The Perfect Amritsar 2 Day Itinerary

Spiritual, chaotic, and bursting with flavour – Amritsar is an assault on the senses. The city draws pilgrims and sightseers from across the globe, thanks to its deep connection to Sikhism and the presence of the famed Golden Temple.

But Amritsar offers much more beyond its brilliant golden Gurdwara. The ancient city brims with rich history, food that delights the tastebuds, and an infectious liveliness that animates its old lanes and alleys.

With so much to see and do, planning the perfect Amritsar itinerary can be overwhelming. To experience the best of this magical city in just 2 days, read on for my recommended Amritsar itinerary.

The Golden Temple is Amritsar's most famous destination

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2 Day Amritsar Itinerary

Day 1 Morning: Visit the Golden Temple

No journey to Amritsar is whole without a stop at the city’s spiritual centre, the Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple. This remarkable Gurdwara emerges from the Amrit Sarovar, welcoming all who come to its banks. For Sikhs, it is the ultimate place of pilgrimage and their faith’s highest shrine.

It’s best to arrive early in the morning to witness the temple at its most mystical and avoid the worst of the crowds. Join the streams of pilgrims walking across the marble causeway to the inner sanctum, where the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy scripture) is housed.

Marvel at the gilded domes glittering in the early morning light. Find a spot on the cool marble floor of the inner sanctum to sit and soak up the atmosphere of chanting, prayer and quiet contemplation. Don’t forget to enjoy the free Langar meal served to all visitors regardless of faith, caste or creed. You can always help out with the washing-up afterwards!

After enjoying Langar, take some time to wander the temple complex. Visiting the Central Sikh Museum and viewing the centuries-old artefacts provides insight into Sikh history and beliefs.

Pray at the Akal Takht, the highest seat of authority for Sikhs. And be sure to pause on the causeway for the quintessential selfie with the Golden Temple as a backdrop!

If you enjoyed this experience, make time to return at sunset to enjoy golden hour light on the Golden Temple and witness the closing of the book ceremony. This was a highlight of our visit to Amritsar and one of the most unique things to do in India.

Day 1 Afternoon: Explore the Ancient Streets and Visit the Partition Museum

After a spiritual morning at the Golden Temple, spend the afternoon exploring old Amritsar on foot. Wandering the narrow lanes lined with crumbling brick houses provides a glimpse into daily life in the city.

Be sure to visit the historic Town Hall building constructed in the 1860s. Within the Town Hall is the Partition Museum which chronicles the division of India and Pakistan in 1947 and marks independence from British rule. This is one of the many interesting facts about India.

The Partition museum is fascinating and does a great job at documenting this historic event. The museum is closed on Mondays so be aware of this when planning your Amritsar itinerary.

Pop into the bustling spice and fabric markets to pick up souvenirs. The scent of cardamom and cinnamon permeates the air at Ram Bagh, the underground spice market.

Stop for a lassi, Amritsar’s beloved yogurt drink, at one of the hole-in-the-wall lassi shops. A thick, creamy lassi is the perfect refreshment during an afternoon of exploring.

As the sun starts to set, make your way to Company Bagh Garden. Once a hangout of the British elite during colonial rule, this leafy green space offers respite from the city streets. Find a bench and watch locals of all ages flock to the park to socialise and play cricket.

Amritsar is famous for its lassi drinks
Quench your thirst with Amritsar’s favourite drink, a creamy lassi

Day 1 Evening: Dine at a Local Restaurant

After a long day exploring Amritsar’s sights, refuel with an authentic Punjabi dinner at one of the city’s local restaurants. Amritsar is a gastronomy centre as well as a spiritual centre so there’s lots of food to excite your tastebuds.

For the ultimate Amritsar culinary experience, join the crowds at the legendary Kesar Da Dhaba. This no-frills family-run restaurant serves up homestyle Punjabi classics like creamy dal makhani and fluffy naan hot from the tandoor. The lively, chaotic atmosphere matches the bold flavours of the dishes.

For a more upscale option, try roller Garam Dharam. This vegetarian restaurant pairs creative takes on Punjabi cuisine with sleek decor. Be sure to order the palak paneer – spinach and cheese never tasted so good!

Wherever you choose to dine, order a tall glass of sweet lassi to wash it all down. Amritsar’s food scene explodes with flavour – the perfect end to a busy day of sightseeing.

