How to Plan a Perfect Trip to India – The Ultimate Guide for First-Timers

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a multicultural experience. From breathtaking ancient architecture, through local life, to luxury travel, India has it all. The country has endless adventurous activities making it the best place to visit.

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Above all, Indians are known for their hospitality and kindness. The thing about India is that you can spend as little or as much as you want, depending on your budget.

Unfortunately, without a proper itinerary, you could easily get lost because of the various activities available. But don’t worry, this article is designed for first-timers. So, buckle up, and let’s get started!

Do you need a visa to enter India?

Most, if not all, foreigners will need a visa to enter India. But that’s almost standard for most countries depending on the country you’re coming from.

Luckily, the country has an electronic visa system that’s been of great help with speeding up the whole process and making it more traveler-friendly.

India e-Visa is a multiple-entry travel permit that allows total stay of either 60, 90, or 180 days. The length of the visit depends on the selected India e-Visa type (tourist, business, or medical). The tourist e-Visa is the most commonly selected one as it serves best for all leisure stays.

Check the list of eligible countries and see if you can apply for your Indian visa online. Next, visit to submit your application following a quick and intuitive online application process using any working device.

The approved Indian e-Visa will reach your email inbox within a maximum of 72 hours in the form of a PDF file.

Best attractions in India for first-timers 

To start off, here’s a list of the best attractions in India. We’ll not go deep into the nitty-gritty of each attraction but keep reading on to get a better detailed description of how it feels to travel to this beautiful country for the first time.

Taj Mahal at sunset while riding the Palace on Wheels train - Photo by

  • The Taj Mahal

Do you know why was Taj Mahal even built? The reason is absolutely heart-warming! Current Mughal emperor ordered Taj Mahal to be constructed in the memory of his wife who died giving birth to his child.

This white-marble mausoleum is a staple when in India. Coming to a height of over 70 meters, with each minaret being over 40 meters high.

Taj Mahal is a World Heritage Site, which makes up yet another reason for visiting it!

Agra Fort by

  • New Delhi tour with a trip to Agra and Jaipur

Exploring India’s capital New Delhi is a must with its numerous attractions, such as the Red Fort or the Lotus Temple. Moreover, you can take a one day tour to see Agra and Jaipur as well.

Rent a car and go on a round-trip tour between the three cities and see as much as possible! Make sure to plan your journey well ahead and craft an appropriate itinerary.

  • Miramar Beach

If you crave a relaxing getaway, there’s no better place in India than Panaji. This is where the most visited beach in the whole state of Goa is located.

The Miramar beach attracts thousands of visitors thanks to its exceptional beauty, golden sands, and palm trees. Moreover, if sunbathing and swimming all day is not enough, you can also explore the near-by ancient sites, such as the Aguaga Fort.

  • Spice Market

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Now for something more tangible, India’s spice market is most definitely worth a visit. Try visiting the Khari Baoli Road to find the oldest Indian spice market.

Explore the different flavors, take your favorite ones home and try to recreate some of the traditional Indian dishes!

  • Ranthambare National Park

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Ranthamabare National Park is an over a thousand kilometers big area that attracts thousands of visitors with its rich fauna and flora.

The park serves as a home to numerous exciting wild animals that can be spotted there, including the Bengal tiger, the Indian leopard, a mugger crocodile, sloth bear, wild boars, and more!

Moreover, all visitors can explore the 10th century Ranthambore Fort located within the park that helped with creating its name.

The list goes on and on, but these top 5 should get you started. You’ll also get a highlight of what to expect in India.

Traveling to India for the first time

Without a doubt, India is a pretty busy country with a high population. Most people think it’s tough to enjoy a comfortable trip in the country, but that’s not entirely true.

The best way to take in the scenery of India is by traveling with a renowned brand. There’s more to planning a trip to India than researching what you’ll do. But with the right guide, you’ll get to enjoy all the perks that India has to offer.

If you don’t feel like traveling with a tour guide, make sure to do your research and craft an itinerary before visiting India. This way you can be sure to explore the attractions you’re actually interested in and that you’ll be able to fit all of them into your days.

Best time to visit

India is pretty hot throughout the year. However, since the country is quite big, the decision on when to visit depends on the particular area you chose.

That’s because the north side of India is known to be colder than what most tourists expect. So, take your time to understand the weather of the side of India you are planning to visit and choose accordingly.

Best places to visit in India

  • New Delhi: The national capital city will amaze you with some of the best scenery ever, including a view of Qutab Minar, Lotus Temple, India Gate, and so much more!
  • Mumbai: Formerly known as Bombay, this city is filled with breathtaking views and structures that are to die for. A place that you should definitely go to in Mumbai is the Elephanta Caves.
  • Bangalore: top attractions in Bangalore include the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, the Big Bull Temple, and the ISKCON Temple 
  • Panaji: another place that’s worth checking out in India is Panaji. Some of the exciting places to visit include Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa State Museum, and Dr. Salim Ali Sanctuary.

Final thoughts

India offers nothing but love, especially for all first-time travelers. The country might seem like a giant maze, but you’ll fall in love with every experience once you get the hang of it.

Start preparing your itinerary today and make sure to include the staple attractions one can find in India. While exploring don’t forget to try some authentic Indian cuisine for a complete experience!

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.