Is India Worth Visiting? An Interview With Travelers

is india worth visiting

Considering a trip to India but unsure if it’s worth it? Tired of solo opinions dominating travel articles? Let’s cut through the noise. In this article, we’ve gone straight to the source – fellow travelers who’ve traveled through India and experienced the good, bad, and the ugly. I’ve reached out to multiple travelers to share their experience and included these in quotes along with my own findings living in this diverse country for the past year. No frills, just real stories – Is India worth visiting? Let’s find out from those who’ve been there.

We want to hear your story about India! We are actively updating this guide with new experiences from travelers. If you’d like to be a part in helping other travelers decide, share your story below in a comment. We’ll be looking and adding! And if you have anything you’d like to promote we’ll do that too!

Why India Is Worth Visiting or Not Worth Visiting (Short Answer + Quotes)

Can’t be ars*d to read the whole article? Here’s a short answer. If you want to see the opinions of multiple travelers, click the tab “Quotes from travelers”

India is 100% worth visiting for so many reasons. The culture, food, crazy adventure, and friendly people. However, it is one of the more challenging countries to visit in terms of scams and difficulties you might face, so we wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for a chilled-out holiday or recommend it for someone who’s not a seasoned traveler.

If you’re the kind of traveller who’s really looking for that holiday feeling and peace, you might not enjoy the chaotic nature of India, and so it might not be the destination for you.

If you’re the kind of traveller who’s really looking for a different kind of adventure and willing to take things as they come, you’ll probably love India and its surprises.

If you find hygiene and a clean environment important, you might want to look ahead, as India can be quite dirty for most.

India might be for you if you’re the kind of traveller that:

  • Has an open mind, and are not too stuck in expectations.
  • Is in for adventure of all kinds, and doesn’t mind all the chaos.
  • Would like to witness a whole different world, including everything that comes with that.
  • Doesn’t mind having to change their plans, and take things as they come.

India might not be for you if you’re the kind of traveller that:

  • Likes to have things well organised.
  • Are looking for that holiday feeling, and not having to worry about anything else.
  • Are not that adventurous, or not really looking for an adventure.
  • Don’t want to deal with different hygiene standards, dirt, crowds of people and chaos and noise.

Here you’ll find first-hand experiences from different travelers. I have divided it into separate parts so it’s easier to find what you want to read about.

Jet – The Netherlands

The only thing that I find difficult about travelling in India is there is not much information on the internet all the time, and sometimes the information is contradictory. Normally I just read a bunch of travel blogs to get the best tips, but there are not so many on India.

My advice would be: ask the locals at your accommodation for information on how to get around, where to go for food etc. And embrace the unknown, sometimes you have no idea what exactly is going on, but everything will be fine in the end (in my experience).

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Jean Baptiste – France

I would say to be well prepared because the culture shock is enormous!  But once you get used to it, it’s so good!  You have to let yourself be carried away by the vibe and not be in a hurry because as people have often told me: “India is cool or late”!

Instagram: @jb.newman

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

To westerners interested in travelling through India, I would say allow things to fall apart if they do. Don’t get too caught up in any plan or program, because with the way India operates, what you are meant to experience will come to you. If you trust the magic of this country there’s no limit to what you might experience.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

The states of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Odisha are not the best option for the first time visitor in India as it is totally not a touristic area and difficult to find all out by yourself.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

If you need more advice, please read our solo travel in India for women guide (written by Jytte a traveler who has been going to India for 7 years and living there for a year)

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

I felt completely safe going alone everywhere, I even got lost in some quite shabby neighborhoods, and had no issues whatsoever – but I think as a safety precaution, it feels more comfortable to go during the day. By Uber for example, it was ok to travel in Mumbai alone during the night too. Some of the public transport options have a space reserved only for women – e.g. suburban trains in Mumbai. As a woman traveler, I made sure to take these since they were less crowded than the rest.

Instagram: @zalumena

Liz Engelberts – The Netherlands

I felt safe because I travelled in a group. I wouldn’t want to travel alone. A lot of men look at you, especially when you’re white and blond. It is nicer to travel with a man or multiple men. Less people will harass you. I also felt really uncomfortable in my swimsuit at the beach in Varkala.

Suzanne Fontijn – The Netherlands

I felt quite safe as a woman, though I had one incident where I felt unsafe. But definitely in regions like Kerala and Ladakh I felt completely safe, so I can recommend regions like that for first-time visitors to India.

Instagram: @suzannefontijn

Bailey Adventuras – America

I’ve only been in Rajasthan so far but haven’t felt unsafe at any moment (except for being chased by a monkey). From walking the alleyways of old Delhi in the middle of the night, to renting a motorbike and going rural on our own, we have nearly always been treated with respect and joy. 

You can’t avoid short moments of awkwardness or overstimulation, or even slight discomfort, but it’s never been any more dangerous than any other destination I’ve been to.

Instagram: @b_adventuras
www.b-adventuras.com

Reasons For

Jet – The Netherlands

First of all, GO!! It is a country that is so diverse and unique. So much beautiful nature, so many religions that live together, so much history and beautiful architecture. Just have an open mind, embrace the chaos and you will have a wonderful time!

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Tarun Kellett – New Zealand

The adventure of it all is why I think everyone should come to India. It’s an experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere. The history and culture are unmatched almost anywhere else in the world. The variety of environments and splendour of such vast landscapes was breathtaking.

Instagram: @Tarunkellett

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

I came to India with an interest in studying yoga at its source. I didn’t know much about the culture before coming but I had a sincere interest and an open mind, and it quickly became a huge passion.

I’ve experienced my highest and lowest moments in India, and met countless individuals who seemed to speak directly to my soul. I have found my way into experiences and opportunities I couldn’t have imagined before visiting, and have seen what incredible things people are capable of through devotion. I always tell people India is God country, where people greet you with the name of God and you can’t turn a corner without being blessed by some murti. India is eternal and I will never stop returning to this majestic land.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

Suzanne Fontijn – The Netherlands

The generosity of the people. They are always in for a chat, offering you a chai from time to time and I even had it once that I had a dance party with a random family when visiting a mausoleum. Such kind generous people in my experience!

