Visiting Udaipur’s very large and grand City Palace is the most popular place to visit in Udaipur and it should be high on your list of things to do in Udaipur.
The City Palace was built over 400 years starting in 1553! The complex is considered the largest in Rajasthan and these days is open to visitors to Udaipur.
Not only is it decorated to the highest standard possible, it holds a museum so you can learn more about the Palace and the culture, and because of it’s location on top of a hill, it overs incredible panoramic views of this White City of Rajasthan.
Before you visit Udaipur’s City Palace, here are some tips and pieces of information to note that I wish I had known before I visited.
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Tips for Visiting City Palace in Udaipur
SIM CARD FOR INDIA
I really recommend having a sim card in India as it makes travel in India so much easier! You may have heard that it’s hard to get a sim card in India but you can get a sim card in Delhi Airport, read this post to see how to buy a sim card in Delhi Airport or if you fly in elsewhere 3 ways to buy a sim card in India and you’ll be connected in just a few hours!
WHAT TO WEAR IN INDIA
If you are a woman, here’s what I recommend you pack and wear in India. Technically you can wear what you like in India in most places but to get fewer stares and feel more comfortable, read my post!
DON’T GET SCAMMED IN DELHI
Udaipur City Palace Timings: 9:30am-5:30pm Everyday.
Udaipur City Palace Entry Fee: 300Rs to Enter the Palace and Museum for. Plus 200Rs for an Audio Guide for an Adult. This is the price shown for Foreign Tourists and Indian Tourists.
Udaipur City Palace Parking: There is a City Palace car park around the back of the Palace by the River.
To SEE the City Palace, have a look at my YouTube video here.
Get there early to avoid the crowds
The City Palace of Udaipur opens at 9:30am and like anywhere, the best time to visit Udaipur’s City Palace is in the morning, so get there early to help avoid the crowds. There seems to be group tours visiting the palace all day but if you get there when it opens you’ll have just enough time to avoid the big crowds and big groups who make Udaipur’s City Palace their first stop.
Looking for a tour in Udaipur?? Have a look at one of these:
Purchase the audio guide
For 200Rs, you can purchase an Audio Guide rather than getting a guide to show you round. I found the audio guide to be really good and informing, plus if you are travelling solo or in a small group it will be cheaper.
The other benefit of having an audio guide is you have more freedom and can walk at your own pace. From what I saw the guides seem to tell visitors everything, which is part of their job and what they’re being paid for but I can’t imagine all of the Palace will interest you, parts of it interested me more than others, and it’s a big place!
Take ID or have a Bank Card to hire an audio guide
When you purchase an audio guide ticket at the main entrance you’ll be told you need ID to show when you pick it up. I didn’t have any on me and had to go back to my hotel but as it turns out, when I picked the headset up there is a sign that says they accept ID (drivers license or passport) or a bank card as a guarantee that you’ll take the headset back. That or 2000Rs.
As well as visiting Udaipur’s many Palaces and Temples, Udaipur offers lots of classes and activities like cooking classes, yoga classes, art classes and it’s possible to hire a moped or go on a bike tour, for more information on unique things to do in Udaipur see: 10 Unique Activities, Classes and Things To Do in Udaipur, India!
Don’t try and follow the audio guide numbers exactly
There are 30 points on the audio guide for Udaipur’s City Palace and some may be irrelevant to what you are interested in and some are hard to find. I’d recommend following the route as best as possible and you’ll still find and visit the majority of the palace, that’s what I did anyway.
Give yourself 1-3 hours to see the City Palace of Udaipur
I saw recommendations online advising to give a few hours to the palace. If you enjoy history you may need 3 hours or so, if you’re in a group going around quite fast you may need around 2 hours. On my own I went round it in 1 hour 15 minutes. I didn’t listen to all the audio guide points but I saw most of the palace and enjoyed what I saw. There’s a lot to do in Udaipur and though the Palace is Udaipur’s top tourist attraction, don’t spend all of your day there.
