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Hyderabad

Steeped in history, thronged with people and buzzing with commerce, the Old City of Hyderabad is one of India's most evocative ancient quarters. Exploring the lanes of this district, with its chai shops and spice merchants, you'll encounter a teeming urban masala of colour and commerce. Looming over the Old City is some of Islamic India's most impressive architecture, in varying states of repair. Most visitors concentrate their time in this area, though the magnificent Golconda Fort should not be missed either.

Hyderabad's other pole is far younger and west of the centre – its Hi-Tech City, or 'Cyberabad', and other districts like Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills are replete with glittery malls, multiplexes, clubs, pubs and sleek restaurants.

Hyderabad traffic is appalling, though with the opening of a new metro rail rapid-transit system things should ease somewhat in the coming years.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Hyderabad.