How Much Spending Money for India?

Ever dreamt of navigating the bustling streets of Delhi, marvelling at the Taj Mahal, or finding inner peace in the tranquil temples of Varanasi? India’s got all this and more to offer! But before you pack your bags, let’s figure out how much you will need when you visit India.

Don’t sweat it, your friends at Crown Currency Exchange have got you covered with all the financial insights you’ll need for your Indian adventure. Let’s dive in, shall we?

How Much Spending Money Do I Need for India?

The answer, like a good curry, depends on the spices – or, in this case, your travel style. Let’s break it down.

Budget Travellers

If you’re the adventurous type who loves to immerse yourself in local culture, this budget range is for you. At ₹2,750 – ₹3,350 per day, you can explore street markets for vibrant trinkets, devour mouth-watering street food, and lodge at cozy hostels or guesthouses. You might even have some change left over for a thrilling tuk-tuk ride through the city’s bustling streets. Remember to haggle – it’s part of the experience!

Mid-range Travellers

Craving a bit more comfort? With a daily budget of ₹5,850 – ₹7,100, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Stay in comfortable, air-conditioned hotels or B&Bs, dine at popular restaurants serving both local and international cuisine, and even splurge on a guided tour or two. This budget also allows for transportation via taxis or auto-rickshaws, so you can navigate the city with ease.

Luxury Travellers

If only the best will do, this is your category. With a budget of ₹9,500+ per day, you can live like royalty. Think 5-star hotels with stunning views, private tours of iconic landmarks, and dining at the finest restaurants India has to offer. Not to mention, you’ll have the option of hiring private cars to get around and perhaps even pampering yourself with spa treatments after a long day of sightseeing.

What Goes into a Travel Budget?

Planning your travel budget is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – every piece counts. Here’s what you’ll need to consider:

  • Accommodation: Whether you’re bunking in a hostel or living it up in luxury, where you lay your head will be a key part of your budget.
  • Food: From street food snacks to sumptuous restaurant meals, plan for all your culinary adventures.
  • Transportation: Getting around can add up, whether you’re hopping on a local bus or chartering a private car.
  • Activities: Don’t forget to budget for the fun stuff – museum tickets, guided tours, and other experiences that’ll make your trip unforgettable.

To help you get a better estimate, let’s dive into some of the average costs for each category in India.

What is the Cost of Accommodation in India?

  • Budget Traveller: For around ₹835 a night, you can snag a cosy bunk bed in a shared dormitory in the coastal town of Pondicherry, breakfast included. Hostel chains like Zostel offer rooms in cities like Jodhpur for ₹750-₹835 per night, including breakfast. If you’re willing to splurge a bit more, consider an Airbnb, with private rooms averaging around ₹1,500 per night.
  • Mid-range Traveller: Craving a bit more privacy and luxury? Chains like OYO Rooms offer comfortable accommodations with an average price of ₹2,500 per night per room, with free Wi-Fi included. If you’re travelling in a group, consider booking a deluxe room with a living area and two bedrooms for just ₹3,345 – and split the cost!
  • Luxury Traveller: If you’re after the full package (think pool, gym, steam/sauna), you’ll find great deals on websites like Expect to pay around ₹4,000 per room, which usually includes a king-size bed, attached bathroom, and breakfast. Boutique hotels, palace hotels, and even floating boat hotels start at ₹5,000 per night and can go up to ₹50,000.

Different accommodation options

India offers a wide range of accommodations to suit all budgets, from hostels to luxury hotels. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Hostels: Perfect for budget travellers, hostels offer shared dormitories or a private deluxe budget room at affordable rates.
  • Guesthouses: A cross between a hotel and a homestay, guesthouses provide a more local experience with comfortable amenities.
  • Hotels: From budget hotels to luxurious 5-star hotels, there’s something for every type of traveller.
  • Airbnbs: Opt for a homely experience by renting an apartment or private room through Airbnb, often at more competitive prices than hotels.
  • Homestays: For an authentic cultural experience, consider staying in a homestay with a local family. Prices may vary depending on the location and amenities.

