My Ultimate Solo Travel Guide to Jaipur, India
Jaipur, the Capital of Rajasthan, never fails to impress! It has always been a different experience every time I visit the city. Blushed in pink, the city is filled with stunning forts and palaces, spacious gardens, and broad avenues. A perfect blend of royalty and culture! In short, a visit to Rajasthan is incomplete without a short trip to the pink city of Jaipur.
Jaipur was the first city I travelled solo in all of India. With bustling bazaars, beautifully structured architecture, and comforting hospitality, Jaipur gave me the experience of a lifetime. The ancient walls perfected in pink hue guard the city’s regal monuments that are considered the best embodiment of the bygone era. From the Hawa Mahal to the Nahargarh Fort, every monument in Jaipur tells a story of India’s illustrious history!
Beaming with enchanting markets that proudly depict Rajasthan’s glorious heritage, the walled city lives up to its reputation as a planned metropolis in the largest state of North India. The city is the right combination of ancient lifestyle left behind by royals and the modern lifestyle developed over time. On one side, you will find vibrant shopping malls. On the other, some striking forts and palaces will leave you wanting for more of the pink city.
While walking through the quaint lanes of Jaipur all by myself, I realised how wonderful the city is for tourists, particularly solo female travellers. Here, I present to you, my ultimate solo travel guide to Jaipur!
1. Reaching the city
Jaipur is very well-connected with major cities across the country through roads, railways, and flights.
Taking a train is the best and cheapest way to reach Jaipur from any part of India. If you take a train from Delhi, it will take a maximum of 5 hours to reach the city. However, you must keep a good eye on your luggage on the trains and at the platforms to ensure its safety from theft.
My favourite mode of public transport to get here from Delhi is the bus. It is also one of the safer options for solo female travellers in the country. However, make sure to check the reviews of your transport on Google just to be on the safe side. Tickets are readily available in buses at various bus stands and online platforms. From Delhi, I took a direct Volvo bus to Jaipur, and I reached the city in less than 5 hours. And the best part is you can also find a sleeper coach in the bus. Read my tips on using Indian public transport without any fuss. You can also take a cab from Delhi or any other city in Rajasthan, depending on your budget.
Regular flights operate from major cities like Delhi and Mumbai to Jaipur International Airport. You can save time, and also visit an extra palace in the pink city!
Before visiting Rajasthan, read 15 non-touristy things to do in the northern state of India.
2. Best time to visit Jaipur
Even though travellers from around the world flock to Jaipur all-round the year, I believe the winter season is the best time to visit! Between October and March, days are pleasant and nights are cold, helping you escape the extreme heat during summer. You can also get an opportunity to experience various festivals that take place during these months—for instance, the Kite Festival and Jaipur Literature Festival in January and the Elephant Festival in March are special for its own reasons.
While planning a trip to Jaipur in Summers between April and June, solo female travellers must know that days are scorching and dry! You may find the hot wind blowing during the day, draining your energy off from the long day tours. Therefore, I suggest you plan your trip to the pink city during the winter season to make the most of your trip.
If you are already planning for a trip across Rajasthan, you can also read my blog on another famous city in the state, My Ultimate Solo Travel Guide to Jodhpur.
3. How to roam around in the city
As Jaipur is known for various tourist attractions, I will highly recommend hiring TUK-TUK (petrol rickshaw) or TAM –TAM (electric rickshaw), which will help you travel around the monuments and forts in the city. However, make sure you bargain with the operators very strongly to get the best prices for your commute. Pro tip: Tuk Tuk drivers tend to overcharge people. Therefore, try to use your bargaining skills to save some money to have a great lunch later. I made use of multiple Tuk-Tuk to roam around the city during my visit, and it was the best local experience ever!
However, depending on your budget, you can also choose to book cabs through a mobile app like Uber or an Indian app called Ola. I highly recommend you download these apps before traveling to India for an easier commute across different cities/places. You can also find personal cab operators who will charge around 1600-2000 Indian rupees for an entire day to take you around various attractions in the city.
