10 Easy-to-Visit Countries for the Indian Traveler

It’s a fact – if you’re a citizen of the United States or a Western EU country, then you have it pretty good for spontaneous international travel.  Theoretically, all you have to do is go to an airport, buy a same-day ticket on credit, fake a smile at immigration, and suddenly 150 amazing countries are at your fingertips.

For Indians, however, spontaneity usually begins and ends with whether or not to get the special Asian Vegetarian Meal.  Let’s be honest – trip planning for Indian passport holders is often a goddam nightmare that’s filled with what I like to call the 4Ps of terrible travel – papers, proofs, perseverance and patience.  And not to mention a little luck.

That said, it’s not an entirely tragic situation.  There are indeed pockets of hope, or countries with heart, that welcome Indian citizens with arms wide open.  Here’s a list of 10 awesome countries that allow Indians to travel within their borders either with a visa-on-arrival or without a visa altogether.  Disclaimer – the rules may change by the time you read this so please double-check with the specific country’s consulate before you go.  Don’t blame me if you get turned away at the check-in counter.  Now that would be tragic!

*UPDATE*

Here are 10 MORE Easy-to-Visit Countries for the Indian Traveler!

1. Bhutan

 

What to See: The happiest country in Asia is home to Himalayan peaks, tranquil monasteries and colorful festivals known as Tshechus.

How to Enter: No visa needed – just take your valid Indian passport or Voter ID Card and you’re good to go!

2. Sri Lanka

 

What to See: Those who think “Arrey, but what is there in Sri Lanka?” are making a huge mistake.  Sri Lanka has white sand beaches, ancient ruins, rolling hills and all sorts of wildlife crammed into an island that’s half the size of Tamil Nadu.

How to Enter: Apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) online.  No passport copies, documents or photographs are required.  The ETA entitles Indians to 30 days of travel.  It costs $15 and you’ll get your response within 24 hours.

3. Thailand

 

What to See: Ummm…what’s not to do here?  Thailand is famous the world over for all-night parties, cheap and delicious food, pristine beaches and lady boys, of course.

How to Enter: Indians have been queuing up at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport’s visa-on-arrival area for years.  All you need is a valid passport and a couple photographs, which you can take at the nearby booths.

4. Laos

 

What to See: Landlocked Laos may not be on most people’s bucket lists, but that’s because it’s overshadowed by Thailand to the west and Cambodia to the south.  Taking a two-day slow boat on the Mekong from northern Thailand to Luang Prabang is worth the trip in and of itself.  Once in the cultural capital, pop in and out of colonial-style cafes and walk the quaint streets, which are filled with the aromas of fresh baguettes.

How to Enter: Laos has a visa-on-arrival system.  Just make sure you have a valid passport.

5. Cambodia

 

What to See: There’s more to Cambodia than Angkor Wat.  After temple hopping around Siem Reap for three days, head south to Phnom Penh where you can see first-hand the effects of the Khmer Rouge atrocities.  After that, make a bee-line for Sihanoukville on the coast.

How to Enter: Cambodia has recently launched an e-Visa to make your visit to the Kingdom of Wonder an easy and efficient experience from the get-go.  It costs $27 and is valid for three months from the date of issue.  The visa allows you to travel for 30 days.

6. Vietnam

 

What to See: Here’s a little perspective – Vietnam has a longer coastline than California’s so yeah, you’ll never be short of things to do.  On the mainland, make your way from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to Hanoi in the north or vice versa.  Leave some time for a multi-day motorcycle excursion with the Dalat Easy Riders. Off the coast, head to Phu Quoc Island.

How to Enter: Vietnam has a “visa-on-arrival” but it works a bit differently – you have to apply for it online beforehand, after which you’ll receive an approval letter in two working days.  Present that letter and two photographs at one of Vietnam’s airports to get your actual visa and you’re good to go!

7. Ethiopia

 

What to See: Visiting Ethiopia is like stepping into the pages of a history book.  The Rift Valley, ancient castles, tombs and treasures await!  Those who don’t have an adventurous palate can take solace in the fact that Ethiopian food is very similar to Indian cuisine.

