One of the great things about India as a tourist destination is that it's ideal for those who are traveling on a budget. India has always been a backpackers paradise, offering a seemingly endless array of cheap hotels. Yet, budget travel in India no longer means having to sacrifice comfort to save money. The tourism boom has resulted in boutique hotels coming up all over the country to cater for those who want quality at affordable prices. Discover some of the best budget hotels in India here.
Those who visit Agra usually only stay long enough to see the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. Unfortunately, most of the budget hotels in Agra are as uninspiring as the city itself. However, there are a few stand out budget options, including the unique experience of homestay accommodations.
Hotels in Chennai, the gateway to south India, are less costly than in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. 2,500 rupees per night will get you a clean and well furnished budget hotel room in the city center. There are cheaper and dearer options as well.
If you're looking for a cheap hotel in Delhi, Paharganj is the place to go. This chaotic tourist district is full of budget accommodations. Some are cleaner than others, and it pays to be selective when choosing. Karol Bagh, a busy market area not far from Connaught Place, is an alternative to Paharganj for budget hotels. Otherwise, head to south Delhi for some decent options.
Ambient, simply furnished guesthouses are plentiful amongst the ruins and boulders of Hampi. For 1,000 rupees per night, you can stay in a cottage. Many rooms are priced much cheaper than that too! There are two main areas to stay in Hampi -- near the bus stand and Main Bazaar, and on the other side of the river in Virupapur Gadde. Virupapur Gadde, with it's chilled out environment on the edge of paddy fields, attracts plenty of hippie types.
Jaipur is one of the top destinations for budget travel in India. If you're visiting India on a budget and don't want to spend too much on accommodations, you can still have a memorable stay at a characterful property in the "Pink City".
It's cheaper to stay in Jodhpur than Jaipur. Around 1,500 rupees per night will get you a fabulous room in a heritage hotel. If you're traveling on a shoestring budget, you don't need to pay much more than 500 rupees per night for a basic but clean room -- and you'll get a view of the Fort too!
It's possible to get a decent budget hotel room for around 600 rupees per night near the Khajuraho erotic temples. If you want to stay somewhere comfortable with a swimming pool, expect to pay around 5,000 rupees per night. It's a good idea to have a look around Khajuraho when you arrive and select a hotel that you like. Hotels usually have vacancies, so discounts are possible. Also be aware that there are a lot people in Khajuraho who will try to take you to hotels that give them a commission, so do be careful.
Many hotels in Kolkata reflect the city's colonial charm. The most convenient areas to stay in are around Park Street and Sudder Street, in the city center. An inexpensive guesthouse will cost you about 1,500 rupees a night. Spend 4,000 rupees per night, and you can stay at the renowned and quirky Fairlawn Hotel. Rooms in value for money boutique hotels are available for under 6,000 rupees per night.
Mahabalipuram beach (or Mamallapuram as it's otherwise called), near Chennai in Tamil Nadu, is the pick of the beaches on India's east coast. It's got a thriving backpacker scene, but is also popular with tourists who come to relax at the resorts there. The cheaper hotel options are located in town. If you're prepared to pay a bit extra, you can stay in a hotel with a swimming pool. A budget beach resort will set you back 3,000 rupees per night upwards.
Mumbai, with real estate prices on par with those of New York City, is a notoriously expensive city to stay. This can make finding good budget hotels challenging. However, if you look carefully, there are some decent places offering reasonable service for a cost that’s fairly easy on the wallet. If you're willing to sacrifice a few comforts there plenty of basic budget hotels available. Most of them are in the Colaba tourist area, and they receive various reports. However, the cleanest and best quality cheap hotels are in surrounding areas such as Fort.
Rishikesh, which attracts travelers from all walks of life, is know for its excellent range of inexpensive hotels and guesthouses that are great value. Here are some of the best.
Udaipur, thought by many to be the most evocative and romantic city in India, doesn't require you to stay in a luxury palace hotel to enjoy its charms. There are plenty of inexpensive hotels to choose from, offering magical views of Lake Pichola and the Lake Palace Hotel (when it comes to really experiencing Udaipur, the view is important). You'll find many of them in the tangle of touristy streets around Lal Ghat, close to the City Palace and Jagdish Temple.
Although Goa isn't the super cheap destination that it once was, it's still possible to stay in decent accommodations on a budget. There's a wide variety of world-class hostels (most of which have private rooms as well as dorms) and guest houses to choose from -- whether you want to stay by the beach or in a village!