My Top Tips for Solo Female and Women Travelers in India

anna a solo female traveller in delhi india

My Top Tips for Women and Solo Female Travelers in India

Unfortunately, India doesn’t have the best reputation as a safe place for women or solo female travellers. There has been a lot of negative press about women and solo female travel in India, but, I’ve been traveling around India independently, on a budget and mostly solo for years happily and safely.

I love this country, traveling in India is an amazing and life changing experience. So I want to share with you my tips for other solo female travellers and women traveling in India with the hope that I can put your mind to rest that India is not as scary as you may have heard! 

That said, I do agree that, especially on your first trip to India, it can be a difficult country to travel in, even more so for women and especially for solo female travellers. Of course you do need to be cautious when traveling in India but it’s not as bad as the media might make it out to be.

So please don’t let fear stop you from experiencing the most amazing, mind blowing, magical and life changing travel destination there is – it really is Incredible India and the rewards certainly outweigh the challenges!

Pin me and help other female travellers! 🙂

Tips for women traveling in India

My travels as a woman in India

I first came to India in January 2013 for 2 months and my first few days traveling in India were difficult – India was a massive culture shock, totally overwhelming, I found traveling here really challenging and got sick a lot which didn’t help but I still fell in love with India.

I also made a lot of mistakes on that first trip which I learned from and when I returned in October 2014 for my second trip I found traveling in India so much easier because I  had got to know, love and understand more about India and I adapted the way I travel to suit India; I go slower, I am more confident, more assertive and less easily shocked and I know how to avoid being in situations where I might feel unsafe.

You can read more here about how I adapted to make traveling in India easier in my Top 10 Tips for your first Time Traveling in India and don’t make these 5 common mistakes made by travelers when visiting India for the time. 

By the 3rd trip I felt at home here, the 4th time I didn’t want to leave … now I’m based in Goa and I’ve stopped counting – there’s just nowhere else on earth quite like Incredible India and honestly in all this time I’ve never really felt unsafe as a woman traveling in India, even when traveling as a solo female.

hampi me chariot (1 of 1)
At magical, ancient Hampi

Should solo female travellers take a tour in India?

I’ve always preferred independent travel, I like to go where I want, when I want. Throughout my 24 months of traveling in India I have traveled both with my boyfriend, with female friends, in groups and on tours but most of the time now I travel India solo.

However, on my first trip to India, sometimes when it was overwhelming, I really wished I had taken a tour. If it’s your first time traveling somewhere like this and you are a solo female traveller you might enjoy your experience more if you join a group tour. If you’re backpacking India for a longer period of time join a tour for the first week or so as you’ll be able to enjoy it more without any stress or hassle.

Then, once you are more acclimatized with India and feeling more confident, you could travel onwards independently, hopefully with some new friends that you made on the tour.

Make sure you pick a reputable tour company and check the reviews thoroughly as some tour guides can be unprofessional. I recommend checking out all the India tours available on Tour Radar as you can also check real reviews there from previous travellers.

My favourites tour companies for solo female travellers are G Adventures and Intrepid. Both these international companies run awesome, award winning, socially responsible, small group tours for all budgets and interests and have some great itineraries and tours around India.

I like G Adventures as they not only visit the famous sights but also often include off beat and cultural experiences like homestays and craft or cooking classes in their tours. They also support many charities like street kid projects in Delhi and pink cabs, so you’ll get a chance to support and visit them as part of the tour.

One of the best starter India tours is the Golden Triangle. It’s 8 days and starts and finishes in Delhi meaning you could tick off the main sights and busiest cities with a tour and then travel on independently after that.

Intrepid are also good and they also have an initiative to help empower women by employing more women as tour guides and they are especially keen to do this in India where almost 70% of their clients are women (see an article in the Guardian about it). Check out Intrepid’s last min deals to get 25% off.

There are loads of different itineraries to choose from, to help you decide have a look at my recommendations for the best tours in India.

Best Places for Solo Female Travel in India

If you are a solo female traveling India alone then I would recommend to start in South India. I find traveling in South India easier, cleaner and less hassle. I always suggest to my friends, especially if traveling as a solo female, to start their trip somewhere like Goa or Kerala for their first time in India, then work up to the big cities and sights of North India.

Places like Rishikesh and Dharamshala in the foot of the Himalayas are also a lot more chill and are some of the best places for solo female travel in India.

While the most popular tourist sites like the Taj Mahal are found in the capital Delhi and the Golden Triangle these are also the most hectic places and the worst places for solo female travellers in India.

Read here why Kerala is the perfect place to start traveling India and My Perfect Itinerary for 3 Months Traveling Across India

My Top Tips for Solo Females and Women Traveling in India:

I’ve found that over time I’ve built up a couple of safety rules for myself that have become second nature that I thought would be useful to share these for other solo females travellers and women traveling in India.

Whilst these tips are written with women in mind some could also be helpful for everyone traveling to India to avoid stress and hassle. Make sure you read till the end because the last tip is the best and most important! 