How to Enter: Indians can obtain a visa-on-arrival at Bole International Airport.

8. Madagascar

 

What to See: About 5% of all known plant and animal species can only be found on this magical island.  There are lush rainforests, picturesque baobab trees and dive sites that compete with some of the best in the world.

How to Enter: Visa-on-arrival at Ivato airport.

9. Jordan

 

What to See: Wander the Lost City of Petra, effortlessly float on the Dead Sea and traverse the red sands of Wadi Rum.

How to Enter: A 5.5-hour flight and a $30 visa-on-arrival are all that stand between you and this incredible Middle Eastern country.

10. Jamaica

 

What to See: This music video does the job. You will be dancing strong, you know it.

How to Enter: No visa needed – woah oh oh oh!

Have you been to any of these countries?  Know of any others?  Let me know in the comments below!

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164 thoughts on “10 Easy-to-Visit Countries for the Indian Traveler

  1. Only been to Ethiopia but that was just a small stop over for breakfast at the hotel and freshening up on our way to Zambia. Yes, the food is good out there. Do wish to go for a proper visit there someday soon as well as to the other destinations mentioned as they are all on my must visit travel wishlist!!!

  2. Some corrections. For Madagascar, you need a visa prior to getting there. I went there in March this year, and the visa fee was Rs. 5000 and was paid in Delhi at the Madagascar Embassy.

    Also for visa on arrival, one important thing is that your passport must be valid for more than 6 months.

      • Madagascar was absolutely beautiful, and the people were very friendly. It is very rich in diversity, and the landscape is brilliant. We drove over 2,000kms within the country, and went there for our honeymoon.

        Also, there are a lot of other countries where we get visa on arrival – many of the Caribbean Islands, Hong Kong etc.

      • Madagascar is very rich in flora and fauna, was under french rule, so huge influence of french even now- long lunch breaks! Natives are poor- majority of them, was stuck with cyclones some years back and political unrest- i flew into capital Antananarivo- and visited three main cities- air connectivity is less so had to fly back to Antanana – and then to the cities, As my objective of the visit was mainly business , could not explore much on flora/fauna- child sex tourism is high due to poverty and european travellers- maninly french – need to be cautious and avoid late night clubs- other wise very friendly ppl- still have cycle rickshaw pulled by ppl like old Kolkotta- you can fly through Maurtious or Joberg- During my visit , prior visa was required , not sure about any change in process now-

        • Sharath, also be prepared to deal currency in big numbers due to exchange rate- I USD = 2400 ariary, taxi fare from airport to hotel in downtown used to cost me 40,000 Ariary-

  3. Mexico, visa on arrival for 14 days for valid Indian passport holders. Cabo San Lucas, Playa Del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum. Stunning place to visit.

    • I think that is only if you have a valid US visa…otherwise a visa is required prior to your trip to Mexico. And yes Cabo is awesome!!!! and very affordable!

    • Yes, Mexico is the place to visit if you are interested in food, history and culture- great weather through the coastline- especially if you want to have a break from Northwest and north east US winter- Tijuana- close to Sandiego is bit dangerous to be alone , due to drug cartels, but drive from Tijuana to Ensenada is beautiful- excellant seafood- further south on west coast- Mazatlan is a great place to visit- Leon- is another place to visit if you like to have a peep into the history culture- had the best food of my life from Leon, [food served in mexican reastuarants in US – is like Chinese food served in India] you can feel the flavors – then we have the regular beach resorts- tourist attractions which are safe place- need to visit south east to know more about Mayan culture, need not be over cautious while travelling, but should avoid sensitive areas at night ,

    • visa required for Indians to mexico dude, pls don’t give false informations. visa is not required for Indians who have US residency or permit there.

      • Yes that is correct. Indonesia has a visa on arrival for Indians. I’ve lived there for 3 years and have revisited several times since. It’s a beautiful country with super polite people. It has a rich history that includes a portion where it was a Hindu kingdom with their own versions of the epics. Remember to take US dollars for the fees. If I’m not wrong, Malaysia has a visa on arrival for Indians travelling from India. I’m a resident of Singapore and ironically, I need to apply for a visa prior to a 5 minute bus ride across the bridge to Malaysia.

