27 Stunning Indian Cities to Explore in 2023: Determine if Your Residence is Included

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The city of dreams is formed by a combination of five islands, and there is also a city that has stood strong throughout history, boasting of India’s rich heritage. Surprisingly, there is even a paradise city on earth! These are not just ordinary cities, but they are the lifeblood of this magnificent country.

a beautiful lake in the mountains

With a vast selection of 1609 cities and towns, we have handpicked the most exquisite cities in India. Yes, they may be dirty and not always safe, but each city has its own unique charm that will make you proud!

27 Exceptionally Beautiful Destinations in India

Despite the pollution that comes with being a developing country, India is home to some of the most stunning cities in the world. In fact, it could become your home too! Take a look at the list below to discover more about the breathtaking corners of this country:

  • Srinagar – The Eastern Venice
  • Jaipur – The Indian Paris
  • Chandigarh – The City Beautiful
  • Mumbai – The City of Dreams
  • Kolkata – The City of Joy
  • Bangalore – The Indian Garden City
  • Hyderabad – The City of Pearls
  • Pondicherry – The Eastern French Riviera
  • Panaji – The Flood-free Land
  • Delhi – The Charismatic City
  • Gangtok – The Hillside City
  • Varanasi – The Temple City
  • Shillong – The Scotland of the East
  • Kochi – The Queen of the Arabian Sea
  • Mussoorie – The Queen of the Mountains
  • Mysore – The City of Heritage
  • Nainital – The Enchanting City of Lakes
  • Shimla – The Queen of Hills
  • Ladakh – The Majestic and Unreal Beauty
  • Bhubaneswar – The Former Land of King Ashoka
  • Agra – The Land Blessed by Medieval Mughal Kings
  • Udaipur – The Royal Home
  • Dehradun – The Quaint Valley in the Hills
  • Visakhapatnam – The Coastal City of the South
  • Guwahati – The Gateway to the Unexplored Paradise
  • Darjeeling – Rolling Hills and Vast Tea Gardens
  • Chennai – The Detroit of India

The gorgeous landscapes of one of the most beautiful cities in India - Srinagar

1. Srinagar – The Eastern Venice

The world recognizes Kashmir as heaven on earth, but the same can be said for the beautiful Indian city of Srinagar. Situated idyllically on the banks of the Jhelum River, Srinagar is truly a paradise! Its nickname, “Venice of the East,” stems from its picturesque colorful gardens, serene lakes, and elegant houseboats and shikaras.

The glittering Albert Hall on a Diwali Night in Jaipur

2. Jaipur – The Enchanting City of India

Emerging from the realm of Rajas, this famed “Pink City” or the “Paris of India” secures the second spot on our inventory of the most exquisite cities in India. Acknowledged for its resplendent natural beauty and architectural grandeur, Jaipur is hailed for its magnificently vibrant historical lineage.

The green lawns of Chandigarh - the city beautiful

Don’t Miss: 53 Unmissable Tourist Destinations in Jaipur for an Unprecedented Encounter!

3. Chandigarh – The Beguiling City

Renowned for its exemplary urban planning and contemporary architecture, Chandigarh nestles itself at the base of the majestic Shivalik range. Being the greenest city in India, it seamlessly blends modernity with tranquility and warmth.

Skyline of the city of dream at Night - Mumbai

4. Mumbai – The City of Aspirations

Maximized metropolis, Mumbai: where each Indian arrives with aspirations in their eyes and departs with vivid memories of diverse shades! The financial hub of India, Mumbai preserves its Victorian charisma and distinct regional flavor, earning a well-deserved place on our roster of stunning cities in India. And let us not overlook the enchanting necklace adorning the shores of this island city.

The picturesque Victoria Memorial in Kolkata - the beautiful city of India

Don’t Miss: 16 Breathtaking Offbeat Destinations Near Mumbai Ready to be Explored

5. Kolkata – The Blissful City

Whether it’s the bustling Howrah Bridge over the Hoogli River, the majestic Victoria Memorial, the serene Belur Math, or the invigorating Dakshineshwar Temple, Kolkata is bound to enchant you. Undoubtedly, a City of Joy, it stands tall as a captivating city in India with an equally captivating populace and delectable cuisine.

