Things to do in India

Things to do in  India

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Deeply spiritual, highly majestic, and overwhelmingly frenetic, India is a country that has no comparison. Home to a whopping 32 World Heritage sites, India weaves Himalayan hikes, stunning architecture, colonial heritage, religious harmony, and culinary diversity into one fascinating destination. Unsurprisingly, the iconic Taj Mahal tops nearly all India itineraries, as do the ancient forts and palaces of Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi—the cities that comprise the Golden Triangle. Stray from the beaten path, and you'll see that India offers a wealth of wonders: Varanasi, split by the revered Ganges River, is considered one of the most fascinating places on earth; the white-sand beaches of Goa continue to allure free-spirited travelers; in Kerala, glistening backwaters and emerald tea plantations abound; and in Rajasthan, fairy-tale palaces are juxtaposed with rare wildlife. Multiday tours are a safe and hassle-free way to travel around India, with almost all covering the highlights of the Golden Triangle. Meanwhile, full-day sightseeing tours of Mumbai mean you can experience the madness and magic of the city even if you're short on time. Time your visit to India with one of the country's numerous Hindu celebrations for an unforgettable cultural experience—top picks include Holi festival, known as the Festival of Colors; and Diwali, when the country erupts into fireworks and candlelight.

Top 15 attractions in India

Taj Mahal

Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and certainly one of India’s most famous landmarks, the Taj Mahal is a living testament to the grandiose and the romantic. Lovingly built from white marble by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, the structure is decorated with carvings of flowers and inlays of precious stone arranged into intricate patterns that can be admired both from its impressive exterior and interior. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see for every traveler to northern India.More

New Delhi Parliament House (Sansad Bhavan)

Designed by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, the Parliament House (Sansad Bhavan) is a striking sandstone building and home to both houses of the Parliament of India. This round building was inspired by the Great Stupa of Sanchi and the Ashoka Chakra—the same circular symbol found in the center of the Indian flag.More

Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves are among the most beautiful, historically significant attractions in Mumbai. Situated on an island off the coast, this UNESCO World Heritage Site features multiple rock-hewn cave temples and statues dating back to around the 7th century AD, including a celebrated statue of Shiva in his three-faced form.More

Gateway of India

One of Mumbai's most recognizable attractions, the triple-arched Gateway of India was built during the early 20th century in honor of the 1911 visit of King George V. Built of basalt and concrete, this monument was designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, which blends traditional Indian, Victorian, and Mughal architectural elements.More

India Gate

India Gate is a 138-foot (42-meter) war memorial in the heart of New Delhi, reminiscent of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. Built in 1931 and designed by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, designer of most of New Delhi, it’s a must-visit photo stop on a Delhi tour.More

Qutub Minar

The Qutub Minar is a brick minaret built in 1193 by Muslim conquerors of Delhi. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Delhi’s most visited tourist attractions. At 240 feet (73 meters) high, it’s also an impressive engineering feat—all the more notable for surviving for so many centuries.More

Hanging Gardens (Ferozeshah Mehta)

Also known as the Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, Mumbai's Hanging Gardens is a beautifully manicured park known for its extensive topiary, primarily carved into animal shapes. Due to the park’s location atop Malabar Hill, it's long been a popular spot to take in views of the Arabian Sea, particularly at sunset.More

Jal Mahal (Water Palace)

Situated smack in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, on the road that runs between Jaipur and Amber Fort (Amer Fort), the 18th-century Jal Mahal (Water Palace) is a gorgeous red sandstone palace that’s accessible only by boat. Though currently closed to visitors, the dreamlike structure is still an incredible sight to behold from shore.More

Dhobi Ghat

At the world’s largest outdoor laundry, every day for over 120 years the dirt has been washed from thousands of kilos of clothes by the dhobis (washermen and women of Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat. Formed back in 1890, the famous laundromat is celebrated by photographers who come to images of row upon row of washing troughs.More

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

Formerly known as Victoria Terminus (and still called "VT" by many), this train statio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is best known for its over-the-top Indo-Saracenic architecture, which blends neo-Gothic elements with Mughal and Indian features. It's Asia's busiest train station—one you may have seen in the film Slumdog Millionaire.More

Humayun's Tomb

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Humayun's Tomb is the final resting place of Humayun, whose father Babur founded the Mughal Empire. It's considered one of the earliest examples of true Mughal architecture; ironically, the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II, was captured here during the 1857 Indian Rebellion.More

Udaipur City Palace

On the banks of Lake Pichola, Udaipur City Palace showcases centuries of traditional architecture, starting from when the foundations were laid in the middle of the 16th century. Successive rulers added on to the original, resulting in what today is an enormous complex with 11 palaces connected by mazelike passageways.More

