Backpacking India

Hello to all seasoned and aspiring backpackers!

There is hardly any other country with as many contrasts as India, where the colourful, fascinating, and impressive meets the chaotic, noisy, and (admittedly) challenging. However, everyone agrees on one thing: India is one of the most fascinatingly diverse countries in the world.

A land of extremes and opposites, India is where century-old traditions meet modernity, the gap between rich and poor is huge, and the landscape is incredibly varied. Whether it’s climbing in the high mountains, shopping in lively cities with millions of inhabitants, hiking through the jungle, or relaxing on tropical sandy beaches – everything is possible, making the country one of the most popular backpacker destinations.

However, backpacking in India can also be a challenge. It’s a feast for the senses but you may occasionally experience culture shock. As the second most populous country on earth (with 1.1 billion inhabitants), India can be loud and hectic, and public transport can be difficult at times. But if you keep calm (remember: the journey is the reward!) and get to know the country, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip filled with a multi-faceted geography, vibrant culture, captivating architecture, and reasonable prices.

Travel through different worlds and get to know and love the diverse charm of India.

See below for the perfect India itinerary for an unforgettable trip:


Important Basics

Official Language ( Hindu )
EnglishHindu
HelloNamaste
Goodbyela-vida
Thanksdhana-yaa-wad
Yeshaan
NoNahin-na
Capital City

New Delhi

Form of Government

Parliamentary Republic

Phone Country Code

+91

Currency

Indian rupee

Climate

Highest temperature by day: 20 to 38 degrees Celsius

Highest temperature at night: 5 to 12 degrees Celsius

Fun Fact

India contains over 300,000 mosques and over 2 million Hindu temples.

Cities

New Delhi

You’ll start and end your journey in the colourful metropolis of New Delhi.

New Delhi, now the capital of India, was built during the period of British rule, and their architectural influence is clearly reflected in the city’s high-rise buildings, wide streets, and western cafes and restaurants. The presidential palace and the impressive India Gate are some of the most famous examples of this influence.

In Old Delhi, on the other hand, you can find a traditional cityscape of India with narrow, busy streets and winding alleyways. The Red Fort, an impressive fortress and palace complex that served as the residence of the Mughal Emperors, and the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, are both worth seeing.

Take a rest from exploring the city’s many faces and stay at a hostel in New Delhi for nine euros in a six-bed dorm.

Agra

Catch a train from Delhi to Agra – a ticket costs about ten euros for a seat in the Chair Car Class (CC), which is comfortable for day trips and includes toilets and luggage storage space.

Agra is home to India's most famous building: the Taj Mahal. The gigantic mausoleum is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is an absolute must see on every trip to India. In order to avoid long waiting times, get there (very) early in the morning. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is usually open every day (except for Fridays), opening 30 minutes before sunrise and closing 30 minutes before sunset.

Spend the night just a few minutes away from the Taj Mahal in a four-bed dorm for six euros.

Varanasi

Continue by night train to Varanasi, where berths, bedding, air conditioning, and washrooms are included in a class 2A ticket, which costs just 17 euros.

The old town, with its narrow streets, traders, winding alleys, temples, and chaotic traffic, will certainly leave a lasting impression. Varanasi is situated on the banks of the Ganges River, one of Hinduism’s most important pilgrimage sites. Almost 100 staircases, called ghats, lead down to the riverbank where Pilgrims go to pray or to bathe in the holy water. Observe the religious and spiritual hustle and bustle along the river on a boat trip for a unique insight into Indian culture!

Stay here for six euros a night in an eight-bed dorm.

Kolkata

Take a plane to Kolkata from Varanasi for about 60 euros.

This city, home to more than 15 million inhabitants, is an important centre for culture and industry. You’ll find countless museums, theatres, galleries, and temples, as well as traditional markets and modern shopping centres. It’s best to take a city tour to check out sights such as Fort William, the Howrah Bridge (counted as one of the busiest in the country), and many more.

If you want to sleep in a centrally located accommodation, it’s best to rent an Airbnb which costs about 12 euros per night.

