The location of our first stop in India was based on two things: my desire to meet some of my former co-workers (whom I had only “virtually met” prior) and the most cost-effective use of my airline miles.
In any case, it isn’t likely that Hyderabad would be on your tourist radar; however, if you find yourself in the city, here are our tips.
What you might expect:
Locals aren’t as used to westerners – you may be asked to take a selfie with some of them!
Hyderabad is home to HITEC City, where many of the Information Technology giants (like Microsoft and Facebook) have massive campuses. Despite this, they don’t get a lot of western visitors, so locals may ask you to take a selfie with them.
Get to the airport early!
We were told to arrive 1 1/2 hours before our domestic flight… and we nearly missed it! Secuirty is painfully slow. There are separate lines for men and women (in these situations, when possible, I have Chris carry valuables through security because sometimes women are asked to step behind a curtain where you cannot see your belongings).
It’s not as much of a ‘tourist’ location as other places in India (limited T-mobile cell service and bad wifi in many places)
Don’t expect the conveniences of most tourist locations. While you can get by with English, it’s a little more difficult here than in other tourist locations. You also notice that very old buildings are right next to very new ones. With the insane traffic and because the area we were in wasn’t really designed for tourism, we weren’t really comfortable yet walking around there so we didn’t leave the hotel much to explore (aside from our escorted tours).
We experienced really spotty service with T-mobile here, more so than in other parts of India. We also expected the wifi to be better at places like the hotel (being that this is a very popular location for tech companies). We had really crappy Wi-Fi at our hotel. To the point of being almost nonexistent.
Traffic and accidents are expected
There was very crazy taxi and tuk -tuk driving. We experienced it from our first ride. We also experienced and witnessed multiple accidents in just a few days, most of which were dismissed without people even exiting their vehicles.
What not to miss:
Hyderabad is known throughout India for having the best Biriyani.
Visit Taj Falaknuma Palace for a tour (and dinner)
The name translates to “like the sky,” which is epitomized by its view of the city. Once the residence of the Prime Minister, then owned by the 6th Nizam, it is now on a 66 year lease to the Taj Group of hotels. The dining room table seats 101 people! (Photos inside were prohibited.)
Tour Golconda Fort
A wonderful hike to the top culminates in a view of the entire city of Hyderabad! “Shepherd’s Hill” is the mine that produced the Hope Diamond and the Daria-I-Noor (a whopping 185 carats). It was home to 7 kings and has 7 walls – the outermost enclosing the city (it is 7 kilometers – 4.1 miles).
If you still have time:
Visit Tankbund Road
Tank Bund road dams Hussain Sagar – a heart shaped lake in Hyderabad. In the center is a Gautam Buddha statue, one of the largest monoliths in the world.
See Charminar mosque
It’s one of the most recognized icons of India
- We never used it but we saw that there is a DineOut app in India with codes for discounts at restaurants
- Taj Deccan has a good lunch buffet, where you can sample quality versions on many local dishes