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You want to visit India, you only have 2 weeks to visit, you’re wondering ‘can I see India in 2 weeks?’ ‘India is huge where do I start with planning my 2 week trip to India?’.
Well, I’m here to help you!
India is indeed HUGE, and you’ll never see all of the Country in one trip (I spent 4 months there and barely scratched the surface), so if you only have 2 weeks to travel to India, I’d say go for it! You’ll get a good taste of what India has to offer (quite literally) and you can go back to India on a second trip another time to see more.
As a first time traveller to India, I’m sure there are certain places you really want to visit, and there are certain places you really should visit too! The Golden Triangle of India comprising of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur is famous and popular to visit on first trips to India for a reason. It’s full of icon’s, it’s easy to travel, and set up for international tourism.
Based on my experience travelling India and based on the 2 week India itinerary I put together for the group tour to India that I’m running in 2020, here is how I recommend you spend your 2 week holiday in North India especially if it’s your first trip to India!
In short, I suggest: Delhi – Varanasi – Agra – Jaipur – Pushkar – Delhi
Day 1 – Arrive in Delhi
Fly into New Delhi Aiport. Don’t pressure yourself to do too much today if it’s been a long day. Going for Dinner in Delhi and trying authentic Indian Food for the first time is a big enough activity for your first day in India!
Day 2 – Delhi
Spend this full day in Delhi on a tour seeing the best of Delhi. Sure you can see Delhi yourself using a mix of rickshaws, the metro, uber’s and foot, but to take the stress off you and ensure you don’t find yourself in a cultural overload, going out to see Delhi’s best sights with a local guide will be best.
Day 3 – Delhi & Overnight Train to Varanasi
Today you can explore the parts of Delhi that you didn’t get to see yesterday. Delhi’s metro system is really easy to use and very cheap so be sure to make the most of using this and travel the local way.
Pre-Book an overnight train to Varanasi before arriving in India. I recommend using 12GO Asia to book & pre book your trains in an easy way. Trains are the best way to get around India which I’m sure you know, and an overnight train is a must-do experience when travelling India to save time, especially on your 2 week itinerary in India, and to see India the real way.
Train Suggestion: I recommend getting the below train at 20:40 from New Delhi Train Station getting to Varanasi Junction at 8:35 am. It’s the perfect overnight train from Delhi to Varanasi and runs every day. My recommendation is to get the 2AC Class so you have more space. You can book the below train here.
Day 4 – Varanasi
Varanasi is such an interesting city to visit. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world, people seem to love it or hate it so I think you have to visit Varanasi on your first trip to India to see what you think for youself as it’s so iconic and a culture shock, in a good way!
Spend the day exploring the ghats that line the famous River Ganges, explore the ancient streets of the city, and get a lassi from the famous Varanasi lassi shop – Blue Lassi.
Come evening head back to the ghats to watch the evening Aarti ceremony, your first ceremony in India!
To help you once you’re on your 2 week India trip, why not take a Lonely Planet India Travel Guide with you.
Day 5 – Varanasi & Overnight Train to Agra
Jetlag or no jetlag you need to get up early on your first and only morning in Varanasi to go out on a sunrise boat trip on the River Ganges. This was one of the most magical things I did in India. As you head to the River, the morning ceremonies will be starting, the sun will be rising and the city will be waking up and you can view it all from the River.
Pre-Book another overnight train from Varanasi to Agra before you arrive in India. This is a long journey and one that you really don’t want to do during the day with only 2 weeks in North India.
Train Suggestion: The timings are a bit annoying because the best overnight train to get from Varanasi to Agra leaves Varanasi at 17:20 and arrives in Agra bright and early at 6:20 am however this train is known for its delays so you might arrive in Agra later which lets be honest, is ok! You can book the train below here.
Day 6 – Agra
Most people go to Agra just to see the Taj Mahal but there’s actually a lot more to Agra. The best way to see Agra is with a guide or at least a rickshaw driver who will take you to all the places you’ll want to see including Agra Fort, the Baby Taj, the Taj Mahal Nature Park and Mehtab Bagh which is a great place to see the Taj Mahal from at sunset.
Day 7 – Agra & Train to Jaipur
The best time of day to see the Taj Mahal is sunrise so get up before sunrise to get first in the queue at the ticket office and be (one of) the first to go in! This is an early morning you will not regret!
VERY IMPORTANT INFO: The Taj Mahal is closed on Friday so if your first time to India itinerary means you’ll spend day 7 in India on a Friday, go on Day 6!
Once you start getting hungry, head out of the Taj Mahal and get breakfast in one of the restaurants with a rooftop overlooking the Taj before going back to your hotel to check out (maybe ask for a late check out on this day), have lunch and head to Jaipur that afternoon.
Train Suggestion: There’s only one daytime train from Agra to Jaipur which leaves Agra at 14:50 and gets to Jaipur at 18:55 and for this, I would recommend AC Chair Class so you have a comfy experience watching the Indian Countryside go by! You can book the below train here.
Travel Insurance for India
I’m popping in here to remind you that you need travel insurance for India. I use World Nomads who are a great company because they’re a provider made by travellers so they know what we want! Whilst you remember you can get a quote from them here now.
Day 8 – Jaipur
Jaipur is included in all Rajasthan itineraries because it’s full of sights to see from Palaces, Forts, Temples, Markets and Iconic buildings. Once again I’d recommend going on a tour with a guide or at least getting a rickshaw driver to take you around as Jaipur is not pedestrian-friendly.
