Hyderabad is gradually becoming one of the most popular cities in India. A magnet for tech companies, the city has undergone a massive transformation in the last decade and continues to develop at a rapid pace. Hyderabad which is better known for its nawabi culture, warm hospitality and scrumptious cuisine packs in a plethora of places for travellers to explore. In the midst of hectic timelines, take out some time and explore the best places to visit in Hyderabad.
Charminar is perhaps one of the most popular places to visit in Hyderabad for its architectural brilliance and historical importance. Located in the old city, Charminar was built by Sultan Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah and was dedicated to his wife. With four pillars or minarets, the Charminar is the centre of attraction in this busy bazaar, especially in the evenings and on Fridays. One can take a tour of Charminar by paying a nominal fee of Rs.5.
It’s best to combine a visit to Charminar with a tour of the popular Laad bazaar. Standing in the midst of busy roads and a bustling market, one is forced to admire the seamless coming together of heritage with development. If you are looking for good lighting to try your hand at photography, we recommend heading here as the sun is setting for mesmerising views of the monument.
One of the top places to visit in Hyderabad, Chowmahalla Palace literally translates to ‘four palaces’. A stunning piece of architecture, it was built in the 18th century. Sprawling across 12 acres, the palace is known for its stunning design and craftsmanship. There are two courtyards which have separate palaces within them.
The southern courtyard is home to four palaces and they are the main attractions here for travellers from across the country. One must not miss a tour of Aftab Mahal which is one of the biggest palaces here and is also the most visited.
Everything from the facade, domes, entrances, arches to the hallways, clock tower and council hall speak of intricate design and if you are an architecture lover, you’ll be pleased with yourself for including this wonder in your list of the best places to visit in Hyderabad. We recommend heading here in the morning to avoid the tourist rush and also to ensure that you have ample time to explore this beauty.
Situated 11km away from the city, Golkonda Fort is one of the most architecturally delightful places to visit in Hyderabad. The fort dates back to the 1600s and has always been the centre of attraction. One of the reasons that the fort is on the list of best places to visit in Hyderabad is because it’s said that the world-famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was stored here.
It’s said that the mines here are known to produce some of the most popular and rare gems including the Darya-i-Noor, the Hope Diamond and of course the famous Koh-i-Noor. If you are heading here during the day, we recommend keeping aside three to fours hours since time seems to pass quickly when one is admiring the fort’s brilliant architecture. Another recommendation would be to head here in the evening when you can admire the breathtaking light and sound show which takes place every day. A big reason that this beautiful fort is one of the most popular places to visit in Hyderabad is because the show is recorded in Amitabh Bachchan's voice. Taking one through the fort’s cultural past, it should definitely be part of all Hyderabad itineraries.
Qutub Shahi Tombs
One of the oldest monuments in Hyderabad, Qutub Shahi Tombs is counted among the most popular places to visit in Hyderabad. With seven tombs of Qutub Shahi rulers, the tombs have elements of Indian and Persian architecture and are a delight for architectural buffs. The sight of these grand tombs under the blue skies is definitely a view you shouldn’t miss.
All tombs support intricate designs and are built using primarily grey granite. The garden surrounding the tombs is among the most popular places to visit in Hyderabad, especially for nature lovers. In fact, locals often come here with picnic baskets to settle in for a lavish picnic. The Qutub Shahi Tombs also serve as the venue for Deccan Festival which is organised by the state. If you are in the city during this time, you must not miss the opportunity to enjoy cultural shows highlighting the art and culture of the city.
Ramoji Film City
Ramoji Film City is synonymous with the city and tourists visiting the city always include this in their itinerary. One of the largest film studios in the world, Ramoji Film City is among the top places to visit in Hyderabad. Sprawling across 2500 acres, this massive film city can fit close to 50 film units.
With a record in the Guinness Book of World Records, Ramoji Film City is located 30km from the city and one can hire a taxi to reach the main area. There are guided tours to explore the entire city which ensure that you don’t miss out on anything important.
