Ahmedabad, which also goes by the name Amdavad, is the largest city and former capital of Gujarat, a state in western and northwestern India along the Arabian Sea. As the state’s largest city, there is a large number of things to see and do in Ahmedabad. The city is one of India’s most vital economic and industrial hubs and is also the fifth-most populous in the country.
Located along the banks of the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad lies just 19 miles from its twin city and the Gujarati capital of Gandhinagar. The city is known for its diverse representation of both veg and non-veg Gujarati food. As India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City, Ahmedabad is also the perfect place to explore the country’s rich culture and history.
Visitors can also find fantastic shopping, beautiful recreational areas, and much more within the city limits. These are the top 15 things to see and do in Ahmedabad, India.
Eat Among Tombstones at New Lucky Restaurant
I’ve eaten at countless unique eateries around the world. One of the most unique is New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad, where you eat your meal among the dead. This restaurant, which is over sixty years old, was built around the graves of an old cemetery. This makes it one of the most unique things to see and do in Ahmedabad.
The graves, which are surrounded by bars to protect them, are said to contain the remains of a 16th-century Sufi saint’s followers. In addition to the graves, a tree from the old graveyard stands in the restaurant and grows through the ceiling!
New Lucky Restaurant’s unique dining environment isn’t its only draw. It also serves delicious food! If you’re not weirded out about the idea of dining with the dead, try New Lucky’s maska buns. The butter variety contains an overload of the creamy, fatty spread.
A sweeter version contains the jam of several fruits mixed together. Dip both varieties of maska bun into a hot, frothy cup of masala chai, which adds a rich cardamom and ginger flavor. It’s a rich, calorie-dense way to start your day!
Visit the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque
Located across the street from New Lucky Restaurant is one of Ahmedabad’s most recognizable landmarks, Sidi Saiyyed Mosque. The mosque was built between 1572 and 1573, during the last Sultanate of Gujarat’s regime. Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, which also goes by the name Sidi Saiyyed ni Jali, is extremely well-known for its beautiful architecture.
The mosque’s most famous features are its ten arched windows. The rear and side arched windows, called jalis, are decorated with intricately-designed stone latticework. Arguably the most famous of these is the stunning Tree of Life Jali, which depicts an ornate tree with branches spiraling off of it.
This gorgeous tree of life has come to symbolize the state of Gujarat’s architectural prowess and is the city of Ahmedabad’s unofficial symbol. It is also the inspiration behind the logo of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. Seeing this incredible piece of art in-person is easily one of the top things to see and do in Ahmedabad.
Try Gujarati Sweets at Kandoi Bhogilal Mulchand in the Old City
From Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, take a mile-long ride to Kandoi Bhogilal Mulchand in the Old City of Ahmedabad. I suggest taking a tuk-tuk to this historical sweet shop, which has been in business since 1845. With a history that spans well over a hundred years, it’s no surprise that visiting Kandoi Ghogilal Mulchand is one of the best things to see and do in Ahmedabad!
The confectioners at Kandoi Bhogilal Mulchand specialize in various Indian sweets. They have one called mohanthal, which is a soft and incredibly sugary grainy cake that is full of nuts and a clarified butter called ghee. It has a very sweet and nutty flavor and is the perfect dish to satisfy a sweet tooth!
Other wonderful sweets at Kandoi include their assortment of halwas. Halwas are dense, sugary confections that are made throughout the Middle East as well as central and southern Asia. Kandoi makes a dense and crunchy dried fruit halwa with cardamom that is absolutely divine. Other types include ingredients like raisins, cashews, ghee, milk, and cinnamon. They are, without a doubt, the most sugary snacks I’ve ever had in my life!
Go on a Gujarati Street Food Tour for Breakfast
Early risers visiting Ahmedabad would be remiss if they didn’t start their day with a street food tour of the city’s shops and stalls. My friend and guide Rutu took me to a tiny restaurant where I tried ganthiya, a soft and airy snack made from chickpea flour, for the first time.
It was served with a mild and minty curry that was more like a soup. While I was there, I also tried some peppers and a light and refreshing papaya chutney. The chutney is the perfect palate cleanser!
Other street foods you must try in Ahmedabad include jalebi, a deep-fried dough that is usually made into spiral shapes and covered in a sugary syrup. I’d had jalebi many times during my time in India and they were almost always bright orange, but the ones in Ahmedabad were yellow! They’re still sweet and crunchy, but they also have a slightly different flavor to other ones I’d had.