Enjoy a Dal Makhani as part of your Amritsar itinerary

Day 2 Morning: Tour Jallianwala Bagh

On at least one of your mornings in Amritsar you should try the Holy Cities most famous breakfast cuisine, the Amritsari kulcha. Kulchas are stuffed with a filling of your choice and served with chole, spicy chutney and a dollop of ghee. Delicious!

On your second day in Amritsar, delve into the city’s complex history with a visit to Jallianwala Bagh. The site of the horrific 1919 massacre of unarmed Indians by British troops, Jallianwala Bagh memorialises an important – albeit deeply tragic – moment in India’s independence movement.

As you walk through the narrow passageway into the courtyard where hundreds were shot by the British army, envision the chaos and tragedy that unfolded.

Pay your respects at the red sandstone memorial erected in honour of those slain. Within the park there is a museum where you can learn about that fateful day through sculptures, photos and placards.

Exiting Jallianwala Bagh through the passageway where many attempted to flee the gunfire provides perspective on the massacre’s brutality. Although a solemn experience, visiting Jallianwala Bagh connects you to Amritsar’s role in India’s path to independence.

Day 2 Afternoon: Shop ’til You Drop

After a morning reflecting on Amritsar’s history, embrace the lively spirit of modern day Amritsar with an afternoon getting lost in its bustling bazaars.

Stretching through narrow lanes just west of the Golden Temple, the bazaar area tempts with colourful textiles, aromatic spices, and glittering jewellery. Bargaining is expected – so brush up on your haggling skills before hitting the markets!

The sounds, sights and smells of Amritsar surround you as you weave through the labyrinth of stalls under canopies of tarps. Search for the perfect souvenir like Phulkari embroidery shawls showcasing Punjab’s craft traditions.

Load up on spice blends and tea to bring the flavours of Amritsar home with you. And hunt for a special piece of jewellery – Amritsar is known for ornate gold bangles and earrings.

If you work up an appetite power shopping, Amritsar’s bazaar area is punctuated with street food vendors whipping up samosas, golgappas, and other quick bites. Follow your nose to find the tastiest treats as you explore the markets.

Day 2 Evening: Watch the Border Closing Ceremony

End your Amritsar getaway with a patriotic evening at the border closing ceremony between India and Pakistan. Each evening just before sunset, border troops from both nations take part in an elaborate flag-lowering ritual set against a backdrop of cheering crowds.

Arrive early to get a good spot at the stadium facing the border. As the sunset colours fade, the elaborate military spectacle begins with a parade by both sides set to thumping martial tunes.

Soldiers strut with high kicks and aggressive gestures meant to showcase their strength compared to the opposing nation.

Once the flags are lowered, the gates linking the two countries slam shut. The crowd roars with applause and pride. Attending the Wagah-Attari border closing ceremony allows you to glimpse the legacy of Partition and the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan.

The ceremony’s theatrical nature also provides entertainment at the end of your Amritsar visit! Time your departure to head straight to the airport or train station after the festivities conclude. Alternatively, if your onward travels take you into Pakistan, this is a working border crossing but you’ll have to cross a few hours before the ceremony begins.

Travel Tips for Visiting Amritsar

Beyond sightseeing, Amritsar requires some special considerations to ensure you make the most of your visit. Use these Indian insider tips to plan a smooth and enjoyable trip to this fascinating destination.

Respect Local Customs

Amritsar is a holy city for Sikhs, so dress and behave appropriately, especially inside religious sites like the Golden Temple. When packing for your India trip, focus on lightweight, modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

Drink Bottled Water

Only drink bottled or filtered water in India as tap water isn’t safe to drink. Filtering water bottles do a great job at eliminating nasties as well as reducing plastic waste. Also avoid raw fruits/veggies that can’t be peeled. And say no to ice in drinks – it’s often made with tap water.

Bring Medications from Home

Pack over-the-counter medications like pain relievers, anti-diarrheal meds, motion sickness pills, etc. Pharmacies in India often don’t stock familiar brands or exactly the same formulations.

Get a Local SIM Card

Pick up an Indian SIM card upon arrival for reliable connectivity during your stay. Having access to maps and transportation apps is invaluable for navigating Amritsar.