If you are travelling with little ones, ensure that Ramoji is on your list of places to visit in Hyderabad. With interesting and elaborate sets including Japanese gardens, London street scenes and Interactive Entertainment, children will have a memorable experience. The film city also has a separate kid park with swings, rides and games which will keep them busy for hours.
Ramoji Film City is counted among the best places to visit in Hyderabad, especially if you are looking for a thrilling experience. For adventure buffs, there are activities such as bungee ejection and movie magic where virtual reality changes the way you experience things – a must-try if it’s your first time here. And for those who’d like to enjoy some live-action, there is a section dedicated to a theatre where artists perform action scenes with perfection – definitely worth your time.
The oldest and the largest mosque in the city, Mecca Masjid is one of the most popular places to visit in Hyderabad for pilgrims. Built by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, the mosque was finally completed in the year 1694. Counted among the four most important attractions in the city, one can visit the mosque any time but we recommend visiting in the evening.
It’s said that the masjid can accommodate almost 10,000 people and one of the reasons that the mosque is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Hyderabad is owing to its architectural brilliance and intricate interiors. It’s important to remember that only Muslims can visit the mosque but if you aren’t from the Islam faith, you can admire the spellbinding facade of the mosque.
The majestic Birla Mandir is a sight to behold and is one of the most important places to visit in Hyderabad. Whether one visits the temple as a devotee or a history buff, the architectural brilliance is bound to render one speechless. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara of Tirumala Tirupati and is situated on top of Naubat Pahad, a 280 feet hill.
The temple's architecture is a mix of South and North Indian temple architecture and is truly a marvel to explore. Honouring the wishes of Swami Ranganathananda from Ramakrishna Ashram, the temple does not have any bells so that people can also meditate here. Sanctified in 1976, it houses statues of various Hindu deities. The temple complex also houses a temple dedicated to Lord Buddha and the walls of the temple are carved with teachings of various saints and passages from the Gurbani.
On the list of top places to visit in Hyderabad, one can visit the temple on all seven days of the week between 7 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 9 pm. Since it is situated on a hill, it provides beautiful views of the city, including the Hussain Sagar Lake. If you plan to visit the temple early in the morning, you'll be greeted with a gentle breeze and the sweet melody of birds. At night, the temple is beautifully illuminated and offers a mesmerising view. As the temple is situated on a hill, one should be prepared for a little hike to reach the temple.
One of the most popular places to visit in Hyderabad, Lumbini Park is the perfect place to relax and at the same time have some fun. The park was made by Hyderabad Urban Development Body in 1994 and is one of the best places to visit in Hyderabad for nature lovers.
Named after the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the park is quite popular among kids and is a must if you are travelling with family. The park is popular for its unique flora, including seasonal flowers and various varieties of cactus. In addition, the park is situated right next to the Hussain Sagar Lake, adding more charm to its beauty.
The park has quite a few rides for kids and also a majestic musical fountain which is among the top attractions in the park. For those who are visiting for the first time, we recommend including the fascinating laser show in your itinerary. The show recreates the history of Hyderabad in 3D and it’s a pleasure to watch.
One of the most attractive places to visit in Hyderabad, one can also try boating and other water sports here. One can head for a boating excursion in the Hussain Sagar Lake using speed boats, ferries or mechanical boats. The park is open from 9 am to 9 pm on all days except Monday. Evenings are the best time to visit the park, as the evening hues of the sky and the glimmer of the lake make a beautiful setting for one to enjoy and admire.
Osman Sagar Lake
The city of Hyderabad has a number of places for one to see. However, the beauty and tranquillity of Osman Sagar Lake make it one of the best places to visit in Hyderabad. The lake, also known as Gandipet, is a reservoir made in 1920 by the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Nizam Mir Osman. The lake covers an approximate area of 46 kilometres.
