You're Going to Love Hyderabad
Big, sprawling Hyderabad is full of life; you can enjoy the bustle of a traditional market, head over to one of the city’s many video gaming centers or an amusement park, and then finish off your day at a sleek fine dining restaurant.
Hyderabad serves as the capital city for the province of Telangana in Southern India. It’s a center for India’s burgeoning technology industry (earning it the nickname “Cyberabad”), and that’s brought a cosmopolitan scene of dining, shopping, and entertainment options to the city. Hyderabad sees thousands of business travelers on a daily basis, but the high-tech giants like Microsoft India exist alongside a 400-year-old city center with a rich history and culture.
Hyderabad and Secunderabad were once twin cities, located at opposite sides of Hussain Sagar Lake. Today, the two have merged into one giant municipal area that blossoms out around the lake. From the office towers to the Old City and its many historical monuments, Hyderabad is waiting for you to discover its many charms.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Hyderabad
1. Impressive Architecture
Hyderabad is part of India’s Islamic heritage, and the spectacular Charminar mosque, with its four towers, is one of the city’s iconic structures. You can check out Chowmahalla Palace, where royalty once greeted visitors, and Golconda Fort, once the capital of a medieval kingdom, among many other historical attractions.
2. Delicious Dining
North and South Indian cuisine merge in Hyderabad’s dining scene, with many options from street food to elegant fine dining rooms and hipster hangouts. You’ll also find many Turkish and Arabic influences, with Western and other international options catering to the city’s many business travelers.
3. Fabulous Shopping
From centuries-old traditional bazaars to ultra-modern shopping malls and boutiques, Hyderabad has everything you could wish for when it comes to shopping. In particular, it is a center for the jewelry trade, from fashion pieces to precious metals and genuine pearls – Hyderabad was once called the “City of Pearls.”
4. Exciting Water and Amusement Parks
The citizens of Hyderabad love their water and amusement parks, and you can enjoy no less than a dozen of them in the city. Ramoji Film City (where films are actually shot) alone covers over 2,500 acres with a combination of natural features like lakes and gardens with movie sets depicting a London street, royal castle, and much more.
5. Enjoy Nature Parks
Despite the city’s huge size and population of just under 8 million people, you can easily escape the hustle and bustle in one of Hyderabad’s many beautiful parks. Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park is the largest, a huge green oasis perfect for walking or jogging.
What to do in Hyderabad
1. Charminar: Landmark of the Hyderabad City
Established in 1591 A.D. by the quatub Shah back in the historical age, Charminar is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hyderabad. Feast your eyes on Hyderabad’s global icon that is strategically located in the midst of two other popular structures in India. Wander through the famous Laad Bazaar to the west and the granite ornamented Makkah Masjid to the southwest. Don’t miss out on a sense-awakening tour of the historic structure that is basically composed of eponymous towers supported by four grand pillars.
2. Golkonda Fort: Capital of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty
Spread across a total area of 11 km, the Golkonda Fort complex is home to ancient rulers and hub of some of the world’s most famous and precious gems, e.g., Kohi-i-Noor. Take a calm and peaceful walk on the streets as they lead you to the interior of the Golconda fort, where you will explore the most amazing and artistic architecture that the city has to offer. As the fort overlooks the city, have a glimpse of the city’s breath-taking skyline as the cool breeze makes your view even more delightful. The skillfully carved stonework that is encompassed by beautiful gardens is sure to make your visit worth your while.
Where to Eat in Hyderabad
For upscale Asian fusion cuisine in a stylish rooftop lounge, look to SO. The Sky Kitchen, with main dishes that start at ₹375. When you visit the Charminar, you can stop at Nimrah, a classic Indian cafe where you can sample tasty baked goods that start at ₹3. For classic biryani and local cuisine, head to Paradise in Secunderabad, where you can choose from five dining rooms and mains that start at ₹200.
How to Get to Hyderabad
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD) lies about 14 miles from the city. The airport is relatively new and you can expect modern facilities and amenities. Air-conditioned buses make the airport run to various designated spots in the city, with fares ranging from ₹150 to ₹250. Official taxi service at the airport is offered by Skycabs and Meru only, with metered service that starts at ₹21 for every 0.62 miles or so.
The city’s main railway station is known as Nampally station, located in the Nampally district. It is a major hub for Indian Railways, with connections to urban centers throughout the country.
The city connects to other major centers via a recently upgraded highway system. Highway NH7 connects the city to Bangalore, and highways NH9 and NH5 will get you to Chennai. You can also make the drive to and from Mumbai via NH9.
A number of private and state bus companies make intercity trips, including Dhanunjaya Bus, Veeru Travels, NTA Express, and the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). Many intercity routes operate through the Jubilee Bus Station in Secunderabad. There are connections to Chennai, Mumbai, and Bangalore.
Where to stay in Hyderabad
At the Taj Falaknuma Palaca, you’ll stay in palatial grandeur. The luxury hotel was once a genuine palace, and includes Italian sculptures and a 100-seat dining table, among many other treasures. Taj Krishna and Taj Banjara are just two of the city’s many modern hotels, offering stylish decor and upscale amenities. The Raj Classic Inn is clean and budget priced, with a convenient location near the bus station.
Popular neighbourhoods in Hyderabad
Central Zone – this is an upscale part of the city, and where you’ll find many options when it comes to dining and night life. Many of the city’s high-end shopping centers are located here, including Hyderabad Central and the ultramodern Inorbit Mall.
South Zone – located along the south bank of the Musi River, this is where you’ll find the majority of the city’s wonderful historic attractions. It’s also called the Old City, and it’s home to Hyderabad’s fantastic traditional markets like the Laad Bazaar, famous for bangles, semi-precious gemstones, and pearl jewelry; the Moazzam Jahi Market with its fresh fruit and gorgeous flowers; and the Sultan Bazaar (also called Sultan Bazar), great for fashion bargains.
North Zone – this area incorporates Secunderabad, a sister city that has been swallowed up by the growing metropolis. Developed directly under British rule until 1948, it has its own sophisticated restaurant and entertainment scene to check out.