101 travel tips to India

Delhi Street Food

India is a place that can capture your heart, no wonder tourists come back for more. India is a hectic, daunting place with overcrowded bazaars, noisy music, pungent spices, dusty roads, cow dung on the streets; a mesmerizing place that will make you addicted to this amazing country. It will cast a spell that few will forget from the moment they step off the plane. Here is a compilation of travel guide and travel tips for India that you need to know before you make your trip to India. But mind you, these travel to India tips is not the complete list. Bookmark this page for more tips on India from me!

Delhi Street Food
Delhi Street Food

1. Come with an open mind

2. Stay healthy

3. Keep cool. India is a hot country, try to keep cool, drink plenty of water and don’t get dehydrated

"Bisleri water"
Bisleri water

4. Avoid crowds

5. Be careful with your money

6. Wear modest clothes

7. Drink bottled water

8. Avoid booking taxis from hotel

9. Although no vaccinations are required for entry to India however consider taking the hepatitis A,Typhoid and malaria vaccinations. Other health risks could include dengue fever, bird flu, polio, meningitis, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria and rabies

10. Do not show or flash your money in public

11. Don’t wear too much gold that will attract attention

12. Try not to take too much luggage with you; you can find what you need in India

13. Don’t eat too much if you are not used to spicy food

"Tips in India"14. Take it easy and slow down. India is not a day trip, you need months. So tailor your trip accordingly

15. Always carry a handkerchief

16. Take care of children to avoid abduction

17. Learn how to use the Indian toilets

18. Beware of scams and touts

19. You can always bargain with the prices. Negotiate everything, prices, guides, fares, etc

20. Always carry a bar of soap with you. You might consider taking anti-bacterial wipes or gel and toilet paper

21. Wear a cap to avoid the heat on you head

"What to wear in India"

22. Be calm, India is a hot, crowded place and tempers can easily boil. Stay calm

23. Be prepared to wait. India has more than 1.21 billion people, be prepared to wait at cues

24. Acknowledge that Indians and foreigners have to pay different tariffs and entry fees at historical monuments and museums

25. Don’t get cheated or over charged

26. Learn some Hindi or the local language. India has 22 official languages. Think of it this way, each Indian state has a different Indian language. Hindi is the official language and spoken by 60% of the population. English is common across India. Here’s my Hindi book for your travels in India

27. Always wash your hands before you have your food

28. Learn salutations used in India, such as Namaste (Hindi), Vanakkam (Tamil) although “Hello” or “Hi” is fine

29. You might consider becoming a veggie in India. Firstly, as most Indians are vegetarian and there are great vegetarian food to be had secondly a dodgy meat kebab is more likely to harm you than undercooked vegetables

30. Get more understanding where you are and about the local place

31. Tailor your trip accordingly

32. Walk like a pro, show or pretend that you know the place. Don’t let anyone know that this is your first trip to India

33. Don’t give too much to beggars perhaps Rupees 2 – 10. There are people who pretend to be beggars. Once you give a handout, be prepared to be swarmed for many more

34. Buy from reputable shops. There are fake and counterfeit goods that may look like the real thing but they aren’t, common ones include Ray-Ban sunglasses

35. Beware of corrupt police officers. Corruption and inefficiency are present in many aspects of the Indian police force. Be prepared to pay bribes to get your case registered

36. Beware of fake notes. Pakistan is trying to destabilize India by pumping fake currency

37. Avoid local buses (not coaches), take taxis or autos instead

38. Some people say avoid street foods; if you want to test your karma, go ahead

39. Don’t just go to India just for the weed

"ganja in India"
Source: Wikimedia Commons

40. Always make hotel reservations in advance. Hotels will take photocopies of your passport and visa

41. Make sure your hotels are air conditioned or at least has a ceiling fan

42. Be alert on trains unless you are on the Maharaja Express

43. Just be safe and watch out if someone is being too friendly

44. Don’t eat or drink anything any one gives you while travelling, it may not be safe

45. Indians in general are very friendly people but crooks take advantage of this. Basically, don’t accept food or drinks from strangers, they could be spiked. Exercise a high degree of caution

