2 Days in Jaisalmer might not seem like much time; however, if you use your time wisely, you’ll be able to cover most of the Jaisalmer highlights. With the help of this guide, you can spend less time planning and more time exploring the city. In this 2 Day Jaisalmer Itinerary and guide, we share all of the top places to see in the city, plus where to stay, where to eat, and all of our top tips.
The ‘Golden City’ of Jaisalmer is overflowing with rich culture, compelling history, and mysterious charm. This, combined with all the exciting things to do in Jaisalmer, make it an essential addition to your Rajasthan itinerary. From camel safaris and camping under the stars; to exploring the cities medieval forts, Jaisalmer is a playground for adventurous backpackers.
Jaisalmer is famous for being the ‘Golden City’ thanks to its distinctive sandstone architecture. Which kind of makes sense being set on the outskirts of the desert. Compared to other cities in Rajasthan, the city is actually pretty laid back and I’m wondering if the relentless desert heat has something to do with it. Whatever it is, it sure made meandering the streets a far less stressful ordeal. In fact, getting lost amidst the golden city of India, was one of our favourite things to do.
Anyhow, there is a lot to cover for spending 2 days in Jaisalmer, so let’s get to it!
2 Days in Jaisalmer – Itinerary & Guide
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Getting to Jaisalmer
AIR – To travel by air, Jaisalmer Airport is located around 17KM from the city centre. Daily domestic flights are available from most major airports throughout the country.
TRAIN – Jaisalmer is well connected via train from most major destinations throughout the country; however, booking trains in India can be tricky. It is advised to book at least 3 days in advance and even then you aren’t always guaranteed a ticket. For this reason, we always used the bus network in India. You can book trains up to 6 months in advance using 12go Asia.
BUS – Jaisalmer is accessible by bus from a number of destinations across India. To check routes, timetables and ticket prices we recommend using Redbus. In our experience, they are extremely reliable. They are one of the few companies who will accept payment with an International card, and they are contactable by phone should you have any issues with your journey.
Where to Stay in Jaisalmer
Whether you are looking for luxury, mid-range, or budget, Jaisalmer is not short of great accommodation options.
Hostel – Swan Hostel – One of only a few hostels in Jaisalmer, Swan Hostel is the top choice thanks to its convenient location and comfortable dorm or private rooms.
Budget Private – Bohemian Guesthouse – We can personally recommend Bohemian Guesthouse, for affordable, clean & comfortable private rooms. A 15-20 minute walk from the heart of the city, some may be deterred by the location if you are planning just a short 2 day trip to Jaisalmer.
Luxury – Suryagarh Jaisalmer – For a touch of luxury in Jaisalmer, we would choose the Suryagarh Jaisalmer. Located in the heart of the desert you can expect celebrity treatment at this 5* hotel.
For more places to stay in Jaisalmer, you can check the latest prices HERE or use the search box below.
2 Day Jaisalmer Itinerary
OK, when putting together this Jaisalmer Itinerary, I’ve endeavoured to cover as much as possible. Compared to other cities in Rajasthan, there isn’t a huge amount of things to do. Which is why 2 days in Jaisalmer is an ideal amount of time. On the other hand, some of you will be more enthusiastic than others to cram a lot into the two days. I’m just here to guide you based on our experiences, but feel free to rejig the itinerary as you see fit.
Jaisalmer Itinerary Day 1
Forts, Havelis, and Rooftop Hopping
Assuming you stayed the night in Jaisalmer, you’ll be up bright, breezy and ready to explore. If you haven’t already had breakfast at your hotel, you needn’t worry. There are tons of great rooftop cafes around Jaisalmer which serve as the perfect setting for a nice breakfast. Our favourite spot for breakfast was Kuku Coffee Shop. The food is cheap and delicious, and the view is fantastic.
1. Explore the Jaisalmer Fort
With a striking golden structure that can be seen from miles around, Jaisalmer Fort is the landmark of the city. This fort is unique as it is one of the only lived in forts in the world. The towering sandstone walls encompass not only homes but shops, restaurants, temples and even hotels. Despite these modern developments, the fort retains all the feels of a medieval city. And walking among the castle walls will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time.
