Are you planning to visit Hyderabad but know nothing about the city beyond the famous Hyderabadi Biryani? Well, be warned, visiting Hyderabad will definitely make you fall in love with it with all the things to do in Hyderabad!
You might want to check out this: Top 30 Places to Visit in Hyderabad, India
Top 30 Things to Do in Hyderabad
Before delving any deeper let’s get an overview of Hyderabad. Hyderabad is one of the largest metropolitans in India and the capital of Telangana. The city has a rich history. As it was ruled by both Hindu and Muslim rulers at different times. It has some nice specimen of both style architecture. Hyderabad is the city of Nizams, for the massive development they undertook which has ultimately set the course of present Hyderabad. In its time, Hyderabad was one of the wealthiest cities of India with its pearl and diamond trading.
Without further delay, let’s check out the list of 30 things you should do while visiting Hyderabad. The list includes visiting all the heritage sites, feeling the splendor of nature and of course, checking out all the Hyderabadi foods you can find!
1. Feel the Grandiosity of Charminar
Located right in the middle of the city, Charminar is the symbol of Hyderabad. Charminar is the Urdu for four towers. As the name suggests the minar stands on four pillars that depict four cardinal directions. This monument was built by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah in 1591. Legend has it that this granite and lime mortar structure was built to celebrate the foundation of Hyderabad the end of a plague outbreak. This 56m high massive structure is a sight to behold at night, all decorated with warm light and the headlights of vehicles passing through it!
2. Enjoy the Light and Sound Show at Golconda Fort
Golconda Fort is a 16th-century fortress built by Shahs. This western part of Hyderabad is famous for diamond mining. The famous Kohinoor and Hope diamond were found here. Golconda Fort is a historical and architectural gem of Hyderabad. A fascinating light and sound show are held here in the evening. Try to catch that show to know more about history.
3. Visit Qutub Shahi Tombs
Qutub Shahi Tombs is another historical site that should be on your list of things to do in Hyderabad. There are 40 tombs, 23 mosques, and some pavilions and gardens. This site features the tombs of seven Qutub Shahi rulers that are adorned with golden spires and stucco ornamentation. The architectural style follows a mixture of Persian, Hindu and Pasthun style. This place is not far from Golconda Fort so you can definitely visit them on the same day.
4. Unwind at Hussain Sagar Lake -Things to do in Hyderabad
After visiting all those historical sites you might be craving some nature time. Head out to Hussain Sagar Lake and unwind. Hussain Sagar is an artificial lake built in 1563 for the purpose of supplying water to the city. Presently it is one of the most visited places in Hyderabad. Both the tourist and the locals come here for a refreshing boat ride. The lake also features a 32 ft high Buddha statue right in the middle. The soothing sight of the statue and sky-blue lake water will do wonders for your peace of mind.
5. Indulge Yourself in Hyderabadi Biryani
Hyderabadi Biryani is the best biryani in the world. Why wouldn’t it be? It was a royal dish served for Nizams (the rulers). The rich flavor of Hyderabadi Biryani is the result of long-grained fragrant rice, tender meat of lamb or goat marinated in special spice. The cooking is done in dough sealed pot. Thought it was a royal dish, in Hyderabad you can get it in a lot of restaurants. You can check out Tabla Restaurant, Bawarchi or Golconda Hotel for Hyderabadi Biryani judge for yourself which one is the best!
6. Feel the Elegance at Chowmahalla Palace
Want to visit a proper royal palace with gleaming marble and hanging chandelier? Head out to Chowmahalla Palace in khilwat. Built according to the style of Tehran’s Shah Iran Palace, this palace has an aura of elegance at every corner. This was the place where the Nizams resided and held extravagant parties. With its stunning architecture, spacious gardens and courtyards, the memorabilia and artifacts of Nizams, Chowmahalla Palace is a fascinating palace to visit.