Instagram: @suzannefontijn

Reasons Against

Harry Jackson – UK

Be careful in Northern India, there are endless scams in Delhi and beyond, and it’s quite a dangerous area. We were followed 3-4 times in Punjab for instance, shouted at, and held in a fake tourist office when overcharged and refused to pay, had 4 guys surround a Tuk Tuk and try to push it off after saying no to a price that was raised when something else had been agreed beforehand. Be safe in the North – it’s more dangerous than people let on. I have no experience in the South of India, but many of my Indian friends told me South is much better.

Instagram: @wehatethecold
www.wehatethecold.com

Ed Rees – Australia

I had booked a couple of hotels through booking.com and it confirmed the bookings.  When I went there they said no foreigners and didn’t take me.  So I had to find somewhere else.  So I advise anyone going to India to call the hotel and confirm with them that they are taking foreigners.

Instagram: @smokin_joe1

Suzanne Fontijn – The Netherlands

I had a train ride from Goa to Mumbai where I was stuck next to a man that made me feel very unsafe (so much that I had a whole ‘getting to my hostel safely plan’ with my parents set up). He was constantly looking at my phone and commenting on everything that I was doing. Even after I mentioned that I was not okay with that. But luckily that was just one incident, and I had more positive experiences than bad ones.

Instagram: @suzannefontijn

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

Traffic during rush hours is absolutely crazy, especially in cities, and to be avoided if possible – it can take an hour or more to get an Uber or rickshaw, and the prices for the travel would be a lot more expensive due to standing in traffic jams.

Instagram: @zalumena

Jean Baptiste – France

I fell in love with Arambol in Goa, because it’s really the type of vibe that I like!  It’s a small village with the beach not far away, really cool places to have a drink and meet great people!

Instagram: @jb.newman

Suzanne Fontijn – Netherlands

Varanasi was one of my favorite places because of the fact that there’s so much to do and it’s so interesting culturally. It’s chaotic but in the best way possible and I met such friendly people over there.

Instagram: @suzannefontijn

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

While visiting Varanasi, an infinitely fascinating living ancient city, I went out one night to see the nonstop public cremations that this city is known for. 
I stopped to observe a pyre from one of the smaller cremation ghats when the man’s grandson struck up a conversation with me and told me about the cremation process, the ritual of it, and what it meant to him to watch his grandfather’s body burn. At the end the boy and his family took three vessels of Ganga river water to douse the flames, and walked away without looking back as a final release of the departed’s karmic ties to this world.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

Liz Engelberts – The Netherlands

Kerala must have been my favourite area. I really liked the houseboat in Alleppey, but would advise to do it for one night. The tea fields in Munnar are beautiful and Varkala is super great for chilling out. Bangalore is not the most noteworthy city. I would advise to mix it up and keep the program diverse.

Jet – The Netherlands

I loved Kerala. It is so beautiful, clean, peaceful, the people are so nice and relaxed, much less chaotic than the north of India, and I love south-Indian food (especially dosas!!)

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

I liked Jaipur the most: the Amer Fort was exquisite, with some walls covered with mirror patterns, for example, and the rose coloured facades of the old town buildings and the palace itself was also fantastic.

Instagram: @zalumena

Jet – The Netherlands

I loved Jaipur. It has beautiful pink architecture, small streets, so much culture, a fort, and a beautiful cinema to watch a Bollywood movie!

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

Train Tickets for a sleeper class were quite easy to get with some help from the people of my hostel. I opted for the 3-tier class which was okay for me.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

Rikshaw or auto rickshaw will often ask you to go with them from A to B, even if you didn’t need or ask for it. But when you say NO, they will not insist.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

It’s important to demand that the rikshaw/taxi drivers start the taxi meter at the beginning of the journey, because otherwise they would charge you a lot more than normally. Normally they would do that by themselves anyway, but If they decline, you need to ask to get out – that will do the trick most of the time.

Instagram: @zalumena

Jean Baptiste – France

When I arrived in Delhi, I got off the bus and was incredibly tired. There was a tuktuk who asked me where I was going, I told him my hostel and forgot to ask the price before heading off with him. In the end a 20 min ride which would have cost me INR 200 transformed into INR 1,800. Moral of the story?  If you don’t want to get ripped off, ask for the price first!

Instagram: @jb.newman

Jean Baptiste – France

I was going to take the bus from Agra to Delhi and it did not stop where it was supposed to and passed right in front of my eyes. Luckily, a tuktuk Guy saw me and did everything he could to get me my bus and I got it!

All this to say that in the end all is well that ends well!

Instagram: @jb.newman

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

There are plenty of domestic flights, and they are relatively cheap – we tried IndiGo, AirIndia and Vistara, and had a good experience with all of them.

International flights mostly land in Mumbai or Delhi, and arriving in Mumbai is a lot more pleasant for arriving in India for the first time, as Delhi can be quite overwhelming, even for Indians.

Instagram: @zalumena

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

Uber was great, cheap and readily available outside of rush hours, and was available at all the locations we visited (except Goa).

We also opted to do the golden triangle by hiring a driver, due to the short time we had for this region, and it proved to be a good choice: our driver organized excellent tour guides, knew good restaurants and decent accommodation.

Instagram: @zalumena

Harry Jackson – UK

There are an incredible amount of scams in Delhi and the Norther Regions. Watch out for the “tourist office” scam. Pretty much every Tuk Tuk driver is in on it, and will tell you the “real” location of the tourist office. There is only one tourist office, and you can’t book anything there. Luckily I didn’t fall for it, but I spent from 10pm – 3am being shuttled to different offices where eventually we were shouted at and told we couldn’t leave because I didn’t want to pay 5x the price for a Taxi. We took a very luck opportunity to run out of the building, took the first Tuk Tuk and would you believe it? Scammer again!

Real tourist office is here:

Instagram: @wehatethecold
www.wehatethecold.com

Tarun Kellett – New Zealand

I’d say you have to be almost constantly switched on in India, depending on who you’re dealing with. I quite often found that I was being charged twice when dealing with hotels; food, room, transport to airports etc. Similarly, with tourist locations, you will quickly learn about religious scammers and tourist shops.

