Known as the Pink City due to the distinctive colour of its buildings, Jaipur is the capital and largest city in Rajasthan, India. With its dazzling array of historic sites, colourful bazaars, and lively culture, it’s no wonder Jaipur is a popular destination for travellers. This 3-day itinerary covers the best of what to see and do in Jaipur to experience the magic of this vibrant city.
Best Time to Visit Jaipur
Jaipur has three main seasons to consider when planning your trip:
- Summer (April – June) is extremely hot in Jaipur with temperatures over 35°C. Visiting palaces and forts without air conditioning can be challenging during these months.
- Monsoon (July – October) brings hot, humid weather and potential rain that could affect travel plans.
- Winter (December – January) offers the most comfortable temperatures, usually between 27°C – 30°C during the day. Mornings can be very chilly.
The best time with the most moderate temperatures is between October to February. This allows you to explore monuments comfortably without dealing with summer heat or monsoon humidity. If planning to visit during summer or monsoon season, go prepared with hats, umbrellas, and plenty of water. Light cotton clothing is best for the heat.
Start your first day by visiting the iconic Hawa Mahal palace. Built from pink sandstone and standing five stories tall, this unique “Palace of Winds” was constructed in 1799 so royal women could observe street festivals undetected through the hundreds of small windows.
- Be sure to go early in the morning between 8-10 am to avoid crowds and get great photos in the golden sunrise light.
- Allow 1-2 hours to walk around the exterior and interior of the palace. Highlights include the impressive facade with over 950 windows, the Imperial Door entrance, and the small latticed windows that provided views of the streets below.
From there, make your way to the City Palace complex located in the heart of Jaipur. This grand palace was built between 1729 and 1732 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II when he moved the capital to Jaipur.
- The best time to visit is between 9-11 am. Be sure to cover your shoulders and legs as you explore the various palaces, temples, gardens and museums within the complex.
- It takes 2-3 hours to properly tour the City Palace. Highlights include the Peacock Gate, the ornate Diwan-i-Khas hall, and the Mubarak Mahal palace which now hosts a textile museum showcasing royal robes and Sanganeri block prints.
- Don’t miss visiting the City Palace Museum which houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and showcases an impressive array of royal artefacts.
Have lunch and then make your way to the Jantar Mantar observatory, located near the City Palace. This stone astronomical observatory was built in 1734 and houses the world’s largest stone sundial.
- The best time to visit is between 10 am-12 pm when the sun is not directly overhead.
- Allow around 1 hour to observe the various instruments and understand their astronomical significance.
- Be sure to find a guide who can explain how each structure helped measure celestial objects and time. The highlight is the Samrat Yantra, a giant sundial that is 90 feet high.
- If time permits, check out the lively local bazaars in the evening. Johari Bazaar is great for jewellery shopping and Bapu Bazaar is for textiles and handicrafts.
- End your day by visiting Nahargarh Fort, located in the Aravalli Hills overlooking Jaipur. The best time to visit is evening around sunset between 5:30 pm-7:30 pm for great views of the city.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket or shawl as it gets chilly. Allow 1-2 hours to explore the fort and take in the sunset views from the roof.
- Watch out for mischievous monkeys!
- End your day with a tasty Rajasthani dinner at one of the local restaurants around town.
Rise early on your second day to visit the magnificent Amer Fort. Have your taxi or auto rickshaw arrive by 8 a.m. so you can be one of the first visitors inside the fort when it opens at 9 a.m.
- The fort is only open from 8 am to 5:30 pm so make the most of your morning there before the heat rises. Wear comfortable shoes, a hat and sunglasses as it involves a lot of walking.
- At the entrance, you can choose to walk up to the fort or take one of the jeeps or elephant rides up to the main courtyard. From there it takes around 3 hours to explore the palace and gardens in detail.
- Don’t miss highlights like the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), the intricately decorated mirror palace Sheesh Mahal and the beautiful Sukh Mahal. The Ganesh Pol gate is a prime example of the fort’s Hindu-Muslim architectural blend.
