Lucknow is associated with two famous sayings – ‘Pehle Aap’ meaning you first and ‘Muskuraiye Aap Lucknow Me Hai’ meaning smile because you’re in Lucknow. These show how welcoming and respectful the environment the city bestows to its visitors and travelers. And indeed, it’s a truth. So, today we’re going to know about the top 15 places to visit in Lucknow.
Just in case you are not aware, then I shall tell you – Lucknow is one of the best cities in India if you want to taste the local street food and authentic Awadhi cuisine. Perhaps this is why the city is also known as the city of kebabs.
The city of Nawabs and kebabs is what Lucknow is!
And perhaps 3.58 million people of this city call themselves Nawabs and savor long discussions often over kebab rolls.
Ranked India’s second happiest city, the country’s potential street food capital, Lucknow, is often overlooked by travelers and tourists.
Therefore, my aim via this post is to show the travelers and visitors of the world the best 15 places to visit in Lucknow with a hope in my heart that they’ll realize the beauty of this place.
Here are the top 15 places to visit in Lucknow:
Top 15 Places to Visit in Lucknow in 2021
|Place Name||Admission Cost in INR (2019)|
|Bara Imambara & Bhul Bhulaiyya||50 for Indians, 500 for foreigners|
|Chota Imambara||Included in Bhul Bhulaiyya (Combined Pass)|
|Hussainabad Clock Tower & Picture Gallery||Free; Included in Bhul Bhulaiyya (Combined Pass)|
|British Residency Buildings||25 for Indians, 300 for foreigners|
|Dilkusha Palace or Kothi||Free|
|La Martiniere College||Free|
|Saadat Ali Khan Tomb||Free|
|Shah Najaf Imambara||Free|
|Chatter Manzil & Farhat Baksh Kothi||Free|
|Begum Hazrat Mehal Park||Free|
|Riverfront & Marine Drive, Gomti Nagar||10 for admission + Camera charges extra might apply|
|Ambedkar Park||10 for admission + Camera charges extra might apply|
If I tag this place #1 in our list of top 15 places to visit in Lucknow, this shouldn’t come as bewilderment. Right?
Built by Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula in 1784, Bara Imambara is a mourning place for Muslims and an epic piece of architecture. Its hall is enormous, made in a china-plate shape, standing without any pillars and beams. Amazing, no?
Above Imambara, a labyrinth (Bhul Bhulaiyya in Hindi) is made. It’s a maze and was mainly created to block the entrance for unwanted people back in the time of Nawabs.
Bhul Bhulaiyya has over one thousand doors, and out of every four-door, only one is correct. So it becomes a difficult task for a new person to find out the right way on their own.
Therefore, it is advisable to go with a local guide.
|Inside Bara Imambara Complex:||What’s so unique?|
|Bara Imambara||It has the largest hall standing without any pillar or beams.|
|Bhul Bhulaiyya||It has a ton of identical doors which makes a person forget the right door; Hollow walls make one voice perfectly audible at another far end of the wall.|
|Shahi Baoli||A stepwell is believed to be still connected with the nearby Gomti river.|
|Asafi Mosque||It is the 5th largest mosque in the world.|
In addition, the Bhul Bhulaiyya complex consists of four significant buildings: Bhul Bhulaiyya, Bara Imambara, Shahi Baoli, and Asafi Mosque.
Furthermore, each one has its uniqueness and which could be sensed by the table above.
The combined pass bought at Bhul Bhulaiyya is valid for all these four places, including Hussainabad Clock Tower, Chota Imambara, and Picture Gallery.
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset, Opens 1:30 pm on Fridays, closed on Mondays
2. Chota Imambara
Also known as Imambara Hussainabad Mubarak, this is a small (therefore ‘Chota’) Imambara perched at around 400 meters from the Bara Imambara.
Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah built it in the year 1838 and was to serve as a mausoleum for himself and his mother.
On one side of the Chota Imambara, there is a tomb of Princess Zinat Asiya and on another side is the ‘reply’ building.
The Imambara and tomb are quite picturesque, and a decent amount of time could be spent here!
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset, Opens 1:30 pm on Fridays, closed on Mondays
Photography: Not allowed inside.
3. Rumi Gate
Rumi Gate is perhaps the most iconic building in the city. It serves as a gate to enter the city and is standing on the busy road of Bara Imambara.
