An Epic 2 Week Rajasthan Itinerary

Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi

Rajasthan is a fantastic choice for first-timers visiting India. Revered as the “Land of Kings,” Rajasthan was once the stronghold of India’s greatest Rajput rulers. They left behind a legacy of grand fortresses, lavish palaces and colourful cities, which, combined with the land’s expansive deserts and tiger-clad jungles, offer a vibrant and exciting introduction to India.

This 2 week Rajasthan itinerary that will help you to see some of the highlights of India’s largest state in a relatively short amount of time. You’ll experience the bustle of chaotic Delhi, wander the Pink City of Jaipur, explore desert forts in Jaisalmer, embark on a tiger safari in the beautiful Ranthambore National Park, and so much more.

2 week Rajasthan itinerary overview

A — Delhi
B — Jaipur
C — Jaisalmer
D — Jodhpur
E — Udaipur
F — Ranthambore NP
G — Back to Delhi

Delhi: 2 days

I’m going to assume you’ll be arriving into India via Delhi, so this 2 week Rajasthan itinerary is going to kick off there. It’s one chaotic, busy city and I personally found it to be a little overwhelming, but it’s a great introduction to India.

Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb

Things to do in New Delhi

  • Get lost in the markets and bazaars: Head to historic Old Delhi and immerse yourself in the chaos of India’s capital city. Visit the Chandni Chowk bazaar and the spice markets to see what Delhi is all about. From spices to handicrafts, Delhi’s markets sell everything you could possibly imagine.
  • Visit the Red Fort: The Red Fort is Delhi’s largest monument; a staggering example of Mughal-era architecture. Inside its walls, you’ll find palaces, a mosque and beautiful gardens.
  • Check out Humayun’s Tomb: Constructed in 1565, Humayun’s Tomb houses Mughal Emperor Humayun. The building is simply sublime; intricately detailed and seemingly symmetrical.

Jaipur: 2 days

Jaipur, commonly referred to as “The Pink City,” is the capital city of Rajasthan and a hot spot for tourists. Why is it referred to as “The Pink City,” you may ask? Well, Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales visited India in 1876, and the ruler of Jaipur at the time, Maharaja Ram Singh, had the city painted pink in their honour. It’s more of a burnt orange colour if you ask me, but it’s pretty nonetheless.

Jaipur, India's Pink City
Jaipur, India’s Pink City

Things to do in Jaipur

  • Check out the City Palace: Head to the City Palace early, as it can get crowded if you go late in the day. It’s a seriously beautiful complex, boasting ornate interiors and lavish gardens and courtyards. You can either purchase tickets for the museum, which gets you access to the City Palace museum and courtyards, or you can opt for the full City Palace tour. The full tour buys you a personal guide, access to inside the palace, tours of the rooms and some tea and biscuits at the end!
  • See the Hawa Mahal: The most beautiful and architecturally impressive structure in The Pink City is — in my opinion — the Hawa Mahal. It roughly translates to “Palace of the Winds.” Constructed of red and pink sandstone, and likened to the structure of a honeycomb, this palace was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. Apparently, the intent of the honeycomb design was to allow royal ladies to be able to look out of the windows without being seen. Either way, this hard-to-miss building is very beautiful.
  • Explore the Amber Fort: The Amber Fort is indisputably the biggest attraction in all of Jaipur. Built in 1592, this fort is old. It sits on top of a small hill, which you must walk up to access the inside of the fort. Constructed from red sandstone and overlooking Maota Lake, this spectacular fort hosts an extensive palace complex, built from sandstone and marble, and each of the four palace sections has its own beautiful courtyard.

Tip: There is the option to ride an elephant up to Amber Fort from the base of the hill. I urge you not to do this, as elephants used for riding are generally treated poorly.

Jaisalmer: 3 days

Jaisalmer is a remote city in far west India, isolated within the Thar Desert, close to the Pakistan border. Known as “The Golden City,” Jaisalmer is built mostly in yellow sandstone, shining gold during the day and fading to a honey colour as sundown approaches.

