Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh well known for its historical monuments, architectural wonders, arts, culture, dance, music and cuisines. It is also known as the ‘city of Nawab’ famous for its manners and hospitality. This city is the home of many famous poets and the center of Urdu poetry. The traditional elegant Chikankari embroidery and zardosi has made Lucknow renowned not only in India but also globally. It’s economy is progressing because of the contribution from the fields of education, commerce aerospace, finance, technology, tourism etc. It is a growing IT hub with number of software and IT companies setting up in the city. There are many tourist attractions in Lucknow like the awesome and admirable historical monuments, beautiful gardens and magnificent and attractive markets for shopping. Besides visitors can also enjoy the taste of delicious Awadhi and Mughlai food of this multicultural city. All this has made Lucknow a famous tourist destination.
There are several best places to visit in Lucknow, out of which following are the top 10 places to visit in Lucknow that are ideal and will make your visit pleasing, enjoyable and memorable one.
1. Bara Imambara
There are innumerable places to visit in Lucknow. Out of these well known monuments the Bara Imambara is one of the best places to visit in Lucknow city. This significant worship place of the Muslims was built by the Nawab Asaf-ud-daula in 1784, and is also known as Asafi Imambara. This place is usually visited by the Muslims every year to celebrate the religious festival of Muharram. It is considered to be one of the largest arched constructions in the world with no beams supporting the roof.
The unbelievable and amazing maze known as Bhool Bhulaiya situated at the upper floor of the structure is the most popular attraction of this monument. The entire building was constructed by making use of Lakhanui bricks and no wood or metal had been used. You can also have a look at the tomb of Nawab Asaf-Ud-Dowlah and his crown, which has been kept in the central hall. On visiting this splendid unique structure, the incredible Mughal architecture is worth admiring.
2. Chota Imambara
Chota Imambara also known as Imambara of Hussainabad is a respectful and renowned congregation hall of the Shia Muslims which was built by Muhammad Ali Shah, the third Nawab of Awadh, in the year 1838. This outstanding historical structure also serves as the tomb of Muhammad Ali Shah and his mother who is buried besides him. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Lucknow to see this splendid and incredible monument constructed with Persian and Indo-Islamic styles of architecture. There is an immense use of glass work and the walls are inscribed with Arabic calligraphy. The interior as well as the exterior of the monument are designed beautifully and maintained with complete care.
During festivals, especially Muharram this imambara is decorated with lights and chandeliers giving this monument an extremely beautiful and magnificent look. The fact is that the European visitors and writers in the 19th century were spellbound seeing the outstanding beauty of this structure at special events and they named it ‘palace of lights’. Just outside the imambara is the watch tower for lunar observation,whose construction was started by Nawab Ali Shah and he had planned to make it similar to Qutub Minar of Delhi and the leaning tower of Pisa. Though this tower was named Satkhanda or tower of seven stories, it was only a four stories structure, as the construction was completely stopped on the death of the nawab. Tourists visiting Chota imambara will definitely have an impressive memory of this one of the best best place in Lucknow that they will have an intention to visit it again and again.
Also See : Things to Do in Lucknow
Chowk is the oldest market in this colourful city with its rich cultural heritage. Here you get everything at reasonable price from traditional chikankari and zardosi materials and dresses, handmade jewelleries, handcrafted home décor items made from wood, bamboo and ivory, nagara shoes, ittar or perfume and several other items. There are wholesale shops of readymade clothes and fabrics with chikan and zardozi work.
One can enjoy shopping by bargaining and getting goods at lowest possible rate. There are many places in Lucknow for food but Chowk has many food joints that serves traditional Awadhi and Mughlai food like kebabs, biryanis, paratha with chicken or mutton and milk products too.The desserts made of pure milk and ghee available here. This place is known for selling tasty mouth watering sweets and malai paan. For locals as well as tourists it is an ideal place to visit at Lucknow for shopping as well as eating delicious food within their budget.
4. Rumi Darwaza
Rumi Darwaza, one of the historical places in Lucknow is an impressive and magnificent Awadh architecture also known as Turkish Gate was constructed in 1784 during the reign of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah. It is also a significant entrance point of the city through which the British entered after invading the city in 1858 after the Independence war in 1857. This structure is brightened and kept glowing at night with the help of the huge lantern that is placed on the top of the gate. The beauty and elegance of this gate is well maintained. Rumi Darwaza a splendid attractions in Lucknow is visited by tourists to view this magnificent gateway of heaven.
5. Lucknow Zoo
Popularly known as Lucknow Zoo, “The Prince of Wales Zoological Garden” was established in the year 1921 in Lucknow and later in 2001 it was renamed as “Lucknow Prani Udyan”. Again in 2015 its name is changed to “Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Prani Udyan”. This zoo is a home to several species of animals, birds, aquatics and reptiles such as Royal Bengal Tiger, White Tiger, Lion, Wolf, Jackal, Leopard cat, Hyena,Great Pied Hornbill, Golden Pheasant and Silver Pheasant, Hoolock Gibbon, Himalayan Black Bear, Indian Rhinoceros, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Black Buck, Swamp Deer, Barking Deer and Hog Deer, Langur, Japanese Monkey and Chimpanzee, Indian Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Indian Porcupine, Ghariyal, Indian Python, Indian Cobra, Viper, Rat Snake, Turtle, Eagle Owl, Owlet Jungle, and many more.
