Things to do in Hyderabad – A destination guide
Hyderabad, the land of Nizams, has always charmed us with its beauty and grace. Although the city has grown by leaps and bounds with the boom in the IT sector, the demographic diversity of Hyderabad makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. We were there in Hyderabad during the Ramadan festival just before the Eid and thoroughly enjoyed our stay there with the festivity the city offered during the holy season. As we explored the entire city during a period of 1 week, we present to you the Things to do in Hyderabad – A destination guide. We shall be talking about the places to visit in Hyderabad, hotels in Hyderabad, our experiences from our stay at two different properties and also the best food of Hyderabad in this travelogue.
How to reach Hyderabad:
Being the capital of Telangana, Hyderabad is well connected via train, bus and air from all major cities of the country and abroad. There are numerous flights from New Delhi to Hyderabad all throughout the day. However, if you are staying closer to Hyderabad, you may also plan a visit to this city via a train or a bus. An overnight journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad via bus or train can easily be planned.
Best time to visit Hyderabad:
Winters are the best time to visit Hyderabad. Starting from October till the end of February the climate is mostly pleasant in the city with cloudy skies. Hyderabad can be really hot during the summers and it may be difficult to visit the historical monuments in the scorching heat. Monsoons are also a good time to visit Hyderabad as there is almost no humidity during this season. As we were there during Ramadan festival, just before Eid, the city was at a very festive note. The city lives up to the spirit of festivals with eateries and markets opened till wee hours in the morning.
PLACES TO VISIT IN HYDERABAD
Hyderabad is a city which is historically and architecturally rich. Known for its palaces and museums, there is a lot of sightseeing in Hyderabad to be done. Here are a few prominent tourist places in Hyderabad you shouldn’t miss.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hyderabad, the Charminar as the name suggests is a historical structure comprising of four minarets. The world famous monument has been in existence over 400 years and hosts a mosque on the top floor. The area around the Charminar is bustling with both locals and tourists as it is famous for the eateries and shops around it. Located in the old Hyderabad area, this can easily be reached by a local transport or a private taxi.
Operational Hours: 9:00am-5: 30 pm, if you wish to go on top of the Charminar to get a view of the Laad Bazar, Mecca Mosque and the entire city.
Entry Fee: 5INR for Indians and 100INR for foreign nationals
Travel Tip: Not recommended for claustrophobic people as the stairs that lead to the top are quite narrow and dark.
The fort also known as the Golkonda Quilla was once popular for the mines around it which had produced gems like the Kohinoor. The fort comprises of four smaller forts with a number of mosques and temples inside it. The fort is currently in ruins but still is an important monument in the history of the city. This is also one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hyderabad and is surrounded by mosques in the vicinity. The light and sound show conducted at the Golkonda Fort is also one of the major attractions of this historical monument.
Operational Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm
Entry Fee: 80INR (adult) and 60INR (child) for Indians and 200INR for foreign nationals
Camera Fee: 25INR per camera for still photography
Travel Tip: Although Hyderabad is a very safe and peaceful city, solo women travelers are advised to attend the Light and Sound Show with caution as it is quite dark during that period.
SALAR JUNG MUSEUM:
One of the largest museums of our country, the Salar Jung Museum is located on the banks of the river Musi in Hyderabad. This museum is famous for its rarest collection of art, paintings, war artifacts and glass paintings amongst others. This is definitely one of the best and well-kept museums we have been to. This museum houses the world-famous Veiled Rebecca, a statue by an Italian sculptor G.B. Benzoni and the double-figure wooden statue of a man and woman. The museum is a must visit if you are in Hyderabad as you will love the rare collection of art displayed in the various galleries. The museum is also known as the world’s largest collection of antiques by one-man. There are also audio guides available in various languages for a better understanding of the collection and artifacts.
Operational Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm (Friday closed)
Entry Fee: 20INR for Indians and 500INR for foreign nationals
Camera Fee: 50INR per camera for still photography
The lake which separates Hyderabad from its twin-city Secunderabad has been one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Hyderabad. This lake provides a very soothing effect to the hustle of the city and is flocked by both tourists and locals especially during the evenings. The lake is surrounded by shopping malls, multiplexes and eateries and thus proves to be a good hangout spot. The lake also has a large statue of Lord Buddha in the center which gives it a very serene outlook. The lake has the Lumbini Park at one end which also serves as the jetty point to take you to the center of the lake near the statue. The boats stop there for 3-5 mins to have a closer look at the statue. The heart shape structure of this lake makes it a Heart of the World!
Operational Hours: 8:00am-10:00pm
Entry Fee for Lumbini Park: 10INR for Indians
Travel Tip: Advisable to visit either early morning or late in the evening for the laser show.
Birla Temple Hyderabad is one of the many temples built by the Birla family throughout our country. Based on the similar lines of White Marble architecture, this temple is famous for its architectural marvel and grandeur. The temple has the main idol of Lord Venkateshwara and has other idols of all Hindu Gods and Goddesses along with Sai Baba. The beauty of this temple is that it is open to all as they believe that all human beings are equal. The temple is located at a distance of approximately 15kms from the HiTec city and can be easily reached by local or private transport.