        It’s good to know that the ‘Greater Indian’ countries of South East Asia: Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, have easier travel options for Indian.

      • Unless you’re a complete ass to the immigration officials, or have overstayed your visa, no one really does that in Jakarta, and especially not at the airport. You must have really pissed them off mate for them trying to get money from you.

      • $25 mate. I’m Indian, but I’ve been living in Jakarta for nearly 20 years now and it’s $25 for a Visa on arrival. The place has 17,500 islands out of which around 7,000-8,000 are inhabited. I doubt one can find more diversity in a single country, like you can in Indonesia. Polite, warm and friendly locals anywhere you go, always ready to go out of their way to help you out, ensure a well-rounded trip. One would have to write an entire book on what to do in Indonesia, because the space in this post is nowhere close to doing justice to that.

  4. How could you miss Nepal? Same procedure as Bhutan – a valid passport or voter ID allows you entry at any land crossing or Kathmandu airport. And what a country! Great people, great adventures and amazing treks around some of the tallest mountains in the world.

    • Nepal sounds incredible, Raghu. Thanks for commenting! I limited this article to 10 destinations and knowingly left out others, including Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and yes, Nepal. I’ll definitely write a second part to include these. Let me know if you come across any others 🙂

  5. Indians don’t require Visa for Mauritius. Maldives nd Seychelles has visa on arrival for us as well. Nd I suppose even Kenya.

  6. Hey Hersh, good work there!

    For your part 2, you might want to refer to this. The list is much longer. Please check slide number 26.

    Keep sharing!!

  7. I don’t know if anybody else has mentioned it, but Indians don’t need a visa/get one on arrival ( my Spanish isn’t great) in Ecuador. Which is such a great country!!! Pristine forests, the Andes, the Pacific Ocean. Nuff said

      • Ecuador does not need a visa, i was there in November 2013, even Bolivia doesnt, but it costs 50$ at the border to enter. Ecuador is free. Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries i have seen in the world.

  8. Very Interesting & informative article. Someone who cud make an updated excel list wud b really g8.

    • There is a wikipedia page called ‘visa requiments for Indian citizens’. It explains quite nicely all the entry requirements for most countries. There are 52 countries that Indian passport holders can visit (no visa/on arrival/electronic authorisation).

  9. With Indian passport you can travel to Macau (casinos land of south east Asia).. It’s awesome.. A replica of Las Vegas.. Also to Philippines if you have a valid US visa..

  10. Honduras, if you’re traveling from the US. Doesn’t quite lend itself to spontaneity if you live in India. But those closer to Central America can benefit from it. Likewise Ireland from the UK. Kenya, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Maldives and Mauritius are also worth mentioning for visa on arrival/visa free — and they’re all pretty accessible from India.

  11. Philippines is also visa on arrival for a stay of 3 weeks for Indians with valid US or UK visa when I had travelled there last year. I have heard that now it is available even without any other country’s visa
    Also Hong Kong is visa on arrival

  12. E-visa for Rwanda. Kigali is a great city. Visa on arrival in Uganda. Visa on arrival possible in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Namibia if there is someone to receive you and work for it locally. UAE E-visa can be obtained through a travel agent.

  13. Madagascar! Just watch out for two things: 1) immigration officer hassling you asking for a visa in ur passport, just insist that you are entitled to a visa on arrival. Then they will ask you for a “gift”, yes it’s that blatant. Just say gift on Christmas and they will wave you through. Even if you can speak French pretend you only know English. (Hardly anybody speaks English there so brush up on your French unless you know Malagasy). And 2) local women!! You will know what I mean when you get there.

    The amount of natural beauty there is phenomenal. Huge island with spectacular flora and fauna.

    The food is to die for, everything tastes amazing there. Fm a zebu steak to a crocodile burger to the freshest vegetables

    Shahid

  14. Wow ..Thanks Mr Hersh…mine of information….mine not just mine but for everyone to share….greatly inspired to start planning for the next vacation….waiting for Chapter 2 from you pls…

  15. This is very helpful… I am definitely considering Ethiopia now. Indonesia is also visa on arrival… Been to Bhutan… it’s beautiful!

