Solo Female Travel In India: The Ultimate Guide!

Are you interested in solo female travel in India?

India is a vast country that has a distinct fusion of cultures, traditions, and customs. It has its distinct regional flavors found in every corner of the country, whether it be in the delectable cuisine, stunning scenery, rich cultural legacy, or vibrant clothing.

It is also true to say that India’s safety record is not particularly stellar, particularly when it comes to women. However, I don’t think that should stop you from checking off all the places on your travel bucket list.

I am an avid traveler and have visited India, as well as many other countries over the last 10 years, and I can tell you that as long as you take the necessary safety precautions, the majority of India is completely safe and welcomes tourists.

solo female travel in India

So where do you start as a solo female traveller in India? Let’s read and find out!

Disclosure:

Some of the links here are affiliate links, and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks!

Why Should You Travel Solo In India?

I’ll be honest, solo traveling in India is not a piece of cake, particularly for women. However, if you’re vigilant and strategic about it, it could as well end up being one of your most memorable experiences.

India is a country rich in diversity, be it cultural, historical, artistic, or in matters of cuisine. You’ll never tire of the variety!

If you’re someone who likes to explore different cultures, try out the local food and outfits, and indulge in the vibrant atmosphere, you should try solo traveling to India.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @merlonox

How Safe Is India For Solo Female Travelers?

Most cities in India are safe for solo female travelers however it’s best if you explore the area in the daytime; it’s recommended to avoid walking alone at night.

Public transportation is generally crowded and can be uncomfortable for some travelers. 

Instead, you can book a cab (Ola/Uber). Alternatively, metro rail services are available in some cities, providing a safe and convenient mode of transportation within the city.

Unfortunately, eve-teasing and unwanted attention are common in some places and can make you uncomfortable but if you’re on a group tour, they are likely not to pay attention/tease. 

Wearing modest clothes will also help blend you in and prevent unsolicited attention.

How To Plan Your Travel Itinerary?

Dreaming about traveling to a new place is one thing, and actually planning the trip is another. Your dreamy vacation can quickly turn into a recipe for disaster if you don’t plan out things beforehand.

Imagine landing in a foreign country, at an unknown airport and realizing that you forgot to book your accommodations in the rush. 

Scary, right? That’s why I’d recommend you create an itinerary, just to keep you on top of things.

1.     Make A Bucket List

Make a list of all the places/cities you want to visit and the experiences you want to try. This may seem obvious but in reality, in a huge country like India, I’m sure you’ll definitely need an itinerary as there are more places than you can potentially cover in one trip.

There are numerous stunning locations, so many experiences, and cuisines waiting for you to indulge yourself in. An itinerary will help you stick to your plan (or not go too off track!).

2.     Decide The Duration Of Your Trip

US citizens can stay for a maximum of 180 days in India with a tourist visa. It’s long enough for you to have a decent trip but while traveling you tend to forget how many days have already gone by. 

With an itinerary, you can plan your trip accordingly, so that you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

3.     Make Your Budget

This is a non-negotiable. Often while on a vacation, you may spend more than you initially thought. That’s why budgeting is essential before a trip. 

To get a ballpark estimate of your spending, take into consideration the cost of your tickets, lodging, local transportation, meals, and experiences.

4.     Book Flights and Accommodation

You won’t believe how often hotels or flights are overbooked because it’s the festival season from October to March. 

You also have to make sure that you plan your trip at the right time as the weather is extreme in India and I’m sure you won’t appreciate getting sunburnt.

Arrange your flight tickets and accommodation well in advance to steer clear of any unexpected situations later. You’ll also observe that the rates are frequently cheaper if you arrange the bookings well before your travel dates.

Solo Female-Friendly Destinations In India

1.     JaipurSolo Female Travel In India

Jaipur is one of the best places for solo female travelers in India. Blending culture with modernity, Jaipur is a sanctuary for history lovers.

The best time to visit Jaipur is between November to March, as the weather is quite pleasant. Summers and monsoons are excruciatingly hot and humid, so it’s better if you avoid traveling at that time.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @chervonkhoo

Jaipur is a welcoming city and the locals are quite hospitable. To make the most of your Jaipur trip, you can book a private guided tour which will make your experience a bit more enjoyable.

Tours with women guides are also available if you’re more comfortable with that. A trip to Jaipur isn’t complete without savoring the local food or shopping for local handicrafts and textiles.

To reach Jaipur, you can take a direct/connecting flight to Jaipur International Airport.

Blue Beds Jaipur and Moustache Hostel are excellent female-friendly hostels with all amenities.  

solo female travel in India

Credits to @travelwithdanish

2.     Pushkar

Pushkar is ideal for female solo travelers as it has many hostels and cafes, especially for backpackers. It’s a small temple town with a relaxed ambiance.

