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At first glance, Hyderabad seems to have a split personality: the more modern west side is the centre of India's software industry and oozes a feeling of wealth and prosperity; the east side is Hyderabad's old Muslim quarter, and is home to most of the city's historical buildings and monuments. The two halves are separated by the Musi River.
Hyderabad is famous for its monuments, and the Old City is a must-see for visitors, including striking attractions like the Charminar, the Qutb Shahi Tombs, the UNESCO-listed Chowmahalla Palace, and the Spanish Mosque. One could easily spend days simply looking at the buildings in Old Hyderabad, but the city's museums are also excellent, including the Salar Jung Museum, the Surendrapuri, the City Museum, and the AP State Archaeology Museum, all showcasing different aspects of Hyderabad's history and culture. The local tourism department organises guided heritage walks on weekends.
As a bustling metropolis, getting around in Hyderabad can prove to be a challenge. The fastest way is by taxi or auto rickshaw; however, there is also a good bus system, with routes displayed in English.
Hyderabad is known as the City of Pearls (once famous for its diamonds and pearls), so it's no wonder that shopping is a major pastime. Many traditional and historical bazaars are located throughout the city: the Golden Mile consists of a number of shopping plazas, malls, and designer boutiques; while Laad Bazaar is popular for its variety of traditional and cultural antique wares.
Just outside of Hyderabad, the Ramoji Film City is the world's largest integrated film studio and theme park, and one of the most popular tourist spots in India. Ramoji is a great place to get a taste of Bollywood, as tours are conducted regularly.
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