Travel guide to Lucknow

Lucknow: A Travel Guide To The City Of Nawab

The City Of Nawabs And Kebabs

With a rich cultural and artistic heritage that dates back centuries and its status as education, aerospace, commerce, technology, culture, music, poetry, and tourism center, it’s no purpose that the things to see and eat in Lucknow, India are as varied as they come.

This large capital city nestled in the heart of the north-central state of Uttar Pradesh is a multicultural metropolis that boasts over 2.8 million residents. Sometimes referred to as the city of nawabs because of the city’s history as the seat of power for the honorific title in the 18th century. Lucknow is a part of Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc along with the cities of Agra and Varanasi.

I visited Lucknow during my first trip to India in February of 2018. I spent most of my time in the city recovering from a week-long stomach infection that caused me to lose quite a bit of weight, so while I couldn’t eat much, I doubled down on touring the city’s gorgeous cultural and historical sites and I was not disappointed one bit. These are the things that you need to eat and see in Lucknow.

Also known as Tehzeeb City, and quite synonymous with Nawabs City, Lucknow is a land of close-knit culture and long-standing traditions. With its architecture, culture, and cuisine, this city houses some of the most indulgent pieces of history.

Places To Visit In Lucknow

1. BADA IMAMBARA

The labyrinth leads to many places, including the massive central hall, which is constructed in such a way that you can hear perfectly someone, even if they are calling you from the opposite side. You can also take the winding, narrow passageways to the rooftop, which offers the best view in Lucknow and a fantastic spot for photo opportunities.

The sites stunning bouli is 200 feet deep stepwell that was used as a rainwater collection system. I recommend visiting Lucknow during the dry season so you can visit this siter. It is not accessible during the rainy season.

2. RUMI DARWAZA

Lucknow city

Located between bada imambada and the chota imambada is a massive and imposing landmark called the Rumi Darwaza which was built in 1784 by the nawab Asaf-ud-daula as a way to create more jobs during a severe famine that rocked northern India. This sixty foot tall and intricately carved example of Awadh architecture has become the iconic symbol of Lucknow in recent years.

The gate was constructed from bricks covered in lime to allow the landmark to be carved in such a detailed and carved at, it would have been impossible to carve the stone in such away.

3. CHOTA IMAMBARA

Not far from Bada imambara there is another sacred hall called the Chota Imambara, also known as Imam bara Hussain Abad Mubarak. This large monument was built in 1838 by Muhammed Ali Shah, the nawab of Awadh, to serve for a mausoleum for him and his mother.

4. HUSSAINABAD CLOCK TOWER

Located near the imposing and beautiful Rumi Darwaja gateway is the Hussainabad Clock Tower, which was built by Victorian and Gothic influences in 1881 by Nawab Nasir-ud-Din Haider as a way to mark the arrival of the 1st  Lieutenant Governor of Awadh, Sir George Couper.

Lucknow Life And Culture

 The culture of Lucknow is still very much alive and retains the old world charm even today. Popularly known as the city of nawabs, it is famous for its traditional cuisines, fine arts and the most courteous people that are found anywhere in any part of India.the cultural heritage here is well influenced by the Mughal era and you will find the Mughal touch in everything here that relates to the culture of this splendid city. Be it the lip-smacking cuisine or the ornate music and dance forms of the conversation language, everything has a touch of royal splendor that once flourished here.

PEOPLE

The people of Lucknow are one of the warmest and the most courteous people in India. They are known to be soft-spoken and treat their guests as Gods. The place has a rich heritage and is known to be the city of nawabs. The Lucknowi mannerism is famous in whole of the world

CUISINE

The cuisine of this city has its own distinct individuality and identity. The traditional food of this city is highly patronized by the Mughals when they ruled over India. The kings were known to lead a life of pleasure. Thev royal cooks and chefs were trained to give that distinct royal touch and regal look in everything that they cooked.

MUSIC AND DANCE

Music and dance as seen in Lucknow have been highly influenced by the Mughal era in India. The kings were known to lead a life of pleasure and their main source of entertainment was to indulge in music and dance. The famous dance form of Kathak is known to be originated in Awadh.

LANGUAGES

In Lucknow languages differ from one region to another region. Among the most common languages of Lucknow is the Hindi, which is spoken all over India. However the most commonly spoken language in this city is the Urdu. Though it is an ancient language, it is very much prevalent in Lucknow. In fact the language is synonymous with Lucknow and is often referred to as the Lucknowi urdu.

Urdu is also the official language of Lucknow. Apart from urdu and hindi, many other languages are spoken here in different regions. These include the thousands year old Awadh, Brij, Kaushali, Bhojpuri and Koeli. Bhojpuri is not only spoken in Lucknow but in many parts of Uttar Pradesh and the neighboring state of Bihar. The younger generation here is well versed with English as most of the educational institutes and the schools and colleges use English medium to teach the students.

