A love letter to Lucknow: 48 hour ‘Nawabi’ guide for exploring the real city!
Lucknow

A love letter to Lucknow: 48 hour ‘Nawabi’ guide for exploring the real city!

If you don’t want to get stuck in the tourist traps and want to explore the city of Nawabs like a Nawab yourself, have a look at the awesome itinerary we’ve prepared.

Lucknow is the city of royals, famous for its cultural, architectural and historical marvels, Lucknow is a glorious city to travel to. A paradise for history buffs, foodies and shoppers alike, the city holds within itself such marvelous treasures that it gets difficult to navigate through all the awesomeness.

That is why we’ve created the perfect 2 day itinerary for people who are visiting the city for the first time and the locals who want to explore the city and fall in love with it all over again.

Day 1- Morning (Breakfast+Lucknow Darshan)

Lucknow’s tea culture is unmatched! Lucknow has a passion for food and this shows openly in it’s rapacity for tea! Tea in the morning is a must and Sharma is an institution when it comes to tea. A light breakfast of Sharma ki chai, bun -makkhan and/or gol samosa is the perfect way to start your first day here!

Sharma ki chai, samosa and bun-makkhan
Sharma ki chai, samosa and bun-makkhan

Once your’e done chomping, do a little Lucknow darshan, for the city is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The old world charm and rich heritage of the city add to the already beautiful and picturesque views.

Make your way to the Residency to stir up some patriotic fervour. Residence to the British Resident General, this monument lies in ruins because of the Siege of Lucknow that happened during the mutiny of 1857.

British Residency Lucknow
British Residency Lucknow

Mid-Morning + Afternoon (Brunch, Lucknow Darshan and Shopping!)

A little adventure will surely have you craving for something heavier than the chai you sampled earlier. So head to Raheem’s in Chowk and try the Lucknow’s other breakfast staple: Kulcha Nihari. Cooked overnight, Nihari is a stew that is rich in flavor and heavy on the spice, with meat pieces so tender they literally disappear on your tongue. But make sure that you’re there early because they only serve it till 11.

Kulcha Nihari: the breakfast staple
Kulcha Nihari: the breakfast staple
Rumi Darwaza
Rumi Darwaza

Once your stomach is full and your soul warmed, explore the beauty of the old city. The architecture of Lucknow is a perfect blend of Mughal and British influences and soak some of it. Specifically, check out Clock Tower, Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza and Satkhanda.

Bara Imambara (Bhoolbhulaiya)
Bara Imambara (Bhoolbhulaiya)

Pay a visit to Bhool Bhulaiya, the labyrinth Bara Imambara houses. Do take a guide to navigate the mazer lest you get lost since it has 1024 doorways leading in but only one leading out. Rumour has it that a tunnel runs from Bhool-Bhulaiya straight to Delhi!

Chhota Imambara
Chhota Imambara

Once you’re done admiring the monuments, let your feet guide you through narrow lanes of Chowk where you’ll find the most brilliantly made, authentic Lucknowi Chikankari clothes and sweet smelling Ittar. Get both and have a little bit of Lucknow to carry where-ever you go.

Chowk
Chowk

When the shopping tires you, taste the daulat ki chat, Lucknow’s favorite Makkhan-Malai. This melt-in your mouth, fluffy as clouds, sweet delicacy is only available during winters, so make sure to try it if you’re here around the same time.

Makkhan Malai (aka Daulat ki Chat)
Makkhan Malai (aka Daulat ki Chat)

and speaking of chats..

Late Evening-Night (Chat, Ganjing and Dinner)

Royal Cafe is an institution when it comes to chat and you really need to have it before we start on our next adventure. So head out to Hazratganj and relish the sweet, spicy and tangy flavor of their famous basket chat.

Basket Chat at Royal Cafe
Basket Chat at Royal Cafe

And if you’re in Lucknow, you gotta go ‘Ganjing’! Hazratganj is where Lucknow hangs out. It was built by the Nawabs but the British later modeled it after London’s Queen Street. Shop while you marvel at the architectural wonder of every edifice. Strolling along Hazratganj is the best way to let the essence of the city permeate you.

