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Know Before You Go
- If you plan on visiting any of Hyderabad's religious sites, remember to dress conservatively. You'll also need to remove your shoes before entering so wear footwear that is easy to get off.
- In India, it is offensive to use the left hand for pointing, eating, giving, receiving or shaking someone's hand.
- The water in India is not safe to drink. Rather buy bottled water to stay safe and only eat street food that is hot. It's also advisable to only buy fruits and vegetables whole that you can wash clean.
- Hyderabad is home to India's largest mosque. The Mecca Masjid is believed to have been built with bricks brought all the way from Mecca.
- If you are unsure what to eat, order what your driver is having. It will open you to off-the-menu possibilities and is a good introduction to Indian cuisine.
Getting Around Hyderabad
- The cheapest way to get around Hyderabad is with the bus. There are five different types to choose from with the Volvo Buses being the most comfortable. Fares start at INR 35, and there are also monthly passes available for INR 2,100. Travelling by bus is also easy for travellers with destinations displayed in English.
- Autorickshaws are a more expensive way to get around the city. This is because many of the drivers refuse to use the meter and charge travellers extortionate prices. If you are comfortable haggling, the base fare should be INR 20 with each additional kilometre INR 11.
- If you are feeling wary about hiring a taxi, your best option is to use Ola or Uber. You'll get a reliable service and drivers that won't be trying to rip you off. Fares start at INR 6 per kilometre and INR 1 per minute.
- There are also local trains available to a few places within the city. But the trains are not reliable, and the schedule is rarely followed.
- If you don't have much time in Hyderabad, the hop on hop off bus is one of the best ways to see all the major sites. The bus runs from 8:50 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. every 30 minutes. It costs INR 200 per person and includes nine stops to popular attractions like the Chowmahalla Palace and Quli Qutub Shah Tombs.
When is The Best Time to Visit Hyderabad?
The best time to visit Hyderabad is during its winter months. From October to February, temperatures are cooler, and there is less chance of rain. But it is the city's high season, with tourists flocking from near and far to take advantage of the favourable weather conditions. With temperatures reaching 29°C, it's perfect weather for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Keep in mind that prices will be higher during this period, so book ahead to avoid the hike in hotel rates and flights.
Hyderabad's summer months are its low season. From March to May the high temperatures and humidity make travelling around unbearable. If you plan on doing any outdoor activities, it's best to come either at the beginning of summer before temperatures reach their peak. During this tourism slump, you'll find lower hotel rates, and there will be fewer people at attractions around the city. Just remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen every time you leave your hotel.
Monsoon season is from June to September and is considered to be the off-season. But if you're okay with carrying umbrellas and raincoats around, it's a beautiful time of year to visit the city. The temperatures are cool, and the rains mean the countryside will be lush with colour.
Airports in Hyderabad
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
Rajiv Gandhi is 20 km from Hyderabad's city centre. It's the sixth busiest airport in India and severed over 15 million passengers in 2016. The airport is a hub for Air India Regional and is a focus city for IndiGo.
Getting To and From Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
One of the cheapest ways to get into Hyderabad is with Pushpak. It's an express bus service that runs from the airport to the main destinations around the city. The buses run from 3:30 a.p. to 11:00 p.m. and cost between INR 159 to INR 265 depending on your final stop.
If you don't want to take public transport or your flight arrives late, you'll find a fleet of taxis waiting at the airport. Radio Taxis charge INR 21 per kilometre with an INR 1 waiting charge. There is also a 25% surcharge between 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. If you are on a budget, use a ride-sharing service like Uber which is usually a cheaper option.
Alternatively, if you want more freedom getting around the city, there are several car rental agencies at the airport.