In the heart of Rajasthan's Thar Desert, the golden city of Jaisalmer is home to elegant old mansions, beautiful desertscapes, and a fairy-tale fort. With two days in town, you'll be able to take in the highlights at a relaxed pace and go on a camel safari in the desert. Follow this itinerary to optimize your time.
Dedicate your first morning to exploring the ramparts of the 12th-century Jaisalmer Fort, the city's most important attraction and a popular stop on city tours. Inside, you'll find meandering little alleys dotted with old homes, temples, and even guesthouses, plus the Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum, full of historic artifacts.
After visiting the fort, stop for lunch before joining an overnight excursion out to the Sam Sand Dunes in the Thar Desert. Some tours stop in traditional villages along the way, leaving plenty of time to get to the desert dunes in time for a sunset camel ride.
After sunset, you’ll likely have a bit of time to stargaze while your hosts prepare a traditional Rajasthani meal for you. When dinner is ready, sit down and dig in while you watch traditional folk dance performances set to live music.
On your second morning, wake up bright and early (before temperatures get too high) for breakfast and a second camel ride, included in most overnight safari tours. Then head back to Jaisalmer to freshen up for your afternoon adventures ahead.
In the afternoon, head to Patwon Ki Haveli, a 19th-century city mansion turned museum full of beautiful frescos and intricately carved columns and arches. It's one of five havelis (traditional Indian mansions) clustered together near the Gopa Chowk gate of Jaisalmer Fort; all are open for visitors to explore at their leisure, and many city tours stop at the complex.
Devote your last evening to local cuisine, either dining at one of the city's many rooftop restaurants or heading out a guided food tour. If you opt for the latter, you'll get the chance to try all sorts of snacky street foods, from kachoris (lentil-stuffed deep-fried pockets) to delicious local sweets.