Instagram: @tarunkellett

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

Back in Puri I made a half-day trip to some fishing villages. Although I agreed on a lower price than the previous one-day trip, I had to pay the same amount for a half day. That made me realize that I had to make an agreement with the manager there and not with the man who was running the business during the day.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

I was travelling with a man I met who acted like a guru to me for a couple of months, just the two of us and we were sharing everything. He gained my trust and started talking about opening a cafe/yoga school with me and I invested a few grand only to eventually have him leave me alone in a strange town I knew nobody in.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

An Interview With Travelers & Locals Sharing Their Experience in India

There are some things one should do to prepare themselves a bit better before departure to this vast land. I’d advise being in the right mindset and not expecting too much, and instead taking things as they come, which can be a great approach while travelling here. I asked other travelers about advice they would want to give to other travelers wishing to visit India for the first time, and here’s what they said.

Jet – The Netherlands

The only thing that I find difficult about travelling in India is there is not much information on the internet all the time, and sometimes the information is contradictory. Normally I just read a bunch of travel blogs to get the best tips, but there are not so many on India.

My advice would be: ask the locals at your accommodation for information on how to get around, where to go for food etc. And embrace the unknown, sometimes you have no idea what exactly is going on, but everything will be fine in the end (in my experience).

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Well, that’s exactly why I am writing these guides, as most of the ones you’d find online aren’t based on their own experiences, or give misinformation about the country and how things really are. As someone who’s been travelling to India for the last five years and living in it for one, I know how most things here work by now, finally, and as it took me a while to figure that out. I would like to give you accurate information so that you don’t have to go through the same process.

Jean Baptiste – France

I would say to be well prepared because the culture shock is enormous!  But once you get used to it, it’s so good!  You have to let yourself be carried away by the vibe and not be in a hurry because as people have often told me: “India is cool or late”!

Instagram: @jb.newman

And that’s completely true to how I’ve experienced staying in this country for the past year. You should let go of the control. Things – most of the time – don’t go as planned in this country. Not having too many expectations and a ‘go with the flow’ attitude will immensely help you enjoy the experience better. How they say it here ‘sab kuch milega’ , which translates to ‘everything will come as it goes’.

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

To westerners interested in travelling through India, I would say allow things to fall apart if they do. Don’t get too caught up in any plan or program, because with the way India operates, what you are meant to experience will come to you. If you trust the magic of this country there’s no limit to what you might experience.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

Personally, I really feel what Pattrick mentions here. It is as if India tries to teach you what you should learn, and does this whenever it feels the time is right – not when you think it is. When I came to India the first time, I had a hard time standing my ground and saying no, I wanted to be nice and kind to everyone. Quickly, I realized that this would be my downfall travelling here, as people would take advantage of it. It truly felt as if India was showing me to be more confident and standing up for myself, which I have now learned to do better.

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

The states of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Odisha are not the best option for the first time visitor in India as it is totally not a touristic area and difficult to find all out by yourself.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

Personally, I’ve not been to Chattisgarh and Odisha, because it can get quite complicated because of their remote nature. I have, however, travelled to West Bengal which is a bit more developed, but still not as touristy which makes it more complicated to get things done. I’d like to add that the Northeastern states are also best to avoid when you’re coming to India for the first time, for the same reasons.

Women’s Experience With Safety

There are many stories and opinions on how safe India is to travel to as a woman. Instead of just reading my experiences and opinions, here’s what other woman had to say about their experiences travelling through India as a female traveler.

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

I felt completely safe going alone everywhere, I even got lost in some quite shabby neighborhoods, and had no issues whatsoever – but I think as a safety precaution, it feels more comfortable to go during the day. By Uber for example, it was ok to travel in Mumbai alone during the night too. Some of the public transport options have a space reserved only for women – e.g. suburban trains in Mumbai. As a woman traveler, I made sure to take these since they were less crowded than the rest.

Instagram: @zalumena

Uber and Ola are very safe, I’ve never had any problems, either. Even when I had to take the taxi in the dark, I never felt unsafe. I would still recommend not to take a taxi out when it’s dark – only do it if you really have to. Just as a precaution, as Zsuzsa mentioned. With transport, I have also never felt unsafe, because of the great facilities offered just for women, such as woman-only carriages, waiting rooms, or the rule that if a woman books a seat only another woman is allowed to book the seat next to her.

Liz Engelberts – The Netherlands

I felt safe because I travelled in a group. I wouldn’t want to travel alone. A lot of men look at you, especially when you’re white and blond. It is nicer to travel with a man or multiple men. Less people will harass you. I also felt really uncomfortable in my swimsuit at the beach in Varkala.

It’s a complicated one to answer, but I think one thing we can all agree on is – as a woman in India you definitely have to be a bit more cautious and careful than you would have to be in most other places. Always try to avoid going out alone in the dark, and try to use the woman-only facilities this country offers at most places. It’s true what Liz says though, a lot of people (specifically men) will look at you or ask for selfies. The best thing to do is to just ignore it or when asked for a selfie, simply say no.

Suzanne Fontijn – The Netherlands

I felt quite safe as a woman, though I had one incident where I felt unsafe. But definitely in regions like Kerala and Ladakh I felt completely safe, so I can recommend regions like that for first-time visitors to India.

Instagram: @suzannefontijn

What Suzanne mentions is a golden tip, it’s best to do thorough research on which places to visit as a first-timer in India. She already mentioned two great regions; Kerala and Ladakh. Beside these two, Goa and Rajasthan are also two great regions to visit for your first time.

Bailey Adventuras – America

I’ve only been in Rajasthan so far but haven’t felt unsafe at any moment (except for being chased by a monkey). From walking the alleyways of old Delhi in the middle of the night, to renting a motorbike and going rural on our own, we have nearly always been treated with respect and joy. 

You can’t avoid short moments of awkwardness or overstimulation, or even slight discomfort, but it’s never been any more dangerous than any other destination I’ve been to.

Instagram: @b_adventuras
www.b-adventuras.com


What Reasons Are There To Visit India?

