There are numerous options for transport in India so choose one that suits your comfort level and budget.

Travelling around India can be cheap and relatively easy compared to other countries due to the various travel options available in the country. From domestic flights to cycle rickshaws, India has it all so read on to find the best travel option to fit your comfort level and budget.


By Plane

The easiest, fastest and most comfortable way to travel is by air. It is also the most expensive way to travel in India but, more importantly, you miss out on the best experiences that come with travelling by rail or road. It is highly recommended to travel by plane if you need to cover huge distances in India – for example, if you’re travelling from North to South India or vice versa.

India has a handful of very active low-cost airlines which means that you have a wide choice of airlines at bargain prices. Some of the budget airlines in India are SpiceJet, IndiGo, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. As with budget airlines, don’t expect high levels of service; food and drinks need to be purchased.

To get from the airport to your hotel, use the taxis at the pre-paid taxi booth as the price is set up front. Remember to hand over your receipt only after reaching your destination.

Tip – Make sure you have a printed copy of your ticket/itinerary before arriving at the airport as you will be required to verify your flight booking before entry into the airport.


By Car

Travelling short distances between cities and within a city is best done by hiring a car with a chauffeur. Driving a car yourself is not recommended as Indian roads are statistically the most dangerous in the world. Travelling by a chauffeured car is convenient, comfortable and quick as long as it’s not over long distances. You can set your own pace without having to worry about making public transport connections and you can see the sights and experience many of the attractions without feeling anxious, as well as experience off-the-beaten-track towns and rural scenes that give you the only sense of real India.

Tip – Hire cars from reputable travel agencies online or while in India or from reputable hotels in India.


By Train

Travelling by train is highly recommended in India, even if you do it only once. It is one of the best experiences of travelling in India and no trip to India is complete without a long-distance train journey. India’s rail network is the second largest in the world, and you can pretty much get anywhere in the country by train. It is also one of the most affordable ways to travel, especially if you travel by overnight train. Not only does it save you time, it saves you money as well. In our opinion, it is safer than travelling by car, especially over long distances, as well as more comfortable as you can stretch out, walk around and even sleep as you travel.

Depending on your budget and comfort level, you can opt for the cheaper Sleeper Class which costs around $10-$20 per person or the most expensive Air Conditioned 1st Class (1AC) which costs around $50 per person. With two- to four-berth compartments, locking doors and meals included, you can’t get better than this travelling on the ground.

Tip – Book 1 to 3 months ahead for a confirmed seat on Indian trains otherwise you will most likely be on the waiting list. If you end up on a waiting list, speak to the train inspector (man wearing a black coat) before the train departs and ask him for a confirmed seat (expect to pay him a small tip for his service).


By Taxi or Auto Rickshaw

Travelling by taxi or auto rickshaw is the best way to get around a city. Auto rickshaws are best for short journeys only as they are relatively slow, bumpy and open air.

To get from the airport to your hotel, use the taxis at the pre-paid taxi booth as the price is set up front. Remember to hand over your receipt only after reaching your destination.

Tip – Always negotiate the rate upfront before getting into an auto rickshaw or taxi, unless the driver is using a ‘meter reading chart’.


By Bus

Travelling by bus is the cheapest form of travel in India and is only recommended if you are on a tight budget and travelling in India for several months. Even then, it is not recommended that you travel long distances by bus as the condition of the roads and the buses are terrible in India. If you have to do so, travel by deluxe or luxury buses operated by private companies and only during the day.

Travelling within a city to visit attractions is recommended for budget travellers as it is cheap. However, in most cases, it will take longer and you will probably have to walk some distance to get to your destination. It is also difficult to find the correct bus that will take you from A to B.

Tip – Ask locals for the best bus options and where to get off.


By Metro / Local Train

Most metropolitan cities in India have a fantastic metro or local train network that allows you to travel within the city. Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur have some of the best metro networks in India and makes travel relatively quick, easy and affordable within the city. Mumbai and Chennai have a vast network of local trains of which the Mumbai trains can be congested and stuffy during peak travel times.

Tip – Avoid travelling on the Metro during the peak periods when office goers are heading to or from work.

Choose your destination

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