How to Spend 1 Day in Lucknow
Celebrated for its Islamic and British architecture and fantastic food scene, there's a lot to experience in the city of Lucknow. With one day in the city, you'll be able to see some of the most important historic sites and get your fill of local fare. Here's one way to plan your day.
Morning: Historic Imambaras
Lucknow is known for itshussainiyas (known locally asimambaras), Shia congregation halls. The most celebrated is the 18th-century Bara Imambara, also known as the Asfi Mosque. It’s a good spot to start your day of sightseeing, and its Rumi Darwaza (Turkish Gate) on the northern part of the complex is easily the city's best-known landmark. From here, it's a short walk to the Chota Imambara, known for its extensive crystal chandeliers. Both sites are best visited with a guide for historical context, and both are frequent stops on half- and full-day city tours and area walking tours.
Afternoon: Colonial Lucknow
In the afternoon, visit Lucknow's two most important colonial-era attractions: the British Residence and La Martinière College. The former, now in ruins, was built at the end of the 18th century, and the main reason to visit is to learn about the Siege of Lucknow, part of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Guided tours go into detail about the historic event. From here, it’s a short drive to La Martinière College, an excellent example of British colonial architecture. Most day tours stop here, but for something more in-depth you can prearrange a historic campus tour that goes into greater detail.
Night: Culinary Adventures
Lucknow is known for its food, particularly grilled meats cooked in the Awadhi style (though, like everywhere in India, there’s plenty for vegetarians, too). There are a lot of local specialties to try, and with only one day in town, you have to be strategic is you want to sample a lot of different items. A good way of doing this is by joining a food walk, which allows you to sample dishes at a variety of different restaurants with a guide on hand to help narrow your choices.