Things to do in Udaipur

Things to do in Udaipur

Udaipur was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to India. Set at the foot of the Aravalli Hills it is also known as the Venice of the East due to the 5 gorgeous lakes and romantic atmosphere. 

You will fall in love with the floating palaces, the architecture, the atmosphere,…  

In this post, you will find our favorite things to do and plenty of tips for your trip to Udaipur. We stayed  3 days in this magical city. 

How to get there 

Udaipur is easily accessible by public transport when you are in the state of Rajasthan. The quickest way is by bus or car. Another option is by train from main cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Jodphur. We got there by car from Jodphur which took around 5 hours. 

Where to stay 

We stayed at Madri Haveli located in Udaipur’s old town. The rooms were clean and the rooftop has beautiful views. We had a delicious Chicken Masala at the rooftop restaurant. Overall highly recommended. 

City Palace

Surrounded by balconies, towers, and cupolas towering over the lake, the imposing City Palace is Rajasthan’s largest palace.

Construction on the original palace began in 1599 by Udaipur’s founder, Maharana Udai Singh ll, and it later became a conglomeration of structures built and extended by various maharanas. 

Now, the City Palace is made up of several stunning squares and palaces extravagantly decorated with mirrors, tiles, and paintings.

We loved exploring the colorful and ornate rooms, elegant balconies, beautiful courtyards, and pavilions. The queen’s chambers and the mirrored room were are favorite ones. 

You can get to Udaipur’s City Palace on foot or you can take a tuk-tuk. Udaipur’s City Palace is open from 9.30 am – 5.30 pm daily and the entrance fee is 300 rupees. You can hire a guide or rent an audio guide for 200 rupees. 

Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola is a man-made freshwater lake. It was enlarged by Maharana Udai Sing ll, following his foundation of the city, by flooding Picholi village, which gave the lake its name. The lake is now 4km long and 3km wide.  

There are two islands in the lake; the Jag Mandir Island and the Jag Niwas Island with the Taj Lake Palace Hotel. 

It is very popular to take a boat ride which we highly recommend! By taking a boat ride you will get close and personal with famous sights. 

We booked our boat trip at the city palace. The boat trips leave hourly and make a stop at Jagmandir Island, where you can stay for as long as you like before taking any boat back. We recommend you to take your own drinks and snacks because on the island it’s very expensive. You can also take 25-minute boat rides from Lal Ghat. 

You can take a boat ride from 10 am – 5 pm daily and the price for a ticket is 400 rupees for adults and 200 rupees for children from 10 am – 2 pm. From 3 – 5 pm, you pay 700 rupees for adults and 400 for children.  

Jagmandir Island

The palace on Jagmandir Island was built by Maharana Karan Singh ll in 1620 and changed very little until the last few years when it was partly converted into a hotel. The island has a restaurant, bar, and spa. 

The entrance is flanked by stone elephants, the island has an ornate 17th-century tower, The Gol Mahal, carved from bluestone and containing a small exhibit on Jagmandir’s history, plus a garden and lovely views across the lake. 

Taj Lake Palace 

This romantic white marble palace floating on the lake was originally built as a summer palace for the Maharana of Udaipur. Today it’s one of the best hotels in the world and famous for its feature in the James Bond movie Octopussy. 

Explore Udaipur’s old town

Udaipur’s old city is a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets filled with ancient Havelis, temples, markets, and bazaars. Walking the old town streets made us feel as if we’ve stepped back in time.

Here you can buy souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, fruit and create your own outfit in a tailor shop. 

Jagdish Temple 

Standing tall on a raised terrace in the heart of the old town, Jagdish, built-in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh, is Udaipur’s most important temple. 

The entrance, situated at the top of a set of stairs, is guarded by two large stone elephants. At the top of the stairs lies the entrance to the main structure, a three-story tall temple built in Indo-Aryan style, which houses lush halls, carved ceilings and pillars, and beautifully painted walls. 

Make sure you check out the idol of Lord Vishnu, carved from a single piece of black stone, and the four smaller shrines of Shiva, Ganesh, the sun god, and the goddess Shakti. 

Remember to take your shoes off and not to bring your camera inside as photography is strictly prohibited.

You can get to the Jagdish Temple on foot or you can take a tuk-tuk. The Jagdish Temple is open from 5.30 am – 2 pm and 4 – 10 pm daily and there is no entrance fee

The Ghats of Udaipur

Ghats play an important role in India. They refer to places where steps are leading down to a river or a lake. It is the place where people come to pray, bathe, or celebrate important Hindu festivals. 

Gangaur Ghat is one of the most scenic ghats in Udaipur. During the day it is always busy with people, bathing, washing, praying and locals playing music.

Another ghat with a beautiful view of the lake is Hanuman Ghat on the other side of the lake. From there you can see the city palace. 

The Ghats of Udaipur is the best place to watch the sunset and end each day. 

You can get to these ghats on foot or you can take a tuk-tuk. 

Monsoon Palace 

Perched on top of a distant hill like a fairy-tale castle, this melancholy neglected late 19th-century palace was constructed by Maharana Sajjan Singh. Originally an astronomical center, it became a monsoon palace and hunting lodge. Now government-owned, it’s in a sadly dilapidated state but the views are magical especially at sunset. 

You can get to the Monsoon Palace by tuk-tuk. The driver will drop you at the entrance of the Sajjan Garh Wildlife Sanctuary, from there you can make your way up by Land Rover or hike to the top (5km). The palace is open from 8 am – 6 pm daily and the entrance fee is 50 rupees for Indians and 300 for foreigners and 500 rupees if you want to make your way to the top by Land Rover. 

Bagore Ki Haveli

Bagore Ki Haveli was built in the eighteenth century. After major renovations, it is now a museum about the Mewar dynasty. There is also a daily cultural show at night. The Dharohar folk dance show is a mix of traditional Rajasthani music, dance, puppetry, colorful costumes, and humor. We highly recommend this show as one of the best things to do in Udaipur. The performances gave us a strong understanding of the Rajasthani culture. 

The shows commence daily at 7 pm and tickets cost 150 rupees per person. If you want to take pictures you have to pay 150 rupees extra. In peak season, shows book out well in advance, so book ahead in time.  

If you are looking for somewhere to chill out after the chaos of other cities in Rajasthan? Romantic, relaxed Udaipur is the perfect place. It’s a city that will make you want to come back for more and we are planning to do just that! 

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