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Authored by Shweta Singhal 

The tag of ‘the most romantic spot on the continent of India’ sits well on Udaipur. Formerly the capital of the Mewar Kingdom, it is known as the city of lakes and palaces; a city in the western Indian state of Rajasthan set around a series of shimmering lakes and known for its lavish royal residences.

It is a city which exudes romance and luxury; majestic palaces sit against a backdrop of craggy green hills, whitewashed havelis and bathing ghats are clustered around the waters of the lake, and bustling bazaars and tempting food only add to the city’s natural charms.

Old-world charm and hospitality make Udaipur one of India’s top destinations for the discerning traveller. The city is “far from unspoilt or undiscovered, though remains a richly rewarding place to visit”. While many people spend at least a week, it is possible to take in the main attractions of Udaipur in just a couple of days. Here are the best places to visit.

Places to Visit in Udaipur, India

City Palace & Museum

This is the largest palace in Rajasthan and a must-visit on your Udaipur visit. It was constructed by Maharana Udai Singh II, the city’s founder in 1599. Several smaller palaces and extensions were added by later kings.

Its imposing facade overlooks the serene Lake Pichola, which makes for stunning photo opportunities. You can enter the complex through Badi Pol at the northern end, or the Sheetla Mata Gate to the south. You need to buy tickets to the City Palace Museum, which is available at both entrances.

Wear sensible shoes. The Palace is built on several levels, and the old-construction stairs are steep, especially for kids. I had visited this complex with my 2-year-old daughter, and I needed to pick her up several times during the excursion.

The Museum is nothing but the main Palace; think lavish rooms with varied artefacts and historical paintings, pretty courtyards with gardens and fountains and stellar views of the city.

City Palace Udaipur

City Palace Udaipur

Photo credits from top: miquitos / rusticus80 via Flickr

Vintage Car Museum

The vintage car collection belonging to the royal family is a treat for eyes.

Some of the treats include a 1938 Cadillac with curtains, a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom used in the Bond film Octopussy, and the Cadillac convertible that was used by Queen Elizabeth II to go to the airport in 1961.

After seeing the collection of 22 splendid vehicles, enjoy a vegetarian thali (local food with several dishes served on a large plate) at the Garden hotel within the complex.

Lake Pichola

Thanks to the foresight of the city’s founder, Udaipur is one of the greenest cities in Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Singh II organized for the lake to be enlarged with the foundation of the city.

Taking a boat ride on Lake Pichola with the view of the City Palace on one side, and Jagniwas island (now Taj Lake Palace) on the other is a fabulous way to spend an evening. Sunset excursions are popular with couples and families.

Udaipur has several other large lakes, and you might consider an excursion to Lake Fatehsagar or the Jaisamand Lake or the Udai Sagar Lake.

The Leela Palace Udaipur

Leela Palace by gags9999 via Flickr.

Jagmandir Island

The palace on Jagmandir Island was built by Maharana Karan Singh II in 1620. The royal family used the palace as its summer resort and for hosting parties. It has been partly converted into a hotel now.

If you take a boat ride on Lake Pichola from Rameshwar Ghat within the City Palace complex, it makes a stop at Jagmandir Island. You can see palace built on the island at leisure, and take a boat back.

 Jagmandir Island India

 Jagmandir Island India

Photo credits from top: Dennis Jarvis / Henrik Bennetsen

Monsoon Palace or Sajjan Garh

This 19th century palace is located just outside Udaipur, and offers panoramic views of the city and the area around it.

It was constructed by Maharana Sajjan Singh originally as an astronomical centre, and later became a monsoon palace and hunting lodge. Sunset is a good time to visit this site for the city views.

Bagore-ki-Haveli

Bagore-ki-Haveli is located by Lake Pichola, at Gangaur Ghat. This 18-century Haveli is massive and has138 rooms set around courtyards.

The rooms display period photos of Udaipur, cultural artefacts, wonderful costumes and local art.

