Known as Suryapur (the city of the sun god) in the 15th century, Surat now is the hub for diamond cutting, polishing and textile industry. The city has come a long way from being an essential and large port city in India to become a central business and industrial centre of the country. Making its presence felt from ancient to present times, the narrow lanes, ancient monuments, delicious food and modern infrastructure are what defines the city’s urban landscape that instantly attracts tourists towards itself.
Best time to visit: October to March is the best time to visit Surat.
How to reach
By Air: Surat International Airport is the nearest airport, located 20km away from the city center. IndiGo operates 52 non-stop weekly flights between Surat and Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Goa Hyderabad & Jaipur with seamless connection to other cities in India.
By Train: Surat railway station is the central station in the city, connecting it to the rest of the country through regular trains.
By Bus: The city has a good network of roads and well-connected with other cities via private and government bus services.
Getting around: Local buses operated by Surat City Bus are the standard mode of transportation in the city along with hired cabs and shared auto-rickshaws.
The place is famous for serving the best breakfast in the city. Their different variations of delicious Locho and Khaman is a treat for the taste buds. You must try their version Locho, and Khama garnished with green chilli.
You ask anyone, and they will tell you where Dotivala Bakers and Confectioners is situated. Being run by the sixth generation of family members, the place is there since 1775. You can’t leave the bakery without buying Batasas, Khari biscuits and Nankhatai which are famous across the country.
This is not the name of any restaurant instead these are the small stall selling sev that are thin noodles of gram flour in different flavours. Shop owners will try to attract you by offering free samples of sev and ponk that are mixed together and then eaten.
Surtis love eggs! So the street vendors have come up with all sorts egg dishes to satiate their love for eggs. The most popular among all is ‘Ghotalo’ (again a must try) which is a combination of an omelette, scrambled egg and boiled egg cooked up in a secret masala. Usually, most of the egg dishes in Surat are cooked using lots of butter, pungent green chillies and green garlic.
If you are dying to have non-vegetarian food then go to Zampa Bazaar in Begumpura where you will find ample of barbeque stalls crowding the narrow lanes and decorated with marinaded chicken strings. The aroma of baked rotis, roasted meat in hot coals will make you drool for the food. A speciality of this place is Rangooni paratha that is minced-stuffed and deep-fried.
‘Ghari’ is another speciality of Surat and you must buy it from Shah Jamnadas Chauta Ghariwala. Founded in 1899, their signature Kesar Badam Pista Ghari is a must try. The shop’s other specialities include Doodhi halwa and Kesar suttarfeni.
The place is famous for serving the best Gujarati food in town and known for its delicious Gujarat thali. Its ambience has a traditional feel and is always crowded.
Another fantastic place that offers authentic Gujarati flavours is Kansar Gujarati Thali. The restaurant is known for serving an unlimited option for thalis. Their service is quite speedy which makes it ideal for business travellers.
You will get confused thinking where to start shopping in Surat. There are various emporiums, handicraft centres, shops bustling with pieces of jewellery, textiles, ivory décor and wood carvings items. So start your shopping spree by visiting the jewellery shops and their beautiful designs sprawled across the streets of the city. The best place to shop for jewellery includes shops at Rander road and Ghoddod road. Now coming to the second speciality of the city, textiles. Surat is known to produce the most elegant form of silk saris starting with Tanchoi, Gajee, Kinkhab and Brocade. Garments decorated with zari, kinari and salma are the must buys. Another speciality of the city includes woodwork or Sadeli work. The artisans are known to create intricately carved boxes or caskets. These are readily available in numerous private shops as well as government emporiums. You can buy these from street vendors also, but in that case, you need to be good at bargaining.
The Taj Gateway Hotel Located closely at the banks of Tapti River, The Taj Gateway Hotel is an ideal address where business meets luxury. Its proximity to the industrial hub makes it a perfect choice for business travellers. And also for leisurely travellers who want to stay and relax at the hotel.
Courtyard by Mariott Strategically located near all important destinations, this 5-star hotel offers a luxurious stay at a good value for money. One of the most attractive features of the property is the outdoor pool.
The Grand Bhagwati If you are in Surat for a one day trip and want to relax in the hotel then this is the place to be. Featuring an Olympic size swimming pool and being located close to the airport, the Grand Bhagwati hotel is an ideal place to sit and relax your day in the city.
Surat is home to some scenic beaches like Dumas beach, Suvali, Tithal, Hajira and Umbharat beach. So after a hectic sightseeing schedule, relax and unwind yourself at some of these beaches. Wildlife enthusiasts can go to Gavier Lake early in the morning to catch the sight of numerous migratory birds like Yellow-fronted pied Woodpecker, Indian Peafowl, Small Blue Kingfisher, Purple Sunbird and others as well.