Some of the many reasons why one should visit India:

  • Cultural Diversity – Every region has its own culture, history and language. It’s almost as if you’re travelling through a different country when you’re going to a different state.
  • Grand Festivals – The country has many festivals, and the celebrations are BIG. Throughout the country, you’ll see all kind of festivities and it’s beautiful to witness. Especially Holi, Diwali and Navratri are hugely celebrated across the nation.
  • Exceptional Cuisines – The Indian kitchen is known worldwide for its flavours and variety. Each region has its own unique dishes and you’d find all kinds of different street foods to explore.
  • Scenic Landscapes – From the Himalayan peaks in the north to the pristine beaches in the south, the rice fields in the northeast to the desert in the west. Whether you’re a mountain enthusiast, beach lover or just love to be in nature, there is something for everyone.
  • Yoga and Wellness – India is the birthplace of Yoga. There are many ashrams and retreats where you can experience these traditional practices and get closer to your true self. There are also many yoga schools where you can enroll for a yoga teacher training to become a yoga teacher.
  • Spiritual Exploration – Many major religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism were born in this country. You can witness public cremations in Varanasi, have langar (free lunch) at a Gurudwara and much more.
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries – India has the largest population of tigers in the world, and there are many national parks where you can try your luck to spot one. Other than tigers, India has elephants, leopards, hyenas and many more wild animals.
  • Hospitality – The warm and welcoming nature of the Indian people is certainly another big reason why India is worth visiting. People want to involve you in their culture and share their hospitality, which Indian people are known for. Be prepared to get invited for a tea, or not being allowed to pay for the food some local might offer you.

The reason why I first visited India was because of the stories my mom used to tell me about her travels through this country. About how colourful it was, the chaos that felt peaceful at the same time, how she used to speak about the locals inviting her over for a cup of chai and how she stayed with local families in their homes. I got incredibly inspired through her stories and in 2019, I chose to see it all for myself. As soon as I set my foot on this beautiful land, I fell in love. It’s hard to explain exactly why, though I feel that spiritually, there might have already been a connection between me and India even before I visited.

Jet – The Netherlands

First of all, GO!! It is a country that is so diverse and unique. So much beautiful nature, so many religions that live together, so much history and beautiful architecture. Just have an open mind, embrace the chaos and you will have a wonderful time!

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

My love for India is indescribable. People here are incredibly friendly, and will do anything they can to make you feel welcome. The landscapes are simply like no other, and the same goes for the culture. There’s no other place than this. It’s much more than just country, it’s unique in so many ways, which is exactly why I think people should visit India and see (and feel) all that for themselves.

Tarun Kellett – New Zealand

The adventure of it all is why I think everyone should come to India. It’s an experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere. The history and culture are unmatched almost anywhere else in the world. The variety of environments and splendour of such vast landscapes was breathtaking.

Instagram: @Tarunkellett

Travelling through this country will be no less than an adventure. The constant honking, huge crowds and immense cultural differences make it an adventure you won’t get elsewhere.

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

I came to India with an interest in studying yoga at its source. I didn’t know much about the culture before coming but I had a sincere interest and an open mind, and it quickly became a huge passion.

I’ve experienced my highest and lowest moments in India, and met countless individuals who seemed to speak directly to my soul. I have found my way into experiences and opportunities I couldn’t have imagined before visiting, and have seen what incredible things people are capable of through devotion. I always tell people India is God country, where people greet you with the name of God and you can’t turn a corner without being blessed by some murti. India is eternal and I will never stop returning to this majestic land.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

I have also done my yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. This was a transformative journey like no other. I completed my 200-hour YTT, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life but came with a huge reward, and I would have never wanted to miss out on that experience.

Suzanne Fontijn – The Netherlands

The generosity of the people. They are always in for a chat, offering you a chai from time to time and I even had it once that I had a dance party with a random family when visiting a mausoleum. Such kind generous people in my experience!

Instagram: @suzannefontijn

The friendliness and generosity of the people is definitely one-of-a-kind. Many times I got invited to drink tea in someone’s house, and I even once joined a kirtan in a rural village, where at the end of it, I got invited on stage and they gave me a coconut out of appreciation for my presence.

I’ve learned so much from being in this country and met so many other like-minded individuals which I’m still very close to. India has something for everyone. Lovers of nature can find everything here, from beaches to mountains and jungles to deserts, India has it all. Spirituality is present all over the country, and there are so many sages and gurus that are willing to share their knowledge with everyone willing to listen. I can go on, and trust me, India really does have it all.

Reasons Against Visiting India

Some reasons why you might not want to visit:

  • Poverty – There are a lot of places where you’d see poverty, and many beggars are there in the bigger cities, which some people might find unsettling or emotionally challenging to handle.
  • Hygiene – There’s often quite some waste on the streets, people spitting openly, and the food isn’t up to the hygienic standards most of us are used to, which can cause you to fall sick. The term ‘Delhi belly’ derives from this exact reason, as most people fall sick when they come to India for the first time.
  • Overpopulation – India is the most populated country in the world, with an outstanding population of around 1.4 billion people. And yes, you’d definitely notice this when you’re in the bigger cities. There will always be people around. It’s often incredibly crowded on the streets, markets, and on public transport, AKA everywhere.
  • Traffic – Because of the amount of people, you can already imagine what the traffic is like. It’s incredibly chaotic, and there are barely any traffic rules. Which can feel overwhelming and in some instances, even dangerous. Crossing the street is, as you can already imagine, no less than a challenge.
  • Culture Shock – For some, this might be the exact reason why they want to visit India, but for others that might be the reason to avoid the country. You’d be shocked when you come here for the first time, as it really is a completely different world. The diverse and vibrant culture can be overwhelming to some, and the differences in customs, traditions, and social norms might be hard to understand for others.
  • Safety – India is relatively safe, but scams do happen often, especially in the capital Delhi. Petty crimes aren’t uncommon, which might be a reason why some don’t want to visit. And for women, there are many precautions that need to be taken to ensure their safety.
  • Complex to get things done – It can be quite hard to arrange things in India. Getting a SIM, for example, is way more complicated than it should be, along with not being able to pay for certain things online or hotels that randomly don’t accept foreigners for whatever reason. In India, certain things are just more complicated than they have to be, which can make it quite tiring for some. That’s why it’s best to always have patience and not have too many expectations when you’re traveling here.

Ed Rees – Australia

I had booked a couple of hotels through booking.com and it confirmed the bookings.  When I went there they said no foreigners and didn’t take me.  So I had to find somewhere else.  So I advise anyone going to India to call the hotel and confirm with them that they are taking foreigners.

