How To Reach Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad’s airport, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, connects the city to many international and domestic destinations. Approximately 10km away from central Ahmedabad, the airport has direct flights cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Pune and Kolkata among many others from Terminal 1. Airlines that serve the airport are IndiGo, Go Air, Air India and Spicejet to name a few.
Ahmedabad Airport (as it is also called) also receives flights from international destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Newark, Sharjah, Singapore from Terminal 2. There are non-stop flights for destinations like Doha, Sharjah, Muscat and Kuwait. An important thing to remember is that the international airport may not open until late afternoon and you might likely be denied entry inside until three hours before your scheduled flight. If you are planning to connect between an international and domestic flight here, you might have to wait outside the airport for a while.
The airport is well-connected to the city by taxis and cabs which can be availed just outside. There are prepaid booths and even autos that you can hail to reach the city. However, autos are renowned to avoid the meter and charge fixed fares for various destinations into the city.
Ahmedabad is easily connected to many cities by bus. From cities like Mumbai, Pune, Gandhinagar, Surat etc, there are buses that will take you to Ahmedabad. Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) as well as other interstate bus services are quite reliable and let you travel by bus with ease. The central bus terminus is at Geeta Mandir. A journey from Mumbai to Ahmedabad could take around 9 to 10 hours by bus. Private buses are recommended for long distance travels as these will be more comfortable and will be faster as well. There are a/c as well as non a/c buses too and it’s always a good idea to pre-book buses, otherwise there’s a good chance of overcrowding.
As the road network is excellent in Gujarat, travelling to Ahmedabad by road is a great idea for those who enjoy road trips. Whether it’s your own car or a rental, you will find the journey most exhilarating. If you are travelling to Ahmedabad from Mumbai, you will have to take NH8 and the journey can take around 8 hours easily if there are no traffic jams. However, the NH8 is known for traffic and hence, you might find your journey taking a little longer than it should. The other option would be to take the NE-1, the dedicated expressway from Vadodara to Ahmedabad.
The railway station in Ahmedabad is roughly 9kms from the city centre and it is called Kalupur Station. Trains from all over the country arrive here and the station connects several major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Goa to name a few. There are numerous express and superfast trains that are available for metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Some of the trains that come here are Rajdhani, Ashram Express, Ala Hazrat Express, Saurashtra Mail and Somnath Express to name a few. Outside the station, you can easily get autos, taxis, cabs or even buses to take you to your destination in the city.
Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) runs local buses in the city and they offer wide connectivity throughout Ahmedabad. The AMTS buses can be easily differentiated from the GSRTC buses as most of the new ones have electronic sign boards. Bus terminals for local buses are located at various places such as Kalupur, Sarangpur, Maninagar, Jamalpur and several others. AMTS has more than 200 routes, so if you want to get around the city, the buses are your best option. However, it’s best to ask locals to know which buses go where or to download apps that provide route related information. Buses tend to be crowded because they are a cheap mode of transportation and they are best avoided during rush hour. The buses also don’t stop more than 10 to 15 seconds and there are chances you will miss getting down at your stop.
Cheaper than taxis but more expensive than buses, autorickshaws can be found everywhere on the streets of Ahmedabad. Although autos are metered, the drivers don’t follow them and have fixed fares for certain destinations. Make sure you agree on a fare before you get inside and do remember that the fares are different during night. It’s a good idea to keep your Google maps switched on when getting in an auto, just to ensure that the auto drivers are on the right route. Sometimes, they have been known to agreeing to meter charges but taking you to your destination by a long-winding route so that you end up getting charged more.
Taxis are not very easy to find in Ahmedabad, especially the black and yellow ones that you are probably used to seeing in cities like Mumbai. You will not find them running on the streets that often. You might find taxis outside the airport or railway station but they are usually quite expensive. There are prepaid taxis available as well and you can hire a taxi for the entire day if you wish to use just one mode of transport as you go sightseeing. There are also luxury taxis which are actually private taxis. It’s possible to do online bookings for taxis too. Uber and Ola are there in Ahmedabad and they have made life easier for those looking to get cabs to their various destinations.