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India is among the world’s finest destinations for low-budget travelers. Despite never-ending lists of unique historic, cultural, artistic, and other attractions it has to offer, India manages to keep all its offerings cheap and accessible. How long can $500 last you? Take a look at our calculations.
You can find a cheap dorm room or basic hotel for around ₹400 -₹800 ($6- $12) per night almost throughout India. The quality of what is being offered within this price range will depend mostly on your location. While you can get a decent place with basic facilities in most rural areas and small towns for that price, it may get a little trickier with bigger cities like Mumbai and New Delhi.
You can also rent an Airbnb for an entire month and enjoy additional monthly discounts available for most listings.
Luckily for foodies, affordable yet delicious food is never hard to come by in this country. The trick is to eat like the locals. Many small restaurants and canteens will offer scrumptious and plentiful thali meals (all-you-can-eat platters) for ₹120 – ₹300 ($1.5 – $4.5). While this can be the perfect lunch or/and dinner, breakfasts are even cheaper at $1 – $2. Tea and coffee at most small eateries or roadside stalls will cost you between ₹5 – ₹30 (less than a dollar).
Public transportation in India is ridiculously cheap. Local bus tickets are rarely likely to go past $1 and is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to get around most of urban and rural India. Cab services such as Uber and Ola are among the most comfortable and affordable ways to get around most Indian cities. Try their shared cabs and you can even make new friends in town, besides saving a lot of cash. Auto-rickshaws are another comfortable way to get around town, but are pricier than cabs in many Indian cities. While traveling between cities, bus transport will mostly range from $6 – $14 whereas trains can range from $2 – $30 depending on how uncomfortable you are willing to get.
Most government-run historic, natural, and cultural attraction sites will charge foreign visitors up to $10 for entrance. However, most Indian cities and villages also have plenty of bazaars, local religious sites, historic monuments, and other sites that are part of local life, and thus not set up to charge tourists and visitors. You will also find local guides at most popular tourists sites who may charge between $5 – $10 for a detailed tour.