Founded by the fourth guru of Sikhs, Guru Ram Das, in the year 1577, Amritsar history is among the richest and most fascinating ones in the country. The holiest place for Sikhs, Amritsar city gets its name, which means Holy pool of nectar, from the water body surrounding the spectacular Golden Temple. Here’s our Amritsar travel guide to help first time visitors navigate their way through this remarkable city.
Where to stay in Amritsar
There are plenty of reasonably rated Amritsar hotels you can stay choose from. If you wish to stay within the vicinity of the Golden Temple, then options include Hotel City Park, Hotel Darbar View, and Hotel Le Golden among others. If you’re looking for a heritage hotel, consider staying at the Welcome Heritage Ranjit’s Svaasa. It’s an incredible mansion over 200 years old and houses an Ayurvedic Spa retreat as well. There are plenty of guest houses and backpacker hostels as well which solo travelers will find convenient. These are some of the best and cheap places to stay in India.
Top 5 places to visit in Amritsar
Even if you’re in the city on a last minute work-related trip, make time to visit some of the amazing places mentioned in our Amritsar travel guide below.
- Golden Temple
The first place any tourist looks for in an Amritsar map is the famous Golden Temple. The iconic structure and spiritual center for Sikhism draws more than 100,000 visitors in just a week. Completed in the early 1600’s, the Gurdwara has seen many renovations over the past few decades. One of its most significant additions was the gold facing done in early the 19th century.
- Gobindgarh Fort
One of the oldest surviving forts, Gobindgarh Fort is among the best places to visit in Amritsar. You can easily find on Amritsar tourist maps the location of this remarkable fort that has witnessed many historical events including those associated with the Indian freedom struggle. This is the best attraction history lovers will find in our Amritsar travel guide.
- Jallianwala Bagh
A must-visit place, Jallianwala Bagh holds immense historical significance. Known as the place of the infamous Amritsar massacre, this is where thousands of unarmed civilians were cornered and shot dead by the Britishers before independence. The incident sparked outrage and marked the beginning of the end of British Raj in India.
- Wagah Border
This is among the topmost attractions in Amritsar India and a must-visit even if arriving on business class flights for a work trip. Every evening, thousands gather at the Wagah Border, the sole road crossing between India and Pakistan. They come to watch the mesmerizing Changing of Guard ceremony where guards of both nations march in synchrony along the border. Do not miss this awesome display of military strength!
- Rambagh Gardens
Nature lovers will love exploring the stunning Rambagh Gardens that once served as the Raja of Punjab’s summer palace. You will find lush greenery, water fountains, and a towering statue of the Maharaja on his horse. The place offers insight into the incredible history of Amritsar.
Food in Amritsar
There are endless culinary delights that will thrill you in Amritsar. Offering a myriad variety of dishes, Amritsar cuisine is among the most diverse ones in the country. The famous Amritsari kulcha (a type of Indian bread) is a must-try! Our Amritsar travel guide recommends you to try authentic and traditional Punjabi dishes in the city. For fine dining amidst plush settings, head to restaurants such as Grand Trunk, Temptation Restaurant, Crystal Restaurant, and Kesar Da Dhaba. Adventurous foodies wishing to try some delicious street food can head to stalls such as Makhan Da Dhaba, Giani Tea Stall, and Sunder Meat Shop among others.
Shopping in Amritsar
You can shop for some incredible souvenirs in Amritsar. The city is famous for handicrafts, fashionable accessories, trendy clothes, and stylish footwear among several other things. As listed in our Amritsar travel guide, famous shopping hubs you can head to include Guru Bazaar, Shastri Market, and Katra Jaimal Singh Market. The markets are known for their rich collection of beaded dresses, wedding attires, saris, pashminas, designer shirts, ties, handicrafts, and woodwork jewelry among other things. Don’t forget to bargain for great deals.
Best time to visit Amritsar
From intolerably hot summers to cruelly cold winters, Amritsar is known to have an extreme climate. Monsoon arrives sometime in July and while it is a pleasant time to visit, it isn’t recommended as rains may play spoilsport with your sightseeing plans. Our Amritsar travel guide lists October, November, February, and March as the best months to visit this remarkable city. For those who don’t mind a chill weather, December and January are good months to visit as well.
How to reach Amritsar
Amritsar’s Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport placed at a distance of about 11 km from the city center is well-connected with several Indian and some international destinations as well. You can book cheap flights to and from major cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, London, Dubai, Tashkent, and Toronto among others. There are several bus services that connect Amritsar to major Indian cities. Amritsar Railway Station is the main rail line connecting the city to other parts of India.
Also Read: Cheap Places to Stay in India