India is already accepting tourists from Russia almost on the same pre-pandemic conditions, and since October the high season has begun in the popular beach state of Goa. To enter the country, as before, a visa is required, which can be issued online in a few days. Most covid restrictions have been lifted, but to cross the border and move freely between cities, you will need a vaccination certificate (the Russian Sputnik will do) or a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before the trip. The results must be uploaded to the form at the office. Air Suvidha website.
How to get to India
Aeroflot direct flights fly to Delhi and Goa; since the end of November, ANEX Tour announced charter flights to Goa from 5 cities of Russia at once. In addition, you can get with a connection through the Middle East countries. 0x/v8/0xv8zrzkppvkw8044w4400w4c.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>
Prices for tours
The cheapest “packages” on booking aggregators are sightseeing tours in Delhi. A 3 * hotel without meals for 7 nights will cost 120,000 RUB for two. In North and South Goa, the rates are different: for a 3 * hotel they want from 160,000 RUB, for 4 * – from 190,000 RUB. This price is for 7-8 nights without meals. Independent tourists need to count on the cost of a 3 * hotel at 2600-3500 INR, which is 200-300 meters from the sea. If you're lucky, this amount will include breakfast. If you fly for a long time, then in the end it will be cheaper than with a tour operator. But for 7-8 nights now it's really better to take a “package”.
Many hotels in Goa are booked on the same Booking without a credit card, you can pay for your stay in cash on the spot. But first you need to clarify all the nuances with the administration by writing to them through the booking system or by mail. Sometimes it is enough to enter credit card details – the hotel does not always carry out verification. But it’s better not to risk it and look for an option that confirms the possibility of paying on arrival.
Prices in resorts
Inflation also went through India, but not so much. In the opinion of a Russian tourist, everything is still quite cheap there. Dinner for two with alcohol in a cafe costs INR 800, a budget lunch for one is INR 240, and a serving of street food is INR 40-70, although it is not recommended to buy it, especially if you have a short vacation.
You can really please yourself with affordable and fresh seafood: after frozen crab claws from Russian supermarkets at prohibitive prices, lobster at 1000 INR per kg and king prawns at 550 INR will seem like a gift from heaven. And in Goa they still sell coconuts, mangoes, papaya and other exotic fruits for a penny, as we are used to – from 40 INR per piece. Rent a bike – 300-600 INR per day, bike – 100 INR, car – 1200 INR.
On average, for 7–10 days, it is enough to take with you from 400 USD per person. For a family with a child, 1200–1500 USD will be enough for a good rest (excluding air tickets). Everywhere they accept only the local currency, they almost never change rubles for rupees, and if they do, then at an extremely unfavorable rate. Cards of the Russian payment system do not work in India.
In travel companies oriented towards Russian-speaking travelers, you can pre-order excursions in India and pay for them with Russian cards. The cost of excursions from Goa: to the Taj Mahal for 2 days – from 21,000 INR, to Hampi for 2 days – from 9200 INR, a sightseeing tour of Goa – from 3800 INR. Waterfalls, jungle, elephant rides and a zoo – from 3500 INR.
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Freshly departed report that in a couple of years of the absence of mass tourism in Goa, it has become cleaner on the beaches, streets and quieter at parties. All this time, the hotel industry of the state survived at the expense of its own citizens, there were almost no foreigners. If before the pandemic people often came to Goa to break away, now the rest there has turned into a more calm and lazy one.