Discovering India’s Best-Kept Secrets: 11 Budget Places to Visit in India


Introduction to Budget Places to Visit in India

Hey there, fellow travelers! Are you dreaming of exploring India but worried about the cost? Well, I’ve got some great news for you. There are thousands of budget places to visit in India. It’s all about smart travel, knowing where to go, and discovering the unbeaten paths that lead to some of the most incredible, yet budget-friendly, spots in the country.

Make sure to also check out this guide about how cheap it is to travel in India with a full list of our expenses in 4 weeks!

India is a paradise for budget travelers. You can find affordable gems around every corner, from the bustling bazaars and street food of Delhi to the laid-back beaches of Goa. And let’s not forget about the cultural feasts, like the colorful Pushkar Camel Fair or the spiritual retreats in the Himalayas. These experiences not only enrich your travel diary but also do so without demanding a hefty price tag.

So, grab your backpack, and let’s dive into the world of budget-friendly Indian travel. We’re talking about places where you can indulge in the local culture, savor delicious cuisines, and make unforgettable memories, all while keeping your bank balance happy.

In case you’re interested in a complete travel guide to India, read here.

11 Budget Places to Visit in India

1. Pushkar, Rajasthan: A Cultural Gem

Pushkar, a quaint town in Rajasthan, holds a unique charm with its spiritual ambiance and cultural richness. Known for the world’s only Brahma Temple, it captivates visitors with its serene Pushkar Lake and vibrant market streets. October to March is the ideal time to visit, letting you fully embrace the local festivities, including the famous Pushkar Camel Fair. A trip to Pushkar is not just affordable but also a deep dive into the heart of Rajasthan’s culture.

2. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh: The Spiritual Capital

Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, is a blend of spirituality, history, and culture. The city is famed for its ghats, the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti. With its incredibly affordable food and lodging options, Varanasi is a haven for budget travelers seeking a spiritual journey. The best time to visit is from October to March when the weather complements the spiritual journey along the sacred Ganges.

3. Amritsar, Punjab: The Golden City

Amritsar, home to the resplendent Golden Temple, is a city steeped in history and spirituality. Apart from the temple, attractions like the Wagah Border and Jallianwala Bagh add to its allure. The Golden Temple’s community kitchen offers a unique and delicious dining experience, serving free meals to thousands daily. Visit between October and March to experience Amritsar’s blend of culture, history, and delicious Punjabi cuisine.

4. Udaipur, Rajasthan: The City of Lakes

Udaipur, known as the Venice of the East, is a tapestry of vivid landscapes, majestic palaces, and serene lakes. Its splendor is accessible on a budget, with average daily expenses around INR 1300 ($18). Staying in budget-friendly inns near Lake Pichola offers breathtaking views without a hefty price tag. The ideal visiting period is from October to March, perfect for exploring its royal heritage and picturesque surroundings.

5. Gokarna, Karnataka: Serene Beaches

Gokarna, a coastal town in Karnataka, offers a peaceful alternative to the more commercialized beaches of Goa. It’s famous for its pristine and less crowded beaches like Om Beach and Paradise Beach. The town offers affordable homestays and a variety of water activities, making it a favorite for budget travelers. Gokarna’s laid-back vibe and natural beauty can be enjoyed year-round.

6. Darjeeling, West Bengal: Queen of The Himalayas

Darjeeling, nestled in the Himalayan foothills, is renowned for its breathtaking views, colonial architecture, and the world-famous Darjeeling tea. Budget-friendly travel options starting from INR 490 make

it an ideal destination for those looking for an affordable hill station experience. The best time to visit is between March to May and October to November, perfect for enjoying the panoramic views of the Himalayas, exploring tea estates, and riding the iconic toy train through the misty mountains.

7. McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh: A Peaceful Retreat

McLeod Ganj is a serene hill station in Himachal Pradesh, known for its Tibetan influence, beautiful monasteries, and stunning trekking trails. It’s a great spot for those seeking tranquility and adventure on a budget. The local markets and street food offer an economical way to experience Tibetan culture and cuisine. The town’s peaceful vibe makes it a perfect retreat for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

8. Gokarna: A Budget Beach Paradise

Gokarna, repeating its charm in our list, is a haven for beach lovers and spiritual seekers. Known for its unspoiled beaches and the ancient Mahabaleshwara Temple, Gokarna provides a serene beach experience. Affordable beachside stays and activities like camping make it a great budget-friendly alternative to Goa, offering a blend of spirituality and natural beauty in a more laid-back setting.

9. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan: The Golden City

Jaisalmer, the „Golden City,“ is famed for its stunning sandstone architecture, including the Jaisalmer Fort and the intricately carved Havelis. The desert city offers unique experiences like camel safaris and desert camping, providing an authentic taste of Rajasthan’s culture and landscape. Visit between October and March to experience the desert life and enjoy the local cultural events at their best.

10. Goa: The Beach Paradise

Goa, India’s beach capital, is synonymous with sun, sand, and sea, offering a vibrant nightlife, a variety of water sports, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. With an average daily budget of around INR 1200 ($17), Goa is a paradise for budget travelers. The best time to visit is from November to February, when the weather is pleasant, and the beaches come alive. However, visiting during the monsoon season can also offer great discounts and a different, serene beauty of Goa.

11. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu: The Princess of Hill Stations

Kodaikanal, a charming hill station in Tamil Nadu, is a haven for nature lovers. Known for its picturesque lake, lush greenery, and pleasant climate, Kodaikanal is ideal for those seeking a peaceful getaway in the midst of nature. With activities like boating and nature walks available at minimal costs, it’s perfect for budget travelers. The best time to visit is from October to June, offering cool and comfortable weather to explore its natural beauty.

Each of these destinations in India offers a unique blend of cultural richness, natural beauty, and spiritual serenity, all accessible on a budget. Whether it’s the spiritual ghats of Varanasi, the royal heritage of Udaipur, the tranquil beaches of Gokarna, or the serene mountains of Darjeeling, India’s budget-friendly gems are waiting to be explored. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure that’s as easy on the eyes as it is on your wallet!

Unique Budget Experiences

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean missing out on unique experiences. In fact, it often leads to more authentic adventures. Let’s explore some of the not-to-be-missed activities in each of our listed budget-friendly destinations.

For a selection of tours and activities explore platforms such as Viator or GetYourGuidetailor your adventure to your preferences and interests.

Pushkar, Rajasthan: Spiritual Walks and Camel Safaris

In Pushkar, take a spiritual walk around the holy Pushkar Lake and explore the bustling market streets. Don’t miss the camel safaris, which offer a unique way to see the surrounding desert landscape.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh: Boat Rides and Historical Exploration

Experience the spiritual essence of Varanasi with an early morning boat ride on the Ganges. Witness the historical richness of the city by visiting its numerous ancient temples and ghats.

Amritsar, Punjab: Cultural Immersion and Historical Visits

At Amritsar, visiting the Golden Temple at night is a must. The Wagah Border ceremony, a display of patriotic fervor, is another unique experience. Explore the local markets to taste authentic Punjabi cuisine.

Udaipur, Rajasthan: Royal Heritage and Lake Views

In Udaipur, take a boat tour on Lake Pichola, visit the majestic City Palace, and enjoy the traditional folk dances of Rajasthan. Exploring the old city lanes offers a glimpse into the local life and heritage.

Gokarna, Karnataka: Beach Hopping and Yoga Retreats

Gokarna is perfect for beach hopping, with its serene and beautiful beaches. Join a

yoga retreat or engage in meditation sessions by the sea for a tranquil experience. For the more adventurous, water sports like surfing and snorkeling are great options.

Darjeeling, West Bengal: Tea Tasting and Scenic Treks

In Darjeeling, a visit to the tea gardens is a must. Participate in tea tasting sessions and learn about tea production. Treks to Tiger Hill for sunrise views and rides on the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway offer unforgettable experiences.

McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh: Trekking and Cultural Exploration

McLeod Ganj, known as the home of the Dalai Lama, offers opportunities for spiritual and cultural exploration. Trek to Triund for panoramic views of the Himalayas, and explore the Tibetan monasteries and museums.

Gokarna: Beachside Camping and Temple Visits

Experience beachside camping under the stars at Gokarna. Visit the ancient Mahabaleshwara Temple and partake in the laid-back beach life, offering a perfect blend of spirituality and relaxation.

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan: Desert Safari and Cultural Nights

In Jaisalmer, embark on a desert safari to explore the Thar Desert. Enjoy cultural evenings with folk music and dance, and stay in desert camps for a night under the starlit sky.

Goa: Beach Parties and Water Sports

Goa is all about its lively beach parties and a plethora of water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, and scuba diving. Explore the Portuguese heritage in Old Goa and savor the local Goan cuisine.

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu: Nature

Walks and Boating Kodaikanal invites you to immerse in nature with its beautiful walks around the Kodaikanal Lake and through the lush forests. Boating in the lake is a peaceful way to enjoy the serene beauty of the surroundings. Don’t miss exploring the local bazaars for handicrafts and homemade chocolates.