1. Be ‘culturally aware ‘and adapt the way to travel to suit India

India is a ancient, traditional and very different culture to the Western world. There’s no use trying to fight it, accept that things work differently here, embrace the differences and go with flow and you’ll enjoy traveling in India alot more.

Come with an open mind and open heart and India will open up to you. Traveling in India is as rewarding as it is challenging but ultimately your attitude will affect how much you enjoy and get out of the trip. Try your best to fit in with Indian culture both for your safety and sanity!

You could even try starting your trip with a homestay or something where you can learn about Indian culture though your host family to help you acclimatize.

2. Be confident and assertive instead of being polite

One of the most important things for women traveling in India, or anywhere else really, is to be confident. assertive and hold yourself well.

Forget about being polite, it may be taken as a sign of weakness, be prepared to stand up for yourself and don’t be afraid to speak out. Make a scene if you feel like someone is hassling, cheating or ‘eve teasing‘ you then if you shout and shame them, often someone will come to your aid.

I also find it best to ignore people, especially salesmen or touts or just men who want to take selfies with me, saying a polite no thank you is still engaging with them and could be mistaken for a sign of interest.

My most important tip for women traveling in India is not to look like an easy target, act confident even if you aren’t!

In India dress at the Haji Ali Mosque in Mumbai
In India dress – kurta, churidar and dupatta, at the Haji Ali Mosque in Mumbai

3. Cover up and dress conservatively 

Women traveling in India should know that India is a conservative country and although times are chaning and you’ll see young women in the cities wearing western clothing, showing skin will lead to unwanted attention.

Respect local culture and avoid unwanted attention, which at the very least will make you feel uncomfortable if not unsafe, by covering up. I found that even Western tops and trousers got too much attention because they were tight fitting and too revealing and I prefer to wear colourful, light weight Indian clothes to try to blend in a little and cover up without over heating.

This doesn’t mean you have to wear a 5 foot long sari (although it is really fun to dress up in one while you’re in India!) I usually wear a kurta (long top) or salwar kameez (loose fitting long top and pants) with a dupatta (scarf)  I also find a dupattas useful to cover my nose and mouth from pollution if I’m in an auto rickshaw and stuck in traffic.

Of course, in Goa and in affluent areas of the big cities women often wear Western clothes. But as a Western women traveling in India you will get more attention than Indian women anyway. So often its better to cover up and err on the safe side to avoid unwanted attention.

Read More: Solo Woman Travel Guide: Top tips from top bloggers for staying safe when travelling solo

4. Copy the local women

Local Indian women know best so follow their lead. In some cities like Mumbai or Bangalore it’s common to see young women wearing jeans and in Goa no ones really going to pay any attention if you’re wearing shorts and a strapless top.

If local women are wearing it I usually assume it’s OK for me to wear it but I often carry a dupatta in my bag just in case I feel like I should cover up a bit if I’m wearing a strapless top.

I also watch how other women are carrying themselves, if a street is full of women alone or families then I feel safe, if there are no women then it’s probably not safe for me to be out either and time I headed back to my hotel.

Indian ladies colourful clothing
Indian ladies wear beautifully colourful clothes

5. Avoid traveling or wandering alone at night

Women traveling in India should be cautious about moving around at night alone. If going out with friends make sure you always come back together and book a cab through a company like Ola where the journey is tracked.

I also try to avoid taking public transport alone at night wherever possible. If I do I make sure I’m riding in the ladies carriages or take an AC class train and always book the upper bunk.

On buses women should sit at the front near to the driver and if you are alone on a sleeper bus book the 2+1 sleeper or you may find yourself too close for comfort with a stranger on a long bumpy bus ride but generally, I plan my travels more carefully when I’m alone and if I can travel in the day time I feel much safer doing that.

Read More: Top solo women travel destinations recommended by women bloggers

6. Don’t arrive somewhere new late at night

I also plan my travels, even if I am with male friends, so that I do not arrive into a strange city in the middle of the night.

I hate the hassle and scams that you find at airports, trains and bus stations and you’re most vulnerable and likely to get scammed when you are tired and have just disembarked after a long journey in a strange city and it’s even worse at night.

I got scammed and really scared in Delhi so now I never arrive at night. If it’s unavoidable then book a reputable hotel with an airport transfer and you should be fine.

dressing up in Indian saris
Dressing up in Indian saris

7. Be aware of cultural differences and how you relate to men

Let me start by saying that this doesn’t apply to all Indian men, I have a lot of great friends who are Indian men and India is changing and modernizing so quickly.

However, women traveling in India should be aware that the mindset of many Indian men is probably different from what you are used to. I am very careful about how I relate to men in India and I never completely trust anyone (I mean anyone not men, women, children, policemen or other figures of authority) until they prove they can be trusted.

