Booking.com Shares How to Spend Three Epic Days in Ahmedabad during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023
The ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 will take place in ten different cities and stadiums across India. Cricket fans from around the world will visit this sprawling country to see the action first hand, with this year’s winner ultimately being decided in the final on November 19 in Ahmedabad. As India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City, the rich tapestry of Ahmedabad’s history in textiles and its spiritual roots is sure to bowl over cricket fans and travelers alike when they visit – great for the 65% of global travelers who said historic areas are a key factor in their decision to select a destination for vacation*. For those with tickets to the final, or those just visiting the city to soak up the atmosphere as the competition heats up, Booking.com, the exclusive Accommodation and Attractions Booking Partner for all ICC events, shares its recommendations for how travelers can spend a few days in Ahmedabad for the tournament, or if they extend their stay longer to explore more of this incredible city.
Where to Stay
Located in Gujarat, Ahmedabad is India's sixth largest city and is found in the west of the country on the banks of the Sabarmati River. To the east of the river is the old town, which is divided into ‘pols,’ a unique model of community living which sees the city sectioned into a maze of narrow streets and densely packed houses. To the west, the city is famous for its bustling textile industry, and home to many incredible museums and night markets.
Those looking to bed down in Ahmedabad to explore will enjoy the ITC Narmada, a Luxury Collection Hotel, a well-equipped accommodation with a touch of opulence. This five-star stay boasts beautiful decor throughout, a fitness center, a garden and a terrace, with five onsite restaurants for visitors to choose from. The ITC Narmada also has a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge for its eco-initiatives including its water efficiency as well as its locally sourced food from succulent lamb kebab tikkas to delicious vegetarian paneer dishes.
Alternatively, The House of MG is a 20th-century family mansion that offers spacious rooms to the east of the Sabarmati River. The House of MG has been tastefully restored, with all its furniture and fixtures designed and sourced from local artisans, and its restaurant, Agashiye, offers local fare with the option to dine al-fresco on the property’s terrace.
What to See
Ahmedabad is a vibrant city with a rich Mughal history, and home to a number of historical and spiritual sights of interest, including the Sabarmati Ashram. Once the headquarters of Gandhi between 1917 and 1930 during India’s long freedom struggle, the Sabarmati Ashram is now home to an informative museum dedicated to Gandhi’s life and teachings. One of India’s most beautiful mosques and a great example of Indo-Islamic architecture, the Jamma Masjid is an unmissable sight – as well as the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque which is celebrated for its beautiful marble screens. For a look back at Ahmedabad’s ancient history, travelers can take a Rani Ki Vav and Modhera Sun Temple Tour to visit a stepwell, a feature of subterranean architecture, and the sun temple, which gets lit up by the first rays of the sun on the summer solstice every year. After exploring the temple complex and its ancient carvings, travelers will visit a weaving center in Patan to watch the famously beautiful Patola silk sarees being made.
What to Do
While cricket fans will no doubt be planning their trip to Ahmedabad around a match at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the city has much more to offer than world-class sport. A travel itinerary to Ahmedabad would not be complete without a trip to the Calico Museum of Textiles to see one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Indian fabrics and learn more about the city’s textile industry. For nature enthusiasts and bird lovers, or even those looking to take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle during the trip, the Thol Lake Sanctuary offers a serene haven with over 160 species of birds. While it may not be home to the golden duck for cricket fans, it is home to Sarus cranes, flamingos and pelicans. Those with more time planned for their trip can run further afield with a trip to Zanzari Waterfalls, a series of cascades on a wide, rocky riverbed with pools for swimming located 50 miles (85km) outside of town.
What to Eat
Known for its largely vegetarian cuisine and abundance of kulfi (traditional Indian ice cream), Ahmedabad is a foodie hotspot – perfect for the 66% of travelers who say that trying new food is a key motivation to travel.* Popular street foods include Pani Puri, a deep-fried breaded sphere filled with potato, onion or chickpea, as well as Fafda, a fried crispy snack made with gram flour and flavored with carom seeds and black pepper. Visitors can tuck into local delicacies at the prominent marketplace in the old town, Manek Chowk. For a local guide and expertise on what’s on offer, consider booking a Manek Chowk Bazaar and Jamma Masjid Private Tour, which combines the must-taste and must-sees in one excursion.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 42,513 respondents across 33 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,008 from Canada, 2,000 from Mexico, 1,000 from Colombia, 2,000 from Brazil, 1,000 from Argentina, 2,000 from Australia, 1,000 from New Zealand, 2,000 from Spain, 2,000 from Italy, 2,000 from France, 2,000 from UK, 2,000 from Germany, 1,000 from Netherlands, 1,000 from Denmark, 1,000 from Sweden, 1,000 from Croatia, 1,000 from Switzerland, 1,000 from Belgium, 1,000 from Ireland, 1,000 from Portugal, 1,000 from Israel, 2,000 from India, 1,000 from China, 1,005 from Hong Kong, 1,000 from Thailand, 1,000 from Singapore, 1,000 from Taiwan, 1,000 from Vietnam, 1,000 from South Korea, 1,000 from Japan, 500 from UAE). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2023 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January and February 2023.