Udaipur: A Complete Guide to India’s City of Lakes

Udaipur was the last stop on our one month travels through India and the perfect place to wind down and reflect on all of our adventures. Known as India’s City of Lakes, Udaipur has a very relaxed vibe and breezy atmosphere.

Girl in red dress sitting in an archway overlooking a small lake and green hills.

Spend a few days here exploring the narrow alleys and beautiful sights. This city was easily one of our favorite places in India and should be added to your itinerary if you are visiting the state of Rajasthan.

Included in This Blog Post:

  • Top Things to See & Do in Udaipur
  • How to Get to Udaipur
  • Getting Around Udaipur
  • Where to Eat & Stay
  • Applying for an eVisa

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view of taj lake palace in the middle of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India


Top Things to Do & See in Udaipur


› The City Palace

The City Palace in Udaipur was our favorite of the ones we visited in Rajasthan. The architecture is stunning, the views are breathtaking and the palace is large enough that you can spend a few hours here. Once you enter you will follow the designated path around the property to guarantee you won’t miss anything. There are multiple rooms painted in bright colors with intricate details and mosaic patterns.

Girl in orange skirt standing in an archway in Udaipur's city palace overlooking a large lake The palace was built on the edge of Lake Pichola over a period of 400 years for the rulers of Mewar. It is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan and has many balconies and towers which you can explore.

Turquoise colored room located in Udaipur's city palaceAlso located on the premises are many shops and cafes, as well as, bathrooms free of charge.

view of udaipur from inside the city palace. The entrance fee is 300 INR (~4.40 USD) for foreign adult and 100 INR (~1.45 USD) for child 18 & under. Kids under 5 years old are free.

› The Udaipur Ropeway (Cable Car)

Offering one of the best views of Udaipur, the ropeway is a must during your visit. The ride up only takes a few minutes and you will be rewarded with some very beautiful panoramic views of the city, Lake Pichola and more.

Bird's eye view of Lake Pichola from the Udaipur ropewayOnce you get to the top, exit the cable car and walk up the hill just a bit. This will be where the best views are! And you can also walk down the steps where it looks like they are doing construction and take some shots from there as well.

Girl and guy sitting on a ledge with views of Lake Pichola in the backgroundIf you want to sit along the edge of the wall, like us, be very careful as the drop is quite steep!

The ropeway costs 120 INR (~1.70 USD) per person and they accept cash only. Be sure to count your change carefully as the guy kept 50 INR from us on purpose. We only knew to double check because we met some other travelers in Udaipur who warned us. He will give you a handful of coins and some bills to confuse you but just check before walking away.

Girl and guy standing on top of a hill over looking a lakeThe ropeway is located at Dean Dayal Park, Doodh Talai, Pichola, Udaipur. You can also type Udaipur Ropeway into google maps and it should pull it up.

› A Boat Ride Around the Lake

Did you even visit Udaipur if you didn’t take a boat ride around the lake? Of course it’s super touristy but it was a nice way of seeing the Taj Palace Hotel up close. We enjoyed our 20 minute boat ride which cruised around Jagmandir and Taj Palace Hotel.

View of Taj Lake Palace hotel from a boat ride around Lake PicholaThe boat launch point is located on the back side of the City Palace at Sunset Point. The GPS coordinates to find this exact location is 24.5689717, 73.6837538. You can also type in Lake Pichola Boating Point into Google Maps.

View of city palace on Lake Pichola from the boat ride.There are other luxury boats that you could charter to take you around but I’m sure they cost quite a bit more. Cost per person is 300 INR (~4.40 UDS) for the 30 seater motor boat for 20 min ride. There is also the option of a special luxury 10 seater boat but that costs 600 INR (~USD) and its for a 15 min ride around the lake.

The boat docks on Lake Pichola where you can take a boat ride around the lakeThey also have life vests available for use if you feel that you would like one.

› The Bagore Ki Haveli Museum

We kind of stumbled upon this museum after we went down to the Gangaur Ghat to take some pictures. Since the entrance fee was so inexpensive we decided to check it out. This multi-level museum is located in an 18th century Haveli and was actually quite large.

