Your India travel questions, answered

We answer your frequently asked questions about travelling to India from the UK, including best times to go, e-visas and coronavirus restriction updates...

3 mins

Is India open for travel from the UK?

Yes, India reopened to international travellers on 15 November 2021.

Do I need a tourist visa for India?

Yes, international travellers to India will need to apply for a tourist visa. From the 5 December 2022, e-visas have been reintroduced to people with UK passports (they paused during the coronavirus pandemic). You can also apply for paper visas, if not eligible for an e-visa.

If you’re an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO), you do not need a tourist visa to enter the country.

If you are of Pakistani origin, you will need to apply for a visa on your Pakistani passport instead of your UK passport. If your passport has been cancelled or you have renounced your Pakistani nationality, you will need to provide evidence of this. The processing of a visa for people of Pakistani origin or with dual British-Pakistan nationality will take longer than other visa applications. 

How do I get an e-visa?

You can apply for your e-visa at the Government of India’s official website. There are three options for tourists: one month, one year or five years.

You will need to fill out a form with your personal details, including information on your parents, previous travels and nationality. You’ll also need to upload a passport-style photograph.

You can apply for your e-visa up to three months in advance of your trip, and no later than four days before you travel. Do note, it will take up to 72 hours for your e-visa to process.

How much does an e-visa cost?

The cost of the tourist visa depends on the duration of the visa you choose, and what time of year you visit. The 30-day e-visa costs US$10 if travelling between April and June, and US$25 if travelling between July and March.  The year-long visa costs US$45

Udaipur, Rasjasthan (Shutterstock)

Udaipur, Rasjasthan (Shutterstock)

Do I need to be vaccinated for coronavirus?

Travellers no longer need to be vaccinated to visit India. But if you are vaccinated, it is recommended you keep your proof of vaccination certificate with you (e.g. NHS Covid Pass).

Do I need to test for coronavirus before travelling?

No, but from 24 December 2022, random Covid-19 tests will be carried out on arrival to India. This includes thermal screening, and 2% of arrivals will be randomly selected to take a PCR test. If you are symptomatic, you may be required to test or may be required to isolate in a medical facility. 

Are there any travel restrictions once I've arrived in India?

Most of India has loosened its rules around coronavirus. However, there may be restrictions put in place within each state. It's best to check local authorities' websites before travelling.

It is likely you will still need to wear a face mask in public places and when using public transport. 

Kerala backwaters (Shutterstock)

Kerala backwaters (Shutterstock)

Is it safe to travel to India?

Most of India is safe to travel in. The UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advise against visiting some parts of the country. These include the India-Pakistan border area, the region of Jammu and Kashmir, and the state of Manipur. There are some exceptions in those areas. Read more Foreign Travel Advice details here.

When is the best time to travel to India?

This largely depends on where you're visiting in India and what you're looking for. India is the seventh-biggest country in the world, so the weather varies. But generally, most travellers visit from October until March, as the weather is idyllic, with minimal rainfall, enjoyable temperatures, and low humidity. Out-of-season travel is considered from April to June, when the weather can be scorching hot, followed by monsoon season from June to September. However, savvy travellers can still visit during these periods and experience India without the crowds, and with better prices for accomodation too. 

We recommend planning your trip around one of India’s spectacular festivals: There’s the kite flying festival of Makar Sankrati in mid-January; the chariot festival of Rath Yatra in June; and the light festival of Diwali in October or November.

Where should I visit in India and why?

It's no surprise this large country has endless areas of interest. But we have a few suggestions to help you get started:

- First timers should hit the highlights on a tour of the golden triangle – the capital Delhi, Agra with its world-famous Taj Mahal, and Jaipur, the 'pink city' with Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds

- Rajasthan for women dressed in brightly coloured saris, majestic palaces and forts and camels swaggering through the desert

- Mumbai for India's fastest-moving city, home to Bollywood and a rising Indian middle class

- Calcutta for India's spiritual centre, a seething, hypnotic cauldron of ceaseless toil

- Portuguese Goa for the most westernised state, with its beaches and resorts

- Kerala for rice-boats cruising idyllic backwaters and the fortified city of Cochin

See the Wanderlust guide to India for more, or discover the best things to do in India here


Please check the UK government's foreign travel advice for India before planning your trip.

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