  16. Vietnam also requires visa application to be posted online at least 3-4 weeks in advance and then you need to print the letter from vietnam embassy and carry it with you for VOA stamp. Hong Kong is also VOA.

    • Lol, Dubai is like going to India itself !! haha. Only that it is more multi cultural and people maybe a little more civilized because of the rules.

  17. The Caribbean Island of St Lucia…. Visa is on arrival USD 50 and you can stay for 30 days…. However if you fly to St Lucia through UK or US you will need a visa. If you fly through Nederlands and St Maarten, though a very long flight no visa’s required anywhere…

  18. Costa Rica is visa on arrival too if traveled to from the US. Actually, if you have a valid US visa, several countries open up for Indian passport holders. For instance, you can get a 20 minute e-visa from Turkey if you have a valid US or OECD visa.

    • Hi i have an indian passport with a 10 yr multiple entry valid USA visa and i am currently in the Uk with a valid six month UK visa can i travel to Turkey,if i can what are the formalities at the airport Kindly expand .Many thanks

      • You will need to go online and apply for an e-visa. You should have an email in your inbox within 30 mins which will contain the e-visa attachment. That is all you need. This is only because you have a valid US /UK visa

  19. India is a part of Commonwealth Countries. Many countries that are part if commonwealth does not require visa for india passport holders or has visa on landing policy. Eg. Greneda in Caribbean islands.

  20. one country which continues to remain confusing is ‘Georgia’. I have got visa on arrival but one of my friend didn’t get it and he had to take his flight back as he was refused his visa. nothing clearly mentioned anywhere and even upon calling them there’s not much clarity. A beautiful country but vague visa policies

    • I went to Georgia.I had 10 year Multiple entry visa to USA.,They require not only valid visa but an entry seal to USA. i had to had to fish it out and show them before allowing me to go at Tbilisi Airport.

  21. Nepal is not on the list..don’t need a visa for nepal either. ..like bhutan..just a valid passport or for that matter a valid voter icard would do

  22. hi all, read an article some time back, which says, indians can get visa on arrival at Kenya, Seychelles, Bolivia, El Salvador, St.Lucia, Maldives, Albania, Burundi, Cape verdi, Cameroon, Comoros, DjiBouti, Eritria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Iran, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Fiji, Samoa, and Tuvalu apart from what others have mentioned above.i dont know whether this is true, but worth a re-check.

  23. Keep those couple of dollars in singles handy when entering Laos..40$ is the official fee but then there are unofficial stamping fee at land border crossing ..not sure about airport entry! I was even asked extra as it was Saturday and late in the evening!

  24. Malaysia has visa on arrival for 2014 for indians. Also macau has visa on arrival. Indonesia too doesnt require visa. U can enter phillipines if u have valid singapore visa

  25. For Indians seychelles and mauritius also visa are on arrival and its gratis. Had been to seychelles and its awesome

  26. Ecuador, Burundi and Uganda as well. However, to get to Ecuador you might have to fly through Spain or another Schengen country, and for that Indians require a transit visa.

  27. Some more information on VOA for Indians. Though there are some already mentioned too.. 🙂

    Kenya: With the Kenya Tourism Board, planning to boost tourism revenues in three years, it offers Indians a VOA to Kenya for a max. stay of 3 months for $50, provided the passport contains at least one blank page for visa endorsement. Extension of stay is possible for additional 3 months. Visitors are required to hold proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay and documents required for their next destination.

    Madagascar: The fourth largest island in the world, 90 percent of Madagascar’s flora and fauna, and many of its animal species are found nowhere else in the world. Indians can obtain a thirty-day visa free of charge at the Antananarivo airport, Madagascar’s primary international airport. If your stay is for up to 90 days, then multiple entry visa costs $84.00.

