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Home to the gleaming Golden Temple, Amritsar is the holiest city for Sikhs around the world. Our pick of the best places to stay in Amritsar are both ideally situated for visiting this icon - close enough for ease of access, yet far enough away to avoid the crowds.
Founded in 1577 by guru Ram Das it still renders onlookers, pilgrims and tourists alike, speechless. Inside witness volunteers stirring cauldrons of daal and vegetables, bound for the plates of the thousands that eat there each day.
Twelve ancient gates encase the old city, where the Golden Temple is located. Containing a maze of winding lanes and bustling bazaars emitting a concoction of scents, it is like stepping into another century. With cows, carts and cars vying for space on the narrow roads, exploring on foot tends to be the most immersive and convenient option.
To the north of Amritsar’s ancient ramparts is the ‘new’ city, a hodgepodge of colonial buildings, shopping malls and multiplexes. which are testament to the commercial success of this city.
Here are more of our picks for your "things to do" list whilst you're staying here:
- Awash with textiles, fabrics, saris and pashminas Katra Jaimal Singh Bazaar is a favourite amongst the ladies of Amritsar.
- Take a cab to the Pakistan border to witness the Wagah border crossing. Not dissimilar to Buckingham Palace's Changing of the Guard, with as much pomp and more theatre.
- Or if you fancy some fine dining, dress up and head for dinner at Thai Chi. Serving gourmet Thai and Chinese cuisine it is a top contender for the best restaurant in town.
The city is busy year round, so get organised and book early - our pick of the best places to stay in Amritsar are both equal parts charm and luxury.
For holistic heritage
- Welcoming visiting dignatories for over 250 years Ranjit's Svaasa Hotel provides guests with a historic stay with the benefits of an Ayurvedic spa, yoga and meditation.
For unabashed luxury
- Housing Thai Chi, one of the best restaurants in town, The Hyatt Amritsar excels in all aspects. A perfect blend of contemporary and local style.
Still not sure which to book? From modern to heritage luxury browse through our list of the best places to stay in Amritsar to start to plan your trip. Alternatively you can widen the net and check out all our hotels in the Punjab. Or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Amritsar
Ranjit's Svaasa Hotel 16 rooms from $68Amritsar (Punjab)
Channelling an 'Exotic Marigold Hotel' spirit this heritage haveli is more than just a place to rest your head en-route to the Golden Temple. Food is healthy and organic plus there are yoga and meditation classes. Rooms are crammed full of antiques with vast four posters, Indian silks and art.Sights nearby - A visit to one of India's most famous landmarks, the Golden Temple, is just a short drive away.Local markets - Tahali Sahib Bazaar is a favourite amongst locals for sparkling sarees and shining silks.Full of characterFour poster beds - For romantics.
Hyatt Amritsar 248 rooms from $72Amritsar (Adjoining Alpha One City Center, MBM Farms)
Reliable luxury courtesy of The Hyatt. A fusion of modern architecture and traditional Indian design and colours. Rooms are awash with polished woods, rich oranges and reds with state of the art bathrooms. Traditional spa treatments are available and there is gourmet South and East Asian dining.Sights nearby - Complimentary shuttle bus service to the Golden TempleSpa - With eight treatment roomsSwimming Pool - Outdoor swimming pool