A Travel Price Comparison for India Chennai vs. Darjiling for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chennai or Darjiling?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Chennai or Darjiling? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Chennai or Darjiling?


Formerly known as Madras from its colonial history, Chennai today is one of India's largest cities and capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on the Bay of Bengal in southeastern India with an extensive stretch of sandy beaches, plenty of dining and shopping, a number of historic temples, monuments, and churches, plus amusement parks and more.


What began as a cluster of villages grew to prominence in the 19th Century when the British first established a hill station here and eventually realized that the climate was well-suited for tea plantations. Darjeeling (or Darjiling) has since become known for its teas in addition to cultural diversity, stunning views, and trekking opportunities.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to India, The Best Sightseeing Tours in India, The Best Cultural Tours in India, and The Best Food and Culinary Tours in India.

Which place is cheaper, Darjiling or Chennai?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Chennai is $29, while the average daily cost in Darjiling is $35. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chennai and Darjiling in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chennai $15
    Darjiling $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chennai $30
    Darjiling $26
Compare Hotels in Chennai and Darjiling

Looking for a hotel in Chennai or Darjiling? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Chennai

Hotels in Darjiling

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Chennai Hotel Prices and Darjiling Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chennai $2.61
    Darjiling $7.48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chennai

Also for Chennai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Full Day Tour to Kanchipuram and UNESCO's Mahabalipuram with Private Transfer: $246
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chennai Airport (MAA) to Pondicherry Hotels: $145
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chennai International Airport to Hotel: $40
  • Private Transfer from Chennai City to Chennai (MAA) Airport: $37
  • Private Transfer from Chennai (MAA) Airport to Chennai City: $37
  • Bangalore - private departure transfer from Hotel to Airport : $35
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chennai International Airport: $28
  • Chennai International Airport to Hotel-Private Arrival transfer: $25
  • Affordable Chennai Airport Transfer: $24
  • Chennai - Private Arrival Transfer - From Airport to Hotel: $20
  • Departure Transfer from Chennai Hotels to Chennai airport: $20
  • Departure transfer: Chennai hotels to Chennai International Airport: $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Darjiling

Also for Darjiling, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Rafting Journey at the Down on Teesta River's White Water with Private Transfer: $197
  • Private Transfer Darjeeling Hotels To Bagdogra Airport IXB Drop: $49

Is it cheaper to fly into Chennai or Darjiling?

Prices for flights to both Darjiling and Chennai change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Chennai $6.40
    Darjiling $14

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chennai

For Chennai, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • 2 Hour Street Food Tour in Sowcarpet Chennai : $37
  • Private In-Home Vegetarian Cooking Class and Meal in Chennai: $46
  • Private Vegetarian South Indian Cooking Class in Chennai : $48
  • South Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with a Passionate Baker: $48
  • South Indian Vegetarian Cooking Class Near the Chennai airport: $62
  • Traditional Tamil Brahmin Vegetarian Cooking Lesson with a Local in Her Home: $74
  • Private 3-Hour Cooking Lesson and Meal in Chennai: $100
  • Authentic South Indian Cooking Class and Vegetarian Meal with a Local in Chennai: $122
  • Food Trail In Sowcarpet With Transport And Dinner - Chennai: $216

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chennai $2.77
    Darjiling $12

Tours and Activities in Chennai

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Chennai.

  • St Thomas Mount Tour Chennai: $85
  • Agra Taj Tour from Chennai: $220
  • Auroville and Pondicherry Tour from Chennai: $44
  • Bazaar Walking tour in George Town: $35
  • Bicycle tour in Mahabalipuram with transport from Chennai,lunch & guide: $99
  • Birds & Beyond: Chennai to Pulicat Bird Sanctuary Day Tour: $135
  • British Architecture Walk in Chennai by Wonder tours: $49
  • Chennai Cultural Walking Tour: $26
  • Chennai Food Tasting Trails (2 Hour Guided Tour Experience): $26
  • Chennai Full Day Guided Tour in a Private Car: $110
  • Chennai Full Day Sightseeing in a Private Car: $66
  • Chennai Half Day Guided Tour in a Private Car: $88

Tours and Activities in Darjiling

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Darjiling.

  • 5-Day Private Tour of Gangtok and Darjeeling: $245
  • A Full Day Tour Of Darjeeling: $232
  • Colonial Heritage Walking Tour in Darjeeling: $31
  • Darjeeling City Tour with Uber: $65
  • Darjeeling Full-Day Sightseeing Tour with Guide & Transports: $98
  • Darjeeling Tea Garden Tour : $31
  • Day Trip to Buddha Park (Guided Private Sightseeing Tour from Gangtok): $147
  • Day Trip to Darjeeling (Guided Private Sightseeing Experience from Gangtok): $147
  • Day Trip to Gangtok (Guided Private Sightseeing Experience from Darjeeling): $147
  • Day Trip to Kalimpong (Guided Private Sightseeing Experience from Darjeeling): $147
  • Day Trip to Kalimpong (Guided Private Sightseeing Experience from Gangtok): $147
  • Day_Trippers (Darjeeling Full Day Tour).: $117

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chennai $3.08
    Darjiling $8.77

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chennai and Darjiling, we can see that Darjiling is more expensive. And not only is Chennai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chennai would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chennai and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Darjiling would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Darjiling than you might in Chennai.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Chennai Expensive? and Is Darjiling Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Chennai or Darjiling?

Chennai has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Darjiling. When comparing the sizes of Chennai and Darjiling, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.

Related Articles for Darjiling