Amritsar Travel Guide – Places to visit, eat and more
Amritsar, the city of Golden Temple, is one of the most important cities in India. Located in the Indian state of Punjab, this city holds a very important place in the history of our country. Amritsar was one of the key players in the war of independence and has seen it all during the pre-partition period. Amritsar is also one of the most spiritual and holy places when it comes to connecting with the Almighty. There are many temples and Gurudwaras in Amritsar, the most important one being the Golden Temple. This city is also known as a foodies paradise and has some of the best places to eat in Amritsar. So here’s an Amritsar Travel Guide, know all about places to visit, eat and more. We have focused on planning this itinerary from New Delhi and we stayed with the PR Residency in the Ranjit Avenue in Amritsar. More details about the places to stay in Amritsar and our experiences with the PR Residency is shared later in this itinerary.
Amritsar is located in Punjab at a distance of approximately 470 km from New Delhi. The city is well connected via road, rail and buses. Average driving time from New Delhi will be around 8 hours covering cities like Ludhiana and Jalandhar.
How to reach Amritsar:
- Book a train/Volvo for Friday night from New Delhi to Amritsar
- Reach Amritsar early morning between 8-9 am on Saturday.
- Check into your hotel and quickly move out to explore the eateries for a yummy breakfast.
- Have breakfast at Kanha sweets located in Dayanand Nagar in Amritsar.
- Head out to Jallianwala Bagh and the Partition Museum.
- Visit the Golden Temple (one of the most peaceful places in Amritsar)
- Have lunch at Kesar da Dhaba at Chowk Passian, the old market near Telephone Exchange.
- Proceed for Atari-Wagah Border to witness the retreat ceremony.
- Return to Giani Tea stall for evening tea. Also, have delicious evening snacks at Brijwasi Chat Bhandar.
- End your day with melt in the mouth fishes at the Makhan Fish and Chicken Corner.
- Start your day early with a sunrise at the Golden Temple.
- Head out to Ashok Kumar Kulche Wala in Ranjit Avenue for a sumptuous breakfast.
- Move to Gobindgarh Fort, the historic fort in Amritsar to take a walk down the memory lane.
- Visit the Durgiyana Temple, one of the oldest and most popular in the city. The temple is popular among both the local and tourists for their belief in Goddess Durga.
- There is also a Hanuman Temple next to the Durgiyana Temple. This temple is famous for couples who wish to have a child or are planning for a family.
- Post the visit to the fort and temples, visit the Beera Chicken house for a delicious lunch. It is located on the Majitha Road opposite the Bhandari Hospital.
- Once done with the lunch, proceed to Lubhaya Ram Aam Papad store at the Lawrence Road for some tangy and sweet aam papad (an Indian candy made of mango pulp, sugar and salt.)
- End the meal with a dessert. Enjoy the fruit cream at Durga’s also at the Lawrence Road.
- Spend the evening again at the Golden Temple. Witness the sun go down and enjoy the sunset followed by a peaceful evening here.
- End your trip post the dinner at any of your favorite eateries tried in the last two days and board your Volvo/train back home.
Places to visit in Amritsar:
Amritsar is a traveler’s heaven. There are a lot of places in and around Amritsar which are famous for its rich history and its role in the Indian struggle of independence. Here are a few places to visit in Amritsar:
One of the most sacred places in Amritsar, the Golden Temple or Sri Harmandir Sahib is a gurudwara and a pilgrimage site for the Sikhs. This temple is one of the most famous temples in the world and has people visiting from all parts of the world. The temple offers free food (langar) to the devotees and it is said that no one sleeps hungry in this house of the lord.
Hours of Operation: 3am-10pm (all day)
A garden next to the temple, Jalianwala Bagh has witnessed one of the darkest and ugliest day in Indian history. A public massacre by the British on the 13th April 1919 at the Jaliawala Bagh led to the killing of thousands of innocent Indians. This garden is famous for the heinous incident and the shaheedikuan (death well in which the people jumped to save themselves). The garden still has the memories of the incident etched on the walls.
