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Hyderabad

4.0 /5 220 votes

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Best Time: Sep-Mar Read More

Ideal duration: 2-4 days

Nearest Airport: Hyderabad Check Flights

"The City of Nizams"

Hyderabad Tourism

A city of contrasts, Hyderabad exudes an old-world charm of its own with the Old City (Charminar side), Hitech City (Cyberabad) and the other areas lying between the old and the new. The capital and the largest city of Telanaga, Hyderabad is home to stately mosques and noisy bazaars lined parallelly alongside swanky new office buildings and malls, and it is these very contrasts – these glimpses into the city’s rich past with inherent promises of an even better future –that make Hyderabad a city worth visiting. Maybe even more than once.

The city of pearls and biryani, Hyderabad is home to one of the most iconic landmarks - the Charminar. Translating to 'four minarets', the grand edifice is built entirely out of limestone and granite, with four minarets on four sides, each of them facing a different street. The Charminar stands in a labyrinth of lanes crammed with shops, markets, stalls and shoppers - one of the best places to shop for the authentic pearls and relish the tasty biryanis, skewer kebabs and haleem (the smorgasbord of food that Hyderabad is known for).  

The other side of Hyderabad - HiTech City or Cyberabad - is a stark contrast to the Old City. The area teems with grand malls, pulsating clubs, sleek restaurants and hi-rise buildings of the every-growing multinationals. Between the old and new lie the popular city areas of Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills flanked on the northeast by Secunderabad. Hyderabad and Secunderabad together are still referred to as the "twin cities", though they are practically one now. 

Hyderabad pulsates with a spectacular mix of people and traditions. Make a journey through this mind-stirring metropolis and be ready to be amazed, frustrated, confounded and thrilled, all at once!

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History of Hyderabad

Hyderabad, one of the largest princely state established by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 has been enriching its historical values and culture ever since. After a century of Qutb Shahi rule Mughal mushroomed their control over this powerful state. History of the city has had an impact on its traditions, practices, food, clothing and language. During the rule of Asaf Jahi, Nizam of Hyderabad, Deccan region along with Hyderabad reached the summit of progress and development in every sense possible. In the beginning, Nizams ruled as a part of Mughals but later on, they split in order to form an independent kingdom. Nizams exercised their control over potent Hyderabad till Indian independence in 1947. Over the years, Hyderabad has established itself as one of the finest amalgamations of ancient and modern history.

The land of the Nizams has a glorious history laced intrigue. The gorgeous Falaknuma Palace, the Charminar, the Golconda fort are majestic structures from this period of time that certainly merit a visit. The delicious Hyderabadi biriyani came into existence around this time. The Chowmahalla Palace is another stunning heritage structure of this era.

Post-British Era:
The wave of modernization that accompanied the IT boom lent a truly cosmopolitan touch to the city. The splendid Ramoji Film City, the breathtaking Birla Planetarium and Science Museum are attractions that are not to be missed. The stunning Husain Sagar Lake is a fantastic example of a combination of nature's beauty and man's ingenuity.

Shopping in Hyderabad

With jewellery that pleases the eye, handicrafts that woo the artistic you and spices to make your food even more luscious, Hyderabad promises to be a shopping fiesta at for everyone. Shopping in Hyderabad is a wonderful and memorable experience and one that won't leave you disappointed. Most of the famous markets are clustered near the Charminar and each of these markets has a unique charm of its own. Charminar market is famous for its lakh jewellery, black metal showpieces and oxidized jewellery items.
Some of the markets worth visiting are Laad Bazar for the bangles, Moazzam Jahi for the food products, The perfume market, and Sultan Bazar for the accessories. There is also the Begum Bazar which is a wholesale market famous for the gold, silver, dry fruits and household items. If you are looking for some saree shopping, do visit Abids. When in the "City of Pearls" you would have an obvious question - Where to buy pearls in Hyderabad? Some of the most prestigious shops for your jewellery escapade are Mangatrai Pearls and Jewellers, Jagdamba Pearls and Kedarnathji Motiwale. If you are looking for high-end branded shopping there is no dearth of shopping malls in the city. Also, when in Hyderabad, do not forget to buy some famous Karachi Bakery biscuits. The Karachi Bakery has plenty of outlets in the city, almost in every area, including the airport. Furthermore, places like Sindhi colony in Secunderabad and Ameerpet wholesale market are the best to purchase the latest trends in clothing at much cheaper rates. 

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Nightlife in Hyderabad

Hyderabad has an energetic nightlife with plenty of pubs and bars remaining open till the wee hours. The city is capable of delivering you energy so that you can party all night. Like all the major cities in India, Hyderabad offers a hugely diverse collection of clubs and bars. The popular nightspots in Hyderabad are 10 Downing Street, Aqua, MOB, Altitude Lounge Bar, Cuba Libre, The Sky Lounge, Mix - The Westin.and Kismet.
Hyderabad does not have many microbreweries as of now, though the craze is catching up in the city. Some of the breweries are Prost Brew Pub, HyLife Brewing Company, Zero40 Brewing, and Over The Moon.

