How Much Does it Really Cost to Backpack India for 3 Weeks?

How Much Does it Really Cost to Backpack India for 3 Weeks?

Let’s talk money, honey! If you’re looking for a budget-friendly backpacking destination, India is the place to be! In Goa, we paid about one euro for half a litre of beer, and you can sometimes even find a curry for less. Even with a small budget, you can go a long way in India. But, of course, you can make it as extravagant as you want. If you prefer to stay in a five-star hotel and enjoy luxury dining, you’ll naturally spend more.

We prefer a mix. Alternating between homestays and hostels, with the occasional luxury hotel, is certainly not a bad idea. I’m also a big fan of local food, but I equally enjoy a burger or a poke bowl every now and then.

In total, we stayed in India for 22 days. Since we often work on the go, we chose not to skimp on transport. We took taxis or flights between most destinations. However, if you have time, we would definitely recommend using public transportation.

We track our expenses daily with the Travelspend app. It’s a real lifesaver. Inputting costs is super easy, and it instantly provides an average, preventing an immediate heart attack when you go over budget one day. It gives you a clear overview of all your expenses. Oh, and this is not a sponsorship, just genuinely excited about this find.

Curious about our exact expenditure? Read on!

  • Tickets Brussels – Mumbai: 530 euros p.p.
  • Tickets Mumbai – Kochi: 60 euros p.p.
  • Tickets Kochi – Goa: 45 euros p.p.

In total, we spent 635 euros p.p. on flight tickets.

Travel South india
Travel South india

Visum costs

Are you going for a 30-day visa, or are you going all the way and opting for a full year? Since we flew back to the Netherlands via Mumbai after our adventure in Nepal, we opted for a year visa. It will set you back a nice 75 euros, but you get to devour curries and samosas for a whopping 90 days.

In total, you’ll spend 74.95 euros per person for this entire venture. Trust us, it’s totally worth it!

munnar travel


We added up the receipts and concluded that we spent a total of 215 euros on transportation. That’s roughly ten euros per person per day. For longer distances, we took taxis, especially to save time due to work commitments.

However, if you have more time (and who doesn’t on vacation, right?), you can save a lot of euros here. A van or train often costs just a few rupees. With 3 euros per day, you’re basically covered. So, if you’re a bit tight on cash, leave the taxi behind and hop on that bus or train. Trust me, your wallet will thank you!

  • Route: The backwaters to Thekkady – Indian Rupees: 5,100.00 – Euro: €57.81
  • Route: Thekaddy to Munnar – Indian Rupees: 4,000.00 – Euro: €45.07
  • Route: Taxi from Munnar to Kochi – Indian Rupees: 3,500.00 – Euro: €39.67
  • Route: Airport to Palolem Beach – Indian Rupees: 2,500.00 – Euro: €28.15
  • Route: Taxi from Fort Kochi to Marrari – Indian Rupees: 1,500.00 – Euro: €17.11
  • Route: Taxi – Indian Rupees: 700 – Euro: €7.89
  • Route: Transportation in Marari by Tuktuk – Indian Rupees: 500 – Euro: €5.67
  • Route: Tuktuk to various places – Indian Rupees: 500 – Euro: €5.72
  • Route: Tuktuk to various places – Indian Rupees: 400 – Euro: €4.50
  • Route: Tuktuk to various places – Indian Rupees: 300 – Euro: €3.43



From indulging in a blissful massage to taking a boat ride through the backwaters, exploring the area on a scooter, or embarking on an adventurous jungle trek through the tea fields, we were never bored in Kerala, I can tell you that!

When we add up the costs of all the activities, we spent a total of 292 euros, which averages to about 6 euros per person per day.

  • Scooter: € 9.61
  • Tea fields excursion: € 24.79
  • Jungle trek – 8 hours: € 78.00
  • 3-hour Backwaters boat tour: € 30.61
  • 3x massages: € 149.00
  • Total: € 292.01
the backwaters


It’s no secret that we’re fans of a cold beer. But in Kerala, that’s a bit challenging. Alcohol is a rarity here. You might think it’s due to religion, but no, it’s actually an anti-hangover measure. Due to a significant increase in alcoholism, the region decided to ban the drink. You can still find it, but only in certain places or discreetly (which is actually possible almost everywhere). But be warned, most establishments are not allowed to serve it, and if they do, it can cost you quite a few rupees.