4. Where to stay
- In Jaipur, I enjoyed staying in Hotel Paradise, located at Sikar Road. It is located outside the central part of the city. For budget travellers and backpackers, I would highly recommend Zostel, where you can meet people from all over the world and share your travel stories over lunches or bonfires.
- There are some good hotels for affordable rates, for example, Atithi Guest House, Madhuban, and Arya Niwas. However, you cannot expect the first-class service here.
- Luxury seekers can experience Jaipur’s regal heritage at the imperial Umaid Mahal and Alsisar Haveli. These hotels have a hefty price tag and will provide you a traditional Rajasthani living. But tell you what, it is all worth your money!
- When in Rajasthan, a night at the heritage stays is a must! Nothing beats the heritage stay in Jaipur, which provides you a modest townhouse living at the experience of royalty. You can book a stay at Rambagh Palace or Jai Mahal Palace for an extraordinary retreat at this Haveli.
5. Must-visit places
The Amer Fort sits around 10km away from the central city of Jaipur. It is a beautifully carved fort with a fairy-tale grandeur that reflects stunningly on Lake Maota’s surface. It is the best sight to behold forever!
Take a TUK-TUK or TAM-TAM or even a cab to reach here. The fort has an exquisite sandstone Diwan-e-Aam, along with a grand yellow-hued gate called the Ganesh Pol. Some of the fort’s star attractions are the Sheesh Mahal, Jai Mahal, and Sukh Niwas. As I walked around the fort, I truly felt like a queen who owned the fort. I’m not even kidding!
Take an early morning trip to the fort to enjoy sightseeing with less to no crowd at all. Also, it is a UNESCO-listed monument.
It is open from 8 am to 5:30 pm to visitors. Ticket prices vary from Rs 100 for Indian visitors to around Rs 500 for foreigners. This amount also includes the fee of a camera, if you have one. My favourite part was the elephant ride at the fort. I loved it!
The Palace of Winds, Hawa Mahal is a famous monument in Jaipur. This five-storeyed structure has semi-octagonal overhanging windows that give it a look of a facade. This 222-year old Mahal is known as the tallest building in the world without any foundation. With more than 900 ornate windows, this palace is worth a visit despite being very touristy! You can also rent audio guides from the store to learn more about this remarkable monument’s history. It is open from 9 am to 6 pm. The entry ticket costs Rs 50 for Indian visitors and Rs 200 for foreigners.
This larger-than-life abstract observatory is nothing more than a spectacle! Erected in 1734, this Jantar Mantar has an incredible collection of astronomical instruments. It is significantly one of the five observatories built across India.
If you intend to learn more about this sculpture, I would recommend hiring a private local guide. Don’t worry, there is a plenty of options on Airbnb!
A resplendent fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture, the City Palace is an integral part of the walled city of Jaipur. Filled with several gardens and courtyards, this palace is a must-go in the pink city. Located at Jaipur’s heart, the City Palace is hardly a kilometre away from the Hawa Mahal. You can take a walk to the palace or hire a Tuk-Tuk according to your preferences. It is open to visitors from 9:30 am to 5 pm.
Nahargarh means ‘abode to tigers’. Known as the Tiger Fort, this monument provides the perfect backdrop to the north of Jaipur. Overlooking the pink city, this fort is located at the Aravali mountain in the city. I’d say a solo trip to Jaipur is incomplete without a visit to this architectural marvel! Decorated with delicate murals, this fort looks even spectacular in the floodlit at night. Also, you can take a lot of pictures for your Instagram feed here.
There’s also a wax museum and sculpture park within the fort that you cannot miss out. After my visit to the fort, I took a walk to a famous Chinese restaurant whose Hakka noodles were drool-worthy! I forget its name, but there are many restaurants near the fort. Make sure to choose the one with a local crowd in it!