Because India is a conservative society, some, usually less educated, Indian men may perceive a Western woman to be easy or promiscuous. In Indian culture women don’t generally make eye contact, smile, or flirt with men they don’t know. An everyday gesture like a smile may be taken as flirtatious and as an invitation for sex.

As a Western woman I take care to keep these cultural differences in mind, dressing conservatively is one thing, but also being aware of how a man may perceive me and taking care not to exaggerate these views or be overly friendly and give him the wrong idea.

I never allow groups of men to take photos and selfies with me (I get asked many times every day) as it can often lead to an uncomfortable situation. Of course, not all men are like this and I hate to stereotype – I just think it something that Western women traveling in India need to be mindful of.

8. Be careful who you trust

Whilst Indians are usually wonderfully generous, friendly and hospitable people you can’t be naive and trust everyone.

You do need to be on your guard to avoid the scams and hassles when traveling in India, especially in the North and the hassle is worst around airports, bus and train stations and popular tourist monuments.

Even though they are usually just trying to get you to part with your money and are not trying to harm you, I find the best option is to just walk confidently past, ignore them all, don’t believe everything people say and be careful who you trust.

At a wedding anniversary party in Khajuraho
At a wedding anniversary party in Khajuraho

9. Always trust your intuition or gut instinct 

Whilst the hassle can be really annoying don’t let a couple of scam artists jade your opinion of all Indian people. Honestly the most incredible things can happen in India if you have an open mind and an open heart and I have been amazed more than once by the hospitality of Indian people (see the time I got invited to an wedding anniversary party in a small village near Khajuraho)

After you’ve been traveling in India for a while you will be able to tell who is genuine and who isn’t, don’t be afraid to accept an invitation but always trust your gut instinct. I often decide not to stay in a hotel or get in a rickshaw simply because I looked in the eyes of the guy and something didn’t feel right.

10. Take your a mobile phone and get an Indian sim card

In India there are more mobile phones than toilets everyone has one and as a woman traveling in India alone I feel a lot safer with one. I can keep in touch with people, call to book a hotel room and get the guesthouse to pick me up or to call a cab (or use an app) or call for help if needed.

By having internet on my phone I can always bring up a map if I’m lost and when I’m in a rickshaw I can track where he is going on the map to make sure he is going the right way and doesn’t overcharge me.

Getting an Indian sim card requires a bit of paperwork and can be a bit of a hassle but it’s well worth it – you can see my guide on how to get an Indian sim card or make it easy with Trabug who will deliver to your hotel a smartphone and local 4G Indian sim card ready to go. (More info here)

11. Keep it in perspective

Although I’ve just been through a long list of safety tips I’m not saying that it’s unsafe for solo females or women traveling in India. Not at all.

Overlooking Vagator Beach from the charasmatic rocky red Vagator Cliffs
Use your common sense, on the beaches of Goa I find it OK to wear short and strappy tops. See more about why I love living in Goa.

Whilst I am cautious as how as act as a solo female traveller in India, I do not often worry about theft or violent crime here. Keep it in perspective that, most of the time, hassle is just hassle, they just want you to part with your money, not actually to hurt you and, although it can feel overwhelming at first, I’ve never felt physically threatened.

India is a very religious country, most people still believe in karma and that guest is God and there is always someone happy to help you out. I even find that when I travel totally solo other women fussed over me and looked out for me (thanks for the sisterly love!) and it was easier for me to make connections with local people.

Indian hospitality at a homestay in Kerala
Indian hospitality at a homestay in Kerala

Read More: 7 Top Female Travel Bloggers Reveal why they Love Traveling in India

The huge majority of Indian people you meet are friendly, amazing, curious, generous and so warm hearted. Encounters with them are part of what makes traveling in India so incredible.

Once you get over the culture shock and adapt your way for traveling to suit India, as long as you take sensible precautions, it’s no more unsafe than any other place and now I don’t feel any less safe in Mumbai than in London.

India is changing very fast but for me India is still the most amazing ultimate travel destination. Don’t let scare mongering and fears for hassle, dirt, poverty or safety put you off experiencing it!

Take sensible precautions, don’t flash too much flesh or wealth, act confident even if you are not and be cautious at night, use your common sense and trust your instinct and you’ll find that people all around the world are much the same – most people want to feed you, hug you, talk to you or have their photo taken with you rather than hurt you!

mysore palace school kids
These school kids wanted a photo with us at Mysore Palace

The most important thing I’ve learned for over 2 years of full time travel is that the world is not a scary place and people are inherently kind! 

Sometimes we need to switch off the news and actually get out there and experience the world – it’s often a lot less scary than they make it out to be!


Want some more India travel tips? Check out:

Top female travel bloggers reveal why women love traveling in India

My top tips for first time visitors to India 

Hippie in Heels – Tips for solo female travel in India 

Breathe Dream Go – My top tips for women travelling in India

It’s also a good idea to check out the travel advice from your government – like Advice for women traveling abroad  and Travel advice for India from the UK Government website.

