Hyderabad is not a well-known tourist destination. As a rule, travelers coming to India, choose the “Golden Triangle” route (Delhi – Agra – Jaipur) or Goa beaches. Not many tourists include other cities in their itinerary. The only exception is, of course, Mumbai, which you definitely should visit.
However, India has a lot of amazing cities with interesting history and wonderful architecture. Hyderabad the capital of Andhra Pradesh is no exception. Today, it is the fourth largest city in India with the population of nearly seven million people.
Despite the fact that the city is just a little over 400 years old, it is well known as a major center of fine arts, architecture, and jewelry production. The majesty and grandeur of palaces, tombs, temples and minarets, the wealth of Hyderabad’s culture these are just some of the reasons why you should definitely visit this city. The architectural and cultural heritage of Hyderabad is comparable to that of Delhi and Agra.
The main attractions in Hyderabad include the Charminar, the Golconda Fort, tombs of the Qutub Shahi rulers, Chowmahalla and Falaknuma palaces, Makkah Masjid, Birla Mandir Temple, and a giant statue of Buddha located in the middle of the man-made lake Hussain Sagar that separates Hyderabad and its twin city – Secunderabad that is located 10 kilometers to the north.
What Area is the Best to Stay in Hyderabad?
The administrative division of Hyderabad is rather complicated, which is the case for almost every Indian city. Often, some districts are so large that they can easily be mistaken for a separate city. In particular, Secunderabad, which is a separate city, is often called the twin city of Hyderabad or the new Hyderabad, and is considered to be a part of the Greater Hyderabad area. Twin Cities, as explained by Indians themselves, are cities that are very close to each other geographically, and are about the same size. As a rule, over time such cities grow together into a metropolis.
The city itself has a lot of districts, most of them have very complicated Indian names, therefore the majority of foreign tourists has troubles navigating the city. I suggest a simpler way where we take a look at only five main districts to get an idea of where to look for a hotel in Hyderabad.
In this article we will cover South, Central, North, West Hyderabad and Sekunderabad.
As you see, there is no East Hyderabad in this list. This district is more or less a student district, here you will find a lot of educational institutions, mosques, churches and temples, but there are no hotels here. However, if you have time, consider taking a look at this district.
South Hyderabad is also known as the Old Town, this is where all the main attractions and the oldest buildings are located. Charminar, Makkah Masjid, Falaknuma Palace are only some of historical sites that are worth visiting in Hyderabad.
It is hardly possible to find hotels in the close proximity to tourist sites. Most of hotels in South Hyderabad are located within three kilometers from Charminar. So, in any case you will have to use transport because it will be not possible to walk on foot to all places that you would want to explore. I recommend such hotels as Taj Falaknuma Palace or Hotel Deccan Heritage.
Taj Falaknuma Palace is a great 5-star hotel which is a member of the famous hotel chain Taj Hotels. Guests are provided with cozy spacious rooms, a pool, a gym and a free of charge parking lot. The hotel is located on the hill and boasts a great view of the entire Hyderabad. Chowmahalla Palace can be reached just within a few minutes, and Charminar is 3.5 km away.
If you are searching for a place that will allow you to fully experience the Indian luxury, this hotel is a great choice, although, of course, it is not for travelers on a tight budget.
Hotel Deccan Heritage is located closer to the central Hyderabad, and is a budget-friendly and a very comfortable accommodation option. The hotel offers a standard level of comfort of a 3-star hotel, and I recommend it because of its convenient location: the railway station is just one kilometer away, and the Birla Temple can be reached in 20 minutes, plus, Makkah Masjid and the Charminar are approximately 3 kilometers away.
Central Hyderabad is a modern commercial center. It is not really a residential district, you will find here many hotels, restaurants and shopping centers. One of three railway stations in Hyderabad Nampally Railway Station – is located here. This district is ideal for those planning to move farther north (Delhi) or south (Bangalore).
There are not many tourist attractions here, as this is one of the newest and actively developing districts of the city. Nevertheless, here, near the station (e.g., in the Abids district) you can find cheap and quite comfortable hotels.
The Central Court has a very convenient location, within 10 minutes you can reach the railway station, most of tourist sites can be reached within 20-30 minutes. The hotel provides a good value for the money you will pay here.
Quality Inn Fidalgo boasts a very convenient location too. The railway station is just 100 meters away, but at the same time, rooms in this hotel are quiet and there is no noise from the street. Of course, the area around the hotel is quite noisy and there are always crowds of people there, but this is more or less the same for all India, except perhaps residential districts or the areas where the most expensive hotels are located. The hotel is a 20 minute walk from the Birla Mandir Temple, and the ancient Charminar is 5 kilometers away.
Finally, Hampshire Plaza is located basically at the Hussain Sagar lake, Birla Mandir temple is just one kilometer away. You will need more time to reach the rest of tourist atrractions. However, the hotel provides for a decent level of comfort, all rooms have air conditioner and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Secunderabad – Hyderabad’s twin city – is located 10 kilometers north to the state’s capital. As I have already mentioned, both cities are separated by the Hussain Sagar lake. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that Hyderabad and Sekunderabad are considered to be twin cities, they are quite different in culture and architecture. Secunderabad was ruled by the British since the city was founded until 1948.
In this area you can find a lot of buildings in the colonial style and Catholic churches. You should also take a closer look at the Paigah palace.
There is also Secunderabad’s railway station here, from which you can go almost anywhere in India – to the north, the south, the east and the west.
If you plan to stay in Hyderabad for a few days, then you should definitely visit Secunderabad, or even stay here (especially if you plan to travel by train), even though it is a bit remote. You will still need to hire a taxi or a rickshaw to move between sites of Hyderabad, and hotels in Secunderabad are more budget-friendly. Among them, for example, you can take a closer look at Taj Tristar, United 21 and Mango Suites Helios.
All three hotels offer approximately the same level of comfort, but Mango Suites Helios is slightly cheaper. The hotels are located in close proximity to Secunderabad’s train station, from where you can go to almost any city in India. But the main attractions of Hyderabad are quite far from here. It is convenient to stay here if you are in Hyderabad for just a couple of days, and then plan to travel somewhere else by train.
North Hyderabad is practically the gates to the city. It is a major commercial center with shopping malls, restaurants and numerous hotels. It is located close enough to Hyderabad’s airport which is, by the way, the sixth-busiest airport in India. Just like in East Hyderabad you will find here a lot of colleges and universities. The Hussain Sagar lake spreads throughout the entire district. North Hyderabad can be a great option for you if you want to stay in a comfortable district close to European standards, with a rush of city life.
Both hotels have a convenient location in the center of North Hyderabad, 6-7 kilometers away from the railway station and about 7 km from the Golconda Fort which is located outside the city. Here you can be sure that you will spend your vacation in a comfortable and clean room for a relatively small amount of money.
West Hyderabad is a district of technoparks. Over the last few years, this district has changed almost beyond recognition. This is the district where HITEC City is situated the district with the offices of a great number of international IT companies. Today, more than 45,000 people work here. In West Hyderabad you can also choose Banjara Hills district for your accommodation.
In this area you can find many business class hotels, because top managers of large companies regularly visit the city. There are not many tourist attractions here, and the old town is pretty far from West Hyderabad, so this district is mostly suitable for those who come to Hyderabad on business and want to stay near their place of work. If this is the case, you may be interested in such hotels as Park Hyatt Hyderabad, Minerva Grand or AT Home Apartment Hotel.
These accommodation options are aimed at different categories of travelers. It is clear that the five-star Park Hyatt Hyderabad offers a very high level of comfort (by the way, for a very reasonable price), which includes not only spacious, comfortable rooms with air conditioning and satellite TV, but also additional benefits, such as 24/7 room service, concierge and laundry services and renting a personal car with a driver. At the same time, Minerva Grand is half the price, but offers good clean comfortable rooms with air conditioning. AT Home Apartment Hotel, in turn, as the name implies, is an apart-hotel and provides its guests with fully equipped small apartments with a kitchen where you can prepare your own meals, if you are not ready to try spicy Indian cuisine.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Hotel in Hyderabad
All tourist attractions in Hyderabad are located far from each other, so you will need to hire a taxi, a rickshaw or buy a ticket for a tour. It makes more sense (if you come as a tourist) to stay close to the central railway station in Hyderabad. There are no hotels in the Old Town; so the railway station area is the closest to the Charminar which is around 3-4 kilometers away, the rest of sites are located at the same distance or a little farther, so we can say that the station is practically located in the city center.
Choose a hotel based on your own budget. The importance of the hotel’s location in Hyderabad is secondary. If shopping is important to you, then near the Charminar there is a wonderful market where you can buy almost everything. So, if you stay somewhere near the central station, you can easily get to the market and return back to your hotel. One-way trip will take you about 15 minutes.