India itinerary 3 weeks – The ultimate Backpacking Route

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3 - 4 weeks
Availability : November to March
Delhi
Goa
Max People : 200

India Itinerary: route crossing Rajasthan, Mumbai and Goa

This 3 week itinerary shows you different parts of India. Your trip starts in the busy capital Delhi and will end at the beautiful white sandy beach in Goa. During this trip you first visit the Taj Mahal and then continue on to the impressive state of Rajasthan. Here you will visit the pink city of Jaipur, the religious place of Pushkar, the blue city of Jodhpur and the beautiful Udaipur. Then you fly on to Mumbai. Your adventure ends in Goa, where you can relax for a few days. A travel backpacking route full of culture, nature and history! You can travel this route in 3 weeks, but if you go 4 weeks you can take it a bit easier. Namasté!

Itinerary

Suggested itinerary for three weeks: Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Pushkar – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Mumbai – Goa.

Day 1 – Departure

Today is the day! You are going to India! Your first stop is India’s capital Delhi.

Day 2 – Arrival Delhi

This travel route starts in the capital of India: Delhi. You’ve had a long flight, so make sure you have a decent hotel. Spend 1 night in Delhi and get ready for the real trip!

Transfer from the airport to your hotel

Ignore the pushy taxi drivers, who will approach you as soon as you walk out the airport. Choose your own driver and demand that they turn on their meter. To drive you from the airport to your hotel in Delhi, shouldn’t cost you more than 400 Rupee (€5). Be prepared to use your bargain skills. You can also arrange a pre-paid taxi. You then pay in advance at the airport. You’ll receive a voucher. You only give this voucher to the driver if he brought you to the correct address. Without the voucher the driver will not get paid.

It is also possible to get on the metro or bus. Buses are a cheap way to get into the city centre. DTC runs shuttle buses every 30 minutes, taking you from Terminal 3 to central New Delhi. Be prepared to walk to your hostel or hotel, or arrange a rickshaw.

Where to stay in Delhi

You will stay here for only one night (or longer if you want to extend your trip).

My pick: Hotel Sunstar Heritage***

One of the better hotels in Delhi, rated with an 8. In the nice neighborhood, close to the metro and the station (note there are several stations in Delhi). Nice rooms for € 48 per night including breakfast in high season.

A cheaper stay: TG Tashkent **

TG Tashkent hotel is a good option if you want to spend the night a little cheaper. The hotel is close to the station and to the Main Bazaar. Scores a 7.8 on Booking.com. Nice rooms, clean and private bathroom. € 19 per night for a double room.

Day 3 – from Delhi to Agra

So cool! Today you will travel to the famous Taj Mahal.

How you get there

Train trip india
Love to travel by train in India!

Multiple trains leave to Agra every day. The journey will take three hours or more, depending on which train you’ll pick. Book your ticket and check the actual time schedule and prices via Cleartrip. A train ticket shouldn’t cost you more than 200 Rupee. Note that Delhi has multiple train stations. Take a rickshaw from Agra’s train station to your guesthouse.

Where to stay in Agra

You will stay here for one night.

My pick: Hotel Kamal **

Don’t expect luxury if you want to stay close to the Taj Mahal. Hotel Kamal is a good option and is situated close to the Taj Mahal. Their rooftop restaurant provides 24/7 Taj Mahal-view. Rooms are clean and cost €14,- per night. Book a room via Agoda.com.

Want to pick your own hotel in Agra? Click here.

Day 4 – from Agra to Jaipur

Spend the whole day in Agra, watching the Taj Mahal (OMG how beautiful). Take the train to Jaipur in the evening.

Taj Mahal India
Taj Mahal

How you get there

My advice is to take the train around 5 or 6 PM. You’ll be in Jaipur before mid-night. The trip takes 4 to 6 hours, again depending on which train you’ll choose. Book your ticket and check the actual time schedule on Cleartrip. Sleeper class costs max. 250 Rupee.

Where to stay in Jaipur

You will stay here for three nights.

My pick: Pearl Palace Heritage

Just like a fairy tail. The rooms are beautifully decorated. This guesthouse only has ten rooms, so don’t wait too long to make your reservation. A double room costs €40,- per night and are rated with a 9.2!

My cheaper pick: Sunder Palace Guest House

The rooftop restaurant is great. The rooms are spacious and cheap (€15,- per night). Reviewed with an 8,7, so you won’t regret it is you stay here.

There are so many cute guesthouses in Jaipur. Take a look here.

