Before you visit India, Make sure you have travel information. From money to local customs, passenger safety to insurance, our India Travel Guide will give you all the tips you need to know.
Costs and money
India’s unit of currency is the rupee, divided into paper notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are 1, 2, 5 and 10. The most important thing about Indian rupees is that it is technically illegal to carry them in and out of the country. ATMs can be found in the main banks of India in all major cities, towns and tourist areas.
Travel safety in India
Travel in India is usually safe for visitors. As expected anywhere, a tourist may be more susceptible to slight theft and scams, but common sense and some precautions go much further. Crowded places – including public transport – is first and foremost where you should keep your awareness sharp, as this is where pickpockets are most likely to operate.
While staying in hostel rooms, make sure to lock your luggage with a padlock, and take care of any of your belongings that you store on top of the bus and protect it well. If you go swimming, do not leave your belongings unclaimed. It’s also worth mentioning that not all crimes are committed by humans: monkeys in India have been known to steal belongings not only on the street but even from hotel rooms with open windows or straight from your shoulder.
Always remember that destinations and routes popular with tourists are also popular with thieves. Although it’s not common, refuse food and drink from strangers and fellow passengers, as it can be an attempt to drug and steal, too. In saying this, you shouldn’t be paranoid when travelling in India; crime rates are below many western countries and staying relaxed is the best way to experience the country. As with anywhere, just keep your wits about you.
LGBT issues in India
The LGBTQ movement in India had a big win in 2018 when homosexuality was made legal again, having been made illegal by the conservative Modi government in 2013. However, homosexuality is not hugely open or widely accepted in India and prejudice is still ingrained, especially in conservative areas such as Rajasthan.
Female travellers in India
Whilst things are changing, India still has a long way to go in its treatment of women. Travelling India is relatively easy for women on their own and has been happening regularly for years, but female travellers should still expect to be hassled to some extent during your trip.
Women travelling on their own should exercise caution when visiting rural areas and remain alert when out and about at night time.
Travellers with special needs
Because disabilities are fairly common in India (sadly due to lack of treatment available), travellers with special needs are not looked upon unfavourably or inciting an embarrassed expression. However, you’d still be unlikely to find state of the art wheelchair or disabled facilities in the country, and streets are hard to navigate.