There's nowhere quite like India. From the morning calls of the chai wallahs and the silence of the desert to the holy Ganges that glistens during a Varanasi sunrise, it's no wonder travellers are intrigued by this beguiling country. But with a population of over one billion people, a complex history and ongoing border tensions, you might be wondering how safe India is. We've put together a guide to safety in India and some handy tips for travellers.

Is it safe to travel to India?

India can be overwhelming sometimes, but it's generally a safe country for travellers and many people enjoy their time without any problems. That said, some regions experience ongoing issues, and there are several things a traveller should keep in mind to minimise their chances of running into any trouble. Some of the main issues include pickpocketing (especially in crowded places), touting and scams, and petty theft. However, as long as you're alert and aware of your surroundings, you should be fine.

Safety tips for travellers in India

Below are some of our top safety tips for travelling in India:

  • Be mindful of your day bag and purse at all times
  • Use taxis and transport recommended by your hotel or tour leader
  • Settle the price with a taxi driver before getting in the vehicle
  • Avoid any areas experiencing political or civil unrest
  • Avoid travelling alone at night (particularly for female travellers)
  • Research the places you'll be visiting to learn about the local culture and customs – India is extremely diverse and each place you go can be vastly different from the last!
  • Respect the dress code and dress conservatively, ensuring you're covering your head with a scarf if applicable (again, you can find this out by speaking with a local or doing a quick Google before you arrive at a new destination)

Border tensions

India has a long, complex history with its Pakistani neighbours, stemming from the end of British colonial rule and the partition of Punjab. It’s advised that people do not travel to any part of the border, except for the Atari crossing, due to the danger of armed clashes, terrorist activities and violent demonstrations. None of Intrepid’s India trips visit these areas.

Civil unrest

The introduction of a new Citizenship Amendment Act in late 2019 saw violence between Hindu and Muslim communities spread in some areas of northern Delhi. It was the worst case of religion-based violence in several decades, and travellers are advised to avoid areas in which further demonstrations may potentially take place. Intrepid’s local staff are constantly monitoring civil unrest and altering itineraries when necessary to ensure traveller safety. If travelling independently you should consult your government's travel advice or keep up to date with local news sources, and of course, avoid any demonstrations.   

Female travellers

It’s uncommon, but not unheard of, for female travellers to experience harassment while in India. There’s no reason to be put off – locals are generally very welcoming and hospitable – but it’s important for female travellers to follow some simple precautions, especially when travelling solo. We recommend, among other things, dressing conservatively (i.e. shoulders, chest and legs covered), avoiding travelling alone at night, and sticking to well-lit areas or avoiding going out alone after the sun goes down.

Female travellers can also opt to travel in women-only train carriages if they're available or reserve a chair designtated for female travellers on public buses and trains. We also recommend keeping people informed of your movements, such as telling your hotel where you're going and when you expect to return.

Read more about solo travel

Return to India FAQs

Our tours in India

14 Days From 40716

Take in north India’s fabled cities and encounter the exotic wildlife of Ranthambhore...

8 Days From 12304

Take an action-packed eight-day tour through the essential sights and bites of India’s...

15 Days From 19564

Travel to India and visit the Rajasthan region. Tour from Delhi to Pushkar through...

10 Days From 35860

Take a 10-day India Premium adventure with Intrepid through the country’s north,...

13 Days From 37256

Join Intrepid on a Premium adventure to explore the beaches, bazaars and backwaters of...

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

22 Days From 77536

Join Intrepid on a Premium adventure to explore opulent places, holy Ganges, dense...

11 Days From 9712

Get the most out of 11 days in India on this trip exploring the best of Delhi, Varanasi...

15 Days From 30676

See the best of Rajasthan on this 15-day tour. Behold the delights of Agra, Jaipur,...

22 Days From 14356

See the essentials of India’s north on a 22-day trip through Delhi, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur,...

10 Days From 14892

Take an action-packed family tour of India, following tiger trails, visiting Delhi and...

15 Days From 31280

Relish the sights and flavours of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mumbai and Goa on this...

13 Days From 19424

Travel to India and visit Delhi, Shimla, Mandi, Dharamsala, Rishikesh and Amritsar on...

15 Days From 20916

Explore the tropical and spiritual southern India. Ride the toy train in Ooty, relax in...

15 Days From 13838

Discover India in all its glory on this 15-day spice-filled adventure from Delhi...

16 Days From 14895

See the landscapes of South India on a 16-day adventure from Varkala to Goa via Kerala...

11 Days From 9485

Join us for a jaunt around north India, with rickshaws in Delhi, spirituality in...

13 Days From 13290

Explore India and Nepal with other folks aged 18-29 on this 13-day adventure including...

9 Days From 24136

Explore ancient temples and colourful cities on this 9-day northern India adventure...

15 Days From 15162

Get on the road from Kathmandu to Delhi on a trip from Nepal to India, through Pokhara,...

16 Days From 10468

Get an authentic slice of the real Rajasthan on a trip that takes you to Delhi,...

13 Days From 28480

Explore the backroads of India’s south on this 13-day tour. Travel from Chennai to...

37 Days From 31592

Discover the colours and cultures of India on this trip visiting Delhi, Rajasthan's...

15 Days From 24680

Travel to India and cycle the romantic Rajasthan region. Tour from Delhi to Pushkar and...

11 Days From 14488

Discover northern India on this tour through Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Nimaj,...

10 Days From 17928

Your whole family will love this incredible sensory adventure into the diverse life of...

29 Days From 44796

This 29-day tour traverses India from south to north, winding from Kochi to Delhi and...

20 Days From 20247

From the deserts of Rajasthan to the holiest river around, India will blow you away....

21 Days From 55764

Get a cultural insight into India’s north and south, travelling through Delhi, Agra,...

12 Days From 22410

Join an all-women group and female leader on an inspiring 12-day Women’s Expedition...

20 Days From 25856

Spend time in Kathmandu and Pokhara and then see where Buddha did his thing. Get active...

3 Days From 5010

Visit India and travel from Delhi to Agra. Travel to the Taj Mahal and Agra’s Red Fort,...

4 Days From 4640

Lift your spirits as you float on the Ganges at dawn in Varanasi, and explore the city...