46. Tips are acceptable in India usually room service (at the end of your stay not after every service)

47. Keep your passport with you at all times and hide it

48. Keep several photocopies of your passport and tickets

49. Keep your travelers checks with you at all times, don’t just leave them in the hotel room

50. Keep your suitcases locked at all times. This is not to say that everyone are thieves but who knows opportunists might be lurking around

51. Buy some local clothing like a Kurta, a saree or a salwar kameez and blend in

52. Learn dietary habits of Indians. Many are vegetarians. Hindus don’t eat beef, Muslims don’t eat pork. Don’t offer them anything that they can’t eat

53. Remember photography in many places is not allowed such as airports, sensitive controversial religious places such as Mathura and Ayodhya. You might need special permission to take photos or shoot videos. If you are a casual tourist then it will be fine. You might have to pay a “camera fee”

54. When entering shrines and temples remove your shoes. Some temples prohibit the entry of leather goods such as belts and leather wallets

55. Wear sunglasses, look cool and keep the extreme sunlight out of your eyes

56. Many Indian roads are poorly constructed, be prepared for bumpy rides

"Roads in india"
Roads in india

57. Carry your own medication. Sometimes fakes are sold in India

58. Remember alcohol is available in India except some states such as Gujarat. Kingfisher beer is a popular one in India

59. If you are expecting to eat beef curries and pork sausages, forget it

60. “Holy” cows are revered (not worshipped). Show respect. Stroke her if you can. Mooo

61. No tips for taxi drivers

62. Always use pre-paid taxies from airports and stations (not all stations have pre-booking services). If that’s not available, fix the price before you take the ride

63. Bargain with the guides at historical places. Rupees 100-300 is fine for 30 minutes to 1 hour

64. Don’t always trusts travel agents for booking tickets, they overcharge. Book at airports and train stations if you can

65. Never accept a free ride from anyone, use relevant transport

66. Keep money in various pockets so that if you get pick pocketed in one then you’ll have money in the other

67. There is a remote possibility of a terror attack in a crowded place from Islamic terrorists

68. Foreigners are known to have been kidnapped by Maoists also called Naxalites (Outlawed groups that want Communist rule) in exchange of prisoners. Two Italian tourists were abducted by Maoists from the Daringbadi area of Kandhamal district, in Orissa on 14 March 2012. They are active in states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Orrisa

69. Remember Kashmir is disputed with Pakistan. Always travel to Kashmir by air. Although violence has decreased, there is a remote possibility of bomb or grenade attacks, shootings and kidnappings

70. Remember state of Arunachal Pradesh is disputed with China. (the Chinese wants to engulf the entire region)

71. If you trek mountains, remember there are no rescue services above 3,000 meters. Only the Indian Air Force can rescue you once they know you are there. Don’t hike alone

72. Always buy travel insurance before coming to India

73. Goa is the epicenter of tourism in India. Tourists have been coming to Goa for drugs, stay away from drugs. Drugs are illegal in India

74. There have also been incidents of rape in Goa, women travelers must be careful

75. Tourists leaving India will not be allowed to re-enter India again for 2 months

76. Beware of the weather in India. Weather in India can be severe such as heavy rains during the Monsoon season between June to October

77. If you lose your passport, report to the police station and get a report. Talk to your embassy or consulate for replacement or other travel arrangements

78. Consider emailing images of your passport, tickets, other important documents to yourself just in case you need to retrieve it later

79. Be careful with your hand luggage, snatching do occur. There is very little or no risk of street robbery in India. “India is not Somalia”

80. The electrical supply is 220/240V and 50Hz. Carry the appropriate “round pin” electric connectors similar to European ones

81. Remember Indian Standard Time (IST) is 10 ½ hours ahead of American EST, 5 ½ hours ahead of GMT/UTC and 4 ½ hours behind Australian EST

