City Palace has stood at the heart of the Old City of Jaipur for nearly three centuries, shortly after Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II decided to relocate his court from the city of Amber. Protected by huge guard walls, the fairy-tale-like structure is still the home of Jaipur’s modern-day royal family, and is more extravagant and enchanting than you might imagine.

City Palace is more than a sand-colored regal abode—it’s a sprawling complex of buildings built around a series of landscaped garden courtyards overlooking Jaipur and Lake Palace. The entire property is a stunning display of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture.

The current occupants reside in the most eye-catching building, the Chandra Mahal, an elegant structure with curved eaves and domed rooftops. Each of its seven stories features an entirely different style. The ground floor is included in the price of admission, but you’ll need to book a private tour to go upstairs.

Other noteworthy places for sightseeing at City Palace include the Mubarak Mahal (Welcome Palace), which contains displays of dazzling costumes and textiles; the Armoury, a museum-like space dedicated to preserving finely crafted daggers and swords; Pritam Niwas Chowk (Peacock Courtyard), which has mesmerizing doorways painted to look like the feathers of its namesake bird; and Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), which showcases the palace’s exquisite collection of miniature paintings.

After exploring the palace, check out the Friends of the Museum Bazaar—it has some of Jaipur’s highest quality souvenirs (with equally high prices).

Address: Tulsi Marg, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur

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