The Udaipur City Palace is a top tourist attraction and architectural marvel in Udaipur. Located on the banks of Lake Pichola, the opulent building is a seamless blend of Medieval, European, and Chinese architecture. Of all the palaces in Rajasthan, Udaipur is the largest, and arguably the most impressive.
Building works for Udaipurs’ City Palace commenced in 1559, although renovations and additions continued well into the 19th century. Today, the complex is made up of a series of exquisite palaces, gardens, and courtyards. No sightseeing tour in Udaipur is complete without visiting the City Palace, which provides a fascinating insight into the cities history.
In this guide, we advise everything you need to know ahead of visiting the Udaipur City Palace. Including entrance fees, how to get there, what to expect & more.
Udaipur City Palace – A Sightseeing Guide
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How to Get There
Udaipur is an essential addition to any Rajasthan itinerary. It is one of the most popular tourist cities in the country and forms a part of our suggested one month in India Route. You can conveniently reach Udaipur via bus, train, or plane from all over the country.
Set peacefully upon the eastern banks of Lake Pichola, the City Palace can easily be reached on foot if you are staying in the city. Alternatively, you can take a rickshaw or taxi which are easy to come by in Udaipur.
Another way of getting around in Udaipur is to rent a scooter or bicycle; however, I only recommend doing so if you feel confident. Like most places in India, the roads in Udaipur are a rat race, so you need to have your wits about you at all times.
Bike rental shops are present throughout the city, and the average daily rental is 500 rupees ($7) per day for a basic scooter or bicycle.
City Palace Udaipur Entry Fee
Complex Entrance Fee: 30 Rupees (0.5$)
City Palace Entrance Fee (Adults): 300 Rupees ($4.3)
City Palace Entrance Fee (Children): 100 Rupees ($1.4)
Any Camera: 250 Rupees ($3.5) – We managed to get away with this, so it’s worth trying your luck and hiding it in your bag!
Things to Know Before Visiting City Palace in Udaipur
The Udaipur City Palace is open to visitors 7-days a week from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
Best Time to Visit
The best time of year for sightseeing in Udaipur is during the Indian Winter, which runs from October-February. You can expect a dry and cooler climate during this time, resulting in a far more enjoyable experience!
On the other hand, if you want to visit Udaipur City Palace without too many crowds, you’ll need to visit early during peak season. We always try to get to the popular tourist spots just before opening time, so we are first in line to get inside.
Due to narrow walkways within the Udaipur City Palace, it can become especially crowded and claustrophobic during busy times. With this in mind, I reiterate to arrive early to avoid spending most of your time queuing to navigate the complex.
Guided tours of the City Palace are available in a multitude of languages, including English, French, and Hindi. Prices range from 300-500 rupees per group, depending on how many in the group.
Otherwise, audio guides are available for 200 rupees, but you’ll need an ID or a bank card to use as a guarantee. However, after exploring the palace independently, I would say that a guide isn’t necessary.
You will need to allow around 2-3 hours to visit the Udaipur City Palace, including travel time from the city.
The City Palace in Udaipur is a hotspot for photographers; however, here are some things to be aware of before you visit.
- To use a tripod is forbidden in most tourist attractions in Udaipur. You’re likely to be reprimanded by guards if you are caught using one.
- No drones allowed.
- The best time to avoid the crowds is to arrive just before opening time.
- Skilled pickpockets operate in Udaipur. Keep your equipment safe and secure when out of use. We recommend this super convenient photographers bag: K&F Concept Lightweight DSLR Camera Backpack
Lake Pichola Boat Rides
While there are several ghats (docks) around the lake, boat rides from the City Palace are especially popular. I guess, largely due to convenience.
Boat rides on Lake Pichola allow magnificent vistas of the city and surrounding mountain landscapes. You’ll also get up-close-and-personal with the grandeur Taj Lake Palace Hotel, and have the option to get off at Jagmandir Island Palace.
Below are the prices you can expect to pay for a boat ride from the City Palace. However, between you and me, I know you can get the same trip at a far cheaper rate from Lal Ghat. Boat rides on Lake Pichola are especially majestic during sunset.
