Without a doubt, traveling as a sole female in India presents a few unique challenges compared to other places in the world. People stare at you, personal space is non-existent and you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times. (You can read more about safety in India here!)
However, India is much safer than the media makes it out to be and there are a number of amazing places in the country that are beautiful AND female friendly! As the CEO of Reality Tours and Travel and a major travel addict (you can read my bio here!), I constantly have a long list of places where I want to visit. As soon as I tick one off the list, there are about five more added. I have traveled alone in the north, the south and everywhere in between.
After seeing India pretty much from the top to the bottom, here is my list of the top female friendly destinations for solo female travelers.
Rishikesh – Without a doubt, Rishikesh is a mecca for female travelers. Not only is it THE place in the world to do yoga, it is also a spiritual place. It is also one of the best places to go river rafting on the famous Ganges River. Tourists, yogis and sadhus alike roam the streets and the most dangerous thing you are likely to encounter is a cow heading straight towards you. You can easily get from the train station in Haridwar to Rishikesh via tuk tuk or take a bus directly there from Delhi.
Mumbai – Known as India’s entertainment, business and financial capital, Mumbai definitely has some swag and is a very safe destination for female travelers. The streets of Colaba and Kala Ghoda offer gorgeous colonial architecture and Bandra is the undisputed dining and nightlife center of Mumbai. It is also the home of some of Bollywood’s biggest names. There are a number of places to visit in Mumbai for both history-lovers and culture vultures.
Ladakh – The region of Ladakh is jaw-droppingly beautiful and the warm Ladakh (similar to Tibetan) culture is welcoming to female travelers. Head to Leh, join up with a tour and make your way to the hotspots of Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake for a Ladakh trip that you are unlikely to forget! Getting to Ladakh can either be very tricky or pretty straightforward. Direct flights operate from Delhi or you can take a gruelling 2-day bus trip from Manali.
Hampi – The other-worldly landscape of Hampi is something you must see to believe. The ruins of a lost empire and the relaxed environment of Hippie Island are a reminder of India’s unique past and present. Getting to Hampi is easily accessible from Bangalore or Hyderabad. Hotels in Hampi range from backpackers to riverside resorts and there is definitely something for everyone.
Goa – Goa’s beaches beckon sun and sea lovers and unlike in most parts of India, women can wear bathing suits comfortably. Beer is cheap, seafood is plentiful and there are a number of historic sites and yoga ashrams that are worth checking out. South Goa beaches are a bit quieter than the ones in the north and I highly recommend a trip to Palolem, Calangute or Baga. There are a number of ways to get to go from Mumbai to Goa including flight, buses, overnight train and a new launched ferry service.
While there are many, many places in India to choose from that are solo female friendly, hopefully this gives you a great start when planning your next trip!