Plan your Trip to Rajasthan
Desert sands, delicately restored havelis, world renowned forts sure to satisfy even the most avid of history buffs, and colours galore, Rajasthan truly deserves its majestic title. Welcome to the Land of Kings.
But before you think that we, too, have succumbed to the tourist hype, Rajasthan is more than the sum of its parts or its coloured cities (great though they are). Venture away from the tour bus circuits and into rural Rajasthan and the real magic begins. Stay in stately houses of yesteryear still owned by members of the Rajasthani royal family, live out your days in a desert camp, or content yourself with spotting some of Rajasthan’s beautiful wildlife.
Whether it’s your first or tenth visit, Rajasthan will tempt you to return for more.
Planning your trip to Rajasthan? Click here to download your free Itinerary Cheatsheet to help you plan your perfect Rajasthan itinerary.
Essential Rajasthan Travel Information
Winter months between November and February are the most popular time to visit Rajasthan – temperatures are cooler with winter sun, and visitors can enjoy festivals such as the Jaipur kite festival. Late March to June sees searing heat but offers great opportunities for viewing wildlife.
Monsoon between July and September sees fewer crowds, off-peak prices, and much less rain than other parts of India, making it a good time to visit, too.
Travel between Rajasthan’s cities and the rest of India is easy to do by train, and most of Rajasthan’s cities are well connected by railway. Buses are also useful for shorter distances or where there are no trains available.
If you have a bit more time on your hands, Rajasthan is easy to explore with a privately hired car and driver, providing maximum flexibility.
Get around Rajasthan’s cities by hailing a rickshaw (aka Tuk Tuk), an Uber, Ola (the Indian version of Uber) or jump on board Jaipur’s shiny city metro.
It’s possible to enjoy Rajasthan on most budgets – with simple, budget private rooms going from around 900 rupees (US$12) per night up to the sky is the limit to stay at Rajasthan’s majestic palaces fit for a king. Enjoy simple thalis at roadside eateries, or dine out at some of Rajasthan’s finest restaurants and bars with the local who’s-who.
Larger hotels and high end restaurants will accept credit cards, but Rajasthan is largely a cash economy. State Bank (SBI) ATM’s work well with foreign cards. Keep a back up if you’re travelling to smaller towns as ATM’s sometimes run out of cash.
As with the rest of India, tap water is not safe to drink, but UV or Reverse Osmosis filtered water is fine. We use and trust Water to Go filter bottles which we travel with – buy one here.
We recommend sticking to hot food, served from busy stalls or restaurants. There are plenty of places to eat that are used to foreigners who prefer their curries a little less spicy.
Although Rajasthan is one of the most popular areas of India for foreign tourists to visit, it is culturally a relatively conservative part of India, especially outside of the big cities. Local women often cover their head and are not seen out much after dark in rural Rajasthan. We recommend female travellers dress conservatively and solo women avoid going out alone much after dark.
Rajasthan has a predominantly desert climate, with relatively cool winters (it can get down to freezing at night in December/January) and sweltering summers. Rajasthan sees relatively little rain compared to the rest of India during monsoon.
In winter (Nov-Feb) expect warm sunny days (with daytime temperatures around 15-25 degrees celsius) and cool evenings. Pack a light jacket or thick sweater as many of Rajasthan’s buildings are built for summer rather than winter.
Iconic Rajasthan Hotels
Do's & Don'ts - Rajasthan Travel Tips
- Visit rural Rajasthan – a couple of days away from Rajasthan’s cities experiencing life in the desert or village is the best insight into Rajasthani culture
- Visit in September or October if you want to avoid the crowds at peak season
- Factor in travel distances: Rajasthan is huge and journeys can be long. It’s better to see fewer places than be on the road all the time.
- Bring a good camera – You won’t want to miss taking some visual memories home with you of the landscapes, culture, wildlife and architecture.
- Support local artisans and businesses by buying souvenirs and handicrafts direct from those who make them.
- Do your reading and research before coming – it’s the best way to prepare for all that Rajasthan has to offer.
- Pack too much into your itinerary. We know it’s tempting, but Rajasthan is much more enjoyable when you have two or more nights in most places that you’re visiting.
- Visit captive animal “sanctuaries” without checking their credentials properly first, or go on an elephant ride. Unfortunately animal welfare has a lot of room for improvement in Rajasthan, including on camel safaris, too.
- Forget to pack a fleece or jacket if you’re travelling in winter, especially December or January! Rajasthan can get cold, and most buildings are made for summer, with tile floors, meaning winter nights can get chilly. Pack some fluffy socks or slippers for extra cosiness.
- Feel nervous about eating the local food. Rajasthani food is rich and delicious – follow your nose (and the crowds) for the best eats that your stomach will like too.