Day 5 – Jaipur

Jaipur india
Water palace

Jaipur is amazing! There is a lot to see and plenty things to do. I recommend you to do a city-walking-tour, all by yourself and without a guide. During the walking tour, you will pass the Hawa Mahal, City Palace and Jantar Mantar. Entree fee is about €8.

Day 6 – Jaipur

Amber fort jaipur
Inside Amber fort

Make a day-tour with a rickshaw. It will only cost you 300Rs and you will have a wonderful day. Let the driver take you to the Amjer fort (Amber fort), the water palace and the Monkey temple (don’t fall for the cute kids who will say to protect you from the “aggressive monkeys”.

Day 7 – from Jaipur to Pushkar

Today you’ll travel to Pushkar, one of Rajasthan’s most charming places.

How you get there

There is no direct train to Pushkar, so it is easier to go by bus (= touring car). If you want to take the train anyway, you’ll have to go to Ajmer. From there, you have to take the bus also.
By bus, it takes four hours and costs around 300 Rupees. Departure times vary every day. Check Makemytrip.com to view the actual time schedules and to book your ticket.

Where to stay in Pushkar

You’ll stay here for two nights.

My pick: Inn Seventh Heaven

This guesthouse has 14 cozy rooms. Every room has another theme and is uniquely decorated. This accommodation is located close to the holy lake of Pushkar. This guesthouse has excellent ratings on TripAdvisor. You can make a reservation via the website of this guesthouse only. Room rates vary from €24 to €47 per night.

My cheaper pick: Hotel Everest *

So colorful. This little guesthouse has 15 rooms, which are all nice and clean. The rooftop restaurant offers a spectacular view over Pushkar. Hotel Everest is conveniently 100 m to the sacred Pushkar Lake. A double room costs €10 per night. This hotel is rated with an 8.3 on Booking.com.

Check Booking.com for more guesthouses in Pushkar.

Day 8 – Pushkar

pushkar

It is time to explore Pushkar. The sacred lake of Pushkar is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats. You can see pilgrims take a bath here. Pushkar also has hundreds of temples. Most famous is the Brahma temple. You can also do a camel trek. Trips start at around 500Rs per day.

Day 9 – from Pushkar to Jodhpur

Travel further to the blue city of Jodhpur.

How you get there

Since Pushkar has no train station, you’ll have to go by bus to Ajmer. It only takes 30 minutes. At the train station, you can take the train from Ajmer to Jodhpur. This trip takes 4 to 5 hours and costs around 200 Rs. Check Cleartrip for actual times and prices.

It might be easier to go by bus (touring car). The ride takes 5 hours and costs 300 Rs.

Check Makemytrip for tour operators, travel times and prices. I’d advise you to arrange a ticket via your guesthouse.

Where to stay in Jodhpur

You’ll stay here for three nights.

My pick: Kings Retreat Jodhpur ***

Kings Retreat Jodhpur is located barely 500 m from Clock Tower, Jaswant Thada, and Mehrangarh Fort. Rooms are clean and will provide you with air conditioning, heater, a balcony and a seating area. This place is rated with an 8+ and sleeping here costs €26 per night.

My cheaper pick: Kesar Heritage Guest House *

Cheaper, but as good as my first option. The location is ideal, ratings are good and the rooms are clean. This accommodation has different rooms to choose from. Prices start from €12,- per night.

Choose your own hotel in Jodhpur? Check Booking.com

Day 10 – Jodhpur

fort jodhpur

This crowded city has a lot to offer. Explore the city by foot. From your hotel, you can walk to the magnificent Mehrangarh fort. Entrance fee is around 400 Rs including camera fee and audio.

Day 11 – Jodhpur

Jodhpur blue city

You’re in Jodhpur and free to do whatever you want. Arrange a rickshaw to do a sightseeing tour. It only costs 300 Rs for a day. Be prepared to hassle.

Day 12 – from Jodhpur to Udaipur

Today you’re traveling to your next destination: Udaipur.

How you get there

There is no train connection between Jodhpur and Udaipur, so you can take the bus. This trip takes almost 7 hours, so it is best if you leave in the morning. Check the tour operators and time schedules via Makemytrip. A bus ticket costs less than 300 Rs.

Where to stay in Udaipur

You’ll stay here for two nights.

My pick: Hotel Pratap Bhawan

Hotel Pratap Bhawan is located in the heart of Udaipur. The rooms are spacious and clean. The owner is very friendly and will help you with anything. A double room costs €20 per night. This hotel is rated with an 8.3 on Booking.com. You won’t be disappointed.

