Last updated on August 12th, 2023

India is a country full of diversity. Whether you are a native or foreign traveler, here the fragrant fragrances of the soil pull you towards it. Whenever long weekends or holidays come, it seems like going somewhere to hang out solo or with friends. But at the same time, you also feel that you have to travel, but seeing the budget, the feelings remain in mind. But you do not need to worry, you can go for a trip solo or with your friends and you do not need to spend excessive money on your trip. There are various budget-friendly trips in India but do not know where to go, where to stay, or where to eat, then you’ve come to the right place. I have a solution to all your problem.

20 Budget-Friendly Travel Destinations

Plan your trip on a budget that is popular and offbeat which will surely give you an incredible experience. As a travel blogger, it is my responsibility to provide you a vast knowledge about budget-friendly trips. So I have decided to write an article about budget trips I’ve experienced. From hill stations to houseboats, and enormous lakes to beaches. If you want that your trip should be done comfortably and there’s no extra burden on your pocket, I will also share some tips with you so that you can be able to enjoy your journey comfortably without any hassle. In this article, you will find everything from affordable hotels and dormitories to delicious cuisines and other activities. You need to read this article carefully, so all your doubts will be solved in just a few minutes. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip and enjoy your vacation! 

1. Kasol, Himachal Pradesh – Amsterdam of India

Kasol: Amsterdam of India

Kasol is a tourist attraction located along the banks of the Parvati River in the Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh. In a short period, Kasol has gained popularity among backpackers, trekkers, and budget travelers. If you’re one of them then Kasol is a must-visit budget-friendly trip on your bucket list. 

  • Best time to visit: October to May
  • How to reach: Bhuntar Airport/Jogindar Nagar Railway Station. Kasol is well-connected by road to major cities. 
  • Sightseeing Places: Kheerganga, Parvati River, and Magic Valley
  • Things to do: Trekking, Sightseeing, and Camping
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food) = INR 1500 per day
  • Accommodation: Nomad Hostels, The Hosteller, and Parvati Woods Cottage
  • Eateries: Falafel, Shambhu Momo, and Sunshine Cafe. 
  • Famous Delicacies: Shakshuka, Falafel, Thukpa, Paranthas 

2. Munnar, Kerala – a hill station of tea gardens

Munnar: A Hill-station of Tea Gardens

Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, Munnar is a hill station that is famous for its tea plantation, waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries, trekking trails, and beautiful landscapes that attract nature lovers. Popular among tourists, Munnar is situated at around 1600 meters above sea level offering its visitors the tea-making process and tasting different varieties of tea.

  • Best time to Visit: October to May
  • How to reach: Cochin International Airport. It takes 4-5 hours to reach Munnar via Kochi
  • Sightseeing Places: Anamudi Peak, Mattupetty Dam, Eravikulam National Park, Tea Museum, and Echo point.
  • Things to do: Sightseeing, trekking, and Camping at Echo point
  • Average cost (Stay+Food): INR 1000 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel Munnar, Backpackers Nest, Green Forest hostel, and The Edge Munnar
  • Eateries: Munnar food court, Rapsy restaurant, Saravana Bhavan
  • Famous Delicacies: Appam and Stew, Fish Curry, Payasam, Kappa, and Fish Curry

3. Manali, Himachal Pradesh – Valley of the gods

Manali: Valley of the Gods

Manali is a popular destination in Himachal Pradesh which is known for its scenic beauty and adventurous activities. This adorable place takes you to the Ice-world (Rohtang Pass) where you can enjoy different activities. 