Enjoy a piping hot cup of frothy and milky lemon chai. I could never get tired of chai and all of its varieties around India. It’s probably the one thing I consumed the most during my second trip to the country!
I also highly recommend fafda, which is a dense, deep-fried, wafer-like dish made from chickpea flour. Try it at Oshwal Restaurant with a lentil-based curry, chilies, and papaya chutney. The chilies weren’t that hot for me, but then again, I love spice. If they’re too hot for you, use the papaya chutney to cool down your mouth!
My favorite breakfast food dish was lilva kachori, which are deep-fried flour balls. They’re stuffed with pigeon peas, green chilies, coriander, and other spices. It was both sweet and savory, with a bit of tamarind flavor, a hard exterior and a nice, soft middle. This dish alone makes a Gujarati breakfast tour one of the top things to see and do in Ahmedabad!
On your tour, you must visit House of Khaman, a small bakery and supermarket that sells lots of varieties of khaman. Khaman is a steamed snack made from ground lentils and chickpea flour. They also sell dhokla, a similar snack that is made from rice gram batter.
Try the original dhokla with mild chilies, cumin, coconut, and coriander. It’s spongy and airy, very savory, and reminded me of a matzo ball. There’s also a delicious, minty dhokla that’s a lot sweeter and is tempered with curd. Try the dhokla with mint, curd, coriander, coconut, and chili powder for a kick of spice. You also have to try the khandvi with sesame seeds, coconut, sev, and a mystery chutney that contains cumin. It’s extremely tasty!
While exploring Ahmedabad in the morning, I also suggest you find and try gota, which is a fenugreek leaf fritter. It’s essentially a fried vegetable fritter and is very tasty. Also try nylon khaman, a spongy and moist dhokla with a bit of spice and coconut flavor. I also recommend the potato fritter called aloo vada, which is made of a soft and flavorful potato mash.
Visit a Pol Neighborhood
You can’t explore Ahmedabad properly without checking out one of its historic pols. A pol is a neighborhood or housing cluster that houses families based on their caste, profession, or religion. Pols were originally established during the Mughal-Maratha rule from 1738-1753 as protection against communal riots.
Each pol was protected by a gateway, which was closed at night to protect the residents against thieves. The city of Ahmedabad is comprised of around 360 pols.
While exploring a pol with my friends Sam, Rutu, and Haard, I learned that pols are noted for their architecture. There, we saw some really old and intricately designed housing, beautiful temples, ruined homes, and much more. There were also cows roaming the streets and even some fairly aggressive dogs!
The houses there look small on the outside, but they’re huge on the inside. Some of them have as many as twenty rooms. One dilapidated home we entered was downright massive inside. It had a huge terrace and each room had four doors branching off of it. Exploring the pol was such an immersive and unique experience and one I highly recommend to anyone visiting Ahmedabad.
Eat Veg Food at Rajwadu Restaurant
One of my favorite meals during my time in Ahmedabad was the lunch I had on my final day in the city at Rajwadu Restaurant. The restaurant is gorgeous and its ambiance is perfect for a good meal with friends.
To enter, you pass through a gate and walk along a beautiful path, past sandstone pillars and through stunning courtyards with beautiful carvings of Hindu deities. The seating area of the restaurant is built like a huge, open-air tent, with lots of benches and tables.
You have to try their patra, which is a vegetable roll this is a little spicy and a little sweet. It’s perfectly balanced with a nice tang to it. The Lasaniya Batata had a potent garlic aroma and flavor and had a nice sweetness to it. If you like garlic, this is the dish for you! It was definitely my favorite garlic dish I’ve ever had in India!
I also recommend the tomato sabzi with sev and coriander and the polenta-like khichdi, or lentils with rice. Try the pickles with some rotlas, which are a type of flatbread.
But the star of the meal for me was the Baingan Ka Bharta. It’s a really smoky eggplant dish with oil and vegetables that kind of reminded me of a dal. The chef at Rajwadu, Chef Pranav, really knocked it out of the park with that dish. It was superb!
The meal I had at Rajwadu was my favorite veg meal of all-time. Having a meal there is easily one of the best things to see and do in Ahmedabad. Your belly and taste buds will thank you afterward!
Try Gujarati Breakfast Street Foods at Parimal Garden
Travelers looking for a good look at local life in Ahmedabad should head over to Parimal Garden, a beautiful and relaxing park that is a favorite among locals. The park has lots of shady spots where you can beat the oppressive heat, as well as a playground and a pond with a fountain. You can also find some amazing street foods there!
