Itchy feet and an Indian passport are a deadly combination, but youalready know that. If you’ve travelled, or intended to travel much outof india, you are only too familiar with toiling over lengthyvisa applications and the sleepless nights before a visa gets approved. Not to mention, pre-planning a holiday to the smallest detail – where you’ll stay, how many days to each city or town, when you’ll fly back – can suck the excitement out of any trip, unless of course you love planning. I know I don’t; I’ve found my greatest adventures in the most impulsive of trips, and it may as well be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I’m sure we could write an entire book about the infamous Indian passport, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about countries that offer us the freedom to pack our bags, book a flight, and head straight to the airport; no visa hassles, no detailed planning, and no sleepless nights (except from the thrill of an impulsive trip). The roots of this post are embedded in a day of disappointing research that revealed that India does not have a working holiday agreement with any country in the world; I have been toying with the idea of long term travel for a while now, but that’s a rant for another time. In the spirit of not wanting to trade our Indian passports for any other, I present to you ten countries that’ll give wings to your wanderlust:
A lemur in Madagascar. Photo by Frank Vassen.
They say that the fourth largest island in the world, carelessly strewn off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, is an adventure of a different kind. Madagascar has been geographically isolated from the rest of the world for so long, that 90% of its flora and fauna, and many of its animal species are found nowhere else in the world; unfortunately like everywhere else in the world, its ecology has been irreversibly damaged by human activity. It’s culture is an eclectic mix of Indonesia and Africa, and its kaleidoscopic landscapes transform from rainforest to desert to coastal in no time.
Getting there directly from India is expensive, and it is much more economical to club it with its more popular neighbor, Mauritius; both Air Mauritius and Air Madagascar have frequent flights from Mauritius to Madagascar, while a ferry is a 3-4 nights affair. Madagascar is the reason I’ll go back to this part of the Indian Ocean.
Indians can obtain a thirty-day visa free of charge at the Antananarivo airport, Madagascar’s primary international airport.
2. HONG KONG
Hong Kong harbor. Photo by Herry Lawford.
I visited Hong Kong in the winter of 2008, and remember thinking of it as Singapore with mountains. The entire city shone with Christmas lights and Christmas sales, and while Singapore, where I lived at the time, is a shopping haven, Hong Kong’s shopping streets had the vibe that you’d anticipate in an American city from the TV shows. Its part British-part Chinese ambiance takes some getting used to, with plenty of pretty awesome rooftop bars and cafes to ease you in.I remember hiking in its wilderness to a vantage point that overlooked its two islands and the South China Sea in between. If its hi-tech 21st century attraction and its mountains are not compelling enough reasons to visit, the pristine beaches along its outlying islands and its proximity to Macau, Asia’s own Vegas, sure are.
Cathay Pacific runs frequent direct flights to Hong Kong.
A fourteen-day entry stamp is free of charge at Hong Kong airport.
Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan. Photo by Goran.
The “last Shangri La” comes with a price tag of US$200 per day for most of the world but us, and for once in our lives, our infamous Indian passport evokes a sense of jealousy. This Himalayan kingdom has been associated with an other-worldly enigma, culturally, spiritually, and pictorially; what else can you expect when Gross National Happiness is the country’s benchmark to progress? I almost planned a trip here this June, and spent many a night dreaming of its untrodden trails and its fascinating festivals, in one of which, called The Takin Festival, the locals gather together to observe the Gasa, Bhutan’s national animal, in the wild! (Then Turkey happened and Bhutan went on the back-burner).
The Land of the Thunder Dragon can be approached over land via Siliguri, or by a flight on Druk Air to Paro’s international airport.
Indian passport holders don’t need a visa to enter Phuentsholing, a Bhutanese town on the Indian border. To travel further in Bhutan, a travel permit can be obtained here or in Thimpu.
Wadi Rum in Jordan. Photo by Salim Al-Harthy.
The vast red nothingness of Wadi Rum, the lifelessness of the Dead Sea, and the ecstasy that is the Middle East, beckon the culture vulture with open arms. The land of the mezze, Jordan is a stable recluse amid its more vulnerable neighbors, and yet no less on nomadic desert adventures and the infectious Arabic hospitality, or so they say; I’m yet to go.
Royal Jordanian flies direct from India to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Visa on arrival is available in Jordan for Indians and costs US$30 for a single entry visa. If you enter and exit Jordan from Aqaba, along the Red Sea, no visa is required for a one month stay.
