Jaipur, India

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2 Day Guide to Jaipur:

How to see the Pink City for 200 Rupees

Jaipur is home to The Pink City in India. It’s one of the common stops between Delhi and Agra for backpackers along the golden triangle route. Overall we enjoyed our stay, but it was definitely a culture shock and sensory overload to say the least. Our 2 Day Guide to Jaipur will go over the rich cultural experience and the coolest cheap/free things to see.

There are plenty of beautiful things to see in Jaipur like the colorful Patrika Gate, astounding forts, and of course The Pink City. It's worth noting that as a foreigner, you will be required to pay significantly more than an Indian citizen. Though it's not the first time we've experienced blatant price discrimination, it's still frustrating.

That is why our 2 Day Guide to Jaipur will show you how to make the most of the Pink City on a budget. All in all we got to see everything we wanted and only paid 200 Rupees in entrance fees.

Following this 2 day Route of Jaipur will require walking around and admiring some things from afar. If you aren't keen to do Jaipur on a budget this way, we list other options to see the city for 500-1000 Rupees.

Our 2 day Route of Jaipur will require walking around and admiring some things from afar. If you aren't keen to do Jaipur on a budget this way, we list other options to see the city for 500-1000 Rupees.

Our Route of Jaipur

We really didn't want to spend 1500 (over $21 USD) to see all the things offered with the composite tickets. Instead, we were determined to see Jaipur on a budget so we decided to start at the northern most point in the city and work our way south. This route of Jaipur can easily be done in 2-3 days, but we would suggest moving in one direction to cut down on travel costs.

Price: Indian/Foreigner (₹50/200)*

Includes: 1) Kheri Gate, 2) Amer Fort Overlook, 3) Jaipur Step Well, 4) Nahargarh Fort, 5) Jal Mahal, 6) Hawa Mahal, 7) City Palace Gate, 8) Patrika Gate

*Disclaimer: We didn't actually go inside Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, or City Palace. After 4 months in Asia we were fed up with overpaying for things and didn't feel like dealing with the crowds. Nonetheless, we felt like we got a better view of Amer Fort and Hawa Mahal from our own little tour, plus we avoided some major crowds.

If you want to actually go inside all of the attractions, below are a couple other options to make a route of Jaipur. The guys at our hostel, Wanderers Nest, they told us about a “composite ticket” that could be purchased to see a lot of touristic sites in the city. Prices vary between 500-1,000 Rupees for foreigners ($7.15-14.30 USD). According to Lonely Planet each ticket is valid for 2 days from the time of purchase. Below are the prices and locations included in each composite ticket.

  • Option 1:
  • Option 2:
    • Includes: Entry to the City Palace, Royal Gaitor, Cenotaphs of the Maharanis and Jaigarh
      Cost: Indian/Foreigner ₹190/₹500

Day 1: Gates, Forts, and Stairs

Our 2 Day Jaipur Guide starts off at Amer Fort. After making our way there, we got out of the Uber too soon and stumbled upon Kheri Gate. It was actually a blessing in disguise because there wasn't a soul in sight here.

It's a great spot to shoot a few photos, despite it being so hot and dry. If you climb the stairs to Kheri Gate and continue left you will reach a guard tower along the wall. The top of the tower boasts a grand view of both Amer Palace and Jaigarh Fort.

Kheri Gate

Foreigner Cost: Free!

Hours: Open 24 Hours

Kheri Gate Jaipur India

Amer Fort

Foreigner Cost: 200 Rupees ($2.85 USD)

How to see for Free: Climb the surrounding walls from Kheri Gate

Amer Fort Jaipur India

We caught a glimpse inside Amer Fort which was already packed by late morning. Knowing foreigners are charged 200 Rupee ($2.85 USD) for the entrance fee, we opted out of going inside. We had a free unobstructed view inside the fort with nobody around, can't beat that.

Jaipur Step Well

Foreigner Cost: Free!

Hours: Open 24 Hours

You've most likely seen pictures of this famous step well on Instagram. It's usually not too crowded but why isn't anybody on the stairs? Well, there are actually security guards posted here during the day preventing people from going down. Apparently nobody is allowed on the steps unless they have obtained written permission from the City Palace. But rumor has it if you tip the guards, they’ll let you walk down quickly when nobody is around.

Step Well Jaipur Guide

On the day we went, the guard told said we would need to pay him 1,000 Rupees ($72 USD) to go down! He was obviously just seeing how much he could get out of a couple of tourists. We heard of other people going down for much cheaper, but didn't feel like trying to negotiate and declined the offer.