There’s a soup and juice vendor just outside the park who sells a healthy veg soup containing spinach, peppers, corn, and other vegetables. It’s like thick pea soup with corn and had a nice, spicy kick to it from the peppers. I also suggest you try the Indian gooseberry juice with aloe vera, which tasted a bit like a limeade, but has a very distinctive aloe flavor as well.
There is also an extremely bitter melon juice that I only recommend if you enjoy bitter flavors. One dish I can recommend to everyone is the crunchy and slightly spicy chaat-like dish called poha. It’s a puffed rice dish that is cooked with oil and spices and it topped with beets, onions, and tomatoes.
My favorite dish at Parimal Garden was a sliced pancake made of fermented lentils. It also contained yogurt, vegetables, and various spices. The kickers were the mint chutney and tamarind chutney, both of which had a spicy kick because they contained peppers. The pancake itself had a strong, delicious vegetable flavor and was quite spicy on its own! This savory and spicy pancake was out of this world!
Eat Veg Street Food in Manek Chowk
If you find yourself out on the streets of Ahmedabad late at night and in need of some tasty food, the Manek Chowk area is the place for you. Incredible street food is served there from 9 p.m. to two in the morning. Going there is one of the best things to see and do in Ahmedabad not just because of the food, but because it’s also a great place to people watch.
One thing you have to try there is a creamy and cheesy ghughra sandwich, which is grilled and contains potatoes, onions, green peppers, and lots of butter. It comes with mint chutney and a fantastic ketchup. For a sweeter sandwich, go with the super cheesy and buttery chocolate and cheese sandwich, which also contains Nutella and chocolate chips.
Garlic lovers will fall in love with the amazing pav bhaji, a dish I originally tried at CST Railway Station in Mumbai. This pav bhaji is served with garlic chutney that is both intensely flavorful and insanely delicious.
Don’t miss out on the dosas! While the Jini dosa isn’t really crisp because of the cheese and vegetable filling inside, it is phenomenal with the coconut chutney it’s served with. It reminded me a lot of the Pizza Dosa I had in Hyderabad. It’s one of my top 3 dosas of all-time!
While you’re eating dosas in Manek Chowk, get a ghotala dosa, which comes with a filling made up of tons of cheese, paneer, and vegetables. It’s safe to say it was the gooey-est and cheesiest thing I’ve ever had in my life!
Finish off your night with a fatty ice cream sandwich with cheese and pineapple or a chocolate chip nitrogen biscuit that makes you look like you’re breathing smoke. Or if you’re like me, cap off your night with both!
Eat Non-Veg Street Food in Bhatiyar Gali
While a massive chunk of the population in Ahmedabad is vegetarian, there are still great spots to find non-veg food. One of the best is the noisy and chaotic Bhatiyar Gali area. There, you’ll find cooks and vendors butchering animals and serving them up super fresh right on the street!
Watching animal carcasses being butchered and broken down might be tough for some, but if you’ve got the stomach for it, head over to Bhatiyar Gali and prepare to be amazed!
I recommend starting at ZK Fry Centre and ordering the tender and flavorful mutton chaap, which is bathed in a rich and flavorful sauce. It’s not hot, but the spices in the sauce will make your lips tingle a bit! Next, go with the spicy chicken pesto, which looks and tastes like butter chicken on steroids.
Be careful of the small bones in the mutton masala, which is bathed in a rich and oily gravy. ZK Fry Centre’s chicken fry, which is fantastically spiced and tastes like rotisserie chicken, is also a must-try. The dishes at ZK Fry Centre alone make a stop at Bhatiyar Gali one of the top things to see and do in Ahmedabad.
Next, head over to Akbari Hotel and try their prawns, which come in a rich, spicy, and intensely flavorful sauce. The fatty mutton leg is incredible. While it’s almost pure fat, there’s lots of delicious marrow in the bones, so be sure to get all of it! There’s also a tender boneless chicken in white gravy that reminded me of a light white wine sauce.
The heat in the juicy Chicken Hyderabadi is a slow burn that intensifies over time, so be prepared. But the one thing you must try at Akbari Hotel is the chicken tandoori, which had an incredible roasted flavor and just enough burnt edges so that it enhanced the flavor instead of taking away from it.
Wrap up your night with some sweet paan containing fruit, marmalade, and caramel. It makes for a really tasty palate cleanser, but don’t feel bad if you can’t eat it all in one bite and have to spit some of it out like I did!
