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Things to do in India: What are the top places to visit?

by Pilar Dujan | February 1, 2021
Discover some of the things to do in India, like touring Brihadisvara Temple

India is one of the biggest countries in the world. With thousands of years of history, there’s no limit to the amount of things to do in India. Just to paint a picture, in India there are 40 World Heritage Sites, 106 national parks and over 100 amusement parks! 

Since each region holds many different attractions, here you will find a selection of things to do in India divided by city. 

All there’s left for you to do is to apply for your India eVisa, read our travel to India tips and just get on the plane and live an unforgettable experience. 

Things to do in Mumbai 

Mumbai, previously called Bombay, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra and the most populated of all the cities in India. It’s located on the western coast of India, bathed by the Arabian Sea. 

Thousands of tourists flock to Mumbai every year to visit its stunning attractions, like the Gateway of India, the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum or the Siddhivinayak Temple. The Elephanta Caves are a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO and one of the things to do in India that most people pick. Also, the Kanheri Caves are worth the visit.

Gateway of India, Mumbai, India, Things to do in India

Things to do in Goa 

The state of Goa is located about 600 km to the south of Mumbai, also sitting on the western coast of India. 

Since it’s a coastal region, it’s no surprise that one of the most popular activities for tourists is simply relaxing at the beach, although you might not have expected to find it as one of the things to do in India. You can also enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and water sports in Goa. A few beaches worth visiting are Palolem Beach, Agonda Beach and Varca Beach, but there are many others in the area. 

Goa also has a few World Heritage Sites that you shouldn’t miss while on a trip, like the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Fontainhas, reflecting the Portuguese past of the area. Lastly, a tour of a Spice Farm is a must for lovers of Indian food.

Bungalows and rocks on the beach in Goa, Things to do in India

Things to do in Delhi 

Delhi is the capital territory of India. It’s the fifth most populated city in the world and the largest in the country. Going to Delhi is one of the mandatory things to do in India for travelers. You can find Delhi in the Northern area of India

There are thousands of things to do in India, and some of the most well-known are located in Delhi. A perfect example of this is the Red Fort, a place you simply must visit, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site Humayun's Tomb

Exploring Old Delhi is also one of the top things to do in India and Delhi. History lovers can visit the Raj Ghat Gandhi Memorial in honor of Mahatma Gandhi and the house of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, site of her assassination.  

The Lodi Garden or the Sunder Nursery are great options for those looking to unwind after spending the day mingling with the millions of people that reside in Delhi.

The Red Fort of Delhi, Things to do in India

Things to do in Bangalore 

Bengaluru or Bangalore is a city of South-Central India, capital of the Karnataka state. Bangalore is the third most populated city of the country. 

Visiting the Bangalore Palace is one of the best things to do in India if you like architecture, the Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace is another option. And don’t forget about the ISKCON Temple!

For fans of being outside in nature, Ulsoor Lake, Bannerghatta National Park and Nandi Hills await. 

Safari in Bannerghatta National Park one of the things to do in India,

Things to do in Hyderabad 

The south-central city of Hyderabad is the capital of the Telangana state, and it’s probably not a place that comes to mind when picking the things to do in India. Big mistake! There are many attractions worth visiting, like the Golconda Fort, the Charminar and the Qutb Shahi Tombs in Ibrahim Bagh

Other interesting places in Hyderabad include the Chowmahalla Palace, the Paigah Tombs and the KBR National Park.

Paigah Tombs in India, Things to do in India

Things to do in Jaipur 

Going to Jaipur is definitely one of the things to do in India that you have to do at least once. It’s the capital of the Rajasthan state in northern India. 

While in Jaipur, you will get the chance to visit the Amber Fort, probably the second most popular of all the things to do in India after the Taj Mahal. The City Palace, Hawa Mahal and Jal Mahal round up the list of places you simply have to visit in this city.

A few other options include Jawahar Circle (a circular park), the stunning Panna Meena Ka Kund and the leopard reserve of Jhalana Safari park.

The Pink City of Jaipur, Things to do in India

Things to do in Chennai 

Chennai is located in south-eastern India, right on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It’s the capital of Tamil Nadu state. 

Although its attractions are not the things to do in India that everybody knows, it’s a beautiful area for going to the beach, and even for enjoying some water sports or snorkeling

To explore the city, some of the top attractions include Kapaleeshwarar Temple, San Thome Church and Puri Jagannath Temple. Alamparai Fort and the stunning Ubbalamadugu Falls are also great choices for a holiday in Chennai.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Things to do in India

Things to do in Kerala 

Kerala is an Indian state located in the southern coast of the Arabian Sea. 

Some of Kerala’s top attractions are natural, like the Eravikulam National Park, Athirapally Falls, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary and the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.

To explore a larger area of Kerala, taking the train ride through the Ernakulam-Kollam-Trivandrum route is a good choice. It will let you experience the landscapes of the region, including tea gardens. 

If you’re a fan of this hot drink, in Munnar you will be able to try different kinds and even buy your favorites. One of the best places for enjoying this experience is Kannan Devan Plantation Museum.

Things to do in Kochi 

Kochi (or Cochin) is located inside Kerala and is one of the most visited places in the state. 

Its top attraction is Fort Kochi. In the fort you will also find Fort Immanuel, Santa Cruz Basilica and Saint Francis Church. Here you will see the Portuguese influence in Indian architecture. It’s also where Portugal’s explorer Vasco de Gama was buried!

While you’re in Kochi, take the chance to visit the neighborhood of Mattancherry, especially the Mattancherry Dutch Palace.

Deer in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Things to do in India

Things to do in Udaipur 

Udaipur is a city in the Rajasthan state of India, about 400 km to the south-west of Jaipur.

Known as the “City of Lakes”, it’s no wonder that its most popular attraction is the artificial, fresh water Lake Pichola, one of the seven lakes of Udaipur. There are two islands inside the lake with palaces built to enjoy the amazing views.

Other palaces worth visiting are the City Palace and the Jag Mandir Palace, as well as Saheliyo ki Bari (the Courtyard of Maidens). The Karni Mata and Ranakpur Jain temples are two of the beautiful places of worship you will find in Udaipur.  

City Palace of Udaipur is one of the things to do in India

Things to do in Agra 

Agra is a city of the central state of Uttar Pradesh, less than 250 km to the south-east of Delhi. 

There’s no competition when deciding what the top attraction of Agra is. The top spot in all the things to do in India, and obviously in the city, is the Taj Mahal, a mausoleum complex that has the honor of being one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World. 

Other notable attractions in Agra include the Agra Fort and the Jahangir Mahal, as well as Fatehpur Sikri and the Jama Masjid.

Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Things to do in India

Fun things to do in India

As you may have noticed, India is an incredibly vast country. The things to do in India are endless, ranging from safaris to old temples and water sports on the beach. 

But India is also a good place to relax and have fun. For example, going to a bazaar or local market is a great place to just walk around, practice your haggling skills and buy some good souvenirs. 

Markets also serve as introduction to the local street food, which will vary according to the region you’re currently in. If you dare, book a street food tour and fill your belly with all the delicacies India has to offer. But remember, India travel tends to feature special appearances by Delhi Belly. Be careful!

You probably know that India is a prolific film producer so, if you like films and Indian culture, you should definitely make reservations for a Bollywood tour.

Some family-friendly options could include some of the many zoos and theme parks of India.  On the other hand, India is also home to a bustling nightlife. For a good party, go to the cities of Goa, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai, Jaipur and Kolkata. But, of course, chances are you will find bars and/or nightclubs in any of the bigger cities of India, but it’s not as likely in the small villages.