FOOD OF LUCKNOW

Lucknow is a land of mouthwatering dishes, where every street and lane smells of good food. It is the city of nawabs where meat takes the center stage. Amidst the laziness of the atmosphere, if there one  thing that can make anyone energetic it is the Lucknowi dish that is an experience that you must have once in your life. When we talk about the Awadhi cuisine or the lucknowi food. Tunday kabab top the list because of the mouthwatering taste and deliciousness. However, there is more to Lucknowi food than these kababs. This city is a paradise for food lovers and those who who want to experience the rich culinary and food culture of Lucknow, here are dishes that you must try.

1. NIHARI AND KULCHA

If mutton is your thing, then you will be head over heels in love with this dish. Nihari is meat curry made using mutton, which is slow cooked with myriad of herbs and spices enjoyed with a fluffy kulcha that is made in tandoor. Ideally a breakfast dish, its available throughout the day at Raheem’s in Chowk.

2. IDRIS KI BIRYANI

If there is one dish that is equally popular to the tunday kababs in Lucknow, it’s the biryani. The kind of biryani you will get in Lucknow is nothing that enjoy every where else . though, there are several places to eat biryani in Lucknow, the one that stands out is Idris ki biryani in chowk area, because of its flavor and aroma. And the secret behind its taste is the use of herbs, saffron and milk.

3. BASKET CHAAT

For someone who is a fan of street food and chaat, it is something that you must not miss when in Lucknow. Also known as the tokri or Katori chaat, this dish is truly delicious with the flavors that will burst in your mouth in a single bite. Made of grated potatoes, the batter is deep-fried and then filled with matar, Tikki chutneys with a garnishing of pomegranates, sec, and aromatic spices. Hazratganj, Royal Café serves the best of basket chaat in all of Lucknow.

4. NIMISH

It’s a dish popularly also known as daulat ki chaat, makkhan malai or mashook. An extremely light cream with saffron and rose flavors. It is the dessert of Lucknow that you must try in winter. The flavors of the dish are so rich that every scoop melts smoothly in your mouth. If you want to grab the best Nimish, head to chowk and get it.

Best Time To Visit Lucknow

The best time to visit Lucknow is when the city experiences winter, from October to March. The weather is pleasant and suitable for sightseeing, even though December and January could be a little bit foggy, which might mean that trains and flights get delayed occasionally.

Lucknow is influenced by extreme temperature subtropical climate which means the summers are unusually hot and should be avoided. Lucknow could also be visited during July-September, but rains could be a bit of a hindrance and may postpone your day plans.

How To Reach Lucknow

Lucknow is UP’s capital city, and has great connectivity across all media. Direct flights connect Lucknow to and from every major Indian city. The railway station at Lucknow is also connected to most parts of India. It is also connected by a good road network, and buses from New Delhi and other major parts of UP are also available. You can also get to Lucknow with a cab from nearby areas.

By Air:

The most comfortable way to get to Nawabs City is by air travel. The Lucknow airport is well connected to India’s major cities such as Delhi , Mumbai , Kolkata, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Patna etc. via a number of regularly operating airlines. There are regular flights to Lucknow from common carriers such as Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Air India, IndiGo, Oman Air and Etihad. The majority of international flights arrive via Delhi to Lucknow. Busses, taxis and cabs are within easy reach of the main city from the airport.

By Road:

The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation operates frequent luxury and deluxe buses within the state between Lucknow and other cities. A number of luxury and budget buses from cities such as New Delhi, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Agra, Jhansi etc. are regularly serviced at reasonable fares.

By Train:

The Indian Railways offer numerous mail and superfast trains from other parts of India to reach Lucknow. Though Charbagh is the city’s main railway junction, tourists can also enter Lucknow via Alamnagar, Gomti Nagar, and Aishbagh Junction. A further attraction is the Maharajas Express which offers Lucknow a royal trip.

Shopping In Lucknow: The Best Places To Shop In The City Of Nawabs

Lucknow Markets

1. Hazratganj

Located in the heart of the town, Hazratganj is Lucknow ‘s best place to shop. Hazratganj has it all, whether it’s a shopping complex, late evening bazaars, restaurants, or theatres. The Ganj town, launched by Nawab Nasiruddin Haider in 1827, was developed basically as a market selling imported goods from Japan, China and Belgium. Later in 1842, after Nawab Amjad Ali Shah, popularly known as ‘Hazrat,’ the word ‘Hazrat’ was added as a prefix.

2. Aminabad

It is believed that Aminabad dates back to the glorious Nawabs era and is among the oldest markets in Lucknow and the country. If you’re an expert in shopkeepers haggling to get an impressive deal, this place is ideal for you. Lots of household items and Chikankari clothing can be picked at affordable rates. There is also a book store that students visit for the selling and purchase of books.

While visiting Aminabad, it’s recommended that you don’t miss out on the area’s ever so popular restaurants-Netram Kachori, Prakash Kulfi, and Tunday Kebabi. Even, if you’re a pickle lover then at Arora Pickles you have to see the huge show of pickle varieties.