Seven colored earth at Chamarel in Mauritius.
This little postcard in the Indian Ocean is hardly off anyone’s radar in India, and although pimped as a honeymooning paradise, it packs enough within its coastlines for all kinds of holiday makers. The sugarcane fields in its interiors change color from green to brown to red through the year, while the waters by its shores change shades of blue all day. Whether to experiment with your adventurous side, take your photographic lens on a spin or to indulge in the unique French-Indian culture and cuisine of the island, Mauritius has no dearth of excuses to visit.
Air Mauritius and Air India fly direct from India to Mauritius.
Indian passport holders are granted visa on arrival in Mauritius for upto 60 days.
Mount Bromo in East Java, Indonesia. Photo by Prayoga D. Widyanto.
One of my favorite countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is full of surprises. One of my earliest travel adventures took shape in its interiors, near an obscure Indonesian city called Manado, where the island of Bunaken and the active volcano of Tomohon (it recently erupted) were mystical experiences that are best not written about it! Of course, there is the tropical island paradise of Bali with its golden beaches, volcanoes to climb at midnight, and a pretty intriguing showcase of Hindu culture. There is also that feeling of being a millionaire, thanks to a devalued currency.
Jet, Thai, Malaysia and Singapore Airlines all fly direct to Bali from India, though it might work out cheaper to fly Indigo to Singapore and a low cost carrier like Lion Airways to Bali.
On an Indian passport, you can get a 10-day visa on arrival for US$10 and 30-day visa on arrival for Indonesia, for US$25.
Photo by ilker ender.
Just across the border, the Nepalese Himalayas lie in wait for the mountain lover; mighty snow-capped Himalayas, Himalayas encased in ancient legend and folklore, Himalayas home to mountain villages similar to those in their Indian half, and yet different in their way of life, their customs and their cuisine. The enchanting wilderness culminates in the tallest peak in the world, and with the advances of the aviation sector, you don’t need to be a climbing junkie or a pro-mountaineer to get up-close with it.
Buses via Siliguri and a passenger train via the town of Raxaul in Bihar ply into the Nepal border. Indigo, SpiceJet, Air India and Jet have frequent connections to Kathmandu.
Single entry visa on arrival is granted to Indian citizens for upto 150 days in Nepal.
Koh Lanta island in Thailand. Photo by Darren Johnson.
The backpacking haunt on the shores of the South China Sea, Thailand is a treat for every budget. The sparkling white beaches in the north of the country are adorned with shacks, seven-star resorts and everything in between. There is partying till dawn, there are spiritual retreats, Buddhism is everyday life, and the cuisine is just spicy enough for the Indian palette. Thailand is the kind of holiday you don’t need to think twice about.
Indigo offers the cheapest way to fly to Bangkok from India.
Indians can obtain visa on arrival in Thailand for a stay of 15-30 days.
UPDATE (27 Dec 2012): As per Bangkok Post, Indians now only need a single visa to visit both Thailand and Cambodia. The article states that this visa must be applied for at the embassy of either country.
A glimpse of Antarctica. Photo by Vassil Tzvetanov.
Isolated and inaccessible as it may seem, Antarctica is owned by no one country and has almost no human habitation, making visas inapplicable. You do however need a permit to enter, visas for destinations enroutethat you stop at, and a handsome budget. Many of us will only visit Antarctica virtually, gawking at the glistening white landscapes in pictures, and reading stories of human adventures in the greatest wilderness of the entire planet. (Adventures that are also unfortunately destroying the delicate ecology of this, no country for humans). Then again, no one knows where destiny may take us tomorrow; it is good to know that no visa forms must be dealt with, isn’t it?
Someone on Twitter pointed me tothis collectionof countries that offer visa on arrival for Indians, and while it looks like a little treasure at first glance, it is complicated.For instance, Ashray of Backpack Me managed to get a visa on arrival in Ecuador only by showing his US visa. And as per the Kenyan embassy website, Indians need to apply for a visa before arrival in Kenya.
Countries like Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam and Cambodia now offer e-visa for Indians.Apply online to get your e-visa quickly!
Note: The information listed here is based on personal experiences, those of people I know or the embassy websites. It is best to check with the embassy for updates before you travel. To ensure a smooth VOA process, please carry a copy of your return tickets or itinerary, a valid passport, and a copy of your bank statements.
Have you travelled to any of these countries, or anywhere else that visa on arrival is easy to obtain on an Indian passport?