Carry Small Bills

Keep small denomination bills (10s or 20s) on hand for taxis, tuk-tuks, food vendors and more. Drivers rarely have change for large bills.

Use Uber Over Local Taxis

While taxis are plentiful in Amritsar, using Uber instead eliminates language barriers, payment confusion and fare negotiations.

Try Street Food But Be Cautious

Amritsar’s street food tempts, but be selective. Seek out busy stalls and avoid meat/seafood. And remember if you want to be extra cautious: if it can’t be peeled or boiled, don’t eat it!

Get an Early Start

Beat crowds by starting sightseeing early, especially at top sites like the Golden Temple. Arrive at least 30 minutes before opening for shorter lines.

By being prepared, respectful and smart, you’ll be ready to fully embrace the magic of Amritsar!

Where to Stay in Amritsar

With sights concentrated around the Golden Temple, staying nearby allows easy access while experiencing local flavor. Budget hotels and hostels cluster in the area for under INR 1000 nightly.

Mid-range options like Ramada Amritsar (INR 4000 upwards per night) reside within walking distance too. High-end choices like Hyatt Amritsar (INR 8000+ per night) provide luxury lodging just a 10-minute drive away.

Homestays offer cultural immersion while supporting residents. Consider village homestays to enjoy authentic Punjabi hospitality and cuisine. Wherever you stay, book early since pilgrim demand fills Amritsar lodging quickly.

Getting Around Amritsar

Amritsar’s top sights are packed within a compact, walkable area. Strolling by foot is the best way to soak up street life. Just leave extra time for expected foot traffic near the Golden Temple.

Cheap three-wheeled auto-rickshaws efficiently cover longer distances. Use ride-hailing apps like Ola Cabs and Uber over regular taxis to navigate language or payment concerns.

For side trips outside the city, arrange an Ola Outstation cab ahead of time. Or hop on affordable, frequent buses reaching major domestic destinations like Delhi. Getting around Amritsar’s energetic streets immerses you in the dance of classic Indian urban living.

Amritsar FAQs

What are the top attractions to see in Amritsar in 2 days?

  • In 2 days in Amritsar, be sure to visit the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, the ancient bazaars, and attend the India-Pakistan border closing ceremony.

What is the best way to get around Amritsar?

  • Amritsar is very walkable, so exploring by foot is ideal. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are also easily available for longer distances.

What is the best time of year to visit Amritsar?

  • Mid-October to March is the ideal time to visit Amritsar, when the weather is cooler and drier. Summer can get very hot.

What should I eat in Amritsar?

  • Amritsar is famous for Punjabi cuisine like creamy dal makhani, fluffy naan, crispy papadum, and sweet lassi yogurt drink.

Where should I stay in Amritsar?

  • Stay near the Golden Temple for proximity to major sights. Budget hotels and hostels cluster in this area.

How do I travel from Delhi to Amritsar?

  • The fastest and most convenient way to reach Amritsar from Delhi is by train. The journey takes about 6-7 hours.

What should I pack for visiting Amritsar?

  • Bring modest, lightweight clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Also pack sun protection like hats, sunglasses and high SPF sunscreen.
Amritsar is the holy city for the Sikh religion
Traditionally dressed Sikh warriors wander the streets of this Holy City

Final Thoughts on This Amritsar Itinerary

While this jam-packed 2 day itinerary covers Amritsar’s must-see attractions, there is far more to explore in this holy city.

From stunning gardens like Ram Bagh to the architectural marvel of the Khair-ud-Din Mosque, stunning sights abound. And Amritsar’s welcoming spirit and mouthwatering cuisine warrants far longer than just 2 days to properly savor.

But following this Amritsar itinerary allows you to experience the essence of the city – sacred Golden Temple, poignant history, chaotic bazaars, and patriotic spirit – all packed into a short visit. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, spirituality seeker or India first-timer, Amritsar will enchant you.

So pack your bags, your appetite and your sense of adventure, and remember to be familiar with the laws, local customs, and etiquette, which is covered in this beginner’s guide to India.

With its intoxicating sights, sounds and flavours, Amritsar waits to mesmerise you!

Louise

Louise is a Mountain Leader and Snowboard Instructor from South Wales. As a former Adventure Tour Leader she has spent the last 15 years travelling Asia, Africa and the Americas. Louise is a published photographer and is currently based in the UK.

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