Hyderabad city tour – 11 must see places

By Deeplina Pattanaik

Hyderabad has always been the cosmopolitan city it is. It has a 400 year old history that speaks for this city and a long tradition of food, language and culture which is deeply ingrained in the natives of the land. In recent times, Hyderabad is rapidly making a name for itself as an IT hub and it attracts a lot of migrants from different parts of the country. A lot of times the visitors to Hyderabad find themselves in the city for a couple of days wondering what to do. As a result there are loads of people in the city who are unaware of the treasure trove this historic city holds. If you’re here for a couple of days, these are 11 places to visit in Hyderabad.

1. Golconda Fort

This 12th Century majestic fort was built by the Kakatiya kings and was later modified and added to by the Qutub Shahi kings. It is a monument of immense beauty and grandeur and has often appeared in movies as a scenic location. The old timey essence of Golconda Fort will take you back in time to the glorious past of the Kakatiya kingdom. The best time to explore the fort is in the morning when the crowd is slim and it’s not too sunny.

The Golconda fort timing are: Monday to Sunday 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Entry fee: 15 INR for Indian citizens and 200 INR for Foreign Tourists.

If you wish to see the light and sound show its better you come around the evenings the ticket is sold from 5:30 once the fort closes and there are various shows in various languages like English(all days), Telugu(Monday, Wednesday, & Friday), Hindi(Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday).

The fee for show is: 130 INR starting.

  • Show Timings (Nov to Feb): 1st Show 6:30 pm 2nd Show 7:45 pm.
  • Show Timings (Mar to Oct): 1st Show 7:00 pm 2nd Show 8:15 pm.


2. Salar Jung Museum

Salar Jung Museum, the largest one man collection, is the third largest museum in India. A collection built by generations of Salar Jungs, this art museum was declared open in 1951 by Jawaharlal Nehru. It was relocated to the present location in 1968 which is  pretty close to Charminar and other central locations. It houses important artifacts of the Mughal period like Jahangir’s dagger, Noor jahan’s Fruit knife, and the marble chair presented to Tipu Sultan. Other marvels in this museum are the musical clock, the veiled Rebecca and the two faced statue.

The museum timings are : all days except Friday from 10 am to 5pm.

Entry Fee:  

1. 20 INR per Adult for Indians

2. 5 INR per Child for Indians

3. 500 INR per person for Foreign Tourists

You can click pictures of all the artefacts for a minimal charge for your camera (50 INR).


3. Charminar ( “Four minarets”)

No trip to Hyderabad can be complete without a visit to this majestic monument which is the epitome of Indo-Islamic architectural amalgamation. It was built by Quli Qutub Shah to commemorate the end of a horrible plague in his Kingdom. It takes 149 steps to reach the upper floor.

It is open seven days a week the timings are 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Entry Fee: 15 INR for Indians and 200 INR per person for Foreign Tourists.

You can click pictures of this legendary monument using your personal camera by paying small fee to let you take your camera along.


4. Chowmahalla Palace

The Chowmahalla Palace as the name suggests used to be a grand palace complex spread over 45 acres extending to Laad Bazaar. The Palace consists of two courtyards. The courtyard of the palace has four palaces which are namely Afzal Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, and Aftab Mahal. The palace was restored by the Nizam’s family and opened up for the public recently in 2005. The Palace is open to visitors on all days except on Friday and on national holidays from 10am to 5pm.

Entry Fee: 50 INR per Adult for Indians and 200 INR per person for Foreign Tourists.


5. Falaknuma Palace

Falaknuma Palace is an epitome of grandeur and very luxuriant. The palace was taken over by The Taj Group of Hotels and is now Called Taj Falaknuma Palace. The palace houses artefacts and souvenirs from all over the world and the architecture is second to none.