It’s next to the Bara Imambara complex.
After that, one is advised to take a halt at this gate’s front side and gaze at its intricate architecture. Lucknowites are crazy when it comes to taking photographs in front of this picturesque gate. Become a local with them.
Pro tip: An evening in Gulab Vatika which is next to Rumi Gate will serve as a memorable experience in your life.
Timings: 24/7 open
Hussainabad Clock Tower is also entitled the tallest clock tower of India. It’s a true replica of Big Ben in London.
People locally refer to this as ‘Ghanta Ghar.’ It’s worth visiting if you’re someone who loves symmetrical architecture.
The picture gallery, next to the clock tower, consists of mystical paintings of Nawabs of Awadh. Mystical? Because few paintings appear to be looking at you no matter where you go!
Timings: Clock Tower – 24/7 Open; Picture Gallery – 10 am to 4 pm
Photography: Allowed at Clock Tower; Not Allowed in Picture Gallery
British Residency is perhaps the most visited attraction in Lucknow city by foreigners as well as Indian travelers. This place beholds a grand historical event during the mutiny of 1857 by freedom fighters.
Every building inside Residency is destroyed and lays without any roof except one mosque, which is in good condition still.
The walls of those buildings still have deep marks of firing that must have happened during the mutiny.
If history is your thing, this place should not be missed by you. The 1857 Memorial Museum inside the Residency complex conducts regular shows (at an interval of 30-60 minutes) in English and Hindi, showing this place’s history.
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays
Photography: Allowed, camera charges apply (Please note that you can’t take tripod, monopod or any camera accessory inside the premises)
Dilkusha Palace, or more locally Dilkusha Kothi, is a monument perched in the offbeats of Lucknow. Although Lucknow Charbagh railway station lies just at a distance of few kilometers, this place is quite amazingly one of the peaceful places of Lucknow.
Gore Ouseley built this building as a hunting lodge for Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. But Nawab gradually started it using as a summer place.
One exciting story behind this is that when British actress Mary Linley Taylor visited Dilkusha Kothi, she was so amazed that she decided to name her house’ Dilkusha.’ The actress then called her home ‘Dilkusha,’ in the Jongno district of Seoul, South Korea.
It might not be the most recommended place from a photographer’s eye, but hey, creativity has no limits.
Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, all days of the week.
So, our next destination in the top 15 places to visit in Lucknow is something special. It’s a college in the present day.
The country’s college, which has produced many famous personalities such as Priyanka Chopra, K. Raghunath, Muzaffar Ali, etc., is esteemed in education giving and blessed with eye-catching architecture.
La Martiniere Boy’s College of Lucknow is a perfect example of French architecture. Frenchman Claude Martin, who lived in Lucknow at the time of Nawabs, erected this building.
However, originally this place was meant to be the summer place of Claude Martin but was converted into a school as per his last wish after he died early.
Timings: Visit during school hours, Sunday closed
Saadat Ali Khan was the 6th Nawab of Awadh, and this tomb was erected by his son Ghazi-Ud-Din Haider.
As you enter, you’ll find two tombs inside — one of Saadat Ali Khan and the other, of his wife, Khurshid Zadi. Both of these buildings are made of Lakhauri bricks, lime mortar, and plaster to give the fine edge.
Also, the place is full of lush greenery and fine gardening, which concludes that this place is photogenic. Photographers, this is your bait!
In addition, I admire its beauty, and in my conscious opinion, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
The city of Imambaras holds many Imambaras of which people know only a few. Imambaras are the holy places built for the avatars of Allah and used for mourning by Muslims.
Shahnajaf Imambara, built by the first ‘king’ and last Nawab of Awadh Ghazi-Ud-Din Haider, is a replica of Hazrat Ali’s burial at Najaf in Iraq.
Timings: Sunrise to sunset
Photography: Not allowed inside Imambara
Farhat Baksh Kothi was built in 1781 by Frenchman Claude Martin as his place of residence. But later, as he died in 1800, Nawabs bought the site and started living in it unless Nawab Wajid Ali Shah built Qaiserbagh Palace (a destroyed building).
However, Chattar Manzil is just an addition (and a little bit of modification) to Farhat Baksh Kothi. The construction was started by Ghazi-Ud-Din Haider and completed by his son Naseer-Ud-Din Haider.