Goa

After a few days in the big city, continue to Goa. Flights to this side of India start from 50 euros.

With inviting white sandy beaches and turquoise-blue sea, Goa offers a completely different side of the country – a true tropical paradise. Those who have had enough of beach-hopping can visit the numerous churches, temples, forts, museums, and other city sights.

Pay only six euros for an overnight stay in a six-bed dorm just five minutes’ walk from the beach.

Mumbai

Your next stop is Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, a metropolis of 12 million people on the Arabian Sea. Catch a flight to this bustling city for only 30 euros.

You’ll be stunned by architectural highlights such as the Gateway of India, an impressive triumphal arch directly on the sea, and the magnificent buildings of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Mumbai not only has great sightseeing but also amazing shopping, so make sure to leave room in your suitcase for some souvenirs. If you’re not tired of the beach, visit the sea promenade and the city’s gorgeous sandy beaches.

A centrally located backpackers hostel costs only nine euros for an overnight stay in a six-bed dorm.

Jodhpur

Take the night train for 23 euros (class 2A) from Mumbai to Jodhpur.

Jodhpur is called the “Blue City” because of the light blue colour of most of the buildings. Check out a fantastic view of the blue old town from Mehrangarh Fort. While in town, don’t miss the famous spice market.

This city is also a great starting point to go on a camel safari. Spend a day in the Thar Desert and watch the sun set over the vast sand dunes. This unforgettable experience, including the camel ride, temple visit, dinner, transportation, and more is available starting at 34 euros per person.

Spend the night in Jodhpur for seven euros a night in a six-bed dorm.

JAIPUR

Continue to Jaipur by train (class CC) for seven euros.

In contrast to Jodhpur, the colour scheme here is pink, which is why Jaipur is called the “Pink City.”

In the lively capital of Rajasthan, the City Palace, the Amber Palace, and the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) are definitely worth seeing. At the Raj Mandir Cinema, the largest cinema in the country, you can watch a classic Bollywood movie. Even though you may not understand anything, it’s an experience that should not be missed on any trip to India.

In Jaipur, one night in a four-bed dorm costs just five euros.

New Delhi

Your final stop is New Delhi, where you can get from Jaipur by train (CC) for ten euros.

On your last day in India, be sure to enjoy traditional Indian food once again and shop for your last souvenirs for friends and family.

Stay overnight in a six-bed dorm for nine euros before you catch the plane back home.

This marks the end of your three-week trip – full of colourful impressions and a probably few culture shocks, you’re sure to take home many unforgettable memories.


New Delhi

New Delhi

You’ll start and end your journey in the colourful metropolis of New Delhi.

New Delhi, now the capital of India, was built during the period of British rule, and their architectural influence is clearly reflected in the city’s high-rise buildings, wide streets, and western cafes and restaurants. The presidential palace and the impressive India Gate are some of the most famous examples of this influence.

In Old Delhi, on the other hand, you can find a traditional cityscape of India with narrow, busy streets and winding alleyways. The Red Fort, an impressive fortress and palace complex that served as the residence of the Mughal Emperors, and the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, are both worth seeing.

Take a rest from exploring the city’s many faces and stay at a hostel in New Delhi for nine euros in a six-bed dorm.

Agra

Agra

Catch a train from Delhi to Agra – a ticket costs about ten euros for a seat in the Chair Car Class (CC), which is comfortable for day trips and includes toilets and luggage storage space.

Agra is home to India's most famous building: the Taj Mahal. The gigantic mausoleum is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is an absolute must see on every trip to India. In order to avoid long waiting times, get there (very) early in the morning. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is usually open every day (except for Fridays), opening 30 minutes before sunrise and closing 30 minutes before sunset.

Spend the night just a few minutes away from the Taj Mahal in a four-bed dorm for six euros.

Varanasi

Varanasi

Continue by night train to Varanasi, where berths, bedding, air conditioning, and washrooms are included in a class 2A ticket, which costs just 17 euros.