Looking for something cheaper? Check Booking.com.

Day 13 – Udaipur

udaipur lake

Arrange a rickshaw to tour you around. Sit back and relax! Udaipur has it all, crowded markets, temples, a palace and fort.

Day 14 – from Udaipur to Mumbai

Today you’re leaving Rajasthan. You’ll fly to the big city Mumbai (Bombay).

How you get there

Arrange a taxi (for example via your guesthouse) to the airport. It will be 25 km, so 400 to 500 Rs. Jetairways and IndiGo, both offer cheap flights to Mumbai. A ticket costs €30 or €40 per person. Search the cheapest flight via Skyscanner.com. The flight takes 1 hour and 25 minutes.

There are almost no rickshaws in Mumbai. You can take a pre-paid taxi (200 to 400 Rs). The counter to buy the ticket for prepaid taxis is located just as you exit customs. The journey to Mumbai city center can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on traffic.

Where to stay in Mumbai

You’ll stay here for three nights.

My pick: Residency Hotel Fort **

Mumbai is expensive in comparison to other cities. You’ll have pay more than €50 to get a clean and comfortable hotel at a B location. The Residency hotel fort has beautiful (small) rooms, close to Mumbai’s well-known train station. A double room costs €63 per night. This hotel is reviewed with an 8.4.

My cheaper pick: Traveller’s Inn Hotel – Fort *

Don’t expect too much in Mumbai. Rooms are a little bit dated, but the location is good. A double room costs €25 per night. This hotel is rated with a 7 on Booking.com.

Choose your own hotel in Mumbai? Click here.

Day 15 – Mumbai

mumbai

Mumbai is big, so spend your time wisely. You’ll find everything from beaches to Bollywood, from markets to ghats. A popular place to start your sightseeing tour is the Gateway of India, which is also close to the Taj Mahal Palace and tower.

Day 16 – Mumbai

mumbai india

Plenty of options. Here are some: Dhobi Ghats, Elephanta Island or the boulevard. It is also fun to visit a cinema and pick a weird Bollywood movie.

Day 17 – from Mumbai to Goa (Palolem beach)

Destination Beach it is. Goa here you come!

How you get there

It is either taking the train (12 hours / 450 RS / sleeper class) or going by plane (1,5 hour / 2700 Rs). Note that Mumbai has multiple train stations.
I prefer the plane. Spicejet and IndiGo offer affordable flights. Check Skyscanner.com to find the best deal.

It is another 1,5-hour drive from Goa Dabolim to Palolem beach. A taxi costs 1500 Rs.

Where to stay in Goa – Palolem

You’ll stay here for four nights (or longer if you want to). My advice is to book only one night in advance. Most beach huts aren’t advertised online. So when you get here, you can search a beach-hut or hotel that you like.

My pick for the first night: Crystal Goa

These huts are clean and spacious. The beach is 200m away. A hut costs €29 per night and is rated with an 8.4.

Check more accommodations here.

Day 18 – Goa

Goa Palolem beach india

Your day starts with breakfast and your search to another place to stay. Later you can enjoy Goa’s most beautiful beach: Palolem beach.

Day 19 – Goa

In Ponda (50 km from Palolem) is the Tropical Spice Farm. You can wash elephants over here. Rent a scooter – be careful and safe – and drive to Ponda.

Day 20 – Goa

It is your last day in Goa. So enjoy it to the max!

Day 21 – Going home

All good things come to an end. Today you’re going home. You’ll have a lot of travel experience by now, so it will be a piece of cake to find your way back to the airport.

 

I would love to hear from you! Have you been to India? Or if you are planning on going and have any questions or itinerary suggestions. Just leave me a comment below.

blogger evy

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Tour Details

The cost of this trip are variable and depending on the price of the flight, rental car and hotels of your choice. 

Arrive in

Depart from

Delhi

Goa (or Delhi)

Highlights

Taj Mahal, traveling by (night) train, the Pink and Blue city in Rajasthan, Mumbai and Palolem beach in Goa.

Estimated cost

$550 to $890 (€500 to €850) per person including good hotels or hostels, transfer, food, visa and tours. Excluding your flight ticket.

Price Includes

  • 20 Nights Hotel Accomodation
  • Tours and excursions as described
  • Public transport

Price Excludes

  • Food and drinks
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Short drives in tuktuks