The birthplace of Bollywood. Flashy seafront promenades. Impressive Raj-era architecture. Mumbai is a buzzing metropolis of more than 20 million people and a definitive stop on any India itinerary. Upmarket SoBo or South Bombay is home to the art quarter of Kala Ghoda, upscale restaurants and shopping in Colaba, and architectural icons like the Chhatrapati Shivaji Teminus. Further north, most travellers make a beeline for the up-and-coming seaside neighbourhood of Bandra, which boasts old-world churches, trendy restaurants and thriving nightlife.
You couldn’t fault India for diversity and charm. From the snow-covered Himayala to the golden dunes of the Thar Desert, this country makes for a radical collision of terrains, cultures and wildlife. As far as holiday destinations go, few are as fascinating. And in fact, whether you’re in search of royal splendour, a chilled-out beach hideaway, a jungle safari, a vibrant city break or just a healthy dose of history, you’ll be raving about any trip here for years to come.
Researching where to visit in India? Certain regions have remained perennial favourites for decades. Many first-time visitors to India fall for the slow pace of life in backwater-riddled Kerala, while others prefer the grandeur of the Golden Triangle circuit, stretching from historic capital Delhi to Agra – home to the Taj Mahal – to palace-filled Jaipur. Beyond these tried and tested areas, however, there are various under-the-radar places to stay that are slowly but steadily luring in more adventurous visitors. Mysore in southern India draws yoga enthusiasts from around the world, and fauna-packed Madhya Pradesh is becoming a go-to destination for wildlife buffs. Discover these and more in our pick of the best places to visit in India right now.