There are two ways to look at Ahmedabad – first, as Gujarat’s largest city and one of the most important business hubs in Western India and second, as a city that loves its fun and preserves its culture. When you start looking at the city the second way, you will find several things to fill your free time with, from sightseeing and shopping to heritage walks and food tours. After all, moving around and discovering its many landmarks and cultural hubs is the best way to feel the pulse of this aspiring megapolis located on the banks of the mighty Sabarmati. From being home to the Indian Freedom Movement to some of the most niche museums in the country, Ahmedabad is a city that educates and also thrills.
So, are you all set to explore the city’s breadth and length? This blog is for you! Here we give you an assorted list of things to do and an overview of some of the best Ahmedabad points of interest. Read on!
1. Spend Some Time at the Sabarmati Ashram
Mahatma Gandhi had spent many years of his life at the Sabarmati Ashram; you clearly cannot spend days or years here, but spending a few hours is definitely worth your while. Located on the banks of the Sabarmati River, today the place remains a memorial where you can see the many poignant and inspiring artifacts that are associated with the Mahatma and the freedom struggle.
The on-site museum is a major highlight on a trip to Sabarmati Ashram. There are several galleries, all dedicated to the life of Mahatma Gandhi, many paintings, and also a library stocked with chronicles, books, videos and other archives from the great man’s life. Hriday Kunj is the part of the Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi stayed with Kasturba Gandhi for twelve years. Here one can see his kitchen, bedroom and other living spaces – including his cloth weaver (charkha) and writing desks.
- Timings: 8.30 am – 6.30 pm; every day
- Entry Fee: Free Entry
2. Have Fun at the Kankaria Lakefront
Heading off to the attractions set up near Kankaria Lake is one of the fun things to do in Ahmedabad. The lakefront offers a smorgasbord of delightful activities with the meandering waters of the lake providing a very scenic setting. The most popular attraction here is the Kankaria Zoo – a home for endangered and endemic species. Tigers and lions, large constrictors, elephants and a host of primate species will keep you engaged and fascinated as you learn about the treasures of our natural world. The lakefront is a perfect place for the young ones. It has many amusement park rides and the Kids City – a replica of a real city complete with a theatre, heritage center, a science lab, a prison and of course, an ice cream factory.
That’s not all. The lakefront also offers a range of activities including toy train rides, water rides, and even tethered hot-air balloon rides! You can discover how good you are at archery at the lakefront’s target practice section and get lost in the Mirror Maze, an old classic that everyone loves. Kankaria Lakefront also hosts many events, so don’t be surprised if you become an accidental audience to some live music or traditional celebrations on your visit.
- Timings: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm; closed on Mondays
- Entry Fee:
- Adults – ₹20 per person
- Children – ₹10 per person
3. Watch a Movie with Your Dear Ones at the Sunset Drive-In
We have seen it in numerous Hollywood movies and shows – a scene set in the relaxed atmosphere of a drive-in theatre. Along with enjoying the movie, it is also a great way to hang out and bond with friends and ideal for couples looking for a unique date idea. This is probably why movie watching at Sunset Drive-In is considered one of the fun things to do in Ahmedabad for youngsters.
This open-air movie theatre shows the latest releases on a large screen with sound systems set up for each car. A concept that is fairly new in India, this is an experience which you must try while in Ahmedabad. You can also bring your own food or enjoy the snacks from the nearby food court. The theatre is a local favorite and shows play only in the evenings; it also has a nice garden area.
- Timings: 7:30 pm to 1:30 am; every day
- Fee: Various
Also Read: Ahmedabad – The Manchester of India
4. Appreciate the Beauty of Vintage Cars at the Auto World Vintage Car Museum
Don’t we all love those vintage cars? Sleek, ornate and classy designs that defined the golden age of vehicle aesthetics, it is very rare to spot one on the road these days. Head to the Auto World Vintage Car Museum to catch a dose of these finely maintained beauties curated from all over the world.