82. India is not disabled friendly. There are very few facilities at airports, trains, coaches or hotels. However Indian people are generally very helpful in this regard and will be more than willing to help disabled people

83. Carry mosquito repellents or nets with you

84. Have your hip replaced in India for a fraction of a price you would pay in the USA or avoid the 2 year waiting list in the UK. Thousands of medical tourists come to India. One such good hospital is the Apollo Hospital in 20 Indian cities

85. Don’t be alarmed if you get waken up in the early hours of the morning with the sounds of prayers from loud speakers

86. Don’t be surprised to see poverty on the streets

87. Be extremely cautious when travelling alone at night

88. Try to organize money in various ways such as traveler’s cheques, cash, credit cards

89. You cannot buy mobile sim-cards in India without permission. In Jammu and Kashmir, local government does not allow roaming facilities to foreigners. The best thing is to take your own mobile with roaming

90. Although India is secular country but religion is sensitive in India. Don’t go around converting people, you will need a missionary visa. Not a safe thing to do

91. The death penalty in India is alive and kicking for some crimes such as murder, kidnapping for ransom and drugs

92. A daily dose of pro-biotics or yogurt pills a month before coming to India and during your stay can help reduce stomach upsets

93. Politics is big in India. Try to be neutral

94. Homosexuality is not socially accepted in India and homophobia is prevalent. Although homosexuality is not a crime in India, Indian society is struggling with gay rights. By the way men do hold hands in India

95. Remember that it is unusual for the opposite sex to kiss in public

96. Note the emergency phone numbers are: police (100), ambulance (102 or the nearest hospital), medical and fire emergency (101)

97. Can use internet cafes to access the internet at a price of about 10-20 Rupees per hour. There are only a few Wi-Fi hotspots in India although there are wireless internet services

98. International calling is cheap from India. The country code for India is 91. Use a telephone booth if there are no international calling facilities from your hotel. They are known as a PCO (Public Call Office) and they offer STD/ISD (Subscriber Trunk Dialing/International Subscriber Dialing), or national and international long distance

99. Try not to drive; it’s not safe for the faint hearted. If you must then be prepared to encounter mad truckers, speeding maniacs, honking taxis, wandering cows, suicidal pedestrians, pot-holed tarmacs all at the same time

100. If it’s your first time in India, book a tour. You’ll know exactly where you’re going

101. Don’t be over cautious or be nervous, India is a safe country

travel accessories

If you want more travel advice or travel tips to India feel free to contact me. You can also buy some of my books on India.

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118 thoughts on “101 travel tips to India

  1. Whoa! I’m in my hometown right now! Hahah 😀 India is fun right now, yet it’s hot!!

    These tips should actually be followed especially when travelling and roaming around!

    PS – There’s no rain! :O
    Twitter:

  2. Hi Shalu, great tips. Maybe someday I’ll visit India (I suppose it may be earliest in 3-4 years).
    I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but maybe you should prepare a post like “Best places to visits in India in two weeks” 😉 ?
    Thanks for sharing
    Chris
    Twitter:

  3. Hi Shalu,

    These are good tips to keep some of theme in mind while visiting India. India is much like Pakistan where you can also not show money and expensive things among the public. Because the dangerous guys observe you from third eye…!
    Twitter:

  4. Hi Shalu….its really a very nice tips for everybody whether he/she is from india or from other country……

    I would like to give you one suggestion……convert this article with some more inputs (like where to emergency contact details, police control room, Visa office number, Railway enquiry Number etc) and convert it into a pdf…. make it a e-book and provide it downloadable for those who subscribe to your blog……

    It will give you two benefit…

    1- More Subscriber
    2- Promiotion (add your blog name a watermark in pdf)
    Twitter:

  5. Hello Shalu sharma
    Really great tips….and very well written
    and great stuff, both in the article as well as the comments section.
    Thanks for sharing;-)

  6. Hi Shalu,
    India is one of the places I’ve wanted to visit as a child. I was fascinated by the stories, the elephants, and it just seemed so romantic and mysterious to me.