The best time to visit Pushkar is between November to February. Avoid summers and monsoons as they can be extremely hot and humid.

I personally recommend planning your trip to visit Pushkar in November so that you can experience the vibrant Pushkar Fair. It’s a multi-day Camel Fair held in Pushkar every year and the whole town is lit up and in a festive mood.

The locals are quite friendly as they are used to overseas tourists. You’ll feel tranquil by the Pushkar Lake and can enjoy the scenic views while visiting Savitri Temple. To reach Savitri Temple, you can use the Savitri Mata Ropeway which will be a fun experience.

Don’t miss out on snacking on the local cuisine and shopping for souvenirs!

To reach Pushkar, you can catch a bus/taxi from Jaipur.

Zostel Pushkar, and  Madpackers, are solo female-friendly hostels with excellent amenities.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @pondy_snapshots

3.     PondicherrySolo Female Travel In India

If you want to experience the Indian-style French Riviera, you should definitely visit  Pondicherry. A former French colony, the town has an amazing mix of Indian and French culture and you will make memories for a lifetime in Pondicherry.

The best time to visit Pondicherry is between October to March as the weather is dry and on the cooler side. Summers can be quite hot and unpleasant for outdoor activities.

Pondicherry is a very safe destination for solo female travelers and the people are quite helpful. You can enjoy the views by Paradise Beach, or meditate and unwind at the Aurobindo Ashram.

You can book a guided tour which will make it easy for you to explore Pondicherry easily.

You can fly to Chennai International Airport and take a taxi to Pondicherry from there.

Unpack Hostel is a great female-friendly hostel.

Credits to @whatifitcomestruee

4.     Manali

Snowclad peaks around you, lush forests, and valleys to capture your heart, Manali is a safe and pretty destination much loved by solo travelers.

The best time to visit Manali is from October to June when the weather is cooler and you can enjoy the natural beauty of the hill station. If you want to experience a white Manali, the best time is between December and February.

Avoid traveling in monsoons as there’s a risk of landslides.

You must try paragliding, snowboarding/skiing, trekking to Jogini waterfalls, or camping in Manali for a thrilling experience.

Bhuntar airport is the nearest airport to which you can get a connecting flight and then take an air-con bus/taxi to Manali.

Zostel Manali, Madpackers Manali, and The Homstel are ideal for your solo stay in Manali.

5.     ShillongSolo Female Travel In India

The natural beauty of Shillong is unparalleled, with its pretty waterfalls and lakes, dense greenery, and picturesque views of the mountain peaks.

Shillong is a very safe destination for solo female travelers and you may find other solo travelers there too when you visit.

The best time to visit is between September to May when the weather is pleasant and rains are occasional.

Some places you can visit are Elephant Falls, Mawphlang Sacred Forest, relax by the Umiam Lake, or just enjoy the misty views from Laitlum Canyons. You can book a cultural and heritage guided tour for the full experience.

You can take a connecting flight to the Guwahati airport which is the nearest one, and take a taxi ($20-$60) from there to Shillong.

Zostel Shillong has good facilities and is safe for solo female travelers.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @sofyasimha

6.     Ladakh

The coldest desert in the world, Ladakh is famous for its picturesque views of the great Himalayas. Apart from the scenic views, it’s a hotspot for adventure lovers as it offers plenty of mountaineering, trekking, and rafting activities.

It’s a pretty safe location for solo female travelers and the locals are welcoming and hospitable.

The best time to visit Ladakh is between April to mid-July. The weather is quite pleasant and you can experience the snowcapped peaks. Traveling to Ladakh in monsoons and winters is not recommended due to harsh weather and landslides.

You can take a connecting flight to Leh airport from where you can take a taxi to reach the main city area.

Some popular tourist areas in Ladakh are Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley, Thiksey Monastery, Khardung La, and Tso Moriri

You can book a guided tour in Ladakh to conveniently cover all the places you want to visit.

Rainbow Hostelier, Raybo Hostel, and The Saraha are great solo female-friendly accommodation options.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @garimashares

7.     MumbaiSolo Female Travel In India

Visiting Mumbai, the city of dreams, is a whole experience. You’ll get overwhelmed by the sheer enormity and diversity of the metropolis. It is one of the safest locations in India, and you’ll have an amazing time while in Mumbai.

The ideal time for traveling to Mumbai is between October and February, as the temperatures are bearable and the weather is pleasant.

You can fly to Mumbai airport and take a cab to your accommodation.