Operational Hours: 7:00am-12:00noon and 3:00pm-9:00pm
Entry Fee: None
Travel Tip: You are not allowed to carry phone, wallets or handbags inside the temple so it is advisable to plan the visit accordingly or leave them in your car.
One of the most Instrgrammable places in Hyderabad, the Taramati Baradari is a court used mostly for shooting purposes. The grand architecture of this Baradari and the view of the city from this place make it a definite stopover during the city tour. The Baradari is located close to the Golkonda Fort.
Operational Hours: 11:00am-5:00pm
Entry Fee: 80 INR for Indians and 200 for Foreign Nationals
Camera Fee: 100INR for video cameras and 50INR for still cameras
Travel Tip: DSLRs are strictly prohibited, only phones and point and shoot cameras allowed
Located near the Charminar area, the Chowmahalla Palace means four palaces used during the Nizam era. These were the palaces of the Nizams and also served as their official residence during their reign. The palace consists of courtyards, fountains and gardens and is known for its architectural excellence. This can definitely be on the list of places to visit in Hyderabad during your day city tour.
Operational Hours: 10:00am-6:00pm
Entry Fee: None
Travel Tip: Videography is strictly prohibited. The security guards will not allow you to take many pictures.
QUTUB SHAHI TOMBS:
The Qutub Shahi Tombs are located very close to the Golconda Fort and were built during the Qutub dynasty to mark seven tombs each for one member of the family. The tomb varies in size and are built beautifully with grey granite and has been promoted by the Hyderabad Tourism for its splendid architecture.
Operational Hours: 9:30am-4:30pm (Friday closed)
Entry Fee: 10 INR for Indians
Camera Fee: 20INR for still photography
Travel Tip: Qutub Shahi, Taramati Baradari and Golkonda Fort can be clubbed and visited together as they are in the close proximity of each other.
PLACES TO EAT IN HYDERABAD
Hyderabad is considered to be a foodie’s paradise and if you are a non-vegetarian lover then you have come just to the right place. Apart from the world famous Hyderabadi Biryani, the city treats you to various other delicacies like the Haleem, Nalli-Nihari, some flavorsome juices and the famous Irani Chai. While we were in Hyderabad during the Ramadan festival, we happened to explore a few food joints during a food-walk conducted by us at midnight. Here are some of the favorite eating options in the city.
One of the most famous cafes in Hyderabad, the Nimrah Café is located right next to the Charminar. The place is famous for its Irani Tea and Osmania Biscuits. We tried both and were really happy the way the biscuits were served to us. It was actually the crunchiest biscuit we ever had as it was prepared right then. The Irani Tea here actually stands by the name and has a distinctive flavor. A must visit for everyone visiting the Charminar.
MILAN JUICE CENTRE:
This is also located in the Charminar area and helps you with a lot of relishing options in fresh juices and shakes. Not much to do with the ambiance, this place is famous for its mango malai and berries.
Ever heard of Haleem in Hyderabad? A well-cooked veg and non-veg dish prepared with wheat, barley, lentils and spices is a craze in this city. Haleem is served the best at the Pista House which has numerous outlets throughout the city. Pista house is also known for its biryani and sweets but one should definitely not miss the Haleem here.
Al-Akbar Fast Food Corner:
During the Ramadan food walk, we also visited the Al-Akbar fast food corner. Located in the Charminar area, this joint is famous for its Chicken65 and Ulte tave ka paratha. This place is heavily crowded during the Ramadan season but the service here makes it worth it.
Matwale Doodh Ghar:
This place is known for the Lassi and Falooda served here. The lassi here is rightly balanced with the good amount of sweetness and can be tried if you feel like having something heavy and liquid when in the Charminar area.
Last but not the least, one should not leave Hyderabad before trying the world famous Hyderabadi Biryani. Although you may find biryani at almost every nook and corner of this city, the famous ones are the Hotel Shadab and Shah Ghouse Café and restaurant. You can read more about Saumya’s biryani trail through Hyderabad here.
PLACES TO STAY IN HYDERABAD
Hyderabad begin one of the most promising IT city of our country has a plethora of stay options when it comes to hotels, resorts or guesthouses. While most of the hotels are located in the HiTec City and Somajiguda area, like the Park, others close to the airport make it an easier choice for a transit hotel. During our visit to cover the Ramadan in Hyderabad, we stayed with two properties and explored the city
1) The Trident, Hyderabad: Coming from the family of Oberois, the Trident, Hyderabad can be your best luxury stay option. This hotel has the best of everything from the food to the location as it is right in the center of the HiTec City. The in-house restaurants at the Trident namely Amara, Tuscany and Kanak specialize in different cuisines and make your stay blissful. Read the complete review about the Trident here.
2) Novotel Hyderabad Airport: Novotel Hyderabad Airport is undoubtedly the most preferred hotel in Hyderabad when it comes to convenience. Located right next to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Novotel Hyderabad Airport offers luxury services at very competitive tariffs. During the two days of our stay here, we enjoyed the best of hospitality, food and luxury along with some relaxing spa session. More in detail about our experiences here.
So this was a complete destination guide to the city of Hyderabad where we tried to cover almost all the important places to visit, food to relish and the best time to visit the city. We hope this shall help you in planning your visit to the city in a better way.
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