The lake makes for a perfect spot to enjoy stunning views of the sunset and sunrise and you’ll spot many photographers during this time. Along the lake, there is a garden that houses beautiful trees and plants, giving the feeling that one is far away from the crowd of the city. If you have the time, we recommend heading out for a walk along the lake – an experience to cherish for a long time. One can also enjoy boating in the lake and marvel at its grandeur or settle for a long, leisurely picnic amidst lush greenery.
On the list of most popular places to visit in Hyderabad, one can also spend a night here. For those who are planning an overnight stay, the summer resort of the erstwhile Nizams is a perfect option. Sagar Mahal, as the resort is called, presents great views of the lake and gives you the perfect ambience to unwind. A few good amusement parks are also in the close vicinity of the lake and are a must visit if you are travelling with children. One can fully enjoy the beauty of the lake between October and March, as the weather is cool and perfect for outdoors.
Hussain Sagar Lake
One of the most well-known attractions in the city, Hussain Sagar Lake is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Hyderabad, especially for nature lovers. Said to be Asia’s largest artificial lake, Hussain Sagar Lake promises travellers a memorable experience. Offering travellers and locals a respite from the busy city, it is known for its monolith of Lord Buddha which stands tall in the centre. In fact, the monolith is considered to be one of the tallest of its kind in the world.
One of the most popular places to visit in Hyderabad, the lake connects the two cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad and offers travellers mesmerising views of the city and surrounding gardens. Enveloped by gardens on three sides, the lush greenery and the cool waters of the lake ensure thousands of visitors every week. We recommend heading here in the evening just as the sun is setting or late in the afternoon to enjoy the cool breeze and warm sunshine. One can also head to Eat Street to enjoy a scrumptious lunch or dinner in the midst of surreal beauty.
Another reason why Hussain Sagar Lake is one of the best places to visit in Hyderabad is because United Nations World Tourism Organization declared it as the Heart of the World. With boating, parasailing and other water activities, the lake is also a huge attraction for children and adventure buffs.
India is known for a thriving art and craft community which is different for each state. Every corner of the country has its own unique art style. Shilparamam Craft Village in Hyderabad is a melting pot of various art and craft styles from across the country which make it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Hyderabad. The village is approximately 14 kilometres away from the city and is equally popular among locals as well as travellers. The village is situated among rocks, small waterfalls and sprawling lawns and is spread across 50 acres.
Shilparamam offers a perfect opportunity to step away from the daily grind of city life and enjoy the village experience. For visitors, the craft village offers a multitude of different options to explore. From witnessing artists at work, exploring culture, visiting the craft museum to treating yourself to lip-smacking treats, Shilparaman has something for everyone. It is a paradise for shopping enthusiasts, as one can take home souvenirs as well as handwoven sarees, shawls and handcrafted metal ware. Various cultural performances are held in the village and if you happen to visit around March, you can enjoy the annual art and craft festival which is held during the time. Shilparaman village is open for the public all seven days of the week from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm.
It’s said that if you want to truly experience the energy and vibe of a place, head to its most famous local markets. Laad Bazaar located in the old city, adjacent to the iconic Charminar truly gives one a glimpse into the way of life in Hyderabad. One of the most popular places to visit in Hyderabad for shoppers, it offers everything from popular lac bangles, pearl earrings, ittar to colourful dupattas, traditional footwear and soorma.
Considered to be Hyderabad's oldest markets, Laad Bazaar still has traces of the bygone era and it almost feels like one has entered a different time. One of the most exciting places to visit in Hyderabad, the road is lined with shops on both sides selling popular lac or laad bangles. Made with lacquer, the bangles are adorned with diamonds and other gems and are truly some of the most beautiful lac bangles in India. For those who are looking for pearls, there are umpteen shops, some decade-old, selling different varieties. We do recommend exercising your bargaining skills since sometimes the shopkeepers can quote a higher price.
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