I don’t often take day tours in India because I’m so familiar with travel here, but when I leave India, I actually take a lot of 1-day tours in cities I want to learn a lot about, see a lot, but find it overwhelming to do the research. I wanted to give you a resource that helped you find popular tours to book in India because I know so many of you want to and want to see what other people book – no FOMO here.
The 10 Most Popular Tours to Book in India According to GetYourGuide.com
I know people are looking for popular tours to book in India because in my Facebook group the same questions keep getting asked like “what the best tour of Fort Kochi for a day?” or “how did you get from Delhi to Agra and see the Taj for a day?”. Some of the advice is for Viator, who I like and have always linked to, and some are too personal phone numbers of guides the reader met.
The issues people face with booking online in India are that if you want a local company, they are much harder to find and often harder to get ahold of and book (with many wanting bank transfers and not accepting international card). There’s also just so many to choose. The other issue is if I link to small Indian companies and they stop working, I have bad information on my site. For example, I have so many posts about GoMowgli in Karnataka, but they are no longer a company. So I wanted to use a brand that is growing, adding tours, and will be around for a while that will have accurate information on their website.
Recently, people have been raving online about Getyourguide.com and I’ve personally been looking at them more which I search for tours. I looked into it and they have a lot of cheap tours in India that have hundreds of good reviews, so I’m going to round-up the top tours in India on that website from their reviews.
This isn’t a sponsored post by them. I do get a commission if you book a tour, but I do with Viator or any other tour company – I chose getyourguide.com for this article because of a variety of reasons over the other tour companies, first of which is that they are new, growing fast, and many of my travel buddies have been using them and raving about them. I like Viator as well for day trips and will definitely try to work on a post similar to this for Viator. Basically, getyourguide is cheaper so I put getyourguide for these 5 major day tours that are the most popular, but also the most basic and would be pretty hard for a guide to mess up. For adventure tours, I’m going to do a post for Viator: they are more expensive but have more unique tour options around India that are worth paying for.
They also have the following benefits:
- You can get passes to skip-the-line to major attractions and museums
- They offer a best-price guarantee
- Customer service 24/7, available in 6 languages
- The biggest choice of activities all over the world (important!)
- The best last-minute availability of tickets and tours (which is especially interesting for popular tours and sights that are booked out fast)
I was originally going to add 10 tours to this article but found that just 5 had both high reviews and were tours I knew were priced well. So, this is based on reviews but are also ones that I agree are a good deal. There are many more tours on the site you can check out, but these are the best!
If you are curious if you’ll get a better rate negotiating at the place or booking ahead, it really just depends. These rates are better than what a hotel would try to arrange for you – and definitely cheaper than what agents are selling on the travel agencies stalls around India. But, they are not as cheap as going directly to the source. The problem is that’s quite hard to do and you almost always have a middleman. If you are going to be somewhere for just a couple of days, then I would arrange something ahead of time. If you are going to be in India Dec/Jan, I would definitely book ahead online as prices in person here skyrocket. If you are traveling quite slow and staying a couple of weeks in each place, you could probably try to arrange tours as you go at similar if not lower rates to this. It just might take some time searching out the best person to go with.
I’m going to round-up the top 5 tours to book in India according to getyourguide user reviews. Click here to see ALL the top day trip tours to book in India from Getyourguide.com
1. Sunrise Taj Mahal Tour from Delhi $17
321 people are super down with this tour! I do not think you’ll find this rate in Delhi, so I can see why this is so popular. This is a 12-hour tour that leaves Delhi. It takes about 3.5 hours to reach the Taj Mahal and this tour also takes you to the Agra Fort and Mumtaz Mahal. This price includes a guide in 8 language options, lets you skip the line (the line is SO long), is wheelchair friendly, and best yet: it picks you up from your hotel in Delhi since the leaving time is 3 AM. Oh, but the best BEST part: you go by private A/C car there. For 1089 Rupees, this is a steal.