The old town, with its narrow streets, traders, winding alleys, temples, and chaotic traffic, will certainly leave a lasting impression. Varanasi is situated on the banks of the Ganges River, one of Hinduism’s most important pilgrimage sites. Almost 100 staircases, called ghats, lead down to the riverbank where Pilgrims go to pray or to bathe in the holy water. Observe the religious and spiritual hustle and bustle along the river on a boat trip for a unique insight into Indian culture!

Stay here for six euros a night in an eight-bed dorm.

Kolkata

Kolkata

Take a plane to Kolkata from Varanasi for about 60 euros.

This city, home to more than 15 million inhabitants, is an important centre for culture and industry. You’ll find countless museums, theatres, galleries, and temples, as well as traditional markets and modern shopping centres. It’s best to take a city tour to check out sights such as Fort William, the Howrah Bridge (counted as one of the busiest in the country), and many more.

If you want to sleep in a centrally located accommodation, it’s best to rent an Airbnb which costs about 12 euros per night.

Goa

Goa

After a few days in the big city, continue to Goa. Flights to this side of India start from 50 euros.

With inviting white sandy beaches and turquoise-blue sea, Goa offers a completely different side of the country – a true tropical paradise. Those who have had enough of beach-hopping can visit the numerous churches, temples, forts, museums, and other city sights.

Pay only six euros for an overnight stay in a six-bed dorm just five minutes’ walk from the beach.

Mumbai

Mumbai

Your next stop is Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, a metropolis of 12 million people on the Arabian Sea. Catch a flight to this bustling city for only 30 euros.

You’ll be stunned by architectural highlights such as the Gateway of India, an impressive triumphal arch directly on the sea, and the magnificent buildings of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Mumbai not only has great sightseeing but also amazing shopping, so make sure to leave room in your suitcase for some souvenirs. If you’re not tired of the beach, visit the sea promenade and the city’s gorgeous sandy beaches.

A centrally located backpackers hostel costs only nine euros for an overnight stay in a six-bed dorm.

Jodhpur

Jodhpur

Take the night train for 23 euros (class 2A) from Mumbai to Jodhpur.

Jodhpur is called the “Blue City” because of the light blue colour of most of the buildings. Check out a fantastic view of the blue old town from Mehrangarh Fort. While in town, don’t miss the famous spice market.

This city is also a great starting point to go on a camel safari. Spend a day in the Thar Desert and watch the sun set over the vast sand dunes. This unforgettable experience, including the camel ride, temple visit, dinner, transportation, and more is available starting at 34 euros per person.

Spend the night in Jodhpur for seven euros a night in a six-bed dorm.

JAIPUR

JAIPUR

Continue to Jaipur by train (class CC) for seven euros.

In contrast to Jodhpur, the colour scheme here is pink, which is why Jaipur is called the “Pink City.”

In the lively capital of Rajasthan, the City Palace, the Amber Palace, and the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) are definitely worth seeing. At the Raj Mandir Cinema, the largest cinema in the country, you can watch a classic Bollywood movie. Even though you may not understand anything, it’s an experience that should not be missed on any trip to India.

In Jaipur, one night in a four-bed dorm costs just five euros.

New Delhi

New Delhi

Your final stop is New Delhi, where you can get from Jaipur by train (CC) for ten euros.

On your last day in India, be sure to enjoy traditional Indian food once again and shop for your last souvenirs for friends and family.

Stay overnight in a six-bed dorm for nine euros before you catch the plane back home.

This marks the end of your three-week trip – full of colourful impressions and a probably few culture shocks, you’re sure to take home many unforgettable memories.

India Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home - New Delhi
Home - New Delhi
Flight
250
six-bed dorm
9
2. New Delhi
New Delhi
-
six-bed dorm
9
3. New Delhi
New Delhi
-
six-bed dorm
9
4. Dehli - Agra
Dehli - Agra
Train (CC)
10
four-bed dorm
6
5. Agra
Agra
-
four-bed dorm
6
6. Agra - Varanasi
Agra - Varanasi
Night train (2A)
17
Night train
7. Varanasi
Varanasi
-
eight-bed dorm
6
8. Varanasi - Kolkata
Varanasi - Kolkata
Flight
60
single room Airbnb
12
9. Kolkata
Kolkata
-
single room Airbnb
12
10. Kolkata - Goa
Kolkata - Goa
Flight
50
six-bed dorm
6
11. Goa
Goa
-
six-bed dorm
6
12. Goa
Goa
-
six-bed dorm
6
13. Goa - Mumbai
Goa - Mumbai
Flight
30
six-bed dorm
10
14. Mumbai
Mumbai
-
six-bed dorm
10
15. Mumbai
Mumbai
-
six-bed dorm
10
16. Mumbai - Jodhpur
Mumbai - Jodhpur
Night train (2A)
23
Night train
17. Jodhpur
Jodhpur
-
six-bed dorm
7
18. Jodhpur - Jaipur
Jodhpur - Jaipur
Train (CC)
7
four-bed dorm
6
19. Jaipur
Jaipur
-
four-bed dorm
6
20. Jaipur - New Delhi
Jaipur - New Delhi
Train (CC)
10
six-bed dorm
9
21. New Delhi - Home
New Delhi - Home
Flight
250

Total price.

Flights 640,00
Transportation 67,00
Tours 34,00
Accommodation 159,00
Total900,00

Du möchtest 

deine eigene

Reise erstellen?

Du möchtest deine

eigene Reise erstellen?

Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Roti Canai:  Probably the most famous Indian breakfast, this dish is similar to a pancake, but with a much lighter dough, and you can choose between sweet and savoury.

Soups

Dahl: The Indian lentil stew is a real classic, prepared with curry spices and served with rice – what more do you need?

Aveluk soup:  This soup is made from dried sorrel, which is soaked and cooked in the soup. This dish is usually on the menu in rural areas.

Main courses

Chicken Makhani: This chicken curry is an absolute must-try. It’s prepared in a creamy, buttery sauce with a little bit of rice.

Aloo Gobi: This vegetarian curry mainly consists of cauliflower, potatoes, and Indian spices. It’s a rather mild curry but still very tasty.

Dum Aloo: This is probably the most popular potato curry. It’s spicy hot but not too hot, which is why tourists love it.

Biryani: This typical rice dish is very spicy and usually mixed with meat, spices, and (sometimes) vegetables.

Thali: Often eaten for lunch, this is a large round platter of rice and various side dishes, which come in separate bowls and range from potatoes to hot chilli and tomatoes.

Drinks & Snacks

Masala Chai: This tea is spicy, and you can drink it at any time of day.

Lassi: This delicious yoghurt drink is available in all flavours imaginable.

Arrak: This distilled alcohol is made from rice and palm juice – and packs a major punch.

India

The exchange rate for 100 Indian Rupee is around €1.28 (as of February 2020). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of Living 

Food

Free Time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Be open. Want to get to know an Indian? No problem, ask him or her about their family or other things in life. Indians are considered to be warm-hearted people and are very open and talkative so you can build up a good relationship right away.

Wear some colour. When you travel to India, adapt your way of dressing a bit. Long colourful dresses and wide trousers in vibrant colours are perfect and you won’t attract too much attention.

Forget about a fork and knife. Use your hands! It may not be what you’re used to but try it anyway because Indians always eat with their hands. But beware: only use your right hand!

See a Bollywood film. Even if you don’t understand anything, this is a unique experience, and you’ll surely be inspired. A must in India!

Don'ts

Don't use your left hand in India. It’s considered to be unclean and may only be used in the toilet. All activities and movements and tasks should be made with your right hand. This includes eating, greeting, or receiving something.

Don’t kiss in public! In India, kissing in public is absolutely taboo and there is no exception for tourists. It’s best to do it in private.

Don’t be a stickler with time. Leave your watch at home because time runs differently in India. We aren’t talking about the time zone, but people simply don’t take time too seriously. This also means that little attention is paid to punctuality.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

Yes

Vaccine

Robert-Koch-Instituts

Additional Remarks.

It is recommended to ensure that travel documents are valid for 3 months beyond the Indian Visa expiry date. Please also inform yourself about the current entry regulations regarding the corona virus. You can find up-to-date information on this on the Foreign Office website, for example.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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