Have you visited Amber Fort and the Royal Palace already? Or are you simply looking to visit somewhere without herds of tourists? If so, you’re in the right place! Check out this off the beaten track Jaipur itinerary. Find Jaipur’s hidden gems right here.
Jaipur itinerary – Off the beaten track
Cafe facing the Hawa Mahal (Wind Temple)
Start this itinerary in the heart of Jaipur, at Hawa Mahal. Hawa Mahal is a pink palace in the centre of Jaipur. As Karl Pilkington once said, “You’re better off living in the hole looking at the palace than living in the palace and looking at the hole.” The same can be said about Hawa Mahal. For this exact reason, we chose to not pay the 200 Rupees ($2.81) entrance fee to go inside.
Instead, we admired the beauty of this building from a nice rooftop cafe, whilst enjoying tea and biscuits. There are a few cafes to choose from. Of course, the price of tea is double the price that you would pay on the streets, but you do get the privilege of an amazing view. We ordered a pot of tea and 2 biscuits for 120 Rupees ($1.69).
Jal Malah is a palace in the centre of Man Sagar Lake. To get to Jal Mahal you can take a local bus from the corner of Hawa Mahal (the Wind Palace). The bus heads towards Amber Fort, so if you’re planning to go to Amber Fort, this is a great off-the-beaten-track stop to make along the way. It’s a nice place to sit overlooking the lake, whilst feeding the fish and ducks. You can buy food from the sellers along the promenade. Jake enjoyed throwing pieces of stale bread left by other visitors, but the fish were having none of it because a man next to us was throwing whole slices of bread. Jal Mahal is FREE to visit!
From Jal Mahal, hop into a tuk-tuk to the Royal Gaitor, which lies at the foot of Nahargarh Fort. We loved strolling around this little garden tucked away in a quiet area. Not even the tuk-tuk drivers understood where we were asking to go. We had to direct them ourselves using maps.me. We’re so glad we made the detour to this place as the architecture is simply stunning. It’s situated on very quiet grounds and we got some fantastic photos. The entrance is just 30 Rupees ($0.42).
Finally, end this off-the-beaten-track Jaipur itinerary at Birla Mandir; a pretty white temple situated a few kilometres south of the city centre. You only need 20 minutes to visit the temple because it’s rather small. However, it’s still a beautiful place to see the locals carry out their daily prayers. Afterwards, you can have a snack at the many food stalls outside of the temple grounds. Birla Mandir is FREE to visit.
Need more inspiration to visit Jaipur? Jaipur has something for everyone!
Why we skipped the tourist attractions in Jaipur
Recently, we’ve had a shift in the way we travel. There once was a time when we HAD TO visit every top attraction on the list no matter the cost and effort to get there. From the Taj Mahal, and the Great Wall of China, to Chernobyl in Ukraine, we wanted to see it all! However, 18 countries later and 2 years away from home, we have come to realise that travel is much more than just the main recommended tourist attractions.
For now, at least, we enjoy just being away. Exploring freely with no plans, experiencing being around locals, tucking into local cuisines, and wandering to whatever we stumble upon. Of course, we still like to visit some major tourist attractions, but we no longer have the urge and strong desire to tick each one off the list. That’s why we decided to skip the “Insta famous” Amber Fort and Royal Palace in favour of these incredible hidden gems.
Where to stay in Jaipur
Villa 243 – Villa 243 is a small boutique hotel situated outside of the hustle and bustle of Jaipur. It’s the perfect couples retreat! The villa boasts an on-site masseuse, a rooftop pool and restaurant, taxi services, and sky television. The design and decor are modern and contemporary.
Villa 243 is run by Mr Abhi and his very helpful staff. They welcomed us with a marigold necklace and made sure our stay was comfortable. We had a little trouble with the WiFi, due to a recent storm, but the staff went out of their way to get us reconnected.
Villa 243 is located a 5-minute walk from Vivek Vihar Subway Station, which is well connected to Chandpole Station. The subway ride is just 20 minutes to Chandpole in the clean and air-conditioned carriages. There is also a mall nearby with plenty of places to eat.
Backpacker Panda Stephels – If you’re looking for a more central and lively location, check out Backpacker Panda. They have both dorm rooms and private rooms to choose from. The hostel is very clean and decorated with colourful art. The staff are also very welcoming and accommodating. The manager even took Katie’s ripped pants and stitched them for her, free of charge.
For more prices and deals on properties in Jaipur, CLICK HERE.
Essential resources for travelling in India
Travel Insurance – No matter where you’re travelling to, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re covered for any accidents or losses. We spent days and weeks searching for insurance, but most insurers would not allow us to take out a policy as we were already abroad. Our personal choice is Safteywing. You can opt for automatic monthly payments, just like a subscription. More importantly, it is available in 180 countries and can be purchased whilst already travelling. There is no cap on the duration of travel.
Visa – Before you travel to any country, make sure to check if you need a visa. iVisa is a fantastic website that is super easy and quick to use. Just type in where you are from. and where you are going. to check if you need a visa. If you do, you can quickly make an application online.
Accommodation – Booking.com is our go-to when looking to pre-book accommodation online. Booking.com tend to almost always have the best rates and a FREE cancellation policy for most properties.
Overland transport – Our go-to website for overland transport is Bookaway. Bookaway offers multiple forms of transport, from buses, mini-vans, trains, and ferries. The routes on offer are extensive and certainly cover most of the backpacker trails. Bookaway works a little like Skyscanner but for overland transport. You will find plenty of transport options from a range of companies. All you simply need to do is book online and receive your ticket by email. The email will contain essential information, such as where the bus leaves from and departure and arrival times.
Tours & Activities – If you want to book tours and activities online, make sure to check out Get Your Guide. Get Your Guide takes the stress out of booking activities abroad. You will also find a range of benefits, such as skip-the-line passes, lunch included in your tours, and so much more.
Travel tips ebook -Before you head off on your adventure, make sure to download our free ebook. It has a whopping 109 budget travel tips to help you make your hard-earned cash go further. Click here to download your FREE ebook.
There you have it guys! We hope you enjoyed reading this off-the-beaten-track Jaipur itinerary. It’s nice to get away from the crowds of tourists sometimes, in favour of exploring the hidden gems. Not only do you have the places to yourself, but there are also more opportunities to connect with the locals too.
Is the next stop on your itinerary Pushkar? Then don’t miss this awesome flower tour.
Like this Jaipur itinerary? Pin it!
*We were hosted complimentary by Backpacker Panda and Villa 243. All opinions are our own, based on our experience.*