Exploring the fort is one of the historical things you can do in the golden city and you never know where the labyrinth of alleyways might lead you. Laid within in the fort are cool rooftop bars, epic viewpoints of the cities, talented artisans, or eerie fortune tellers. Furthermore, it is completely free to enter. This is quite a selling point considering most attractions in Rajasthan come with a steep price tag attached.
Entrance Fee – Free to enter
2. Take a Walking Tour of the Havelis
Havelis are what we westerners know to be mansions, and a number of these buildings can be found in the city of Jaisalmer. In true Rajasthani style, these grandeur buildings are the work of exquisite artistry and craftsmanship.
Patwon Ki Haveli is the largest and most important haveli in Jaisalmer. Once home to a rich merchant, it is now a popular tourist attraction in the city. The intricate sandstone design is quite remarkable and well worth visiting in Jaisalmer. Although it is just a small fee to see the interior, we were quite happy admiring the masterpiece from the outside.
Entrance Fee – Free to view outside. 100 IDR/pax to go inside.
3. Visit Gadisar Lake
One of the more relaxing places to visit on this Jaisalmer Itinerary is Gadisar Lake. The lake is said to be spiritual and the religious temples seemingly floating in the water certainly let off an air of tranquillity. Many locals and tourists alike, come here to meditate at sunrise. Otherwise, it’s a nice spot to read a book, or simply immerse yourself in the serenity that such conditions provide.
Another relaxing activity you can take part in on the lake is peddle boating. A 30-minute boat ride will set you back just 100 IDR for a 2 man boat and allows you to explore the lake at your own leisure. It’s a relaxing experience and a chance to see the ‘floating’ temples in closer proximity. Just try not to get too close in case you cause damage to the structures.
Peddle Boat Price – 100 IDR for 30 minutes
4. Go Rooftop Hopping
The city of Jaisalmer is bursting at the seams with quirky rooftop bars and restaurants. Each of them offering marvellous views over the Golden City. We made an effort to try a new one each day. It is such a great feeling at the end of a busy day to kick back, enjoy an ice cold beer and enjoy the sunset.
Our favourite rooftops include Pleasant Haveli, Kuku Coffee Shop, and Free Tibet Restaurant; however, with so many great options both within and outside of the fort, you can’t go too far wrong.
Jaisalmer Itinerary Day 2
Camel Safari & Camping Under the Stars
OK, it’s day two and I highly recommend you make time to go on a camel safari in the Thar Desert. This experience is one of our most memorable of all our time in India. But, if you aren’t interested in a camel safari, you can skip to the next section for more things to do in Jaisalmer.
5. Camel Safari in Thar Desert
Jaisalmer borders the mystical Thar desert, and one of the consequential things to do when visiting the ‘golden city’, is a a camel safari. From trotting through the sand dunes atop camels, followed by nights under the milky way, it is no wonder that tourists travel from far and wide to take part in this magical experience.
If you can afford to spend another night in Jaisalmer, I can highly recommend the overnight camel safari. However, with tours ranging from 1/2 a day to 3 days+, there is something to suit everybody, regardless of your time constraints or budget. Either way, I urge you to make a camel safari a priority when spending 2 days in Jaisalmer as it’s one of the most unique experiences in India.
6. Visit Khaba Fort
Khaba Fort isn’t one of the popular attractions when visiting the Golden City; however, its compelling history makes it one of the more interesting. The fort and neighbouring village date back to the 13th century. Once inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins, both were mysteriously abandoned some 200 years ago. It is said, that the inhabitants set a spell that forbids anybody else settling in the village. I don’t know if it’s all just ghost stories, but there is no denying the eerie solitude that consumes the area.
*Tip – Khaba Fort is located in the desert, around a 30-minute drive outside of Jaisalmer. It is usually included when booking an overnight camel safari. Check with your tour operator at the time of booking.
More Things to do in Jaisalmer
If you plan on spending more than 2 days Jaisalmer or you have some time spare, here are some other things you can include on your Jaisalmer itinerary.
7. Try a Bhang Lassi or Cookie
You didn’t hear this from us; however, Jaisalmer is one of the few cities in India where it is legal to consume Bhang. That is, however, only if it is purchased from the government approved bhang shop.
For those of you who don’t know what Bhang is, it is an edible form of cannabis. It is most commonly found in Bhang Lassis, a tasty beverage mixed with milk, sugar, and fruits. Or alternatively in cakes or cookies.