Marine Drive, Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and Elephanta Caves are some popular locations that you can explore in Mumbai.

Mumbai is a shoppers’ paradise, with all kinds of trendy clothes, handicrafts, and home décor items available at economical rates. Crawford Market is your go-to place if you’re looking to buy at wholesale rates.

I’d recommend booking a private guided tour of Mumbai so that you don’t miss out on something. Don’t worry, there are food experience tours for the foodies too!

Locomo Mumbai, YWCA International Guesthouse, and Locomo Express are female-friendly accommodations and welcome solo female travelers.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @sanagrover

8.     Udaipur

The romantic City of Lakes, Udaipur will be a charming and peaceful retreat for you. Its royal heritage and stunning views of the lakes and palace will capture you, and the relaxing atmosphere will bring you a different sort of calm.

It’s best if you visit Udaipur between October to March as the skies are clear, the weather is cool and pleasant, and you’ll enjoy sightseeing.

You can take a direct/connecting flight to Udaipur airport and take a taxi to reach the city area/your accommodation.

Some must-visit locations in Udaipur are Lake Pichola, City Palace, Bagore ki Haveli Museum, and Sajjangarh Palace. A guided tour of Udaipur will enhance the magical experience that Udaipur imparts.

Udaipur is a welcoming and safe city for solo female travelers, with a lot of solo traveler-friendly hostels, cafes, and restaurants. Hosteller Udaipur, goStops, and Hostel Mantra are some extremely comfortable and female-friendly hostels.

Credits to @garimashares

9.     RishikeshSolo Female Travel In India

A sacred pilgrimage town in Uttarakhand, Rishikesh is another great option for solo female travelers. If you want to visit a place with mindfulness, serenity, and peace, Rishikesh is the one for you.

The ideal time for visiting Rishikesh is between September to June. The weather is quite pleasant in these months.

Rishikesh is a place for spiritual solace, so if you’re into yoga and meditation, you can time your trip to coincide with the International Yoga Festival which is held in the first week of March.

When in Rishikesh, you must absolutely experience Ganga Aarti by the banks of the Holy Ganges at Triveni Ghat, hike to the Neergarh waterfall, visit the Beatles Ashram, meditate inside the Vashishta Gufa or try out white water rafting.

To reach Rishikesh, you can fly to Dehradun airport which is the nearest, and take a private transfer from the airport to Rishikesh.

Being a holy town, Rishikesh is pretty safe for solo female travelers. Some female-friendly hostels excellent for solo female travelers where you can stay are Live Free Hostel, Shiv Shakti Hostel, and Blue Jay Hostel.

Credits to @kurpali_c

10. Mysore

Mysore should definitely be on your bucket list if you’re a history buff and want to explore ancient royal architecture. Mysore is known as the City of Palaces and has a rich heritage which you shouldn’t miss out on.

The best time to visit Mysore is between July to February, with the weather being cooler.

Mysuru Palace, Somnathpur Temple, Sri Chamundeshwari Temple, and Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens are some popular sites that you can visit.

To reach Mysore, you can fly to Bengaluru airport and take a private transfer to Mysore.

Mysore is a welcoming city and is quite safe for solo female travelers. Zostel Mysore is a decent solo female traveler-friendly hostel. Aishwarya Residency is also a safe accommodation for solo female travelers.

11. MussoorieSolo Female Travel In India

Mussoorie is one of the most popular hill stations and is a famous tourist destination. Picturesque views of snowcapped mountains, colonial architecture, and lush green forests will await you in this charming town.

You can plan your trip to Mussoorie either between April to mid-July or between October to February. The weather is cool and perfect for outdoor activities. The ideal time to visit is between December to February if you want to experience a snow-covered Mussoorie.

Some must-visit spots are Soham Himalayan Centre, Lal Tibba Scenic Point, Cloud’s End, Kempty Falls, and Mall Road. Hiking enthusiasts can hike up to Top Tibba, Benog Tibba, or go on a guided walking tour of Landour.

You can fly to Dehradun airport and then take a taxi from the airport to Mussoorie.

goStops Mussoorie, Zostel Mussoorie, Shalom Backpackers Mussoorie and The Hosteller Mussoorie are decent accommodations for solo female travelers.

Credits to @ekaterina_raman

12. Bangalore

Bangalore, or Bengaluru, is one of the most modern cities in India, being an IT hub. It’s also one of the safest places for solo female travelers.

Bengaluru has the perfect mix of culture and modernity, where you’ll find everything from pretty lakes and gardens to the trendiest of cafes, breweries, and pubs.

The ideal time for a trip to Bangalore is between October to February when the weather is on the cooler side.

You can take a flight to Bengaluru airport and take a taxi to reach the city area.