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Tips for women traveling in India

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Sunset over romantic Udaipur in Rajasthan

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Have you traveled alone as a woman in India?  How was your experience? Do you have any more tips for other women traveling in India or a question that I haven’t answered?

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Sanjay Balbiir Siingh May 18, 2015 at 1:57 am


Rose Kanda May 18, 2015 at 2:24 am

women travelling in rural India very well –

Inès June 18, 2018 at 9:44 am

Hey, I’m a 21 years old french girl who also choose to travel far away the beaten track ! I arrived in Northeast India since several weeks now and Anna’s tips and stories have been very helpful. Just launched my blog which contains travel tips regarding girls’ accommodation in India, more specifically about PGs for girls (paying guest). Might interest you 🙂

Satheesh Muthu Selvakumar May 18, 2015 at 5:42 am

Lookiing cute & beautiful

Ankur Prasad May 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm

looking soooo beautiful

Global Gallivanting May 18, 2015 at 10:46 pm

Thanks so much guys. I love wearing Indian saris! So elegant and beautiful

Rose Kanda May 19, 2015 at 2:22 am

Erika from Italy in Indian sari at ROSe Indiam

Wanderlust May 19, 2015 at 12:21 am

I’m hoping to go there in December but am sort of intimidated for sure. Thanks for sharing these tips.

Global Gallivanting May 19, 2015 at 6:04 am

India can be a culture shock at first but take it slow and you should be fine. Where are you heading to in India?

Rose Kanda May 19, 2015 at 2:22 am

Erika from Italy in Indian sari at ROSe Indiam

Women Travel the World May 19, 2015 at 3:24 am Reply
Global Gallivanting May 19, 2015 at 6:03 am

Thank you so much and I’m really glad that you found the article useful. I think my last tip is the best and most important!

Keep it in perspective

“Take sensible precautions, don’t flash too much flesh or wealth, act confident even if you are not and be cautious at night, use your common sense and trust your instinct and you’ll find that people all around the world are much the same – most people want to feed you, hug you, talk to you or have their photo taken with you rather than hurt you!

The most important thing I’ve learned for over 2 years of full time travel is that the world is not a scary place and people are inherently kind!

Sometimes we need to switch off the news and actually get out there and experience the world – it’s often a lot less scary than they make it out to be!”

Ankur Prasad May 19, 2015 at 5:31 am

dont know about others but u look really princess in sarees

Global Gallivanting May 19, 2015 at 6:05 am

Thank you!

Monika May 20, 2015 at 10:27 pm

A really great article! I travelled a lot in India, mostly with someone but also happened alone, happened at night, harassment happened, but overall it was the most fascinating experience in my life. Your observations are very accurate. Also I feel bigger need to go to Goa, mostly I heard its too touristic, less local etc. but I wanna give it a try.
I also wrote a little about travelling in India here but its much more to come 🙂

NEELI July 7, 2018 at 6:21 am

Hi monika my self Neeli i would like to tell you some women-safety products introduced by
X boom pvt ltd. It will help you for safety and harassment’s


Ashwinkumar May 20, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Thanks a lot for putting an unbiased perspective about my country. Every point is valid and makes sense. Though I expect my country to be more liberal and modern, it is not as bad as it is portrayed outside. Being very diverse, it has its own drawbacks and advantages. Once again thanks a lot 🙂

Wanderlust May 20, 2015 at 10:33 pm

I’m hoping to go there in December but am sort of intimidated for sure. Thanks for sharing these tips.

Lavi May 21, 2015 at 7:08 am

Thanks so much for highlighting how India can be such a wonderful place if you stop being afraid of it. Although my family is from India, traveling alone there wasn’t a walk in the park for me, but I loved it and miss it so much. Great tips! 🙂

Anna Phipps May 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm

Thank you Lavi! I loved talking to you about our experiences and love for India! I hope we can travel their together one day! 🙂

Sunny Kumar May 23, 2015 at 4:13 pm

so far best traveling in India advise. “Take sensible precautions, don’t flash too much flesh or wealth, act confident even if you are not and be cautious at night, use your common sense and trust your instinct and you’ll find that people all around the world are much the same – most people want to feed you, hug you, talk to you or have their photo taken with you rather than hurt you!” — This pretty much apply to every 3rd world or developing country! because we like to know and mingle with entirely different ‘western’ culture.

Thomas May 23, 2015 at 6:35 pm

very good advices, it just makes me want to go there again

Ashwin Kumar May 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Ya, your tips really make lot of sense for even localities. Being in Europe sometimes I face lot of difficult questions about my country, unfortunately that’s the image some greedy men in my country have created outside. Blogs from people like you gives different view which is real. One should surely visit India to enjoy its diversity, colors, nature and most importantly the Indian FOOD

Juhi May 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Very sensible tips and I think the common sense tips apply to many parts of the world and not just India.

