A Travel Guide to Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad Airport Directory (AMD)
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India's first UNESCO World Heritage city, Ahmedabad was founded as the capital of the Sultanate in 1411. The city has been an important site for many of the movements during the fight for India’s independence. Over time, it gained prominence as a cultural and commercial hub, and was termed ‘The Manchester of India’, owing to its booming textile industry. Situated on the banks of River Sabarmati, Ahmedabad is the ideal mix of medieval and modern, which makes it an exciting place to explore. 

Best time to visit: Winters are the best time to visit Ahmedabad, between November and February.

How to reach

  • Flights to AhmedabadSardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, situated in Hansol, is the nearest airport, about 9 km from the city’s centre. IndiGo operates daily flights from Ahmedabad to multiple cities.
  • By train: Locally known as Kalupur station, Ahmedabad railway station has good connectivity to all major cities in the country through several super-fast and express trains. Buses, taxis, and autos are readily available from the station to travel in the town.In addition to Kalupur, which serves as the primary station, Ahmedabad has other stations in the city like Gandhigram, Asarva, Sarkhej, Vastrapur, Chandlodia, Vatva, Maninagar, and Sabarmati Junction.
  • By bus: Ahmedabad has a good network of buses run by the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) connecting it with nearby cities. 
  • Getting around/local transport in Ahmedabad: Auto rickshaws and buses run by Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services (AMTS) are the most convenient modes of transportation in Ahmedabad. The city also has a vast network of local taxis, and private cab services like Ola and Uber.

Most Spoken Languages in Ahmedabad

  • Hindi
  • Gujarati
  • English
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Places to visit in Ahmedabad

  • Sarkhej Roza: If you're a history and architecture enthusiast, nothing could be more mesmerising than the Sarkhej Roza, a mosque dedicated to the Sufi saint Ahmed Khatti Ganj Baksh. This mosque is a true testament to its brilliant architecture, made up of stately domes, sprawling courtyards, and geometric designs.
  • Teen Darwaza: Next on your list should be the Teen Darwaza, one of the longest and oldest gateways, in Ahmedabad. Teen Darwaza, which means three gates, was completed in 1415 AD by Sultan Ahmed Shah. The structure boasts of intricate carvings, royal notifications on the gateway, and mesh-work adorned windows.
  • Adalaj stepwell: Stop, turn, and go down the stairways of history and prepare to be amazed. Adalaj stepwell is an example of Indo-Islamic architecture. Built in 1499 by Queen Rudabai, the structure is an architectural marvel with five storeys below the ground.
  • Swaminarayan Temple: Built in 1822, this wood-carved structure is the first temple of the Swaminarayan Hindu sect. The sect follows Vishishtadvaita, a Hindu school of philosophy. Followers of this sect visit the Temple in great numbers, while visitors come to admire the carvings and beauty of the structure.
  • Sabarmati Ashram: Built on the River Sabarmati's banks, the Ashram was Mahatma Gandhi's base from 1917 to 1930 during the struggle for India’s independence. It is well preserved and open to visitors curious about Gandhi, and his life and works.
  • Sabarmati Riverfront: A popular tourist spot, the banks of the River Sabarmati have been developed to create this new waterfront with walkways, parks, and other amenities. All through the day, joggers and cyclists occupy the promenade, punctuating the concrete-grey with much-needed colour and energy.
  • Calico Museum of Textiles: Art and textile lovers wouldn't dream of missing a visit to the Calico Museum of Textiles. Inaugurated in 1949, the Museum has displays dating back to five centuries. From textiles belonging to the Mughals, to Jain art, woven fabrics from Kashmir, and bronze paintings, the Museum displays a diverse collection, making it a must-visit place in Ahmedabad.

Places to eat in Ahmedabad

Akbari Hotel
Akbari Hotel

Located in Bhatiyar Gali, near the Teen Darwaza, this restaurant offers good food at a reasonable price. While here, do try their gurda kaleji fry and chicken biryani.

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Agashiye
Agashiye

Located on the terrace of the heritage hotel, House of MG, Agashiye is a thali restaurant. The word ‘agashiye’ in Gujarati language means ‘on the terrace’. The restaurant opened in 1999 and serves food in traditional kansa and silver thalis. It is advisable to book a table in advance as this place fills up fast.