  • Best time to visit: October to June
  • How to reach: The nearest Railway Station is Jogindar Nagar and the airport is Bhuntar Airport.
  • Sightseeing Places: Rohtang Pass, Hidimba Devi Temple, Manikaran Gurudwara, Old Manali
  • Things to do: Skiing, Trekking, Paragliding, and Rafting.
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1500 per day
  • Accommodations: Zostel Manali, Backpacker Panda, Moustache Manali, The Lost Tribe Hostel
  • Eateries: Johnson’s Cafe, The Lazy Dog Lounge, Cafe 1947
  • Famous Delicacies: Momos, Thukpa, Indian, Chinese, and Continental

4. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand – the yoga capital

Rishikesh: The Yoga Capital

Do you want to indulge in Adventurous activities or want to calm your mind and body through yoga and Meditation? The choice is yours! Rishikesh is a budget-friendly trip in India that provides you with both things. Immerse yourself in the marvelous beauty of this amazing place which is free from alcohol and non-veg food and spend your quality time here. 

  • Best time to Visit: March to May and September to November.
  • How to Reach: Rishikesh Railway Station is well-connected to major cities of India. Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport. 
  • Sightseeing Places: Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, the Beatles Ashram, and Neer Garh Waterfall
  • Things to do: Bungee Jumping, Camping, Trekking, Visit Temples, Yoga, and Meditation
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1500-2000 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel Rishikesh, The Hosteller Rishikesh
  • Eateries: Ramana’s Organic Cafe, The Beatles Cafe
  • Famous Delicacies: Aloo Puri, Kachori, Lassi

5. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu – the land of three seas

Kanyakumari: The land of Three Seas

Among the budget-friendly trips in India, Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India, known for its scenic beauty, beaches, and temples. Kanyakumari offers a heavenly confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. And the most wonderful thing is that the waters of the three seas do not mix, you can differentiate between turquoise blue, dark blue, and sea green waters of the three seas. You can enjoy the best view of sunrise and sunset. 

  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • How to Reach: One can reach Kanyakumari by Trivandrum International Airport/Kanyakumari Railway Junction.
  • Sightseeing Places: Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kanyakumari Temple, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Padmanabhapuram Palace, etc.
  • Things to do: Explore temples, Relax at Kanyakumari beach, Watch sunrise and sunset
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1500 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, TriSea Residency, Hotel Triveni
  • Eateries: Annapoorna Restaurant, Sea View Restaurant
  • Famous Delicacies: Idiyappam, Fish fry, Kothu Parotta, Banana Chips, Filter Coffee

6. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh – the temple town

Khajuraho: The Temple Town

Known for its erotic art sculptures depicted outside the ancient temples, Khajuraho is a small town in Madhya Pradesh. These ancient temples are UNESCO World Heritage sites. This place is included as one of the cheapest places in India

  • Best time to Visit: October to March
  • How to Reach: Khajuraho Airport/Khajuraho Railway Station
  • Sightseeing Places: Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple, Lakshmana Temple, and Museum
  • Things to do: Light and sound shows, Visit temples, Explore Khajuraho, local shopping
  • Average Cost(Stay+Cost): INR 1000 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, Moustache, and The Hosteller
  • Eateries: The Curry House, Madras Coffee House, Sankalp, etc.
  • Famous Food: Dal Bafla, Bhutte Ki Kees, Chana Masala, Kachori, and Lassi

7. Darjeeling, West Bengal – the land of thunderbolt

Darjeeling: The Land of Thunderbolt

Sip Darjeeling tea while soaking in the fresh air of the hills. Darjeeling is one of the budget-friendly trips in summer in India. Also known as the “Queen of Himalayan Tea”, this beautiful hill station is located in West Bengal. Here you can enjoy beautiful views, the marvelous beauty of hills, attractive sightseeing places, tea gardens, and local food.