The yellow exterior of the Haveli museum in UdaipurYou can start by going up to the rooftop to capture panoramic views of Lake Pichola and enjoy the breeze. After you can walk through the museum which has many rooms filled with antiquities and costumes. The strangest room though was filled with about 50 turbans of varying styles and from different eras.

Views of the buildings from the Haveli Museum in UdaipurIn the evenings the Bagore Ki Haveli Museum has a traditional dance and puppet show called Dharohar. Apparently this is quite popular as you need to get there very early to get a seat. The show is from 7-8 PM and costs 150 INR (~2.13 USD) per person plus another 150 INR for a camera. We did not do the show so unfortunately I don’t have any feedback on the performance.

View of the buildings on Lake Pichola from a boat rideEntrance fees for the museum are 55 INR (~0.80 USD) per foreign tourist plus an additional 55 INR for a camera. Although online it says that the ticket cost is 100 INR per person, so don’t be surprised if the price doesn’t match either of these! We’ve found that in India the prices of things change all the time.

› Relax at the Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel

We spent almost every day relaxing here, enjoying the breeze from the lake. There is a restaurant upstairs with a beautiful seating area and delicious food. Climb one more set of stairs and you will reach their rooftop with more amazing views over Lake Pichola.

girl in red dress and guy sitting on a cushion with arched windows and a view of Lake PicholaIt is definitely worth a visit here as the interior of this hotel is stunning. Painted all white, with detailed mosaic murals and flourishing plant life, you’ll want to explore a little bit of this peaceful paradise.

The interior of the Jagat Niwas Palace hotel and the stunning details

› Enjoy Sunset at Sunset Point

The perfect way to spend your evening after a day of exploring is at Sunset Point. This area has the best, unobstructed view of Lake Pichola and the surrounding mountains. We came here multiple nights to watch the sky light up in different shades of orange and pink.

Sunset with a view of the mountains and Lake Pichola in UdaipurThis is definitely a spot where the locals come so you’ll see many food carts and things for sale. It is also very easy to find a tuk tuk if you need a ride back to your hotel or town. Just for reference a tuk tuk from sunset point to the entrance of City Palace should cost no more than 70 INR.

The GPS coordinates for sunset point are 24.5682171, 73.6836542 or you can type in Sunset Point in Google Maps.

› Hang out at the Ambrai Ghat with all the Locals

Another spot where the locals spend their evenings basking in the glow of golden hour. This place was always super crowded and for good reason. The steps leading down to the lake offer the perfect spot to relax and enjoy time with friends while watching the sun dip below the mountains.

views from the ghat in udaipurSince Ambrai Ghat is at the end of a small peninsula, you can walk around the entire area capturing different views along the way. This is also another point which will give you a perfect view of the Taj Palace Hotel.

› Enjoy the Views from Monsoon Palace

Although we didn’t go here ourselves we’ve heard that the views are also quite spectacular from the top of the hill. Built in 1884, the Monsoon Palace is located high up on the hill overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake and offers a birds-eye view over Udaipur.

We choose to go up the Udaipur Ropeway instead since it was easier to get to. We had heard that UBER/OLA isn’t as easy to get once you’ve reached the top and want to get back into town. The cost to visit is 80 INR (~1.15 USD) per foreign tourist.


How to Get to Udaipur


Udaipur is located in the state of Rajasthan and will usually be the first stop after Jaipur or the last stop when traveling through the region. If you only have limited time in India I would recommend adding Udaipur into your itinerary along with Jaipur. As always, there are many ways to reach Udaipur from anywhere in Rajasthan with varying costs.

View of Taj Palace Hotel from the boat ride around the lake. The building is white with many dome topsYou can easily hire a personal driver. Check out companies in each city and find out the average cost. You will typically pay a fee per kilometer that they will drive. We recommend hiring a new driver in each city to take you to your next destination as this will be a bit cheaper than having someone the whole time. You can easily get around the city by using UBER or OLA and it’s way cheaper.

yellow and white buildings at the top of stairs that go down to the lake in UdaipurAnother option is to take a bus or the train. This usually involves a bit more steps (and stress) than a private driver but is significantly cheaper. There are different buses available, some with a/c and some without.

The buses without a/c will be less expensive but it is not advisable during the middle of summer. To book a train you can use the RedBus app or go online to book. The app wouldn’t accept my credit card but it worked through a computer.

