Lucknow is the capital city of the district of Uttar Pradesh and an unparalleled tourist destination of Northern India. Situated on the banks of the Gomti River, to this day it is a destination with an enchanting sense of timelessness, balancing out modernity, colonial architecture and Islamic traditions perfectly.
Lucknow is also famous for its famous art form, the chikan - a fine thread embroidery that draws the attention of many a tourist. The rich cultural life of the city, dotted with night-long poetry recitals called mushairas also draw many travellers for their unique appeal. The city is one of the leading centres of Urdu and Hindi literature and this reflects in the up-and-about cultural life of Lucknow.
How to Reach Lucknow
Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. It is the largest city of the state and continues to be an important centre of commerce. Lucknow is visited by thousands of people throughout the year to do trade, business or to simply visit the city of Nawabs.
The city of Lucknow is easily accessible from all across India through air, rail and road.
The Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport is situated around 11 km from the Lucknow Railway Station. The airport serves the city of Lucknow as well as the city of Kanpur.
The airport connects with major cities in India and some International cities as well. It is the 2nd busiest airport in Northern India after the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.
The Lucknow Railway Station at Charbagh is the main railway station in the city. Its building was established in 1923. It is the major junction with links major cities of the state and the country. Lucknow also has some other stations like Alamnagar, Gomti Nagar, Aishbagh junction, Lucknow City, etc. All stations are well connected with each other via public road transport.
Lucknow is well connected by a network of roads and road transport to all major towns of Uttar Pradesh and surrounding areas. Lucknow is connected by five National Highways; they are NH - 24, 24B, 25, 28 and 56. The major Inter State Bus Station (ISBT) is Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar at Alambagh.
Distance to Lucknow
- From delhi - 497 KM
- From bareilly - 243 KM
- From kanpur - 77 KM
- From mumbai - 1365 KM
- From jhansi - 297 KM
- From pune - 1382 KM
Shopping in Lucknow
Buying Lucknowi chikan work will be the obvious thing to do while shopping in Lucknow.The city of Lucknow is synonymous with the fine art of embroidery-chikankari (shadow work) and zardosi (silver and gold embroidery). The world-renowned chikan work garments, be it saris, kurtas or dupattas make excellent gifts to carry home.
If you are fond of jewellery, then Lucknow is the place to shop for gold and silver ornaments with exquisite filigree (metal ornamentation) and jadau (gem studded). Gadbadjhala is a bazaar where you can check out jewellery, especially the huge jhumkas which are enviable possessions.
The main shopping areas are Hazratganj, Janpath, Aminabad, Yayaganj, Kapoorthala and the Chowk.Although you can find chikan-work shops in almost all the markets in Lucknow, Chowk is the main wholesale market.
If you are looking for souvenirs from across the state of Uttar Pradesh and from different parts of India under one roof, the best bet is Gangotri, the official handicrafts shop of the UP State Tourism Department.
Places to See in Lucknow
- Bara Imambara
- Jama Masjid
- Chota Imambara
- Lucknow Residency
- Asaf ud Daula
- Clock Tower
- Chatter Manzil
The city of Lucknow experiences sub-tropical climate, with typically dry, hot summers and biting cold, foggy and dry winters - much like the rest of landlocked North India. The ideal time to visit Lucknow is in the winters, between December and February, when the temperature hovers well below 32 degrees Celsius. This weather is perfect for sightseeing and other tourist activities. Winter temperatures in the city often fall to as low as 4 degrees Celsius, and fog and smog are regular occurrences. Tourists are strongly advised to carry enough warm clothing to deal with this weather.
Summers in Lucknow are very hot, with temperatures soaring up to 45 degrees Celsius. This makes the weather rather uncomfortable and unsuitable for tourism. Lucknow also experiences the monsoons, between July and September, with medium to heavy rainfall. The weather is quite pleasant and ideal for short trips to the city. The tariffs at hotels also remain modest because this is off-season.
Lucknow is a full-fledged North Indian city with all the amenities of a metropolis. It is very easy to navigate through and tourists find the people helpful and extremely polite. The best way to travel through the city is by the far-reaching network of public city buses. These buses connect to every place within and in the close vicinity of the city and cover most of the tourist attractions across town as well. They are a cheap and fairly safe way to travel.
Apart from this there are auto-rickshaws and other motorized three-wheelers which are also a good and cheap way of navigating through town. Tourists should know that the three-wheelers are not as safe as the buses of the city. There are also cycle rickshaws and the occasional tonga which are a very nice way of visiting the nearby tourist attractions and experiencing the old city much more intimately.
Lucknow is the undisputed leader in Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine in the country, with every nook and cranny of the city boasting of eateries and joints serving the very best biryani or kebabs. These eateries range from lavish and expensive fine dining to pocket-friendly, offering equally delicious street food options, which suit the budget of all kinds of travellers perfectly.