    Mozambique: Indian businesses have in recent years made inroads into the mining and cashew processing industries in Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, which has seen stable administration since the end of a civil war in the early 1990s. Facilities for tourism in Maputo, the capital city, are steadily improving but remain limited in other areas. Visitors can obtain a visa on arrival, for a maximum stay of 30 days for $80.

    Seychelles: Beaches are the main attraction in Seychelles and how! With a dreamlike setting, this island (comprising of 115 of them) is an obvious choice for honeymooners. What’s more, a visa on arrival is issued free of charge. The Visitor’s Permit is initially valid for the period of visit of up to one month. It can be extended for a period of up to three months from the date of issue and capable of further extensions. One needs to have a passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles, return or onward ticket, proof of accommodation; including contact details and sufficient funds for the duration of the stay.

    Bolivia: Bolivia’s visa for Indians can be obtained on arrival by paying a fee of $52 at La Paz airport. Six months validity on your passport is a must. The landlocked country is the highest and most isolated country in South America.

    El Salvador: Indians can obtain a VOA to El Salvador by purchasing a tourist card for $10 to stay for a maximum of up to 3 months. This tourist card is generally issued for 90 days and includes Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and one can travel for 90 days throughout those 4 countries, called the CA-4.

    Saint Kitts: In Saint Kitts and Nevis, Indians can obtain a visa on arrival for free for a maximum stay of 3 months provided holding proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay. Proof of a valid return or onward ticket, and proof of adequate funds to cover the cost of their stay in St. Kitts and Nevis is required as well. The twin islands have beaches with the beauty of the mountains and plenty of activities.

    St. Lucia: Another glossed over honeymoon spot, Indians can obtain a visa on arrival to St. Lucia for a maximum stay of 6 weeks by paying a fee of $50 and holding proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay. St. Lucia has an amazing scene for scuba diving.

    Antarctica: Who would’ve thought that Antarctica would feature in this list? Of course since it’s part of no country, no visa is required. However, you do need a permit to enter, visas for destinations enroute that you stop at, and a handsome budget. As most Antarctica flights and cruises depart from Argentina or Chile, you will need to show your passports in either country. You will also need to be prepared for any unscheduled stops in foreign lands, which could be the result of rough seas or all around bad weather.

    Hong Kong: With Hong Kong’s economy one of the fastest growing in the world and supporting a booming middle class, tourism is a potential sector for growth. With this in mind, the country offers a fourteen-day entry stamp free of charge at Hong Kong airport for Indians. Visitors are required to show evidence of sufficient funds to cover their stay in Hong Kong and hold travel documents, including visas and confirmed flight tickets, required for their return or next destination.

    Maldives: Giving the South Asian cooperation some practical shape, Indians can obtain a VOA for a maximum stay of 90 days in Maldives, free of charge. Visitors are required to hold confirmed return/onward tickets and Hotel Reservation. Visitors who do not have a hotel reservation are required to hold at least US$ 30 per person per day to cover their stay in Maldives.

    Nepal: Just across the border, Nepal offers plenty of sights for mountain lovers. With the largest tourism market for Nepal being India (27 percent of total tourists), a single entry visa on arrival is granted to Indian citizens for upto 150 days in Nepal.

    Thailand: Generally, a foreign citizen who wishes to enter the Kingdom of Thailand is required to obtain a visa from a Royal Thai Embassy or a Royal Thai Consulate-General. However, Indians can obtain visa on arrival in Thailand for a stay of 15-30 days with a fee of US$ 35.

    Albania: Albania’s Visa on Arrival can be obtained for those holding a letter issued by the Albanian Ministry of Interior confirming that a visa will be available on arrival. Albania is a small, mountainous country in the Balkan peninsula, with pristine beaches and a bursting bright capital.

    Azerbaijan: Indians holding an official invitation letter issued by Azerbaijan and pre-cleared before travel can obtain a visa on arrival. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the expiry date of the Azerbaijani visa applied for. Very few people speak English, outside the capital but the country is filled with rugged mountains.

    Turkey: Turkey’s Visa for Indians can be obtained on arrival provided holding a visa issued by the UK, USA or a Schengen Country for $20. Turkey boasts of rich history (the Ottoman empire) and great scenery from white-sand beaches to towering mountains.

