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Know Before You Go
- The Golden Temple receives more visitors per year than the Taj Mahal. It's open from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. and is worth a visit during the day and at night when the dome is illuminated.
- If you want to get your bearings, sign up for the Heritage Walking Tour. Your guide will take you through the Old City where you'll walk past historic mansions, beautiful buildings and learn about the city's history.
- Amritsar is 28 km from the Pakistan border. One of the best things to do while in the city is to take a tour to watch the border closing ceremony. Every day at sundown the guards perform an elaborate ceremony with choreographed marching. Tickets cost around INR 120, and tour vans leave at 4 p.m.
- The Golden Temple has a free foreigners-only dormitory. It's guarded night and day by temple staff, and visitors are welcome to stay for up to three nights.
- The city is also home to the world's largest dining hall. The Golden Temple serves up meals 24 hours a day for free to visitors. Stop here and experience what it's like to share a meal with hundreds of people. You can even volunteer to do some chores to say thank you afterwards.
Getting Around Amritsar
- The best way to get around the city is with an auto rickshaw. Just make sure you agree on a price beforehand to avoid being overcharged. If you are unsure how much a trip should cost, ask the hotel staff or a local for help. It will give you an indication of what a fair price is and make haggling that much easier.
- While the city is still developing its public transport options, there is a free yellow shuttle bus that runs between the train station and the Golden Temple. It operates from 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. but is usually very crowded.
- If you need to catch a taxi, you can hail one down or have your hotel call ahead. It's also possible to book your ride online and get a fare estimate.
When is The Best Time to Visit Amritsar?
The best time to visit Amritsar is from November to March. The winter temperatures are pleasant making it an ideal time of year to explore the city on foot. But it's also high season, so expect hotel rates to be higher during this period. You'll also need to pack some warm clothes as the temperature can drop to 4°C.
The city's summer season is from April to June. Most tourists avoid these months as temperatures can reach as high as 49°C. If you plan to visit during this time, make sure you drink enough water and try to avoid exploring during the hottest times of the day. The upside to putting up with the heat is that you'll find some great deals and the winter crowds will have disappeared.
From July to October, the monsoon season is a welcome relief. While the city experiences heavy rains, the temperatures are pleasant for sightseeing. You'll also be in town for some of the city's most notable festivals such as Guru Nanak Jayanti. For budget travellers, it's another great time of year to find deals, if you don't mind the bad weather.
Airports in Amritsar
Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport
Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee is 11 kilometres from the city centre of Amritsar. It ranks as the third best non-metro airport in India and also serves the western and southern districts of Punjab. The airport operates 18 domestic and seven international flights to destinations in Asia and the Middle East.
Getting To and From Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport
The most convenient way to get from the airport to the city is to take a prepaid taxi. You'll find the cabs waiting outside the arrivals terminal building, and it's the best way to ensure you won't be overcharged. A single trip should cost you between INR 300 to 400 depending on your final destination.
While it is possible to take an auto rickshaw, you won't find them in the airport. You'll have to walk outside, and it's not recommended for tourists with large bags. If you do get one, the trip should cost around INR 100 and take up to 30 minutes depending on traffic.
Alternatively, if you want your own transport while in the city, car rental services are available at the airport. There are a number of companies to choose from including well-known brands like Avis and Hertz.