  • Best time to visit: March to May
  • How to reach: Bagdogra Airport/New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. Darjeeling is well-connected by road to major cities in India.
  • Sightseeing Places: Tiger Hill, Tea Estates, Ghoom Monastery, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
  • Things to do: Toy train ride, Enjoy scenic views of Darjeeling, Learn about Tibetan culture and handicrafts
  • Average Cost(Stay+Food): INR 300, INR 200 per day
  • Accommodation: Joey’s Hostel, Holumba Haven, Backpacker’s Den
  • Eateries: Golden Tips Tea Cosy, Keventers Cafe, Tom, and Jerry’s Momos
  • Famous Delicacies: Momos, Thukpa, Aloo Dum, Churpee, Darjeeling Tea

8. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – the iconic hill-station

Shimla: The iconic Hill Station

Situated at an altitude of 2200 meters, Shimla is a popular budget-friendly trip in India. This hill station mesmerizes tourists with its natural charm. Shimla is well-connected to major cities in India. If you are seeking low-budget places in India then you should go for Shimla.

  • Best time to visit: October to June
  • How to reach: Arrive at the Shimla Railway Station/Jubbarhatti Airport
  • Sightseeing Places: Kufri, The Ridge, Himalayan Bird Park, Christ Church
  • Things to do: Stroll on Mall Road, Treehouse stay, Trekking, Camping
  • Average Cost(Stay+Food): INR 700, INR 150 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, Bedweiser Backpackers, The Lost Tribe Hostels
  • Eateries: Indian Coffee House, Sita Ram and Sons Restaurant, Sher-e-Punjab Restaurant
  • Famous Delicacies: Channa Madra, Dham, Aloo Parda, Siddu, Momos, Chhole Bhature

9. Udaipur, Rajasthan – the city of lakes

Udaipur: The City of Lakes

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is a beautiful place in Rajasthan which is known for its stunning palaces, lakes, and rich heritage culture.

  • Best time to visit: September to March
  • How to reach: Udaipur is well connected by air, rail, and road to major cities. Maharana Pratap Airport/Udaipur Railway Station
  • Sightseeing Places: Pichhola Lake, City Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, Saheliyon-ki-Bari, Sajjangarh Palace, Kumbhalgarh Fort, 
  • Things to do: Light and sound show, Sunset boat cruise, Enjoy ropeway ride
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 300, INR 100 per day
  • Accommodation: Moustache, Zostel, Roadhouse Hostels, Banjara Hostel 
  • Eateries: Millets of Mewar, JMB Restaurant, Krishna Dal Bati Restro, Kitchens of Mewar 
  • Famous Delicacies: Dal Bati Churma, Gatta Curry, Kadhi Pakora, Ker Sangri, Mirchi Bada

10. Mount Abu, Rajasthan- the hill of wisdom

Mount Abu: The Hill of Wisdom

Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan that has become a popular destination and offers wonderful views to its tourists. Every year travelers come here to escape from the scorching heat.  Mount Abu offers an opportunity to witness the city’s architectural masterpieces, vibrant cultures, lifestyle, mystical temples, shimmering lakes, and authentic cuisines. 

  • Best time to visit: November to March and You can also visit from April to June 
  • How to reach: Mount Abu is well connected by road, rail, and air. Abu Road is the nearest railway station and Udaipur is the nearest airport to the city. 
  • Sightseeing Places: Nakki Lake, Guru Shikhar, Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, Dilwara temples. 
  • Things to do: Boating, Trekking, Rock Climbing, Rappelling
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1000 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, Youth Hostel Mount Abu, Hotel Mount Winds, Hotel Aradhana. Ranges from INR 300 per night 
  • Eateries: Chacha Cafe, Honey Dew Restaurant, Munna Bhai’s Pizza INR 200 per meal 
  • Famous Delicacies: Dal Bati Churma, Malpua, Pyaz Kachori, Rajasthani Thali

11. Nainital, Uttarakhand – misty lakes and mountains

Nainital: Misty Lakes and Mountains

Wow! What a wonderful place! If you are seeking a perfect budget-friendly trip in summer then nothing better than Nainital. It is situated at an altitude of 2084 meters above sea level and is surrounded by lush green forests and mountains. Do you want to get indulge in picturesque beauty, serene lakes, and a pleasant climate then Nainital welcomes you wholeheartedly. 

