Things to do in Hyderabad

Activities, attractions and tours
Charminar featuring a memorial, a city and a mosque

Hyderabad Attractions

The capital of the state of Telangana is known as the City of Pearls for its central role in the historical trade of precious stones. Hyderabad can be simply separated into the old city, where many of the architectural gems are to be found, and the new city, sometimes called Cyberabad for its flourishing tech sector. But this is a sprawling mega-city, with dozens more crowded neighbourhoods in between, each with their own unique and vibrant atmosphere. Get your bearings with a fun auto rickshaw tour, bearing in mind that at rush hour the traffic can be, ahem, a little on the heavy side.

Areas & Neighbourhoods in Hyderabad

Old City - The vast majority of Hyderabad’s historical attractions are clustered in the old city, on the south bank of the Musi river. Charminar is probably the best-known sight, and you can climb to the top of one of its four minarets for panoramic city views. The vast Golconda Fort, a short distance outside the city, was once the seat of the Qutb Shahi kingdom.

Central Zone - Ideal for upscale dining and shopping, the central zone also has plenty of sightseeing opportunities, particularly the majestic King Kothi Palace, with its distinctive European styling.

North Zone - The beautiful Spanish mosque, so named for its Moorish appearance, is found in the neighbourhood of Secunderabad, which is sometimes referred to as Hyderabad’s twin city. During the 1890s, a young Winston Churchill was for a time stationed in this area.

Laad Bazaar - One of the best-known bazaars in Hyderabad, the Laad Bazaar has been around for centuries, and is where to come if you want to find inexpensive, gaudy jewellery, especially bangles, and you can also pick up some beautiful hand woven saris and perfumes here. Typically, you’ll be invited to seat yourself on a mattress, while the shopkeeper arranges their wares in front of you.

Things to See in Hyderabad

Take a tour of Ramoji Film City, the world’s largest film studio complex and ground zero for what’s known as Tollywood, a branch of Indian cinema producing movies in the Telugu language. You’ll catch miniature cities, Wild West stunt shows, and breathtakingly choreographed dance performances. The Golkonda Fort, just to the west of Hyderabad, is an Indian archaeological treasure, with an outer wall spanning 10 kilometres, and a vault that was once used to store some of the world’s most valuable gems, including the Koh-i-noor diamond.

Things to Do in Hyderabad

Eat - as much as you can. Even in a country known for its delectable food, Hyderabad is famous. Biryani is a very popular dish here, and the city also has a good reputation for the quality of its street food. Birla Mandir, a Hindu Temple, was constructed with thousand of tonnes of pure white marble and is one of the most iconic sights in Hyderabad. Another must-do in Hyderabad, spend a morning wandering the colourful bazaars to take in the local atmosphere and snapping up a few gifts to take home.

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Top places to visit

1. Charminar

The Charminar monument is an internationally recognized icon in the center of Hyderabad. With its minarets and domes, it showcases typical Islamic design. In one corner sits a beautiful mosque where mass prayers take place on Fridays. Tourists rarely leave the city without taking a trip to Charminar and the surrounding markets, which are filled with food and jewelry. The monument was built in 1591 to celebrate the end of a plague epidemic in Hyderabad.
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In the late 16th century, this monument was erected to celebrate the end of a plague. Now, it is one of Hyderabad’s most famous landmarks.

2. Golconda Fort

Golconda Fort is an imposing building that once protected an ancient city in an area famous for its diamond mines. The fort and surrounding ruined city make up one of the most popular attractions in Hyderabad. Come to see the fort’s mosques and colossal mud walls and experience the building’s incredible acoustics. The Kakatiya Kings originally constructed the fort from mud in the 12th century.
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Visit these ancient ruins and wander around mud walls to learn about the mosques, palaces and artillery of an ancient civilization.

3. Nehru Zoological Park

The Nehru Zoological Park contains wildlife and nature spread out over 380 acres (104 hectares) of parkland. It is one of the largest animal parks in the country, acting as a museum as well as a zoo. Come to see the Lion Safari Park, elephant rides and more than 160 species of animals. The site lies next to a picturesque lake and is an ideal retreat from Hyderabad’s busy urban life.
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Visit this park to see animals running wild in safari habitats and learn about some of the 160 rare and exotic species housed here.

4. Salar Jung Museum

The Salar Jung Museum is one of India's most prized historic institutions, preserving a huge range of ancient academic journals, rustic weaponry and precious royal items from throughout the ages. Examine the intriguing collection of objects amassed by one globetrotting explorer.
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Journey through time, from the 2nd century through to the 20th, as you browse books, artworks and other fascinating items gathered by the adventurer Salar Jung.

5. Chowmahalla Palace

Chowmahalla Palace is an architectural marvel with elaborate and ornately decorated features throughout its vast grounds. Upon stepping into the regal palace and its gardens, you will become immediately aware that this was once the official residence of a ruling family. The Nizams of Hyderabad entertained here from the 1800s. Said to be a replica of the Shah’s Palace in Iran, Chowmahalla Palace is home to 12 acres (5 hectares) of courtyards, halls, fountains and gardens.
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See a collection of vintage cars and family heirlooms in this regal palace with scenic gardens, grand structures and baroque interiors.

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