Ahmedabad - Walk through history & heritage

Ahmedabad Airport Directory (AMD)
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India's first UNESCO World Heritage city, Ahmedabad was once known as the mills' city due to its exquisite mill culture. Being established by Sultan Ahmed Shah, the city is the commercial hub of Gujarat and has always had the makings of a great shopping destination. Of course, there's more to the place than designer wear and the Gujarati thali. It's the ideal mix of medieval and modern, which makes it an exciting place to explore.

Best time to visit: Winters are the best time to visit Ahmedabad, between November and February.

How to reach

  • Flights to Ahmedabad: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, situated in Hansol, is the nearest airport, about 15 km (30minutes drive) from the city centre. IndiGo operates 44 daily flights from  Ahmedabad to multiple cities.
  • By train: Locally known as Kalupur station, Ahmedabad railway station has good connectivity to all major cities in the country through several super-fast and express trains. Buses, taxis and autos are readily available from the station to travel in the town.
  • By bus: Ahmedabad has a good network of buses connecting in and around the city. Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services primarily manage buses (AMTS) and Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC).
  • Getting around/local transport in Ahmedabad: Auto rickshaws and buses by AMTS & BRTS are the most convenient transportation mode in Ahmedabad. The city also has a vast network of local taxis and private cab services like OLA and Uber.

Most Spoken Languages in Ahmedabad

  • Hindi
  • English
  • Gujarati
Baggage Allowance
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7Kg
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Places to visit in Ahmedabad

Places to eat in Ahmedabad

 Akbari Hotel, Bhatiyar Gali
Akbari Hotel, Bhatiyar Gali

If you’ve come here expecting to have a relaxing evening, head for the exit. This place is a hectic and noisy serving brilliant grilled meat. So, you wait for your meal while the enticing aromas of the gurda kaleji and bheja fry compete with smells from nearby butcher shops.

 

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Agashiye, House of MG, Lal Darwaja
Agashiye, House of MG, Lal Darwaja

It’s hard to be indisposed to waiters who regularly top up your plate with impeccable Gujarati fare. On the rooftop terrace of the city’s most elegant hotel is perched Agashiye, which rather unimaginatively means terrace, featuring a menu that changes all day. Better to book a table though: only Lady Luck can get a seat during busy hours.

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Green House, House of MG, Lal Darwaja
Green House, House of MG, Lal Darwaja

Every once in a while, we all pine for a bit of beauty and greenery. This al-fresco restaurant flanked by a lush patch of green is all about slow food. On the menu is a selection of Gujarati fare; we’d recommend you ask for the baked khichdi and panki followed with a scoop or five of the hand-churned kesar ice cream.

 

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Manek Chowk
Manek Chowk

If you don’t mind eating on your feet, this is the place to go to when hunger strikes at midnight. Come down, it’s a vegetable market that magically morphs into a jewellery street in the afternoon and fades into a street food paradise by nightfall. The chocolate pizza, the Asharfa kulfi and pineapple sandwiches are a treat to opt.

 

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Vishalla, Vasna Road
Vishalla, Vasna Road

 This place is where you go if you want to see India’s cleanest village. The moment you step into Vishalla for dinner, you’ll be transported to a charming lantern-lit hamlet with mud floors, whirling Garba dancers and folk music–what’s missing are just bullock carts and sugarcane fields. There’s even a Utensils Museum to admire after you’ve wiped your plate clean. A nice little reward if you finish your carrots and peas.Known for its Bengali cuisine, this eatery is walking distance from the Chowmuhani post office. The mochar ghonto, shorshe ilish and kasha mangsho are all must-orders.

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Shopping places in Ahmedabad

High-end shopping/luxury shopping/shopping malls in Ahmedabad

  • Ahmedabad One Mall (Alpha One Mall): Formerly known as The Alpha One Mall, Ahmedabad One Mall is currently the leading attraction and one of the city's most adored places. The mall is a hub of food, shopping and entertainment with a wide range of local and international brands situated within the mall. Apart from shopping options, it also has a cinema hall, and a huge food court.
  • Shyamal & Bhumika, Navarangapura: Meet a couple who've turned their passion for design into a much-sought-after brand. They're best known for their bridal couture and prêt collection. All crafted with age-old techniques and hand-woven embroideries. A perfect marriage, some would say.
  • Ahmedabad Central: Ahmedabad Central is one of the most popular places within the city, to shop from a vast and diverse range of apparels/accessories and more. Home to almost every international brand, the mall offers a number of discounts and deals.