Maria Holmes May 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm

This is a great article thanks for sharing!! Well written and full of good, balanced and fair advice

Abishek Mahadevan May 23, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Interesting read Anna. I like your perspective about India and the fact that you didn’t go judgmental smile emoticon

Ashwin Kumar May 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Unfortunately some people say that and some behave like that. But that’s not part of our culture. Infact in vedas there is a saying “yatra pujyante naryaha tatra ramante devaha” means “where women are respected, there resides the god”. you can see both kind of people in India one who teases women and one who is ready to give up his life for them though they are completely unknown to them.

Roksann May 23, 2015 at 6:40 pm

I don’t think there was any point I felt particularly unsafe as a western women in India. Take me back!

Manon Pruvost May 23, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Not my favorite place in the world as a woman to travel, I enjoyed Nepal (although not really the place to be at the moment) much more! I honestly felt much more at ease there !

Jeanne May 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm

I fell in love with India (traveled in 30 countries so far) so I’m moving there in few months to live and work. Those advices are precious!

Alok Bakshi May 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm

The way you get treated in India and any other country in the world, the way you get treated in Asia and as compared to any other continent in the world has a world of difference. . Why generalize whole the population by a news story?

Jayasri May 23, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Great article. Thanks for putting these points across. As a woman, Indian or otherwise, in India or not; confidence is the key. Usually women do not speak up and hence they are perceived to be easy targets. If you act like a confident person who will not take bs and will stand up for herself, people will treat you different.

Avik Chatterjee May 23, 2015 at 6:44 pm

U have spoken the truth Anna Phipps.. More power to u…. Every point is right….

Jacinth Paul May 23, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Hello Anna, Its a wonderful blog.. Can I resgare the same to our members in a FB group of bikers , travellers and adventurists..? TIA

Amar May 23, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Anna Phipps thank you very much for putting it together… some of my western friends r gonn travel with me in September this yr, we had many discussions on this but ur article will sure help them to understand… 🙂

Rohith K May 23, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Great Article Anna.. Keep writing about your travel smile 🙂 Visit Srilanka too. Heard great beaches over their as well

Diana May 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Some of the best tips i heard so far. Very Well-thought-out. Thanks!

Irshad Khan May 25, 2015 at 5:41 am

Yes i have seen , lots of women want to travel but , due to some family probs they cant live there live what she want
And another point yes as a travel writer i have seen a bussness class women they are freely traveling and enjoying with there group

Sujith Samual May 27, 2015 at 12:20 am
Nideesh Tg May 27, 2015 at 12:58 am


Niraj Gor May 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Looks gorgeous in a saree.

Els May 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Advice that can be used everywhere in the world, not just in India. During my India trip I had lots of men wanting to shake my hand. I didn’t see anything bad in it, but later learnt that it is considered as a sexual act for them 🙂

Anna Phipps May 29, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Yes it could be useful for anywhere. About the hand shake thing – I never heard before that it was a sexual thing!?

Christina May 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm

I totally agree with you and your safety tips for India.
First it was a huge cultural shock for me too when I was visiting India.
That´s why I wrote a packing list especially for women and as I had problems with the Delhi Belly (yikes!) I wrote about how you can avoid it or what to do when it´s too late.
Otherwise, India is indeed Incredible India.

Anna Phipps May 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Thanks! Ha ha yeah thats probably a useful post to read! I’ll check it out It gets easier though don’t you think?

Parth August 3, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Everything you’ve written is totally correct.
But still, please take care as a woman especially if you’re alone.

Anna August 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Thanks Parth, I am very careful! 🙂

Sophie May 31, 2015 at 2:17 am

Thanks for this post. India hadn’t been on my list until a recent trip to Kuala Lumpur where I met people who were raving about it and now all I want to do is go! I’ll definitely look at these tips.

Anna Phipps May 31, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Glad you found it useful. I think India is the most amazing travel destination ever! Let me know if you want any more help or tips – India is so worth it!

melody pittman May 31, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Wow! I learned alot here. I have tossed around going to India with some girlfriends I travel with for years now but we have not yet made the commitment. I’m glad I read your article because there are many things I never would have thought of. Just the simple gestures that men could misconstrue are “hard” in my book of Southern US manners. Thanks so much for the tips.

Anna Phipps May 31, 2015 at 9:56 pm

I think you have to understand the cultural differences wherever you travel too. I’m glad you found these tips useful, I’m sure you won’t regret going to India if you go – it really is incredible!

letmebefree June 1, 2015 at 2:55 am

I think it is import to respect the culture no matter where you travel. Great tips and hopefully I will get there one day!

