The U.S. government’s travel advisory India places the country in level 2: exercise increased caution. This is because of border tensions and internal, ethnic conflicts. However, international travel to India is still safe. Although safety in India is good, you should always take some precautions. Here we will give you some clues to blend in as a local and enjoy India to the fullest.

  • India is a very populated and chaotic country. It’s extremely important to take care of our belongings to avoid petty theft or pickpocketing and to avoid displaying your valuables. One useful tip is to carry your bag on the opposite side of traffic, it will be more difficult to snatch.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities and stay informed about the dangerous areas of the country.
  • There is a  high risk of tourist scams. Some common scams are fake guided tours, fake tickets for attractions and the bindi or bracelet scam (someone approaches you trying to give you a bracelet or put a bindi on you). Also, do some research about normal prices for auto-rickshaw or cycle-rickshaw and taxis and settle the price upfront. 
  • Get an insurance policy, especially one that covers a visit to the hospital. Getting sick is a common experience for tourists in India, so you should consider it when you book your activities and accommodations. 
  • Cows are sacred so don’t ask for any beef dishes, they will consider it insulting. They roam freely in India and it’s illegal to maim or kill them deliberately. Penalties can be up to 5 years in jail.
  • Acts of terrorism, instances of violent protests, and armed conflicts occasionally take place in India. It is advisable to steer clear of densely populated areas and potential high-risk locations. Moreover, be cautious when navigating through large gatherings and religious ceremonies, as they can pose potential hazards.
  • Women should avoid traveling alone in India. You may face higher levels of verbal and physical harassment or sexual assault.
  • Only drink treated or bottled water and don’t eat raw or undercooked food. Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases like cholera, typhoid and hepatitis are very common. 
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times. Also, have it saved on your phone. 
  • For emergency services, dial 112 from a cell phone; from a landline, dial 100 for police, 102 for ambulance (108 in parts of South India), and 101 for fire. 
  • It’s illegal to photograph airports, military sites and dams. Some places of worship also prohibit photography.