Instagram: @smokin_joe1

This also happened to me, in Navi-Mumbai. I booked a hotel, but they didn’t allow foreigners to stay. The whole day I was going from hotel to hotel, and it seemed as if all of them didn’t allow foreigners, and so I had to bribe one of the hotels to allow me to stay. I paid $25 to the hotel for the Form C, and they allowed me to stay for two nights. It only happened to me once in all these years, though, so it’s not a very common occurrence.

The reason why hotels do this is because according to the law, every hotel in India is required to complete a Form C, which is a foreigner registration form. With this form, they help the authorities keep a close eye on the foreigners travelling in India, and the form should be submitted on a government portal within the same day of the guest’s check-in time. It’s a good practice to reach out to the hotel you’re booking and confirm if they do allow foreigners to stay if you’re not a 100% sure.

Suzanne Fontijn – The Netherlands

I had a train ride from Goa to Mumbai where I was stuck next to a man that made me feel very unsafe (so much that I had a whole ‘getting to my hostel safely plan’ with my parents set up). He was constantly looking at my phone and commenting on everything that I was doing. Even after I mentioned that I was not okay with that. But luckily that was just one incident, and I had more positive experiences than bad ones.

Instagram: @suzannefontijn

Sadly, these experiences aren’t uncommon. Personally I’ve had some similar experiences, but just like Suzanne, the positives far outweigh the negatives, for me. To try and avoid those situations as much as possible, it can be helpful to sit near women whenever possible, or near families. Have a ‘don’t f*ck with me’ attitude and don’t be too nice to everyone. I’ve written some more useful tips in this article on how to travel in India as a woman.

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

I’ve gotten sick a couple of times (not sure what from), and found that it is very common for foreigners to get sick at some point on their journeys here. I’ve had an instance of some small theft where someone took money from my bag, and one scam I fell victim to.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

When I first came to India, I also fell sick. Even though I ate only from fancy restaurants (at first) and was very careful, it was impossible to avoid. But now, I can eat from anywhere without any issues. It’s very common for travellers to get sick, because the hygienic standards are just different than what most of us are used to.

Personally, I’ve never had anything stolen from me, but someone I travelled with for some time had his wallet stolen when we were walking in a crowded street in Varanasi.

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

Traffic during rush hours is absolutely crazy, especially in cities, and to be avoided if possible – it can take an hour or more to get an Uber or rickshaw, and the prices for the travel would be a lot more expensive due to standing in traffic jams.

Instagram: @zalumena


Travelers Favourite Places To Visit in India

Best places to visit in India:

  • Goa
  • Varanasi
  • Kerala
  • Jaipur
  • Rishikesh

Goa

A coastal paradise on the southwestern coast of India. Known for its golden beaches, vibrant flea markets, and the relaxed island vibe. There’s plenty to do – you can go swim in the ocean, enjoy a nice meal in one of many cozy cafes or participate in all kinds of workshops. I personally really liked it, because it’s much more laidback than most other places I’ve visited in India. You can wear a bikini without any issues, which is also a big plus point.

Jean Baptiste – France

I fell in love with Arambol in Goa, because it’s really the type of vibe that I like!  It’s a small village with the beach not far away, really cool places to have a drink and meet great people!

Instagram: @jb.newman

As Jean mentioned, it’s also an awesome place to meet other travellers and hang out together. And there are so many cute cafes and workstations, which makes it a great destination for those working remotely.

Varanasi

One of the oldest cities in the world located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Known for its open cremation grounds which go on 24/7 with the ashes being offered into the holy Ganges river afterwards. It’s a city full of stories, and there’s a lot to see. The Ganga Aarti is one thing you shouldn’t miss when coming to Varanasi, which is a ritual to honour the holy river. You can take a boat ride on the Ganges witnessing the famous ghats (river banks) from the river. Varanasi is also known for its many silk factories, which is incredibly interesting to see.

Suzanne Fontijn – Netherlands

Varanasi was one of my favorite places because of the fact that there’s so much to do and it’s so interesting culturally. It’s chaotic but in the best way possible and I met such friendly people over there.

Instagram: @suzannefontijn

It’s always quite crowded in Varanasi, but if I can give you one tip: try to avoid visiting during a big Hindu festival. At least, if you don’t like hordes of people in the streets, If you’d like to experience the city and its culture in its true form, though, go during these times. I unknowingly visited Varanasi on Dev Deepavali, which is a huge festival that’s celebrated huge in the city. It was so crowded that the police had to shut the streets down – possibly due to the risk of stamping – even for pedestrians, which resulted in me not being able to get to my hostel because of the insane crowd around in the city.

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

While visiting Varanasi, an infinitely fascinating living ancient city, I went out one night to see the nonstop public cremations that this city is known for. 
I stopped to observe a pyre from one of the smaller cremation ghats when the man’s grandson struck up a conversation with me and told me about the cremation process, the ritual of it, and what it meant to him to watch his grandfather’s body burn. At the end the boy and his family took three vessels of Ganga river water to douse the flames, and walked away without looking back as a final release of the departed’s karmic ties to this world.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

Kerala

Often referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala is a tropical haven famous for its green and lush landscapes, serene backwaters and its many coffee and tea plantations spread all over the state. You can take a cruise through the backwaters and witness the authentic fishing villages, participate in the many Ayurvedic retreats, or visit one of the many national parks.

Liz Engelberts – The Netherlands

Kerala must have been my favourite area. I really liked the houseboat in Alleppey, but would advise to do it for one night. The tea fields in Munnar are beautiful and Varkala is super great for chilling out. Bangalore is not the most noteworthy city. I would advise to mix it up and keep the program diverse.

Kerala is a very nice state to visit, especially if you’re new to India. It’s not as crowded as the north, and it’s easier to get around as English is commonly spoken. It’s very peaceful, and one of my highlights was also the houseboat cruise in the Alleppey backwaters. It’s a great way to see the local ways of life and it’s such a serene experience.

Jet – The Netherlands

I loved Kerala. It is so beautiful, clean, peaceful, the people are so nice and relaxed, much less chaotic than the north of India, and I love south-Indian food (especially dosas!!)

