Kickstart your tour of Hyderabad with a morning spent at its most iconic landmark, the Charminar. Built in 1591 by the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the structure has repeatedly been featured on lists detailing the most recognized monuments in India. Situated at walking distance from the Charminar is the Chowmahalla Palace, the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. Plenty of small restaurants and tea stalls dot the area and are ideal for breakfast. Butter dosa at Govind Ki Bandi is always a great idea.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, stop for a biryani lunch at Hotel Shadab, one of Hyderabad’s most popular in the Charminar area. Post lunch, continue with your royal history lesson by heading to Purani Haveli, another royal palace of the Nizam of Hyderabad, which also happens to lie in the vicinity. The Haveli also houses the Nizam Museum, which primarily houses gifts received by the last Nizam of Hyderabad state, Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, during his silver jubilee celebrations.
Once you’re done learning about the Nizams, head to the Salar Jung Museum in Darushifa for a uniquely satisfying dose of art and history. The museum closes at 5 pm and also happens to be one of the largest in the world, housing a collection of 1.1 million items, so make sure you’ve made your way here by early evening at most. One of three national museums in India, it houses artifacts from all around the world. Wrap up day one by heading to yet another legendary restaurant with a reputation that far exceeds city limits, Pista House, for a dinner made up of biryani or haleem.
Start day two with a visit to the Golkonda Fort, among Hyderabad’s most historic sites of attraction. This medieval era forted citadel served as the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty (1518–1687 C.E.). The ruins of the fort are spread over quite a large area and can take about three hours to explore.
Once you’re done with Golkonda, head to the nearby Qutub Shahi Tombs. The complex contains several tombs and mosques built by various rulers of the Qutb Shahi dynasty starting from 1543, standing tall amid landscaped gardens. Blending Persian, Pashtun and Hindu styles of architecture, the tombs are as aesthetically striking as they are historic.
Wrap your day up with a visit to yet another deeply historic monument in the vicinity, Taramati Baradari. A sarai, or caravanserai, built during the reign of the fourth Sultan of Golconda, this strikingly beautiful structure consists of an auditorium hall with 12 doorways. Haritha Restaurant, a multi-cuisine restaurant located in the complex, is ideal for dinner as well.
Morning and afternoon
Take a break from Hyderabad’s many history lessons and dive into all things film on day three with a visit to Ramoji Film City. The world’s largest film studio complex, it spans across 2,000 acres and includes a range of attractions including an amusement park. First set up in 1996, the film city hosts over 1.5 million tourists each year. Used for Bollywood films, as well as for regional industries, including the local Telugu film industry, the film city is among India’s most popular attractions.
Once you’ve taken in your satisfactory share of Ramoji Film City, head back into town to wrap up your tour of Hyderabad with dinner at one of the city’s most popular restaurants. Bawarchi Restaurant is a legend in the local culinary scene and serves classic Hyderabadi cuisine at a very affordable price. The Fisherman’s Wharf in Gachibowli is another great option if you would like to sample Hyderabad’s take on other types of cuisines.