Lotus Temple (Bahá'í House of Worship)

Known as the Lotus Temple for its unusual, 9-sided floral shape, the Delhi Bahá'í House of Worship is one of the most visited architectural sites in the city, if not on the planet. Constructed entirely from white marble imported from Greece, this impressive structure stands in a 26-acre (10.5-hectare) garden featuring extensive landscaping and nine ponds.More

Amber Fort (Amer Fort)

High on a hilltop, towering majestically over the village of Amber on the outskirts of Jaipur, this 16th-century fort palace is worth visiting for its grand architecture that blends Muslim Mughal and Indian Hindu (Rajput) elements. Here, you’ll find labyrinthine passageways, elegant royal halls, and fabulous views of desert landscape.More

Palace of Wind (Hawa Mahal)

Palace of Wind (Hawa Mahal) is easily one of Jaipur’s most iconic attractions. This stunning red and pink sandstone structure in the heart of the Pink City features rows of carved screens and more than 900 lattice-worked windows that allow in just the right amount of breeze to keep the 5-story complex cool.More

Trip ideas

Around India in 15 Dishes

Around India in 15 Dishes

Top activities in India

Four-Day Private Luxury Golden Triangle Tour to Agra and Jaipur From New Delhi
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All Inclusive Day Trip to Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Baby Taj from Delhi by Car
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3-Day Private Luxury Golden Triangle Tour to Agra and Jaipur From New Delhi
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5-Day Private Luxury Golden Triangle Tour to Agra and Jaipur From New Delhi
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4 Day Golden Triangle with Ranthambore Tiger Safari Tour from Delhi
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6-Day Private Tour of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Varanasi from Delhi
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Top Destinations

Top Destinations

All about India

When to visit

With its vast array of climates, India is a year-round destination, but not every region is ideal in every season. Popular to visit areas in North India are at their most comfortable from late September until March, when the weather is at its coolest and driest. And parts of Northern India can get chillingly cold in the winter, particularly in the Himalayan foothill states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Getting around

India has one of the world’s largest train networks, and if you have the time, traveling by train is the best way to explore the country. Do note that the higher-elevation areas in India’s northernmost states are only accessible by taxi or car. If you prefer flying, there are plenty of budget carriers connecting India’s cities, and traveling by plane is generally quick and easy. Major cities have lots of local transportation options, from cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws (tuk-tuks) to taxis.

Traveler tips

You’ll find a variety of climates in India, from snowy mountains to dry deserts, tropical jungles, and seemingly everything in between. It’s always wise to pack a few warm layers, especially if you’re visiting the northern reaches of the country. On the same token, a few lightweight long-sleeve shirts are a good idea both for keeping you warm on cool evenings and for protecting you from the heat of the sun on hotter days.

Local Currency
Indian Rupee (₹)
Time Zone
IST (UTC +5)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What is India most known for?

India is best known for its architectural and historic attractions, including the Taj Mahal, the country’s best-known sight. India is also well-known for its wide range of cultural sights, from the palaces and forts of Rajasthan to the ancient temples found across South India.

How long do you need in India?

While three weeks to a month is ideal for a trip to India, you’ll need at least 10 days to even scratch the surface. With such little time, you’re best off confining yourself to one region. The Golden Triangle, which encompasses Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra—home of the Taj Mahal—is the best option.

What are three main tourist attractions in India?

India’s three best-known tourist attractions are the Taj Mahal in Agra and the cities of Jaipur and Delhi, which are collectively known as the Golden Triangle. Other equally worthwhile tourist attractions include the Kerala backwaters in South India, the vibrant city of Mumbai, and the Portuguese-influenced coastal state of Goa.

What should you not miss in India?

Must-see attractions in India include the Taj Mahal, the colorful desert state of Rajasthan, and the cities of Mumbai and Delhi. If you’re a fan of yoga, head to Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world. Beach lovers will want to make a beeline to Goa to soak up the sun.

What food should you try in India?

India has a huge variety of foods worth trying, from rich Mughlai cuisine dominated by meaty stews to lighter South Indian fare such as crepe-like dosas and steamed rice and lentil cakes known as idlis. Don’t miss the street food, but go with a local to help you identify the safest spots to eat.

Is it safe in India?

Yes, India is generally a safe country. Violent crime against tourists remains low, though scams and overcharging are common. The biggest safety risks relate to health, as food- and water-borne illness is common—it’s important to eat in hygienic spots and drink only bottled or filtered water.

Frequently Asked Questions