Hours of Operation: 6:30am-7:30pm (all day)
Built post the partition of British India into India and Pakistan, the partition museum is located near the Jalianwala Bagh and the Golden Temple. The museum showcases the documents, pieces of evidence and the state of people during the time of partition. The different sections in the museum actually depict the worst of times people have been through during the time of partition. One must visit the partition museum to experience the pain and sufferings of the people.
Hours of Operation: 10am-6pm (all day)
Entry Ticket Cost: Indian-20INR, Foreigners:250INR
Atari Wagah Border:
Located at a distance of only 30kms from Amritsar, the Atari Wagah border is famous for the retreat ceremony which takes place every evening. During this ceremony, the armed forces of both India and Pakistan showcase their strength and valor in an orchestrated manner. The entire stadium is filled with cheers of the crowd and gives you a surge of patriotism. Must visit for every Indian during his visit to Amritsar.
Quick tips for getting the best of the retreat ceremony:
- The ceremony starts at 4:15 pm and lasts till 5:15 pm in winters and starts at 5:15 pm in the summers.
- Please reach here early to get seats near the gates for better visibility.
- The Border Security Forces troops invite the viewers for a song and dance performance before the ceremony, be a part of it.
- The cab fare from Amritsar to Wagah and return is around 800INR for a hatchback car and 1200INR for a compact sedan. Make the best of your negotiation skills to get the best rates.
- Cabs are mostly available outside the Golden Temple where you can find the cab drivers wanting to take you there.
One of the most famous Hindu temples in Amritsar, this temple of Goddess Durga is very popular among the Hindu devotees. The temple is built on the lines of the Golden Temple and has a man-made lake in the premises. You may also visit the Gobindgarh Fort located close the Durgiana Temple for a deeper look into the history.
Shopping in Amritsar:
Amritsar is famous for its work in Phulkari, an Indian tradition for women’s wear. There are many shopping places, especially the old markets. You can find a lot of options for apparels, shoes, gift items and mementos in the Amritsar Downtown market. The Katra Jaimal Singh market is famous for Phulkari dupattas and Punjabi jootis (shoes). You can order a suit cloth from here, give your measurements and the suit will be ready in just an hour’s time. So by the time you explore the Golden Temple and the Jalianwala Bagh, your suit gets ready to make you look beautiful. The market next to the parking area of the Golden Temple and the Jalianwala Bagh is famous for selling miniatures of the Golden Temple and other gift items. However, we found this market to be overpriced probably because of its location.
Places to Stay in Amritsar:
The location of this hotel makes it a perfect choice for the stay as it is just a 10 mins drive from the Railway Station. The in-house cafe of the PR Residency, Cafe Chokolade offers one of the best cappuccino and mocha. The service offered by the hotel is prompt, round the clock and the staff is very courteous and co-operative. The stay at PR Residency is totally worth the money.
Places to eat in Amritsar:
Amritsar being a foodie’s hub, here are a few eateries that should not be missed:
- Breakfast at Kanha Sweets.
- Lunch at Kesar da Dhaba.
- Grilled Fish at Makhan Fish and Chicken Corner, Lawrence Road
- Roasted Chicken at Beera Chicken, Lawrence Road
- Fruit Cream and Pan ice cream at Durga’s, Lawrence Road
- Aam Papad at Lubhaya Ram Aam Papad Centre
- Ginger and Special Mawa Tea and Omelette at Giani’s Tea Stall.
- Chat at Brijwasi Chat Corner
- Chhole Kulche at Ashok Kulche Wala in Ranjeet Avenue.
So, this was our itinerary for Amritsar from Delhi. Amritsar is one city which has a lot to offer for the traveler in you. So, do not wait, just pack your bags and head out to this city of fun, food, frolic and faith.
Have you visited Amritsar in the past? Do share your experiences from this city in the comments below.
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