5 Places To Visit In India That Should Be On Your Bucket List

India, a land of vibrant culture, ancient history, and breathtaking scenery, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. From the majestic marble monument of the Taj Mahal to the serene beauty of the Kerala backwaters, the country offers an unparalleled diversity of experiences. Whether you seek spiritual enlightenment, adventurous escapades, or simply a taste of exotic flavors, India has something to enthrall you. Dive deeper and discover the top destinations to include on your unforgettable Indian itinerary.

For Indian food lovers, one ingredient, Curcumin, commonly found in Indian food, improves memory, mood, and attention, highlights one study. Curcumin is most commonly found in turmeric, a key spice in Indian cuisine. Yum! But first, it’s time to plan your trip. In our search for the best places to visit in India, we examined 11 expert websites and sought the most suggested places. We also considered where these locations ranked on their list. Of course, you may entirely disagree with this — and that’s fine! Let us know which one is your favorite place or the one that is on your bucket list. 

The List: Best Places to Visit in India, According to Travel Experts

1. Varanasi

Topping travel blogger Hippie in Heels‘ list of must-sees in India is Varanasi, a city unlike any other. Here, the sacred Ganges River flows, witnessing a unique and deeply personal cycle of life and death. Along its banks, burning ghats become the final resting place for many Hindus, their ashes carried away by the holy waters.

Touropia delves deeper into the city’s heart, the ghats – those wide steps leading down to the Ganges. They describe the famous Dashashwamedh Ghat, a bustling hub for pilgrims, and the Manikarnika Ghat, dedicated to cremation rituals. But Varanasi isn’t just about death. Here, life pulsates too. Yoga sessions unfold at the water’s edge, barbers offer traditional shaves, and skilled hands weave exquisite silk sarees. Touropia suggests a sunrise boat ride as the perfect way to experience the city’s awakening beauty.

Lonely Planet, however, prepares you for Varanasi’s raw honesty. This, they say, is a place where life and death intertwine. Breathe deeply, join the early morning yogis practicing by the river, and embrace the intensity of this unique destination. Myholidays strikes a more spiritual note, calling Varanasi a place to witness the “surreal beauty of God and nature” – particularly during the auspicious month of October.

Whether you seek cultural immersion, spiritual awakening, or simply a glimpse into a world vastly different from your own, Varanasi promises an unforgettable encounter.

Varanasi, India
Varanasi is known for its burning rituals that bring spectators from near and far. (Photo by Jannes Jacobs on Unsplash)

2. Agra

The Taj Mahal needs no introduction. It’s the undisputed king of Agra, gracing nearly half of the reviews we analyzed and topping countless lists. As Tourmyindia puts it, this “monument depicting love and devotion” is a world-famous testament to Mughal architectural prowess. But Agra’s magic extends far beyond the ivory marble masterpiece.

For history buffs, Agra is a treasure trove. Planetware mentions the mesmerizing beauty of other Mughal monuments like Itimad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb and Akbar’s Mausoleum, their intricate marblework as captivating as the Taj itself. Not to be missed is the Agra Fort, another UNESCO World Heritage Site that whispers tales of a bygone era.

Breathe Dream Go helpfully reminds us that the best time to experience Agra’s wonders is between September and March, when the weather is pleasant and sightseeing becomes a joy.

And don’t forget to indulge in some local shopping! Be sure to snag some Agra Petha, a sweet treat made from ash gourd, as Travel Diary suggests. Remember to pack your camera – you’ll want to capture every unforgettable moment in this city where Mughal marvels meet modern charm.

Uttar Pradesh in Agra, India
The city in Uttar Pradesh is one of the most spectacular sites to see when visiting India. (Photo by Arun Geetha Viswanathan on Unsplash)

3. Goa

Craving a slice of paradise? Though geographically small, Travelogy India assures us Goa packs a big punch for tourists. Picture yourself sinking your toes into golden sands, swaying palms framing immaculate sunrises and sunsets. As the day heats up, cool off in the turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea, or for the thrill-seekers, try parasailing, windsurfing, or water-skiing. And when hunger pangs strike, Goa promises a feast for the senses – from delectable seafood to the vibrant flavors India is famous for.