Things to know: the Taj is closed on Fridays, lunch is NOT included, and the entrance tickets to the Taj and Agra Fort are NOT included, you skip the line and buy them at the door. It was 700 Rs. for foreigners to enter when I was there years back, and like 100 for Indians. This tour does not run from the 2nd half of December to the 1st half of January due to the fog making the roads dangerous. This tour says that “marble inlay workshops and a carpet weaving site can be arranged on request” but I urge you to just do the Taj part of the tour as the “upsale” is also always not worth it and just an upsale where the driver will take a huge commission.
This is the highest rated tour on the website, with 321 people rating it an average of 4.8 stars out of 5 for all of the following: value for money, service, organization, and safety. You can click the link below and read all the reviews.
Book sunrise Taj Mahal tour from Delhi
2. Full Day Tour of Old & New Delhi $6
74 people gave it 4.5/5 stars. Check out all of Delhi for 8 hours from the comfort of an A/C car for $6… yes, really that’s the price. A local English-speaking guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you to popular sites around town like Jama Masjid mosque, the Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, India Gate, and Parliament House. They’ll also take you a few places to shop (this is likely how they make more money from the tour, as they’ll get a commission if you buy stuff from the shops).
Things to know: meals are not included. You can choose an all-inclusive option and pay ahead of time (when you book) to have your entrance tickets added to the tour. If not, it’s $6 but you pay the entrance tickets at the places you go to.
Book a full day tour of New and Old Delhi
3. 7-Hour Tour of the Backwaters Kochi, Kerala (aka Cochin) $18
This tour has a 4.5/5 stars review and the reviewers seemed to love it – you can go read them at the link below. This tour includes pick-up and drop-off if you are staying in Fort Kochi area (which I highly recommend you do). I’ve spent months off and on in Kochi and love it here. In this tour, you’ll go in a traditional houseboat on the famous backwaters, meet locals, and have a vegan lunch in the countryside.
Things to know: lunch is included but drinks are not. You will need to get to the meeting point yourself if you are staying outside Fort Kochi – please keep in mind, there is often a lot of traffic. This is the Kochi backaters, not Alleppey (which is more famous) but they do pretty much look the same and it would save you a trip to Alleppey if you were short on time.
Book a 7-hour backwaters tour in Kerala
4. Private Full Day Tour of Mumbai $30
This one is a little pricier but offers a lot and has a 4.6/5 star review. This is a 7-9 hour tour that takes you to famous monuments like the Gateway of India, Dhobi Ghat, Colaba Market and Mani Bhava, among others. There are a driver and an English-speaking guide and they will come together to your hotel to pick you up in an A/C car. They can even pick you up from a bus station, train station, or airport.
Things to know: this includes a bottle of water but no food, and does not include entrances to the places you visit. For those of you on a budget, I find that Mumbai is not as stressful as Delhi so if you had a couple days to explore Mumbai and had to choose between a tour of Delhi or Mumbai, I’d go with the Delhi tour and see Mumbai on your own.
Book your day tour of Mumbai here
5. Elephanta Caves Tour from Mumbai $20
These last few tours I’m sharing don’t have as many people reviewing them, as there are dozens for Taj Mahal, Cochin, etc since they are the most popular – but these last few are tours people ask me about. These caves are the biggest day trip you can take from Mumbai and I sadly still haven’t seen them! This tour will have a driver pick you up from your hotel.
On this tour, you’ll take a ferry and a little toy train (mainly for novelty fun reasons). You do have to be able to walk up a lot of stairs. If you are in a wheelchair, you can be carried up for $8 (in India, you’ll see this).
Things to know: You’ll have just 45 minutes to explore the caves as there is a lot of travel time on this tour. You guide, train ticket, and ferry ticket are included but you need to know your ticket to the caves. Do not allow your driver to make you see any shops on the way, which is a negative review someone left AND is a typical scam in India that literally every driver (even ones you become friends with) will try out since they earn a high commission.
Book a tour from Mumbai to the Elephanta Caves
So, there are the top 5. If you look across at Viator, people are taking very similar tours with them – so the ideas of what people want to do in India are the same even if they don’t go on the same exact tour or through the same company. You can check Viator as well and compare prices for similar tours. I trust both for booking.
Pin these tours to book in India for later: