Hyderabad, a metropolitan city with rich history and culture, has become more famous in recent years. Yet very few people, even the locals, know what the city has to offer. Hyderabad has the charm that attracts both the older and the younger generation together, and it is a perfect destination for families, couples, or even solo travellers. Hyderabad’s most interesting attractions have a long history, but there’s also no shortage of interesting things to do in Hyderabad on holiday whatever your age.
Things to do in Hyderabad
1. Charminar: The Arc de Triomphe of the East
Built almost 450 years ago, it is one of the most famous sight-seeing places in Hyderabad. Charminar, in Urdu, means four towers and its shape is a perfect square — each side has a colossal arch facing four different streets.
You will find Islamic, Persian, and Hindu influences in its arches, domes, minarets, and ornaments on the ceiling. There are plenty of prayer spaces as well as the oldest mosque in Hyderabad on the second floor of the Charminar, which are packed by the Muslims especially on Fridays. Tourists can also visit the former court room used during the Sultan Qutb Shah era.
2. Salar Jung Museum: The world’s largest one-man art collection
Going south from the Charminar along the bank of River Musi, you will find yourself at Salar Jung Museum — the most prolific museum in Hyderabad. Salar Jung III was a prime minister of 7th Nizam of Hyderabad and was a passionate art collector.
The items currently stored in this popular attraction are only a small fraction of the 43,000 artifacts and 50,000 books and manuscripts he used to own when he was still alive. I was completely fascinated by the diverse range of artifacts from various countries and continents around the world, including the local collection such as Tipu Sultan’s wardrobe and the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma.
3. Golconda Fort
Located slightly off in the outskirt of Hyderabad, Golconda Fort is an architectural marvel you have to visit while in Hyderabad. The fort is now in complete ruins because of battles in the 16th and 17th centuries, but the regal ambiance of the early rulers still lingers around the fort.
You’d have to spend a couple of hours just to explore the site, as it covers 11 square kilometres of space. With many palaces and pavilions, temples, mosques, an extensive water supply system and ventilation, carved stones, tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings, and beautiful gardens, the Fort manages to retain its charm despite its old age.
Each hall is exquisitely decorated, boasting the glories of Golconda Fort in the past.
Plan your trip here well so that you can enjoy the breathtaking sight of the city with the sun setting at the backdrop.
4. Paradise Restaurant: The best dum biryani in town
What is a trip to Hyderabad without having one of their signatures, the Hyderabadi dum biryani?
While there are so many restaurants serving this dish, the one I always go back to is Paradise Restaurant. Served with raita and mirchi ka salan (curried chilli peppers), the biryani rice was steamed together with the chicken so much so that all the chicken juice and spices were soaked up by the rice grains. Trust me, you won’t find a better dum chicken biryani elsewhere!
5. Ramoji Film City: The world’s largest film studio complex
For die-hard fans of Bollywood movies, Ramoji Film City is definitely something you would love! It offers tons of activities from sports, adventure, to the bird park, making it a fantastic spot for family or couple trips.
6. Hussain Sagar: The lake that split Hyderabad from its twin
You can look at the famous heart-shaped lake from the tank bund that was widened and beautified several times over the past century. The enormous 18-metre Gautama Buddha statue in the middle of the lake was the tallest monolith in the world, and it can be reached by taking a boat there.
Sitting at the feet of the Buddha statue, I felt my life was at peace — a feeling that I could hardly find in the hectic city life.
7. Birla Temple: The white marble temple of Hyderabad
Birla Temple is another sight to behold in Hyderabad. Made of 2000 tons of pure white marble, it was built for meditation purposes.
Where to Stay in Hyderabad
The best part was that I could see the lake clearly and the statue from my room! The location was perfect for me to visit different places and tourist sites in Hyderabad as well as to curb my hunger pang during odd hours!
Hyderabad’s cultural and historical richness keeps the city going popular among local and foreign tourists. And for me, it’s always the place that I would go back to while looking for some respite from the tiring daily life.