Some of the major makes that you will encounter in this open-air museum include Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Cadillac, Packard, Lincoln, Maybach, and Lancia. Many of these wheeled treasures belonged to prominent figures of history and members of the old Indian royal families. Fancy a drive in one of these vintage cars? For an extra fee, you can hop behind the wheel and take a short trip down memory lane.
- Timings: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm; every day
- Entry Fee: ₹50 per person
5. Admire the Old-World Charm of Jama Masjid
Ahmedabad is a city with many layers. And away from the contemporary attractions, there are some very important pieces of history to explore in the old town. The Jama Masjid is an architectural delight and has been one of the city’s main symbols since the 15th century. At one point in time, this was the largest mosque in the subcontinent. The sandstone structure is surrounded by the perfect symmetry of a rectangular courtyard.
The place is a visual treat for those who have a thing for art and architecture. The detailed carvings on the minarets have fascinated design enthusiasts for generations. The minarets are another striking aspect of the mosque’s design. Jaali or perforated stonework can be seen across the premises of the mosque. Close to this beautiful heritage site, you will find the tombs of old royals of the Gujarat Sultanate.
- Timings: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm; every day
- Entry Fee: Free Entry
6. Take a Stroll through the Bhadra Fort
Located close to the Jama Masjid is the walled city, surrounded by the Bhadra Fort which was built several centuries back, in 1411. A stroll through these lanes will introduce you to Ahmedabad’s quaint charm – a part of the city rooted in history. Late afternoons and evenings are a good time to visit the Bhadra Fort and there are many historical landmarks spread around this locality. The Bhadra Fort Gate today stretches across a busy road and the Teen Darwaza is another famous gateway, often used as a symbol for the city.
The administrators of the city have taken great care to slowly restore the old ramparts and fortifications using authentic methods. If you love taking pictures, then the colors of the typical Indian bazaar can be the muse you need. A trip to Ahmedabad is incomplete without a visit to Bhadra Fort.
7. Explore the Famous Calico Museum
The biggest chapter of India’s early economic rise is its textile production and a perfect place to discover the wonderful details is the Calico Museum in Ahmedabad. Exhibits here have been accumulated and acquired over decades and chart the history of the industry. Artifacts include rich woven and raw fabrics from the time of the Mughals and regional embroideries that provide a glimpse at designs and motifs of old Indian cultures.
Apart from textiles, you can also see some sculptures, paintings and other crafts from various historical ages. Galleries are dedicated to different printing methods, tie and dye traditions, costumes, and textiles that were made for export. Set in an old haveli with beautiful ornate woodwork, the soothing premises are another reason to book a trip to the Calico Museum.
- Timings: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm; closed on Wednesdays
- Entry Fee: Free (Advance booking is required as the museum has a limited daily capacity for visitors.)
8. Shop at the Law Garden’s Night Market
Looking for a respite from sightseeing and museum hopping? The best thing to do is to go shopping. And what better place to discover the shopaholic that you are than the Law Garden, a public garden and night market in Ahmedabad? It’s also an ideal place to look for some authentic Gujarati outfits and handicrafts should you wish to take a piece of the city back with you. Walking through the garden and purchasing from a wide range of items is a delightful experience in itself. Adding more delight to this experience is the fact that you can haggle your heart out while shopping here.
From apparels, accessories, and jewelry to souvenirs and local crafts, this paradise of shopaholics has it all. What’s more? The market is also known for its delicious street food. So shop, take a bite, and shop again. Now, that sounds like every shopaholic’s dream come true, right?
- Timings: 07:00 am to 10:00 am (approx.); every day
9. Explore Ahmedabad’s Culinary Culture at Manek Chowk
Manek Chowk, a prominent marketplace in old Ahmedabad, is a good place to tuck into quintessential Ahmedabad dishes. As interesting as it might sound, the place serves as a vegetable market in the morning and turns into a jewelry market and food street in the afternoon and night, respectively. Exploring its street food is one of the best things to do in Ahmedabad at night.