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Green House
Green House

Every once in a while, we all pine for a bit of beauty and greenery. This al fresco restaurant, situated near Lal Darwaja, is flanked by a lush patch of green. The food is cooked in an open kitchen, in front of you. On the menu is a selection of dishes but we’d recommend you ask for the baked khichdi and panki, followed by the hand-churned kesar ice cream.

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Manek Chowk
Manek Chowk

Manek Chowk is a vegetable market that magically morphs into a jewellery street in the afternoon, and fades into a street food paradise by nightfall. The market offers some of the best street food options, though only vegetarian. Do have the pav bhaji and kulfi here. An interesting must-try is the chocolate pizza and chocolate sandwich.

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Vishalla
Vishalla

This place is where you go if you want to see one of India’s cleanest villages. The moment you step into Vishalla, located at Vasna road, you’ll be transported to a charming area with mud floors, wooden tables, whirling Garba dancers, and folk music. There’s even a Utensils Museum to admire, after you are done with your meal.

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Shopping places in Ahmedabad

High-end shopping/luxury shopping/shopping malls in Ahmedabad

  • Nexus Ahmedabad One: Nexus Ahmedabad One is a leading attraction and one of the city's most visited mall. It is a hub for food, shopping, and entertainment with a wide range of local and international brands situated within the mall. Apart from shopping options, it also has a cinema hall and food court.
  • AlphaOne: Located in Vastrapur, next to Vastrapur Lake, this mall is a good place to go to for shopping, entertainment, and fine dining. Centrally located, it has become a go-to place for both locals and tourists.
  • Acropolis: With a cinema hall that is the top attraction for the mall, Acropolis has a number of shops and food outlets for you to choose from. 

Street shopping in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad’s old and iconic markets are fantastic places to pick up traditional tie-dye fabrics, beautiful textiles, jewellery, crafts, footwear, and clothes. Additionally, leading design institutes in the city have given rise to independent designers whose boutiques and workshops add to the eclectic, and satisfying shopping experience.

  • Rani No Hajiro Market
  • Lal Darwaza Market 
  • Law Garden Market
  • Sindhi Market
  • Manek Chowk

Nightlife/party places in Ahmedabad

  • Makeba - The Lounge Cafe
  • Java+
  • Amnesia Lounge
  • Ristretto – Behind the Rods
  • Sphere Lounge – Rooftop Cafe

Where to stay in Ahmedabad

Hyatt-Regency

Hyatt Regency The hotel is a short walk from principal business and shopping centres, as well as the Sabarmati Ashram and riverfront. With 210 rooms, including luxurious suites, the location and amenities make the hotel ideal for business travellers and tourists alike.

Lal-Darwaja-hotel

The House of MG A premier boutique heritage hotel, it is one of the oldest buildings in Ahmedabad. This 20th century family mansion exudes the old-world charm along with a taste of modern luxuries. This stately heritage hotel was once the family estate of a textile baron, Mangaldas Girdhardas.

mangaldasSuite

Divan’s Bungalow Situated in Ahmedabad’s old walled city, this is a restored 19th century mansion. A beautiful heritage home, it has an air of natural elegance. The property is perfect for visitors who wish to experience a traditional, unhurried experience.

Neemrana-Divan-Bungalow

WelcomHeritage Mani Mansion Located in the heart of the city, this heritage house, which was built in 1923, is now a boutique hotel. The beautiful architecture and essence of its history make it a favourite amongst tourists.

More reasons to visit and top things to do in Ahmedabad

Dada Hari Ni Vav

Do visit this 500-year-old stepwell and get amazed by its beautiful structure, intricately carved walls, and floral sculptures. Built during the reign of Mahmud Sultan Begada, this stepwell has Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit inscriptions. 

Hathee Singh Temple

Built in 1848 A.D., the Temple is a sacred site of worship in Jainism. Dedicated to the 15th Tirthankara, Dharmnath, the temple is made of white marble. The tiled courtyard with 52 shrines is among the most striking features of the temple. Additionally, its stunning architecture and beautiful stone carvings make it a top choice for tourists to visit. 