  • Best time to visit: March to June
  • How to reach: Nainital is the most-accessible hill station and is well-connected to major cities via roads, trains, and air. Kathgodam Railway Station/Pantnagar Airport. 
  • Sightseeing places: Naini Lake, Naina Devi Temple, Snow View Point, Bhimtal, and Eco Cave Gardens. 
  • Things to do: Visiting Naina Devi Temple, Boating on Naini Lake, and Exploring the garden
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1000 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, Nainital Backpackers, The Pine Crest, Himalayan View Guest House, KMVN Rest House
  • Eateries: Mouchak Restaurant, Sakley’s Restaurant, and Pastry Shop
  • Famous delicacies: Baadi, Aloo ke Gutke, Kumaoni Raita, Bal Mithai

12. Hampi, Karnataka- the forgotten empire

Hampi: The Forgotten Empire

If you want to visit such a place that showcases the vibrant history of the city then Hampi is a perfect budget-friendly trip for you. This popular destination is located in the shadowed depths of hills and valleys in the southern state of Karnataka. Hampi is a wonderful treat for history lovers. 

  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • How to reach: Hampi is well accessed by road and rail. The nearest railway station is in Hospet. And the nearest airport is in Hubli.
  • Sightseeing places: Virupaksha Temple, Matanga Hill, Vithala Temple, Lotus Palace, etc.
  • Things to do: Exploring the ruins of Vijaynagar Empire, hiking to the top of Matanga Hill, Taking a Coracle Ride, and Shopping for local handicrafts
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1500 per day
  • Accommodation: Mowgli guest house, Gopi guest house, Thilak homestay & dormitory
  • Eateries: Laughing buddha cafe, Mango tree restaurant
  • Famous delicacies: Masala dosa, Bisi bele bhat, Filter coffee

13. Ooty, Tamil Nadu- the queen of hills

Ooty: The Queen of Hills

One of the best hill stations in South India, Ooty also known as the “Queen of Hills” is located in Tamil Nadu and offers a picturesque view to its tourists. Ooty has been a popular hill station since British rule. Included one of the budget-friendly places, Ooty is famous for its luxuriant tea gardens. 

  • Best time to visit: October to June
  • How to reach: The nearest Airport and Railway station in Coimbatore. Ooty is well-connected by road. 
  • Sightseeing places: Ooty botanical garden, Doddtabetta peak, Pykara waterfalls, Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary
  • Things to do: Jeep safari, Ride in the famous Ooty toy train, Explore the beautiful church, take a stroll in the gardens 
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 2000 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, The Backpacker Panda, Hill View Inn, The Surya Village
  • Eateries: Sidewalk Cafe, The Curry House, Shinkows Chinese Restaurant
  • Famous delicacies: Kothu Parotta, Idli and Dose, Avial, Ooty Varkey, Ooty Tea, Mushroom Pepper fry

14. Alleppey, Kerala – The Venice of the east

Alleppy: The Venice of the East

If you want to relax and get lost in the lush green fields then Alleppy is the best place to relax in the ever-present Houseboat. Famously known as the Venice of the East, Alleppy is a wonderful city in Kerala. Alleppy is famous for its lust countryside, lagoons, serene backwaters, and picturesque canals. Relax in the Houseboat, relish delicious coconut mix seafood, and have a ton of fun in the floating boat.