The street is a paradise for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, and plates up some of the best and authentic Gujarati flavors for you. It is best known for a mouthwatering range of dishes, including pav bhaji (buttered bread and spicy curry), malai rabdis (a traditional dessert) and pudla, a Gujarati take on the pancake.
- Must-try Items: Fafda Jalebi, Ice Cream Sandwich, Kulfi, Pav Bhaji, Chocolate Sandwich, Methi na Gota
- Best Places to Eat: Mahalakshmi Pav Bhaji Center, Ashraji Kulfi and Ice Cream, Manek Pizza and Sandwich Center, Balan Dosa Center
10. Revive Your Childhood Memories at the Kite Museum
How about reliving your childhood, even if it is for a couple of hours? The Kite Museum in Ahmedabad, the first of its kind in India and the second in the whole world, has the power to take you back your childhood when you and your friends indulged in kite flying. The museum is housed within the same compound as the Ahmedabad City Museum, so you can cover both these attractions on the same day. The collection featured here includes a few rare kites, such as Japanese kites, mirror work kites, Radha-Krishna kites, block-style kites, and Garba kites, to mention a few. If you are looking for a place to visit with your little ones, the Kite Museum makes for a rare and interesting treat.
- Timings: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm; closed on Mondays
- Entry Fee: Free Entry
11. Head to Sabarmati Riverfront
No visit to Ahmedabad is complete without at least a glimpse of the Sabarmati river, the city’s lifeline since time immemorial. Surrounded by a rich history and stories of the Indian freedom struggle, the river has been a witness to the city’s growth. Sabarmati Riverfront celebrates everything the river means to the city. It includes a stunning two-tier continuous promenade on either side of the river that provides a long-stretch of the uninterrupted walkway for pedestrians and dedicated tracks for cyclists. The beautiful parks and gardens spread across acres of land offer lush green open spaces for everyone. The ghats at the riverfront give people a common place to perform religious and cultural activities together.
Topping the list of fun things to do in Ahmedabad, water sports stations on the lower-level promenade offer interesting activities such as paddle boating, jet skiing and high-speed boat rides. There is something for nature and bird lovers as well. Riverfront Biodiversity Park houses more than 5000 trees and over 120 species of native and migratory birds. Do not be surprised if you spot a Flamingo or a Purple Sunbird peeking at you. Despite being located in the heart of Ahmedabad, Sabarmati Riverfront will take you far away from the chaos and rush of the city.
- Timings: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm; Everyday
- Entry Fee: Free
12. Relax at Victoria Garden
A reminiscence of India’s colonial past, Victoria Garden is one of the most popular gardens in Ahmedabad. Built in the honour of the then reigning monarch of British India, Queen Victoria, the garden has stood the test of time. With tall trees, lush green grass and well-maintained flower beds, the garden offer a perfect spot to relax and rejuvenate. The garden also houses a life-size statue of Queen Victoria in all her royal glory.
- Location: Near Bhadra Fort
- Entry Fee: Free
13. Explore Teen Darwaza Market
Teen Darwaza opens doors to the history and heart of Ahmedabad. Built by Sultan Ahmed Shah, the founder of the city, this triple-arched gateway is almost as old as the city itself. Once a royal gateway, Teen Darwaza is a street-shopper’s paradise today. Shopping here is one of the best activities to do in Ahmedabad. Clothes, bags, household items — you name it, the market has it all and that too at highly competitive prices. However, the sellers often quote a much higher price to outsiders. Bargain! This is where your best haggling skills must surface. If done right, you can get some really good things for less than half of the quoted price. Also, beware of pickpockets and thieves. The market is often crowded and may get overwhelming for a first-time visitor giving a perfect opportunity to pickpockets. Do not carry any valuable item with you to the market and be cautious of your surroundings at all times.