3. Chowk

One of Lucknow’s biggest tourist attractions is Bada Imambara and if you’re in the vicinity, why not visit Chowk which is just 3 kilometers from the historic monument ‘s location? Perfumes fascinate us all, and this Lucknow shopping spot will impress you with enchanting scents as you walk through interconnected streets selling a wide array of Ittars (perfumes). Chowk will woo you with its old-world charm with Chikan garments, ornaments, handcrafted decoration pieces, imaginative lampshades, ivory shirt, and saree pins, Zardozi embroidered skirts, and Nagra-styled footwear. Be sure to stop by Mobin and Tunday Kebabi for those who enjoy the Nawabi cuisine.

4. Alambagh

Considered the town’s commercial center, Alambagh has a royal past of the days when a mosque and a palace were built. For his Alamara Beghum the Alambagh Garden Palace was built by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. After independence the Alambagh area was turned into a commercial zone. With over a hundred jewelry shops, the market is known as the country’s jewelry hub and one of Lucknow ‘s famous shopping spots. With pocket-friendly clothes, shoes, local sweet and savory snacks, Alambagh market is the perfect shopping destination if you’re looking for a shopping spree without burning a pocket hole.

Haunted Places In Lucknow

Would you ever believe that the town known for its royalty and the scrumptious food of Awadhi could also be known for its haunted places? Seems like ghosts have left no room at which to leave their marks. We would like you to present, with pleasure and haunts, the haunted places that you will find in Nawabs city.

  • Bara Imambara
  • Sikandra Bagh
  • OEL House
  • Railway Quarters
  • Balrampur Hospital
  • Nirala Nagar
  • Begum Kothi

Amusement Parks In Lucknow

Lucknow amusement parks are a top choice for families and youngsters to spend a day full of fun and excitement. These amusement parks in Lucknow are also the perfect way to take a break from the monotony of life and indulge in some good time, packed with an assortment of exciting rides and lots of good games and activities. Some of these Lucknow amusement parks also offer water park facilities where you can soak up in the cool blue waters and leave behind your woes. And nearly all of them have a variety of eateries and cafes to cater to the pangs of your hunger.

  • Dream world water park: Dream World Water Amusement Park in Luckow is a one-stop destination for a day full of fun, excitement, and pleasure. The park is a hot pick and top favorite of teenagers and adults alike, boasting endless rides and attractions, and fun games.
  • Anandi Water park: Located on the outskirts of Lucknow on Faizabad Road, Anandi Water Park is one of the largest water parks in the northern city, full of splash pads, water swings, and other leisure swimming and bathing. In addition to good well-maintained laundry and changing rooms, it also has a children’s amusement park, a dining zone, and a play area.
  • Hathi park: Hathi Park is one of Lucknow’s most-visited and famous amusement parks. The park has many swings and slides that can be climbed for children and recreational elephant structures. The park offers other children’s games and events too. In addition, it has food stalls to satisfy your pangs of hunger.

Where To Stay In Lucknow

If you are planning to visit Lucknow, you will find several hotels to choose from, which will make your stay enjoyable and engaging. You will get to meet the soft spoken and courteous people, and experience the culinary art of Lucknow, which has been perfected over several centuries.

Lucknow has many hotels that suit every budget and need. From luxury and heritage hotels to 5 star, 4 star, 3 star and 2 star hotels, to budget and cheap hotels, this beautiful city has something for everybody.

1. The Piccadily Lucknow 

One of the best places to stay in Lucknow, Picadily offers excellent amenities and delicious cuisines during your stay.

Accessibility :
Amausi International Airport: 3 KM
Charbagh Railway Station: 5 KM

2. Hotel Clarks Avadh 

A well-known place to actually offer you the royal treatment during your stay, Clarks is loved for its hospitality.

Accessibility :
Amausi International Airport: 15 KM
Charbagh Railway Station: 4 KM
Kaiserbagh Bus Stand: 1 KM

3. La Place Sarovar Portico – (Formerly Park Inn) 

A place to stay well within your budget that offers all the premium amenities any 5 star will offer. The best past is the lip smacking food that is served here.

Accessibility :
Amausi International Airport: 15 KM
Charbagh Railway Station: 5 KM

4. Hotel Gemini Continental 

A budget friendly place to stay with your family. It is also a famous place with couples who come on the honeymoon. The hospitality is great and the food served is just awesome.


Amausi International Airport: 14 KM
Charbagh Railway Station: 4 KM
Kaiser Bagh Bus Stand: 1 KM

5. Hotel Shimla Palace 

If you are visiting Lucknow for a short break then this is a great option. The cosy resort is a well known place wwith people who have a limited budget. When staying here do not forget to taste their chicken Nihari.

Accessibility :
Amausi International Airport: 13 KM
Charbagh Railway Station: 1 KM

Muskuraiye!! Aap Lucknow mein hain!! A happening and lively city that has a rich culture and a lot to ffer to the tourists. Lucknow is also one of the upcoming tech cities of India.

Is Lucknow a good option for a family holiday?

Yes, Lucknow is a great option for a family holiday. It has a variety of options to visit with kids.

Which is the best time to visit Lucknow

It is considered that you must visit Lucknow in the month of November if you want to enjoy the trip to the city.

Leave a Comment