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Amritsar is the perfect blend of urban modernity and authentic Indian culture. It's home to the Golden Temple, one of the most important shrines in Sikhism, alongside cosmopolitan high-rise buildings. Amble along the pedestrianised streets and immerse yourself in local life, or head off down a side street in search of a bargain. With plenty of temples and museums, you can learn about the religious importance of the chief pilgrimage destination for Sikhs from all over the world.
Make yourself at home at a vintage-themed hostel that's decorated with knick-knacks like an old phone booth. A hostel in Amritsar with a rooftop bonfire each evening will give you an atmospheric space in which to unwind and socialise. There's also somewhere with fans on each bunk to help you cool off on warm nights. You can stay connected (and post those rooftop pictures) at a place with free Wi-Fi or sample authentic cuisine at one with its own restaurant. There's even an Amritsar hostel that organises daily activities for guests.
Amritsar is divided into two distinct halves. In the Old City, you can get a feel for Amritsar's centuries of history and spend some time at Hall Bazaar, where you can purchase souvenirs, jewellery, blankets and clothing. On the north side of the city, you can experience 21st-century India, with upmarket shops and restaurants creating a vibrant and modern setting.
During your stay in Amritsar, you could watch the lowering of the flags, a traditional retreat ceremony that has taken place every day at the Attari-Wagah border since 1959. Learn more about the city's Sikh heritage at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, the old summer palace, which is now home to gardens and exhibitions. If you want to get in touch with your inner child head to Sun City Park, a 12-acre amusement and water park with lots of rides and attractions that will get your heart racing.
From Amritsar Raja Sansi International Airport, the city centre is just a 20-minute taxi ride. If you're travelling to Amritsar by train, you'll most likely arrive at Amritsar Junction station, which connects with cities across the country, including New Delhi and Mumbai. Getting around town is easy. You can travel like a local on bus routes throughout the city or flag down an auto rickshaw for a faster ride.