Bagore Ki Haveli

Udaipur, Dharohar ("heritage"), Rajasthani folk dancing in Bagore Ki Haveli

Photo credits from top: Rini Kothari / Arian Zwegers via Flickr. 

How to Reach Udaipur

There are daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Dabok airport (also known as Maharana Pratap airport) in Udaipur.

Udaipur is well-connected by trains to several cities in India including Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ajmer and Sawai Madhopur. The road network between these cities is also very good.

Where to stay in Udaipur

If uber-luxury is your style, you certainly have come to the right city. Consider The Oberoi Udaivilas; spread over 50 acres, adjacent to Lake Pichola and regularly listed in one of the top hotels in the world. ➡ Check availability.

Or the Taj Lake Palace; the erstwhile pleasure palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II, located on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola. ➡ Check availability.

Udaipur has no dearth of heritage properties. Our favorites include Shiv Niwas Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace, Shikarbadi Hotel, and Amet Haveli. But Udaipur has plenty of budget options as well.

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Shweta is the face behind zestinatote.com; a travelogue which focuses on family & luxury travel, and sees her play several roles; parent to a 6-year-old daughter, adventure enthusiast, and travel blogger.

Follow her blog for family travel tips, ideas on making family travel fun, and recommendations on comfort-to-luxury accommodation. You can also connect on Facebook and Instagram.

    16 Comments

  1. Udaipur looks like an absolutely amazing place to visit. Hubby would love the vintage car museum (not that I wouldn’t as well but that’s his thing). And I would love an evening boat ride on the lake to see all the palaces lit up at night. The ladies dancing in their bright colored clothing is so beautiful. Going to have to add Udaipur to the bucket list.

    • Doesn’t it just! After publishing Shweta’s guest post I can’t wait to travel here too!

  2. Fantastic post covering the best places in Udaipur. I went to Udaipur when I was quite young and did not make to all the places you’ve mentioned here but I do remember going to lake for an evening stroll and dining at a cliff top restaurant with a lovely view of the city. Rajasthan has some of the most amazing forts and palaces such as the city palace but i did not know they had a vintage car museum as well. Interesting!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Medha! Maybe at some stage you’ll be able to visit again and relive the memories from your first trip 🙂

  3. Udaipur looks like a dream! We unfortunately weren’t able to visit due to time last time we were in India but it is on our list for when we return. There’s so much to see in India, I know well have to return again. Probably more than once!

    • Doesn’t it!! There really is so much to see in India – I swear you could spend a lifetime … or two!! Hope you do have the chance to include Udaipur on your next trip 🙂

  4. I plan for years to go to India and Udaipur was on my list. I did not know, however, that it had so much more to offer and it is the greenest city in Rajastan. Now I have an even greater urge to go there 😀

    • Hope you have the chance to travel soon! So glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  5. So Darcee & I stayed in Udaipur for just one night while racing in the Rickshaw run but we got there early and left late the next day because it was just soo cool!
    I love that it was a James Bond city but overall it was just a cool city overall. We loved dining on the rooftop overlooking the lake and before we left we spent some time exploring the city palace which was so beautiful. We both agreed that Udaipur is a must return to city to spend more time there exploring!

    • So glad you enjoyed the time you had in Udaipur Eric, it sounds like you packed in quite a lot in the limited time you had (side note, the rickshaw run sounds so cool!). Hope you have the chance to return again soon!

  6. Hi
    Very nice post
    Keep up the good stuf

    • Thankyou Umar, glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 Happy travels!

  7. Udaipur is really beautiful especially the Musuem and Leela palace. I had to check google for more pictures. So magical. Catching up with sunset views at Monsoon palace sounds nice too. Thanks for the guide to Udaipur

    • Glad you enjoyed it Lydia! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions when you go to plan a trip 🙂

  8. So many regal palaces with beautiful views.

    • There are indeed! Hope you have the chance to visit Udaipur soon 🙂

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