How to Spend 3 Days in Lucknow
With three days in Lucknow, you'll have enough time to take a full-day tour of the city's highlights, do some shopping and eating, and take a day trip to the Buddhist sites at Kushinagar or even see the Taj Mahal. Here's how to do it.
Day 1: History and Architecture
Devote your first day in Lucknow to visiting some of the city’s most important historic sites. Signing up for a full-day tour is ideal if you want to see as much as you can in one day while learning about history from a local guide. Most tours include visits to some of the city’s most important colonial attractions, notably the ruins of the British Residence and La Martinière College, and Islamic sites such as the city’s famous imambaras, Shia congregation halls. Finish your day with a food tour and try out some of the city’s famous Awadhi cuisine.
Day 2: Local Culture
On your second day in town, learn about Lucknow’s chikan embroidery and meet craftspeople on a tour focused on local handicraft traditions. If you want to pick up some embroidery to take home, head to the Janpath Market near popular Hazratganj. Another attraction worth considering is Kaiserbagh, a 19th-century palace complex filled with period ephemera. It's best visited with a guide to learn about life in Lucknow when it was still part of the Awadh state. Finish your day with a culinary experience in a local home; cooking classes are also available for those who want to learn how to make Awadhi food themselves.
Day 3: Day Trip to Kushinagar or the Taj Mahal
Consider taking a day trip on your last day in town. If Lucknow is your main destination in India and you were hoping to see the Taj Mahal, it can easily be done as a day trip. Your best bet is to book a package tour to Agra that includes round-trip transportation and guide services rather than try to deal with separate bookings yourself. If you’ve already seen the Taj or prefer something off the beaten path, consider a day trip to the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Kushinagar; many people believe that Gautama Buddha died and was cremated in the town, and Emperor Ashoka, who was instrumental in spreading Buddhism in India, commissioned a stupa here. Today the town has numerous stupas and museums, many commissioned by Buddhist delegations from other countries.