Night shot of Hazratganj
Night shot of Hazratganj
Better Photography - Tariq Khan

And once hunger strikes, make your way to the famous Dastarkhwan and have a delicious Mughalayi meal there. Their mutton korma, sheermal, biryani and chicken masala is a must try.

Dinner at Dastarkhwan
Dinner at Dastarkhwan

Okay, you’re done for the day. Go home/to your hotel and sleep off all the deliciousness you’ve ingested because Day 2 is going to be as invigorating, if not more!

Day 2: Morning + Early Afternoon (Morning Stroll, Breakfast and Shopping)

Janeshwar Mishra Park, is the largest park in Asia and is inspired by the Hyde Park of London. And you NEED a morning walk in Lucknow because the city is a gastronomical goldmine. So burn off a few calories as you let this green oasis charm you.

Morning Stroll at Janeshwar Mishra Park
Morning Stroll at Janeshwar Mishra Park

..and then, have an indulging breakfast at Ajay and Netram. Okay hear up. This is very specific. You need to buy Khasta from Ajay and Jalebi from Netram. Not one from the other. NO. Chase the savory with the sweet and live life on the edge.

Jalebi from Netram and Khasta from Ajay
Jalebi from Netram and Khasta from Ajay

After you’re done chomping down all the delicious food, wander around in the crowded lanes of Aminabad which is is a shoppers paradise. There is nothing that you cannot find here, but we would suggest buying some uber luxurious and intricate Zardozi embroidery to instantly brighten up your wardrobe.

Zardozi Embroidery
Zardozi Embroidery

Aminabad is famous for its jewelry, ethnic ‘Nagre footwear and accessories that you can buy at Gadbad Jhala. Spend some more time here, for Aminabad is full of things to see and buy.

Late Afternoon + Evening (Lunch, Shopping and Snack)

Shopping at Aminabad is exhausting and navigating the many by-lanes will work up quite an appetite. So fill up at Lucknow’s famous Tunday Kebabi. These beautiful kebabs are so delicious and flavorful, they’ll leave you wanting more, indulge a little, you’re in Lucknow! Get a few kebabs packed and enjoy them later!

Kebabs at Tunday Kebabi
Kebabs at Tunday Kebabi

then... cool down with a Kulfi Faluda from the famous, Prakash Kulfi.

(I know there is a lot of food in this guide, but hey, Lucknow loves food, like it loves nothing else!)

Prakash ki famous Kulfi!!

Kulfi at Prakash
Kulfi at Prakash

We are done with the old world charm of the city, lets move over to the new developing and fast moving Lucknow.

Night (Long Drive and Dinner)

Once you’re in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar you’ll realize the kind of growth Lucknow has seen in a few years. The pot-hole free roads are straight out of a Hollywood movie. And take in the larger than life stone and marble statues which are everywhere you turn. And the lights, oh the evening lights make everything shine!

Lucknow also has a Marine Drive, no we don’t have the sea nearby, but we do have the river Gomti and it is excuse enough to have a Marine Drive.

Marine Drive, Gomti Nagar
Marine Drive, Gomti Nagar

Sit on the steps of the Gomti River Front, let the calm wash over you and forget about all your worries.

After the soul-searching and all the deep thoughts, put an end to your wonderful journey through Lucknow, with a Nawabi dining experience.

Azrak, Lebua
Azrak, Lebua

Relish a lavish spread at Azrak a charming Awadhi restaurant at Lebua, Saraca Estate. Spoil yourself with the luxuries and forget about everything, just be a Nawab for little while.

There is much to see and experience in Lucknow, the charm, the grandiose and the elegance of the city knows no bounds. It is not a city you have a two night stand with, it is a city you come to and never leave, it is the city of love, friendship and people who are so very endearing. It is a city you call home.

Kashish-e-lucknow are tauba

phir vahi ham vahi aminābād