Top Budget-Friendly Destinations in North India for 2024

We understand your confusion about why you are not able to choose just one destination. When there are so many top places to visit in North India, how can you just choose one? We got you a list of tourist places in North India to pick from for a scintillating vacay with your loved ones!

North India is a pure delight to mountain lovers and adventure enthusiasts. There are plenty of picturesque, popular, and off-the-wall hill stations nestled in the Himalayas that make for beautiful holiday destinations. And all of them are so spellbinding that it gets tough to choose one from the list of gorgeous places to visit in north India.

To sort this confusion of where to go and what to see, here’s an elaborate compilation of northern India’s best tourist destinations. Pick your dream destination and plan your most amazing holiday in India.

Kashmir Circuit – Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Gulmarg, And Srinagar

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Kashmir is a heaven on Earth. Known for its surreal topography, stunning views, colorful culture, and cheerful people, Kashmir is definitely one of the most awe-inspiring tourist places in North India. The stunning Dal Lake in Srinagar, the gorgeous valleys of Sonmarg, the thrilling adventures of skiing at Gulmarg, and the perfect serenity of Pahalgam make a trip to Kashmir replete with happiness. With plenty of things to do in Gulmarg, a visit here will tell you that it surely is heaven on Earth!

Key Attractions: Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Mughal Garden, Betab Valley, Strawberry Field, and Apharwat Peak
How To Reach: Srinagar Airport is just 14 km from the main city and Udhampur (130 km from Srinagar) is the nearest railway station.
Things To Do: Visiting the famous tourist attractions
Best Restaurants: Stream restaurant, Dana Pani
Best Time To Visit: April to October
Places To Stay: Hotel Heevan, Impex Hill Resorts
Elevation: 1,620 m
Average Budget: INR 4,500 onwards

Dharamshala – Tibetan Charm

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Planning a 3 day trip in North India? Dharamshala is one of the best mountain places to visit in north India for recreational purposes. It is a small and quaint hill station that offers mesmerizing views of Dhauladhar Ranges, sparkling Dal Lake, plush green deodar forests, and the honored residence of His Holiness – The Dalai Lama. That along with several camping sites in Dharamshala and more make it one of the best places to visit in February in North India.

Mcleodganj is located 9 km upslope from Dharamshala and tops the list of places to see in north India. It is known for some really cool and quaint cafes and exhilarating adventure. The two destinations are among the best places to visit in North India that, together, form an integral part of the tour packages to Himachal.

Key Attractions: Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dal Lake, Naddi Village, Kangra Fort, and Bhagsunath
How To Reach: Gaggal Airport (18 km from Mcleodganj) is the nearest airport. Pathankot Junction (90 km from Mcleodganj) is the nearest railway head. Volvos and non-AC buses by Himachal Roadways ply between these destinations and Delhi.
Things To Do: Trekking, paragliding
Best Restaurants: Tibet kitchen, Nick’s Italian kitchen, Lung Ta Japanese
Best Time To Visit: February to June
Places To Stay: Dhauladhar Rangers, Indru Nag, Pink House, Kareri Adventures Dharamshala
Elevation: 1,620 m
Average Budget: INR 5,000 onwards

Dalhousie – A Peaceful Getaway

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If you are looking for wonderful places to travel in North India, Dalhousie is a picturesque hill station, nestled in the Himalayas. One of the most invigorating places to see in North India, it is characterized by lofty mountains, sparkling rivers, luxuriant valleys, and colonial houses. Its serenity makes it a perfect choice for honeymooners, solo travellers, and photographers. And while you’re here, don’t forget to visit the ever-so-delightful Khajjiar, which is often called the Mini Switzerland of India!