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Authentic travel chronicles. Genuine accommodations. Valuable recommendations to ensure you make the perfect choice.

Spring in the garden city of India - Bangalore

6. Bangalore- India’s Serene Garden City

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Nature’s greenery flourishes abundantly in this technological hub. Observe the multitude of red-orange and lavender flowers. But be wary, as Bangalore is not just a tranquil utopia lined with foliage. A stroll along Brigade Road or M G Road will reveal a vibrant and energetic city!

Charminar in the bustling streets of Hyderabad

7. Hyderabad- The Enchanting City of Pearls

Coming in at the seventh spot on our compilation of the most captivating cities in India is a delightful tribute to the Nizami culture that once thrived in the country – Hyderabad. This vibrant city is renowned for its multitude of palaces, mosques, tombs, traditional attire, and delectable cuisine. Standing in stark contrast to this old-world charm is Cyberabad, which epitomizes modernism with its sleek malls, stylish showrooms, and trendy restaurants and bars.

The colorful Pondicherry- the French Colony of India

If you’re seeking reasons to fall in love with Hyderabad, you must read our article titled “26 Reasons Why I Would Prefer Being From Hyderabad Than Anywhere Else.”

Moving on to number eight, Pondicherry – often referred to as the French Riviera of the East. Experience the essence of France right here in India! Once a French colony, Pondicherry still retains its distinct French character. Impeccably maintained roads, French-style houses, charming beachside cafes, exclusive boutiques, and the breathtaking waterfront of Pondy await you. And let’s not forget the enchanting Auroville Ashram. Once you’re here, you’ll never want to leave!

The bustling streets of Panaji at night

To discover the best places to visit in Pondicherry, make sure to read our comprehensive guide titled “42 Best Places To Visit In Pondicherry: India’s French Colony!”

Next on the list is Panaji, often hailed as the land that never floods. While Pondicherry exudes a French aura, Panaji is the epitome of Portuguese influence. Nestled on the banks of the Mandovi River, this serene and picturesque city boasts beautifully restored Portuguese villas, wide tree-lined roads along the river, antique bookshops, art galleries, and a plethora of seafood restaurants and bars. The breathtaking view across the river showcases resplendent floating casinos and cruises, tempting you to embark on a new adventure.

The majestic India Gate in the capital city of India - Delhi

For an unforgettable experience in Goa, be sure to check out our article titled “55 Best Places To Visit In Goa For A Splendid Vacation!”

Last but not least, the sensational city of Delhi. Known as the “Dilwali city,” everything in Delhi is grand and majestic. Set your eyes upon the roads, the architecture, the monuments, the malls, the extensive Metro and bus network, and of course, the abundance of dining options. Every corner of this magnificent city is waiting to be explored, offering endless excitement and discoveries.

If you’re planning a trip to Delhi, don’t miss out on our guide to the best tourist attractions in the city titled “Discovering Delhi: Unveiling Hidden Gems and Iconic Landmarks!

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A monk in a beautiful and artistic monastery in Sikkim

11. Gangtok – The Enchanting Township On The Side Of A Hill

Gangtok, nestled in the embrace of the Shivalik range, is undeniably one of the most breathtaking towns in India. With its vibrant Tibetan heritage, this place mesmerizes you in every nook and cranny. Delightful monasteries drenched in colors, meandering roads that stretch for miles, immaculate parks and gardens, and the awe-inspiring view of the mighty Kanchenjunga combine to create a mystical kingdom in the eastern part of the country.

Aarti at the ghats in Varanasi - the city of temples.

12. Varanasi – The Temple Town

As the oldest living city on the planet, Varanasi transports you back thousands of years in time! With a history dating back 3000 years, it lives up to its name by hosting numerous temples at every turn. Imbued with deep-rooted traditions, this city boasts an unparalleled cultural richness displayed through its multitude of “ghats.”

