OT Itinerary: A Quick Guide To Lucknow, The City Of Nawabs

From old bazaars to renowned eateries and mediaeval ruins, explore the best of Lucknow with our comprehensive two-day itinerary
Bara Imambara and Asfi Mosque at sunset in Lucknow
Bara Imambara and Asfi Mosque at sunset in LucknowShutterstock

The City of Nawabs, Lucknow, is a captivating fabric of glorious history, architecture and culinary delights. Nestled along the banks of the Gomti River in the heart of Uttar Pradesh, it exudes an old-world charm that seamlessly merges with the modern infrastructure and identity of the city. Renowned for its elegant Mughal and Awadhi influences, Lucknow boasts majestic monuments such as the Bara Imambara and Chhota Imambara, reflecting its glorious past as a centre of culture and refinement. In addition, the city boasts a good share of influences from the British era.

Known as the cultural capital of North India, the city enchants visitors with its gracious, world-renowned hospitality, elaborate traditions and timeless arts like Chikankari embroidery and Kathak dance. With its bustling bazaars, fragrant kebabs and steaming cups of chai, Lucknow beckons travellers to indulge in its medley of sights, sounds, and flavours. Check out our thorough 2-day itinerary for Lucknow if you wish to wrench out the best of the city in a short span.

Day 1


A glmpse inside the complex of Bara Imambara
A glmpse inside the complex of Bara ImambaraShutterstock

Start your day in Hazratganj with a traditional Lucknowi breakfast of chai (tea) and samosas at Sharma Ji Ki Chai, a famous tea stall. After breakfast, visit the Bara Imambara, a historical monument built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784. Inside, explore the labyrinthine Bhool Bhulaiya (maze), a large mosque, a steep well, and a main hall, and marvel at the architectural brilliance. Next, head to Chota Imambara, also known as Imambara Hussainabad Mubarak. It was built in 1832 by the third king of Oudh, Mohammed Ali Shah, as a mausoleum for himself and his mother. Admire this Shia Muslim congregation hall's stunning architecture and intricate decorations in the morning light.


A 60-foot-tall gateway in Lucknow, the Rumi Darwaza
A 60-foot-tall gateway in Lucknow, the Rumi DarwazaShutterstock

Enjoy a delicious lunch at Royal Café, where you can savour Lucknow's famous kebabs and biryanis. Make sure to try their signature Tunday Kebabs. After lunch, head over to Rumi Darwaza, an iconic gateway that serves as the entrance to the old city of Lucknow. It was built in 1784 by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula and is an example of Awadhi architecture. The Rumi Darwaza is also referred to as the Turkish Gate. Take some time to capture some photographs and soak in the historical ambience. Later in the afternoon, explore Hazratganj, one of Lucknow's most popular shopping districts. You can shop for Chikan embroidery garments, jewellery and handicrafts.


A classic platter of Galouti Kebabs, a culinary speciality of Lucknow
A classic platter of Galouti Kebabs, a culinary speciality of LucknowShutterstock

Take a leisurely evening stroll along the beautiful Gomti Riverfront and enjoy the serene views. After that, treat yourself to authentic Awadhi cuisine at Dastarkhwan. Don't forget to try their signature dishes, such as Galouti Kebabs and Lucknawi Biryani. End your evening with a traditional Lucknowi pastime of "ganjing"—a leisurely walk through the bustling streets of the Chowk area, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere and savouring local street food snacks like chaat and kulfi.

Day 2


Picture of scuptures at the entrance of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological garden in Lucknow
Picture of scuptures at the entrance of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological garden in LucknowShutterstock

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Tunday Kababi, which is well-known for its mouth-watering galouti kebabs and parathas. After breakfast, you can explore Lucknow Zoo, also known as Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden. Take a peaceful stroll amidst lush greenery while admiring the diverse collection of wildlife. Then, visit the State Museum of Lucknow to delve into the rich history and culture of Uttar Pradesh. You can explore an extensive collection of artefacts, paintings and sculptures in the museum.


Vintage Structures of British Residency complex in Lucknow
Vintage Structures of British Residency complex in LucknowShutterstock

Experience a splendid lunch at Oudhyana, an exquisite restaurant in the Taj Hotel. Indulge in the rich and flavorful Awadhi delicacies, surrounded by a top-notch ambience. Later, explore the ruins of the British Residency, an important historical site that played a significant role during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. It was the home of the British Resident General, who represented the Nawab's court. The Residency was under siege for 87 days during the uprising of 1857, and by the time the siege ended, it was already in ruins. Visit the museum inside to learn about the siege of Lucknow and its aftermath. After your time of exploration, relax and unwind at Janeshwar Mishra Park, one of the largest parks in Asia. Take a stroll, enjoy boating in the lake, or simply immerse yourself in nature during the afternoon.


An aerial view of Lucknow's Aminabad
An aerial view of Lucknow's AminabadShutterstock

If you're looking for some last-minute shopping in Lucknow, head over to Aminabad, one of the city's oldest markets. This vibrant market is famous for its souvenirs, traditional clothing and handicrafts. Once you're done with shopping, head to Moti Mahal for a delicious dinner. This restaurant is known for its delectable Mughlai cuisine, including signature dishes like Nihari and Sheermal. Finally, wrap up your trip by witnessing the Sound and Light Show at the British Residency. This show is a magnificent way to experience the history of Lucknow through illuminating visuals and narrations.

Places To Stay

For budget accomodation options, you can check out Hotel Vills (INR 730 per night) or Hotel I.P. Palace (INR 1,058 per night). In case you wish to lodge at a luxury accomodation, you can head to Taj Mahal Lucknow (INR 21,298 per night) or Hyatt Regency Lucknow (INR 6,383 per night). Lucknow also has comfortable homestays, among which you can check out The Heritage Hotel (INR 2,071 per night) or Green Homestay (INR 4,263 per night). There are also hostels such as Hashtag Traveller's (INR 1,382 per night) or Backpacker's Den (INR 1,524 per night).

Transporation In Lucknow

Lucknow has a variety of transportation options. Auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, public buses, Lucknow Metro, app-based cab services, traditional taxi services, private vehicles and bicycle-sharing services are available. Commuters can choose the most suitable mode of transportation, considering traffic, distance, and convenience.

How To Reach

Air: Lucknow International Airport at Amausi is connected to most major cities across the country.

Rail: Lucknow Junction is connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities.

Road: Lucknow is directly connected to New Delhi by the Agra-Lucknow Expressway and the Yamuna Expressway/ NH19. The city is linked to AH1 that connects Delhi to Kolkata via Agra, Kanpur and Varanasi. Lucknow is linked to Kanpur by NH27 and to Bhopal by National Highways 27, 34, 44 and 146 Bus Private and state buses connect Lucknow to other cities.

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