Gwalior Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do in Gwalior, from culturally important attractions and natural wonders to where to eat and stay, when to visit, and how to get there.

Introduction to Gwalior

Nestled in Northern Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is a city that exemplifies the cultural heritage of India. It boasts of magnificent architecture, historical landmarks, and natural beauty that attracts tourists from all over the world. The city serves as a gateway to the heritage gems and popular tourist attractions of Madhya Pradesh. Gwalior is known for its remarkable history, pristine architecture, and vibrant bazaars. This city leaves an energetic and vibrant imprint on its visitors, and a visit to Gwalior is sure to leave you mesmerized for years to come.

List of Places to Visit in Gwalior

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Gwalior Fort

Built in the 8th century, Gwalior Fort is regarded as one of the most remarkable fortresses in India. The fort is located on the outskirts of Gwalior, on a hilltop, and commands panoramic views of the city. The fort boasts of a fabulous architectural style that amalgamates Hindu and Muslim styles. The fort is home to several palaces, temples, and monuments, including the Man Mandir Palace, Gujari Mahal, and Teli-ka-Mandir.

Jai Vilas Palace

Located in the heart of Gwalior, Jai Vilas Palace is one of the largest and most magnificent palaces in India. This palace is a fine example of Indo-European architecture and boasts of an exquisite collection of artifacts, antiques, and furniture, including the largest chandelier in the world.

Tomb of Tansen

Tomb of Tansen is a monument located in the heart of Gwalior, dedicated to the legendary musician, Tansen. This monument is regarded as one of the most significant cultural landmarks in India, and tourists visit the site from all over the world to pay homage to the father of Indian classical music.

Sun Temple

Sun Temple, located on the outskirts of Gwalior, is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Sun God. The temple is known for its brilliant architecture and is designed in the form of a chariot, which is drawn by seven horses.

Natural Attractions of Gwalior: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Tigra Dam

Tigra Dam is a popular picnic spot located in the northern part of Gwalior. The dam is surrounded by lush trees and provides stunning views of the serene water, making it an ideal location for an afternoon stroll or a family picnic.

Gwalior Zoo

Gwalior Zoo, also known as Gandhi Prani Udhyan, is a well-maintained zoo situated in the heart of the city. The zoo is home to several rare species of animals, including the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, and Indian rhino.

Tighra Reservoir

Tighra Reservoir, located on the outskirts of Gwalior, is a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts. The reservoir offers several water sports activities such as kayaking, boating, and swimming.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Gwalior

Gandhi Prani Udhyan

Gandhi Prani Udhyan, also known as Gwalior Zoo, is a great place to explore the local flora and fauna while biking or hiking. The zoo covers an area of nearly 8 hectares and has a well-maintained network of paths and trails.

Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort is a significant fortification in India covering an area of over 3 square kilometers. The fort is home to an extensive network of paths and trails that zigzag throughout its many palaces and temples. Visitors can explore the fort’s solid sandstone walls, gates, and watchtowers while hiking or biking.

Tigra Dam

Tigra Dam is a spot known for its breathtaking views and tranquil ambiance. The surrounding natural landscape is ideal for hiking or biking, providing visitors with a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Best Things to Do in Gwalior: Activities and Tours

Sound and Light Show at Gwalior Fort

The Sound and Light show at Gwalior Fort is a spectacular presentation that takes visitors on a journey through the fort’s history. The show takes place each evening and depicts the lives of the great rulers who have roamed the fort’s halls and courtyards.

Explore the City’s Street Food Scene

Gwalior’s bustling bazaars are famous for their lip-smacking street food. Visitors can indulge in local delicacies such as kachoris, samosas, and chaats.

Visit the Local Markets

Visit the local markets and bazaars of Gwalior to experience the vibrant and colorful culture of the city. The markets are home to an extensive variety of merchandise, including textiles, handicrafts, and jewelry.

Week-Long Itinerary for Gwalior

Day Activity
1 Explore Gwalior Fort and its Palaces
2 Visit Jai Vilas Palace and Museum and Tomb of Tansen
3 Go to Tigra Dam for a Picnic or Water Sports
4 Visit the Local Markets to Shop and Dine
5 Take a Wildlife Safari to Gwalior Zoo
6 Hike or Bike around Tigra Reservoir and Enjoy the Scenic Views
7 Attend the Nightly Sound and Light Show at Gwalior Fort

Food and Drink Scene of Gwalior

Must-Try Dishes


Kachori is a perfect snack for any time, and the one you’ll find in Gwalior is the classic-style food that has been prevalent for centuries. The crisp and equally smooth surface is filled with savory spice filling that melts in your mouth.


The classic Indian snack which has found its way around the world, Samosa is one dish every traveler should try while in Gwalior. The crispy exterior, and filled with spicy potato filling is a flavor you cannot miss.