Bhang forms a big part of ancient Hindu tradition and is believed to cure many ailments. It produces a similar effect as smoking cannabis; however, can last longer and also take a lot longer to kick in. If it is your first time experimenting with Bhang, it is worth educating yourself on the effects before partaking.
*Travellers Tip – We bought some cookies to take with us on our desert camel safari. Although we do not recommend taking Bhang in the heat, it certainly helped make an enchanting evening spent under the stars, that little more magical.
Price: 1000 IDR for 10 cookies
GOVERNMENT APPROVED BHANG SHOP MAP LOCATION
8. Watch the Puppet Show
Puppeteering plays a big part in traditional Rajasthani culture and Jaisalmer seems to be the heart of it it. As well as artisans selling puppets throughout the golden city, a puppet show is just one of those things you should experience while you are here. You can watch the 40-minute puppet show at the Desert Culture Centre every evening at 6.30pm.
Entrance Fee: 100 IDR/pax
9. Eat Momos at Free Tibet Restaurant
This may sound like an odd recommendation considering we are talking about India; however, the momos at Free Tibet are some of the best we’ve had. Better even, than most, we tried in Nepal. Not only is the food amazing, but the restaurant is one of the few who sell cold beer. Furthermore, the rooftop is a great sunset point in Jaisalmer. In addition to the momos, we can recommend the Malai Kofta curry and the vegetable enchilada.
FREE TIBET RESTAURANT MAP LOCATION
10. Take a Trip to Bada Bagh
Located 6km outside of the city, Bada Bagh is essentially a cemetery for members of the royal family. The magnificently carved cenotaphs are what attracts most tourists here, and have even been the feature of numerous Bollywood films.
Despite being one of the recommended places to visit in Jaisalmer, unfortunately, we didn’t have time to make it to Bada Bagh on this occasion. Although, it is at the top of our list for when we return.
Top Tips for this Jaisalmer Itinerary
Here are my top tips for visiting Jaisalmer, that I hope will help you to better navigate and enjoy this wonderful city.
Best Time to Visit Jaisalmer
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is in winter (November to March) when the weather is dry and not too hot. We visited Jaisalmer in November and while you could still feel the burn of the desert heat, it was just about bearable for us pale-skinned folk. It’s best to avoid Jaisalmer during the months of Summer or Monsoon.
Getting Around in Jaisalmer
Many of the Jaisalmer attractions are within walking distance of one another. However, If you want to go outside of the city the easiest and cheapest way to get around is by scooter. The cost is around 500 IDR for 24hrs; although, be aware that the roads in India are a bit of a rat race. You should only consider this if you are confident and experienced on a motorbike.
Another option is to hire a tuk-tuk. This can be cost effective if you are in a group, but be sure to haggle as the drivers are opportunists when it comes to tourists.
Wherever you go in India, it is important that you dress appropriately. It is recommended that female travellers respect the local tradition of covering shoulders and legs from the knee upwards. Not only is it respectful, but it will help to avoid unwanted attention.
The dress code for men is a little more relaxed; however, it is recommended to avoid revealing vests or tank top.
Be Aware of Scams
In all touristy areas there are many travel scams you should be aware of so consequently, you can avoid them. There are also known to be skilled pick pockets operating in Jaisalmer so be sure to keep your valuables secured at all time. We use either a small padlock or compartmental bag to keep our valuables safe.
Most tourist attraction in India forbid the use of tripods within the grounds. Expect to be reprimanded by security guards if you attempt to use one.
We recommend educating yourself on Travel Safety in India to help you avoid any sticky situations.
As travellers, it should always be a top priority to travel responsibly. We already leave a substantial carbon footprint just by flying to our travel destinations, so that’s even more reason to make a positive impact when we get there. There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller. Read our guide on eco-travel to learn more.
More on Rajasthan
Are you planning a trip to Rajasthan? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
- One month in India – Ultimate itinerary & guide
- The Golden Triangle India – itinerary & guide
- 2 Days in Jaipur – The Best Jaipur Itinerary
- 18 Amazing Places to Visit in Udaipur in 2 Days
- The Best Rajasthan Itinerary for 5 Days or More
Thank You For Reading
Well, that concludes our 2 Day Jaisalmer Itinerary. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical city If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, or through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here where we share further travel advice & inspiration.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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