Our big cities are not always concrete jungles, and holidays don’t always mean running away from them to countryside. Sometimes the busiest cities can have sanctuaries of calm, peace and indulgence tucked away within their folds, just waiting for us to discover them. These places make the ultimate destinations for city breaks, a spot for a quick holiday which is served up to us with the comforts of the modern cities, sans the related work pressures and city life stresses.
Some of the most charming of city breaks in India include destinations where culture, shopping and luxury come together. Following are three of our best city break destinations.
Jaipur – One of the most incredible cities of incredible India is Jaipur. The colours, flavours, and culture of the land has mesmerised generations of travellers from all over the world. The city is famous for its royal past, the vestiges of which still stand strong today. The culture of hospitality, the long standing traditions of the Rajput royals passed down through generations to the current age, the royal palaces and havelis which have been repurposed into tourist accommodations or luxury hotels and the local bazaars have together weaved a bustling city that is also a major holiday destination. The world class luxury hotels and stays along with the top notch restaurants will pamper you with all the indulgences from the 21st century, while the historic sites will give a taste of a time long gone. The local bazaars are the perfect places to shop for keepsakes and knick knacks, as well as meet some of the most colourful characters you will ever come across. However if you want a bit more than the city life experience, you can embark on any of the numerous safari expeditions offered by Jaipur to nearby exotic locales, which though geographically close to the main city, in essence seems like a world apart from the latter. You can go bird watching, horse riding, visit the grand old palaces and have a taste of the ancient royal cuisine; all while being pampered by the luxuries of five star hotels and villas.
Delhi – The national capital territory of India, Delhi, at first glance seems like any other capital city – a place with everything modern and buzzing with life. Yet there are such pockets of serenity weaved into the city that they will make you question whether you are in a city even. Tourist attractions ranging from the leisurely Hauz Khas to the steeped-in-history Humayun’s tomb, will give you your fill of culture, while the luxury hotels, massive malls and iconic shopping bazaars like ‘Chandni Chowk’, ‘Janpath’ and ‘Sarojini’ will let you enjoy some good old retail therapy. You can get great deals too, if you use your skills at bargaining. The culinary delights of the city are noteworthy as well as the popularity of the city’s world class restaurants is only outdone by the famous eateries from Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk etc. Additionally being so close to Agra, the city is the perfect place for a quick city break before a day-trip to the Taj Mahal. Luxury, culture, history, food and shopping – Delhi has it all covered.
Karnataka – Known for hosting India’s Silicon Valley – Bangalore, Karnataka is another gem for those craving a city break. Be it Bangalore, Mysore or Coorg, each component city of Karnataka has its own unique charm blended in with the perks of the 21st century city life. While Mysore has its strong historical and cultural significance with the Mysore palace and Dussera celebration being a must see event for all, Coorg is the perfect destination for the nature lover, with its rolling hills and plantations peppering the land. And the much famed Bangalore is a city lover’s ultimate delight with numerous options to shop, dine and relax at. Each of these cities irrespective of what their strong point is – whether nature, culture or progress- offers you multiple luxury stay options to choose from in order to make your stay most pleasurable.
These are our top picks for city breaks in India. We chose them for a good mix of places to see, culture, shopping, dining options and modern day comforts including luxury accommodations. What’s your favorite? Which of these city breaks would you recommend to a friend? We’d love to hear from you. You can comment here or on our Facebook page.
By Deepa Padmanaban
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