- Location: On the east of Bhadra Fort
- Timing: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm; Everyday
14. Relive History on the Steps of Adalaj stepwell
Locally known as Adalaj Ni Vav, the five-storied Adalaj stepwell is an exemplary example of Indo-Islamic architecture and design. Every corner of the stepwell exhibits a seamless fusion of Islamic design elements such as Persian floral patterns with Hindu and Jain symbolism. The 15th-century stepwell was built to hold water, provide shelter to locals and travellers and be a spiritual refuge to people. The fifth floor of the well offers a dramatic view of the steps that lead you to the cool water sparkling under the natural light from above. Providing respite from the heat outside, you would notice the air grows cooler as you descend. Adalaj stepwell is unique in more ways than one and it deserves to be on your list of things to do in Ahmedabad for one day.
- Location: Adalaj village, near Gandhinagar
- (about 17 km from Ahmedabad)
- Timing: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm; Everyday
- Entry Fee:
- For Indian and SAARC nationals – Rs 25/-
- For other nationals – Rs 300/-
15: Visit Dandi Kutir
How can your Ahmedabad trip be complete without paying respect to the Father of the Nation? Inspired by the Dandi march undertaken to assert the right of a common man, irrespective of his class, caste and religion, to make salt from the seawater, Dandi Kutir showcases the life and teachings of one man, Mahatma Gandhi. With the latest audio-visual techniques in place, the one-of-its-kind museum promises an interactive and immersive experience to visitors. Dandi Kutir is a must-visit place in the list of things to do in Ahmedabad for everybody.
- Location: Green city, Gandhinagar
- Timing: 10:30 am to 5:00 pm; Closed on Mondays
- Entry Fee: Rs 10/-
16. Marvel at the Beauty of Akshardham Temple
An architectural wonder, the Akshardham Temple at Gandhinagar lives up to its name, Divine Abode of God. Dedicated to the spiritual master, Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781- 1830), every corner of the temple’s architecture reflects Hindu traditions, ideology, principals of devotion to God and spirituality. The Swaminarayan Akshardham complex comprises the Akshardham mandir built of pink sandstone. The intricately carved structure houses the statues of presiding deity Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his successors. The exhibitions at the complex bring together art, science, culture and spirituality to deliver a soul-stirring experience to the visitors. At Abhishek Mandapam, you can join the ritual of bathing the sacred image of young Bhagwan Swaminarayan, known as Neelkanth and offer a prayer. Do not miss the ‘Sat-Chit-Anand’, or the ‘Truth-Consciousness-Bliss’, water show at the outdoor amphitheatre. The breathtaking 45-minute multi-media show presents a story from the Kath Upanishad using water, lights, laser, video projection, and fire.
- Location: Sector 20, Gandhinagar
- Timings for the temple complex: 11:00 am to 7:30 pm; Tuesday to Sunday
- Water Show: 6:45 pm (Closed Every Monday)
- Entry Fee: Free
- Note: There are specific timings for individual attractions at the Akshardham complex. Visit the website to know more.
17. Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary
A paradise for the bird, wildlife and nature enthusiasts, Thol Lake Sanctuary offers easy access to the lap of nature, away from the humdrum of city life. The Thol Lake reservoir was built by the Maharajas of Baroda (Gaekwads) in 1912 as an irrigation tank. However, it was declared a sanctuary in 1988. Spread across 7 sq. km, the wetland is surrounded by cropland, fallow land and scrubland, thus, making it a perfect home for about 150 species of birds and many mammals such as blackbucks, jackals and blue bulls. However, the protected area is famous for bird-watching during monsoons and winters. Travellers particularly visit the protected area in winters to soak in the sight of a pink landscape thanks to thousands of flamingos that gather here. A winter visit may also give you sightings of many migratory birds such as great white pelicans, mallards, geese and sarus cranes.