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Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.
Which countries allow visa on arrival to Indians? ›
- Thailand. A favourite amongst Indian travellers of all ages, Thailand is home to gorgeous beaches. ...
- Mauritius. Another jewel of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a popular destination amongst Indian tourists. ...
- Indonesia. ...
- Nepal. ...
- Maldives. ...
- Bhutan. ...
- Seychelles. ...
A beautiful concrete jungle, Singapore is amongst the most expensive cities in the world, yet the easiest to travel to for Indians. With well-connected flights and a quick and straightforward E- visa application process, Singapore should be on the top of your travel list. Singapore has a lot to offer.How many countries are visa free for India in 2022? ›
According to the Henley&Partners, there are 59 countries visa free countries for Indians, which includes visa free, an evisa, or visa on arrival.Which European country is visa free for Indian? ›
Serbia is the only European country that Indians can go to without a visa. There is no need to get a prior visa before entering Serbia as a tourist.Which countries allow Indian without visa? ›
- Barbados (maximum of 90 days)
- Cook Islands (maximum of 31 days)
- El Salvador (maximum of 90 days)
- Grenada (maximum of 3 months)
- Indonesia (maximum of 30 days)
- Macau (maximum of 30 days)
- Mauritius (maximum of 90 days)
- Montserrat (maximum of 6 months)
#1 Canada. Canada is one of the best countries for Indians in terms of immigration.Which country give easily visa? ›
Iceland. With a rejection rate of just 12% if a visa is applied from the New Delhi consulate, chances are that you will get an Iceland tourist visa easily. This is also because since the country receives less visa applications, this country is also a good option to get a visa to the Schengen area.Which country gives visitor visa easily? ›
Finland. Almost at par with Austria is Finland in the list of easiest countries to apply for Schengen Visa. This country has a visa rejection rate of 6.05% for Indians. Whether saving up for the trip or applying for a personal loan, you can easily travel to the 'Happiest Country in the World'.Is Canada visa free for Indian? ›
- Sri Lanka.
Is Japan visa free for Indian? ›
Do Indians need a visa for Japan? Yes, it is compulsory for all Indian passport holders to get a visa to visit Japan.Which country is free for Indians? ›
|Haiti (for up to 90 days)||Micronesia|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Grenada (for up to 90 days)|
1. Spain. Spain is one of the best tourist places in the world. And needless to say, if you apply for a visa to this place from India, the rejection rate of your Schengen visa will be pretty low!Is Qatar visa free for Indian? ›
Indians don't need a visa if they stay less than 60 days in Qatar. Indian citizens can get a Qatar visa on arrival for Indians in Qatar for 30 days with an option of extending it for an additional 30 days if they need to.Is Russia visa free for Indian? ›
Indian nationals require a visa issued by the Russian Embassy/Consulates in India or country of your permanent residence or a FAN ID to enter, stay and exit from Russian Federation.Is Turkey visa free for Indian? ›
India: Diplomatic passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels to Türkiye up to 90 days. Ordinary, Special and Service passport holders are required to have visa to enter Türkiye.Is Singapore visa free for Indian? ›
India nationals who are in transit to or from any third country by air may be eligible for 96-hours Visa Free Transit Facility (VFTF). An Indian traveller who is not in possession of a valid Singapore visa and not eligible for VFTF, will not be allowed to enter Singapore.Which is the cheapest country to settle from India? ›
- Vietnam. For those wanting to live and work in an exotic place, but not pay a fortune, Vietnam is any budget travelers dream. ...
- Costa Rica. ...
- Bulgaria. ...
- Mexico. ...
- South Africa. ...
- China. ...
- South Korea. ...
- Norway. From the equality in the gender ratio to low crime rates and high salaries, Norway is a great place to move to for several reasons other than the usual high quality of life and public healthcare and education. ...
- Canada. ...
- Finland. ...
- Singapore. ...
- Germany. ...
- New Zealand. ...
- Ireland. ...
India shares its border with seven countries- Afghanistan and Pakistan to the North-West, China, Bhutan and Nepal to the North, Myanmar to the far East and Bangladesh to the East. Sri Lanka (from the South-East) and Maldives (from the South-West) are two countries with water borders.
Which country visa is cheapest? ›
- So many places to choose from! Though there are 60 countries that are giving Indian passport holders visa-on-arrival, our picks are the most affordable and definitely cool! ...