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Jaipur

The ‘Pink City’ of India, it’s famous for its rich history and cultural heritage. A city known for its many forts, colourful markets and royal traditions. You shouldn’t miss the famous Ghoomar traditional dance, which is a big hit among visitors from rest of the country and abroad alike. Forts like Amer fort are not to be missed out on, either, and the beautiful ancient architecture will certainly surprise you.

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

I liked Jaipur the most: the Amer Fort was exquisite, with some walls covered with mirror patterns, for example, and the rose coloured facades of the old town buildings and the palace itself was also fantastic.

Instagram: @zalumena

My highlights of Jaipur were definitely the Galtaji Monkey temple and the Amer Fort. The architecture is just beautiful, and something very unique. It’s really as if you’re walking around in the real Aladdin. The way the door entrances are decorated is one of a kind and it’s very artsy. It’s another great place to visit if you’re coming to India for the first time.

Jet – The Netherlands

I loved Jaipur. It has beautiful pink architecture, small streets, so much culture, a fort, and a beautiful cinema to watch a Bollywood movie!

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Rishikesh

Located at the foothills of the Himalayas along the banks of the sacred Ganges River, it’s a serene little city that is known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’. It’s a popular destination for spiritual seekers and those who’d like to deepen their spiritual practice. The city has a lot to offer, is home to many beautiful temples, and is dotted with some of the best yoga schools in the country.

I did my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in Rishikesh. It was such a profound experience, and Rishikesh felt like the perfect place to go through such a transformation. It’s very safe and has a lot of nice areas and places to hang out or go for a coffee. If you’re planning to do a Yoga Teacher Training yourself, this article I wrote about my experience might be able to help you.

Experiences With Transport

India has a diverse range of transportation options to travel across the country. Here are the options you’ll have and when you should use them.

Railways

India has one of the largest railway networks globally, connecting cities, towns, and remote areas. There are many different train classes, so there’s a choice for all kinds of travellers. Trains are often the most cost-effective option for long-distance travel.

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

Train Tickets for a sleeper class were quite easy to get with some help from the people of my hostel. I opted for the 3-tier class which was okay for me.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

I mostly travel by 2AC class, because it’s a bit more spacious and comfortable than the 3AC. I personally also feel more safe in 2AC, and the difference in costs between the two isn’t a lot.

The suburban trains in for example Mumbai can be incredibly crowded during rush hours, so it’s best to avoid them for actual modes of transportation unless you like the experience and don’t mind a bit of discomfort.

Bus

Bus connectivity is quite good between the bigger cities as well as within the urban areas. It’s a good mode of transport to get to places without a train connection, and whenever available, it’s often cheaper than trains. There are sleeper busses for longer distances, and semi-sleepers for mountainous areas. Normal seater buses are also available, but I’d recommend only using those for shorter distances.

It’s often a hit or miss with the buses, as they sometimes get cancelled last minute, or throw you out in the middle of the night. It’s always a guess whenever you’re taking the bus, and I’d always recommend taking a reliable bus operator with good reviews to ensure a good journey.

Jean Baptiste – France

I was going to take the bus from Agra to Delhi and it did not stop where it was supposed to and passed right in front of my eyes. Luckily, a tuktuk Guy saw me and did everything he could to get me my bus and I got it!

All this to say that in the end all is well that ends well!

Instagram: @jb.newman

Personally, I once got thrown out of a bus in the middle of the night when traveling from Manali to Rishikesh. At 3 AM, I stood on the side of the road without any communication from the bus company, after around 5 minutes a different bus came and told me that that was the next bus to get to Rishikesh. It wasn’t communicated that I’d have to switch buses and it just happened. For the rest of the journey, I had to share a berth with a random woman until I reached Rishikesh. This is one of the many crazy adventures I’ve encountered travelling with buses in India, however, most of the stories aren’t anything special and it goes pretty normally (most of the time).

Air Travel

Domestic air travel is well-established, with connections among most major cities. Several airlines such as Indigo and Spicejet operate within the country, providing a convenient option for those looking to cover long distances quickly. It’s more costly than taking a train, but if you don’t mind spending a little more to reach your destination faster, travelling by air might be your best option. Flights can start from as low as INR 3.500 ($41.98).

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

There are plenty of domestic flights, and they are relatively cheap – we tried IndiGo, AirIndia and Vistara, and had a good experience with all of them.

International flights mostly land in Mumbai or Delhi, and arriving in Mumbai is a lot more pleasant for arriving in India for the first time, as Delhi can be quite overwhelming, even for Indians.

Instagram: @zalumena

If you’re coming to India for the first time and have the option to choose between Mumbai or Delhi, I’d also say that Mumbai would be a better starter (depending on your itinerary, of course). This is because Delhi can be a lot to take in if you’ve never been to India before. There’s a lot of scams, noise, dirt, and chaos, which can be very overwhelming for someone who has never seen or experienced something like that before. But don’t scratch Delhi off the list yet, because if you can look through all of that, it’s a city with a lot of hidden gems behind all the pre-judgments.

Metro

Major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru have an efficient metro system in place, which makes it a quick and congestion-free option for transport within the city. It’s incredibly cheap and well-organized. In my opinion, I find it much easier to use the Delhi metro than the ones we have in Amsterdam. Just make sure to download the Delhi Metro app on your phone and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Do avoid using the metro during rush hours though, if you don’t like to feel like a sardine in a can.

Auto Rickshaws

They are to be found almost everywhere in India, and are often significantly cheaper than getting a taxi. Every auto rickshaw is equipped with a meter to track the cost of your journey. You can make them stop by waving your hand at one of the many empty auto rickshaws passing by, and they’ll stop. Most of the time you don’t even need to wave, and they’d come even if you don’t need them.

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

Rikshaw or auto rickshaw will often ask you to go with them from A to B, even if you didn’t need or ask for it. But when you say NO, they will not insist.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

As Piet says, don’t show any hesitation when the auto comes to you asking if you need a ride, just give a direct no, and they’d often go ahead and let you be.

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

It’s important to demand that the rikshaw/taxi drivers start the taxi meter at the beginning of the journey, because otherwise they would charge you a lot more than normally. Normally they would do that by themselves anyway, but If they decline, you need to ask to get out – that will do the trick most of the time.

Instagram: @zalumena

Make sure to ask whether he is using the meter. Sometimes they refuse, and if this is the case, discuss about the set price before getting into the auto, or look for another one that does want to use the meter. If you want to avoid the bargaining hassle, you can also just order an auto from Ola or Uber.