Key Attractions: Chamba, Khajjiar, Dainkund Peak, Kalatop Wild Reserve, Panchpula, and St. Francis Catholic Church
How To Reach: Pathankot is the nearest airport and railway connection, located 80 km away
Things To Do: Trekking, spotting wildlife
Best Restaurants: Kwality restaurant, Sher e Punjab restaurant
Best Time To Visit: March to May
Places To Stay: Snow Valley Resorts, Alps Resort Dalhousie
Elevation: 1,970 m
Average Budget: INR 5,500 onwards

Shimla – The Erstwhile Summer Capital Of British India

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Plan your first getaway by making sure you explore all the best places to visit in Shimla with the breathtaking beauty of the surroundings and super cozy climate, Shimla is one of the most popular places to see in North India. Snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, and bustling mall road have made Shimla a favorite choice for all. And when you have explored all of Shimla, you can head to the charming hill stations nearby including Kufri, Chail, Chamba, and more. When preparing the list of 3 days trip in North India, don’t miss to include this picturesque destination in your itinerary. 

Key Attractions: Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Annandale, Jakhoo Hill, Summer Hill, and Scandal Point
How To Reach: The nearest airport, Jubbarhatti, is located 23 km from the main city. The nearest railhead is Kalka, which is connected by a toy train to Shimla station.
Things To Do: Trekking, paragliding
Best Restaurants: Cafe Sol, 45 the Central
Best Time To Visit: November and February
Places To Stay: Snow Valley Resorts Shimla, Meena Bagh Shimla
Elevation: 2,276 m
Average Budget: INR 6,500 onwards 

Kullu and Manali – Hub of Adventure

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Kullu and Manali are the twin tourist places to see in North India, popular for their luxuriant greenery, surreal topography, invigorating climate, and super thrilling adventure sports. Kullu, located at a distance of 40 km from Manali, is a stunning valley by the Beas whereas Manali is an amazing retreat, immensely popular especially among adventure freaks and honeymoon couples. Once you’re here, don’t forget to check out the various paragliding spots in Manali!

Key Attractions: Hadimba Temple, Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art, Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa, and Vashisht Hot Water Springs
How To Reach: Nearest airport and railhead are at Chandigarh, approximately 250 km away.
Things To Do: Trekking, paragliding
Best Restaurants: Hot Spice cafe, Maitre restaurant
Best Time To Visit: March to June
Places To Stay: River Site Guest House, Shobla Kaathkuni Royale
Elevation: 1,279 m
Average Budget: INR 7,000 onwards

Nainital – A Mesmerizing Hill Station

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Nainital is a mesmerizing hill station and one of the best places to visit in North India. This charming destination has developed around a splendid lake. Boating, trekking, and shopping at the Tibetan market of Mall Road are some of the must-do things here. If sitting by a beautiful lake watching the day go by is your idea of a perfect vacation, then Nainital is the place for you, since it is among the most peaceful places to visit in North India in December. You can explore the places near Nainital that offer the same scenic beauty and adventure for a perfect vacation.

Key Attractions: Naini Lake, Naina Peak, Nainital Zoo, Tiffin Top, Snow View Point, Raj Bhavan, and Naina Devi Temple
How To Reach: The nearest railway station is at Kathgodam, 34 km from Nainital. It takes close to 8 hours to reach there from Delhi. Nainital does not have any direct air access.
Things To Do: Visiting major tourist attractions
Best Restaurants: Simz cafe, Sakley’s restaurant
Best Time To Visit: March to June
Places To Stay: Balrampur House Nainital, Nainital Inn
Elevation: 2,084 m
Average Budget: INR 4,500 onwards

Dehradun – A Treat For Nature Lovers

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Dehradun is among the best famous holiday destinations in North India for families as well as couples. The popular hill retreat is known for its awesome surrounding beauty, Doon School, Forest Research Institute, and Indian Military Academy. But that’s not all. There are myriad other North India tour places hidden in its hilly terrains and valleys. It is the best tourist spot in North India and also acts as a gateway to the popular hill stations of Uttarakhand for people traveling to the hilly areas from metros like Delhi and Jaipur.

Key Attractions: Shikhar Fall, Guchhupani, Khalanga War Memorial, and Sahastradhara
How To Reach: Dehradun has its own railway station and an airport that goes by the name of Jolly Grant.
Things To Do: Touring major attractions, visiting the cafes, eating the street food
Best Restaurants: Orchard restaurant, Black pepper, Town Table
Best Time To Visit: March to June
Places To Stay: Old British House, Mango Tree Courtyard
Elevation: 447 m
Average Budget: INR 5,000 onwards

Mussoorie – A Popular Tourist Destination

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Mussoorie is one of the most visited hill stations of north India, snuggled at the Himalayas. Scenic waterfalls and lofty ranges form the backdrop for some of the most amazing things to do in Mussoorie, such as boating, skating, and horse riding. The charming cafes and alluring views of the mountains make it one of the best places to visit in North India for sure.