When in Bangalore, you must visit the ISKCON temple, Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bannerghatta National Park, and Cubbon Cake. Take an evening out to stroll and street-shop on Commercial Street too!

You can also book a guided tour of the city to not miss out on anything!

Zostel Bengaluru, The Hosteller Bangalore, and goStops Bengaluru are excellent accommodation options for solo female travelers.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @shannviiii_

13. DharamshalaSolo Female Travel In India

Dharamshala is a quiet and calm hill station perfect for a relaxed vacation. If you’re looking for a destination with breathtaking views of the mountains, surreal moments to enjoy the peace, and where you can go on a spiritual journey, welcome to Dharamshala.

Plan your trip between February to mid-July, as the weather is cool and pleasant.

To reach Dharamshala, you can take a connecting flight to Dharamshala airport, and take a taxi from the airport.

Some popular locations in Dharamshala include Triund Hill, Dalai Lama Temple Complex, Bhagsu Waterfall, Kangra Valley, and Gyuto Monastery.

Hikers can join a Triund Trek or Snowline Trek group tour to enjoy the stunning views from the top of the peaks.

Dharamshala is a safe destination and much preferred by solo travelers, so you may come across others like you, exploring the town. The Hosteller Mall Road, The Hosteller Upper Bhagsu, and Mountain Vista are excellent for solo female travelers with all amenities.

Credits to @garimashares

14. Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The islands are a perfect destination for solo travelers. Magnificently blue waters, incredible coral reefs, and sandy beaches define the beauty of the Andamans.

The ideal time to visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands is between October and March when the weather is dry and pleasant.

Note: International travelers will require a Restricted Area Permit before entering the islands.

You can take a connecting flight to the Port Blair airport which is the main airport in the Andamans.

Some must-visit spots in the Andamans are Radhanagar Beach, Cellular Jail, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Elephant Beach, Kala Pathar Beach, and Chidiya Tapu.

Thrill seekers will have the time of their lives in the Andamans, as they can trek through tropical forests, experience kayaking, go scuba diving, or go parasailing.

Lemon Tree Hotel, Havelock Farms Resort, and Sea Shell Resort & Spa are safe and decent accommodation options for solo female travelers.

Credits to @ekaterina_raman

15. GoaSolo Female Travel In India

Another stunning must-visit destination for solo travelers, Goa is home to marvelous golden beaches, incredible historical architecture, and amazing nightlife.

Plan your trip to the islands between November to February, with pleasant weather perfect for lounging by the beach.

You can take a connecting flight to Goa airport and then take a taxi to reach the city area.

Palolem Beach, Baga Beach, Agonda Beach, Dudhsagar Falls, and Varca Beach are popular tourist spots. You can go on a heritage walk, explore the Divar island, go on a culinary tour, go kayaking by the Baga beach, or go scuba diving.

The Funky Monkey Hostel, U.R.D. Ki Hostel, and Whoopers Hostel are safe and decent accommodations for solo female travelers.

Best Food To Try Out

India is a melting pot of culture, and you can find a variety of different cuisines as you travel across the country. From super spicy to sugary foods, local delicacies, and desserts, there are so many delectable dishes to try out in India.

I’ve made a list of the best dishes to try while you’re in India.

1. Rajasthani cuisine: The savory cuisine of Rajasthan is incomparable, with its signature aroma and taste. You must try Dal Bati Choorma, Dal Chaat, Gatte Ki Sabzi, and Bajre Ki Roti.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @gourmetmusafir

But that’s not all, you cannot finish up the meal without a dessert like Ghevar, Imarti, Jalebi or       Halwa!

solo female travel in India

Credits to @jaipurifoodieekudi

The top restaurants to enjoy authentic Rajasthani food are Sweet Dream Restaurant in Jaipur and Restaurant Harigarh in Udaipur. 

2. Mumbai Specials: Mumbai’s famous street food deserves to be tried, isn’t it? Bhelpuri, Sevpuri, Pav Bhaji, Vada Pav, Bun Maska, and Bombay sandwiches are some of the most popular street snacks to try in Mumbai.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @poojaskitchencafe

3. Uttarakhandi Cuisine: Local dishes of Uttarakhand that you must try in Mussoorie are Aloo Ke Gutke, Bhaang Ki Khatai, Rus and Sisunak Saag. Hills-E-Ishq is a restaurant serving authentic local food.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @euttaranchal

4.  Kannada Cuisine: Mysore and Bangalore have a range of local Kannada dishes you can try out like Shavige Baath, Pongal, Dosa, Vangi Baath, and Bisi bele baath. A must-have dessert in Mysore is Mysore Pak, a sweet renowned across the world.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @bhagat_mallika

5. Goan cuisine: Goa is not only known for its beaches but also for its traditional food. Xacuti, Vindaloo, Xitti Kodi, Cafreal, and Sorpotel are some favorites. Copperleaf Panaji is an authentic Goan restaurant.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @thefoodmeddler

Things To Do In India

1.     Yoga

Being the country of origin of Yoga, it is an innate part of the country’s culture and heritage.