Jaisalmer Fort, India
Jaisalmer Fort

Things to do in Jaisalmer

  • Explore Jaisalmer Fort: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jaisalmer Fort is one of the only forts in the world in which people still reside within its walls. About 4000 people live inside this massive fortress, along with Havelis, temples, markets, restaurants, and all the colour and chaos one would associate with India. A guide gave us a tour of the fort, which without, we would have gotten completely lost within minutes.
  • Watch the sunset from a rooftop cafe: I recommend you head to a high point within the fort at sunset to enjoy the view. There is an official “sunset point” within the fort — where most people flock to — but myself and my friends arrived at the fort pretty late and hastily asked some locals for “the sunset point.” A man escorted us to his restaurant, where he let us climb up onto his roof to watch the gorgeous sunset.
  • Visit the sand dunes: About 45 kilometres outside of Jaisalmer, on the edge of Jaisalmer Desert National Park, you’ll find the Sam Sand Dunes. The dunes are very picturesque: rolling hills of sand with the occasional camel or two wandering lazily by. I recommend joining a jeep tour to experience the dunes.

Jodhpur: 2 days

Jodhpur is the second-largest city in Rajasthan, and is dubbed the “Blue City” thanks to the vibrant blue homes that surround its famous Mehrangarh Fort.

Jodhpur Blue City, India
The Blue City

Things to do in Jodhpur

  • Visit Mehrangarh Fort: Despite being over five centuries old, the impressive Mehrangarh Fort still towers 400 feet above the ground. Once you’ve explored the fort complex, make sure you walk to the back of Mehrangarh Fort to drink in panoramic views of Jodhpur. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, I recommend ziplining around the fort. The network of ziplines here includes six lines and takes about 90 minutes to complete, enabling you to glide over the fortress and its lakes for a truly spectacular view.
  • Explore the clock tower and Old City market: An old clock tower stands in the heart of Jodhpur — and it’s still working! You can even climb to the top of the tower to meet the man who looks after it. Directly next to the clock tower, you’ll find Sadar Market. Bustling and chaotic, you’ll find almost everything on its stalls, from handicrafts and fabrics to soaps and spices.
  • See the Blue City: Head into the Blue City itself, known as Navchokiya, where you’ll face a tangle of winding, medieval streets. Scented by incense, spices and rosewater, you’ll find an interesting area refreshingly void of tourists.

Udaipur: 3 days

Udaipur may just be my favourite city in India. It’s a fairy tale of myriad temples, glistening lakes, and narrow lanes, surrounded by lavish royal palaces and the lush Aravalli mountains.

Wandering through its narrow lanes, you might easily be convinced that you were in Europe. Coffee shops, art galleries, and craft stores line the streets; white buildings ooze elegance, and glistening Lake Pichola wraps around the old town. Spend your days exploring Udaipur’s romantic streets and sipping on copious amounts of chai at rooftop cafes.

Machhala Hilltop, Udaipur, India
Sunset over Lake Pichola from Machhala Hilltop

Things to do in Udaipur

  • Watch a show at Bagore Ki Haveli: Be sure to visit the beautiful Bagore Ki Haveli in the evening to watch a traditional Rajasthani dance. Folk dance and puppet shows are extremely famous in Rajasthan, and you simply must go to see one if you visit. Our tour guide was from Udaipur, so perhaps he was biased, but he reckoned that the ones in Udaipur are some of the best. Beautiful ladies adorned in brightly coloured Rajasthani dresses danced elegantly to music, and skilled puppeteers acted out sketches for us to laugh at.
  • Enjoy a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola: Take a sunset boat tour out onto Lake Pichola. The lake is actually man-made, created in 1362 to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of the city. To be honest, I imagine the lake is probably pretty natural by this point, given that it’s older than most cities in The United States. Head out onto Lake Pichola as dusk approaches and watch as the sun gradually dips behind the mountains, casting a fierce orange flame across the water.
  • Take the cable car to Machhala Hilltop: Take the cable car up to Machhala Hilltop, where a small but beautiful Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Karni Mata resides. While the temple is nice, the view from the hilltop will really take your breath away — you can see the entire city and its lakes, backed by the Aravalli hills.

Ranthambore National Park: 2 days

Ranthambore National Park is home to tigers. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll encounter a tiger, but it’s worth taking the chance to see one of these beautiful big cats in the wild. Tiger safaris are offered in almost every hotel and booking agency in town, so you’ll be able to do some research to find one that’s responsible and reputable.

Where to stay in Ranthambore National Park: The Village Heart

Tiger in Ranthambore National Park, India
Photo by Joe66 via Pixabay

From Ranthambore National Park, head back to Delhi to complete your 2 weeks in Rajasthan, or continue on to your next adventure in India.