Our money-saving tips for accommodation costs:

  • Book in Advance: Accommodation prices can skyrocket closer to your travel date, especially during peak tourist season. So, book early to snag the best deals and save money.
  • Consider Off-Peak Travel: Consider travelling during India’s shoulder season (April-June and September-November) when accommodation prices are generally lower.
  • Use Comparison Websites: Use comparison websites like or Trivago to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

What is the Cost of Food in India?

Curious about the cost of indulging your taste buds in India? Here’s what you can expect:

  • Street Food: You can start your day with fluffy South Indian Idlis or crispy Dosas and a hot cup of coffee for just a few dollars. Or crunch into a golden samosa for less than ₹50. A plate of tangy Chaat? Yours for under ₹125!
  • Restaurant Dining: A sit-down meal in an air-conditioned restaurant will cost around ₹250-₹500, drinks not included. Not a bad deal.
  • Upscale Dining: Fancy a night out? A pasta meal and a couple of beers at a trendy spot could set you back about ₹1,330.
  • Fine Dining Restaurants: Fine dining in India can be incredibly affordable compared to other countries. Indulge in a delicious Indian meal at a five-star restaurant for around ₹3,330.
  • Themed Cafes: For a unique dining experience, try a themed cafe. Expect to pay between ₹500-₹1,000 per person.
  • Buffet Restaurants: Can’t pick just one dish? Fill your plate at a buffet for around ₹800-₹1,500 per person.
  • Home-delivered Meals: Craving comfort? Get meals delivered to your door for between ₹200-₹800, depending on your cuisine choice.

Our money-saving tips for food costs:

  • Eat Local Food: Local food is always cheaper (and often tastier!) than Western fare. Plus, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in India’s rich culinary culture.
  • Try to Eat Street Food: Street food is not only delicious but also easy on the pocket. Just ensure you choose vendors where the food is cooked fresh in front of you to avoid any tummy troubles.
  • Consider Accommodations with Breakfast Included: This can be a real cost-saver, and the large spreads often offered can keep you going well into the afternoon.

What is the Cost of Transport in India?

From rickshaws to trains, transport cost in India is cheap. To give you an idea, here are a few costs to consider:

  • Rickshaws: These three-wheeled vehicles are ubiquitous in India and offer a fun, albeit bumpy, mode of transport. For a short ride within the city, you’re looking at around ₹25-₹30.
  • Local Buses: Public buses are an efficient and economical way to get around. The Airport buses in major cities are a steal – a one-hour journey from the Bangalore airport to the city centre costs just ₹250, compared to ₹2,080 for a private cab. For long-distance travel, consider booking an overnight sleeper bus from Bangalore to Chennai for a mere ₹830 on RedBus.
  • Uber and Ola: These ride-booking apps have transformed the way Indians travel. An hour’s cab ride within Bangalore or Mumbai will cost you about ₹415. Auto rickshaws (or simply ‘autos’) are cheaper and faster due to their compact size. A word of advice: check the rates on the app before flagging down an auto on the road, as they can sometimes quote higher prices.
  • Flights: Early bird gets the worm! Booking your intercity flights well in advance can save you a pretty penny. For example, a return flight from Bangalore to Mumbai booked three weeks early could set you back by around ₹5,000. Websites like MakeMyTrip, Yatra and Skyscanner are your best friends for finding those sweet deals.
  • Trains: The Indian Railways are a traveller’s dream. An overnight journey from Bangalore to Hampi could cost you around ₹1,250, saving you the cost of a hotel room for the night. The Second Seating (2S) without A/C is a budget-friendly option at about ₹250 for a 350km journey. If you’re after a bit more luxury, the Executive Class (EA) offers plush seats, air conditioning, and breakfast for roughly ₹1,500.

Our money-saving tips for transportation costs:

  • Plan Ahead: Pre-booking your flights and trains can help you snag some great discounts.
  • Embrace Public Transport: Buses and autos are not only wallet-friendly but also a great way to experience local life.
  • Use Ride-Booking Apps: Uber and Ola are generally cheaper than traditional taxis and allow you to track your journey for added safety.