This holistic approach to enhance the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of an individual is followed by many across the globe and it has an equally important part in the tourism industry.

Yoga retreats like Veda5 Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat in Rishikesh, and Bamboo Yoga Retreat in Goa are perfect if you want to get some yoga lessons.

2.     Play Holi

The festival of colors, Holi, is a significant festival celebrated with much fervor in northern parts of India. Celebrating Holi in India as an international traveler is an overwhelming experience and one that I believe everyone should have once in their life.

For the best experience, head to either Mathura-Vrindavan, Jaipur, or Pushkar to celebrate Holi. Holi in Mathura-Vrindavan is played with a mix of colors and flowers.

3.     Wildlife Tourism

India also has great biodiversity and is home to diverse species of animals and birds.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park Mumbai, Bannerghatta National Park Bengaluru, Ranthambore National Park Rajasthan, and Corbett Tiger Reserve Uttarakhand are popular among tourists.

What To Wear As A Solo Female Traveler In India

While visiting India can be exhilarating and provide you with lifelong memories, there are a few things that can make your trip more or less enjoyable. 

Your clothing is one of those.

Metropolis areas are mostly modern however overall, India is a conservative country, and it’s better if you dress up modestly. 

Try to wear long tunics or Kurtis with jeans, pants, leggings, or Salwar to blend in with the crowds and avoid unwanted attention.

Avoid wearing clothes that could expose your shoulders and cleavage, and are above the knees. Cotton or linen clothes are ideal for the Indian weather.

Pack some jackets and warmer clothes too if you’re planning to travel to hill stations. Don’t forget to keep a pair of hiking boots too, for your treks.

solo female travel in India

Credits to @ekaterina_raman

How To Travel Within India

Most cities are connected by either air, rail, or road transport. You can fly domestically from any major airport.

Metropolises like Mumbai and Jaipur have metro rail services for convenient travel within the city. Public transportation is also available for commuting however booking a cab (Ola/Uber) is a safer option.

Tips To Keep In Mind As A Solo Female Traveler In India

1.     Try to blend in with the crowd to avoid attracting any unsolicited attention.

2.     Get an international SIM, or a local e-SIM so that you can communicate easily with your friends and family. You can get a physical SIM at the airport after reaching your destination.

3.     To be on the safe side, dress conservatively, even in cities like Mumbai or Bangalore.

4.     Travel in the daytime, traveling at night isn’t recommended at all.

5.     Don’t accept anything to eat/drink from a random stranger.

6.     Drink bottled mineral water only!! Tap water in India is not safe for consumption.

7.     Carry a 100 ml or less can of pepper spray for safety. However, carrying the spray isn’t allowed at certain airports so buy it after you land in India.

8.     Post on social media after leaving the location to ensure safety.

9.     Lock your hotel room with a portable door lock for enhanced protection.

Essential Items You Should Keep Handy

1.     Updated Passport and Visa, and copies of your original documents. Keep a couple of passport-size photos too, for any permits.

2.     First-aid kit with your prescription medications too.

3.     Insect repellent ointment or spray.

4.     Period products (pads are available in India)

5.     Keep a Travel adaptor. The plugs in India require a 2 or 3-pin adaptor.

6.     A secure lock for your luggage.

Is It Safe For A Female To Travel Alone In India?

Yes, traveling alone in India is quite safe for women. But in order to stay out of any unsafe situations, you have to be alert and watchful. You can increase your safety by dressing modestly, avoiding nighttime walks alone, and abiding by local customs.

Is Goa Safe For Females?

You can have a peaceful vacation in Goa by yourself, and it’s a reasonably safe place for female visitors. Police patrols are typically active, and public transportation is dependable. Stay in well-lit areas to ensure safety, and it’s safer to take a taxi to your accommodation at night.

Credits to @ekaterina_raman

Ready For Your Solo Female Travel In India?

So, now that you understand the realities of traveling in India, when are you planning your trip?

Honestly, I had my fair share of doubts, before I visited India and experienced firsthand how friendly the people are and how vibrant the culture is.

Exercising caution like you’d do anywhere is enough to have a good time here.

I’ll be excited to read about your experiences solo traveling in India in the comments below.

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