How to Spend 3 Days in Hyderabad
Hyderabad is rich in history, culture, shopping, and dining, and you’ll also find fun day-trip opportunities in the surrounding Telangana state. Three days are enough time to see, do, and taste some highlights. Here are a few ideas.
Day 1: See the Central City
Explore the Old City. Walking tours focusing on history, street food, or markets are a good way to optimize your time. Tour the opulent Chowmahalla Palace, climb the Charminar for city views, and shop for sparkling colored bangles at Laad Bazaar.
Don’t leave town without tasting authentic Hyderabadi biryani, considered by many to be the most delicious version in India. Seek it out at a street-side stall or in an upscale restaurant. Recently, Hyderabad has experienced an IT industry boom—see where some of the money goes during a night out in the upmarket Banjara Hills neighborhood.
Day 2: Wander Royal Ruins
Spend your second day visiting Golconda Fort and the Qutb Shahi Tombs, two of Hyderabad’s important historic and archaeological sites. Golconda Fort was where the Qutb Shahi dynasty ruled Hyderabad in the 16th and 17th centuries; the nearby Qutb Shahi Tombs are where the namesake sultans are buried. Both sites are now partly in ruins, but they used to be immensely wealthy: the Koh-i-Noor and Hope diamonds were once locked away in the fort, and the tombs were decorated with velvet and precious ornaments.
Stick around the fort to catch the nightly sound-and-light show in English. Or, return to central Hyderabad and take an evening cruise on Hussain Sagar Lake. Inspired by New York’s Statue of Liberty, the statue of Buddha in the middle of the lake is a distinctive landmark in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim city.
Day 3: Take a Day Trip
About an hour’s drive east of Hyderabad, Pochampally is a cluster of villages that produce a highly prized fabric used for saris. No need to buy a sari—just watch true artisans at work, and learn about a key part of Indian culture.
Alternatively, around an hour southeast of Hyderabad, Ramoji Film City is one of the largest film studio areas in the world, and a center of Telugu-language film production. It’s also a family-friendly place to hang out—even if you know nothing about Telugu films, you’ll likely enjoy the theme park rides.