48 Hours in Udaipur: The Ultimate Itinerary

buildings in Udaipur seen from the city palace frramed by an archway
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Forty-eight hours in Udaipur is just enough time to experience the highlights of India's most romantic city. Even if you're traveling solo, this nostalgic city of lakes and palaces will win you over with its heritage, culture, and atmosphere. You'll definitely want to come back for more (and go on a few day trips from Udaipur as well). To help you make the most of your time there, we've put together an itinerary that encompasses a selection of the top things to do in Udaipur and will give you a feel for the city. Do bring comfortable walking shoes because the historical old part of Udaipur is ideally covered on foot.

01 of 06

Day 1: Morning

four white elephant statues in front of Jagmandir Island Palace, Udaipur.

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7:30 a.m.: Get an early start to catch the evocative Dhoop Aarti (worship) ceremony at Udaipur's landmark 17th century Jagdish temple, dedicated to Hindu god Lord Vishnu. This massive white marble temple was built at Jagdish Chowk, near the City Palace, under the reign of Maharana Jagat Singh. Its intricate architecture is incredible to behold.

8:30 a.m.: Fortify yourself with a hearty breakfast at Udai Art Cafe near Jagdish Temple. There are English and Greek options as well as crepes. Top it off with some of the best coffee in Udaipur for a burst of energy. If you'd prefer breakfast the Udaipur way, join the locals for spicy deep-fried kachori at Paliwal Restaurant. In case they're sold out already, try nearby Jagdish Shri Restaurant.

9:30 a.m.: Be at Udaipur's most popular attraction, the City Palace Museum, when it opens to beat the crowds. The Mewar royal family converted a large part of their palace into this remarkable museum filled with priceless personal memorabilia. Many of the rooms and courtyards are features in themselves, especially Mor Chowk (Peacock Courtyard) with its magnificent glass inlay work. Do note that the museum's steps and narrow staircases may make some areas inaccessible for people with limited mobility.

11:30 a.m.: Take a boat ride on Lake Pichola, stopping at Jagmandir Island where there's a 17th-century pleasure palace belonging to the royal family. The boats depart regularly from the jetty within the City Palace grounds. Tickets are available from designated counters inside the palace premises.

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02 of 06

Day 1: Afternoon

View of Monsoon Palace, Udaipur. on a brown hill. There's an out-of-focus tree branch in the foreground

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12:30 p.m.: Get a taxi to Sajjangarh Biological Park on the northwest outskirts of the city and have lunch at Millets of Mewar restaurant near the entrance. This restaurant is dedicated to healthy food made with local ingredients. There are vegan and gluten-free dishes.

2 p.m.: Continue up the hill, through Sajjangarh Biological Park, to the 19th century Monsoon Palace. Maharana Sajjan Singh intended the palace to be an observatory for the monsoon in Udaipur but his successor, Maharana Fateh Singh, transformed it into a recreation and hunting lodge. Although the structure itself isn't that impressive, the views across Lake Fateh Sagar and the city are.

3 p.m.: Depending on your interests and if you have time (you may want to relax and freshen up at your hotel for the evening instead), visit Shilpgram or Saheliyon-ki-Bari on the way back to Udaipur. The arts and crafts complex at Shilpgram has an ethnographic museum that showcases the traditional lifestyles of the various rural folk that inhabit the region. Artisans also sell their wares there. Saheliyon-ki-Bari is an elegant, landscaped 18th-century royal garden created by Maharana Sangram Singh for the queen and her companions to stroll in.

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03 of 06

Day 1: Evening

wiew of rooftop restautant and buildings along a river in Udaipur at sunset.

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5:30 p.m.: Be at Hanuman Ghat, on the west bank of Lake Pichola for sunset. Baro Masi, on the rooftop of the chic Udai Kothi boutique hotel, is the perfect place to partake in a signature sundown cocktail or few. Alternatively, if you're content without a drink, Ambrai Ghat (next to Hanuman Ghat) is where locals go to enjoy the sunset against the backdrop of the City Palace and Taj Lake Palace Hotel.

7 p.m.: The Hanuman Ghat neighborhood also has some of the best restaurants in Udaipur. At Udai Kothi, Syah's innovative fine-dining is based on farm-to-table and foraging concepts. Upre by 1559 AD, at Lake Pichola Hotel, directly fronts the lake and is the city's most spectacular rooftop restaurant. The menu offers a mix of North Indian, Rajasthani, Chinese, and Continental dishes. Spicy minced rabbit is a delicacy. It's all about candlelight dinners and dramatic City Palace views at Ambrai, Hotel Amet Haveli's lakeside restaurant at Ambrai Ghat. You'll need to book in advance at these restaurants, as they're very popular. Hari Ghar is a more casual lakeside option at Hanuman Ghat, with reasonably-priced local specialty dishes and North Indian cuisine.