Molly had already walked down a row of stairs while he wasn't looking 😉 The guard also told us we couldn’t use our mini tripod on the premises. Be sure to read my Taj Mahal guide where we touch on tripods as well.

Nahargarh Fort

Foreigner Cost: 200 Rupees ($2.85 USD)

Hours: 10:00AM-6:00PM

This is the only attraction we spent money on, but luckily we were only charged 200 Rupees for both of us instead of per person. Nahargarh is similar to Amer Fort, yes, but this is the fort you're going to want to see at sunset. Why? There's truly nothing like the pink sun setting over the city of Jaipur. Imagine the sight below with muffled sounds of the city mixing in the acoustic bowl of the hillside. Truly magical.

Nahargarh-Fort-4--600-4x5-horizontal
Tip: If you have a student ID, the entrance cost is only 50 Rupees ($0.71 USD)!

Normally the entrance cost for foreigners is 200 Rupees/person ($2.85 USD). They will ask you to pay a separate 'entrance fee' if you want to get a view of the sunset/fort from a café. Not worth it. The best views are along the wall itself, free of charge. You know, it’s true what they say, the best things in life are free.

Day 2: Visiting the Pink City

The Pink City in Jaipur is what attracts many tourists here. Just outside the Pink City is Jal Mahal, a palace that gives off the illusion of floating in the middle of a lake. You can get a pretty good view of the palace along the sidewalk of the main road. However, if I had a re-do I probably wouldn’t have gone down there.

It didn’t feel like the safest area and we were getting a lot of stares - not welcoming ones either. Someone even approached Josh and asked, “does she belong to you?” That being said, it was neat to see and there are many markets on the streets in front of the waterfront. It would probably be best to do this sightseeing with a group.

Jal Mahal

Cost: Free!

Hours: Open 24 Hours

Jal Mahal Jaipur India

Hawa Mahal

Foreigner Cost: 200 Rupees ($2.85 USD)

How to see for Free: Get a higher view from Tattoo Cafe across the street

Hawa Mahal Jaipur Guide India

On the contrary, Hawa Mahal is in the heart of the Pink City and is a lot easier to get up close to and safe doing it. It's spectacular - even just from the outside. When we went it was extremely hot and crowded, but what part of India isn't? To be honest, if you want a better view of Hawa Mahal, consider heading to Tattoo Cafe for lunch and sit on the roof for views like the photo above.

While walking around the Pink City is a must do in our 2 Day Jaipur Guide, seeing the City Palace is up for debate. Whether or not you decide to go in, or not, the walk there is worth it in and of itself. The streets are bustling with vendors, goats, cows, locals, and tourists. Leather shops, restaurants, and cafes alike promise a diversity of smells as you make your way toward the City Palace.

The entrance itself is a bit expensive for foreigners, 700 Rupee ($10 USD) - so we opted out. You’ve probably noticed by now the significant price gap between foreigner and Indian prices. This was everywhere in India, and some other places in South East Asia. We had a friend at the hostel who did decide to go inside the museum and said it was quite nice. If you're willing to pay the cost, we would recommend going earlier in the day as it gets quite crowded.

City Palace

Foreigner Cost: 700 Rupees ($10 USD)

How to see for Free: Admire from afar

City Palace Jaipur India

Patrikia Gate

Foreigner Cost: Free!

Hours: Open 24 Hours

City Palace Jaipur India
Patrikia Gate Jaipur India
Patrika Gate 4x5 lr 2- 600 4x5

If you're looking for somewhere a bit less crowded than City Palace, Patrika Gate is stunningly beautiful and free! Yes, earlier in the day is usually better for most places but, fortunately for us, not this one! It wasn’t too crowded when we went around 4:00PM despite google maps telling us otherwise.

Admission is free and I do have to say everyone there was respectable of each other’s space and photography. Of course, some people may want to take photos of you - but that's all over India. Be sure to walk around the garden afterwards, it's lovely.