Visit the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati
One of my favorite attractions in Ahmedabad is the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati. This is the house where Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of India and world-famous freedom fighter, lived for a period of time with his wife, Kasturba. He believed in humanity, nonviolence, and the idea that all men and women are equal.
While you’re there, take a tour of his house. There, you will learn a lot about Gandhi, his life, and his work. From the nearby riverfront, you can get amazing views of the Sabarmati River, the adjacent boardwalk, and the city across the water.
On the grounds is a museum that houses exhibits depicting Gandhi’s life as well as personal items he used during his life. It was an honor to visit this incredible man’s home. If you’re a lover of history and monumental historical figures, visiting the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati is one of the best things to see and do in Ahmedabad.
Try the Gujarati Heritage Thali at Agashiye Restaurant
No trip to Ahmedabad is complete without dining at Agashiye Restaurant, which was voted best vegetarian restaurant in the entire country. Among other tasty foods, they serve a Gujarati Heritage Thali that is made up of more than 25 heavenly dishes that will have you salivating from the moment it’s placed in front of you.
I recommend the aloo, which is a soft and tasty potato mash. Another fantastic dish is the smoky eggplant dish called Baingan Ka Bharta, which reminded me of something I had in Rajasthan. There’s also a spicy cauliflower and a sweet lentil dish called Mug Dal Shira.
Another of my favorites from the thali was the pea-and-potato kachori, which I tried with a thick and slightly sweet tamarind chutney. I also suggest trying the soft and spongy dhokla; the crunchy rice papadi with sabzi, pickles, and mango chutney; and the outstanding khaman with mint chutney. It’s a flavor explosion in your mouth! Also, try the Greek-like sour yogurt dish with cucumbers and pomegranate called raita.
There’s also a refreshing cucumber, tomato, carrot, and green pepper salad. On the sweet side, there’s a baklava-like mohanthal that contains lots of sugar, ghee, and honey and a sweet milk drink called basundi.
Another of my favorites was the soupy dal with rice, which spicy, sweet, and tangy. I loved it and everything else about this thali. Having this thali is without a doubt, one of the best things to see and do in Ahmedabad and one of its most amazing meals!
Eat Veg Street Food at Food Junction
Another amazing place to try veg street food in Ahmedabad is Food Junction, where roughly 20 food trucks converge around 150 tables. The trucks serve a variety of different cuisines, including Mexican and Chinese, but made with a delicious Indian twist.
There’s a delicious plum puree shot that’s sold here. It has salt around the rim and is bursting with sweet, fruity plum flavor. It’s almost like a cross between a plum smoothie and a non-alcoholic margarita!
At the barbecue food truck Eat ‘n Meet, I recommend the thick and juicy tandoori paneer. The tomatoes and other vegetables that come with it provide a really nice contrast to the roasted, charcoal flavors.
Also try their paneer manchuri, which is a mixture of paneer chili and manchuri. The manchuri’s texture is similar to a Chinese fish ball, but it’s actually cabbage! It contained lots of chilies but isn’t overbearingly spicy. And finally, try their cheese corn rolls with mint chutney and tomato chutney.
At Food Junction, there’s also a food truck that sells over 2,000 varieties of sandwich. Go with their spicy Tarka sandwich, which is made with a focaccia-like bread and vegetable filling. The sandwich is then topped with butter, spices, a cracker, and a mound of shredded cheese. Yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds!
For dessert, I recommend the ice cream rolls, which are made on a frozen griddle. For a chocolatey fix, go with the Chocolate Blink, which contains Oreos, KitKats, and Nutella. Just in case that wasn’t rich enough, it’s then drizzled with chocolate sauce and topped with two wafer cookies.
All of the decadent flavors are infused into the ice cream and made it a truly amazing dessert. It’s just one of many reasons why dining at Food Junction is one of the best things to see and do in Ahmedabad!
Go Shopping at Law Garden Market
Tourists in Ahmedabad looking for some of the city’s best shopping should take their wallets to Law Garden, which is a public garden in the city. Outside the garden is Law Garden Market, a bargain market where you can buy clothing, street food, souvenirs, home goods, and lots of other amazing items. The market opens at roughly 7 p.m. every night and goes on til past midnight.
At Law Garden Market, you’ll find lots of handmade items made with beautiful craftsmanship. Stroll along the booths and stalls, where you’ll see brightly colored embroidered clothes, statues, bedding, jewelry, and more.
I found a pair of beautiful Gujarati puppets to hang on my wall at home for 500 rupees, as well as 48 silver bangles for my wife. I also bought an extremely colorful tablecloth for our house! The prices here are reasonable, but don’t hesitate to bargain with the vendors if you want a better deal!