Jaipur is pretty much where you see a lot of India Instagram photos, and there’s even a Jaipur Instagram spot tour now!
One of the best things to do in Jaipur which I did was an evening Street Food tour with Nomadic Tours.
Day 9 – Jaipur
Spend another full day in Jaipur today. Along with Jaipur having so much to see, the best places to visit in Jaipur are not that close together so 2 days in Jaipur is needed.
I’d recommend spending your evening on day 2 going to the Raj Mandir Cinema in Jaipur, it was one of the best things I did in India because the crowd laugh so loudly at the film and it’s like nothing I’ve experienced before!
Day 10 – Jaipur & Train to Pushkar
Pushkar is a must visit place in Rajasthan in my opinion because it shows you a totally different side to India from what you have seen so far. Pushkar is a town, not a city and this will give you some time to relax in a holy place which has a backpacker and traveller vibe as well as being an important place for Hindu’s to visit.
Train Suggestion: It’s a breezy 2-hour train journey from Jaipur to Ajmer which is the city closest to Pushkar with a train station, from Ajmer you can get a taxi outside the station for 1 hour to Pushkar. I recommend leaving Jaipur at 10:45 am so you have all afternoon to spend in Pushkar. You can book the below train here.
Day 11 – Pushkar
Pushkar is the place to take it slow in India and on any Indian backpacker itinerary. Walk around the Holy Lake to witness the Hindu ceremonies that are happening, get some healthy veggie food and a smoothie (Pushkar is all vegetarian with no egg or alcohol), watch the sunset and check out the shops along the main street as Pushkar has some of the best shopping in India I think.
Day 12 – Pushkar
Spend another full day in Pushkar relaxing and treating it like a holiday because you are on holiday in India after all! There are yoga and meditation classes on offer in Pushkar if that takes your fancy and lots of places to get a massage too.
Day 13 – Pushkar & Train to Delhi
It’s a fairly long train to get back to Delhi but Pushkar is worth it which is why I had to include it in this itinerary, so day 13 in India will be a full travel day.
It would be a good idea to stay in a different area of Delhi than where you stayed at the start of the trip to get a better feel for the city.
Train Suggestion: I again, recommend booking this train in advance and a good train to get from Ajmer to Delhi is the 12:10 pm because remember that you need to spend an hour getting from Pushkar to Ajmer before your train. You can book the below train here.
Day 14 – Leave Delhi
Today you can leave Delhi at any time after your adventure-filled 2 week trip to India!
Remember you may get asked for proof of onward travel before you fly to India so it’s a good idea to book a flight out of India before you arrive just in case! If you don’t know where to go, take a look for the cheapest flight out of India on Skyscanner!
To help with booking accommodation, based on the above itinerary for India (which is the best 2 week India itinerary!) this is where you’ll spend the 13 nights on your 2 week trip around North India:
Delhi – 2 nights accommodation.
Varanasi – 1 nights accommodation.
Agra – 1 nights accommodation.
Jaipur – 3 nights accommodation.
Pushkar – 3 nights accommodation.
Delhi – 1 nights accommodation.
Accommodation I really recommend is Shahpura House in Jaipur which is an affordable heritage hotel (it’s beautiful!) & Inn Seventh Heaven in Pushkar which is the best hotel in Pushkar but also affordable!
To book your trains in India I recommend you use 12GO Asia as they search all the trains on the local Indian train system. Joining the local system is a bit of a pain so for 2 weeks it’s easier to use a 3rd party site like this.
Booking.com is my go-to to book accommodation in India including hostels, mid-range and heritage hotels in India because it really has it all and offers flexible options!
It can be quite hard to get the official visa page for countries, THIS IS THE OFFICIAL website to apply for your visa to India. What’s great is that as of 2019 most nationalities can apply for a one year e visa for India as standard, not 60 days like it used to be, and it’s a multiple entry visa so after this 2-week taste of India you can go back on the same visa within the next year!
My related blog posts to help you plan this trip are:
For your 2 weeks in India budget, have a read of this post to see how much it costs to travel and backpack North India: How Much it Really Costs to Backpack Around Northern India!
If you want to visit South India over North India have a read of this post and adapt it for a South India itinerary for 2 weeks including a Goa itinerary and Kerala itinerary: 3 x One Month Itineraries for South India.
If you need any extra help, I offer a travel planning service, we can speak over the phone, email or WhatsApp for 30 minutes initially where I can help you plan your trip to India and give you my best tips and advice! Read more about my travel planning and advice service here!
Now you’ll be set for your trip to India! Enjoy!
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a total travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010 and has visited over 55 Countries. (Yes I’m a Country Counter!)
I love travelling, visiting new places and meeting new people but what I also love is sharing my experiences to help you travel better which is why I pour so much love into this travel blog.
I hope to inspire you to visit new places, make you realise you don’t need to spend that much money to travel and give you helpful tips on how to get to places and what to do there!
In the Summer of 2018, I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time so if this is your dream too, follow along because I post lots of content around how I did it. And it really is amazing!
Be sure to follow me on social media and you can read more about me here!
NOW: SRI LANKA
BETWEEN: SOMEWHERE IN ASIA!
If you want to join or read more about the details of the group tour. Click here!