Its not open for general public and the entry to the palace can be booked by booking a tour with the Telangana tourism there are two options of the package one could opt for:

Tour Option A:

3,100 INR (Adult) and 2480 INR (Child)

Provides: Entry Tickets, Tea & Snacks, A/c Transport, Tour Guide.

Tour Option B:

2,000 INR (Adult) and 1,600 INR (Child)
Provides: A/c Transport, Tour Guide.

6. Bazaars of the Old City

The old city of Hyderabad is the home to many historic bazaars that have been in existence since the Qutub Shahi times. There a few within walking distance of Charminar. The Laad Bazaar is one such expansive market famous for its Lacquer Bangles, imitation jewellery and wedding trousseau accessories. The Begum Bazaar is another bazaar you can visit; it is a wholesale market for household items, brass and copper-ware. You can find souvenirs in these markets. Hyderabad is called the City of Pearls and every Hyderabad city tour includes getting a look at these exquisite pearls. These markets are the hub for jewellery making and are also workshops for jewellery making skills and trades like pearl drilling, metal binding etc.


7. The Nizam’s Museum

The Nizam’s museum is housed in the Purani Haveli which was built by the founder of the city of Hyderabad, Quli Qutb Shah. The museum houses several rare and exquisite souvenirs and gold thrones and pavilions but its most prominent attraction is the largest walk-in closet in the world of the sixth Nizam made entirely of teak of about 176 feet long and of two levels.

The museum is open seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm.

Entry fee: 65 INR  for adults.

8. Mecca Masjid

This is one of the largest prayer hall in the country and its foundation was set by Quli Qutb Shah who insisted soil from Mecca be brought to make bricks to put in the arch; and thus the name of the prayer hall. Though Shah put the foundation it was completed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and took 77 years to be completed. Its arched facades are carved out of a single piece of granite. It has no entry fee and is open to visitors from 4 am to 9:30 pm seven days a week.However visitors are expected to dress conservatively and women are additionally expected to cover their head with a scarf to enter the mosque.


9. Birla Mandir

Located at one of the highest spots of the city, this temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara and his idol is 11 feet high. The temple is made entirely made of white marble; about 2000 tonnes of it; brought in from Rajasthan. A unique feature in this temple is that it doesn’t have any bells because the holy man who sanctified the temple wanted it to be a place where people could meditate. This is a beautiful temple with both northern and southern elements of temple architecture. The temple premises doesn’t allow cell phones or photography, so you’ll have to deposit the said gadgets before entering the temple.

There is no entry fee and the temple timings are 7:00 am – 12:00 pm and then from 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm.


10. Buddha Statue of Hyderabad

Located in the smack centre of Hussain Sagar Lake, this monolithic Statue is about 22 meters tall and carved out of a single stone. It is the largest single stone statue of Buddha in the entire world. People go in mechanized boats to get a closer look at this awe-inspiring statue that the Dalai Lama himself sanctified. You can get a closer look between 10:30 am to 8pm for a boat fare of 55 INR for adults and 35 INR for children.


11. Shilparamam Craft Village

Approximately 14 km from the heart of Hyderabad City located in the tech hub of Hitech city, lies the craft village of Shilparamam which presents to the visitors not just arts and handicrafts from all over the country but also performing artists. It is a great place to shop for traditional jewellery from all over the country, clothes and souvenirs.  The craft village is open seven days a week.

Timings: 10:30am to 8:30pm

Entry fee: 40 INR for adults and 20 INR for children.

Most of the places in the list are in close proximity of each other and can easily be covered in a couple of days. And if you were  to get some time off or an extra bonus day do visit the Ramoji Film Studio, its an absolute treat. A 400 year old history brings with it a lot of places to visit in Hyderabad, but covering all of it is impossible in a couple of days. This is the only guide to Hyderabad city tour you will need since we covered the best of the gems!

Image Credits:
Birla Mandir- Hyderabad flickr photo by ambrett shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
Chowmahalla Palace flickr photo by { pranav } shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
Other Images: commons.wikimedia.org