Best Places to Visit in India with Friends: 15 Fascinating Cities

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Are you looking for the best places to visit in India with friends this year?

You can ensure your adventure is filled with rich cultural encounters and awe-inspiring landscapes when you visit these 15 must-visit places in India.

So, read more below to discover insights, tips, and top recommendations and plan an unforgettable trip through India!

Places to visit in India
Don’t miss these 15 places to visit in India with friends.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about 15 iconic places to visit in India with friends, including:

15 Places to Visit in India with Friends

Ready to explore the most iconic places to visit in India with friends?

Well, you’re in for a treat because this list of 15 incredible destinations across India promises laughter, shared experiences, and stories to reminisce about for years to come.

From the vibrant beaches of Goa to the historical marvels of Aurangabad, buckle up for an unforgettable ride as you discover these destinations in India, tailor-made for unforgettable moments with friends!

Related: Should You Get Individual or Group Travel Insurance?

1. Goa – The Ultimate Party Paradise

Kick off your adventure in the lively state of Goa. It’s an ideal start to your itinerary of places to visit in India with friends. Known for its sun-kissed beaches, vibrant nightlife, and laid-back vibe, Goa is a haven for friends seeking a good time.

From beach parties to water sports, it will set the stage for an unforgettable escapade with your pals.

The most popular beaches in Goa include:

  • Anjuna Beach
  • Calangute Beach
  • Baga Beach
  • Candolim Beach
  • Palolem Beach

Don’t forget to visit some of the churches and convents of Goa, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Especially noteworthy are the Bom Jesus Basilica and Fort Aguada.

2. Rishikesh – Adventure Capital by the Ganges

For the thrill-seekers, Rishikesh is a must-visit. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, this adventure capital offers a perfect blend of spirituality and adrenaline-pumping activities.

Try white-water rafting, embark on a trek, and end your day with a serene ritual event: Ganga Aarti.

You’ll marvel at the illuminated setting along the river banks as you witness the gratitude prayers offered to the River Goddess at sunset. Early risers can experience this at sunrise, too.

A visit to Rishikesh is the perfect blend of adventure and tranquility.

3. Manali – A Himalayan Haven

Serenity of Himalayas
Find serenity in the Himalayas.

Next, head north to the charming town of Manali, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush greenery.

Here, you might ski in Solang Valley, explore Old Manali‘s vibrant streets, or simply enjoy the breathtaking landscapes.

Nature lovers will especially appreciate the Jogni Waterfall Road and Brighu Lake. You’ll also find an ancient cave temple to explore in Manali, the Hidimba Devi Temple.

Manali is an ideal place to visit when you’re with friends seeking both adventure and relaxation in the lap of the Himalayas.

4. Ahmedabad – Heritage and Modernity Blend

Discover the captivating blend of heritage and modernity in the heart of Gujarat – Ahmedabad.

Begin your exploration at the Sabarmati Ashram, synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and the epicenter of India’s independence movement.

Admire the peaceful surroundings that echo with history, offering a serene start to your Ahmedabad journey.

Continue your rendezvous with history at the Adalaj Stepwell, a marvel of architectural beauty and intricate carvings. This step well serves as a testament to Gujarat’s rich cultural heritage and provides a picturesque setting for your visit.

After immersing yourself in history, head to Law Garden for a lively shopping spree. This bustling market is a treasure trove of handicrafts, textiles, and jewelry. It’s the perfect spot to pick up unique souvenirs and gifts.

As you wrap up your Ahmedabad escapade, consider adding a touch of anticipation to future travel plans. Picture yourself navigating the serene backwaters of Kerala with enticing Kerala packages from Ahmedabad.

Imagine lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and a whole new adventure awaiting you and your friends. Ahmedabad is a gateway to a world of experiences. That’s why it’s one of the best places to visit in India with friends.

5. Pondicherry – French Flair by the Sea

Indian ocean
Discover the beauty of the Indian Ocean.

Down south, Pondicherry (formerly Puducherry) beckons with its French-inspired charm. This small coastal town is very walkable.

Here, you can stroll along the Promenade Beach, explore the colorful streets of White Town, and relish a fusion of Indian and French cuisine.

You can visit the popular Rocky Beach and relax in the cafés across the street, or visit the Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple or Aurobindo Ashram for reflection.

Pondicherry offers a unique blend of relaxation and cultural exploration you and your friends will enjoy.

6. Leh-Ladakh – High Altitude Adventures

road in Ladakh
Gain new perspectives in Ladakh.

Elevate your friendship to new heights – quite literally – in Leh-Ladakh.

With its mesmerizing landscapes, monasteries, and thrilling road trips along winding mountain roads, this region is a haven for adventurers. It goes by many names, among them ‘Little Tibet’ and ‘the last Shangri-La’.

Some of the top attractions in Leh-Ladakh you’ll want to visit include:

  • Pangong Tso – the world’s highest salt-water lake (
  • Diskit Monastery – for panoramic views and a huge Maitreya Buddha sculpture 
  • Thiksey Gompa – the largest monastery in Central Ladakh
  • Shanti Stupa – a beautiful white-domed stupa on the hill
  • Leh Palace (Lachen Palkar Palace) – overlooks the city, built at the turn of the 16th Century

Breathe in the crisp mountain air as you explore the beauty of Leh-Ladakh with your friends.