  28. There are a bunch of other countries as well, but Bhutan is the coolest because citizens of other countries need to pay 200 or so USD per day for the permit, while we get to go in for free 😉

  29. Sri Lanka was simply gorgeous! We even got to see whales far out into the ocean. Amazing! While the currency is half the value of Indian rupees everything isn’t as cheap as you might imagine. The moonstone mine was really interesting too. Lovely place!

  30. Lived in Jamaica for 7 years, a beautiful place. You do not need Visa to enter Jamaica but you need a transit visa for UK or USA as there is no direct flight from India. But you could transit through Germany with out a visa.

  31. Though few Caribbean countries(e.g Jamaica) allow Indian citizen enter with out visa, most of the case a transit visa is require to reach this countries.

    Reason: Most of the flights to these countries are via UK or Schengen area or USA.

    E.g: If you are travelling to Jamaica via UK , before your travel you must have transit visa issued by UK,else you will not get the boarding.

  32. There are much more… like indonesia , malayasia, Hong Kong and , any more where yiu can get 15 to 30 days visit visa on arrival… just need to show poof of funds and a return ticket.

  33. There are 51 countries for which you can travel with out visa or obtain visa on arrival for ppl with Indian passport holders. The complete is available on Indian passport government site and many travel sites.

  34. Several Caribbean countries have no visa necessity if you hold a valid U.S visa. Personally I have visited Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica on my Indian Passport with a U.S. Visa and these are really beautiful countries to visit if one doesn”t just want to only visit on the continental U.S

  35. This is a very good post; found it very useful. I’ve visited SL and Bhutan, and Cambodia has been on the list for a while. Thanks to this post, more countries got added to the list. Thank you. 🙂

  36. Just wonderful info ! Ive been most of the places needing full visa applications and have left out the easy ones.
    And the comments complete the gaps…. Looking forward to share my own experiences…
    Among the south asian countries I visited, I’ll rate Indonesia as the best experience. Wonderful people who connect very well, and beautiful country. Of course, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore are all good for sightseeing.
    And between Europe and US, Europe is definitely the first choice, again people friendly rates higher here.
    Visiting Canada this month. Shall update once I’m back.

  37. Shreyas writes, “a single entry visa on arrival is granted to Indian citizens for upto 150 days in Nepal”, which is wrong. Indians do not any visa to enter Nepal, same as Nepalese do not need any visa to enter India. Just carry your passport or voter ID and walk across and stay for an unlimited period of time–as long you want

  38. Turkey is an evisa you apply online and get instantly (requires a valid US, UK or AU VISA). Tanzania and Kenya are visa on arrival. Singapore gives you a transit visa on arrival on your return from the US

  39. Thanks for compiling this list. I recently went to Thailand (the islands down south) and Cambodia. One small correction regarding visa for Cambodia. the fee to enter is $20 than $27. I think they have reduced the figure to make sure more Indians reach there 🙂

  40. You could also go to Jezu Islands, South Korea. They provide a visa-on-arrival which lasts for about 14 days. And it’s a beautiful place home to many World Heritage Sites.

  41. this is a good article to guide for travelling experience. I am living in Vietnam & visited lot of places there. specially Halong Bay which is a wondor of the nature. I strongly believe that experiences can be get only by the travelling. Vietnam is worth place to visit or living.

  42. Thanks for this article. Makes me want to travel more :-). Been to Jordan recently and found that it is trickier for Indians. Not only has the fee gone up (as mentioned in a comment above), but you need to show cash of about USD1000 per person. It’s also easier to get a visa for under a week. There’s a thread in tripadvisor regarding this for those interested. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293985-i2131-k6469253-Jordan_Visa_for_Indians-Jordan.html

  43. Nice and interesting article. Itchy feet and an Indian passport are a deadly combination, but you already know that. If you’ve travelled, or intended to travel much out of india, you are only too familiar with toiling over lengthy visa applications and the sleepless nights before a visa gets approved. For easy to visa process I suggest to go for some trustworthy visa consultant.

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