After Amer Fort, make your way to Jaigarh Fort, located on Aravalli Hills above Amber Fort. (if you are feeling tired, you can opt to visit Jaigarh Fort on day 3 morning instead.)
- Built-in 1726 to protect Amber Fort, highlights include Jaivana cannon and a museum with Rajput/Mughal artefacts
- Takes 2-3 hours to explore the fort
- Best to visit between 9 am-12 pm to avoid the hot sun
- Wear comfortable shoes for climbing uphill to the fort
- On your drive back towards Jaipur, stop at the Panna Meena ka Kund, an elaborate 16th century stepwell near Amer Fort. Next make a quick photo stop at the scenic Jal Mahal palace that seems to float on Man Sagar Lake.
- In the afternoon, wander through the landscaped gardens and cenotaphs at Gaitore, the cremation site for Jaipur royalty.
- Later, rest up at your hotel before heading out again in the evening.
- Spend your evening exploring the bustling local bazaars. The colorful Bapu Bazaar is renowned for its textiles, embroidered juttis, and camel leather accessories.
- Nehru Bazaar is great for ethnic clothing, handicrafts, and traditional puppets and toys. Stop at Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar to indulge your sweet tooth with some authentic Indian sweets and snacks.
- End your night at the stunning Birla Mandir temple made of white marble. The temple is open from 5am-12pm and 4pm-9pm. Visit after sunset to see this ornate temple beautifully lit up against the night sky.
On your last day, dive into Jaipur’s famous shopping at the Johari Bazaar.
- The liveliest time is from 10am onwards. Take your time browsing all five stories of this historic jewellery market housing over 400 years of sparkling gems, gold, silver and precious stones.
- Authentic Jaipuri jewellery starts from around INR 300 and goes up to lakhs for precious stone pieces.
- Be sure to bargain politely for the best price. Look for traditional lac bangles studded with stones.
- Spend a leisurely afternoon at the Albert Hall Museum, an ornate building modelled after a Venetian Gothic palace. Wander around the courtyard and climb the grand staircase to view the impressive collection of Egyptian mummies, Murals, paintings, carpets, ivory, stone and metal sculptures amongst other objects – many from the ruling days of the Maharajahs.
- The museum is open from 9 am-5 pm. Allow 1-2 hours to explore the exhibits in detail. Guides are available if you want a more informative tour.
- Round off your final evening with a relaxing stroll through the lush Central Park, located right in the heart of Jaipur. Sit by the fountains or stop at one of the cafes while soaking in the beauty all around you.
- As the sun begins to set, treat yourself to a meal at the rooftop restaurant Peacock Rooftop Restaurant at Hotel Pearl Palace. Dine under the stars while admiring the glittering lights of Jaipur stretched out before you.
- Finally, take one last walk through the bustling food and flower market around the park before heading back to your hotel, concluding your wonderful 3 days in the Pink City.
Tips for Visiting Jaipur
- The best time to visit Jaipur is during the cooler months between October to March. Summers can be very hot.
- Drink lots of water and wear sunblock, hat, and sunglasses to stay protected from the sun.
- Leave ample time to get from place to place as traffic can get congested
- For clothing, cover bare shoulders and legs when visiting temples and monuments.
- Always bargain politely when shopping in bazaars – start at about 40% of the quoted price.
- Stay alert for pickpockets and touts in crowded tourist spots.
- Check for festival dates if you want to experience Jaipur’s vibrant culture and traditions at their best.
With its colourful bazaars, iconic monuments, and warm welcoming people, Jaipur truly encapsulates the splendour of Rajasthan. Follow this recommended 3-day itinerary to experience the Pink City in all its glory!
Other Things to See in Jaipur
- If you have extra time before flying out, visit Patrika Gate, a modern arch-shaped monument located near the airport.
- City Park – a nice spot for a morning walk or to enjoy a snack from the food stalls.
- Apps to have on your phone when visiting Jaipur:
- Uber/Ola – for transportation
- Google Maps – to navigate the city
- XE Currency – to convert money
- Zomato/TripAdvisor – to find restaurants and reviews
- Audio Compass – for self-guided audio tours of monuments
- Rajasthan Tourism app – for info on attractions, festivals etc.