What is it like to travel to India for the first time as a tourist?

I will be honest even if you are a seasoned traveller, India can give you a big dose of culture shock. It does depend where you go as well, as some places are more bustling then others.

However, if you like the idea of culture and life being lived out in the open for all to experience then you will love India.

It’s an endearing place that will challenge you but will also reward you in the most surprising ways possible.

We spent 5monthts travelling through India & came up with this list of travel tips for people travelling India….hope it helps.

Below I’ve listed the pros and cons of travelling India which may also prepare you for what to except.


  • It is the most colourful place on earth.
  • It’s rich in culture and history.
  • Every corner shows you a new and beautiful surprise.
  • You can enjoy the hustle and bustle of big cities or escape and go off the beaten track and explore tiny villages and beautiful nature.
  • You have 100 countries in one. Each state is unique and there are over 380 different languages in use and many diverse religions.
  • You can see the himalayas, the jungle, waterfalls, rushing rivers, beaches, desert and rolling hills all in one country.
  • The food is out of this world, you will crave the food when you leave India!
  • The people are so warm hearted and kind, you will make so many new friends travelling through india.
  • If you love markets India is the place for you!
  • It’s a cheap destination to travel, meaning you can travel longer! We recommend at least 1-3 months to really see India, even longer if you can!
  • In our experience after 5 months of traveling across India, It’s much safer than people say it is. We never experienced any problems during our travels through India.
  • It will be completely different from home, there is no place in the world like India!
  • It’s an adventure of a lifetime.


  • Air pollution and dust can be a problem in the larger cities.
  • You might get frustrated with people pushing in line. It really can be a fight for your spot and this can get exhausting.
  • The menu is not always the menu, many times the item you really wanted to order is ‘not available.’
  • You will see extreme poverty.
  • Bureaucracy can be painstaking. Lots of rules and restrictions means that sometimes it can be extremely difficult to achieve things that back home are easy. Some examples are online train and bus bookings, currency conversions etc etc.
  • The service is either amazing or really bad.
  • There is not many places that accept eftpos or credit card, esspecially if your a budget traveller, visiting more local places.
  • Most of the time shops, hotels and restuarants will have no change. We even experienced this at the Taj Mahal! (make sure you have small notes)
  • Crossing the road can be dodgy, but you learn the ropes soon enough! Our tip is to look at traffic as you cross and dont stop mid way, the traffic will read your direction and will go around you.
  • Sometimes cleanliness standards are not what you are use to.
  • You might come across scammers if you visit touristy locations, but you soon learn how to avoid them.
  • It’s hard to see people throwing their rubbish into rivers or beautiful landscapes.
  • You will hear stories of corruption. Although we never experience corruption first hand.
  • Some cultural differences might be difficult to accept, for us it was the caste system.
  • You might see some things that shock you, but for us this was all part of the adventure.
  • India can be very crowded, but you can escape the crowds by getting out of the larger cities.
  • It can be a challenge travelling in India, but after the first two weeks you will be a pro!

India is not for the faint hearted but despite the challenges, it is still one of our favourite countries in the world. It can be a bit addictive to be honest! So if you love new challenges, exploring new cultures, stunning landscapes and amazing experiences, then don’t hesitate to book your ticket to India!

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