    Now that I’m an adult, the desire to visit is still there although cow dung, the Indian toilet, crowds and a sense of danger is giving me second thoughts but I still want to see the Taj Mahal and other beautiful places.

    Thanks for putting up these travel tips. Now, at least we know what to expect and be prepared.
    Twitter:

  7. I heard about spicy food in India.
    Thankfully, I am being trained by my wife (she is from Chongqing, China) – which is also famous for its spiciness 🙂

  8. Great tips, thank you for such a detailed guide. I got a bit scared, but I’d still want to visit India. The death penalty is scary, though. What if some innocent tourist lands in jail and gets convicted to death by mistake?

    • hi Violeta,

      this is not my blog but i did want to reply to you question as i am also from India.

      you are right that death penalty is scary, but it is given only in rare of the rarest case, also when any tourist land in jail didnt matter why, there embassy plays important role in sorting out issues (India has good relation with almost every country around the globe), Also remember India is a friendly country and indians respect their guests. You are most welcomed here, but beaware of all the dangers.

      Hope you are soon coming to India. 🙂

      best regards,
      Sahil Waste

  9. OMG! You have collected So Much Information and Posted them all which are very Useful for tourist. If People from all Countries Do like this and Post Useful Guides then Visiting to any foreign country won’t be a Problem because we will get all the Information from The Blog.

    Thanks
    ~Debasis 🙂

  10. When I went to India I always had clear, bottled water with me. People are crazy when they go overseas and don’t stay hydrated! Fantastic advice and I hope more people take it!

  11. Hi Shalu,

    this is very nice guide and the best part is you are too honest with others about Inda while writing these tips.

    here is a tip– while reading this list is a great pleasure but applying it is not that easy as one have to find out what to do next from 100 entries, if you can please spread it into diffrent categories like Do’s, Dont’s, important contacts, important places (i know this is tough but writing this list is also not so easy 😉 ),Something about indian weather, national holidays, Important festivals in India, anything else you think you missed or forget to include. Also, i like sandeep Kumar’s suggestion and i do recommend it too.

    hope for the best. 🙂

    thanks and regards,
    Sahil Waste

  12. Extraordinary info Shalu!!! India is a fabulous place to travel. Historical places, monuments, forts, palaces, caves and temples makes India a historical travel destination to people from all over the world. Your tips will definitely help them out for a perfect planning during Indian journey.

  13. Great tips! But can you make summarize them? 101 tips would take me an hour to read. 😀 Just kidding.

    Anyways, does Indian speaks English? Or are they easily can catch up or understand any English accent? Travelers sometimes encountered being hard to understand because of their accents, and it’s just funny because I heard a related story from a friend. Thanks for this tips by the way! Noted.
    Twitter:

  14. You offer so many insightful tips, Shallu. The fact you blog from an Indian perspective is so helpful. Even though I’ve traveled India, there’s so much that is elusive and reading tips from a traveler’s perspective is completely different from a local one. Thanks so much.

  15. Hi
    A great bullet point list here. I Ida is definatly on my bucket list of places to visit. I have done a lot of short haul around Europe. Now after going further a field. The old saying there is nothing like travel to broaden the mind. I couldn’t agree more.

    Very helpful post thanks lee

  16. Such a useful post! Although I think number 101 will be hard to follow after reading some of the others :s – but it really does give a great summary of India. It’s such a wonderful place but you do need to be alert on your guard.

    Well worth a read for anyone visiting.

  17. These are generally great ways to retain most of concept in mind while viewing Of india. Of india is much like Pakistan which you could also not really demonstrate funds as well as costly items one of the community.
    Twitter:

  18. These are generally great ways to retain most of concept in mind while viewing Of india and these tips are also very help full for those people who goes outside the country.
    Thank you for such a nice article

  19. Great blog! Thanks for sharing such important tips for traveling to India. Could you tell me some good visiting place for summer, especially in north India ?