And what could happen if you don’t ask for the price first? Well, let Jean tell.

Jean Baptiste – France

When I arrived in Delhi, I got off the bus and was incredibly tired. There was a tuktuk who asked me where I was going, I told him my hostel and forgot to ask the price before heading off with him. In the end a 20 min ride which would have cost me INR 200 transformed into INR 1,800. Moral of the story?  If you don’t want to get ripped off, ask for the price first!

Instagram: @jb.newman

Taxi

If you’re travelling far or within the city, taxi prices are much lower than you’re probably used to at home. If you have a little extra money to spend, it might be the easiest and most reliable way of moving around. If you’re on a budget though, it might be better to opt for a bus or train for longer distances, or use an auto rickshaw or metro within the urban areas.

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

Uber was great, cheap and readily available outside of rush hours, and was available at all the locations we visited (except Goa).

We also opted to do the golden triangle by hiring a driver, due to the short time we had for this region, and it proved to be a good choice: our driver organized excellent tour guides, knew good restaurants and decent accommodation.

Instagram: @zalumena

If you are short on time, or like things to be a bit more convenient and easy, hiring a taxi to go to places is a great option, if you have the budget for it. It might not be as expensive as back home, it does still cost significantly more than taking the bus or train.

Experiences With Scams

Scams in India are quite common, so it’s a good practice to be aware of what scams are around and how to avoid them. I did quite some research into the scams that are common in India before I visited, and so I don’t have much experience with them, luckily. But it does happen, so here are some of the experiences other travellers have regarding scams.

Tarun Kellett – New Zealand

I’d say you have to be almost constantly switched on in India, depending on who you’re dealing with. I quite often found that I was being charged twice when dealing with hotels; food, room, transport to airports etc. Similarly, with tourist locations, you will quickly learn about religious scammers and tourist shops.

Instagram: @tarunkellett

A common scam is indeed overcharging. To avoid overpaying, you can check Uber or Ola to see the prices for the same trip and tell the driver that you’d pay the same price as you would on these apps. You can also ask them to use the meter. When you’re going to a store to buy groceries, you’ll see MRP written on the products, which stands for the Maximum Retail Price and that’s the price you should pay. It’s a good practice to check this before going to the counter, and when you see they are charging you more, just point at the MRP and pay that amount.

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

Back in Puri I made a half-day trip to some fishing villages. Although I agreed on a lower price than the previous one-day trip, I had to pay the same amount for a half day. That made me realize that I had to make an agreement with the manager there and not with the man who was running the business during the day.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

When going on tours with a tour operator or a driver, decide the price together before going on the trip. Write it down somewhere, while they are present and agree upon it, this way you don’t leave any chance for them to increase it after they’ve provided the service.

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

I was travelling with a man I met who acted like a guru to me for a couple of months, just the two of us and we were sharing everything. He gained my trust and started talking about opening a cafe/yoga school with me and I invested a few grand only to eventually have him leave me alone in a strange town I knew nobody in.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

Sadly, even these kind of scams aren’t very uncommon either. Make sure that you don’t trust people blindly, and as Tarun said, be switched on most of the time to avoid getting taken advantage of.

I do want to stress though that not everyone who is nice has bad intentions or wants to scam you. I personally had a guru who I stayed with for a month. He taught me everything about Hinduism and its practices, we travelled through most of India and he didn’t let me pay for anything, not even the many flights we took.

Is India Worth Visiting? Who is India For?

Absolutely! India is worth visiting for those seeking a unique adventure and possessing an open mind. It is the ideal destination for those who look for adventure, crave new experiences, are eager to immerse themselves in cultures much different from their own and appreciate a touch of organized chaos.

Reasons To Visit

India is a country with a lot to offer. There are many reasons why it’s definitely a country worth visiting. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Cultural Richness
  • Scenic Landscapes
  • Spiritual Exploration
  • Amazing Food
  • Hospitality
  • Unique Festivals

Cultural Richness

There are so many diverse cultures, traditions, and tribes within this one country. Every state is known for something different, with a whole different language and distinct local traditions.

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

I made some trips to various hill tribes in the small mountain villages of Chhattisgarh. The people in those villages were extremely friendly, curious and very interested in me. Like I was interested in them.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics

Scenic Diversity

The country offers a bit of everything and has something for every nature lover, like mountains, beaches, desert, and jungles.

Spiritual Exploration

There are many sages and gurus around India. The country breathes spiritual wisdom, and there’s a temple on almost every corner of the street. The locals like to involve you in their spiritual practices and share their wisdom. Yoga and the practice of meditation originated in this country, and there are many yoga schools and meditation retreats spread all across the country.

Amazing Food

The Indian kitchen is known for its flavours and variety. And yes, it’s really an experience in itself to explore all the different kind of dishes this country has to offer. My taste buds sometimes get confused with what the food even tastes like, because some dishes really are something else!

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

Food in India is amazing. And when you eat in local restaurants and show up for the second time, they welcome you with a smile. I love those vegetarian thalis a lot and they taste different everywhere.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

You can always ask to not make the food spicy when trying new things, or give instructions like no coriander or not too much oil. They are happy to change it up for you almost everywhere.

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

The vegetarian food was a huge surprise for me. I was familiar with the most popular Indian non-veg dishes before the trip, but the amazing choice and delicious taste of the vegetarian dishes was stunning.

My favourite was kichdi (a dish made of lentils and rice), aloo paratha (flatbread filled with potatoes served with creme fraiche and pickles) for breakfast, and upma (seminola cooked with vegetables and spices).

Instagram: @zalumena

There are a lot of vegetarian restaurants in the country. And it’s said that approximately 39.5% of the total Indian population is vegetarian.

Hospitality

The people here are incredibly friendly and want to give you everything they can. When I was painting a slum in India, a lady who resided there would come to me every day with a cup of chai and a small bowl of poha (flat rice), even if she didn’t have much for herself.

Zsuzsa Mersdorf – Hungary

It was truly amazing how kind and helpful people were in general, e.g. if I stopped for a moment because I was not sure which way to go, there was always someone who asked me immediately if I needed directions or any help. India has this reputation of being full of scams and rip-offs, and people tried real hard to make sure to counterbalance this.

