Hyderabad Travel Guide

Hyderabad is a wonderland of wildly opposing characters, where India's mind-boggling contradictions are on full display. The more modern west side is the centre of India's software industry and oozes a feeling of wealth and prosperity. Replete with glittery malls, multiplexes, clubs, pubs and sleek restaurants, 'Cyberabad' is young, fast-paced and thoroughly intoxicating.

The old Muslim quarter lies on the other side of the Musi River but is worlds away. Home to some of Islamic India's most stirring ancient architecture, buildings such as the Charminar, the Qutb Shahi Tombs, the UNESCO-listed Chowmahalla Palace, and the Spanish Mosque should be high on anyone's list of things to see. The area's museums are excellent as well, with the Salar Jung Museum, the Surendrapuri, the City Museum, and the Telangana State Archaeology Museum showcasing different aspects of Hyderabad's history and culture. The local tourism department organises guided heritage walks on weekends.

Hyderabad is also known as the City of Pearls (once famous for its diamonds and pearls), so it's no wonder that shopping is a major pastime. Many traditional and historical bazaars are located throughout the city, and the Golden Mile consists of a number of shopping plazas, malls, and designer boutiques. Laad Bazaar is popular for its variety of traditional and cultural antique wares.

Just outside of Hyderabad, the Ramoji Film City is the world's largest integrated film studio and theme park, and one of the most popular tourist spots in India. It's a great place to get a taste of Bollywood, as tours are conducted regularly.