9 p.m.: Take an evening stroll through the area, crossing Chand Pole Puliya pedestrian bridge to return to the eastern side of Lake Pichola. The bridge is illuminated at night making for a pretty panorama.

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04 of 06

Day 2: Morning

Indian man and boy sitting amongst piles of hand-woven baskets

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9 a.m.: With all the touristy must-dos complete, spend the morning delving deeper into Udaipur's old city by exploring its fascinating lanes and market districts. The wholesale spice, tea, and vegetable markets in the Nada Khada neighborhood east of the old clock tower are especially absorbing. It's recommended that you take a guided walking tour, such as this immersive Udaipur Heritage Walk conducted by Virasat Experiences, to discover offbeat places. You'll be able to meet local artisans engaged in jewelry, pottery, and bamboo craft. Plus, have a cup of tea with a family in their beautiful 150 year-old home.

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05 of 06

Day 2: Afternoon

Indian man on the phone inside a small shop selling colorful homewares

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12:30 p.m.: Sample authentic Rajasthani cuisine for lunch. Krishna Dal Bati Restro (Gulab Bagh area) specializes in the state's most iconic dish, daal batti churma (daal served with whole wheat bread balls, and coarsely ground whole wheat flour fried in ghee and unrefined sugar). You'll get a wider variety of items by ordering an inexpensive vegetarian Rajasthani thali (platter) at Natraj Dining Hall and Restaurant near the railway station. Make sure you're hungry because the food is unlimited for the price! Those who'd prefer eclectic Indian and international cuisine will like the contemporary village vibes at Oladar Village restaurant in a restored 20th-century mansion on Lake Palace Road.

1:30 p.m.: Now's the time to buy all those vibrant handicrafts that are likely to have caught your eye. City Palace Road is the main shopping hub for tourists but you'll pay less at Hathipol market. If you're interested in Udaipur's miniature paintings, there are several reputable galleries in the Gangaur Ghat area. Gothwal Art is owned by a helpful married couple who are both artists. You can get intricate mehndi (temporary Indian henna tattoo) there too. For those who want to create a trip keepsake instead of buying one, Ashoka Arts at Ashoka Hotel holds painting lessons. Meanwhile, car enthusiasts might want to check out the Vintage and Classic Car Museum on Lake Palace Road (around the corner from Krishna Dal Bati Restro) instead. It has an extensive collection of cars belonging to the Mewar royal family, with the oldest being a 1924 Rolls-Royce 20 HP. The black 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II appeared in the James Bond movie "Octopussy."

4 p.m.: Wander through Bagore ki Haveli at Gangaur Ghat, another of the top museums in Udaipur. This palatial 18th-century noble mansion has been turned into a cultural museum with exhibits including puppets, weapons, turbans, royal costumes, paintings, and antique kitchen implements. Make your way to the open-air terrace at the back of the property to soak up the sublime vista of Lake Pichola.

5 p.m.: Grab a snack and coffee at Jheel's Ginger Coffee Bar And Bakery. Settle in for the sunset, either on the rooftop or lakeside deck at the edge of the water.

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06 of 06

Day 2: Evening

Woman wearing traditional Indian garments balancing a 6 large pots on her head while a group of three men play music on the floor

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6 p.m.: Head back to Bagore ki Haveli to purchase tickets for the evening Dharohar folk dance show, which takes place in a courtyard there. The tickets go on sale at 6:15 p.m., and there's usually a substantial line later on.

7 p.m.: Watch the show at Bagore ki Haveli. It's an enchanting medley of Rajasthani music, dance, and puppetry.

8 p.m.: For dinner, feast on food cooked over coal at Charcoal by Carlsson, on the rooftop of Hotel Pratap Bhawan at nearby Lal Ghat. Choose from a range of Rajasthani specialties, tandoori (clay oven) dishes, grills, or Mexican tacos (which the restaurant has perfected making) for something different.

9:30 p.m.: If you're not ready to sleep, see what's on at The Artist House. This hip new hangout and co-working space for creative types is housed in a revamped 80-year-old theater building. It has two bars, and there are often DJs or live music. The nightlife in Udaipur winds down by midnight, so you won't get to bed late!

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