- Indonesia. ...
- Cambodia. ...
- Thailand. ...
- Nepal. ...
- Laos. ...
- Tanzania. ...
Japanese citizens now hold the most passport power, as they are able to enter 193 nations visa free, or with visa-on-arrival.Is UK visa easy to get? ›
Documents Required for a UK Tourist Visa from India
It's not easy to get the UK tourist visa, there is a long list of required documents. Check the following list : Valid passport. Old passport, if any.
Schengen refers to passport-free travel areas in the world. These areas have common visa policies and include 26 European countries. Travelling within the Schengen area is allowed without any border checks, provided you have a Schengen visa.Which is the most difficult visa to get? ›
Which is the hardest VISA to get? The hardest VISA to get is definitely the North Korean one. But also the Russian one is really difficult to get. For this reason, if you want to visit that country, you should definitely consider one of our Russian tours.How many rupees need for Canada visa? ›
|Visa Type||Fee in Canadian Dollars||Fee in Indian Rupee*|
|Visitor record (extensions included)||$75||Rs.4,386.02|
|Visitor Visa - single or multiple entry (extensions included)||$100||Rs.5,848.03|
|Visitor Visa (single or multiple entry) - Family (5+)||$500||Rs. 29,240.13|
Funds Needed for a Canada Tourist Visa
per month for their monthly expenses, and if an applicant is coming for tourism, then 2,000 CAD (INR 1,22,805 approx.) for 30 days per person is enough.
The monthly expenses in Canada for Indian students include utilities like rent (400-600 CAD), food(200-300 CAD), stationery (150-200 CAD), transportation costs (100-250 CAD), etc.Which 60 countries are visa free from India? ›
International travel for Indians.
|List of Top Ranking countries||List of Bottom Ranking countries|
|Singapore, South Korea||Bangladesh, Kosovo, Libya|
The vital thing to note is that approximately 170 nationalities are visa exempt, and India is one of them. This means that no visa is required for Hong Kong as an Indian passport holder.
Is New Zealand visa on arrival for Indian? ›
Indian citizens wishing to travel to New Zealand for vacation or work must apply for a New Zealand visitor visa to enter the country at their nearest New Zealand visa application centre.Is Japan friendly to India? ›
Japan and India signed a peace treaty and established diplomatic relations on 28th April, 1952. This treaty was one of the first peace treaties Japan signed after World War II. Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have enjoyed cordial relations.Is UK visa free for Japan? ›
The visa waiver system has been reactivated from 11 October, which means that short-term visitors with British citizen passports no longer need to obtain a visa prior to travelling. This includes those coming for tourism and to visit family and friends.How long can Indians stay Japan? ›
(Note 8) For nationals of those countries with visa exemptions permitting stays of up to 6 months under the bilateral visa exemption arrangements, those who wish to stay in Japan for more than 90 days are required to apply for an extension of the period of stay to the Ministry of Justice (Regional Immigration Bureau) ...Which are the 60 countries Indians can go without visa? ›
International travel for Indians.
|List of Top Ranking countries||List of Bottom Ranking countries|
|Singapore, South Korea||Bangladesh, Kosovo, Libya|
India Passport Visa-free Travel 2022
The India passport ranking is 85; the number of visa free destinations accessible with a India passport is 58.
All Indian passport holders shall be required to have an electronic visa (e-visa) or a sticker visa issued by a Turkish diplomatic or consular mission abroad in order to be able to enter into Turkey.Which Schengen country is easy to get Indian visa? ›
In general, Lithuania is the easiest country to obtain a Schengen Visa from, with officials granting 98.7% of applications. The nation also receives fewer applications than countries such as Germany or France, as they are extremely popular with tourists and business travellers.Do Indians need visa for Greece? ›
Do Indians need a Schengen Visa to travel to Greece? Yes, as Greece is in the Schengen Area of countries that have abolished border controls between each other - meaning you will need an India Greece Visa.Do Indians need visa for Maldives? ›
A: Indians are exempted from requirement of a Visa, in respect of visits or stays made for the purpose of tourism, that does not exceed a period of ninety (90) days* in Maldives, provided that you are in possession of a valid Passport/travel document, accommodation booking and evidence of sufficient funds to support ...
Do Indians need visa for UK? ›
Indians who wish to travel or transit through the UK must apply for a UK Visa. UK Visa applicants must be over the age of 18 years. Applicants under the age of 18 must apply for a minor visa.