Get your City Views of Udaipur here
If you’re looking for City views of the White City of Udaipur, wait until you visit the palace as you see plenty of views from here!
Make use of the filtered water stations
As you enter and before you leave fill up your water bottle with the filtered water provided which is next to the toilets and information centre.
Related Post: My First Impressions of India!
Udaipur City Palace Photos
BOOKING TRAINS IN INDIA
India is best travelled by train because its the quickest, cheapest and best way of getting to know the country. For an EASY option of booking trains in India use 12GO to search and book trains really easily. If you’ll be in India for awhile, you can use the local booking system, it’s a bit tricker but possible, here’s my post on how to book trains in India as a tourist.
BEST ACCOMMODATION IN INDIA
I always use Booking.com to book my hotels in India and Hostelworld to book my hostels. India has a great range of accommodation with brilliant hostel chains like Moustache, Zostel and Backpacker Panda as well as homestays to luxury hotels.
GUIDED TOURS IN INDIA
Many cities in India are best seen with a guide, even if it’s just a half day tour on your first day. Cities in India are chaotic and complex and what better way to taste the food and get to know the city than with a local. I recommend Get Your Guide & Viator for the best tours in India!
Udaipur Lake Pichola Boat Cruise Tips
Another popular thing to do in Udaipur is a boat trip on Lake Pichola. In all honestly I found the trip to be a bit underwhelming as it was very short (1 hour but it felt a lot less), although it was nice to see the City from the Water so here are some tips if you do go.
Go straight after visiting the City Palace
If you do want to go on a boat tour around Lake Pichola, go straight after the Palace as the ticket booth is next to the main entrance of the City Palace and it’ll save you going all the way back into the palace complex later in your stay.
Give yourself time to walk to the jetty
It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the Palace to the boat jetty so give yourself time to get to the boat.
Lake Pichola Boat Trip Timings
The boats run every hour on the hour from 10:00am-5:00pm but you cannot reserve a certain time so get your ticket and walk down to the jetty with enough time to make sure you can fit onto the time slot that you want.
Lake Pichola Boat Trip Cost
From 10:00-14:00 the price of a boat trip around Lake Pichola is 450Rs but this increases from 15:00 because of the sunset viewing. The cost of a boat trip around Lake Pichola for sunset is 800Rs which is quite a big increase, especially as the sun isn’t even setting at 15:00 or 16:00.
Be prepared to get off the Boat
Don’t think that you stay on the boat for the whole boat trip like I thought. The boat sails from the Palace, down the river slightly, turns back on itself and then heads to Jagmandir Island where you spend 30 minutes. To be honest there isn’t much there. There is a bar but the prices are quite high as it’s a fairly fancy place. Although the views are good and.
The drop off point on Jagmandir Island is not the same place as the pick up point
This is important and something the boat driver didn’t say when he dropped us off. The drop off point on the island of Jagmandir is different to the pick up point. Go through the gardens to the exit sign to be picked up!
You don’t have to get back on the same boat
I don’t believe you have to get back on the same boat.. I didn’t and they don’t wait for you either. Just head there after being on the island for 15-20 minutes and see if there’s a boat waiting, if not, wait for one.
HELP WITH YOUR INDIA ITINERARY
I’ve spent many months travelling India in the last few years visiting over 50 places around the country, here are my recommended itinerary posts for India to help you plan your trip!
City Palace Udaipur Light and Sound Show:
In addition to seeing Udaipur’s City Palace and going on a boat trip around Lake Pichola there is also the option to see a light and sound show at the Palace. I didn’t do it but the show is to spread awareness and interest in the history of Mewar that stretches back 1500 years.
The Light and Sound show at City Palace in Udaipur is a 1-hour, hi-tech show in English known as “The Legacy of Honor”. The show begins at 07:00 PM at the magnificent Manek Chowk in the City Palace complex.
Now you will be set to visit the City Palace of Udaipur in Rajasthan!
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To SEE the City Palace, watch my YouTube Video here: