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We spent two years travelling around India and stayed at over a hundred hotels. The Tripzuki collection represents the best of the best. We met the owners and the staff, took our own photos, and tried the breakfast in the morning. We know EVERYTHING about these hotels. We also negotiated some incredible deals!

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Thanks to the guys over at India Someday for this article. We chopped it up a bit but you can see it in its original form here.


Getting online while travelling in India is not the easiest, but it’s often not as hard as you may imagine. Though you cannot always take it for granted – smaller hotels or hostels might not have WiFi – in general you will rarely be far from an internet or WiFi source.

So how will you be getting online? Most people will opt for their smartphone, which throws up the question: do I keep my home country SIM or do I get a local one?

Read on to explore the ins and outs of purchasing a SIM card in India…

phone shop in mumbai

Firstly, it is not absolutely necessary to have an Indian phone number while travelling but it is essential for buying Indian train tickets online!

Some people may opt for using their own phone, an easier option if you’re staying somewhere with free WiFi, or if you don’t envisage using it much. For anything more than minimum usage however, consider getting a local number and, for convenience, a cheap handset. One thing is certain: calling overseas from India is always cheaper from a local phone than roaming on your own phone.


So how do you get a SIM card in India?

Well, it’s fairly straightforward, but only if you’ve read this before leaving home and have the following with you!
•    A passport photograph (ideally 2 copies). Bear in mind that Indian passport size is 50mm X 50mm.
•    A photocopy of your passport.
•    A photocopy of your visa page (very important).

Idea SIM card store in India

Pre-paid (pay-as-you-go) SIM cards are available everywhere, you will soon become familiar with the Vodafone/Airtel/Idea signs that pepper the landscape. If in doubt, ask at your hotel reception, which should always be able to point you in the direction of the closest store. If you first arrive in Delhi then you can purchase a SIM card/and an inexpensive handset at the airport itself.

A SIM card is usually free and recharging it with credit worth INR 500 is a good starting point.

If you do not have a phone handset, basic phones can be purchased for about INR 2,000 (USD 40, EUR 30)

If you have a smart phone and intend to carry it to India it can of course come in very handy, whether for browsing (maps!), email, instagram or just for making quick calls or sending texts. Similarly, an ipad or an itouch is quite useful to have.

Most urban destinations have plenty of regular WiFi-equipped cafés, plus hotels with WiFi and cyber cafés with computers are also very common. It’s safe to assume that you will be close to an internet connection, maybe not a fast one but a decent one, most of the time in an urban area.

To summarize, having an Indian SIM card is useful but you can circumvent it if the hassle of getting one puts you off. In our experience having an internet device, especially a smart phone, is essential in India, much like it is when travelling anywhere in the world. The rest is up to you, and like many things in life comes down to determining cost vs hassle!