There’s no better place than Law Garden Market for beautiful, hand-made, and inexpensive souvenirs. The craftsmanship in nearly everything I came across was top-notch. Everything I bought there will remind me of my time in Ahmedabad every time I look at it. And for that, Law Garden Market is easily one of the tip things to see and do in Ahmedabad.
Try a Biscuit Pizza in the Ambawadi Area
One of the more surprising foods I tried in Ahmedabad, and one you absolutely must try, is biscuit pizza. You can find this unique pizza in the Ambawadi area of the city. The crust is made with thick, refined flour dough and is topped with masala, tomatoes, onions, and cheese. It is baked until it’s crunchy like an Indian or British biscuit.
Check out Things to See and Eat in Lucknow, India
I recommend trying both the Indian-Italian variety and the cheese baked kind. The Indian-Italian was like a pizza with a hard, biscuit-like crust. It was light on spices, but still delicious, while the cheese baked biscuit pizza was very savory with a nice tomato base.
They reminded me a bit of deep-dish pizza, but on steroids! This is one street food treat you can’t miss and its uniqueness makes it one of the best things to see and do in Ahmedabad!
Visit the Adalaj Stepwell
Tourists who love exploring the past by visiting historical sites must take some time to visit the Adalaj Stepwell, a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site just outside of Ahmedabad. Located in the village of Adalaj, the stepwell was intricately carved out of sandstone. It was built in 1498 by Queen Rudadevi to honor her husband, Rana Veer Singh of the Vaghela Dynasty and to collect rainwater.
It is said villagers would come to the stepwell every day to retrieve water, pray to the deities carved into its walls, and chat and interact with their neighbors.
The Adalaj Stepwell is considered a stellar example of Indo-Islamic architecture, and after visiting it for myself I can certainly understand why. My friends Sam, Rutu, Haard, and I explored the beautiful depths of the stepwell down below before going up to the very top.
Be careful at the top! While it can be freely explored, I highly recommend practicing extreme caution and common sense. There are no guardrails and you can easily fall to the ground far below. The views up there are incredible, but putting yourself at unnecessary risk for an Instagram post just isn’t worth it.
It’s hard to visit a place like Adalaj Stepwell and not marvel at the craftsmanship that went into it and the history it represents. The stepwell is one of my favorite attractions I’ve ever visited in India and is truly a sight to behold. It’s one of the top things to see and do in Ahmedabad for a reason!
BONUS: Enjoy the Indian food buffet at Neelkanth Patang Revolving Restaurant
If you want to try a wide range of Indian dishes from numerous states while in Ahmedabad, there’s no place better than the Neelkanth Patang Revolving Restaurant.
For just 900 rupees (roughly $12-13 U.S.) per person, customers can enjoy a diverse Indian meal in the tower restaurant while enjoying spectacular views of the city. Best of all, the restaurant revolves slowly, so if you dine long enough, you’ll get to see Ahmedabad from every angle possible.
I recommend the tasty and crispy cauliflower chili. There is also a minty paneer dish that I couldn’t get enough of as well as a veggie patty with mint chutney. The incredible, spinach-rich palak paneer is incredible and also contains carrots. Don’t miss the flavorful chole bhature, which is rich in spices and is absolutely mindblowing.
Other dishes you have to try there are the spongy idli, the lightly deep-fried batata vada, and a type of mini pancake with coconut chutney. I also highly recommend grabbing some papad, which is a thin, crispy flatbread, and using it to scoop up the remaining food on your plate. It adds a crunchy element to everything and the contrasting textures and flavors is like a party in your mouth!
For dessert, grab a sweet and crispy jalebi or a spongy and syrupy rasgulla. Or if you’re like me, grab both and eat them together for a major sugar high! Finish up with some chaas, a sour, traditional buttermilk drink that is popular after meals. Having a meal at Neelkanth Patang Revolving Restaurant is one of the best things to see and do in Ahmedabad!
The city of Ahmedabad is a warm, charming city that needs to be explored to truly understand how special it is. With friendly and helpful locals, tasty and diverse food, fascinating historical sites, bustling markets, and beautiful parks, it has everything a curious traveler could ever hope for. Visit Ahmedabad today to check it out for yourself!
NOTE: Whenever you travel, I suggest you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself in case any emergency situations come up. In my opinion, AXA Travel Insurance is the very best because it covers a wide array of issues. Buy your AXA Travel Insurance protection plan here!