Additions to your 2 week Rajasthan itinerary

Got longer than 2 weeks to spend? Or perhaps some of the destinations above aren’t right for you? Here are some other ideas to include in your Rajasthan itinerary.

Agra — home to the Taj Mahal

Okay, so Agra isn’t in Rajasthan, but it is just across the border in neighbouring state Uttar Pradesh. This makes it a convenient add-on to your visit to Rajasthan. It’s really worth the detour, as Agra is home to the iconic Taj Mahal. Emperor Shah Jahan reckoned the building was so beautiful that it made “the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.” I have to agree; the Taj is an impossibly beautiful building. Despite being surrounded by hundreds of people, it’s still a very special sight and few people leave disappointed.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The Taj Mahal

Planning your trip to Rajasthan

I hope my 2 week Rajasthan itinerary has given you some ideas on how you might like to spend your time in this vibrant part of India. Keep reading for my travel tips on what it’s like to travel in Rajasthan, including budgets, cuisine, visas, getting around, and more.

Do you need a visa for Rajasthan?

Most foreigners will need a visa to enter India. You can’t buy one at the border, so you must get one in advance. Most nationalities can apply for an e-visa online and should do this at least 4 days in advance. The cost varies per country, but the visa fee for UK nationals, for example, is 25 USD.

When is the best time to visit Rajasthan?

October to March is arguably the best time to visit as temperatures are at their mildest. During the summer months (April to June) it can get seriously hot, particularly in the desert. July to September brings the monsoon, so unless you enjoy heavy downpours, you’ll probably want to avoid this time of year.

Jaisalmer Fort, India
October to March bring the mildest temperatures

Typical costs of travelling in Rajasthan

India is a very cheap country to travel in — especially if you’re travelling on a budget and choose to keep costs down. You could quite easily get by on about 20 – 25 USD per day, including accommodation, food, transport and activities.

If you have more money to spend, a daily budget of 40 USD will get you a nice hotel room, sit-down meals at restaurants, and lots of tours and excursions! Your money goes a long way in Rajasthan.

Accommodation: Hostel dorms and budget hotel rooms start from about 4 USD per night. (Yes, really!)

Food: Food is incredibly cheap (and tasty) in India. Street food costs as little as 1 USD for a large plate of rice and curry. If you eat local street food, you can get by on a food budget of 3 USD a day.

Transport: Rajasthan has an excellent rail network and tickets are cheap. Typically, they start from about 5 USD, even for long-distance, overnight journeys.

Activities: Rajasthan is home to a ton of amazing, free activities. However, it’s likely that you’ll want to do some activities which cost. For example, entry to Jaipur’s City Palace costs a little over 8 USD and tiger safaris in Ranthambore National Park start from about 45 USD.

Street food1 – 3 USD
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant6 – 12 USD
Bottle of water0.25 USD
Cappucino1 – 2 USD
Local beer0.50 – 1.25 USD
Import beer1.50 USD
Budget hotel roomFrom 4 USD
Tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park45 – 100 USD
Entry to Jaipur’s City Palace8 USD
Train from Delhi to Jaipur5 USD

Getting around in Rajasthan

The best way to travel around Rajasthan is by train. You can travel between all the main cities in Rajasthan this way, as well as to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and beyond.

Due to the size of Rajasthan, distances between cities are vast. For example, the train from Delhi to Jaipur takes around 5 hours, and the train from Jaipur to Jaisalmer can take up to 12 hours. I recommend utilising sleeper trains so that you can travel to your next destination overnight while you sleep.

Keep in mind that the trains can get booked up, so you’ll want to buy tickets in advance. I recommend using 12Go Asia.

Thank you for reading! If you found this post useful, I’d be grateful if you would consider using the affiliate links below when planning your travels. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This will help me to keep this blog running. Thanks for your support – Lauren.

Hotels – Booking.com
Hostels – Hostelworld
Cheap flights – Skyscanner
Travel insurance – World Nomads
Outdoor gear – Decathlon / GO Outdoors
Cycling gear – Chain Reaction Cycles

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  1. Hi Lauren, This itinerary is quite useful for the first time visitors to India. As you rightly said India is enormous, even a year would be less to fully explore.

  2. Hello Lauren. I am from Kolkata, India. The above planning is beautiful. I think you should come eastern himalaya and north east india also. Nature is bountiful here.

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