Set on the banks of the Tapi River, Surat is an upbeat city known for its luxurious textiles and workshops producing some of India's finest silks. Other local highlights include an ancient castle, wildlife-rich park and a sandy beach.
Things to do in Surat
For centuries, Surat's skilled artisans have been weaving some of India's finest silks. You'll find the best workshops in New Textile Market, a bustling neighbourhood where shopfronts are draped in rainbow-coloured saris, bejewelled scarves and beautifully embroidered cholis.
Surat Castle has been watching over the city since the 1500s. It's perched high on an outcrop and commands sweeping views over the river. Nearby you can wander around Dutch, Armenian and English cemeteries dotted with grand colonial-era tombs.
Soak up the sunshine at Dumas Beach, which is fringed by golden sand and swaying palms. On weekends it’s a popular spot for sunbathing, strolling along the promenade and sampling sizzling street food. Scenic boat rides are also a great way to enjoy the sunset. Keep an eye out for frolicking dolphins.
Walk on the wild side in Purna Wildlife Sanctuary, a sprawling park nestled in the Western Ghats mountain range. It's enveloped in thick forest and offers the chance to spot leopards, macaques and over 100 species of birds. You can also visit the village of Mahal, which is inhabited by a Dangi tribe.
Getting around Surat
Some districts are best explored on foot, while the city is also serviced by taxis and auto rickshaws. Surat Airport, located 10 kilometres away, offers regular flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.