With Lake Pichola, Fateh Sugar Lake, and several smaller lakes dotted around this beautiful Indian city, “The City of Lakes” is certainly an appropriate nickname for Udaipur and could be your next romantic getaway!
Not only eye-catching (both day and night), Udaipur is a city that offers a range of things to do, see, and explore with your partner. It’s more touristy than some of its neighbors, but this comes with the advantages of more places to eat, stay, and shop – without losing any of the hectic, colorful, loud, and stimulating vibes that John and I love about India.
With beautiful sunsets, ample yoga and massage vendors, and plenty of rooftop restaurants and cafes, it’s also a great place for a romantic getaway while on an adventure through India.
Here are my top recommendations for what to do, see, and eat in Udaipur, as well as where John and I decided to rest our heads during our visit.
See & Do
In my opinion, there’s no such thing as a “must do” when it comes to travel, but visiting the City Palace gets close. You’ll follow a pathway to various rooms in this large, 16th century palace. With decorative painting and intricate mirror designs, and way more historical information than you can retain, it’d be difficult to not find aspects of this palace that really appeal to you. It’s the main tourist attraction in town and gets pretty darn crowded, so get there as early as possible!
I participated in a sunrise yoga session through Enteyoga. Seethu, the yoga instructor, specializes in the Vinyasa Krama Yoga approach. Seethu was a calm, clear, and welcoming teacher who seemed genuinely interested in the background and goals of each individual. What a great way to start the day!
No romantic getaway is complete without a massage. While in Udaipur, get an Ayurvedic massage! They use hot, amazingly scented oils and go as deep as you need them to so that once you’re done, it’ll feel like you never even went on that 7-hour bus ride! Udaipur isn’t the only place to get an Ayurvedic Massage, but they do have way more options than we’ve seen anywhere else in the Rajasthan area. We got an hour-long couples massage at Sparshana Spa and Beauty Salon (for a bargained down price of INR 1500 – only about $10 each!).
On the east side of the river, near the City Palace, you will very likely pass the Jagdish Temple multiple times. You’ll have to walk up a relatively longer flight up steps, but it’s worth a visit to admire the statues, sculptures, and elephant carvings on this Hindu Temple.
You’ll be wowed by this traditional cultural show, featuring music, singing, and some impressive dancing (e.g. a woman balancing several pots on her head while continuing to dance around the stage)! Just remember: don’t try this at home.
Even if you don’t plan on shopping, it’s fun to visit this Tibetan Market to see all the various clothing, food, jewelry, toys, and other products being sold in this wide open space.
We popped into art galleries on both sides of the river, and all were quite fascinating, but one that stood out to us (first due to the art itself, then due to the kind and gregarious woman working there) was Gallery Artoz. She runs the two side-by-side galleries featuring artwork created in-part by her own daughter! And the work. Is. Good. If you’re into paintings and especially abstract art, I would check this out.
Eat & Drink
Part sit-down restaurant (open seating area in the back), part street-grab-and-go style, Open Restaurant is in the center of town has plenty of very cheap fried snack options that you can pick up in between meals or outings.
Just do what the name tells you to and order the Lemon Ginger Honey tea. You will NOT regret it. As is such for Indian food and drinks in general, all of the flavors are strong but none of them are covered up by the other. I’ve never been so impressed with a cup of tea. The environment is cute too, as you can sit by a little bar area overlooking the street.
Looking for a sweet treat to share with your boo? Cafe Edelweiss, a German-inspired spot, has delicious baked goods and savory meals that are quite well-prepared too! It’s also a very comfy place to grab some wifi and do work, especially if you get the semi-private corner booth.
Here is another cute cafe spot with great food. Cafe Satori a great spot to go if you need a little taste bud switch-up from Indian food, as they have really good pasta (arrabbiata, pesto, etc.) and wood-fired pizza, among other dishes, in a very chill and chit-chat-encouraging environment.
You may be noticing a patten – a lot of cafes are not just for coffee and tea! Brew Villa has tons of full meal options, but what you REALLY need to get here is the delicious, huge, melty, sizzling brownie with ice cream on top. It’s good that John and I shared this (even though I really didn’t want to)!
Rainbow is a very well-decorated restaurant with small booths on the edge of the rooftop balcony facing the river, and larger tables within. Its a great place to have an intimate dinner to cap your romantic getaway. They break between lunch and dinner (but you can still order drinks) and start serving dinner at 6:30. I would recommend getting there right at 6:30 or making a reservation if you want dinner, because the small rooftop will fill up! I’m also an okra fiend, and the okra dish there was AMAZING.
Come to New Santosh Bhojnalaya on an empty stomach, sit down, and don’t look at the menu – just ask for unlimited Dal Bati. You’re welcome.
Second House Bar is like a man’s cave. I still have no idea why John and I were immediately placed in a small private room on the second floor upon arrival, but my best guess is because I am a woman and shouldn’t be seen drinking among the men? (If anyone knows the real answer to this please let me know!). Either way, we actually really enjoyed the private room for intimate conversation and avoiding all the cigarette smoke. It was quite the experience! (Didn’t hurt that the drinks were pretty cheap too!).
If you want to go dancing while on your romantic getaway to Udaipur then Brewz is the place to be. It was loud, it was crazy, people were dancing their butts off, and ultimately, despite the fact that it was in a mall and our expectations were quite low, we had a great time. It helped that everyone welcomed us in immediately upon merely glancing at the dance floor, pulling us in and teaching us their latest and greatest moves. If you’re feeling like breaking a sweat on the dance floor and don’t mind likely being the center of attention, hit up Brewz on a Saturday night while you’re in town!
The lodging options in Udaipur were definitely on the pricier side (for India) compared to some of the other cities we’ve visited (Jaipur, Agra, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, etc.), but we were finally able to find an excellent budget option for a private room in Yellow Heights Hotel. This small hotel is near the lake and close to many of the restaurants, galleries, and attractions mentioned in this post. Additionally, it was INR 800 (about $11 USD) per night, which was way less expensive than nearby hostels like Zostel. The only issue for some people might be the steep hill on the way up to it.
Find these and other budget options on Booking.com, Hostelworld.com, or Airbnb. If you’re new to Airbnb, you can use this link to get $55 off your first stay!
Loving the old; exploring the new,