Sonya June 3, 2015 at 6:47 am

Another 10 Tips on How to Stay Safe & Healthy in New Delhi, and roundabouts:
1. REACH SAFE: Arrange for trustworthy airport transfers through a women’s venture.
2. SLEEP SAFE: Reserve a private, comfortable room with ensuite in a woman-friendly B&B Homestay, run by women (not too far from New Delhi’s international airport), where you can kick off your shoes and let down your hair in a serene ambience. Ensure the homestay is in a decent neighborhood, far from the madding crowd yet close enough for comfort, with medical facilities and a full-fledged shopping center nearby.
3. BREATHE SAFE: In a hygienic, no-smoking accommodation with garden, veranda and terrace, situated in a leafy and quiet part of South Delhi suburbs, with the countryside bang next-door.
4. EAT SAFE: Prefer meals that are fresh, clean, tasty, nutritious and home-cooked, to unknown market or restaurant fare. Drink only purified, bottled, or well-boiled beverages.
5. TRAVEL SAFE: Accompanied by a mature, well-traveled, western-educated (and protective) Indian guide with insider knowledge of New Delhi’s delights (well-known and lesser-known) and those of its surrounding States, a guide who speaks your language, understands your needs and those of the local population, one who will also teach you the ropes. If the guide has had some training in self-defence/martial arts, that could prove an added advantage.
6. SPEND SAFE: Take the advice of your homestay hosts on what to buy from where, and how much to pay for it
7. TALK SAFE: Pick up basic words and expressions of Hindi or a regional language, from your hosts, to break the ice with locals
8. DRESS SAFE: Let your Indian homestay hosts advise you on what best to wear, when and where
9. REJUVENATE SAFE: Take lessons in Yoga & Meditation, swallow a daily dose of a popular Ayurvedic tonic, bathe in a natural spa, go on nature walks, cycle tours or treks
10. IMMERSE SAFE: Get first-hand, authentic information on Indian culture, travel and tourism from your knowledgeable hosts who can introduce you to the local community/their circle of friends, make you participate in local festivals, fairs and other cultural events, recommend eco or cultural activities in the neighborhood dear to your heart, that you could enroll for.
These tips followed, you, solo woman traveler, or foreign tourist, will probably enjoy every single day of your (minus any stalking or Delhi-belly) Delhi holiday! So, don’t let adverse safe city rankings deter you from pursuing your cherished India, New Delhi dream!
And now for the BIG QUESTION: Does anyone know of a single reference point providing all the above safety valves for tourists who consider themselves vulnerable?
Sure, I DO.

Anna Phipps June 3, 2015 at 9:28 pm

Wow! Thanks so much for your detailed tips! Maybe I will check out your homestay when I’m next in Delhi

Keeley Ledger June 3, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Kasey Ledger

Lauren Marinigh June 3, 2015 at 2:42 pm

So helpful! Thanks 🙂

Bernice Tan June 3, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Zen Zen 很想去印度勒

ELin FaRizza June 3, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Cik Zila Jumahari

Stephanie Koelewijn June 3, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Lucy Andreetti

Anh Thuc Le June 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Aparajith Nagarajan

Nathalie Bourmadis June 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Zineddine Miri

Madison Wood June 3, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Been there done that Krista Arnold

Nicole Fuller June 3, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Awesome Allie Richter Erica Marean

Global Gallivanting June 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Thanks for sharing and spreading the world about India! 🙂

Marius Lauer June 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Jana Krön

Amanda Louise June 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Tove Smile

Gemma Pugh June 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Danny Duggan

Rachel Masters June 3, 2015 at 9:28 pm


Claire Jane June 3, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Great post. I’ve just spent a month traveling in India on my own and agree with your safety tips.

Chris Itona June 3, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Kirsten Pilares

Ribeacá Cosaí Ní Churnáin June 3, 2015 at 10:42 pm

Thanks 🙂 !

Michelle Murray June 3, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Akshay for jenny.

Keith Carden June 4, 2015 at 12:01 am

Maria Ní Chonghaile

Josh Getzitdun Browne June 4, 2015 at 4:31 am

Emma Hawkins

Katreena Bisnar June 4, 2015 at 5:04 am

Rachelle Donoso

Lisa Showman June 4, 2015 at 5:42 am

Someone once told me to behave like a Victorian Lady. It worked for me…especially when I found myself in a train cabin full of men. In the end they were terrified to even look at me.

Maartje Van Dijk June 4, 2015 at 7:24 am

Emma Elliott

Emma Elliott June 4, 2015 at 8:04 am

Thank you

Indigo Blues June 4, 2015 at 12:35 pm
katie Morries September 22, 2015 at 11:22 am

Thanks for sharing 11 tips before i visiting india. It’s helpful for women who visit india. By the way you are looking good in indian sarii and indian dress. it’s look like you have nice experience to visit india. Again thanks for your valuable post. 🙂

Anna January 22, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Thank you, I’m glad you found the tips useful 🙂

Tejendra singh September 30, 2015 at 9:43 am

Namaste ,very Profound Informative deep down ,Tips about travel in India

Jai Ho

Anna October 8, 2015 at 9:46 am

Thanks you 🙂

Rohit October 29, 2015 at 9:56 am

This is an amazing article,Thanks for sharing.

