With three days in Jaipur, you’ll have enough time to see its most important palaces and temples, with time left over to explore the celebrated Amber Fort and take a day trip out to Pushkar or the Taj Mahal. Here’s one way to divide your time.
Day 1: Pink City
Spend your first day in Jaipur seeing the highlights of the Pink City, the old part of town named for its salmon hue. The most popular attraction in this part of town is the City Palace, where the titular royal family lives to this day. The part of the palace open to visitors includes courtyards, a royal hall with images of former maharajas, and a museum filled with royal ephemera. Next to the City Palace stands the Jantar Mantar, a royal observatory and UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with gargantuan astronomical instruments. Other Pink City highlights include the honeycomb-shaped Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, featuring some 953 latticed windows. Round out your day in the Pink City with some shopping at popular Bapu Bazaar, known for handicrafts and footwear, and Johari Bazaar, a great place to pick up bangles and fabrics.
Day 2: Forts and Temples
On your second day, head out to the Amber area on the outskirts of Jaipur, where the star attraction is the 16th-century Amber Fort, a gargantuan structure made of red sandstone and white marble. Highlights of the fort include the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), filled with tiny mirror shards in a mosaic pattern, and the zenana, a series of frescoed rooms once occupied by the king’s wives and concubines. Right below the fort sits the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, which focuses on one of the area’s most important textile crafts.
After Amber, head back into Jaipur to visit some of its most important temples. Start with Galtaji, dedicated to the god of the sun, Surya. It's often nicknamed the Monkey Temple for the large primate community that lives on its grounds. Finish your day of sightseeing with a visit to the Birla Mandir, a contemporary, white-marble temple dedicated to Vishnu and his consort Laxmi.
Day 3: The Taj Mahal or Pushkar
Spend your last day in the area on a day trip. If this is your only chance to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, it’s worth traveling the five hours each way. For something slightly closer, consider heading to the holy town of Pushkar, about three hours away. A beautiful lake sits at the heart of this desert-oasis town, and large numbers of visitors come here annually to bathe in its holy waters. Pushkar is best-known as the site of an annual camel fair, and the town is also home to one of the only temples in the world dedicated to the Hindu creator god Brahma.