One of Jaipur’s top attractions and the official residence of the titular royal family, the City Palace is a historic complex that masterfully blends Rajasthani, Mughal, and European architectural influences. Within its walls you’ll find striking courtyards, elegant pavilions, royal halls, an armory, and an art gallery.
The palace was constructed from 1729 under Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Many visitors begin their tours of the palace at the Mubarak Mahal (the Welcome Palace), which houses a museum full of textiles, weapons, and artifacts. Other major draws include the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Public Audiences), a beautiful domed chamber that houses a twin set of gargantuan silver vessels—some of the largest in the world.
Almost all group and private Jaipur tours (including half-day and full-day tours, plus Golden Triangle tours that visit Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi), particularly those focusing on top attractions and Pink City heritage, stop at the City Palace complex.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The City Palace is a must for all first-time visitors to Jaipur.
- Photography is not allowed in the Chandra Mahal section of the palace.
- Much of the complex is outdoors, so bring sun protection.
- Meals, snacks, and drinks are available at the Palace Cafe, located within the complex.
- The City Palace is mostly accessible to wheelchair users. For details, contact the site in advance or inquire at the ticket office upon arrival.
How to Get There
City Palace is located in Jaipur’s Pink City, in the heart of the city center, next to the Jantar Mantar observatory and a few minutes’ walk from the Hawa Mahal. Due to congested traffic, getting around the Pink City is easiest on foot or by rickshaw, though cars are allowed in. If you’re driving, it’s about a half hour from Amber (Amer) and five hours from Delhi. Trains from Delhi to Jaipur take 4.5 to 6 hours.
When to Get There
The palace is open daily except for on the second day of Holi. In the hotter months of the year (roughly April through October), you may want to visit earlier in the day, before it gets too hot, as much of the royal complex is outdoors.
You can’t go far inside the City Palace complex without seeing books for sale about the life of Gayatri Devi. This glamorous princess was known for her movie-star good looks and her successful political career as a member of India’s Lok Sabha (the lower house of parliament). Although she left politics in the 1970s, Devi continued to be a beloved public figure until her death in 2009.