Culture of Hyderabad

he influence of this vast royal past shines even today in Hyderabad's culture, food and iconic architectural structures such as Charminar and Golkonda Fort which stand as testaments to the city's glorious history. The locals of the city are referred to as Hyderabadis, and they have developed a culture that is distinctly a mixture of both Muslim and Hindu traditions.

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Hyderabadi Biryani

Hyderabad is evidently a kernel of the existence of Nizams and their recreational culture. However, it has also been an outset of the mouth-watering and slithering flavours of the Hyderabadi cuisine. This mind-blowing cuisine is famous for its traditional ‘Biryani’. The dish was originally a delicacy of South Asian Muslims. Since rice is a staple food of south India, a number of dishes are popular in their culture especially in the state of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala. Biryani was prepared in the Mughal royalty on special occasions to manifest and embrace their cultural identity. However, to be specific ‘Hyderabadi Biryani’ has lasted for centuries and is loved by all. Hyderabadi Biryani is served in almost every restaurant you come by. But if you want to please your tummy then visit Paradise. It is one of the most famous biryani joints situated in Secunderabad. In INR 200-300 one can buy a family pack biryani which is sufficient for three people. Also, there are 40+ varieties of biryani to choose from. The food, the attire, the people, the traditions and practices altogether forms a culture. Hyderabad is no monotonous place but beholds multiple identities to itself; a thousand reasons to flaunt none to hide.

Restaurants and Local Food in Hyderabad

Hyderabad is known for the grandeur, richness and flavours of the Mughal and Nawabi cuisines fund here. The city also fosters traditional and staple South-Indian preparations. The Hyderabadi Biryani is the highlight and the centre of the cuisine here with rich, colourful garnishing and an elaborate method of preparation. The cuisine of the city, though houses much more, is almost synonymous to this dish.
Other than these the other local specialities include Pathar ka Ghosht, Nahari, Haleem, Double ka Meetha, Kheer, Mirchi ka Salan, Falooda, Irani Chai and more. Equally sparkling is the street food culture here with the lip-smacking Kachori, Samosa, Aloo Mirchi, Dahi Puri, Pani Puri and Sev Puri.

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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive by morning/midday. Have the fabulously flavourful Hyderabadi biryani for lunch. Walk around the charming bylanes and streets of the older parts of the city. Visit the Charminar and the adjoining market. Don't forget to sample some of Hyderabad's lip-smacking chaat items!
Day 2: Have a good breakfast and check out the Birla Science Museum and Planetarium. Sample some of Hyderabad's famous delicacies like paaya and kheema for lunch. Visit the Husain Sagar lake. Don't miss out on sampling the scrumptious Irani chai in the evening. End the day with a trip to the Chowmahalla Palace.
Day 3: Visit the Falaknuma Palace after having a hearty breakfast. Make a trip to the Ramoji Film City. In the evening take some time to have the amazing sheekh and galouti kebabs on the streets of Hyderabad. Do take out some time to visit the NTR Gardens and Lotus Pond.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

The city is a beautiful amalgamation of tradition and modernity. The food is fantastic and affordable. The locals are conversant in Hindi, Telugu and English.

What's Not So Great?

Not so developed public transport compared to other metropolitan cities. 

For Whom?

Hyderabad is a place for foodies and the people who love historical architectural sights. In a budget of a pocket, one can make the most out of this dazzling 'City of Nizams'. Hyderabad is undoubtedly a photographer's paradise. Perfect for school excursions and backpackers.

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How To Reach Hyderabad

Hyderabad is well connected to the rest of India via all mediums. It has its own airport with frequent flights coming from all major cities. Its railway station is a junction and trains are connected to all the parts of the country. Road is also excellent and one can take bus or taxis from nearby places and also from places like Bangalore, Mysore, Pune and Mumbai.

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Hyderabad Reviews

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Janhavi Sharma 12 months ago
*Even though, Hyderabad is one of the safest big cities of India, women should avoid travelling alone at night. However, nightlife at Hyderabad is very dynamic and worth enjoying. *When visiting a religious place try to dress traditionally,remove your shoes in the racks provided.Be alert when you come across beggars so that you don?t get robbed.
Surbhi Parashar 12 months ago
A densely populated metropolitan city with people bustling in and out of cafes, offices, temples and even nowhere, Hyderabad is fast turning into the New York city of South India. Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, is fast becoming the IT hub. Most tourism here is business tourism. The city's boundaries have been extending far beyond the original city - now called the Old City - to include Secunderabad and new developments in adjacent municipalities. The city has its fair share of history and culture which now seems to be overtaken by the metro image with the sprawling cafes, malls and corporate buildings. Hyderabad also provides for a great gastronomical experience for spicy food lovers.
Aashimi Bhatia 12 months ago
- Drunken driving is not tolerated and police enforce the rule strictly. After 11PM almost all the roads have police patrols and check drunk driving. If caught you may end up paying fines, apart from vehicle being seized and couple of rounds to police station in worst case scenarios.
- Old city was historically a community sensitive zone and is best to avoid late night visits to this area.
- Hyderabad is a relatively safe metro with rare muggings or thefts. It is still advisable to avoid staying out late at night, especially for women.
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