Bedai and Chhole

Bedai, a type of fried puffy bread, served with spicy curried chickpeas or Chhole, is a famous breakfast dish of Gwalior. A delicacy unique to the city, every other dish pales in comparison to Bedai and Chhole.

Local Beverages


Lassi is a traditional yogurt-based drink that is widely consumed in Gwalior. This refreshing drink comes in many flavors such as mango, strawberry, and rose, and is perfect for beating the heat on a hot summer day.

Nimbu Pani

Nimbu Pani or lime juice is a popular beverage in Gwalior. It is a refreshing, sweet, and sour drink that aids digestion and boosts your immunity.

Where to Stay in Gwalior: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Gwalior has a fantastic range of accommodation options suitable for all types of travelers.

Best Budget Hotels

Hotel Durga

Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Durga offers comfortable rooms with all basic amenities at affordable prices.

Hotel Surbhi

Hotel Surbhi is located close to the railway station and offers clean and well-maintained rooms at reasonable prices.

Best Mid-Range Hotels

Hotel Regency Square

Located in the bustling heart of the city, Hotel Regency Square offers modern amenities, personalized services, and premium accommodations to its guests.

Tansen Residency

Tansen Residency is a plush hotel located in the heart of Gwalior. The hotel provides a sophisticated ambiance with top-notch services and well-appointed guest rooms. Their in-house restaurant serves some of the best food in Gwalior.

Best Luxury Hotels

Usha Kiran Palace

Usha Kiran Palace is a grand hotel that offers elegance and luxury to its guests. This five-star hotel is set amidst 9 acres of beautiful gardens and features colonial-style architecture with a modern touch.

The Central Park

The Central Park is a luxurious hotel located in the heart of the city. The hotel provides modern amenities and world-class services making it a popular choice among affluent travelers.

What to Buy in Gwalior: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Gwalior is home to several vibrant markets and bazaars. Here are some of the must-buy items that you should consider getting during your visit.

Textile and Handicrafts

Gwalior’s markets are famous for their colorful textiles and handicrafts. From intricately embroidered sarees to hand-woven carpets, you’ll find a variety of unique items to suit your tastes and budget.


Gwalior is home to several skilled jewelers who create some of the most intricate and beautiful pieces of jewelry. You will find everything from traditional to contemporary designs to choose from.

Local Culture and Customs of Gwalior

The citizens of Gwalior are warm, welcoming, and hospitable. The city is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional customs that are still prevalent in day-to-day life. The local customs and traditions include performing aarti and offering milk to the deities at temples, performing the Baiga dance, and celebrating festivals such as Diwali, Holi, and Navratri.

Best Time to Visit Gwalior

The best time to visit Gwalior is from October to March. The winters are pleasant, and the weather is suitable for exploring the city’s historical landmarks and natural wonders. Summers can be scorching with temperatures soaring above 45 degrees Celsius.

Do’s and Don’ts of Gwalior


  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Respect the local culture and traditions.
  • Bargain when shopping in local markets.


  • Wear revealing outfits when traveling around the city.
  • Disrespect the religious sentiments of the locals.
  • Litter in public places.

Safety and Health

Safety in Gwalior

Gwalior is a safe city to travel around, and visitors need not be concerned about safety issues. However, it’s always essential to take precautions while traveling in crowded areas and to keep an eye on your valuables.

Health in Gwalior

Gwalior has several well-equipped hospitals and medical facilities. Visitors should be cautious while consuming street food and drinking local water. It’s advisable to carry a medical kit with basic essentials.

Getting to Gwalior: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Gwalior

Gwalior Airport is a domestic airport located approximately 10 km from the city center. The airport operates flights to several major cities in India, including Mumbai, Delhi, and Varanasi.

Bus Stations Near Gwalior

Gwalior has a well-connected network of roads and highways. The city’s bus station is situated in the heart of the city and operates buses to several major cities in the region.

Other Options

Gwalior Railway Station connects the city to several major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

How to Get Around in Gwalior

Gwalior has several modes of transportation that visitors can use to get around the city, including auto-rickshaws, taxis, and buses. Visitors can also rent bicycles and motorcycles to explore the city’s sights and sounds on their own.

Where to Go Next from Gwalior: Nearby Destinations and Excursions


Orchha, located approximately 120 km from Gwalior, is a historic town that boasts of an exceptional combination of natural beauty, exquisite architecture, and cultural heritage.


Shivpuri, located approximately 110 km from Gwalior, is a tranquil town that is known for its natural beauty, rich wildlife, and rich cultural heritage.


Gwalior is a city that truly captures the essence of ancient India. It’s a place where visitors can explore the city’s rich cultural heritage, admire its intricate architecture, and experience its vibrant local culture. The city’s natural beauty, including the Tigra Dam and the Gwalior Zoo, makes for a perfect family vacation destination. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous holiday or a peaceful refuge, Gwalior has something to offer for everyone.