Top 5 places you should visit in India in 2020

With the new year nearly upon us it’s time to make some serious decisions about your travel wish list for 2020.

As always, to help you make your travel plans, we’ve come up with our top five places to visit in India in 2020. These are the places which we think are worth visiting in 2020 and are based on our recent travel experiences (and the more than two decades we have spent living, working and travelling in India). This list though, we have complied after our most recent research trips, group tours and personal travel in India in 2019. These are some of our favourite places to travel to, places we think are lesser-visited but are worthy of travellers’ attention, might feature a standout new place to stay that is reason enough to visit there or we’ve discovered new activities and met interesting local people we’d like to share with you. 

So where are the must see places in India this year? Drumroll please…….

Our top five places to visit in India in 2020 are:

#1 Chettinad 

This region of Tamil Nadu in southern India doesn’t cross the radar of many travellers to India. And while we are tempted to keep it secret a little while longer, it’s too good to leave off our list of must visit places in India any longer. Known for its unique, richly-spiced cuisine; the former homes of wealthy trading families that tell part of the region’s history (and thankfully some have now been lovingly restored and converted into elegant heritage hotels; and a number of cottage industries such as the Chettinad tile makers and antique markets. Our favourite place to stay in Chettinad is Visalam, part of the CGH Earth group of hotels. Added to this, you’ll also find The Bangala, rated by Trip Advisor users as one of India’s top 10 restaurants, in the region. If that’s not enough to entice you to visit Chettinad we’ll happily keep it all to ourselves! Chettinad features in our Classic South India suggested itinerary and can also be included in a custom made private tour of South India designed especially for you. 

#2 Mumbai 

Peeling back the layers – this multi-layered mega-city has much to offer first time India travellers and return India visitors. While Delhi boasts the big-ticket UNESCO sights, Mumbai will reveal the old and the very new India, it’s a city of contrasts and experiences. Dive into Mumbai and you’ll find a city with a vibrant beating heart. Experience walking tours to discover the city’s historic buildins, ride a bicycle a dawn to witness a city that never sleeps, stay up late at one of the city’s any number of cosmopolitan bars and let your taste buds dance at some of the nation’s top contemporary restaurants. There’s also fabulous palace stays, buzzing causeways and numerous modern boutiques to lure you in. Mumbai is a great starting or end point for a private tour of India.

#3 River cruising in India

Put your feet up and explore India at a gentle pace, with a river cruise along one of its might waterways. River cruising in India will reveal lesser-known but fascinating locations, places steeped in history and others abundant with natural beauty. From the Sunderbans in east India to the Brahmaputra in the North East and along the Ganges, river cruising in India offers a unique perspective of the countryside. The meandering pace of travel on the river, easy schedule of activities and “un-pack once” aspect of cruising are what many people enjoy about this form of travel. River cruising in India is especially suitable for first time travellers who may be daunted by India’s crowds. For more on river cruising in India you can read our travel blog based on first-hand experience. There are now many cruise operators so please contact us directly to find out more about which might be the best river cruise in India for you. 

#4 Ladakh 

The Himalaya are like no other part of India. Expect soaring mountain peaks, a high altitude dessert landscape and picturesque remote Buddhist monasteries. In Ladakh you will discover the unique and rich history, culture and religion of the Ladakhi people who reside here. They’ll welcome you warmly and genuinely share their culture and sense of community with you. Having returned to Ladakh in recent months, we were thrilled to discover a range of new authentic, boutique hotels offering a range of activities and sightseeing, outstanding meals and hospitality and wonderful boutique accommodation. Though the window for visiting Ladakh is small due to the weather, we think Ladakh is a must visit in 2020. We have two new itineraries for Ladakh travel – A Meander in Ladakh and Highlights of Ladakh. They may provide some travel inspiration for you. 

#5 RAAS Devigarh 

Udaipur away from the crowds. Experience India’s famed lake city unlike other travellers. RAAS Devigarh is a 260-year-old palace, now restored into a boutique luxury hotel, located less than an hour outside Udaipur. This elegant, luxury property is a reason to visit Udaipur in itself – in fact with the Lake Pichola area of central Udaipur now so popular Devigarh is a welcome escape, with Udaipur an easy day trip. Devigarah is the perfect sanctuary during or as the finale to a tour of Rajasthan – with its picturesque soaring palace exterior and spacious, contemporary rooms. There’s an inviting pool, activities from village walks to yoga, a bar with incredible views serving original cocktails and drinks, as well as a restaurant and casual café serving healthy, contemporary takes on India dishes (as well as hearty old favourites!). We loved their quinoa porridge and ragi upma, as well as the spicey lamb biryani and kebabs at dinner time. A stand-out hotel from our most recent travels through Rajasthan and one we think it’s worth splurging on in 2020. (You might even see us there again!) 

India Unbound crafts tailor-made itineraries for private touring in India which features these and many more remarkable places, people and experiences. Join us with our upcoming Sikkim Darjeeling group tour, India group tour and Rajasthan group tour. Contact to find out more about visiting India in 2020.