Street shopping in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad’s old and iconic markets such as the Rani No Hajiro Market, Lal Darwaza, Law Garden etc. are fantastic places to pick up traditional tie and dye weaves, beautiful textiles, jewellery, crafts, and all kinds of other goods.

  • Bandhej: An iconic shopping destination in Ahmedabad where it originated, this is where you will find vibrant knitted separates, handcrafted linen jackets, shirts and appliqué work. For the past 25 years, Bandhej has worked with local artisans to create collections that use traditional techniques for contemporary wear. Even if you don't plan on buying anything, it is worth a visit to chat with the knowledgeable staff.
  • Options, Bodakdev Road: On display: Anokhi's trademark block-printed clothing, Yamini's home furnishings and handmade leather items from the villages of Kutch all in a store with mud-plastered walls, a water-feeder for birds who drop by, and a pebbled pathway. Keep an eye out for its exhibitions—one showcased Kutchi artisans demonstrating the craftsmanship behind their products. They take their art seriously.
  • The Night Market at Law Garden: A kaleidoscope of colour blinds you at every corner, the range, as well as the crowds, are limitless. Traditional wear like chaniya cholis, stoles with mirror-work together with a treasure trove of jewellery and home linen are yours for the taking. Gurjari, Ashram Road: Woven dhurries and carpets, quirky wall art, mirror-worked bedspreads, colourful quilts—there's a wealth of gorgeous handicrafts at this store. You'll want to buy them all.

The city sure makes a case for airlines to increase their baggage allowance. From artisanal textiles to the best lehenga-cholis, shopping is never a chore. Besides, leading design institutes, including the National Institute of Design (NID) and the National Institute of Fashion Technology has given rise to a breed of independent designers, whose boutiques and workshops add to the eclectic and genuinely satisfying shopping experience.

Nightlife/party places in Ahmedabad

Foreigners visiting Gujarat, one of India's first states to go 'dry', can now apply online for a temporary permit or arrival at the airport. It entitles the visitor to buy liquor at select hotels and consume it where they reside. Indians, meanwhile, can always ask for a Virgin Mojito with a dash of green lemon, please. Envy – it's not a very pleasant feeling.

Where to stay in Ahmedabad

Hyatt-Regency

Hyatt Regency With a strategic location in the city centre, the hotel is a short walk from principal business and shopping centres, as well as the Sabarmati Ashram and riverfront, making it ideal for business travellers and tourists alike.

Lal-Darwaja-hotel

The House of MG, Lal Darwaza This stately heritage hotel was once the family estate of a textile baron named Mangaldas Girdhardas.

mangaldasSuite

Mangaldas Suite Book the Mangaldas Suite—it was formerly the textile baron’s bedroom, and experience life like it once was for the city’s upper crust.

Neemrana-Divan-Bungalow

Neemrana’s Divan’s Bungalow Situated in Ahmedabad’s old walled city, this restored 19th-century mansion has an air of natural elegance. A beautiful heritage home, the property is now a Neemrana “non-hotel”. Perfect for visitors who wish to experience a traditional, unhurried experience.

More reasons to visit and top things to do in Ahmedabad

Dada Hari Ni Vav

Do visit this 500years old stepwell and get amazed by its beautiful structure, intricately carved walls and floral sculptures. Built during the reign of Mahmud Begada, this stepwell was used to store water and served as a resting place for the travellers. Go down to this 7-storey stepwell and admire the shining world up above.

Hathee Singh Temple

Dedicated to 15th Jain Tirthankara known as Dharmnath, the temple is a popular one, named after its founder and Jain merchant Hathee Singh. Its stunning architecture, design and style in white marble is something that amazes every visitor. The tiled courtyard with 52 shrines is among the most striking feature of the temple.

Kite Museum

An absolute delight for everyone, the Kite Museum is unique in its way. The museum houses different kinds of kites, used all over the world.

Shaking Minarets

You can't miss this place while in Ahmedabad. Famous as Jhulta Minar and Sidi Bashir Mosque, the surprising fact about this place is that when it's one minaret shakes the other also starts vibrating. Its unique and mysterious phenomenon that takes as the path connecting two minarets is vibration-free.

