How to spend the best 24 hours in Amritsar (not just The Golden Temple)
So, you’re coming to Amritsar to witness the beauty of The Golden Temple, but you don’t know how to make the most of your time here? This guide will share our itinerary for the best 24 hours in Amritsar (including your visits to the Golden Temple). Read on for tips on where to stay, eat and what to do!
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Also read: Guide to The Golden Temple
Where to stay
Nutz Backpackers – Affordable, centrally located and super helpful staff! This was the perfect base for us and we met some like-minded backpackers to socialise with in the comfy chill-out area. The hostel has its own tuk-tuk service, which was great for us doing things as group. The dorms are pretty standard, nice bathrooms and surprisingly quiet considering the chaos outside… AND they have a crazy dog, if that doesn’t sell it, nothing will! Standard dorm rooms are about £3/night (these prices may change during holidays), click here to book your stay.
Chowk chintpurni, bazar chur beri, near mandir mata chintpurni, Amritsar, Punjab 143001, India
To fuel your long day exploring the crazy city of Amritsar, grab yourself some ‘kulcha’ at the famous Pehalwan Kulcha Shop. This dingy looking little restaurant was jam-packed with locals, a true sign the food is good. we waited about 10 minutes for a table and were slotted in with a big group. Kulcha is a type of stuffed crispy flatbread, served with curry sauce and chutney. This culinary experience is still one of Sam’s highlights of the whole trip!
Chowk Lachhmansar, Moni Chowk Rd, Amritsar, Punjab 143001, India
Amritsar town centre
Golden Temple by Day
Once you’ve finished in town, head over to the Golden Temple to see it in all its beauty by day, and have lunch in the community kitchen. Check out our full guide on what to expect when visiting The Golden Temple. Its a completely different atmosphere depending on the time of day, but equally always busy! Prepare to be amazed by the gold glistening in the Indian sun.
Attari-Wagah Border Ceremony
This will probably be one of the strangest experiences of your life… Similar to the changing of guards at Buckingham Palace, but A LOT more elaborate. We went with a few guys we met at the hostel and the hostel tuk-tuk took us and picked us up. This ceremony happens everyday, and its basically a huge celebration of closing the border between India and Pakistan. Expect very loud shouting, dancing, chanting and marching. Bring your passport to get through security, and if you’re foreign you’ll be ushered to the ‘foreigners box’ where you’ll get a great view. We won’t lie, we did feel a little uncomfortable at times with the rivalry shouting across the border, but just take it as a bit of fun… You’ll need to arrive about an hour before to ensure you get in (the stadium is packed out everyday) and it starts at 16.15pm in winter and 17.15pm in summer. Entry is free, however its a bit of a way out of town so tuk-tuks can be expensive so best to go as a group.
Wagah, Hardo Rattan, Punjab 143108, India
The Golden Temple by Night
After all the excitement at the border, head back to the Golden Temple to wind down your day and experience a completely different side to the beautiful bustling grounds. You can expect it to still be really busy, but by night there’s an even greater sense of peace. Sit by the Amrit Sarovar, ‘Pool of Holy Nectar’, and watch the temple glisten in the water.
We hope this helps you make the most out of your time in Amritsar, and you love its craziness as much as we did! Check out our Guide to The Golden Temple for a better idea of what to expect at the holiest Gurdwara.