So many aspects of India is ingrained in our societies today, especially with some many of the best cities in India having such influence around the country.
It comes as no surprise then that when we start thinking of destinations to travel to, India pops up quite quickly. The thing is though, India is a huge country and so it’s not just the kind of place where you can just rock up and “do it all” in a week.
Even if you’re just trying to focus on the top cities in India to visit, you can visit for months and still barely scratched the surface.
To that end, and to help you start to narrow down what top cities in India to visit, I wanted to show you a few gems you shouldn’t miss.
Take a look, below, at some of the top cities in India. Have the best trip ever. 🇮🇳
Home of the magnificent Taj Mahal, Agra is one of the top cities in India to visit.
While in Agra, travellers can explore one of the New Wonders of the World (the aforementioned Taj Mahal), which is a mausoleum built in honour of Shah Jahan’s favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, which still holds her remains.
There are also two other World Heritage Sites in Agra, one being the Agra Fort (near the Taj Mahal) and the other being Fatehpur Sikri, a beautiful smaller area near Agra with sandstone buildings and mosques.
Although Goa is a state, I couldn’t help but include it as one of the best places in India to explore.
Home to Dudhasagar Falls, a 600-meter high waterfall on the Mandovi River, and Fort Aguada Beach, which boasts a long sandy bays that are pure bliss.
There is also a handful of religious sites to see whilst in Goa, including the Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Essentially, if you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life – Goa is where you really should be headed for.
Although, technically a town, Manali is easily up there as one of the best places to visit in India.
Manali boasts some absolutely stunning cascading waterfalls along with rather lush plants and interesting wildlife. Manali is one of those places in India that will totally take you by surprise and challenge your pre-conceived notion of India starting with snow-capped mountains (the Himalayas are here you see), green valleys, and towering waterfalls.
You can even go skiing here.
If you’re looking to do some ice-skating, skiing and a spot of light hiking, head over to Rhotang Pass too – it’s stunning.
That being said, in Solang Valley, you can see the enormous glaciers from deep within the valley itself.
Famed for being the largest and top cities in India to visit, Mumbai is an assault on the senses. In the best way, of course.
When you’re here be sure to walk under the Gateway of India, a work of architecture and a landmark that has stood in Mumbai since 1924. Also, meander along the shore of the Arabian Sea and take some time to explore the Haji Ali, a beautiful tomb and religious site that holds the remains of a Muslim Saint.
For beaches, Juhu is a lovely place to, take a dip, or enjoy a beautiful sunset dinner overlooking the bay. Out in the harbour, Elephanta Island is also an intriguing attraction with ancient carvings laid out on the walls.
For one of the most iconic places to stay, check into The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai – it’s truly palatial!
Often called the “Pink City,” Jaipur is a hub a life and a treasure-trove of Indian history. It’s easily up there as one of the top cities in India to explore.
If you’re visiting Jaipur, make sure to experience a Jeep safari through Nahargarh Sanctuary, get their blood pumping on a zip line through jungle-like areas, or even see the desert city from up above in a hot air balloon.
If you’re looking for a little more culture, pay a visit to Amer Fort or Nahargarh Fort where you will feel as though they have stepped back in time. Alternatively, visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Wind), see Birla Mandir Temple and explore the Monkey Temple (Galta Ji).
Another one of the top cities in India, with a huge mix of sights to explore, is Bengaluru.
Once here, take a stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens and impressive glasshouse in Lal Bagh Gardens, see the wildlife up close and personal in Bannerghatta National Park, and learn about royal culture in India underneath the roof of Vidhana Souta Palace.
Finally, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace is also in Bengaluru, and you can visit some of the beautiful temples and basilicas around the city too (if that takes your fancy). Some firm favourites to visit have to be the Bull Temple or the Dodda Ganapathi Temple.
Ancient culture and modern innovation mix so well in Hyderabad. It’s easily up there as one of the top cities in India to visit.
Once here, make sure to visit Golconda Fort, see Birla Mandir and explore the Chowmahalla Palace. Also, a stunning piece of architecture and a symbol of the city, Charminar, is also a must-see in Hyderabad. The towering landmark commemorates the founding of the city and reminds visitors of the fascinating history around them.
For some tasty food, head over to Dum Pukht Begum’s – they serve some of the best local cuisines.
8.) Ooty (Udhagamandalam)
Okay, so it might not be officially classified as a city, but Ooty (Udhagamandalam) is a lovely place to explore.
The Botanical Gardens are a must-see, alongside a trip to Ooty Lake.
Plus, Doddabetta, the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills, towers over the city and makes for an excellent hiking trip (if that’s your thing).
Also, you need to stop and smell the roses (quite literally) at the famed Government Rose Garden before slowing down your pace and enjoying the city of Ooty in a more relaxed style. 😉
Dehli is easily up there as one of the top cities in India to visit. It’s a thriving city that will take you months to really see. Heck, it might even take years!
Anyway, once here, make sure to visit some of the cities best sites to explore. For instance, the Red Fort is a magnificent spot rich with cultural significance and ancient architecture you should experience. Built in the 1600s it’s an Indian icon, as is the India Gate, a 1920s war memorial and symbol of triumph.
Another sight to see in Delhi is Humayun’s Tomb, the palatial tomb of Humayun, which is resemblant of the sultan-esque grandeur that is easily recognisable across India.
Although technically a town, Pondicherry is pretty large and can easily be considered one of the top cities in India to visit if you want to explore the French legacy in India.
Once here, make sure to visit its French Quarter, which is almost like stepping back in time. It’s so surreal to see.
Pondicherry also has a heap of religious sites you should visit, such as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When you want to kick things down a couple of notches, there are lots of museums in the city to pop in and out of and gain an appreciation for Indian culture and history.