Cost of traveling in India
India is an incredibly budget-friendly country built to please all pockets. Accommodation can range from simple backpacker dorms to incredible high-end luxury 5-star hotels. There are also some very interesting mid range boutique options. Most importantly you can find delicious meals that fill your stomach but do not empty your wallet. If you’re in the mood for gourmet or international cuisines, we have that too. Internal travel is also full of options from planes and helicopters to buses and autos.
All in all, India offers you a great travelling experience on a modest budget. And if you do have a taste for luxury, India can indulge you at every level.
Budget Traveler (USD20-25 USD/EUR15-20 per day, per person)
A regular backpacker would easily be able to travel India on USD20-25 (EUR15-20) a day. This would include stay in dormitories and cheap budget hotels, travel on local government transport and non-air conditioned trains. For food and visiting monuments or activities, you could spend up to an average of USD10-15 a day.
Mid-range (USD50-65/EUR40-55 per day, per person)
If you can increase your budget by adding USD30 or EUR20 to that of a backpacker trip, you will be able to add significant value to your trip. You can stay at charming and interesting hotels, travel faster by including a few internal flights, air-conditioned trains, and few chauffeur-driven car rides. The average cost of food at mid-range restaurants with and few fine dining places thrown in along with sightseeing would be USD20-25 or EUR15-20 a day.
High-end (USD100-150/EUR70-100 per day, per person)
If you’re used to luxury travel, you’ll be delighted with the variety of options India has in store for you, especially in terms of hotels and resorts. You can fly your way to most destinations and travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned SUV. All the major metros and some of the smaller cities as well offer great gourmet dining options that cannot be missed.
Summary of total cost – Example of a 14 day (2 week) trip
Points to note:
Foreigners are often charged more than Indian citizens for entry into tourist sites. There could be additional charges for still/video cameras.
In bigger cities, especially Mumbai, hotel tariffs are a lot higher than other parts of India. Costs go up further during season time from November to January.
Eating out in India can range from simple street food and roadside eateries at INR40 (USD1 or EUR0.40) to fine dining options at INR1500 -2000(USD24 or EUR 22).
(The above does not include shopping and other miscellaneous costs that you may incur)
While it may seem like using a travel company is an unnecessary cost, we’ll actually save you a huge chunk of your budget by streamlining your trip. We’ll make advance bookings, get you better deals on hotels and travel, and make sure you don’t get duped. Save up that extra cash for more souvenirs!
Cost of a two week holiday in India
The following table should give you an overview on estimated total cost of a two week holiday to India. We have tried to account for all expenses that you would incur. However, depending on your travel style and preferences you may under or over spend a little.
Please read the detailed explanation in the table to understand the various cost aspects.
- Flights to India if booked reasonably in advance tend to cost on an average USD 1000 per head from USA/Canada and Euros 500 if flying from Europe.
- A thirty day tourist visa to India costs USD 60 per head.
- There are no compulsory vaccinations to travel to India, yet a lot of travellers choose to take a few and that would cost you around USD 150/ Euros 140 per head. A number of our guests choose not to take any vaccinations before travelling to India, and naturally they are cautious with what they what they eat and the water they drink.
Cost of accommodation in India
Budget Backpacker Traveler – As a budget traveler you can easily find hotels/hostels in India between INR 800-1500 a night that offers a clean simple room or a nice dorm bed. Breakfast is usually not included in this price, although occassionaly it is.
An exciting new prospect for backpackers looking at touring India is the quirky new hostels that are springing up across India. They are safe, clean, fun (they plan great activities) and a wonderful place to meet travellers. We tend to include them a lot while planning trips for backpackers.
*One can also find cheaper places to stay in India. As low as INR 300 to INR 500 a night, but cleanliness is questionable. These are best if booked after being personally inspected. Our calculation is based on budget hotels between INR 800-1500 a night.
Mid Budget Traveler – a little more comfort – If you are looking at a private room and private bathroom at all times. Ranging between simple and spotless rooms on average, to quirky and a few heritage or boutique stays you would spend an average of INR 2500 for a room a night.
You would have breakfast included in your tariff for most nights, always have a private bathroom, some of your hotels may have a pool or a very nice view.
Comfort Traveler – You like a comfortable bed, affordable boutique or heritage hotels, rooms with a nice view (when possible) and a nice pool every now and then. You would spend an average of INR 4500 for a room a night.
Breakfast would always be included. A number of your hotels would either be boutique or heritage hotels.
Cost of Transportation in India
Backpacker – You would predominantly be using trains to get between places. We have accounted for fares using A/C class train travel. Remember trains are a great and inexpensive way to travel around India, but on some routes trains are not possible or train tickets get sold out by the time you decide to book, so you would have to take buses then.
