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Know Before You Go
- While the city has plenty of shopping malls to choose from, the best deals are at the street markets. Shop like a local and head to Ravivari Market and Law Garden to get more bang for your buck.
- When hailing a rickshaw or buying something from a store, you'll need to haggle your way to a fair price. The general rule of thumb is to take the first offer by the vendor and cut it in half. If the seller doesn't budge, use the classic "walking away to buy elsewhere" move.
- It is illegal for locals to buy or consume alcoholic drinks in Ahmedabad. Luckily for tourists, you can buy a temporary liquor permit. For each ten days of your stay, you can buy twenty bottles of beer or two bottles of hard liquor.
- Don't drink the tap water in Ahmedabad. All tap water in India is contaminated, and you should stick to bottled mineral water to avoid getting sick. You'll also need to drink at least 2 litres per day to stay hydrated and healthy throughout your stay.
Getting Around Ahmedabad
- The city's AMTS bus service is one of the best ways to get around. It has over 1,200 stops with 210 routes, forming an extensive network over the city. Fares will cost you INR 3 and at most INR 25. Or if you are going to be using the bus a lot, buy a pass ticket for INR 45 which will give you unlimited rides for a day.
- The city's other bus service is the BRTS. It's a newer service compared to the AMTS and doesn't have the same extensive network. At the moment, there are over 100 BRTS stations with new ones planned to launch in the future. If you can take a BRTS bus to your destination, it will be the fastest way to commute. Fares start at INR 4 and go up to a maximum price of INR 36.
- The city's auto rickshaws are a cheap alternative to taxis. Keep in mind that you will need to haggle hard to get a fair price, and fares are higher at night.
- Ahmedabad doesn't have a strong taxi culture as the buses and the auto rickshaws dominate public transport. But you can ask your hotel to book you a taxi, or you can do it yourself online.
When is The Best Time to Visit Ahmedabad?
The best time to visit Ahmedabad is during its winter season (November to February). The temperatures fall to a comfortable 20°C, making it easier to explore the city, go on outdoor adventures and enjoy meals at open air restaurants. But the favourable weather also attracts crowds. Expect higher hotel rates and flights to be more expensive during this period.
From March to May the temperatures begin to rise, and the crowds start to thin out. For those that can handle the summer heat, it's the perfect time to visit if you want the city and all its attractions to yourself. For budget travellers, you'll find some of the best deals on hotels, tours and flights during this period. Just be sure to pack enough sunscreen and stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid feeling ill.
Ahmedabad's monsoon season is another great time to visit the city. From June to October, the temperatures will start to drop, and most of the Hindu festivals take place. If you don't mind the downpours, you'll get to experience the rain-washed splendour and some of the city's best cultural experiences.
Airports in Ahmedabad
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is 9 km from the city centre of Ahmedabad. It's the eighth busiest airport in India and serves as a focus city for GoAir, Air India and Jet Airways. Due to an increase in the number of visitors, there are plans to replace the airport with Dholera International Airport in the future.
Getting To and From Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
If you are backpacking, the cheapest way to get into the city is on the public bus. But the nearest bus stop is 12 minutes away from the airport. If you don't mind walking or taking a taxi for a short trip, catch one of the following bus lines into Ahmedabad: 105; 106; 107; 101; 16 or 126.
A fleet of taxis will be waiting outside the Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 arrivals area. You can also use ridesharing services like Uber to get into town. A single trip should cost around INR 200 depending on your final destination.
Although you won't find any auto rickshaws waiting at the airport, you'll find them outside. With the city centre not that far away, an auto rickshaw is an affordable and authentic option to get to your hotel. However, it's not recommended for travellers with large luggage bags.
Otherwise, you can rent a car from the airport if you want more freedom in getting around the city during your visit.