Rajasthan is one of the most popular destinations in India, known as much for its gorgeous palaces as its National Parks and Desert Safaris.
Here is my suggested one week itinerary to explore the best of Rajasthani cities. To this, you might want to add a couple of days to visit Ranthambore National Park during tiger season.
The best time to visit the Rajasthani cities is in winter – November to February. This is unfortunately high season, but the weather during the other months can be unbearable.
Day 1 and 2 : Jaipur, The Pink City
Fly in to Jaipur early in the morning so that you can maximize two full days here. Read my detailed Jaipur itinerary to complete your planning.
Day 3 : Udaipur, the City of Lakes
Fly from Jaipur to Udaipur (short one hour flight) on your second evening. The next day in Udaipur will start early and be relatively busy. If you have more than a week, I’d highly recommend spending at least one more day in Udaipur. Read about what to see in Udaipur and decide!
Day 4 : Jodhpur, the Blue City
Leave Udaipur early in the morning to start your 5-6 hour drive to Jodhpur. On the way, you might want to stop at Kumbalgarh Fort. However, note that this will add a couple of hours to your journey so plan accordingly.
I’ve written a helpful guide with recommendations on where to stay and what to see in Jodhpur!
Day 5 : Jodhpur, travel to Jaisalmer
Spend most of this day in Jodhpur. There is so much to explore in this vibrant city where old meets new! Your road journey to Jaisalmer will take 6-7 hours, so leave in the late afternoon. The road conditions aren’t amazing, so I wouldn’t recommend late night travel.
Day 6 : Jaisalmer, the Golden City
Rise bright and early to explore Jaisalmer, the Golden City of India. I’ve explained exactly why you should visit Jaisalmer and what you should do there here.
Day 7 : Jaisalmer, the Golden City
Explore more of off the beaten path Jaisalmer such as Bada Bagh. Also, don’t forget to pay a visit to Kuldhara, the abandoned city. End your Rajasthan trip with a camel ride on the sand dunes (if you have been to other sand dunes, say in the Middle East, skip this). Fly out of Jaisalmer either this evening, or the next day, and cherish your trip memories and pictures forever!
For modifications to this itinerary, I’d highly recommend spending an extra day in Jaipur to explore the step well Chand Baori, or an extra day in Udaipur. If you happen to visit during tiger season (November and May are best), do not miss Ranthambore National Park!
Between Udaipur and Jaisalmer, hiring a car with a driver is the most convenient option. Do your research and choose someone you can trust. Some drivers might try to suggest alternative itineraries within the city to suit their needs (for example, they might force you to shop at certain places because they get a commission out of it). Stand your ground and gently insist on going where you had originally planned, but give them a slightly larger tip to compensate.
General Travel Tips for travel in India
- Driving in India is erratic and stressful for foreigners. I’d recommend always hiring a driver with your car, it is not expensive
- Do not drink water from the tap, buy sealed bottles of water, or carry a LifeStraw bottle (but only fill it with bottled water to be safe!)
- Carry toilet paper with you, a lot of public restrooms will not have them.
- Restaurant food, especially in North India, can be very heavy, so carry probiotics or eat yogurt. If you do succumb to food poisoning, medications for diarrhea are available in plenty from any pharmacy.
- At attractions, pick up the audio guides instead of human guides if you want time to take pictures / go at your own pace. From what I observed, most guides just want to rush you through.
- The two main strategies to avoid people harassing you to buy stuff is to ignore them and walk away fast, or to tell them that you will come by tomorrow. Good luck!
- Buy portable wifi (we used Airtel) so that you can stay connected while on the road. Service might still be spotty at some places.
- India is incredibly crowded, so go to the main attractions early to avoid crowds. Your experiences will be a thousand times better.
India is a gorgeous, diverse country, offering a completely unique experience to visitors. Your senses will definitely be overwhelmed, but in a good way, I hope.
Wishing you a very safe and happy trip to India! 🙂 Leave a comment below if you need any more tips or advice.