You can find the little luxuries like Ayurvedic massages for under £10.
India is unlike any other place on earth. The sights, smells, and sounds will captivate you and leave an indelible impression.
Whether it’s your first visit or your twentieth, there is always more to be seen and done in this amazing country.
North India might have Delhi and Bollywood, but the south has some of the best tourist attractions in the world.
From the quiet golden beaches of Goa to the cosmopolitan roar of Bangalore, Southern India is the holiday of a lifetime.
Hyderabad: The City of Pearls
Charminar stands as an icon of Hyderabad and no visit would be complete without exploring this mosque. It’s well worth winding your way up the 149 steps to get to the top.
The view is unbeatable and you’ll find a serene refugee from city life up there. Once you are ready to get back to exploring, go over to Begum Bazaar. It’s one of the city’s oldest markets and the perfect place to find souvenirs and pick up local food.
Plan an afternoon exploring the area around Hussain Sagar Lake. Walk around the tranquil parks then go to Eat Street for some Hyderabadi biriyani. After lunch, take a boat ride to the iconic Buddha statue in the middle of Hussain Sagar Lake.
Chennai: Along the Shore of Madras
Chennai is home to Kollywood, the centre of Tamil cinema. While it’s not quite as famous as Bollywood, it does produce some amazing films.
Take a tour of AVM studios to watch the action as it happens or go explore the old sets. After you take in South India’s pop culture, head to the Government Museum and National Art Gallery to learn about local art and history.
When you are ready to relax, visit one of Chennai’s beautiful beaches. Marina Beach, Edward Elliot’s beach, and Breezy Beach are the perfect places for a long walk or an afternoon picnic.
Do keep in mind that Chennai’s beaches aren’t for swimming so you’ll definitely get some strange looks if you show up in your beach gear.
Pondicherry: India’s French Rivera
Pondicherry is just three hours from Chennai and the scenery is beautiful along the way. It may be a small city but it has a lot to offer. Stroll along the seaside and take in the remnants of the French colonial time.
Auroville is a spiritual village of sorts on the outskirts of Pondicherry. The international community residing there has regular workshops, yoga, and meditation sessions. It’s unlike anything else you’ll ever see. Be sure to start your trip at the Visitors’ Centre or you’ll easily get lost in the maze.
Bangalore: The Garden city of India
With a population close to 8.5 million, Bangalore is India’s third largest city. It has been called the Silicone Valley of India and is at the forefront of Indian’s massive IT sector.
Bangalore is so much more than just a place to do business though. From the gorgeous Surayanarayana Temple to the shopping paradise of Commercial Street, it’s one of India’s most amazing cities.
Bangalore is a fantastic place for a sporting holiday. There are bicycle tours around the city that will guide you through the history and culture while taking you past all of the best art and heritage sites.
For something a bit more adventurous, go for a rock climbing tour of Ramanagara and take in some of the country’s most breath-taking views.
If you’ve ever dreamed about being a pilot, you won’t want to miss Flight 4 Fantasy. The flight simulator there is Trip Advisor’s top pick for the city.
The Winter Paradise of Goa
The many towns scattered along the coast of Goa are perfect for a beach holiday. Spend lazy mornings lying on the seaside. Try your hand at the multitude of water sports in the afternoon then linger at the local bars and clubs well in the night. If you’re there over the weekend, don’t miss Ingo Saturday’s night bazaar.
After you’ve relaxed on the coast, head into the Western Ghats and explore the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. Take in the amazing ecosystem and hike up to the Dudhsagar Waterfalls.
Find an Oasis in Kerala
If you are truly looking to get away from it all, rent a houseboat in Kerala. Explore the 900 kilometres of canals, lakes, and inlets that make up this gorgeous area.
You can usually find an overnight trip for around £50 or go all out in one of the extravagant luxury boats. There are also many boats offering day trips, which could be a better option if you’re unsure about a night on the water.
You should typically be able to find a flight from the UK to India for around £400. Explore a little to find your least expensive route. London-Goa flights might be £200 more than London-Mumbai flights on any given day.
You can, however, easily find Indians airlines that will take you from Mumbai to Goa for less than £70. Check the prices for multiple cities before you buy your tickets. If your final destination city isn’t the cheapest, look at local airlines and rail options.
Airfare will be your biggest expense. Once you arrive, you can find mid-range hotels in many cities for less than £20. Local restaurants are often as little as £2 and you can find the little luxuries like Ayurvedic massages for under £10.