It is a fun place to visit in Lucknow especially for children who enjoy watching these fascinating animals and birds and also having a joyful ride in the toy train. You can also be delighted by having a view of the vintage train displayed in the zoo and also visiting the State Museum exhibiting artefacts from Awadh that is located inside the zoo. Lucknow Zoo is regarded as the best place to visit in Lucknow in one day.
6. Begum Hazrat Mahal Park
On 15th August 1962 in the old Victoria park, in Hazratganj the State Government had built a marble memorial in honour of Begum Hazrat Mahal, the first wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah for her most important role during the First Freedom Movement in 1857. The memorial was decorated with flowers and brightened with multicoloured lights and the park was renamed as Begum Hazrat Mahal Park. Beautiful and attractive fountains, flowers, trees and stoned pathways enhances the beauty of the park.
The greenery around the park and the peaceful atmosphere makes it a good place to visit in Lucknow to relax and take a break and be far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This spectacular garden in Hazratganj area is regarded as one of the perfect places to visit in Lucknow for couples to spend a quality time together. It is a quite big park and also ideal for family outings on weekends or holidays. This park is also used for Ramlilas, Dussehra celebrations and Lucknow Mahotsav.
Hazratganj is the oldest shopping place which was started during the British rule. Today it is one of the famous market places at Lucknow for shopping branded products. There are many big shopping malls and showrooms selling branded and designer clothes. You can get wide range of Chikankari dress materials and readymade clothes, embroidered sarees etc. There are jewellery shops having pure and beautifully designed ornaments, shops selling antique items and so on.
Several food joints and restaurants are available serving delicious food. Moti Mahal in Hazratganj is the best place to purchase wide range of mouth watering sweets. This is the best place to visit in Lucknow with family where they can enjoy shopping, have food together and before returning home watch movie at the theatre in Hazratganj. Tourists can visit this place for shopping branded items and enjoying Lucknowi food.
8. Chattar Manzil
Chattar Manzil is a well known historical monument in Lucknow and is one of the best tourist places in Lucknow. It has an umbrella shaped dome. The construction of this monument was started by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan and completed after his death by Nawab Nasiruddin Haider. Originally ie. in 1780’s this monument was of Indo-European architecture style but later during the revolt of 1857 it was damaged by the British and reconstructed according to their wish. In this palace one can have a view of the royal lifestyle of the Mughal Nawabs and the beautiful gardens all over. Recently it was used as an office for the Central Drug Research Institute but now there are plans of setting up two new museums and a library in this old historical monument.
9. Dr. Ambedkar Park
Dr.Ambedkar Park is an impressive and beautiful public park and memorial which was constructed in honour of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar and all those who dedicated their life for humanity, equality and social justice like Jyotirao Phule, Narayan Guru, Kanshi Ram and many others. The construction of this memorial was done in 1995 and it was named as Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Udyan. Later in the year 2008 after renovation and many changes this park was opened for the public by Chief Minister Mayawati and it was renamed as Dr. Ambedkar Park.
It is the surely one of the best place to visit in Lucknow in the evening. Red stone is used to built this beautiful memorial.There are two domes and facing towards them is a statue of Dr.Ambedkar seated in a chair. Many other statues of social reformers are also constructed. Statues of 62 elephants on either side of the main entrance of the memorial is an attractive and amazing sight. The peaceful atmosphere over here makes this park an ideal place to visit in Lucknow with girlfriend to spend quality time or have a walk together and take a view of great social reformers and the beauty of the park.
10. Marine Drive
Similar to the Marine Drive in Mumbai, the Marine Drive in Lucknow is also popular among the locals and is considered to be the perfect place to hangout in Lucknow. It is an impressive and amazing long stretch road along the Gomti river. In the evening the whole place is brightened up with attractive lights on the entire pathway. One can sit and relax on the garden benches on the pathway and enjoy the cool atmosphere and the beautiful sunset at Marine Drive.
This place is well known for the dangerous stunts performed by the bikers. Youngsters are more attracted towards this place busy playing music, partying and enjoying every moment. Marine Drive is actually one of the best places to visit in Lucknow at night not only for young generation but for all to enjoy a walk on the pathway or sit and admire the beauty of nature.
Historical monuments, beautiful parks, local, street and wholesale markets, branded showrooms, shopping malls, and many more are the awesome places to visit in Lucknow. For tourists Lucknow is a perfect destination for sightseeing and shopping. Apart from this there are several places to visit in Lucknow in summers for locals as well as tourist. During summer people can visit amazing amusement and water parks in Lucknow like the Nilansh Water Park, Dream World Amusement Park, Anandi Water Park and so on and get relief from heat, enjoy and have fun with their friends and families.