  20. Everyone should take more precaution mostly while planning for a trip to forts in India. There is no transportation facility available at the base of most of the forts. Every tourist should be careful while trekking and hiking.

  21. These are good tips to keep some of theme in mind while visiting India. India is much like Pakistan where you can also not show money and expensive things among the public. Because the dangerous guys observe you from third eye…!

  22. Shalu mam it’s a great job. In 101 tips you just straight away presented the scenario to be in India. You made every thing so very clear.And on e more point is you have narrated it in a quite simple way.One could just like that come to India with these tips alone i guess.Appreciable work…:)

  23. I usually do not write a lot of responses, however I looked at through some comments here
    101 travel tips to India. I actually do have a couple of
    questions for you if it’s allright. Could
    it be simply me or does it look like some of the comments come across like they are written by brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are posting on other online sites, I’d
    like to follow you. Could you list of all of your social
    pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter
    feed?

  24. wow! really these are the great tips for the foreigner and also for Indian’s. Really it will help a lot for all the travellers coming to India
    Twitter:

  25. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    I am originally from Indonesia, and do you know, that I had never come on holiday to India. maybe your article can help me later when I would bergi to india 🙂

    nice post 🙂
    Twitter:

  26. There is some great work here, Shalu, many thanks. Reference #25: Is it acceptable to ‘haggle’ over prices in all transactions, or are there some situations where you shouldn’t? I wouldn’t want to offend anyone wothout knowing it.

  27. Thank you so much for this huge list of great tips. So many of these are smart rules to keep in mind when traveling to any foreign country, not just India. And #17 made me laugh.

  28. Wow!!! this is really great help for everyone who loves travelling. Some travel companies are offering awesome cashback on hotels and flights booking. I heard you can save upto INR 6100 on booking. That’s good news for travel lovers.

  29. First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Many thanks!

  30. I really appreciate the blog and I wish you do write more blogs on India Tourism. Your collections are simply super. Keep Happy Journey all the times. 🙂

  31. Nicely done 101 great tips for any tourist. although I liked your suggestion for hotel cabs the most they really charge very high rates and expense on travelling is what cost the most to the tourists, and can’t really depend on local taxis too. its always better to get a car on rent from a well-known brand.

  32. Wow, I was wondering what all you would write to reach 101 tips, but you have done a great work. The list is entirely useful and of course all are important for someone coming to India.

  33. Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don’t really provide anything that I’m interested in, but I’m most definately interested in this one.

  34. Wow ! such a nice blog i usually read this blog very much and grate content thanku very much for proving this blog to me………………………nice work

  35. Great very useful tips and information. “Avoid tap water, and any food that may have been washed in it, at all times. No ice, no salads and no fruit you haven’t just peeled yourself.

    Many travellers go veggie whilst in India. It’s not a bad idea. A dodgy bit of meat will do you a lot more harm than slightly undercooked vegetables. Plus, many Indians are vegetarian, so there’s a fabulous choice of vegetarian food. If you do eat meat, make sure it’s well cooked. If in doubt, eat at a place that’s packed with locals.

    Toilets are notoriously bad in India, but they don’t have to be health hazards. Consider using the left-hand-and-water-jug method preferred by many locals (it is, after all, so much more hygienic than using dry paper), but don’t forget to carry soap with you so you can wash your hands properly afterwards.”

    Thanks
    Twitter:

  36. Hi Shalu These are good tips to keep some of theme in mind while visiting India. India is much like Pakistan where you can also not show money and expensive things among the public. Because the dangerous guys observe you from third eye…! Thanks a lot
    Twitter:

  37. People who want to visit india and want to watch matches of T-20 worldcup, they can contact us for visa and other information. We can give some tips and visa related information. We are also dealing in student visa and visit visa.
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  38. Hi Shalu,

    Very useful information for tourist who are planning to travel in India. They must keep in mind, all these 100 points. I came first time to your blog here and became fan.

    Regards,
    Vaibhav

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