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Best Time: Oct-Mar Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 days

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"The city of Nawabs"

Lucknow Tourism

The capital and the largest city of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, situated on the banks of river Gomti, welcomes you with a heartwarming note of "Muskuraiyein, kyunki aap Lucknow mein hai". A city of kebabs and nawabs, of architecture and history, of literature and culture – that is Lucknow in a nutshell for you. The people of Lucknow are known for their courtly manners and endearing 'pehle aap' (you first) culture, which always leaves behind a smile on the faces of its visitors. From a slice of rich colonial history to modernized museums, this artistic hub of Awadh region beautifully brings together the opulence of a glittering past and the simplicity of a modern city.

Rumi Darwaza, the Mughal Gateway built in the centre of the capital divides Lucknow into 'Old Lucknow' which is ancient, more crowded and comprises most of the Muslim population, and the 'New Lucknow' which is urban and one of the most planned cities of Asia. Old Lucknow is home to the iconic Mughal monument known as the Bara Imambara - an architectural marvel in and of itself and an exemplary embodiment of Awadhi architecture and culture. At the grand monument is located the famous Bhool Bhulaiya which is an intricately designed labyrinth with around 500 almost-identical doors and around a thousand passageways connected by multiple flights of stairs. Close by, Husainabad Clock Tower exhibits traces of Victorian architecture, while Moti Mahal serves as an excellent vantage point for bird watching.

Most of Old Lucknow is well-known for its bustling vibrant streets, authentic, mouth-watering kebab and biriyani outlets, lakhnavi chikan market, and the wholesale jewellery stores.

New Lucknow, on the other hand, hosts people of varied cultures and is structurally planned with wide roads, shopping malls and parks built to serve diverse entertainment purposes. The most famous among these parks are the Ambedkar Park and the Gomti Riverfront Park, both ideal places for visiting and strolling around with friends and family in the evening. 

Hazratganj, a major shopping area located in the heart of Lucknow, is famous for its 'chaat' and 'kulfi' eateries, posh Mughlai restaurants, and various shopping complexes. All the buildings in Hazratganj have a distinct Victorian architecture, and you can shop for literally anything – starting from inexpensive accessories and trinkets to high-end clothes, shoes and jewellery.

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History Of Lucknow

Lucknow - popularly known as the “City of Nawabs” and “City of Tehzeeb” dates back to the Suryavanshi Dynasty. It is believed that Lord Laxman, brother of Lord Rama laid the foundation of the city on the banks of river Gomti; the city was then called Laxmanpur. However, the city only came to notice in the 18th century during the Mughal rule. It was a province of the traditional Awadh Pradesh and ruled by the Delhi Sultanate. Under the rule of the Nawabs, the city flourished in all aspects including food, music, art, dance, handicrafts etc. Later, the city came in the hands of the East India Company under the British rule. It played a key part in a lot of freedom movements. Upon independence in 1947, Lucknow became the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

City of Nawabs

Situated on the banks of river Gomti and occupying the central region of the Heritage Arc, Lucknow has been winning hearts of tourists for its Nawabi finesse for ages. Believed to be founded by Lakshmana, the ancient city is known worldwide for its 'Tehzeeb' and unique fusion of ancient and colonial cultures. The former capital of the Nawabs, the city was once an artistic hub, evident from the several grand monuments present in the city today. Also, the epicentre of the 1857 War of Independence, the history of the city is intriguing to a common man even today.

The Grand Bazaars

Lucknow is home to some century old markets like the Hazratganj market which retains its grandeur and charm even today, in spite of several modernisations. These markets, popular for 'zardousi' and 'chikan' embroidery are major attractions for shopaholics. The street food and lip smacking delicacies of Lucknow comprising of kebabs and biryani is another feature which attracts tourists to the city again and again.

Restaurants and Local Food in Lucknow

Lukhnow's cuisine borrows much of its royalty, grandeur and elaborate delicacies from its glittering past, while is vibrant, colourful and sparkling with a rich street food culture. Mughal delicacies like the countless varieties of Kebabs as well as Tikkas, Roomali Roti are the dishes that one must try in Lucknow. They are available in various styles and versions and in almost every food outlet, while the older areas of the city can offer you authentic flavors of the Mughlai food.
Galouti kebabs are a very typical Lucknow specialty - extremely soft mutton kebabs made with chopped papaya. An equally lip-smacking item that you can't miss in Lucknow is the Biryani. Other than these do indulge in Sheermal, Nahari and Kulcha, Kheer, Jalebis, Chaat, Kofta, Samosa, Qulfi, Petha, Kachori and countless more relishes.

Read: A Guide to Street Food of Lucknow

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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1- Start off your tour with exploring the Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara and Rumi Darwaza. Visit the picture gallery in the afternoon.
Day 2- Visit the Clock Tower Dilkusha Garden, Shah Najaf Imambara and Moti Mahal.
Day 3- Visit the Kaiserbagh Palace, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary or indulge in a food walk across the city. Explore the colourful markets in the evening.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Market rates are low. Rich culture and heritage.

What's Not So Great?

Not very clean. Traffic maintenance is not so good. Bad roads in some areas.

For Whom?

The city of Lucknow is a unique blend of ancient and modern. Dotted with extraordinary monuments, Lucknow is ideal for art and history lovers. Sourced from the kitchens of the Nawabs, the cuisine of Lucknow makes it a divine treat for food lovers.

How To Reach Lucknow

Being the capital city of UP, Lucknow has great connectivity through all mediums. Direct flights connect Lucknow to and from all major cities in India. The Lucknow railway station is also connected to most parts of India. It is connected by good road network as well and buses are also available from New Delhi and other major parts of UP. You can also take a cab from nearby areas to reach Lucknow.

Ask a Question

Ask a question from the travellers who have experience.

Q. What are some must eats in Lucknow?

Shashwat Kant 9 months ago
Tunday Kababs - Have Galouti Kababs and boti kababs here, and you'll want to keep coming back. Try Idris ki Biryani, which is a small shack-like shop in Chowk, Lucknow - it is a delight for non veggies. If you can manage a trip during Ramadan, the food is just great. Try the Lucknow Specials Shahi Tukda and Phirni as well.

Lucknow Reviews

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Fazal Ahmad 4 months ago
it is an important place of worship for the Muslims who come here every year to celebrate the religious festival of Muharram. The Imambara is primarily known for its incredible maze.
Virusism # 5 months ago
Lucknow ki Shaan... Hamari Jaan. Bhool bhulaiya is good and must visit. Architecture wise nice to see but getting worn off. Go atleast once if you have time in Lucknow. I don't think so you will remember any history but a guide is a must.
Medhavee Pravin 1 year ago
I visit Lucknow, the city of Nawabs quite frequently. It is a paradise for the history enthusiasts because it is a mix of both Mughal as well as Victorian era architecture. Lucknow has monuments like the Bada Imambara which consists of the Bhool Bhulaiya, Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Moti Mahal, Jama Masjid, Clock Tower of Lucknow and the British Residency. While visiting these places, I carried plenty of water and we also hired a guide to help us. New Lucknow is pretty developed with malls, the Lucknow Marine Drive, beautiful parks like the Gomti River front Park, Ambedakar Park, Lohia Park and Janeshwar Mishra Park. I especially love Lucknow for its food; Ranging from delicious kebabs and biryani to yummy chaat and delicious sweets. My mom and I also bought kurtas as well as saaris in Zardozi work and Chikan kaari. Hazratganj is one place that offers food as well as a lot of shopping. Lucknow is indeed the best of both worlds!
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