Sidi Bashir Mosque or Shaking Minarets

When in Ahmedabad, you must visit these minarets which are surrounded by mystery and wonder. What makes them unique is that when one minaret shakes, the other also starts vibrating, while the connecting passage does not. It is believed that the minarets’ uniqueness also had the Britishers baffled enough for them to dismantle the structures to find the cause. 

Dine with the dead

The New Lucky Restaurant, at Lal Darwaja, is built on an old cemetery. With tables laid out around graves and coffins, which are sealed off by iron grills, this restaurant is as popular as it is quirky.

Amdavad ni Gufa

Just when you thought Ahmedabad couldn't possibly have more to offer, there are still some interesting places that this city has. In search of art inside a cave? Amdavad ni Gufa is an underground art gallery that exhibits the work of artist MF Hussain. The interior space is an exquisite maze with curved walls, leaning columns, and domes. Far from underground art, but worth a visit.

Heritage walk

For an introduction to the city’s popular tourist spots and hidden gems, try the heritage walk here. The route takes you on winding lanes to see 22 locations such as Swaminarayan Mandir, Manek Chowk, Jama Masjid, and Teen Darwaza, among others.

Places to visit near Ahmedabad

Mount Abu

A lovely little hill station, Mount Abu is in the wooded Aravalli Hills, around 225 km from Ahmedabad. With forests, lakes, and waterfalls, this place is popular amongst tourists from around the country. There is a wildlife sanctuary, Guru Dattatreya temple, Dilwara Jain temple, and a crocodile park that you must visit when in Mount Abu.

Gir National Park

Take a safari through the forest to see over 400 lions in their natural habitat. Located around 326 km from Ahmedabad, Gir Forest is one of the few places where lions can be seen in their natural habitat. The only natural habitat of the Asiatic Lions, the Forest is home to 40 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds. Book a safari to view these majestic beings up close and enjoy some bird gazing, while you are at it.

Patan

Founded in the 8th century, Patan is an ancient town located around 130 km from Ahmedabad. Situated on the River Saraswati, this city boasts of wooden facades, traditional sculptures, and stepwells that will have architecture enthusiasts and history buffs enamoured. The famous stepwell, Rani-ki-Vav, has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2014.

Rann of Kutch

It is one of the most spectacular landscapes, an expansive area of white desert, in the state. The name gets its origins from the Hindi word ‘rann’ which means ‘desert’, and ‘kutch’ comes from a local fable wherein if the map is turned upside down, it resembles a tortoise, or ‘kutch’ as it is said in Sanskrit. With an endless sea of salt marshes, the view here is as captivating as the local culture and people. Many villages, here, specialise in different forms of artistry. The Hodka Artist Village is home to many artisans who specialise in intricate Banni embroidery and leatherwork, and the Ludia Village has colourful mud houses.

One day travel guide for Ahmedabad

If you have only one day to visit Ahmedabad, here is how you can make the best of it. You can start your day with the heritage walk to cover all the must-visit locations, and explore the rich legacy of this beautiful city. Relive history by visiting age-old structures like Sarkhej Roja, Teen Darwaja, Shaking Minarets, or Bhadra Fort, which are reminiscent of the glorious past. Do visit the Sabarmati Ashram, the serene and humble abode of Mahatma Gandhi, where you will find yourself transported to the times of India’s freedom struggle. After lunch, head to Law Garden Market to pick up some souvenirs or authentic Ahmedabad dupattas, silver jewellery, and handwork fabrics. At the end of your day, go to Sabarmati Riverfront to experience a beautiful sunset, followed by some local snacks.

Festivals in Ahmedabad

Uttarayan International Kite Festival

Celebrated on the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti, locals take out their kites to mark the celebration. The city becomes lively, and the sky is filled with kites throughout the day. The city has hosted the Kite Flying Festival since 1989, and it has grown every year with people coming in from around the world to experience, and participate, in this unique festival.

Navratri Festival Ahmedabad

Devoted to Goddess Shakti, the Navratri festival in Ahmedabad is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. Celebrated for nine days, the key highlight of the festivity is the beautiful folk dance of Gujarat called Garba. Each day of the festival begins with an aarti where the entire city comes together to celebrate.

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