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

Should you visit Chennai or Dharamsala?

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

Should I visit Chennai or Dharamsala? 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 Dharamsala?

Chennai

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.

Dharamsala

With a name that literally means "a spiritual dwelling," Dharamsala roughly translates as a shelter or rest house for pilgrims and travelers. Home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile, Dharamsala is today a popular destination for foreigners on vacation, backpackers seeking the surrounding mountains, as well as students of Buddhism.

Which city is cheaper, Dharamsala or Chennai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chennai is $24, while the average daily cost in Dharamsala is $29. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chennai and Dharamsala in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chennai $13
    Dharamsala $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chennai $26
    Dharamsala $38
Compare Hotels in Chennai and Dharamsala

Looking for a hotel in Chennai or Dharamsala? 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 Dharamsala


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chennai $2.15
    Dharamsala $4.22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chennai

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

  • Chennai Airport Transfers : Budget Sedan and SUV Cabs: $15
  • Departure Private Transfer Chennai City to Chennai MAA Airport by Sedan Car: $23
  • Private Transfer from Chennai (MAA) Airport to Chennai City: $42
  • Private Transfer from Chennai City to Chennai (MAA) Airport: $42
  • Chennai to Vellore Transfer by Private Vehicle: $93

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dharamsala

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dharamsala:

  • Dharamsala- Transfers+Hotel+Sightseeing (3 Days): $304
  • Affordable Dharamshala Airport Transfer: $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Chennai or Dharamsala?

Prices for flights to both Dharamsala 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Chennai $5.27
    Dharamsala $6.86

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chennai

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

  • Private In-Home Vegetarian Cooking Class and Meal in Chennai: $35
  • Private Authentic Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with a Local: $49
  • Authentic South Indian Cooking Class and Vegetarian Meal with a Local in Chennai: $50
  • Private Market Tour and South Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with Srividya: $53
  • South Indian Vegetarian Cooking Class Near the Chennai airport: $59
  • Private South Indian Cooking Class and Market Visit in Chennai: $70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dharamsala

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Dharamsala.

  • Private Full Day McleodGanj City Sightseeing & Cooking Class: $74

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chennai $2.28
    Dharamsala $4.57

Tours and Activities in Chennai

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

  • Marina Beach: Stroll along India's longest beach on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Night walk tour Chennai: $13
  • Night Walking Tour of Chennai: $15
  • Temple Walking Tour of Chennai: $15
  • Magical Chennai Markets Tour: $19
  • Food Walk Tour Chennai: $19
  • Chennai Street Food Walking Tour: $19
  • Mylapore Walking tour with Breakfast by Wonder tours: $24
  • The Georgetown Bazaar Walk by Wonder tours: $24
  • The Georgetown Bazaar Walking tour by Wonder tours: $24
  • Peacock Trail Walking Tour in Mylapore: $25
  • Bazaar Trail Walking Tour in George Town: $25

Tours and Activities in Dharamsala

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Dharamsala are as follows:

  • Dharamsala Half Day Sightseeing Tour: $50
  • Half-Day Private Kangra Valley Cycling Tour from Dharamshala: $69
  • Hiking Day Tour to Triund from Dharamshala: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chennai $2.53
    Dharamsala $4.57


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chennai and Dharamsala, we can see that Dharamsala 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 Dharamsala would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dharamsala than you might in Chennai.

Related Articles for Dharamsala

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Chennai vs. Dharamsala Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.