India Backpacking Budget

India backpacking budget

(Map of India from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in India on a Shoestring Budget

US$20 | 1350 Rupees

India is undeniably a cheap country to travel in and if you are really prepared to rough it out on the lower classes of trains and eat questionable food then $15 might be a more realistic shoestring budget. It’s worth baring in mind that many Indians live on just a few dollars a day but in the bigger cities, there are also plenty of things that cater for the burgeoning middle class, who have plenty of Rupees to spend.

$20 might be a more realistic India backpacking budget and will allow you to travel in one of the better classes on the country’s extensive rail network and eat in pretty good restaurants each night. Accommodation is very good value as a rule so there’s not much danger of you going over that budget if you’re sensible.

That said one or two of the major attractions can be relatively pricey, with foreigners charged as much as 20 times more than Indians in some cases so the costs can add up a little.

See where India ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

More Comfortable India Backpacker Budget

US$30 | 2000 Rupees

On $30 per day you can travel very comfortably indeed and if you have some cash saved up, you are likely to have a much more enjoyable trip on this kind of budget. You would find yourself suddenly able to stay in decent 2 or 3 star hotels, eat all your meals in good restaurants and be able to afford the odd flight to save time on the longer journeys.

You won’t have to worry so much about the cost of entering temples or forts eating into your budget and the fact you are eating in better places, should increase your chances of avoiding the dreaded Delhi belly but don’t count on it!

Sample Prices in India

Flight from Mumbai to Goa (1 hour) – $40

Train from Delhi to Agra (2 hours) – 412 Rupees in AC chair (roughly $6)

Train from Delhi to Mumbai (16 hours) – 2227 Rupees in AC 1st class ($33), 1537 Rupees in AC 2nd class ($23)

Meal in a budget restaurant – $2

3 course meal in a decent restaurant (mid-range) – $5

Large local beer in a bar/restaurant – $1.50

Dorm bed – from $2.50

Cheap private double or twin room – from $5

Admission to the Taj Mahal for foreigners – 1000 Rupees ($15)

Compare prices with some of India’s neighbours by checking out the cost of travel in Sri Lanka and the cost of travel in Nepal.


Currency – Indian Rupee

£1 = 98 Rupees

€1 = 75 Rupees

US$1 = 67 Rupees

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

MFT Recommends

Kick back at the funky and very cheap Bonfire Hostel in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.

street art in Delhi

street art in Delhi, India (via Meena KadriCC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to India recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016.