7. Embrace Spirituality at Mecca Masjid
Mecca Masjid at Hyderabad is one of the largest mosques in the world. It can hold 10,000 people all at once. Built by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, this mosque has bricks made from the soil of Mecca. Hence, it was named Mecca Masjid. This grand mosque was completed in 1694 after 77 years of on and off construction. The mosque also features tombs of Hyderabadi Nizams. The visitors are requested to dress appropriately during their visit to the mosque.
8. Shop at Laad Bazar -Things to do in Hyderabad
Want to buy some Hyderabadi bangle? Head out to Laad Bazar. Laad Bazar is a renowned wedding shopping destination in Hyderabad. Bangles, Wedding dress, jewelry, and wedding accessories are sold here since the time of the Nizams. Laad bazar got its name from lacquer that is used for bangle making. You can get some unique ornaments of pearls and special stones for a reasonable price. So, add shopping at Laad Bazar in your list of things to do in Hyderabad.
9. Have Some Fun at Runway 9
Runway 9 has the first and largest go-kart track in India. This place offers a fun-filled day with go-karting, laser tag, skating, foosball, bungee trampoline, archery, air hockey and so much more. Runway 9 has something for all. With its 711m long go-karting track and 15 go-karts, this place is of international standard. They offer different options for go-karting ranging from 4-20 laps. If you go with a group you can have exciting racing combat going!
10. Nehru Zoological Park -Things to do in Hyderabad
Nehru Zoological Park is the house of 160 species of exotic and rare animals. This 380-acre park has Primate Park, carnivore plaza, lion junction, bears bay, parrot world, reptile row and butterfly park for you to visit. You can also go to the lion safari or ride an elephant. The visit to this park is both entertaining and educative at the same time. The park runs some educational sessions for the visitors to make them learn more about biodiversity. Apart from the zoo, the park has a soothing micro climate. There is a picturesque 400-acre lake just beside the park.
11. Visit Film city -Things to do in Hyderabad
Want to visit the largest studio complex in the world? Visit Ramoji Rao Film City and spend a day full of wonder and fun. It might take you a full day to visit this 1666 acres film city. In the live film studio, you can enjoy some exciting behind the scene moment. Ramoji Rao Film City also has different indoor and outdoor movie sets to visit. You can visit the set of the famous Bollywood movie Bahuboli. Visiting this city you will get an insight into the movie industry in India. So, add visiting Ramoji Film City to your list of things to do in Hyderabad.
12. Get Your Adrenalin Rushing With Hyderabad Adventure Club
Hyderabad is adorned with hillocks, mountains, and hills. So, this place offers a perfect opportunity for rock climbing, paragliding, trekking, bouldering, and other daredevil adventures. You can register with the Great Hyderabad Adventure Club and unleash your inner adrenalin junkie. They conduct events like trekking, camping, mountaineering, hiking and all things outdoors and nature. So, join with them and explore another facet of Hyderabad.
13. Enjoy Laser Show at Lumbini Park
Lumbini Park in Hyderabad is just beside Hussain Sagar Lake. It was named after the birthplace of Buddha. This park is very popular for its location and exciting features. The main attraction of the park is the laser show. The history of the city is displayed in 3D upon screen created by the cascading fountain water. This is definitely a great way to know about the history and origin of Hyderabad.
14. Revisit History atSalarjung Museum
Salar Jung is the largest national museum in India. The most fascinating thing about this museum is that all the artifacts are collected by one person, Mir Yousuf Ali AKA Salar Jung III. The main attraction of this museum is a 19th-century musical clock. Some other rare artifacts are sword belonging to Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan’s dagger, a painting of Ram Mohon Rai. The museum is a must-visit in Hyderabad.
15. Take a Heritage Walk -Things to do in Hyderabad
Taking a walk is the best way to explore a city that has 500 years of history. You can take a guided heritage walk arranged by Telangana tourism Department. They cover 4 different routes covering Charminaar, Chowmahallah Palace, Badshashi Ashurkhana, Purani Haveli and State central library. These walks are conducted by trained guides. Heritage walk is suitable for people of all ages. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to explore Hyderabad in a different way.