- Location: Thol village, near Kalol (approx. 30 km from Ahmedabad)
- Timings: 6:00 am to 5:30 pm; Everyday
- Entry Fee:
- Per person – Rs 50/-
- Still Camera – Rs 200/-
- Car Entry – Rs 500/-
18. Zanzari Waterfall
As one of the prominent waterfalls in the state, Zanzari waterfall tops the list of activities to do in Ahmedabad. Locally known as Jhanjhari waterfall, it is a series of rapids on the Vatrak River that flows to the main waterfall that is about 25-feet high. Visit the waterfall during the monsoon to marvel at the might of the water body and soak in the experience amid lush green surroundings. Be it with family or friends keep a day to visit the waterfall. While the place has small shacks and shops to eat at, the ideal would be to plan a picnic and carry your food for a thorough treat. Wear comfortable footwear as the waterfall is a short trek away from the car-parking area. A popular getaway from Ahmedabad, the place is often crowded on weekends.
- Location: Dehgam (approx. 74 km from Ahmedabad)
- Timing: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Everyday
- Entry Fee: Free
19. Have Fun at Shankus Water Park
Sometimes, ticking-off must-visit places back-to-back on a vacation may get exhausting and if that happens to you on a trip to Ahmedabad, then drop all plans for a day to visit Shankus Water Park. There is no better way to escape the summer heat and have fun than to visit a water park. What more? Shankus Water Park is as much an adventure world for the children as it is fun and exciting for adults. The attractions at the park include thrilling rides, a wide range of fun slides, wave and splash pools and more. And, when hunger pang hits you after hours of going up and down the water slides and rolling in the water, indulge your tastebuds at the food court. Offering a lot to choose from, you can also try some authentic Gujarati delicacies at their in-house dining and food court.
- Location: Amipura, on Ahmedabad- Mehsana Highway
- Timing: 8:00 am to 11:00 pm; Everyday
- Entry Fee:
- Per person (Mon – Fri) – Rs 650/-
- Per person (Sat – Sun) – Rs 750/-
Note: Food, costume, locker, towel and photograph fees are charged extra
20. Unveil the mystery of Jhulta Minara
An architectural marvel and a mystery at the same time, Jhulta Minara or the Shaking Minarets at Jhulta Minara Sidi Bashir Mosque have stunned the best of architects and engineers for centuries. In all, there are two sets of Shaking Minarets in the city. The complex structure including two minarets near Sarangpur Darwaja, each of which is three-stories tall and has carved balconies, is connected by a long passage. It is believed that when one minaret is shaken by a gentle push, the minaret on the other side of the passage starts vibrating. However, the connecting passage between the two remains vibration-free. The other pair of Shaking Minarets, located in the Kalupur Railway Station area, was also known for the same effect.
However, these are not in good condition as the British dismantled them to study the cause of selective vibration, and failed to put them back in their original condition. Earlier, demonstrations of the minarets shaking or vibrating were carried out for the visitors. However, it has been discontinued to protect the structure.
- Location: Near Ahmedabad Junction Railway Station
- Timing: 5:30 am to 9:00 pm; Everyday
- Entry Fee: Free
21. Pamper the Scientist in you at Gujarat Science City
One of the best activities to do in Ahmedabad, Gujarat Science City offers an enthralling experience to not just science lovers but to anyone interested in understanding the role of science in our day-to-day life. The state-of-the-art facilities at the centre use the latest audio-visual technologies to generate curiosity among the students and other visitors while imparting knowledge.
The attractions at Gujarat Science City include an IMAX 3D theatre, energy park, life science park, musical fountains and an amphitheatre. In addition to watching entertaining and informative 3D shows, you can also explore an exciting range of simulator rides. Sounds like fun, isn’t it? The attractions are located under separate sections within the centre’s magnificent hexagon-shaped complex. While here, make sure to watch some 3D films at the IMAX theatre for a mind-blowing movie experience. Also, do not miss out on trying some exciting simulator rides that give you an experience of roller coaster rides, aerobatic aircraft flying, space trips and more. About 30 people can take the ride together as it all happens inside a simulator capsule.