  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • How to reach: Alleppy is well connected by road and train to Cochin. Cochin International Airport / KSRTC Bus Station / Alappuzha Railway Station
  • Sightseeing Places: Houseboat, Alleppey Backwaters, Alappuzha Beach
  • Things to do: Enjoy beautiful sunset, Relaxing in Houseboat, and watch a Kathakali performance (a traditional dance form of Kerala)
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1500 per day
  • Accommodation: Backpacker Panda, Zostel. If you want to stay in a Houseboat then you should consider a group tour and the range starts from INR 6000.  
  • Eateries: Houseboat offers all meals. Apart from that, Indian Coffee House, Saffron Restaurant, and Hot Kitchen offer affordable South Indian food. 
  • Famous Delicacies: Puttu and Kadala, Idli and Sambhar, Idiyappam, Kerala Fish Curry

15. Agra, Uttar Pradesh- the Taj Mahal City

Agra: The Taj Mahal City

Do you want to experience one of the seven wonders? Then Agra is a must-visit place for you. Included in one of the budget-friendly places to visit in India, Agra will take you to a different world where you can get acquainted with the history of the country. Tourists from all over the world are drawn to Agra to catch a glimpse of the magnificent Taj Mahal and other famous sites of the city. 

  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • How to reach: Agra is well-connected by air, road, and train to major cities. 
  • Sightseeing places: Iconic Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri
  • Things to do: Visit the iconic Taj Mahal, Try street food, Shopping
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1000 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, Moustache, Hotel Saniya Palace
  • Eateries: Ram Babu Parantha, Peshawari, Shankara Vegis Restaurant
  • Famous delicacies: Agre-ka-petha, Mughlai Parantha, Biryani, Kebabs, Tandoori Chicken

16. Lonavala, Maharashtra – the chikki town

Lonavala: The Chikki Town

If you’re seeking budget-friendly places in Mumbai, then Lonavala is the perfect destination for you. Lonavala is the most beautiful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This hill station offers spectacular views of lush green valleys, stunning lakes, majestic waterfalls, and rock-cut caves displaying ancient motifs and inscriptions. 

  • Best time to visit: October to May and June to August
  • How to reach: One can reach Lonawala by air, train, and road. 
  • Sightseeing places: Rajmachi Point, Lonavala Lake, Tiger’s Leap, Karla Caves, Lohagad Caves
  • Things to do: Trekking, Watching the sunset, Waterfall Hopping
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 2000 per day
  • Accommodation: Backpacker’s Villa, Hiker’s Den
  • Eateries: Rama Krishna, The Kinara Village Dhaba
  • Famous delicacies: Chikki, Misal Pav, Poha, Sabudana Vada

17. Amritsar, Punjab – home to golden temple

Amritsar: Home to Golden Temple

If you want to spend your quality time in spiritual prayers then you must visit Amritsar. Amritsar is a vibrant city well-known for the Golden Temple, rich history, culture, and lip-smacking food. When you come here you will get a different kind of peace. You can eat at the langer provided by the temple which is so delicious.   

  • Best time to visit: November to March
  • How to reach: You can take a flight to Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport or can take a train to Amritsar Railway station. Amritsar is well-connected via road from major cities.
  • Sightseeing places: Golden Temple, Wagah border, Jalianwala Bagh 
  • Things to do: Prayer, Eat street food, Shopping
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1500 per day
  • Accommodation: Backpackers Nest, Zostel, Joyous Nest
  • Eateries: Kesar da dhaba, Ahuja lassi, Kanha sweets, Brother’s da dhaba
  • Famous delicacies: Punjabi thali, Amritsari Kulcha, Lassi, Paneer Tikka, Tandoori Chicken

18. Jaipur, Rajasthan – the pink city

Jaipur: The Pink City

If you want to catch a glimpse of the incredible heritage then Jaipur also known as “Pink City” is the perfect destination for you. Jaipur is quite famous among both domestic and foreign tourists. Jaipur has a rich culture and historical heritage reflecting its royal past and is also known for its vibrant arts and crafts.

