Hyderabad Travel Guide
Situated in the ‘Silicon Plateau’ region, Hyderabad is a relatively modern city in Southern India. Nonetheless, it boasts many attractions of interest to cultural travellers.
From medieval forts to museums containing treasures from around the world, you’ll stay here longer than anticipated.
Come check out our Hyderabad travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Hyderabad, India.
Begin your sightseeing adventure in Hyderabad by paying a visit to the Golconda Fort. Built in the 17th century by the Qutb Shahi dynasty, it defended some of the world’s richest diamond mines. Indeed, the fortress contained a vault that guarded some of the region’s most valuable gems.
Sadly, Golconda did not have a long life, as the Mughals under Emperor Aurangzeb razed the fortification in 1687. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction. The government restored its ramparts and walls, but many internal structures still lie in ruins.
This potential UNESCO World Heritage Site sprawls over 11 kilometres – if you can, dedicate an entire day to this attraction.
While in Hyderabad, culture hounds will not want to miss checking out the Salar Jung Museum. Named after a family in the city’s ruling class, it features their art and antique collection. Located where the Salar Jung family once called home, it is among the world’s largest museums.
Here, you’ll find paintings, sculptures, ceramics, furniture, carpets, clocks, and much more. Salar Jung III collected these objects during his world travels. This fact means you’ll find artifacts from places like Japan, China, Egypt, Europe, and North America, among other places. For the best possible experience, use a guide. Unlike other attractions, they are available free of charge, as the museum pays them.
Do you want to check out the best temples in Hyderabad? Start by dropping by the Chilkoor Balaji Temple. Built over 500 years ago, it is among the oldest in the region. It is unlike most other Hindu temples in that they do not accept donations. Instead, they ask pilgrims to focus on their devotion to their religion.
More than 75,000 pilgrims visit this temple every week, many of whom pray for visa acceptance to overseas countries. If crowds bother you, try to avoid weekends and holidays.
Birla Mandir is another stunning temple you should visit while in the Hyderabad area. Sat atop a 280-foot tall hill, it stands out from the rest of Hyderabad with its white Rajasthani marble. Builders transported 2000 tons from the north to build this shrine in honour of Lords Venkateswara, Andal, and Padmavati.
As you tour around, you’ll notice messages engraved on the temple walls. These are prayers and the teachings of famed Hindu holy figures that the temple builders hold in high esteem. Be sure to come around the golden hour, as you can enjoy an excellent view of Hyderabad from this temple.
Hyderabad is also home to notable Islamic attractions as well. Charminar is the most prominent of these, as this monument is unique. Built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591, its four minarets is its distinguishing feature. It also has a functioning mosque at its top, above an open-air passageway.
After snapping some photos around this attraction, check out the bazaars in adjacent streets. In this engaging area in Hyderabad, you’ll find plenty of street food, local clothing, and crafts.
See how the noble people of Hyderabad once lived by spending some time at Falaknuma Palace. Once the European-style abode of Hyderabad prime minister Sir Viqar-ul-Umra, it is now a luxury hotel. However, hotel staff still allows visitors to view its common areas on guided tours.
Highlights on this excursion include the dining hall, reception room, and its well-gardened exterior. If you want the full Falaknuma Palace experience, rooms start from 500 USD per night.
Home to Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad is one of the centres of India’s thriving movie industry. At over 2,000 acres in size, the Guinness World Book of Records certified it to be the largest movie studio in the world.
The sound stages and sets of this sprawling complex play host to numerous Bollywood shoots every year. As a visitor, you’ll not only see how this studio shoots films, but you can also indulge in theme park rides as well. With hotels on-site, it is a great place to stay if you’re travelling as a family.
Speaking of which, those travelling with kids may also want to include Nehru Zoological Park in their plans. Part of the community since 1963, it is one of the most popular attractions in Hyderabad. Here, you’ll find a lion and tiger safari, as well as a nocturnal house. The latter feature allows visitors to watch nocturnal animals while active, despite it being during the day.