When it comes to food, Kerala was a culinary delight! We often ate local dishes or at our homestay. For 2 euros, you could have a meal that would keep you smiling all day. In Goa, we indulged for a whole week: burgers, pizza, salads, smoothie bowls, you name it! Of course, that was a bit more expensive. And in Mumbai, you’ll spend a bit more for your nasi.

In Kerala, we spent around 23 euros per day on food, in Goa it was a hefty 44 euros, and in Mumbai, we paid around 34 euros daily for our meals.

All in all, we spent a total of 650 euros (or 56,581 Indian rupees) on food and drinks. On average, we ended up at 13.50 euros per person per day. For all that deliciousness, that’s a bargain, right?

Travel South India Backpacking
Travel South India Backpacking


In total, we paid 836.84 euros for our accommodations. That’s an average of about 17.34 euros per person per day. Most of the time, we stayed at cozy homestays or basic hotels, but in Goa, we treated ourselves to a fancy beach house. And in Mumbai, well, accommodations are simply more expensive there.

backwaters kerala
backwaters kerala

Other Expenses

Apart from our regular expenses, we didn’t have many additional costs. Well, okay, we did buy two SIM cards from Airtel, which cost us 29 euros. But other than that? Nothing, nada, zip. So, overall, it was quite reasonable, right?

munnar South India Backpacking
munnarSouth India Backpacking

What Did 3 Weeks in India Cost Us?

Let’s grab the calculator and voilà: the total cost of our trip came out to 2052 euros. That’s a daily budget of 43 euros per person. Of course, we could have made significant savings in various areas, especially in transportation and maybe by cutting down on the beers. So, yes, a trip to India can definitely be cheaper!

We haven’t included the cost of our flights here. They amounted to 635 euros in total. If you add that up, the grand total comes to 1343 euros per person for three weeks in India, including the flights. Well, that’s not a bad price for such an amazing adventure, is it?


Cost Estimate for Budget Backpacker – Daily Budget 15-35 euros

  • Accommodation: Budget hotels, homestays, and hostels typically cost between €8 and €15 per night, depending on the location and amenities.
  • Transportation: Public transportation, such as trains and buses, is very affordable in India. Train journeys can range from €1 to €10, depending on the distance. Bus rides usually cost less than €5.
  • Activities: Many attractions and monuments in India have low entrance fees, ranging from €1 to €5. Some popular activities, such as a safari or trekking, can cost between €10 and €30.
  • Food: If you opt for local cuisine, you can expect to spend approximately 2-5 euros per meal, including drinks.

Cost Estimate for Flashpacker – Daily Budget 30-50 euros

  • Accommodation: Homestays and budget hotels generally range from €15 to €30 per night, while mid-range hotels can cost between €30 and €70 per night.
  • Transportation: For transportation, you can utilize trains, buses, and taxis. Train fares vary from €5 to €20, depending on the class and distance. Buses usually cost less than €10 per trip. A 4-hour taxi ride costs around 50 euros.
  • Activities: Many activities fall within the range of 5-10 euros. Excursions like a wildlife safari or a boat tour typically range from €20 to €50.
  • Food: If you want to enjoy both local and Western cuisine, expect to spend approximately 3-6 euros per meal in a local restaurant, and 5-15 euros per meal in a Western restaurant.

Cost Estimate for the Fancy Schmancy Traveler – Daily Budget 50-200 euros

  • Accommodation: If you prefer the crème de la crème, you can expect prices ranging from €80 to €500 per night, depending on the location and type of hotel.
  • Transportation: Private chauffeurs vary in price, but on average, they can cost between €50 and €150 per day.
  • Activities: Most activities cost up to 30 euros, but if, for example, you opt for an overnight stay in the backwaters, you should expect to pay around 200 euros per night. Spas in India are also quite expensive.
  • Food: If you enjoy luxury dining, you’re in luck in India. There are numerous high-end restaurants and gastronomic experiences available. Meals in these restaurants can range from €50 to several hundred euros per person, depending on the location, type of cuisine, and exclusivity of the experience.

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