Last updated on February 22nd, 2021 at 10:57 pm
What made India so magical was the delicious food, beautiful sites, and being embraced. But before I went all I could think was about the negative stories I heard. Since most of them had to do with women getting assaulted and tourists being scammed—it scared me.
They often called places with POC dangerous.
But I really had to challenge my own thoughts and ask should I believe everything I hear? Nope, because my experience could be totally different!
Plus, I wanted to go for Holi Festival and my friends did too. So we were set on having a great time, no matter what.
Here’s what to do in New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.
When in Delhi
Use the government-approved taxis wherever you’re traveling to in India or Uber! It’s the safest bet and you’ll know the amount you’re paying beforehand. As soon as you get off the train or out the airport, this should be the FIRST thing you do. People will hassle you to ride with them. DO NOT DO IT!
Check out some of the most common scams in India.
I HIGHLY recommend staying at Madpacker Hostel. I mean, when we got there it was all good vibes. People were friendly, the receptionists were welcoming and lively. Everything felt right.
Plus, you can set up all your tours through them for a reasonable price. Our second day they arranged transportation to Agra—which is 4 hours away—to see the Taj Mahal. ($28 pp round trip)
On our third day, they had their own Holi Festival celebration full of color, water, and music. Afterwards we went to another festival called Holi Moo, that day felt like one for the books.
But shortly after getting there, we witness women getting groped by men. And it made the entire experience go downhill, so we were ready to leave.
My friends and I knew this was a thing, but we were still disgusted.
Being harassed is a worldwide issue that needs to be stopped.
So although this reality is very possible and I wouldn’t let it discourage you from going. Just be vigilant.
Once we could get in a better headspace, we enjoyed the rest of our time in Delhi and ate, ate, ate some of the best food we’ve ever had.
But I stuck with hole in the wall spots or restaurants.
I’m all here for street food, but I was cautious—they don’t call it Delhi belly for no reason! If you want to try the street food, I suggest booking a food tour through your hostel/hotel. They will make sure you’re eating government approved food.
If you’re in Delhi, you might also take a trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It’s kind of a big deal. Many hotels can book taxis for you to take a day trip there. Trust me one day is plenty of time.
In Agra, Taj Mahal and the Agra fort are the main tourist attractions.
*Fyi the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays*
As soon as you get to the Taj Mahal people will all up in your face trying to selling trinkets or trying to be your tour guide—it’s India. Everyone’s trying to make a living!
Seriously, it can be a lot to handle but I just laughed it off.
My friends and I agreed on hiring a tour guide there, it was only 500 rupees ($7.18) for four of us and we didn’t have to pay until the end.
It’s probably the best way to capture the history and essence of the Taj Mahal.
After you’re finished, I know you’ll be hungry so you might as well stop by Sheroes to grab a bite to eat. It’s a donation based restaurant for acid burn victims in India. I was livid when I learned how frequently this happens.
Stunting in Jaipur
Hiring a driver to take you to all the sites is convenient. We enjoyed The Rajasthan Expert so much that we hired him for three days while there!
I would take a trip back to Jaipur for the shopping and scenery alone.
You can buy beautiful traditional attire such as a Kurta for only $7 USD! Make sure you check out Johari Market but negotiate—they will charge you triple the price.
If you have a local buy it for you, you will get a cheaper price. But make it someone you trust like your driver.
Check out Royal Gaitor which was only 20 rupees and filled with ancient tombs. But try not to get scared—monkeys roam around, so much you don’t need to even go to the monkey temples.
If you go to Amer fort, you can see a view of Jaipur and take in the rich history of India ($7.21).
For a cute photo op in the pink city, go to Hawa Mahal.
India is nothing like I experienced before, but it’s beautiful. If you are going, do your research beforehand, but do not let the rumors deter you!
Is India on your bucket list? Comment below.