What is the Cost of Activities in India?

Of course, your India adventure won’t be complete without some fun activities and excursions! Here are some popular ones and their estimated costs or entrance fees:

  • Taj Mahal Visit: So, you want to marvel at the Taj Mahal? A ticket to this architectural wonder will set you back by ₹1,300. But trust us, it’s worth every penny!
  • Jaipur’s Amber Fort: Picture yourself strolling through the grand corridors of Amber Fort in Jaipur. You can do that for just ₹550.
  • Boat Ride on Dal Lake: Fancy a serene boat ride on Dal Lake in Srinagar? It’s yours for around ₹500 per hour.
  • Yoga Retreat in Rishikesh: How about unwinding with a yoga retreat in Rishikesh? A week-long retreat, including meals and accommodation, could cost about ₹25,000.
  • Wildlife Safari at Ranthambore National Park: Get up close and personal with the majestic Bengal Tiger for a cool ₹1,800 per safari.
  • Cooking Class in Kerala: Learn to whip up some mouth-watering Kerala cuisine. A half-day cooking class will cost you around ₹2,000.
  • Snorkelling in Andaman: Dive into the clear blue waters of Andaman for a snorkelling session. This underwater adventure will cost approximately ₹3,500.
  • Trekking in Himachal Pradesh: Strap on your boots and trek through the breathtaking landscapes of Himachal Pradesh. A guided day trek can be as cheap as ₹1,000.
  • Bollywood Tour in Mumbai: Rub shoulders with the stars (well, almost) on a Bollywood studio tour in Mumbai for around ₹2,500.
  • Hot Air Ballooning in Jaipur: Float above the Pink City of Jaipur in a hot air balloon. This unforgettable experience will cost about ₹12,000.

Our money-saving tips for activities:

  • Look out for Combo Deals: Many tourist sites offer combo deals that include entry to multiple attractions at a discounted price.
  • Book in Advance: For activities like yoga retreats and wildlife safaris, booking in advance can secure you a better price.
  • Travel Off-Peak: Travelling during the shoulder season (April-September) can result in lower prices for activities.

Other Expenses to Consider for the Trip

So, we’ve covered the basics of accommodations, food, transport, and fun activities. But there are a couple more things that might sneak into your India travel budget. Let’s dive in:

  • Shopping: You didn’t think you could leave India without a suitcase full of goodies, did you? From colourful bazaars to swanky malls, shopping in India is an experience in itself. Whether it’s a handcrafted Pashmina shawl from Kashmir, intricate Jaipur jewellery, or aromatic spices from Kerala, make sure you’ve set aside some moolah for these treasures.
  • Tipping: While not mandatory in India, tipping is appreciated, especially in the service industry. A rule of thumb is to tip around 10% of your bill at restaurants and a few rupees to bellboys, porters, and housekeeping staff at hotels.
  • Health Precautions: It’s always better to be safe than sorry, right? Setting aside funds for travel insurance and vaccinations (if needed) is a smart move. Also, carrying a basic first-aid kit wouldn’t hurt.
  • Communication: Staying connected on the go is crucial, especially in a foreign country. Consider getting a local SIM card for calls and data.
  • Miscellaneous: Let’s face it, unexpected expenses pop up even with the best-planned budgets. Maybe you decide to splurge on a fancy dinner, or maybe your flip-flops give out, and you need to buy new ones. Having a little extra cushion for these “just-in-case” moments is always a good idea.

Most Cost-Effective Way to Take Rupees to India

Ready to chase the Indian sunset? Grab your rupees at Crown Currency Exchange! We’ve got you covered with the best AUD to INR rates, no hidden fees or commissions. Just amazing value and rupees ready for your epic adventure. Check out your closest Crown Currency Exchange branch today.


Will I need cash for my visit to India?

Yes! Many places in India, especially rural areas and small businesses, still rely heavily on cash.

Which currency is used in India?

The Indian Rupee (INR) is the official currency of India.

Is India considered an expensive destination?

No, India is generally considered a very affordable destination. But like any country, it can be as cheap or expensive as you make it.

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