We did the overnight a/c bus option and it cost 900 INR per person (~13 USD) with the journey lasting about 12.5 hours. Our bus departed from the Air Force circle stop in Jaisalmer and arrived in Udaipole.

girl sitting on cushions looking out through white windows to the view of the lakeThe other option is to take the train. We heard that the trains get booked up well in advance so it’s best to reserve early. During low season you may be able to show up at the train station when you arrive in a city and book your onward journey.

There is also the option of Taktal. This is where they reserve a certain number of seats that you can purchase the same day. These tickets will be more expensive but at least you’ll be able to get a seat.

Girl in orange skirt sitting in a window with white walls and blue detailsYou could also check flights to Udaipur as India has some very low cost airlines. We used IndiGo Air a few times while in India. The flights were inexpensive and also include a checked bag! We ended up flying from Udaipur back to Delhi to save time as our flights cost only $30 each.


Getting Around Udaipur


By far the easiest way to get around Udaipur and all of India is to use UBER. You can also download and use OLA, which is India’s local version of UBER. On average we found that most of the drivers only accept cash.

Girl in orange skirt walking in front of a structure in the City PalaceOne of the things we loved the most about using UBER (or OLA) is that there is no haggling and you don’t have to give the driver directions. The app sets a rate, which is significantly cheaper than a tuk tuk, and the driver has google maps connected to the app. All you have to do is sit back and relax in the a/c!

You can also easily grab a tuk tuk or rickshaw anywhere in the city. There will always be someone offering you a ride but be aware that they will definitely increase the price. So be willing to haggle. The key is to drop the price to what you want to pay (within reason), say its your final offer and walk away. We have found that this works about 99% of the time.


Where to Eat & Stay


the interior of a restaurant in Udaipur

Where to Eat

› Grasswoods Cafe

This delicious and healthy cafe is located right in the heart of old town Udaipur. They have many options, including vegan and vegetarian dishes. We came here for breakfast everyday and were very satisfied!

› Yummy Yoga

Their homemade dishes are so yummy that we had no problem devouring every bite! The owners are super friendly and made sure that we were satisfied with our meal. Try the pumpkin & veg curry with chapati! You won’t be disappointed!

› Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel

Not only is this one of the best views in town but the food is also very tasty! We came here for lunch quite a few days and shared their pesto veggie sandwich. We also had some tea, coffee and a mango lassie!

› Helloboho Lake Side Restaurant

Owned by the same people as Grasswoods Cafe, Helloboho is located right on the lake with beautiful views. The main entrance doesn’t look like much but the cafe in the back is adorable. We enjoyed the mixed veg and chapati and the prices were very reasonable.

› Rainbow Restaurant

Located upstairs with a great view of Lake Pichola, Rainbow Restaurant has an extensive menu. It is definitely one of the more touristy restaurants but prices were reasonable considering the location. We had the aloo gobhi with chapati and it was very delicious.

Where to Stay

For the duration of our time in Udaipur we stayed at La Pension Kesar Vilas. It was a new place located just outside of the city center. If was very cheap & easy to get an UBER whenever we wanted to get into town and the location was a lot quieter than being in the center. The rooms were comfy, had good a/c & wifi and they have an on-site restaurant.

Another great option is AirBnB. You can find many options such as a private room, entire house or apartment and unique accommodations all for a great rate!

› Get $40 off your first booking by using this link!


Applying for an eVisa


An eVisa to India is required for almost all international travelers. You can apply online for the eVisa prior to your arrival in India and it is a relatively easy process. I did my application through ivisa.com  which is slightly more expensive (by about $30) due to processing fees but is completely stress free and worth it.

birds eye view of Udaipur from the Cable CarI initially did it through the government site but it was a bit complicated and they require tons of details so I went through the other site. To apply online, you will upload a picture of your passport and a passport sized photo. You can easily take a photo of yourself against a white wall and crop it to the correct size.

Make sure you apply about 7-10 days prior to your arrival in India. Sometimes the processing time could take a few days!

For even more information on visiting India including: how to get around, phones & SIMS, vaccination requirements and more check out the post below.

» 2 Days in Delhi: How to Make the Most of a Short Visit

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Buildings located along a lake in Udaipur,India

A girl sitting in a window looking out on the lake in Udaipur

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