Looking at travelling to India, but confused which is the best city to fly into? Our blog should give you an overview on which city you should look at to fly into and out of in relation to which area of India you plan to explore.
Touring North India? Fly into Delhi, but explore flights into Bombay
If you plan to tour Rajasthan, Varanasi, or travel to the Himalayas (Kashmir, Leh and Ladakh or Himachal Pradesh) then flying into Delhi is your best option. Most major international airlines fly into Delhi.
If you plan to tour around Rajasthan, do explore open jaw flights i.e. fly into Delhi and fly out of Mumbai (or the other way around).
- Delhi and Mumbai are very contrasting experiences, definitely worth including both in your India places to visit list. Delhi has some splendid monuments and great history, Mumbai (especially the southern end) is very easy to walk around, and has a a spirit which will simply engulf you.
- Udaipur (Southern Rajasthan) is equidistant from Delhi and Mumbai. So if you are looking at touring across Rajasthan you can fly into Mumbai and then travel to Udaipur and travel across Rajasthan, OR the other way around, tour Rajasthan and end your trip in Mumbai after Udaipur.
- Gujarat is another interesting and not very touristy state. It is convenient to reach both on the way from Rajasthan to Mumbai or a stop on the way from Mumbai to Rajasthan.
Here is some travel route inspiration for North India
Useful Tip: A number of our guests from USA choose to fly on Air India (AI 102), as they operate a direct flight from New York (JFK) to Delhi, and Delhi to New York (JFK). Air India has a very good network of domestic flights in India too, so irrespective of where your trip ends in India, it connects you back to your Delhi-JFK return flight via an Internal Air India flight.
Touring North-East India? Fly into Kolkata, Explore flights to Delhi
The question here is, are you planning to only tour the North East (Kolkata, Varanasi, Darjeeling, Assam, Sikkim etc) or do you plan to spend some time in the North East and then work your way towards Agra or Rajasthan?
An interesting tour is working your way from Delhi along places on the river Ganges i.e. Gwalior, Orchha, Khajuraho, Varanasi and then ending your trip with time in Darjeeling or Sikkim. Flying into Delhi and out of Kolkata would be a great option for such a tour.
You could also do this tour the other way around i.e. start by flying into Kolkata and end in Delhi.
If you plan to explore the more remote Indian states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim then flying into Kolkata would be ideal. However, if international flights into Kolkata are very expensive you can also look at flying into Delhi and then take an internal flight.
The North East is non-touristy and Beautiful!
Holidaying in Goa, and South India? Fly into Mumbai or into Goa, explore Bengaluru
If you are looking at primarily a beach holiday and spending most of your time in Goa then look at flying into Goa or Mumbai
- There are over ten daily and inexpensive flights from Mumbai to Goa. Daily trains and buses too (more information getting from Mumbai to Goa)
- If you are lucky you will find direct flights to Goa too! These are usually operational only during the winter months and common from Europe/Russia (Do explore)
- Bengaluru may seem far from Goa, but it is connected by daily and inexpensive flights. You can also look at flying out of Bengaluru and touring across the state of Karnataka by road as you make your way from Goa (Goa–Hampi–Mysore–Bangalore)
- Avoid looking at flights into Delhi, unless you also plan to visit the Taj Mahal or a little of Rajasthan. There are only a couple of daily flights from Delhi to Goa and they can get pricey
Looking at a South India Tour? Fly into Bangalore/ Chennai, or Kochi (if only visiting Kerala)
Looking at spending time across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala? Fly into Chennai or Bangalore. When planning a South India tour we usually recommend starting with Karnataka or Tamil Nadu and ending your holiday in Kerala. Kerala is very pretty, relaxing, and provides great massages so all in all an ideal way to end your India holiday.
- You may want to explore looking at flights into Bangalore/Chennai and out of Kochi or Trivandrum. However, if expensive remember Kochi to Bangalore/Chennai flights are frequent and inexpensive
- While Kochi and Trivandrum (cities in Kerala) seem close to each other on a map they are still a four drive from each other. If you plan to end your holiday on a beach then Kovalam and Varkala are very close to Trivandrum, but Marari (or a lot of other places of interest in Kerala) are close to Kochi. You may wish to bear that in mind while booking flights
Useful tip: Most middle east airlines i.e. Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways have good connections in and out of airports in Kerala.