Don’t Miss: 101 Captivating Destinations In India To Explore Before Hitting 30

Living root bridges in Cherrapunji, about an hour from Shillong

13. Shillong – The Eastern Version of Scotland

Perched at an altitude of 4908 feet above sea level, the multicultural city of Shillong is surrounded by picturesque hills. Lingerings of British influence still adorn the city’s buildings and monuments. A leisurely stroll along the streets of “Police Bazaar” and Barabazar, witnessing Khasi women carrying their babies on their backs, the bustling shared cabs, the aroma of roadside momos, and the sight of little ones in their vibrant blazers, make for an enchanting scene.

Sunset on a beach in one of the most beautiful cities in India Kochi

14. Kochi – The Jewel of the Arabian Sea

Picturesque views of the the hill city of Mussoorie

Nestled in the embrace of God’s Own Country, Kerala, Kochi is a captivating coastal city in India, harmoniously situated between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Its recognition as one of National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Greatest Places of a Lifetime” speaks volumes about its allure.

Don’t Miss: 10 Breathtakingly Romantic Beaches In Kerala That Summon A Soul-Stirring Getaway!

15. Mussoorie- The Enchanting City in the Mountains

The front facade of Mysore Palace

Although some may argue that it constitutes a hill station, Mussoorie stands as a unique city in its own right. In the summers, the British sought refuge in this picturesque hilltop city to escape the heat. Peaceful with winding roads, bustling markets, and an awe-inspiring panorama of the Himalayas, this city caters to the inner romantic within you.

16. Mysore- The City of Heritage

The beautiful city of lakes - Nainital covered with snow during wintersPanoramic view of the magnificently grand Mysore Palace

Situated in the enchanting landscape of South India, Mysore proudly showcases a plethora of mesmerizing monuments including the renowned Mysore Palace. This city boasts over 200 monuments with a rich heritage. It serves as a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.

17. Nainital- A Breathtaking City of Lakes

On our list of captivating cities in India, we have the hilltop city of Nainital. Unlike Bhopal, the city of Lakes, Nainital prides itself on possessing the most picturesque lakes and has been said to have been adorned with 60 lakes. The combination of lakes and the mesmerizing view of the Himalayas make Nainital one of the most beautiful cities at such an elevation.

Essential Reading: 15 Exceptional Activities to Experience in Nainital

18. Shimla- The Majestic Queen Of the Hills

The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, once served as the summer capital during the colonial era. Nestled amidst the mighty Himalayas, this city offers some of the most breathtaking vistas. Shimla showcases colonial architecture alongside a relaxed cafe culture. It is not just another hill station where one merely seeks respite from chilly weather; rather, it is a captivating city that blends commercial development with its historical roots.

Important Read: Discover the 53 most breathtaking destinations to explore on your relaxing weekend getaway in Shimla.

19. Ladakh- Awe-Inspiring and Captivating Beauty

Located at the highest point in the nation, Ladakh is a Union Territory renowned for its mesmerizing views that will leave you in awe. The rugged mountains, flowing rivers, crystal-clear azure lakes, and enchanting Buddhist Gompas together embody the true essence of Ladakh. This region is a popular choice for biking expeditions and thrilling adventure activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, and grade 4 rapids water rafting.

20. Bhubaneswar- The Ancient Kingdom of King Ashoka

Popularly known as the ‘Temple City of India,’ Bhubaneswar is an enchanting city in Odisha that serves as the vibrant capital. Its historical origins can be traced back to the era of King Ashoka, and to this day, the city gracefully preserves its glorious past. Bhubaneswar stands as a center for Buddhist art and architecture in the country, making it a captivating destination for art and culture enthusiasts.

Important Read: Explore the 8 most significant temples in Bhubaneswar that are a must-visit.

21. Agra- Enriched by the Legacy of Medieval Mughal Kings

Home to the world-famous symbol of love, the Taj Mahal, Agra attracts countless tourists each year. Alongside the Taj, the city showcases remarkable medieval architecture, including forts and palaces built by the opulent Mughal empire. Embark on a journey through India’s glorious past by visiting this historical gem.

