Must Dos


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Irani restaurant

A server pours out coffee at the India Coffee House, Bangalore, May 16, 2008 Try the coffee at one of the Irani restaurants in front of Charminar.

Submitted by Rajashekhar

Walk through the bazaars  

Hyderabad is the land of bazaars, so go to Sultan Bazaar for the clothes, Laad Bazaar for the exotic lacquer and bangles market, and Ameerpet to experience wholesale shopping.

Golconda Fort and Chowmahalla Palace  

The fort has a Sound and Lights show every evening, but if you want to catch the one in English, choose from Wednesday or Sunday. Besides these historic monuments that symbolise Hyderabad, you can also visit India's third largest museum - Salarjung, which has a collection of 43,000 art objects and 50,000 books and manuscripts, making it the biggest collection of antiques in the world that belonged to one man. The man? Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salarjung III (1889 -1949), who spent 35 years of his life in compiling this awe-inspiring collection from all over the world.

Visit the Hussain Sagar lake  

It's a popular hangout place, frequented by youngsters and families in the evenings. A number of decent restaurants are lined up on its sides, especially on Necklace Road. You could take a boat ride on the lake, and also visit Lumbini Park, an amusement park with rides, waterfalls and an impressive musical fountain with tunes from popular Hindi and Telugu films.

Take the Ramoji film tour  

Thirty-five kilometres from Hyderabad, Ramoji Film City is spread over a thousand acres and is one of largest film cities in the world. It is visited by thousands of people every day and has become a "hot holiday destination". A package deal includes to-and-fro transport, a guided tour, entry into a number of colourful shows such as the "Spirit of Ramoji", "Wild Wild West Show", "Variety Show" and "Street Show". There are rides, walks past woods, lakes and hills, a stunt performance put on by professionals, and if you are lucky, you might even get to see (and perhaps be part of) a real movie being shot at the venue.

Heritage walk  

Go on a heritage walk, probably the best way to experience Hyderabad's rich history. The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department conducts four walks in the Old City, each well-planned, informative and entertaining. The first three start at Char Minar and end at Chowmahalla Palace, Badshahi Ashurkhana and Purani Haveli respectively. The fourth begins at the Central Library and ends at City College.

Ramoji Film City  

The Telugu movie industry is probably the second largest in India, after Bollywood. This film city is located about 35km outside the city, on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway. It is a well-equipped mini city by itself, with a couple of five-star hotels and a shopping plaza. You could probably stay there and enjoy the making of a movie. Venkatapathy Raju

Walk by Tank Bund  

You can jog or walk on this two-kilometre stretch by the Hussain Sagar lake early in the morning. On the far side of the bund is Necklace Road, a popular hangout in the evenings because of the rows of fast-food restaurants that line it. Venkatapathy Raju

Parade Grounds  

If you want to test your cricket skills, head to the Parade Grounds, off the main traffic artery. The place is owned by the army, and it has been the hunting ground for Hyderabad's cricketers. Like the maidans of Mumbai, these grounds were where stalwarts like ML Jaisimha and Kapil Dev displayed their skills on matting wickets in the Moin-ud-Dowlah tournaments. It is a huge place and every pitch has a different name. If you are a first-time visitor, don't go there on a Sunday, because the chaos may be too much to take. Unfortunately, flyovers built near the grounds have dented the charm a bit, but it's still worth a visit. Venkatapathy Raju

Andhra food  

If you want spicy Andhra cuisine, go to Abhiruchi, which isn't too far from Paradise. You'll always end up eating more than you imagined you could. Venkatapathy Raju

Paradise restaurant  

This is my favourite restaurant for the quintessential Hyderabadi biryani, along with tea. The branch located in the twin city of Secunderabad is one of the oldest restaurants in the city. I always order the dum biryani - the meat is marinated perfectly and has the right amount of spices. It melts in your mouth, and the taste stays in your mind forever. Venkatapathy Raju

Golconda fort  

Shopping near the Charminar during Ramzan, Hyderabad, August 16, 2012 Golconda is where the Kohinoor diamond was found. It is a magnificent fort, situated on a hillock, about 10-15km from the city. I have visited Golconda quite a few times and each time I have been amazed by its acoustics: if you clap your hands at the fort's entrance at the foot of the hills, the sound can be heard at the highest point of the fort. Try it if you don't believe me. Venkatapathy Raju

Char Minar  

Not only is the Char Minar an iconic monument, it's also worth a visit if you enjoy shopping. Though congested and untidy, it is right in the middle of the various bazaars - the midnight bazaar, the bangles bazaar, and all sorts of pearls are also sold there. In the 1980s, when I first came to Hyderabad, I was struck by the beauty of place, especially after sunset, when the streets were lit and people were walking through the bazaars, having lovely Irani chai and street food while prayers were being said in the nearby mosques. Venkatapathy Raju

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More in Hyderabad

Where to

  1. Khaan Saab

    Khaan Saab serves excellent Indian non-vegetarian food. Try their tundey kebabs and burani paratha.

  2. Taj Faluknama Palace

    There is no better hotel in Hyderabad than the Taj Faluknama Palace (Rs 21,000, 15km from the stadium). If you want to experience how Mughal royalty lived, this is a good place to start.

  3. Sparks, Torque, H20, Fashion and Hydrate

    There are a number of bars and pubs in Hyderabad that won't burn a hole in your pocket. The better ones among these are Sparks and Torque in Begumpet, H20 in Amrutha Castle Hotel, Fashion - a hip lounge bar in Banjara Hills, and Hydrate - a chic bar in Hampshire Plaza.

Must Do

Char Minar  

Not only is the Char Minar an iconic monument, it's also worth a visit if you enjoy shopping. Though congested and untidy, it is right in the middle of the various bazaars - the midnight bazaar, the bangles bazaar, and all sorts of pearls are also sold there. In the 1980s, when I first came to Hyderabad, I was struck by the beauty of place, especially after sunset, when the streets were lit and people were walking through the bazaars, having lovely Irani chai and street food while prayers were being said in the nearby mosques. Venkatapathy Raju

Tips for Travellers

Hyderabad is famous for its pearl jewellery, but if you're going to shop for them, it's best to go with a local who knows the reliable shops.

City in pictures

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