7. Chennai – Coastal Charms and Cultural Riches

Chennai temple
Chennai is rich in culture and coastal charm.

Head to Chennai, where coastal charms and cultural riches await you and your friends.

You might begin your relaxation at the iconic Marina Beach, where you’ll immerse yourself in the serene coastal atmosphere. Or, explore the historic Fort St. George, a testament to Chennai’s colonial past, and let the tales of yesteryears captivate you.

As you delve into Chennai’s vibrant arts scene, consider extending your travel dreams to the enchanting Kerala with these enticing Kerala packages from Chennai.

Picture yourself amidst the lush greenery, cruising through backwaters, and savoring Kerala’s rich cultural experiences. Chennai’s unique blend of tradition and modernity sets the stage for a perfect ending to your multi-faceted adventure with friends.

8. Kasol – Hippie Haven in the Parvati Valley

Tucked away in the Parvati Valley, Kasol is a haven for the free-spirited.

Surrounded by lush forests and the gushing Parvati River, this offbeat destination offers a perfect setting for camping, trekking, and soulful connections around bonfires. The most popular route is the Kheerganga trek, which takes you along the river through hidden villages in the valley.

Kasol is a fantastic place to strengthen your friendships amidst the beauty of nature.

9. Jaipur – The Pink City Extravaganza

The expansive capital city of Jaipur goes by many names.

Head to the royal state of Rajasthan and explore the ‘Pink City’ – Jaipur. Also known as ‘The Paris of India,’ you’ll want to spend some time here to thoroughly explore all the attractions on offer.

Here, you can:

  • Immerse yourselves in the grandeur of the Hawa Mahal
  • Venture into the historic Amber Fort
  • Indulge in the vibrant culture of the city
  • And so much more

If you’re looking for amazing photo opportunities, head to Jal Mahal (‘Water Palace’), where you’ll find this incredible structure in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. The contrast between the light-colored stones of the palace and the brilliant, reflective water is so photo-worthy!

Jaipur promises an extravaganza of colors, history, and unforgettable moments with your friends.

10. Gokarna – Beach Bliss in Karnataka

For a more laid-back beach experience, Gokarna in Karnataka is the answer.

Known for its pristine beaches, beach trekking trails, and serene atmosphere, Gokarna is an ideal spot for friends seeking a tranquil escape. And the nightlife at the beach is decent, too.

Because of the temples, you’ll also find plenty of souvenirs to commemorate your India trip, from incense and stands to brass lamps.

Revel in the simplicity and beauty of this coastal haven.

11. Varanasi – Spiritual Sojourn by the Ganges

Experience the spiritual energy of Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world.

Here, you’ll see many ghats, which are the steps leading down the steep river bank. Along the banks of the Ganges, you can witness the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti, take a boat ride, and explore the narrow lanes of the old city.

Varanasi offers a unique blend of spirituality and cultural exploration for you and your friends.

12. McLeod Ganj – Tibetan Tranquility in Himachal

Expect to find solace in the tranquil town of McLeod Ganj (McLeodganj), nestled in the Dhauladhar Range.

Known for its Tibetan influence, you can explore the Namgyal Monastery, trek to Triund (a small hill station), and savor the local Tibetan cuisine. You’ll see beautiful waterfalls and lakes, as well as Tibetan settlements, along the way.

McLeod Ganj is a haven for those seeking a peaceful retreat with friends amidst breathtaking landscapes.

13. Kolkata – Cultural Extravaganza in the City of Joy

Dive into the cultural extravaganza of Kolkata (once anglicized as ‘Calcutta’), the ‘City of Joy’. As the capital of British India until 1911, you’ll notice colonial architecture.

From exploring historical landmarks like the Victoria Memorial to indulging in street food at Park Street, Kolkata offers a unique blend of heritage and modernity. Garden lovers will want to check out Eden Gardens and foodies will want to indulge in traditional Bengali sweets.

Immerse yourselves in the artistic and vibrant atmosphere of this eastern gem when you are looking for the best places to visit in India with friends.

14. Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Tropical Paradise

For a tropical retreat, head to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This is actually over 800 islands grouped into two.

With pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life, this archipelago is a haven for water enthusiasts. Dive into adventure with snorkeling, scuba diving, and beach hopping, creating memories to last a lifetime.

Birdwatchers will also enjoy a glimpse into the avian wildlife at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is a birdwatching heaven with over 270 species of migratory and endemic birds!

15. Aurangabad – Historical Marvels in Maharashtra

Conclude your journey of friendship in Aurangabad, home to historical marvels like the Ajanta and Ellora Caves.

At this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll explore the rich heritage of India as you marvel at the intricate carvings and ancient sculptures.

And, in Aurangabad, you’ll also find a replica of the Taj Mahal, Bibi Ka Maqbara.

It’s a perfect end to your diverse and memorable adventure with friends.

Final Thoughts on Places to Visit in India with Friends:

As you wrap up this whirlwind adventure across India, remember that the true beauty lies in the shared laughter, the unexpected adventures, and the unbreakable bonds forged along the way.

Each destination on this list offers a unique experience, catering to the varied interests of your friend group.

So, pack your bags, hit the road, and create a treasure trove of memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Happy travels, dear friends!

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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