Hyderabad India – Your Quick Travel Guide
In a nutshell
Cities, especially busy ones, tend to slip off the must visit lists of many people. But when it comes to Hyderabad, make sure that it doesn’t share the same fate simply because of the amazing cultural experience that you can get here.
Why go to Hyderabad
Hyderabad is a special city. In the past it had many rulers, and over time, all those cultures mixed together to give life to a vibrant city filled to the brim with the remnants of the past which is evident in numerous structures scattered all around the city and steeped in historical significance.
Its not just history buffs who will enjoy Hyderabad. There are many things to do in Hyderabad and one of the most interesting facts about the city is that it is built on a Deccan plateau which is over 2500 million years old.
What’s more is that the rulers of Hyderabad were highly inspired by the culture and customs of the world over and they integrated seamlessly foreign styles into the life of their Kingdoms. This has given rise to a unique Hyderabadi culture and cuisine. So, whether you love monuments or are a foodie, Hyderabad should be on your bucket list.
The Charminar, Golconda Fort, Qutab Shahi tombs and many others are places you must visit in the city along with trying out some of the delectable food that is on offer here like the hyderabadi biryani, double ka meetha, mirch ka salan and others. Being an urban city, all major amenities that you could possibly wish for are available here including cafes, pubs, restaurant and lounges.
Hyderabad is also a major transport hub with good connectivity through flights and trains. That is why many travellers plan their trips to the wonders of Southern India from Hyderabad. And if like us you love to shop, there are a number of places in Hyderabad where you can get some really interesting goods, although you will have to haggle your heart out to get a good deal.
When to go to Hyderabad
Being a tropical city, Hyderabad has a warm climate and it can get very hot during summers, bordering on becoming intolerable. But winters are good, with temperatures ranging between 29 to 14 degrees Celsius. We found November to February to be the best time to visit as the sun is never too hot and the winds are not that chilly.
Where to stay in Hyderabad
Accommodation in Hyderabad is never a problem – the city teams with great options to suit all budgets.
The areas near the airport and the railway station are especially filled with a number of accommodation options and the rates range from low to moderate in these areas. If you happen to land in the city at odd hours, chances are that these areas will definitely offer you accommodation without any hassles.
There are also fancier, business class hotels which offer the best of amenities like ITC Kakatiya and Park Hyatt, but they cost quite a bomb.
If you are in Hyderabad for a proper holiday, especially with family, there are a number of resorts where you can not just enjoy a great visit to Hyderabad but the facilities there make for an entertaining stay in themselves. Lahari Resorts, Dhola-ri-Dhani and Golconda resorts are some of such resorts which are a great experience for kids.
A number of other options like hostels and service apartments are also coming up in the city and they offer a great option for travellers, especially backpackers.
Where to eat in Hyderabad
Whenever we travel to Hyderabad, we find that the food is reason enough to travel to the city. To put it simply, the food is irresistible. The options range from local flavours like hyderabadi biryanis, halim, chicken and mutton curries, mirch ka salan and double ka meetha, to some delicious South Indian delicacies like dosas and idlis.
There are plenty of options for these around the city and the market area near the Charminar and the Hussain Sagar lake are the best spots to enjoy food with a great view!
If you are looking for some simpler fare, or miss the foods from home, have no fear. Hyderabad has plenty of options from all over the world including Japanese, Italian, Chinese, American, Middle Eastern and European food.
There are a few iconic places like the Paradise hotel, famous for their fabulous Biryanis and the Karachi bakery for some heavenly cookies. Whatever be your choice, Hyderabad doesn’t disappoint.
How to get around Hyderabad
Travelling around Hyderabad is very easy as it is a well-connected city with a number of local transport options present.
The best way to get around is to book a cab, and with the emergence of on-call cab services like Ola and Uber, it is very easy to get transport at any time of the day or night.
The bus service in Hyderabad is also pretty good with over 4000 buses plying different routes. The fares are cheap and you do get a lot of interesting information while travelling in buses.
Another great option is the auto-rickshaw, a popular means of transport throughout India. With their compact sizes, they can zip through the traffic and get you to your destination a little faster than buses or cabs. But keep in mind that the traffic in Hyderabad is very busy, and delays are expected along all routes, especially in the business hours from 8 am to 11 am in the morning and 5 pm to 9 pm in the evenings.
There is also a metro under construction and we are hoping that it gets completed soon as it will make travel a lot faster and easier.
How to get to and from Hyderabad
We are guessing that by this time you have almost made up your mind to travel to Hyderabad. Being a major city of India, Hyderabad is very easy to get to. It is well connected by roads, rail and air transport.
The Rajiv Gandhi International terminal and the NT Rama Rao domestic terminal connect Hyderabad to major cities from across the globe and India and a flight from Delhi, the capital of India takes about 2 hours and costs around INR 2500 and upwards, depending on the rush. A flight from New York to Hyderabad takes about 18 hours and costs INR 40,000 and above.
There is also a huge bus terminal in Hyderabad and there are regular buses from major towns like Aurangabad, Bangalore and Mumbai and Hyderabad is also a hub for those travellers who are looking to travel to smaller towns of South India like Tirupati, Warangal and Hampi.
If travelling by bus, you have a choice of different types of coaches like sleeper, deluxe, semi-deluxe, air-conditioned and Volvos. The buses are run by both state and private firms and Neeta travels is a reliable option for travelling. The fares for buses depend on the destination and the quality of the buses but are affordable.
Trains are also a very good option for travelling to Hyderabad from other cities in India and there are 3 major train stops, Hyderabad Railway Station, Secunderabad Railway Station and Kachiguda railway station, which cater to those who prefer rail travel. In case you do travel by trains, be sure to get onto an Express train as other types of trains are notorious for there delays.
Being a major city of India, Hyderabad is also very well connected by roads with a number of highways leading to major cities all around India. The roads are well maintained and the highways especially are a pleasure to drive along if you intend to go for a self-driven car. Be careful though, as India follows a right hand drive system and the traffic can get confusing.
Is Hyderabad a safe place to visit?
Hyderabad is a gem of a place to visit and being the capital of two states of India, it is a very safe place. However, the people in the city, especially in the old parts of it, are a little conservative in their views and it is advisable to read up on some of the local customs and dress appropriately when you are visiting the old part of the city.
Overall, Hyderabad is a beautiful city with polite and helpful people. There are a number of places worth visiting in the city and the food is absolutely delicious. So the next time you are looking for a place to holiday, do give Hyderabad a serious thought!