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Anna June 12, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Thanks for the tips, staying in a homestay can be a really nice way to get to know Indian culture

nabilah saraf May 20, 2016 at 3:17 pm

I’m in the midst of planning my solo India trip, next year. Heaps info from your website. Thanks a bunch!

Anna May 24, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Wow that’s exciting! So glad to hear that my website has helped! Hope you have a great trip. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or need help planning 🙂

Anna June 12, 2016 at 10:10 pm

How exciting! Thanks so much I’m so glad to hear that my website has helped you and hope you have a great time in India!

Bony December 27, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Wishing you a safe and a blissful journey….bilaah

Harshwardhan Azad Singh May 24, 2016 at 12:42 pm

Hi Anna,

Very nice of you for sharing it.

Yes like all under developed countries travelling to India is not so safe than in developed countries as there is no tight security and boundations, all are free to do what they like. Nowadays the situation has changed a bit but not as perfect so its better to know perfectly about the country before visiting it.

The points discussed here by you are great and helpful, the most I liked is no. 2 and 10. Confidence is the most important thing that you’ll need in India and as well keep the local responding emergency numbers saved on your phone, it would avoid being stuck to anywhere.

Thanks for the post.
Have a nice week ahead.

~ Harshwardhan

Anna May 24, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Thanks Harshwardhan for your useful comments – I don’t think traveling in India is less safe than other more developed countries and things are changing fast. I just think that the tourist needs to adapt they way they travel to understand the local culture but I agree with you that confidence is the most important thing.

Zadar-Apartments July 16, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Don’t let unsolicited negative opinions influence your decisions on destinations. Do your own research, take the road less traveled, doing so is liberating and so rewarding.

Anna July 18, 2016 at 11:55 am

I agree with you, it’s important to go and see for yourself and make up your mind about a destination. Thanks for stopping by

Hanna September 14, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Thank you for your lovely blog and website. I will be travelling to India in Oct/Nov and will be staying in New Delhi for 3 days. Do you know any safe places for a woman to stay? Any areas that are better? I will booking a tour to Agra and to other places. Im just a bit confused where to stay that is mid range not that expensive.

Anna September 14, 2016 at 11:32 pm

Hi Hannah, glad you like the blog and excited to hear that you are traveling to India soon. I’m actually working on a guide to Delhi that should be done soon with more detailed tips on where to stay. The traditional area for backpackers and budget travellers is Paharganj and the main bazaar area which has a lot going on but there are some cool hostels and hotels in other areas of the city scattered across South Delhi that are quieter and better for solo female travellers. I didn’t feel unsafe in Paharganj (I stayed at Smyle Inn hostel last time) but its not everyone’s cup of tea! South Delhi is less chaotic and more upmarket. Look out for the full post soon! 🙂

Afzal Zaheer October 14, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Hi Anna,

I liked the fact that you have actually used the public spaces for dressing accordingly. When you were to Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai, you dressed likewise and when you were enjoying in the beach, you had ofcourse same suitable outfit.

Well, you have rightly taken the best use of available opportunities. I am glad that you are enjoying in India.

Anna October 14, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Thank you so much for the compliment – I do try to wear the appropriate clothing which doesn’t mean you have to cover up all the time – like in Goa no one minds if you wear shorts and t shirts. I am enjoying India very much – thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment 🙂

Classy November 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Yes this is very important especially for women to know about that place where they are going to travel. Here you have pointed out many valuable points. And I liked most things is about Dresses as you have mentioned that wear clothes according to place. Thanks

Anna November 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Thank you, glad you found it useful 🙂

sean January 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

I’m not a woman but you sold me on going to India next for my travels 🙂

Anna February 3, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Cool! Thanks, I’m writing for men as well as women. Hope you enjoy India 🙂

Advika @Tours Of India February 15, 2017 at 6:35 am

I am totally agree with you. I am from India and I really enjoyed your post. I’ll suggest you all that you have to definitely follow these tips .

Anna February 15, 2017 at 7:44 am

Thank you! It means alot coming from an Indian! I’m glad you agree with the tips 🙂

Sanjib February 27, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Great guide Anna.

Goa is peaceful and Candolim is quiet and I have seen foreigners falling in love with the area.

And the food pic looks so yummy. South Indian dish, ah?

Do you have any plan to revisit India anytime soon?

Anna February 28, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Thanks Sanjib – yes I love Goa, I’m based in North Goa and I stay there most of the year and travel around India alot 🙂 I can’t get enough of India

Sanjib February 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm

I am so sorry I missed your bio and the saree pic :-). Which part of Goa are you based in?

Brock Heidi June 23, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Wonderful and decent post, I found this much helpful, as to what I was exactly searching for traveling information. Thanks for such post and keep it up.