But Goa’s charm extends beyond its beaches. My Adventures Across the World suggests it as the perfect escape from bustling cities and temple tours. Here, the Arabian Sea lulls you into relaxation, a welcome change from the usual itinerary. Goa’s unique blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures adds another layer of intrigue. As Planetware points out, this fusion is everywhere – from the majestic Baroque architecture and grand cathedrals to the fiery vindaloo curries infused with Portuguese spices.

Looking for a taste of Goa’s nightlife? Tourmyindia has you covered. Trendy bars, vibrant beach shacks, and pulsating clubs cater to every partygoer’s desire. And for those seeking a luxurious escape, South Goa offers a haven of upscale resorts. So, whether you crave sun-drenched relaxation, cultural exploration, or a night of dancing under the stars, Goa promises an unforgettable experience.

Palolem Beach in Goa, India
Palolem Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa. If you are looking for peace and serenity then this should be on your bucket list when you travel to Goa. The crowd is less, beaches are clean, food is just amazing and what else do you need? (Photo by Sumit Sourav on Unsplash)

4. Leh Ladakh

Ever dreamt of exploring the otherworldly landscapes of Tibet? Lonely Planet suggests Ladakh, India’s very own “high-altitude moonscape,” as a pretty darn close substitute. Here, you’ll be greeted by towering Tibetan monasteries – don’t miss the architectural marvels of Hemis and Thikse. For the active traveler, Ladakh offers incredible homestay treks, letting you experience the region’s unique beauty at your own pace. And if you’re lucky, you might even witness a vibrant monastic masked dance festival, a kaleidoscope of color against the backdrop of the dramatic Himalayas. Lonely Planet sums it up perfectly: Ladakh offers experiences “closest independent travelers can come to actually setting foot in Tibet.”

Myholidays paints a similar picture, calling Ladakh a cultural cousin to Tibet and a land unlike any other in India. Here, the Siachen Glacier and the Great Himalayas pierce the sky, creating a landscape that beckons adventurers. Think scaling challenging peaks, navigating exciting jeep tours, conquering rushing rivers on white-water rafting adventures, or embarking on exhilarating high-altitude treks.

For wildlife enthusiasts, Global Grasshopper throws in a thrilling prospect: the chance to spot the elusive snow leopard. Ladakh’s mountains and valleys provide the perfect habitat for this rare cat, making your exploration all the more exciting. But even if the elusive leopard stays hidden, Ladakh’s jaw-dropping beauty is reason enough to visit.

Breathe Dream Go suggests the best time to embark on your Ladakh adventure: the summer months, from June to September. This coincides with two of the region’s most beloved festivals – the Hemis Festival in July and the Ladakh Festival in September. So, pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare to be dazzled by the otherworldly beauty and cultural richness of Ladakh, India’s “Little Tibet.”

Leh Ladekh, India
The mountains of Leh Ladakh (Photo credit: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images)

5. Udaipur

Udaipur isn’t just another destination on the map – it’s a place that steals hearts. Hippie in Heels, who clearly can’t get enough of this city, calls it India’s “romantic white city.” Picture yourself strolling along flower-lined streets, the gentle breeze carrying the scent of jasmine and marigold. As Planetware describes it, Udaipur truly “oozes romance.”

The crown jewel of the city is undeniably the City Palace Complex, a majestic structure that’s still home to the royal family. My Adventures Across the World warns of potential crowds, but the chance to witness a piece of living history is surely worth navigating some elbows.

But Udaipur’s magic extends far beyond its palaces. The city itself is built around a series of lakes, with Lake Pichola being the undisputed star. Take a boat tour on its glistening waters, and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the City Palace Complex, particularly captivating at sunrise or sunset. Hippie in Heels even suggests staying in a lakehouse with palace views for a steal! Imagine waking up to that panorama every morning.

Finally, no trip to Udaipur is complete without a dip into the vibrant local markets. Here, you’ll find a kaleidoscope of colors, enticing aromas, and friendly faces – a glimpse into the heart and soul of this enchanting city. So, if you’re seeking a romantic escape, a brush with royalty, or simply a place of undeniable charm, Udaipur beckons you to explore its magic.

Udaipur, India
Udaipur, India. (Photo credit: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images)


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Saloni Ordia

Saloni is a freelance B2B SaaS writer who excels at creating in-depth product-focused content. When she is not writing, you can find her in the kitchen whipping up new recipes or curled up with a rom-com novel.

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