Key Attractions: Kempty Falls, Mussoorie Lake, Jharipani Falls, Camelback Road, and Benog Sanctuary.
How To Reach: Jolly Grant at Dehradun (54 km away) is the closest airport while Dehradun (33 km away) is the nearest railway connection.
Things To Do: Trekking, paragliding
Best Restaurants: Funjabi Tandoorz, Kalsang restaurant
Best Time To Visit: April to June
Places To Stay: Seclude Mussoorie, Mussoorie Residency
Elevation: 2,005 m
Average Budget: INR 6,500 onwards

If you are feeling religious or looking for places where you can take your family and grandparents, then here are some options for you.

Varanasi – A Peace Seeker’s Haven

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Varanasi – the religious hub, is a perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate the mind and the soul. With photogenic ghats of The Ganges, narrow lanes, century old temples, and the mesmerizing evening aarti, Varanasi is definitely in every traveler’s bucket list. The peaceful vibes and calm demeanour of this place are sure to revitalize your senses during your trip. There is no reason why we should not include Varanasi in the list of the best places to visit in North India.

Key Attractions: Dashashwamedh Ghat and Vishwanath Temple
How To Reach: Varanasi has its own railway station and airport.
Things To Do: Visiting major tourist attractions
Best Restaurants: Varanasi cafe & restaurant
Best Time To Visit: November to March
Places To Stay: Radisson Hotel Varanasi, Rivera Palace
Elevation: 81 m
Average Budget: INR 4,500 onwards

Allahabad – UP’s Pride

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Allahabad is known for ‘Sangam’ – the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, & Saraswati – and is also counted as one of the sacred places to visit in north India. Besides, there is a range of tourist attractions that place it on the list of best places to visit in North India. Located in the heart of the Indo-Gangetic plain, Allahabad is often called a kaleidoscope of multiple traditions.

Key Attractions: Khusro Bagh, Triveni Sangam, and Swaraj Bhavan
How To Reach: Allahabad has its own railway station and airport.
Things To Do: Visiting major tourist attractions
Best Restaurants: El Chico restaurant, Eat on restaurant
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Places To Stay: Hotel Polo Max, Hotel Kashi
Elevation: 98 m
Average Budget: INR 6,000 onwards

Haridwar And Rishikesh – Beautiful Twin Cities

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One of the most famous tourist places in North India, Haridwar is another spiritual destination of north India. Ganga is said to leave the Himalayas here. The Ganga aarti and religious celebrations keep the place crowded throughout the year.

Rishikesh is the yoga capital of India, located 20 km upslope from Haridwar. There are numerous places to visit in Rishikesh and the city is also known internationally for adventure sports like river rafting and bungee jumping. If you find this mixture of spiritualism and adventure tempting, then for you Rishikesh surely is one of the best places to visit in North India for summer that you must not miss!

Key Attractions: Har ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple Rajaji National Park, River Rafting, Bungee Jumping, and Yoga sessions
How To Reach: The nearest airport to both places is Jolly Grant in Dehradun whereas the nearest railway station to Rishikesh is at Haridwar.
Things To Do: Visiting major tourist attractions
Best Restaurants: Hotel Raghuwanshi, Chandra Mohan Vaishno Bhojanalaya
Best Time To Visit: February, March, August, October
Places To Stay: Golden Tulip, Le Roi Haridwar
Elevation: 314 m
Average Budget: INR 5,500 onwards

Mathura And Vrindavan – Catch Some Soul Delight

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Mathura is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna and one of the best North India tour places. Vrindavan, on the other hand, is where he spent his childhood and youth. Hence, both are very significant religious places to visit in north India for the Hindus. The distance between Mathura and Vrindavan is just about 12 km and both these places are known for their heritage temples. Owing to its spiritual aura, it is among the most peaceful places to visit in North India.