What to Expect

  • The stare. You’re going to stand out in India so get used to being stared at.
  • Filter your water - if you want to avoid using single use bottles then we would highly recommend filtering the water you drink.
    • These LifeStraw bottles allow you to filter out heavy metals including lead as well as bacteria, parasites, micro plastics, and organic chemical matter like pesticides, and herbicides.
  • Diarrhea is going to happen for the at least your first few days in India. Your stomach is probably not going to be used to the various foods and spices.
    • We suggest taking probiotics daily to help with digestion.
  • The air quality is unhealthy - we recommend getting a decent mask with a filter. A medical (surgeon's) mask will really only prevent you from transmittal of airborne diseases. You'll need something a bit heavier duty to filter out the dust particles and pollutants.
  • You will be approached - some Indians we met were so amazingly nice and kind, others not so much. That's really the case anywhere so be open to those that approach you. However, always keep your wits about you because some people will try to scam or swindle you.
Step Well Expectations - 600 4x5 88kb
  • The air quality is unhealthy - we recommend getting a decent mask with a filter. A medical (surgeon's) mask will really only prevent you from transmittal of airborne diseases. You'll need something a bit heavier duty to filter out the dust particles and pollutants.
  • You will be approached - some Indians we met were so amazingly nice and kind, others not so much. That's really the case anywhere so be open to those that approach you. However, always keep your wits about you because some people will try to scam or swindle you.

Not everybody is as chill as this homeboy workin' all white in the shade. India is totally unlike any place we have been before so leave room for it to surprise you (in a good way). As always, be aware of your surroundings to avoid any bad surprises.

How to get around Jaipur

Getting around Jaipur is actually quite easy and cheap. In our experience, Tuk Tuks are generally more expensive than taxis. However, Uber in India is insanely affordable and there is even an option to choose a Tuk Tuk, which is usually the cheapest option!

Tip: The general rule when estimating Uber costs in India is 10 minutes of travel = ~70 Rupee ($1 USD).

Eating and Helpful Tips

Food: $4 USD will get 1 person an excellent meal

We went to Jaipur Vyanjan nearly everyday for their affordable and delicious lunch platters. Both of us would feel absolutely stuffed with a starter, two entrées, and drinks for $8 USD. It was close to Ganpati Plaza, the 'mall' where we got our SIM cards.

We also highly recommend checking out a McDonalds. It may sound silly but the menu is so drastically different which makes it worth a visit. You won’t find any pork or beef on the menu since India is predominantly Hindu. The one we visited in Jaipur offered a spinach and corn veggie burger, but the gold goes to the Spicy Paneer burger. It was unreal. India truly proved to be a haven for vegetarians.

SIM Cards: We paid $3.45 USD a 28 Day AirTel SIM Card that includes 1.4 GB/day

Ganpati Plaza is the local 'mall' that has tons of shops and SIM cards are super cheap. However, foreigners will need a copy of their passport and a passport sized photo in order to purchase one.

Doctor Visit: $7 USD for a check up and medicine to fix your stomach issues

If you're feeling unwell for a few days and need some medical attention beware there are no minute clinics. Instead, you'll need to go to the hospital. Don't worry, there are small hospitals all over the city and it's where Indians go instead of the doctor. Don't expect the same conditions you're used to at home. Molly couldn't shake a stomach bug so we went to Shubh Hospital - we wouldn’t recommend it for sanitary reasons. It cost about $7 USD to see a doctor (who barely spoke a word of English) and get medicine, so not too terrible.

 

Where to stay in Jaipur

If you're looking to find out where to stay in Jaipur, we can't recommend Wanderer's Nest enough. The guys there are so friendly and accommodating, we felt right at home. Home cooked meals are offered for breakfast and dinner. The staff wants to help you have a great experience and has wonderful advice to share.

We found them using Hostel World but we also use Booking.com to make our reservations. Sometimes we also message hostels directly to get a better price. We also like to use Airbnb to book accommodations if its a better deal than hostels. Clicking on either of the icons will give you a deal with either of the sites, but are affiliate links so we earn a small commission.

Dorms: $2.88+ USD

Private Rooms: $10.11+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Breakfast/Dinner available, Self Catering Facilities, Laundry Facilities, Outdoor terrace, Tours/Travel Desk

Photo Courtesy: Worldly Wander

Dorms: $3.98+ USD

Private Room: $14.46+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, 24 Hr Reception, Laundry Facilities, Outdoor Terrace, Cafe, Meals Available

Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com
Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com

Private Rooms: $12.22+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Free Pickup, Meals Available, Laundry Facilities, Outdoor Terrace, Luggage Storage, Free Parking, Tours/Travel Desk, Café

Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com
Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com

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By |2019-06-07T19:23:48-04:00April 3rd, 2019|Asia, India|0 Comments

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