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Six travel tips for visiting Amritsar - from a local

Steeped in history, art and culture, Amritsar is one of the most visited cities in India. However, like many touristy cities, Amritsar can also present a few hurdles for visitors, with its crowds and complex logistics. Having lived in Amritsar since birth, here are my top tips to help you make the most of your time here. This isn't about what to see or do when you get here.

Rather, we're focusing on practical information for your trip including how to avoid long lines, save money, and find the best food in the city.

1. Plan to spend at least three days in Amritsar

Amritsar has a lot to offer, especially for first-time visitors. Be sure to spend at least three days in the Holy City to savour all the best views and the most delicious meals.

If you stay for less, you might find yourself rushing from place to place without enough time to fully enjoy all the gorgeous monuments and sights.

Moreover, some places (such as the Golden Temple and the Indo Pak Border at Attari-Wagah check post) can easily take up more than half of your day each. Three days is the minimum; more is better!


2. Visit Golden temple (Sri Harmandir Sahib) before sunrise 

The Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar is a place of religious significance for Sikhs and is open to visitors 24 hours a day.  To visit the Golden Temple depends on your personal preference and the experience you're seeking. Each time of day offers a unique perspective of this sacred and iconic site. However, if you are visiting Amritsar for the first time Golden Temple before sunrise would be awesome .

Why: The early morning hours are serene and peaceful. The Golden Temple is beautifully illuminated by the morning sunlight, creating a tranquil atmosphere.

What to Expect: Witness the Sri Guru Granth Sahib being brought in a "Golden Palki" to the sanctum from the Sri Akal Takht Sahib , which happens before sunrise.


  • Regardless of the time you choose to visit, be sure to cover your head and remove your shoes before entering the Golden Temple premises.

  • Weekdays might be less crowded than weekends and special occasions.

  • Keep in mind the religious practices and ceremonies that take place at specific times during the day.

3. The best way to roam around Amritsar is by e-rickshaw

E-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are common modes of transport. Negotiate fares before starting your journey.

If you are travelling alone , try bike sharing app "Rapido" . It is the best way to beat the traffic jams of the city. Use Uber cabs for more comfortable and convenient rides outside the walled city of Amritsar.


4. Stay outside walled city of Amritsar , if you wish to experience old as well as modern life of Amritsar


Amritsar offers a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. Consider staying hotels near Golden Temple in the walled city of Amritsar , if your sole purpose to visit Amritsar for Golden temple. All other major attractions like Wagah Border , Fort Gobindgarh, Lawrence Road , Ranjit Avenue etc are far from the walled city. Here are some areas and recommendations for where to stay in Amritsar:

Ranjit Avenue : (Luxury)

   - Why: This area is known for its modern amenities and is a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. All major five stars ,cafes and pubs are in this area.

 Queens Road :(Budget)

- Why: Queens Road is a central location with various amenities and is close to the railway station.There are lots of stay options and most of the famous street food joints are in close proximity of this area.

Tips

- Book in Advance: Amritsar can be a popular tourist destination, especially during festivals and special events. It's advisable to book your accommodation in advance.

- Read Reviews: Check online reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor or Booking.com to get an idea of the quality and service of the hotels.

- Consider Amenities: Depending on your preferences, look for hotels with amenities such as free Wi-Fi, parking, and on-site restaurants.

Choose an area based on your priorities, whether it's proximity to the Golden Temple, shopping, or convenience to transportation, and find a hotel that suits your budget and preferences.


5. Watch out for your safety in Amritsar

Amritsar is generally safe, but like any other city, be cautious with your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings. Stray incidents like snatching happens as touists are normally the soft targets.


This is perhaps the most important travel tip for Amritsar: the snatchers in town are extremely skilled at what they do. Be especially careful when visiting popular attractions, or when taking the e-rickshaws and autos. Always, always keep your bags within sight, and never wear anything expensive.


6. Always ask locals for the Best food in Amritsar

Amritsaris are very friendly. When looking for the best food in Amritsar, exploring places where locals eat is a great way to experience authentic Punjabi cuisine. Don't hesitate to try local street food stalls for snacks like Kulchas , Nutri, Samosas, Chaat, and Pakoras. Almost everywhere in Amritsar near your stay, you will find many options. Always ask locals for their favorite eateries . The local Amritsaris are friendly and often provide valuable recommendations, better than trip advisor.


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