- Location: On SP Ring Road, Hebatpur, Sola
- Timing: 10:30 am to 7:30 pm; Everyday
- Entry Fee:
- Students: Rs 5/-
- Children: Rs 10/-
- Adults: Rs 20/-
22. Spend an Evening at the Jama Masjid
This 15-century mosque is ranked among one of the most beautiful mosques in India. Built by Ahmed Shah in 1423, the Jama Masjid displays a unique fusion of Islamic, Hindu and Jain architectural styles. Most notable are the lotus-like carving of some domes, usually seen in Jain temples. Also, the mosque’s prayer room has 260 columns that support 15 domes at different elevations. Similar to Shaking Towers at Sidi Bashir Mosque, the Jama Masjid also housed two ‘shaking’ minarets once, but they were destroyed in an earthquake in 1819. Today, you can see the lower portions of the beautifully-carved minarets at the mosque.
- Location: Manek Chowk, Mahatma Gandhi Road
- Timing: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm; Everyday
- Entry Fee: Free
Note: The mosque is an active site of worship. Hence, plan your visit accordingly.
23. Be Awestruck at the Hutheesing Jain Temple
Made of white marble and spread over a sprawling courtyard, Hutheesing Jain Temple is a sight to behold. It was built by a wealthy trader Sheth Hutheesing as a dedication to the 15th Jain Tirthankara, Shri Dharmanatha, in 1848. The temple was built by the traditional artisans belonging to the Sonpura and Salat communities and was completed at an estimated cost of Rs 10 lakhs. The Hutheesing Jain Temple comprises a stunning mandapa capped by a large ridged dome, which is supported by 12 ornate pillars. The small garbhagruh (main shrine) at the east end of the mandapa reaches up to three intricately-carved spires, encircled by 52 smaller shrines dedicated to other tirthankars. A recently-built Mahavir stambha, inspired by the famous Victory Tower at Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, adds on the charm of the Hutheesing Jain Temple.
- Location: Shahibaug Road, Bardolpura, Delhi Darwaza
- Timing: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; For aarti: 8 am; Everyday
- Note: The temple remains closed from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
- Entry Fee: Free
24. Enjoy a Seaplane Ride
On your next trip to Ahmedabad, experience the unmatched thrill of taking off and landing on the water by taking a seaplane ride. The first-ever seaplane service in India connects Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in Kevadia. The 30-minute low-altitude flight lets you soak in the beauty of the city as you take off leaving behind ripples in the water and gives you a bird’s eye view of the beautiful topography as you fly towards the Statue of Unity in Kevadia. Once there, you get the opportunity to be awestruck by the aerial view of the tallest statue in the world. The plane can accommodate 15 passengers and four crew members. The seaplane ride is a perfect fit in the list of things to do in Ahmedabad for couples. As of now, daily two flights are operational between the Sabarmati Riverfront and Statue of Unity in Kevadia. You can book your tickets online or get them from the water aerodrome in Ahmedabad.
- Location: Sabarmati Riverfront
- Flight Timing:
- Departure from Ahmedabad: 10:15 am
- Arrival at Kevadia: 10:45 am
- Departure from Kevadia: 11:45 am
- Arrival at Ahmedabad: 12:15 pm
- Departure from Ahmedabad: 12.45 pm
- Arrival at Kevadia: 1.15 pm
- Departure from Kevadia: 3.15 pm
- Arrival at Ahmedabad: 3.45 pm
- Ticket Fee:
- Rs 1,700/- each for the first 5 passengers of the day (morning flight)
- Rs 2,700/- for each passenger
Ahmedabad is a vibrant city and its tourist places attractions are spread far and wide. To understand the different slices of a typical day in Ahmedabad, step into the streets and visit the landmarks that have shaped it. There are many other things you can do while in the city, from splashing around in Shanku’s Water Park and taking a guided heritage walk organized by the city’s Municipal Corporation to spending a quiet evening at the Victoria Garden and learning more about science at the Science City. Find hotels in Ahmedabad to have a nice base for your explorations across the cityscape. Plan your itinerary now and ready yourself for an unforgettable trip.
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