You will use public transport, foot or tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws) to travel within cities. You should account for an average of INR 500 (USD/Euro 8) per person per day as transport expense.
North India by train and bus is inexpensive and fun.
Mid Budget Traveler – You will always take A/C trains, when a train is not possible have a car and driver drive you between places and an internal flight or two.
You would be spending an average of INR 1250 (USD / Euros 20) per person per day for transportation.
Comfort Traveler – You would have a car and driver drive you across most of certain portions of your trip. In addition, train rides would always be A/C class and flights whenever distances are long.
Having a car and driver through your trip in India is a comfortable and flexible way to explore the country.
You would be spend an average of INR 1500 (USD/Euros 25) per person per day for transportation
Cost of meals in India
India is not an expensive destination when it comes to food. However, in bigger cities and touristic places food can be expensive at times.
In general if you eat at local restaurants you would get breakfast (omlette/paranthas/idli/dosa) and a cup of tea or coffee for around Euros/USD 1.25 (INR 60-80) per person. Lunch and dinner would cost you between INR 80-150(Euros/USD 1-2) per person/per meal. And you can expect a warm and fulfilling meal at that price.
Few challenges with local restaurants
- Hygiene could often be circumspect, but that is a risk you are always going to have to take when travelling to India. Often food from good restaurants can also get you sick too. To reduce the risk, always avoid deserted restaurants, eat at places that have a lot of people.
- Finding local restaurants in bigger and mid-sized cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur) is quite easy. In smaller towns and especially the touristy areas of smaller towns it is harder as restaurant after restaurant is set up for tourists (read more expensive). Be prepared to explore and go beyond the very touristy parts of small towns.
Cost of meals at nicer restaurants
Meals at nice restaurants can set you back by approx INR 250 – 400 (USD/Euros 4-7) per meal, per person. This price would not include alcohol.
If you plan to go to fine dining restaurants, eat at five star hotels with a great view then a meal can cost anywhere between INR 1000 – 2000 (USD/Euros 18/36) per meal, per person.
Cost of Alcohol in India
There are couple of aspects one needs to keep in mind when it comes to alcohol in India. i.e. availability and the price.
First, availability: alcohol is not very difficult to find in India. However, you cannot take it as a given that all hotels and restaurants will serve alcohol. A lot of restaurants may not have alcohol on their menu (as they do not have a license to serve) but will arrange it for you if you ask them.
Hotels that do not serve alcohol usually let you carry your own alcohol to the hotel. Alcohol cannot be purchased at supermarkets, but have what we call ‘wine shops’ that are dedicated just to selling alcohol. ‘Wine Shops’ are not easy to find, so ask your hotel / driver about the nearest wine shop.
Second, price: Alcohol is more expensive in bigger cities like Mumbai and Delhi where taxes are high. A beer at a bar/pub would cost you INR 200 – 250 (EUR2/USD 4), stronger drinks (whiskey/gin/vodka etc) would cost INR 200-300 a peg (EUR2/USD 4-5).
Alcohol is about 30-35% cheaper in smaller towns. A beer at a ‘wine shop’ would cost INR 50 (80 cents).
Monument fees and activities
We are a little embarrassed about this, but India charges a differential monument entrance fees to Indians and to foreigners. (15x more to a foreigner)
However, children under the age of 15 still enter free into most monuments. If you have a valid student ID you’d get a highly discounted entrance fee.
You should budget INR 3000 (USD 60/ EUR 55) per person for monument entrance fees when visiting India.
Activities that you are likely to spend money on
You would probably participate in a range of activities when visiting India. The cost of the same can vary from activity to activity. At times it would sound unreasonably cheap and at times compared to prices of everything else in India feel a little expensive.
- Cooking classes cost between INR 750 to 1500 per head (USD/EUR 12/25). This is usually a 3-4 hour class and you get to eat an entire meal that you’ve just prepared. So great value for money.
- Riding an elephant in Amer Fort, Jaipur costs INR 1000 for two people/riding one elephant
- A half day canoe ride in the backwaters of Kerala, usually including a meal costs INR 1200/1500 (USD/EUR 20/25)
- Watching a traditional dance show in Kerala cost you around INR 200 (USD/EUR 3)
- Flying fox watching in Jodhpur costs around INR 1500 (USD/EUR 25)
Account for INR 6000/10,000 (USD/EUR 110/150) per head for two weeks for such activities.
In addition to the above discussed expenses we expect you’d spend money on shopping and other miscellaneous things.
Should have any other specific questions about travel costs to India feel free to email us at email@example.com