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With grand palaces, buzzing streets and historical city walls, Jaipur also called the pink city, is the perfect spot as a part of a larger North India tour. It is the most complex and largest of the cities in Rajasthan. Its modern offerings, juxtaposed with centuries-old institutions and bazaar makes it a heaven for design junkies and foodies. We can experience the boom in contemporary cafes and bars and upscale textiles and clothing boutiques.
What to do
We can spend a few hours touring the opulent city palace, where we can take in the intricately carved arches, chandleries and marble of the Diwan-i-Khas gallery. We can wait in the line if we want to snap a selfie in front of one of the four elaborate doorways of the Pitam Niwas Chowk. Then we can go to Chandra Mahal which includes a guide and access to the divine Sukh Niwas room.
Experience Bollywood with a crowd
We can snack on popcorn and take in the scene of hundreds of moviegoers oohing and aahing along to popular Bollywood movies at the Art Deco Raj Mandir Theatre. It is worth buying tickets for at least a few hours in advance for new releases.
Climb to the top of the fort
The 30-minute ride from the city centre to Amer Fort is worth the effort. The complex of palaces and fortified structures, which is more than 400 years old, shimmers with exquisite sandstone and marbles. There are rooms decked out with gold, silver and mirrored-tile mosaics. We can search out the silver door leading to the Sila Devi temple and walk or take a rickshaw up from the bottom of the fort to the main gate.
Where to stay
With traditional Rajasthani architecture, thick carved arches and colourful glass windows, a sleek pool and updated bathrooms, the Samode Haveli provides great value for palatial feeling quarters within the Old City.
Hotel Pearl Palace provides a comfortable getaway with quirky, cheery rooms for a variety of budgets. There are options for singles, non-air-conditioned rooms, doubles and suites. It is a hotspot for hip tourists from around India and the world.
With the modern rooms and a Europe meets India vibe, the Zostel Hostel is ideal for those on a tight budget. It is a centrally located hotel sown the street from Hawa Mahal.
Where to eat
Caffe Palladio serves up the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern specialities in a gorgeous dining room that feel like a sunny conservatory. We can stop here for refreshing ice tea or a crisp salad. Lakshmi Mishtan Bhandar is located near the Johari Bazaar and has been around for nearly 300 years. It is famous for deep-fried savoury snacks and sweet desserts. Street food is a way of life in India and there are plenty of places to nosh on local specialities.