India travel guide

India Tourism | India Guide

You're Going to Love India

India is a diverse country and no one experiences it in the same way twice. It's hard to decide between taking in the mountainous north or enjoying the beaches in the south.

What to do in India

1. Take Part in the Traditional Festivals

There are dozens of religious festivals to attend in India, but perhaps Holi is the best known. It happens every March across the country.

2. Discover Iconic Architecture

Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, one of India's most famous landmarks.

3. Explore World-Renowned Cities

Travel to Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, which was the first UNESCO World Heritage City in India.

4. Take in Exquisite Nature with a Hiking Trip

Explore the outdoors and the mountains in the Indian Himalayas.

5. Enjoy a Beach Vacation

Spend some time in Goa, a former Portuguese colony in the west of India that's now famous for its beaches and party vibe.

1. Take Part in the Traditional Festivals

There are dozens of religious festivals to attend in India, but perhaps Holi is the best known. It happens every March across the country.

2. Discover Iconic Architecture

Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, one of India's most famous landmarks.

3. Explore World-Renowned Cities

Travel to Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, which was the first UNESCO World Heritage City in India.

4. Take in Exquisite Nature with a Hiking Trip

Explore the outdoors and the mountains in the Indian Himalayas.

5. Enjoy a Beach Vacation

Spend some time in Goa, a former Portuguese colony in the west of India that's now famous for its beaches and party vibe.

When to visit India

India in August
Estimated hotel price
$95
1 night at 3-star hotel
India in August
Estimated hotel price
$95
1 night at 3-star hotel

From December to March the weather is the most pleasant, but it's also high season for tourists in India. It would be better to visit between June and November as long as you avoid traveling to the cities most affected by monsoon rains, like Kolkata and Mumbai.

How to Get to India

Entry requirements

All travelers entering India need a passport that is valid for at least six months. E-visa is available for nationals of over 150 countries as long as you enter the country from one of the 26 selected airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad.

Plane

Most international flights to India arrive at the airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. If your final destination isn't one of these cities, you can look for domestic flights on the same airline you flew into India or with low-cost carriers.

Car

Although it's less common than flying, you can enter India by car from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. You'll need to apply for a standard tourist visa as the E-visa doesn't apply to land borders.

Drivers need liability insurance, registration papers, and an international driver's license.

Bus

Passengers traveling by bus will need to go through customs and immigration clearance. When it comes to visas, you'll need to apply for a tourist visa. The E-visa won't be valid if you arrive to India by bus.

Entry requirements

All travelers entering India need a passport that is valid for at least six months. E-visa is available for nationals of over 150 countries as long as you enter the country from one of the 26 selected airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad.

Plane

Most international flights to India arrive at the airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. If your final destination isn't one of these cities, you can look for domestic flights on the same airline you flew into India or with low-cost carriers.

Car

Although it's less common than flying, you can enter India by car from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. You'll need to apply for a standard tourist visa as the E-visa doesn't apply to land borders.

Drivers need liability insurance, registration papers, and an international driver's license.

Bus

Passengers traveling by bus will need to go through customs and immigration clearance. When it comes to visas, you'll need to apply for a tourist visa. The E-visa won't be valid if you arrive to India by bus.

Popular airlines serving India

Lufthansa
Good (4,423 reviews)
KLM
Good (805 reviews)
SWISS
Good (909 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,180 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,594 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,236 reviews)
Air France
Good (960 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,519 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,824 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,098 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,454 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (5,330 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (792 reviews)
Finnair
Good (896 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (869 reviews)
LOT
Good (671 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (803 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (364 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (457 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (686 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in India

Accommodation options in India range from budget lodgings to heritage hotels, with some high-end luxury hotels and resorts thrown in the mix. Traditional Indian mansions refurbished as heritage hotels, called "havelis," are also growing in popularity among travelers.

Where to stay in popular areas of India

Most booked hotels in India

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai
5 stars
Excellent (9.1, 1728 reviews)
$384+
Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi
5 stars
Excellent (8.2, 6733 reviews)
$160+
Novotel Chennai Sipcot
4 stars
Excellent (8.1, 1545 reviews)
$64+
Estuary Sarovar Portico
5 stars
Excellent (8, 349 reviews)
$114+
Avs Imperiaa
3 stars
Good (7.7, 192 reviews)
$46+
The Lalit New Delhi
5 stars
Good (7.5, 1968 reviews)
$163+

How to Get Around India

Public Transportation

The cheapest and most popular way to get around within cities is by rickshaw. It's always cheaper to go by the meter, which starts at approximately ₹13 (about $0.18). In addition to rickshaws, you can also find a combination of buses and subways in certain cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.

Trains

For most tourists, traveling by train in India is part of the experience. The country's rail network is one of the busiest and largest in the world. If you're traveling during high season, make sure you book as far in advance as possible.

Bus

Buses are the most affordable mode of transportation within cities or when traveling between states. However, they are not the most comfortable. A long-distance trip can cost around ₹100 (about $1.40).

Car

Traffic jams and poorly maintained roads usually leave getting around by car at the bottom of the list. You can, however, rent a car with a driver instead of driving around yourself. This is a good option for short and long-distance travel.

Drivers usually charge per kilometer (0.62 mi), which includes fuel expenses. If they need to stay overnight, they will charge an additional daily rate to cover their accommodation and food expenses.

Plane

Taking domestic flights within India is a time-saver, especially if you're not staying in the country for long and want to explore as many destinations as possible. Local low-cost carriers, like IndiGo and SpiceJet, are popular with both tourists and locals in India.

Public Transportation

The cheapest and most popular way to get around within cities is by rickshaw. It's always cheaper to go by the meter, which starts at approximately ₹13 (about $0.18). In addition to rickshaws, you can also find a combination of buses and subways in certain cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.

Trains

For most tourists, traveling by train in India is part of the experience. The country's rail network is one of the busiest and largest in the world. If you're traveling during high season, make sure you book as far in advance as possible.

Bus

Buses are the most affordable mode of transportation within cities or when traveling between states. However, they are not the most comfortable. A long-distance trip can cost around ₹100 (about $1.40).

Car

Traffic jams and poorly maintained roads usually leave getting around by car at the bottom of the list. You can, however, rent a car with a driver instead of driving around yourself. This is a good option for short and long-distance travel.

Drivers usually charge per kilometer (0.62 mi), which includes fuel expenses. If they need to stay overnight, they will charge an additional daily rate to cover their accommodation and food expenses.

Plane

Taking domestic flights within India is a time-saver, especially if you're not staying in the country for long and want to explore as many destinations as possible. Local low-cost carriers, like IndiGo and SpiceJet, are popular with both tourists and locals in India.

The Cost of Living in India

Eating out at street food stalls is the most authentic and affordable option, with a meal costing approximately ₹150 ($2.10) per person. Groceries for a week cost approximately ₹1,000 ($14). Tickets for local transport range from ₹10-30 ($0.14-0.42). Cash is the preferred mode of payment and ATMs are widely available, especially in larger cities.