  • Best time to Visit: October to March
  • How to Reach: Jaipur is well connected by air, rail, and road to major cities. Jaipur Internation Airport/Jaipur Junction
  • Things to do: Visit heritage sites, Explore the old city and colorful markets, and Jeep Safari
  • Sightseeing Places: City Palace, Amber, Hawa Mahal, Nahargarh, and Jantar Mantar
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 200, INR 150 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, Moustache, Backpacker Panda
  • Eateries: LMB, Rawat Mishthan Bhandar, Masala Chowk
  • Famous food: Dal Baati Churma, Ker-sangri, and gatte ki sabzi

19. Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh – the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh

Dharamshala: The Winter Capital of Himachal Pradesh

If you are looking for a peaceful palace to relax in or want to explore the natural beauty of India, Dharamshala is a great choice! Dharamshala is well known for its monasteries, temples, and trekking routes, as well as being a great place to enjoy and relax.  

  • Best time to visit: March to July
  • How to reach: The nearest airport is Gaggal Airport, and Pathankot is the nearest railway station. Dharamshala is well-connected by road to major cities. 
  • Sightseeing places: Dalai Lama Temple, Mcleod Ganj, Bhangsunag Waterfall, Kangra Fort
  • Things to do: Trekking, Camping, Enjoying scenic views
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1000 per day
  • Accommodation: Zostel, The Lodge, HosteLaVie
  • Eateries: Woeser Bakery, Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen, Illiterati Cafe
  • Famous delicacies: Thukpa, Momos, Butter Tea, Tibetan Bread

20. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh – the spiritual capital of India

Varanasi: The Spiritual Capital of India

Do you want to indulge in Gangaji and its ghats? Then come to Banaras! It is an auspicious city that welcomes every person wholeheartedly who comes here. The only way to explore a budget-friendly trip to Banaras is to wander through narrow streets. Most of the culture flowing in this city is saturated in these “Streets of Banaras”. The most captivating experience of this trip is to boat ride at sunrise. 

  • Best time to visit: November to February
  • How to reach: Varanasi is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The nearest railway station is Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport. Varanasi Junction is the main railway station.
  • Sightseeing places: Assi Ghat, Kasi Vishwanath Temple, Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, Banaras Hindu University
  • Things to do: Attend the Ganga aarti, Take a boat ride, try local street food, and explore the narrow lanes and markets 
  • Average Cost (Stay+Food): INR 1000 per day 
  • Accommodation: The Hosteller, Moustache Hostel, Stops Hostel
  • Eateries: The Pizzeria, Kachori gali, Kashi chaat bhandar
  • Famous Delicacies: Chaat, Banarasi paan, Lassi, Tamatar chaat, Baati chokha

Budget-Friendly Travel Tips

  • Travel during Off-season: If you do not want an extra burden on your pocket, then you should plan your trip in the off-season because during this time you can stay in the best hotels at affordable rates. Flights also offer the best deals during the off-season.
  • Self-guided Tours: Self-guided tours are a great way to explore a new destination at your own pace. You can create itineraries on your own and this saves a lot of your money.
  • Volunteering: Do you love traveling? Of course! Yes. So enjoy your traveling by volunteering. Some hostels offer travel volunteer programs in which you have to do volunteering at the place. You can also make money while traveling. Sounds Good naa!
  • Stay in Hostels: Why spend money on luxury hotels? While you can get all the amenities by spending a little money. Just book your room in a hostel and you can interact with different people as well.
  • Plan your trip in advance: You can save a lot of money on flights, accommodation, and activities when planning your trip in advance.
  • Use Public Transport: Public transports are cheaper than taxis. Use them and save your pocket. 
  • Eat at local restaurants or street food: Enjoying food on streets, local markets, and local restaurants as can save money on food.
  • Free activities: Take advantage of free or low-cost activities.
  • Use discount airlines: If you want to travel by air then check the discount of airlines time-to-time.
  • Group Travel: It is the best option to choose group travel as you will save a lot of money and also don’t get bored. 
  • Carry a water bottle: Buying a water bottle always can be expensive and bad for the environment, so it is best to carry your own water bottle. Whether you’re looking for a 2-3 day trip or more than that, take a look at the list of budget-friendly trips, pack your bags, and get out of your comfort zone. 
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