22. Udaipur- The Majestic Residence of Kings

Once the capital of the Mewar kingdom, Udaipur is affectionately known as the “City of Lakes.” This regal city offers insight into the opulent legacy of the Rajput kings and their extravagant lifestyle. Immerse yourself in the history of the nation by exploring the grand forts and palaces that adorn this majestic destination.

Important Read: Discover the 47 most glamorous places to visit in Udaipur this year for a laid-back holiday!

beautiful Visakhapatnam

23. Dehradun- The Serene Valley In The Mountains

Situated at the base of the Shivalik ranges in the Garhwal region, Dehradun is a charming mountain town that combines the beauty of the colonial era with its already stunning surroundings. The vast landscape surrounding the capital city of Uttarakhand is a paradise waiting to be discovered by trekkers and nature enthusiasts. In addition to its scenic allure, Dehradun is also renowned for its prestigious educational institutions that attract students from all over the country.

beautiful guwahati

24. Visakhapatnam- The Coastal Jewel Of South India

Visakhapatnam, known affectionately as Vizag, is synonymous with pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes. This port city in the southern part of the country is an absolute must-visit for travelers. The city’s cleanliness and tidiness can be attributed to the active municipal corporation.

25. Guwahati- The Gateway To An Untouched Paradise

darjeeling

Guwahati is renowned as the gateway to northeastern India. It is adorned with ancient temples and surrounded by picturesque landscapes. The city also serves as an ideal base for exploring the unexplored wonders of the northeastern region. As a developing metropolis, Guwahati is a delight for both tourists and residents alike.

beautiful Chennai

26. Darjeeling- Majestic Hills & Sprawling Tea Plantations

Darjeeling, with its snow-capped peaks, lush green hills, and warm-hearted locals, stands as one of the most enchanting places in India. This magnificent hill resort in West Bengal is a favorite among mountain enthusiasts. Don’t forget to savor the finest teas found not only in the country, but in the entire world, during your visit.

27. Chennai- The Detroit Of India

As the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai ranks as the fourth largest city in India. It is a bustling metropolis located on the shores of the expansive Bay of Bengal. With its extensive coastline, the city boasts some of the finest beaches in India and offers breathtaking views of the sea. While the weather may be slightly temperamental, both residents and tourists find Chennai delightful.

Additional Resources: Breathtaking Landscapes in India: Unforgettable Natural Beauty!

India boasts a rich cultural heritage, and its magnificent cities are a testament to that. So, during your next journey across India, make sure you truly experience these places. As the saying goes, when you visit a beautiful place, you carry a piece of it with you. So, which splendid city will you choose?

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Answers to Common Questions About India’s Beautiful Cities

Which city is the ideal place to live in India?

The best city to reside in India depends on individual preferences and the desired environment. Some metropolitan cities that offer a favorable work-life balance and excellent nearby weekend getaway destinations are Hyderabad and Pune.

Which destination is perfect for touring in India?

For a romantic honeymoon, Kerala or the Northeast region are ideal choices. Rajasthan is a vibrant state that is perfect for family trips. If you’re planning a vacation with friends, Goa and Gokarna are two splendid beach destinations in India.

Which is the most budget-friendly destination in India?

India offers various budget-friendly travel options. Some affordable destinations include Alleppey, Pondicherry, Rishikesh, Kanatal, Gokarna, and more.

Which city in India is the safest?

Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mussoorie, and Surat are considered safe cities for solo travelers in India.

Which state in India is the most peaceful?

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Sikkim and Kerala are two peaceful states in India known for their calm and welcoming atmospheres.

What is India’s renowned cuisine?

India’s rich cultural diversity brings forth a plethora of cuisines. There is no singular famous dish in India, as each state has its own specialties. Rajma Chawal is a popular North Indian dish, while Dosa is a famous South Indian delicacy.

Where do most foreigners visit in India?

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Foreign visitors often head to popular beach destinations like Goa, Gokarna, Varkala, and Kovalam in the south. In the north, mountain destinations like Kasol and Ladakh attract tourists from around the world.

Is India a safe country for tourists?

As with any new destination, it is advisable to remain cautious while traveling in India. Pickpockets can be found anywhere, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings. However, with proper precautions, it is safe to explore different places in India.

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