- Regular Boat Ride (Adults): 300 rupees ($4.3)
- Regular Boat Ride (Children): 150 rupees ($2.15)
- Sunset Boat Ride (Adults): 500 rupees ($7)
- Sunset Boat Ride (Children): 250 rupees ($3.5)
- Chartered Boat: 4000 rupees ($56)
Udaipur City Palace Light & Sound Show
The Light & Sound show, held every evening at the City Palace, is considered a top thing to do at night in Udaipur. However, although we haven’t experienced it ourselves, the reports tend to be underwhelming.
If you are interested in the history of Udaipur, perhaps you will enjoy it. But, there are plenty of other events to keep you entertained in the evening, such as Bagore Ki Haveli, if you want to give this one a miss.
- Light & Sound Show (Adults): 250 rupees ($3.5)
- Light & Sound Show (Children): 100 rupees ($1.4)
Our Experience at the City Palace in Udaipur
Visiting the Udaipur City Palace was always a priority when planning our 2-Day Udaipur Itinerary. Not only were we allured by its beauty, but we were keen to learn about the history behind the Mewar Dynasty – the ancient rulers of Udaipur.
Unfortunately, we are sometimes useless at taking our own advice and didn’t arrive at the palace until 10.30 am. Of course, the complex was already buzzing with tourists by this time. But it was the price to pay for our lazy start.
Upon arrival, you will be ushered toward the ticket desk where you pay the entry fee plus any extras for cameras. We had two mobile phones and our digital camera with us at the time but assured the cashier we had nothing. Somehow we got away with it. Maybe she could tell we were penniless backpackers!
The fees for Udaipur Palace are expensive relative to other tourist attractions in India; however, we found this to be the case for most places in Rajasthan. Often, we agreed that some attractions just aren’t worth the money, but this isn’t the case for Udaipur City Palace. Of all the palaces in Rajasthan, this was our favourite.
Sightseeing at Udaipur City Palace
Upon entering the grand medieval gates at the palace entrance, a stunning courtyard and striking marble architecture await. To the left-hand side of the gardens, you’ll find a beautiful view of the city, which is an interesting spot for taking photos.
As you continue through the complex, you will encounter various galleries and museums, housing several fascinating artifacts. Most areas have information boards and plaques, so it’s easy to get the gist of what everything is all about.
Our favourite areas of the palace include the intricate courtyards and gardens. From the higher levels, you can see right out over the lake and the surrounding mountains. It could be a peaceful place were it not for other people continually shoving and pushing to get a closer look. I guess if you arrive earlier, this is avoidable.
Nevertheless, we found the Udaipur City Palace to be both beautiful and educational. If you are planning a visit to Udaipur, it should be a priority on your sightseeing tour.
Where to Stay in Udaipur
Whether you are looking for luxury, mid-range, or budget, Udaipur is in no shortage of great accommodation options. If you are yet to arrive in this magnificent city, here are some recommendations for you to consider:
Hostel – Gypsy Child Lake Hostel – One of only a few hostels in Udaipur, Gypsy Lake Child is the top choice thanks to its unrivalled location. Boasting incredible views of Lake Pichola, guests can enjoy the sunset from the rooftop.
Budget Private – Jagat Villa Guesthouse – We can personally recommend Jagat Villa Guesthouse, for affordable, clean & comfortable private rooms. Located just a 5-minute walk from Pichola Lake, you have great restaurants and shopping opportunities right on your doorstep.
Luxury – Taj Lake Palace – It doesn’t get more luxurious than the Taj Lake Palace. Located in the middle of Pichola Lake, we could only look on in awe of this enchanting complex. If you are prepared to splash some cash, a stay here would be a once in a lifetime experience.
For more places to stay in Udaipur, you can check the latest prices HERE.
Are you looking for the best lakeside accomodations only? We’ve got you covered from hostel to luxury in this article here.
More on Udaipur
Are you planning a trip to Udaipur? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
- The Best Rajasthan Itinerary for 5 Days or More
- 18 Amazing places to see in Udaipur in 2 days
- Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Udaipur
- 7 Awesome Sunset Spots in Udaipur
- Karni Mata Temple – A Sightseeing Guide
- Monsoon Palace Udaipur – A Sightseeing Guide
- Ahar Cenotaphs Udaipur – Sightseeing Guide
- The Best Lake Facing Hotels in Udaipur
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Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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