Also, Chattar Manzil was used as a place of residence for the wives of Nawabs. Chattar means umbrella, which the building posses at the top. And therefore, it is also known as Umbrella Palace.
Most noteworthy, both buildings suffered greatly during the 1857 siege of India. Furthermore, both the state and the central government are continuously working on restoring its maximum possible glow as of now.
Again, history lovers should have a quick visit here!
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
11. Begum Hazrat Mahal Park
Begum Hazrat Mahal was the wife of the last Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah, and handed her support during the mutiny of 1857 in India from the Awadh region.
Therefore, this park is dedicated to her. Furthermore, a marble memorial is made inside the park by the Indian government for honoring her contribution.
It lies near Saadat Ali Khan tomb within walking distance. Above all, it is a go-to place for peace seekers.
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
12. Aminabad Market
So, Aminabad Market or, locally, Aminabad Bazaar is one of the oldest and busiest markets in the City of Nawabs. The market is famous for wholesale and retail buying of clothes, artificial jewelry, stocking, and wedding decorations.
Most noteworthy, the world-famous Chikankari, i.e., Chikan embroidery clothes, are available here at affordable prices. The Chikan embroidery is the symbol of Lucknow, and it should be at #1 in your souvenirs which you are taking away from Lucknow.
World-famous Tunday Kebabi’s main branch exists here in the bustling market of Aminabad. A must-have experience in Lucknow – eating kebabs at the Tunday Kebabi should not be missed as its taste is unforgettable. And yes, it’s for non-vegetarians only.
Similarly, Biryani lovers have got their luck too. Also, the world-famous (seriously) Wahid Biryani is just around the corner of the Tunday Kebabi.
In addition, vegans can try another famous thing – Prakash ki Kulfi (kulfi is a sweet Indian dish). Just look out for it on maps or ask a local for help.
Timings: Market is closed on Thursdays
Chowk is yet another market that exhibits the old-age vibes of Lucknow. Be it Chikan kurta or sari; you’ll find everything here.
Moreover, from famous Azhar Bhai Ka Paan to Rahim ki Nihari or the taste-rich Idris ki Biryani – you’ll get a real treat here if you’re fond of non-vegan food.
In addition, the market has a variety of options, be it modern Wow Momos, local Makkhan Malai (aka Nimish), or refreshing Thandai from Pandit Raja.
Don’t worry if these names don’t ring a bell. These are just local shops in Lucknow selling the rich and authentic taste of Lucknow.
Timings: All days open
14. Riverfront & Marine Drive, Gomti Nagar
Now enough of Old Lucknow; let’s roll to the new. Riverfront and Marine Drive fall in New Lucknow.
Riverfront – well as the word itself suggest, is a beautiful park built on the side of the Gomti river stretched over for about 2 km.
However, the park becomes even more beautiful in the evening due to colorful lightning. It is perfectly suitable for spending an ample amount of quality time with your fam and buds.
So, yay, it’s perfectly suitable for photoshoots.
Timings: Sunrise till 8 pm
15. Ambedkar Park
Indeed, this place had to be on our list of top 15 places to visit in Lucknow.
More formally, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Park is dedicated to Bhim Rao Ambedkar for his social work. This iconic place is entirely made of marbles and various bonsai trees.
Most noteworthy, the grand statues of Ambedkar Sahab are perched at different locations inside the park.
Also, the whole park is made in such a way to depict the life of Bhimrao Ambedkar, and the aerial view of the park seems to be of a flower with four petals.
In addition, this place becomes extremely hot in summer, and so if you come here on a summer day, please choose the evening for visiting this park.
Moreover, from the eye of a photographer, this place exceeds the minimum requirements by far. In some areas inside the park, you’ll find stunning reflections on the marble floor. In conclusion, this is perfect for great photos.
Timings: 11 am to 9 pm, every day (some holidays affect its timings, please check afore)
Down the line
There are many places, such as Janeshwar Mishra Park, Safed Baradari, etc., that could not make on the list. Nonetheless, these top 15 places are at the city’s core.
So, I hope this would have given you a lot of help, and just in case you need any further assistance, contact us here and Tweet your question at @MisfitWanderers or DM us on Instagram.