushkar-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Udaipur- fly to Delhi and back to NZ.
How did you get to Pushkar from Jaisalmer? By train ? Obviously we will be doing it in reverse. It seems like we will be going through Jodhpur twice. I’m wondering if that’s the best use of time or if I should rethink the route?
Thanks very much !
Hi, do you think I could start in Bombay, fly to Rajasthan and do most of your tour, see Varanasi and fly home from Delhi in less than 3 weeks? Would this be good?
Your blog is a delight and very helpful.
You say one should have a friend in Delhi to be shown around without the stress. How do you manage if you don’t have a friend? We had a driver who just droped us in front of the some « must see » and organised a tour on the rickshaw with an unfriendly driver.
We are travelling to Radjastan again and stop for 3 days in Delhi for a better experience. How should we do it?
Thanks for sharing your trip itinerary, Rajasthan is very beautiful place many there have many places to visit for sightseeing. I really appreciate this post, all images are so beautiful, Thanks for sharing this post.
nice blog and amazing write up