Among the most expensive haunts in the city is the Aryan's Restaurant at Hazratganj or the Royal Cafe, while there are many mid-range options all around town such as the Dastarkhwan serving Mughlai curries, the Sakhawat, a heritage eatery operating since the early 19th century etc.
But the street food of the city is where tourists can get the true flavour of Awadh. There are some must-try roadside and modest joints peppered across the town which all tourists are strongly advised to visit. Some of these are the Haji Sahib for authentic Nihari, the Tundey Kabab for the most authentic kakori kebabs and the Bajpayi Kachori Bhandar. Certain delicacies of Lucknow should also figure on the to-do list of any tourist visiting the city such as Awadhi biryani, haleem, tundey kebabs and Awadhi sweets.
Tourists visiting Lucknow are spoilt for choice as far as the fun activities are concerned. This dynamic city offers a great deal for all tourists. One of the most popular pastimes in Lucknow is to visit the Residency, a beautiful garden of ruins commemorating the last days of the British Raj and the site for the 1857 revolt of the Sepoys that changed the history of the country.
The Satkhanda is another such intriguing building-a four-storeyed lighthouse that was left unfinished. Tourists interested in sightseeing should also not miss the grand architecture of the La Martiniere School, the breathtaking Bara Imambara and the labyrinthine Bhulbhulaiya next to it, the Chhota Hussainabad Imambara and the imposing Rumi Darwaza.
Travellers who are interested in shopping should definitely pick up Lucknow's speciality, the fine chikan embroidery, which one can get at reasonable prices at any of the bazaars in the city. Apart from this, the main interest of all tourists in the city is the wide array of street food available all around. The Tundey Kababs and Awadhi biriyani are absolute must-try for food-lovers. For the culturally-inclined tourists, a mushaira or a night-long Urdu poetry session might be a brilliant experience.
Cost to Travel
Lucknow is very much a metropolis and therefore there are all kinds of budget itineraries available for travellers with modest financial means and backpackers. Alongside, there are plenty of extravagant hotels and travel arrangements for tourists who like to travel lavishly. The average cost for a day of living in a modest hotel, eating street food and travelling by bus or auto rickshaws will not be more than Rs. 700 to 800. This goes up considerably, often till about Rs. 2,000 per day for five-star accommodation and food along with travelling by private cars or taxis. While the latter might be a more luxurious option, travellers are strongly advised to step out and explore Lucknow more closely by experiencing the streets on rickshaws and tongas and eating street cuisine.
Visiting Lucknow in the off season, which is in the monsoons or the summers, might be more economical as hotel tariffs are slashed considerably.
How Many Days are Enough to Travel
Tourism Department Contacts
The city of Lucknow is easily navigable, with a developed road transport corporation and public bus and auto rickshaw services that are reliable and safe. Tourists from all over the world visit the city and find it tourist-friendly and easy to roam around in. There are some helpful government and private enterprises within the city that help out tourists with information, bookings, reservations and tours to the historical sites. Nevertheless, tourists are advised to stay vigilant and make their bookings from authorized tavel agents.
The following are some tourism department contacts within Lucknow city that travellers should keep handy for their easy reference. UP Tours (Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation)
6 Sapru Marg,
Ph: 0522 - 0522-2612659, 2615005
68, Hazratganj (First Floor)
Ph: 0522 - 4002182, 4002185-86
Civika Travels Pvt. Ltd.
Aakriti Tower, V.S. Marg
Ph: 0522 - 2237438-40-79, 2239305, 2235860
Mayfair Air Travel Services (Pvt.) Ltd.
Ph: 0522 - 3018600-05
Directorate of Tourism, U.P.
C-13, Vipin Khand,
Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
Ph: 0522 -0522-2307028, 2308916 (PBX)
Fax : 2308937
Regional Tourist Office
C-13, Vipin Khand,
Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
Ph: 0522 - 2304870
Emergency contact numbers
The city of Lucknow, being a tourist destination that sees both local and international tourists, is very traveller-friendly and easily navigable. It is also quite safe and people are extremely courteous. In spite of this, law and order is a problem in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Lucknow, being its state capital, often experiences some problems. Because of this, travellers are strongly advised to remain careful while walking on the streets or commuting by public transport. Winters in Lucknow can be quite rough, with dry cold waves and low temperatures. Tourists are advised to take good care of their health during this time.
The following are some emergency contact numbers that tourists can refer to during times of distress.
Hazratganj Police Station
Hazratganj, Lucknow - 226001
Tel: (0522) 2211165
Gomti-Nagar Police Station
Near Manoj Captain Chauraha,
Gomti Nagar, Lucknow - 226010
Tel: (0522) 2393400
Superintendent of Police Office
River Bank Colony, Nabiullah Road,
Daliganj, Lucknow - 226007
Tel: (0522) 2628965
Sahara Hospital Rd,
Viraj Khand - 1, Gomti Nagar
Tel: (0522) 678 0001
Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences,
Haibat Mau Mawaiya
Kalli Pashchim, UP
Tel: (0522) 266 8800
Last Updated on : 26/11/2013