Key Attractions: Krishna Janma Bhoomi, Dwarkadhish Temple, Bankey Bihari Temple, Keshi Ghat, and the Holi celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan
How To Reach: Both Mathura and Vrindavan can be easily accessed from Delhi by road or on a local train. However, the nearest airport is in Delhi or Agra.
Things To Do: Visiting major tourist attractions
Best Restaurants: Agrawal restaurant, Bansal foods
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Places To Stay: Madhav Muskan Residency, Hotel Mayur Mathura
Elevation: 174 m
Average Budget: INR 6,000 onwards

Jim Corbett National Park – The Wildlife Safari

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Jim Corbett National Park is a part of the enormous Corbett Tiger Reserve which is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. This magical national park is known for its tiger richness and has been enticing visitors since 1936 when it was known as Hailey National Park. It is India’s oldest and amongst prestigious national park and is believed to be the father of the Project Tiger in India. if you are looking for cheap places to visit in north India with friends, then Jim Corbett should be on your list.

Key Attractions: Corbett Elephant Safari, Bijrani Accommodation, Jhirna Zone
How To Reach: The nearest railway station to reach here is Ramnagar from where one can board a local bus or taxi to reach Jim Corbett National Park.
Things To Do: Boating, wildlife spotting, trekking
Best Restaurants: Village Vatika restaurant, Blue Zinger, Green valley
Best Time To Visit: November to February
Places To Stay: Dhikala Forest Rest House, Jim Corbett Farm House
Elevation: 396 m to 1, 219 m
Average Budget: INR 4,500 onwards

Vaishno Devi – A Spiritual Expedition

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Vaishno Devi is a Hindu temple, dedicated to Goddess Adi Shakti. It is located at the Trikuta Mountains in Katra and welcomes millions of pilgrims every year from across the world. You can take a trek of 14 km to reach the temple or board a helicopter from Katra to Sanjhi Chhat. You can also visit numerous local temples that will come on your way to the main temple. Vaishnodevi is undoubtedly amongst the good places to visit in north India. It is also one of the best family holiday destinations in India. 

Key Attractions: Vaishno Devi temple, Aadh Kunwari, Sanjhi Chhat
How To Reach: You can either take a direct train to Katra and start your excursion. Numerous pilgrims deboard the train at Jammu and head to Katra via a local taxi or bus.
Things To Do: Vaishno Devi temple, Ardh Kuwari cave
Best Restaurants: Vaishno Devi Bhojanalaya, Manoranjan Vaishno Dhaba
Best Time To Visit: March to October
Places To Stay: Kalika Bhavan, Gauri Bhavan
Elevation: 1, 615 m
Average Budget: INR 5,000 onwards

Ranikhet – Relax Away The Entire Vacation

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Ranikhet boasts of its lush green surroundings, heritage temples, and classic churches. With nothing much to do, this forested hilly retreat is a perfect place for romantic couples who are looking for a wonderful honeymoon away from urban noises. Other than that, trekkers and hikers also visit this place to revel in nature’s bounty and explore the jungles surrounding the hill town.

Key Attractions: Visit the temples, trek, and stroll to reveal the nature’s splendor
How To Reach: Kathgodam is the closest railhead, located 80 km away.
Things To Do: Visiting the famous tourist attractions
Best Restaurants: Rajatgiri restaurant, Chevron Rosemount
Best Time To Visit: April to June
Places To Stay: Hotel Chevron Rosemount, HI5 Cottages
Elevation: 1,869 m
Average Budget: INR 5,000 onwards

Final Thoughts:

Exploring North India on a budget in 2024 is not only feasible but also rewarding. From the spiritual vibes of Varanasi to the scenic beauty of McLeod Ganj, and from the adventurous spirit of Rishikesh to the royal charm of Jaipur, North India offers a diverse range of affordable travel experiences. Amritsar, with its rich culture and history, further adds to the list of must-visit budget-friendly destinations. By choosing these economical travel spots, you can enjoy the richness of North India without compromising on your financial plans. Travel smart and embrace the beauty, culture, and adventure that North India has to offer in 2024.