These unique experiences in each destination not only fit within a budget but also enrich your travel with memories that last a lifetime. From spiritual walks in Pushkar to adventurous water sports in Goa, each activity offers a different perspective of India’s diverse landscape and culture.

Traveling in India on a budget is about making smart choices that allow you to experience the true essence of each destination. Whether it’s savoring local street food, participating in traditional festivities, or exploring natural wonders, India’s budget-friendly destinations have a wealth of experiences waiting for you. There are for sure thousands of budget places to visit in India.

Travel Tips – Budget Places to Visit in India

Traveling through India on a budget is not only about finding affordable destinations but also about smart planning and savvy traveling. Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your trip without overspending.

1. Use Local Transportation

India’s local transportation, including trains, buses, and auto-rickshaws, are incredibly affordable. Opt for overnight trains to save on accommodation costs and experience the charm of Indian railways. For shorter distances, local buses and shared auto-rickshaws are both economical and authentic ways to travel.

For seamless travel across the country, consider using 12AsiaGo and Busbud to book your transportation. Whether it’s trains, or buses, these platforms offer convenient options to ensure you reach your destinations comfortably and on time.

Click on the link or use the tool down below for a quick search!

2. Try Street Food

Indian street food is not only delicious but also easy on the wallet. From spicy chaats to sweet jalebis, exploring the local cuisine is a culinary adventure. Always eat at busy stalls to ensure freshness and hygiene.

3. Choose Budget Stays

India offers a wide range of budget accommodations, from hostels to guesthouses. Many places also offer homestays, providing a more authentic experience at a lower cost.

When it comes to finding the perfect stay, and Agoda have got you covered! Explore a variety of accommodations, from cozy guesthouses to luxurious hotels, making your journey even more comfortable. Click on the links or use the tool down below for a quick search.

4. Travel During Off-Peak Seasons

Traveling during the off-peak seasons can significantly reduce costs. Accommodations and flights are often cheaper, and destinations are less crowded. However, ensure to check the weather conditions and local festivals for a pleasant experience.

5. Bargain Wisely

Bargaining is an art in India, especially in local markets. While it’s important to bargain to avoid being overcharged, do it respectfully and know when to stop. Understanding the local pricing can help you negotiate better.

6. Use Digital Resources

Leverage digital resources for better deals and insights. Apps for transportation, accommodations, and food can offer discounts and real-time reviews, helping you make informed decisions.

7. Be Cautious with Money

Carry a mix of cash and digital payment methods. While many places accept digital payments, cash is still king in remote areas. Keep your money and valuables safe, especially in crowded places.

8. Connect with Locals

Interacting with locals can enrich your travel experience. They can offer insights into local hidden gems, authentic eateries, and cultural experiences that might not cost a dime.

9. Plan Your Itinerary Wisely

Plan your itinerary to minimize backtracking and unnecessary travel. Group nearby attractions together to save time and transportation costs. Sometimes, less is more – focus on fully experiencing a place rather than ticking off a long list.

10. Travel Light

Traveling light can save you money and hassle. It makes using public transportation easier and avoids extra charges for heavy luggage.

By following these tips, you can explore India’s wealth of experiences without spending a fortune. Budget travel in India is all about immersing yourself in the local lifestyle, embracing new experiences, and making lasting memories.

Frequently Asked Questions About Budget Places in India

Traveling on a budget in India can raise many questions, especially for first-time visitors. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers to help you plan your trip more effectively when it comes to the budget places to visit in India.

Traveling through India on a budget can be one of the most rewarding experiences. With a little preparation and awareness, you can navigate the country’s diverse landscapes and cultures with ease and confidence.

Conclusion on Budget Places to Visit in India

As we reach the end of our journey through India’s budget-friendly destinations, it’s clear that traveling in this magnificent country doesn’t have to be expensive. India, with its rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and experiences, offers something unique for every traveler, all within a budget that suits your pockets.

From the spiritual ghats of Varanasi to the royal palaces of Udaipur, from the tranquil beaches of Gokarna to the bustling streets of Amritsar, each destination we’ve explored offers a window into the diverse soul of India.

These places not only provide affordable travel options but also open doors to rich cultural experiences, culinary delights, and unforgettable memories.

Happy travels, and may your journey through India be as colorful and diverse as the country itself!

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I hope to see you again soon on this blog. Do not forget to share these Budget places to visit in India with your friends and family too 🙂

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