16. Drink Some Late Night Chai at Prince Hotel
Chai is a drink that Indians can have any time. If you want to taste some refreshing Elachi Chai (cardamom tea) then head out to Prince Hotel. Their tea is a must while visiting Hyderabad. For their delicious Chai, this place remains crowded even at 3 AM. They also serve many chicken dishes, Biryani, vegetable dishes, tikkas, and everything. You should check out this place to feel the nightlife in Hyderabad.
17. Relax at Kasu Brahmanandha Reddy National Park
Home for many endangered species Kasu Brahmanandha Reddy National Park is very popular among nature lovers. The place is very tranquil and entertaining at the same time. Sitting atop a hill the park has got the perfect location of visual delight. If you get to the top of Jubilee hill you can catch a stunning sunrise! This park also has some heritage sites for you to explore. Nature, wildlife and heritage, what else do you need, right?
18. Have Some Fruit Biscuits at Karachi Bakery
Karachi Bakery is a leading name in the Hyderabad bakery scene. Their fruit biscuits, dil kush, and plum cake are to die for. This bakery has a legacy of six decades. They have a wide range of options that are famous for the fine mixture of tradition and innovation. They have all kinds of sweet delights like chocolates, macaroons, cakes, biscuits of different flavors. Check out the flavors and bring some for home!
19. Unwind at Lamakaan -Things to do in Hyderabad
Good food, a good laugh, and entertainment – all in the same place, that’s Lamakaan. Lamakaan is an open culture center in Hyderabad. They held events like comedy, drama performance, plays, exhibitions, and lectures here. The café and regular gathering of culturally inclined people is also a great reason for visiting Lamakaan. They serve some homely samosas and Orissa style chai that is famous in Hyderabad. You should go check out this lively place to get a sense of Hyderabad culture.
20. Dine like a Royal at Falaknuma Palace
Falaknuma Palace is where you go for a fancy night out. It is a renovated 1894 palace. Taj opened this place as a hotel in 2010. The elegant design, colonial styles furnishing with chandelier and marble floors make the dining experience unique. The two high-end restaurants serve Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. As the palace is located at 2000ft, it is called the mirror of the clouds. Add visiting this place to your things to do in Hyderabad list to have a memorable royal experience.
21. Feel Serene at Birla Temple -Things to do in Hyderabad
Birla Temple is located atop a 280 ft high hill overlooking Hyderabad. It has a fascinating blend of Nagara and South Indian style architecture. You can see the scenes from Indian legend Mahavarat and Ramayan in the temple wall. The location of this temple creates a very tranquil ambiance suitable for meditation. Be warned that the climb up the hill is really strenuous. But once you get to the top you will be fascinated by the temple and the view from the hill.
22. Enjoy Rathajatra at Jagannath Mandir
Jagannath Temple at Hyderabad is a replica of Puri Jagannath temple. This temple is located at Banjara Hill, right in the middle of Hyderabad. The impressive 70 ft tall shikhara makes it really easy to spot Jagannath Temple in Hyderabad. The sandstone made temple has impressive architectural style and intricate carvings along its façade. Because of this intricate design, many art lovers visit the temple. The biggest festival held at this Temple is the annual Rathajatra or Chariot festival. Thousands of devotees take out the deities and create a procession. You can make an exceptional memory by taking part in Rathajatra at Jagannath Mandir.
23. Catch a Sunrise at Osman Sagar -Things to do in Hyderabad
Osman Sagar is the water reservoir that supplies water to Hyderabad. It is also known as Gandipet Lake. This lake was built by damming Isa a branch of Musa River. Spreading across 46km this lake is an ideal spot to watch the sunrise in Hyderabad. You can hop on a boat and enjoy the sunrise and the color shifting in the water. The surrounding lush greenery makes it more scenic. Being away from all the buzzing of the city, it is definitely an amazing experience that you wouldn’t want to miss.