Instagram: @zalumena

Tarun Kellett – New Zealand

The general population is so kind and friendly you feel like a celebrity wherever you go. Most people, if they sense you need help, will go out of their way to help you.

Instagram: @Tarunkellett

Unique Festivals

India has many festivals, some say that there are thousands of festivals, which means that there could be multiple festivals somewhere in the country on the same day. And these festivals don’t get celebrated small, no. They are all grand and incredible to witness.

Pattrick PJ Willborn – America

One of my all time favourite experiences was during the Maha Shivratri festival in Junagadh, Gujarat. It was a five-day-long festival filled with bhajans (holy music) bhojan (food) and bhagavan(God), as well as thousands of holy men and women who came to join their akhadas at the holy Mount Girnar for this auspicious festival of Shiva.

The only other festival where you can see this scale of ascetics come into the public eye is the famous Kumbh Mela, but at Junagadh you can come every year with much less crowds and less difficulty making arrangements.

Instagram: @pjwilborn

I went to celebrate Holi in Vrindavan, the city known for its Holi celebrations. For five days, I was constantly attacked with coloured water and bright powders, and what an experience that was. I dare to say that Holi is a festival everyone should experience once in a lifetime; it’s crazy and a lot of fun. Do make sure to bring your sunglasses though, for reasons you’ll find out once you attend it yourself.

Bailey Adventuras – America

We enjoyed the festivities at Pushkar’s cattle fair. People getting blessed in the ghats. Motorbikes swimming upstream between thousands of people. Gypsies making henna. Sadhus on every corner. Street food on full blast.

Instagram: @b_adventuras
www.b-adventuras.com

Reasons To Avoid

But every country also does have its flaws, and so these are some reasons why you might want to avoid travelling to India:

  • Poverty
  • Hygiene
  • Overpopulation
  • Traffic
  • Culture Shock
  • Safety
  • Complex to get things done

Tarun Kellett – New Zealand

Travelling in India didn’t feel like a holiday for the majority of the time, it was an adventure. So people have to keep that in mind when they’re planning on going there. For a first timer in India, it’s quite a shock and you feel so out of your depth it’s unreal.

Instagram: @Tarunkellett

Piet Van Der Laan – The Netherlands

India, you love it or you hate it. And obviously I love it because this wasn’t my first visit to the country.

Instagram: @my.travelsinpics
www.mytravelsinstories.com

Bailey Adventuras – America

We were scam-attempted by a rickshaw, sardined in a bus, rolled our suitcases on an aged half-paved (half dirt) road, passed street cows (of course), a monkey crossed my path, we checked in and basically met every single person working in the hostel and their siblings, was offered about 20 different tours, meals, alcohol, and hash, and my boyfriend was given two different massages. Oh – and I had to ask the staff to send up toilet paper. That basically sums up a normal day in India.

Instagram: @b_adventuras
www.b-adventuras.com

Poverty

The difference between rich and poor is huge. You might see the most expensive hotel on one side of the road, and right in front of it will be the poorest people of the country living in houses made out of scrap metal. When waiting at the traffic lights, you shouldn’t be surprised if a kid comes up to you begging for money or food. These realities can be emotionally tough for some people, and might be a reason why you’d want to avoid India.

Jet – The Netherlands

There is also a lot of poverty and a lot of wealth, the gap between the two are immense.

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Hygiene

The hygiene standards are often much lower than most of us are used to, which might be a reason you wouldn’t want to visit. There’s a lot of garbage spread over the streets, open sewage in some areas and some street food stalls might be placed right next to them. Because of this, you’re likely to get sick the first few days, which is also called getting the ‘Delhi belly’.

Jet – The Netherlands

My partner got street food on the second day we were here. He thought ‘well, we’re going to be here for a long time, so we should get used to it’ and that was a stupid decision haha. He got sick right away. Even his Indian colleagues were laughing at him about how stupid it was.

So, no more street food, only when we are absolutely sure it is safe.

Instagram: @jetveldhuis

Overpopulation

It’s quite hard to find a peaceful place in India because it’s just so crowded. India recently got first place for being the most populated country in the world. With more than 1.4 billion people residing in the country, you can probably already imagine how crowded it can get.

Traffic

The traffic situation in India is easily described in two words: complete chaos. There are no rules, and everyone just does whatever they feel like. It can be wild, but only if the traffic is moving. Besides being known for their crazy driving styles, India is also known for its massive traffic jams. I once got stuck in one of those for more than three hours, just standing in one place with thousands of other cars on the road.

Liz Engelberts – The Netherlands

 Be prepared to hear non-stop honking all day, all night.

Culture Shock

It can be a lot to take in. The immense differences with your own country and how India operates is simply overwhelming for most. And so the culture shock is almost guaranteed. If you’re not looking for that kind of an experience, then definitely avoid coming to India.

Safety

When coming to India, there are quite some thing you have to adjust to. Especially as a woman, there are a few precautions you should take to ensure your safety, as India isn’t the safest or easiest country to travel to as a woman. Besides this, India is well known for the many scams that are around, so one always needs to be cautious. That could be another reason you might not want to visit India.

Complex to get things done

Things often don’t get done the way you plan beforehand, or they never go as expected here. Which can be very exhausting and annoying at times. It’s like they like to make things much more complicated than they have to be. It’s hard to get a SIM for foreigners, some hotels don’t accept foreigners for some reason, some ATMs don’t work, or booking a train or bus is, for some reason, not always possible. If you don’t like some small hassles now and then, better avoid India.

2 thoughts on “Is India Worth Visiting? An Interview With Travelers”

  1. Warning! India is DEFINITELY not for everyone!!! :))) India is very intense, interesting & diverse! It’s specially BEST for those people who have some higher “non-touristy” spiritual quest and aims in life. So come prepared with some research OR else you will never think about enjoying what India has to offer & forget about coming back! People who are not easily affected by stereotypes, who are broad minded & not looking for some flashy Disneyland for typical touristy pics, will definitely like it! Those who come here without preparation had nightmares OR not so good experiences. Some had changed vision of life in general after the visit since they grew up in a very different culture and philosophy :))

    PS: Many of my friends from other countries came back! Can’t mention all here as it will be a mini book.

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