Anna June 25, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Thanks so much – glad it helped! 🙂

kirti July 12, 2017 at 11:28 am

I often heard Indian like to settle in abroad but you are one of the rare foreigners who choose to based in Goa. Its really great. Thanks for showing the positive side of India for foreign travelers. We can often see in video’s and blogs that foreign traveler blame about autorickshaw hassle, bad services in hotels but they have other best options to choose from like taxi, cabs, 5+star hotels for convenience. I really enjoyed reading it.

Anna July 16, 2017 at 11:10 am

Thanks, yes I really fell in love with India – it can be a challenge but its all part of the amazing experience!

Sylvia July 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm

I think you should be appointed in Atithi Dev BHava (Guest is a God) ad campaign…You have hit the right chords and the music is going to lure a lot of females to come to this wonderful country..THank you for your descriptive info

Anna July 16, 2017 at 11:05 am

Thanks so much Sylvia! I love this country and hope I can encourage more people to discover the amazing experiences in India like I have 🙂

Rajiv Kumar Thakur September 3, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Great Tips Anna.

I know you love to travel in India and have almost travelled in maximum destinations. You have shared very useful tips without hurting any sentiments of anyone.

I can say the tips are not only for foreigner girls or women but even for Indian or local girls too.

Keep travelling …Great Support.


Anna September 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Thanks so much Rajiv! 🙂 🙂

kanchan September 29, 2017 at 5:56 am

Great guide. Solo traveling is the challenge for itself, especially for women. For my safety, cost and interest are really on high priority. India is one of the best tourist place. It’s culture different from another culture.

markalice1 November 21, 2017 at 10:53 am

Great guide please keep it up and thanks for sharing.

Farenexus March 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Great article with lots of good stuff. Nowadays India is turned into the modern country but still in some cities, it’s not safe to travel alone in the night time. you should always tell someone where you are going and when you will come just for safety reasons.

Josh Roberts March 22, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Great tips! 🙂 Be confident and assertive, that’s the attitude!

Anna May 13, 2018 at 10:05 pm

Thanks Josh 🙂

بلیط قطار April 14, 2018 at 4:32 pm

Thank You! This will be very helpful!

case May 6, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Great Article,

Really interesting this is what I am searching for.


Anna May 13, 2018 at 7:33 pm

Thanks, glad its been useful

Tanu May 11, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Wonderful post, I am very impressed with post. Thanks for sharing.

Anna May 13, 2018 at 7:27 pm

Thanks Tanu

Himalayan Mysteries May 16, 2018 at 7:54 am

You have shared some really important tips for traveling. I read your blog and it is very informative.

David Zoey  July 23, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Woman traveling safety is first priority. Traveling is not an easy to solo travel. You share the information about woman traveling safety in India is really valuable and very helpful info. Great Blog!

Anabella August 19, 2018 at 1:58 am

Thank you Anna for sharing! I am considering to travel to India on my own for the first time and your posts are really helpful… I have lots to learn and lots to plan!
Thank you! 👍🌷😊

Anna August 23, 2018 at 11:15 pm

Hi Anabella

That’s great to hear! Glad you like my blog and find it useful! Let me know if you have any more questions and I hope you have a great trip if you do come! 🙂

Erzsebet Frey October 5, 2018 at 1:19 pm


Great article. Sri Lanka is also a country that deserves attention as it is one of the biodiversity hotspots in a world. Has a lot to offer, especially for nature and wildlife lovers.


Anna October 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm

Yes, sounds wonderful. I’m hoping to visit Sri Lanka too soon! 🙂

Edwina Lagunday January 28, 2019 at 6:10 am

Your tips is so useful, i can used it when im planning to go in india this year. Thanks for the information of incredibly india. Godspeed sister

Anna March 4, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Thanks so much! hope you have safe and happy travels in India 🙂

SAMERLY14 February 26, 2019 at 5:42 pm

Hi Anna..great to read ur tips travelling to India..I do have plans too to go there alone and meet my Indian national bf.. It gives me confidence and courage to experience India..

Anna March 4, 2019 at 11:49 am

So glad to hear I have inspired you to visit India. Hope you have a great time and things go well with your boyfriend 🙂

Vipin Gaur March 29, 2019 at 10:37 am

Hello Anna,

People are different and hence their opinions can be.
I’m from India and I find India perfecty suitable for solo travel. We just have to be aware of the place we’re going to.
On the other hand, no country is safe if you act like a fool. Your tips are to the point and sone of them even fit for anybody not only females. Thanks for this thorough article.

P.S. I’d love to meet you, when I’ll come to Goa 🙂

Anna April 21, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Hi Vipin, yes of course travel is always subjective depending on the person. Glad you liked my tips and thanks for sharing your experiences 🙂

ryan May 24, 2019 at 10:53 am

Awesome post! thanks for sharing this useful tips!

My Pick of the Best India Backpacking Tours and Trips - Global Gallivanting Travel Blog May 12, 2022 at 7:36 am

[…] it is possible, and enjoyable, to backpack India independently, even as a solo female traveller (check out my tips for women here) However, if you are young and haven’t done much backpacking before then you could fall prey to a […]


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