24. Spot some Deer at Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park
This 1459 hectare Deer Park is located at Vanasthalipuram, which is 15 km away from Hyderabad. You will be amazed to know that the Nizam used this as a hunting ground. You can spot Black Buck in this park, which is an endangered species. There are about 400 of them in this park. Apart from deer, there are cheetahs, wild boar, mongoose, lizards, and reptiles in this park. There are migratory birds over 80 species here. You can take a safari ride through the park. If you are a sucker for nature and wildlife you should definitely add visiting this park to your list of things to do in Hyderabad.
25. Binge on Hyderabadi Foods
If you love meat than Hyderabad won’t disappoint you. The food joints that serve sizzling kebabs and shawarma remains crowded even at midnight. People here love eating indeed! You can head out to Tolichowki and get yourself full of delicious shawarma. You can take your pick from chicken, mutton, and beef. Or if you are craving some South Indian cuisine head out to Mojamjahi market and order some dosa. You can get two for 150 Rs. For street food, Charminar would be best bet. To say the least, you would be amazed by how many meat dishes they make here at Hyderabad.
26. Go Trekking at Ananthagiri Hills -Things to do in Hyderabad
If you want to go hiking in Hyderabad, Ananthagiri Hills would be your best bet. You can explore waterfalls, wildlife, rivers, old caves and temple all at once in Ananthagiri. 90 km away from Hyderabad, Ananthagiri is a popular trekking destination for nature lovers. The forest here is dense and these hills are the source of water for Gandipet Lake and Musi River. You can find two trekking trails here, one from the temple and the other is a few km away. You can make a day trip to visit Ananthagiri and enjoy nature’s splendor.
27. Marvel at the Craftsmanship at Paigah Tombs
This place is the mausoleum of Paigah family members, a noble family from Hyderabad. Located close to Charminar Paigah tombs is a must-visit place for architecture buff. Its stunning architecture of Mughal and Moorish combination, spectacular craftsmanship gained huge attention from tourists all over the world. The masterful Jali work will make you respect the craftsman who perfected the task without any modern instrument. The whole structure is a fascinating piece of art.
28. Feel The Spirit of Hyderabad at Numaish
If you want to feel the true spirit of Hyderabad you should definitely check out Numaish. It is the largest annual festival and industrial exhibition of Hyderabad. Held at Nampaly exhibition ground the grandness of Numaish will sure make you spellbound. With over 300 stalls for clothes, jewelry and handicrafts from all over India Numaish is a blast for every Hyderabadi. Numaish is the only event of its kind in the world that stretches on for 46 days! There are also some fun rides available like Ferris wheel, giant wheel. You can also gawk at the daredevil motorcycle and car stunt at the ‘well of death’ event at Numaish.
29. Visit Nagarjunasagar Dam -Things to do in Hyderabad
Nagarjunasagar dam is one of the largest dams in the world. It is located at the Nalgonda district over Krishna River. This dam is one of the earliest dams for irrigation in India. It provides water for irrigation in four districts. You should visit this dam in the monsoon. When the gates are open you can see the spectacular view of water crashing down from 100m through 26 gates. There are other natural attractions to visit near the dam at Nalgonda. You can make a short-day trip to visit Ethipothala waterfalls and Nagarjuna Konda.
30. Take in the Magnificent View of Hyderabad from Naubat Hill
Naubat Hill is a 280 feet tall hill located in the middle of Hyderabad. Naubat means drum and legend have it that Mughals used announce official decree by beating drums from this hill. From the top, you can get a full view of Hyderabad, neighboring city Secunderabad and Hussain Sagar Lake. You will be enticed by the view at night, with the city lights spreading beneath you like a giant illuminated carpet.
In Conclusion, on your first glimpse, Hyderabad may seem like any other metropolis that you have visited. But as you delve deeper you will find all the layers of its rich history and tradition. To reach the confluence where the present meets the past, keep on exploring.