Dine with the dead

The New Lucky Restaurant at Lal Darwaja is built on a century-old cemetery. A dozen graves lie within the restaurants' walls and are sealed off by iron grills, so there's no chance of a withered hand reaching out for your maska bun.

A safari gone wild

Forget the ubiquitous tiger or its stately cousin. Check into the Rann Riders Resort in Dasada and spot a herd of wild ass, native to the area.

Amdavad ni Gufa

When you thought Ahmedabad couldn't possibly have more to offer, there are some hidden gems to plan for. In search of art inside a cave: Amdavad ni Gufa, an underground art gallery, exhibits the late Indian artist, MF Hussain. The legendary artist had come up with the idea of displaying his work in a cave-like art gallery, which would provide an unusual backdrop to his work while also protecting it from the heat. The interior space is an exquisite maze of curvilinear walls, inclined domes, undulating floors and leaning columns. Far from underground art, but worth a visit.

Heritage walk

For an introduction to the city’s old quarters, try a heritage walk here. The route takes you on winding lanes to see the Swaminarayan Mandir, Manek Chowk, Bhadra Citadel, Badshah no Hajira, Jama Masjid, Teen Darwaza, Jain temples, and a sprinkling of Persian, Maratha, Mughal, and British buildings. The highlight of the walk, though is the 90-year-old Doshiwada ni Pol, a remarkable 40-room haveli (mansion).

Places to visit near Ahmedabad

Mount Abu

A lovely little hill station, Mount Abu is in the wooded Aravalli Hills, 1,720 metres above sea level, 225km from Ahmedabad. Its colonial past is evident in the old British-style hospital, the Governor's residence and church, while a more ancient history gifted it the exquisite Dilwara Jain Temples. The surrounding hills are perfect for a relaxing stroll, and the former royal retreats are now lovely heritage hotels.

Gir Forest (347 km from Ahmedabad)

Take a safari through the forest to see over 400 Asiatic lions in their natural habitat. Lodges on the forest's edges are a great place to bed down so that you're up early for the morning safari.

Patan

The ancient town of Patan in Gujarat is so well preserved, it's like time stood still here. Founded in the 8th century, the wooden facades, traditional sculptures and stepwells will have architecture enthusiasts and history buffs enamoured. The most famous stepwell, Rani-ki-Vav, has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2014.

Rann of Kutch

It's one of the most spectacular landscapes in the region with an endless sea of salt marshes. As captivating as the view is the inhabitants of the Rann of Kutch. A large number of villages here specialise in different forms of artistry. Take the Hodka Artist Village—home to many artisans specialise in everything from intricate Banni embroidery to leatherwork. At the same time, the Ludia Village displays colourful mud houses that reflect its people's culture.

One day travel guide for Ahmedabad

If you have only one day to visit Ahmedabad, here is how you can make the best of it. Start your day by experiencing enticing sunrise filled with birds chirping at Gandhi Ashram. Have breakfast and go for a heritage walk as it will be a crime if you don't explore the rich legacy of this beautiful old city. Relive history by visiting age-old structure like Sarkhej Roja, Teen Darwaja, Shaking Minarets, Bhadra Fort and much more reminiscent of glorious past. It's time for lunch now. Taste some authentic Gujarati food starting from Dhoklas, Panki Chatni, Khichu and more. Then head to Law Garden road to pick up some souvenirs or authentic Ahmedabad dupattas, silver jewellery, mirror, and handwork chaniya cholis. At the end of your day, go to Sabarmati Riverfront to experience a beautiful sunset, followed by munching some local snacks after that take, a walk at Kankaria lake while enjoying the breeze and pleasant surroundings. 

Festivals in Ahmedabad

Uttarayan International Kite Festival

Uttarayan International Kite Festival usually falls on a bright shining day with clear skies. It is also celebrated to mark the end of the winter season and welcome the summer season. It is during this time of the year that the city becomes very lively, and the sky is filled with kites.

Navratri Festival Ahmedabad

Devoted to Goddess Shakti, the Navratri festival in Ahmedabad is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. The key highlight of the festivity of nine nights is the beautiful folk dance of Gujarat called Garba. Each day of the festival begins with the aarti where the entire city comes together and celebrate this day.

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