Top things to do in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Jaisalmer, aka the golden city of India, is known for its magnificent fort nestled in the center of the town, numerous impressive Havelis, colorful & vibrant bazaars, widespread dunes in a few hours drive, camel safari in the middle of Thar desert, and more. It is impressive to see a perfectly themed golden town. We visited in October. I won’t lie sunny day would be exhausting to wander around, however delicious makhaniya lassi, cute umbrellas, and delightful Rajasthani cuisine kept us motivated. Haha!

So, if you are planning a trip to Jaisalmer and wondering what are the best thing to do and see, keep reading!

Here are the things to do in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Exploring Jaisalmer Fort

One of the oldest in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer Fort is the most iconic spot of the city. It was built by Rajput rural Jaisal from where the name is derived. It is believed to be one of the very few living forts in the world as nearly one fourth of the old city’s population still resides here. This fact makes the fort very different from all the others we have visited. There is no entrance fee. As you enter the alley, you will find restaurants, shops selling local items, and hotels with a city view. Wander the fort corridor and explore the golden ancient structure on foot. We spent half a day here roaming around the place, eating street food, and shopping for friends & family.

Strolling around Gadisar lake

Another spot to visit in Jaisalmer is Gadisar lake. It is a man made reservoir constructed by Raja Rawal Jaisal surrounded by temples and ghats, was once the only source of water in Jaisalmer. We visited during mid-day, we would suggest sunrise/sunset for the best view. You can also take a boat ride around the lake

Walking through Havelis

There are many impressive Havelis around the city. Among all three are very famous – Nathmal ki haveli,  Patwon ki haveli & Salim Singh ki haveli. They have all been converted into a museum exhibiting the life of wealthy merchants. There is an entrance as well as a camera fee to visit the premises.

Visiting Sam Sand dunes

After exploring Jaisalmer city during the day, we headed to Sam Sand dunes (about 50 kms from the city center) to spend a night. The place is famous for desert camping and safari.

We would recommend booking the camp for a night and enjoy all the activities and food in the mid of the Thar desert. It is a memorable experience to enjoy when in Sam Sand dunes, Rajasthan.

Enjoy the Camel Safari at dawn

When in Sam Sand dunes , take the opportunity to ride a camel and watch sunrise/sunset in the breathtaking Thar Desert. We took the morning camel safari and watched the sun rising over the horizon in the Thar Desert. The whole experience was very special.

Jeep safari in Thar Desert

Take a bumpy jeep safari ride during sunset and stop to watch the sun going down over the dunes while sipping chai. Without a doubt an experience to be remembered forever.

Enjoying Rajasthani Folk Dance & Music

With the glamping stay in Sam Sand dunes, you will get to enjoy beautiful cultural performances throughout the evening along with tasty snacks. 

Trying bhang lassi or cookies

This is a unique experience that you find in Jaisalmer – trying Bhang (Cannabis) lassi or cookies from a government authorised shop. It was fun to talk to the owner Doctor Bhang (as he goes by the name :P) who explained all the speciality lassi and cookies he was selling. They have light, medium, and strong ones – try at your own risk. haha!

Going on a Shopping spree

The best area we found to shop in the city was inside Jaisalmer Fort. The fort alleys were filled with vibrant shops. It is a perfect place to wander around and buy souvenirs. Another place where you find good stuff would be Patwon ki haveli. Have fun!

take a day trip from Jaisalmer

If you have extra time to spend – take a half day trip towards the Indo-Pak border to Tanot Mata Temple & Longewala. It is a must visit for anyone interested in Indian Military history. It is open daily and is free to enter.

What to eat

If you are a foodie and you are in Rajasthan, the festival begins at every corner of the city. Listing down what to eat here and suggestive eateries here.  

How to reach 

The best way to arrive at Jaisalmer is either by road or by train. It is well connected with all the cities in Rajasthan. From other parts of India , the best way to travel would be by air or train. The nearest airport is 17km away from city center of Jaisalmer and you can explore flight options here. 

We booked overnight train from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer.

If you are from outside India and looking for detailed information about tour & packages you can refer Rajasthan Tourism.

How to explore the city

The best way to explore the city would be by foot especially in the fort area. However, if you are willing to do sightseeing like visiting the lakes & Havelis, I would suggest hiring a cab or tuk-tuk for a day. Usually, if you book a camping night (glamping) in Sam Sand dunes, the resort arranges a cab for sightseeing in daytime before heading to camping night (glamping) for an extra charge. You can check with them while booking the place. Note – Sam Sand Dunes is 50 Kms (appox) away from Jaisalmer city center.

Where we stayed

We booked overnight camping stay (glamping) at Sam Sand Dunes which is about 50km (approx) drive from city center of Jaisalmer. The resort arranged the night stay with Rajasthani food along with cultural performances. You can book sunrise camel safari as well as sunset Jeep safari for the best experience. Also, they provided transportation from Jaisalmer railway / bus station along with city-sightseeing tour for an extra cost. While booking any camping place in Sam Sand Dunes, you should definitely inquire everything in advance.

Days required to explore

2 days would be perfect to explore Jaisalmer along with camping trip (glamping) to Sam Sand dunes. We spent 2 days & 1 night as we reached on Day-1 morning from Jodhpur and left day-2 in evening train to Jaipur.

When to visit

Winters are the best time to visit. Avoid summer and save yourself from the scorching sun.

Have you been to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan? What did you like about the city? If you have not been there yet, hope this blog inspires you to book a flight and visit this charming golden city. Pin it or Bookmark this post for future reference.

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