Is India Expensive As A Tourist?

Find out whether India is expensive to visit as a tourist with a breakdown of prices across 3 travel-related categories.
Is India expensive as a tourist? Photo: shalender kumar | Unsplash

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It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ve finally chosen India as the next place to cross off your travel bucket list and can’t wait to start prepping for your exciting adventure abroad.

Next, you’ll need a good list of things to do and places to see in the country of some 1.4 billion people. Afterward, you may even look up when’s the best time to visit and how many days are good for visiting India.

Albeit a great way to prepare, perhaps you’ve left out one of the most important questions of all: Is India expensive as a tourist?

Find out if transportation is cheap in India. Photo: JK | Unsplash

What’s the Verdict?

In short, no, India is an inexpensive place to travel as a tourist. But first, here’s a breakdown of how the Indian Rupee (INR) stacks up against popular currencies around the world, for your reference.

  • $1 US = 82.69 INR
  • Euro = 81.75 INR
  • CAD = 60.80 INR
  • Renminbi = 11.36 INR
  • Rand = 4.56 INR

Related: When’s The Best Time To Visit India – An Ultimate Guide

What Makes India Inexpensive to Travel?

Let’s break down prices (in dollars) you can expect across standard travel-related categories in India, such as accommodation, transportation, and food.


When it comes to accommodation and pricing, India is very wide-ranging. On one hand, India is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, like Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, and Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. Prices just for a single night at any one of these can start at $500+.

Likewise, India is a backpacker’s paradise. You’ll find plenty of cheap options for the budget-friendly tourist, from guesthouses in small, rural towns to hostels and economical hotels in major cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, for as little as $20 a night

If you’re looking for inexpensive lodging in India, you’ll have absolutely no problem finding it.         

A crowded street in Manali. Photo: Vishal Bhutani | Unsplash


For transportation, India is equipped with everything from rickshaws, buses, and taxis, and metros in 15 cities, to long-distance trains, ferries, and domestic flights. Methods of travel you’ll mostly likely use are dirt cheap. Here are a few examples of prices:

Rickshaw: Hand-led or cycled, you’ll find rickshaws, or tuk-tuks, in India’s busiest cities. Officially, there aren’t any set prices for their use, but $5 is an amount that can certainly get you a few blocks across town. Plus, you can always negotiate the price!  

Metro Prices: Many of the metro fares in India, including New Dehlie, Hyderabad, and Chennai, start at rs 10 for a ride along their shortest distance. Let’s take a look at the standard fares for some of India’s largest metro lines.

Long-Distance Train: Train prices will vary by distance and which cabin you take. Second Seating Class and Sleeper class are the cheapest options, with prices typically less than rs 1000.

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Indian food is pretty expensive in the west, but food in India is generally cheap. Of course, India has its course of upscale restaurants that provide expensive, lavish dishes, but you’ll also find plenty of street food markets like the infamous Mosque Road in Bangalore and Mohammad Ali Road in Mumbai that offer vegetable dishes, seafood, meat kebabs, and traditional snacks, for less than $5, and often, less than $1! You’ll have no issue saving money on food.

Mouthwatering Indian food. Photo: AnirMitra | Pixabay

What’s Next?

So, is India expensive as a tourist? No! You can travel the country on a budget and still do and see plenty of cool things. Now that you know this, the next question is when will you plan to visit?

Since tourism is inexpensive, would you upgrade your activities and accommodation or perhaps be willing to extend your stay? Even more important, would you consider buying an extra plane ticket to India for a freelance travel writer whose article you’ve just read? … Think about it. Safe and happy travels!


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