6. My new found love – Rajasthani Cuisine
If you want to experience the vivid culture of Rajasthan, Chokhi Dhani is the place! It is a luxury hotel that offers a mela(fair)-like ambience to its visitors with a rural experience and warm hospitality. Enjoy true Rajasthani culture with various authentic foods to choose from. In addition to that, traditional folk dances accompany you as part of the entertainment. It is one of my favourite experiences in the pink city. Everything about it glorified joy, from puppet shows to traditional sport activities! However, make sure to make your booking in advance to enjoy a hassle-free time at Chokhi Dhani.
Tea-lovers gather at this small restaurant in Jaipur’s Vidyadhar Nagar. They make some of the best Kulhad tea in Jaipur. Enjoy it with some light snacks for breakfast.
It is one of my favourites and a renowned rooftop restaurant in the city where you can enjoy good food with a great view!
For traditional Rajasthani dishes, you can also try Apno Rajasthan, Spice Court, or Copper Chimney.
7. Shop till you drop!
From traditional jewellery, puppets to block-printed clothes, you will find all kinds of items in the famous Johari Bazaar (market). Johari Bazaar is particularly famous for its bandhani and block-printed textiles. With beautiful gems and handicrafts, it is also a paradise for jewellery lovers! It is just a kilometre away from Hawa Mahal. After paying a visit to the Palace of Winds, you can hit this market for all your shopping needs!
You can buy Jaipur’s famous marble artifacts at the Chandpol Bazaar. If you are into leather products, visit the Bapu Bazaar for traditional pair of Rajasthani mojri (shoes) for just Rs 500-Rs 700. You can also visit the Sireh Deori shop, opposite Hawa Mahal, to buy some traditional Jaipuri quilts, jewellery, and footwear.
However, please make sure not to get scammed by the vendors! Read my blog on how to bargain like a local in India to know the insights into haggling. If you still need help, I’d suggest you take a local tour guide hired via Airbnb Experience to these local markets.
When in Jaipur, don’t forget to watch a film at the Raj Mandir Cinema. Situated at Bhagwan Das Road, this huge cinema is one of the most popular tourist spots in Jaipur. Buy a cinema ticket to watch the movie in the meringue auditorium that looks like a giant pink cake! However, make sure to book the ticket in advance.
9. Must note
I would highly recommend you buy a composite ticket that is valid for two days from the date of purchase. It provides you an entry to a list of attractions – Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar observatory, Albert Hall Museum, Sisodia Rani Garden, and Vidhyadhar garden. You can avail of this ticket at any palaces or forts. Trust me, it saves a lot of time! For foreign tourists, the ticket price is Rs 500, while for Indians, it is Rs 150.
While you are here, you can also read my blog on My Ultimate Solo Travel Guide to the Taj Mahal.
10. Tips and Tricks
- Bargain as much as you can! Whether you are hiring a rickshaw or shopping for souvenirs around the city’s busy markets, bargaining is very crucial to help you save a tonne of money! You must know that people tend to overcharge tourists in many Indian cities.
- Don’t give any form of charity of money to beggars while travelling around the city.
- Try to carry limited cash while walking through the local markets just to be on the safe side. However, you must take cash in smaller bills while shopping for souvenirs in local markets.
11. Fun facts that will amaze you!
I bet these interesting facts about Jaipur will compel you to book your tickets to the city right away.
- Jaipur is believed to be India’s first planned heritage city, dating back to the year 1730 in the 18th century.
- It is called the pink city because, in 1876, the entire city was painted terracotta pink to mark the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria’s visit. After that, Jaipur became popular as the pink city across the world.
- The city organises the largest literary festival, attended by authors, writers, filmmakers, poets, social activists, and visitors worldwide. Read my blog on 25 interesting things to do in Rajasthan to know about more amazing facts.
As I conclude my travel guide to Jaipur, I implore you to pack your bags and head to the pink city to experience colours, chaos, and grandeur. Taking a walk through the clean streets sprawling with cycle-rickshaws, motorbikes, cars, and other vehicles is an experience in itself. Also, don’t forget to relish the delicious street food of Rajasthan! All the best for your spectacular solo trip across India.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.