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

Should you visit Dharamsala or Darjiling?

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

Should I visit Dharamsala 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: Dharamsala or Darjiling?


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.


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.

Which place is cheaper, Darjiling or Dharamsala?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dharamsala is $36, 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 Dharamsala and Darjiling in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dharamsala $23
    Darjiling $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dharamsala $46
    Darjiling $26
Compare Hotels in Dharamsala and Darjiling

Looking for a hotel in Dharamsala 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 Dharamsala

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: Dharamsala Hotel Prices and Darjiling Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dharamsala $5.16
    Darjiling $7.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dharamsala

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dharamsala:

  • Chandigarh to Dharamshala Transfer: $85
  • Airport to Dharamshala transfer: $50
  • Dharamshala Airport Transfers : Budget Sedan and SUV Cabs: $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Darjiling

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

  • Private Transfer Darjeeling Hotels To Bagdogra Airport IXB Drop: $49
  • Private Transfer from Gangtok to Bagdogra: $55
  • Private Transfers Darjeeling - Gangtok Drop: $99
  • Rafting Journey at the Down on Teesta River's White Water with Private Transfer: $197

Is it cheaper to fly into Dharamsala or Darjiling?

Prices for flights to both Darjiling and Dharamsala 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
    Dharamsala $8.40
    Darjiling $14

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dharamsala $5.59
    Darjiling $12

Tours and Activities in Dharamsala

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

  • Best of Dharamshala with a local - Full Day Guided Tour: $129
  • Best of Dharamshala with a local Half Day Tour by a AC Car: $81
  • Dharamshala Dalhousie Tour from Amritsar: $300
  • Dharamshala Mcleodganj Tour: $48
  • Dharamshala Street Food Crawl ( Guided Food Tasting Tour): $25
  • Guided Andretta Artists' VIllage Tour: $99
  • Guided Kora Circuit & Walking Tour Around McLeod Ganj: $37
  • Hiking Day Tour to Triund from Dharamshala: $37
  • Historical Tour, Kangra fort &Rock cut temple from Dharmasla: $99
  • Mcleodganj Nature Trek (3 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $26
  • Private 6 hrs Mcleodganj & Dharamshala City Tour: $87
  • The Spiritual Trails of Dharamshala(Guided Walking Tour): $13

Tours and Activities in Darjiling

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

  • Discover the Spiritual Trails of Gangtok (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $12
  • Heritage & Cultural Walk of Gangtok (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $13
  • Heritage & Cultural Walk of Darjeeling (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $13
  • Discover the Spiritual Trails of Darjeeling (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $13
  • Gangtok Food Crawl (2 Hours Guided Local Food Tasting Tour): $25
  • Tiger Hill Darjeeling Nature Walk (3 Hours Guided Trekking Experience): $25
  • Darjeeling Tea Garden Tour : $31
  • Colonial Heritage Walking Tour in Darjeeling: $31
  • Mirik Lake Day tour From Darjeeling: $37
  • Darjeeling Toy Train Joyride E-tickets with private transportation: $56
  • Private Morning Excursion Tour To Tiger Hill (3 Points) With Pickup and Drop: $62
  • Excursion to Tea Estate Tour With Tea Processing Tour with Transportation: $62

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dharamsala $5.59
    Darjiling $8.83

When comparing the travel costs between Dharamsala and Darjiling, we can see that Dharamsala is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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

Which is Bigger, Dharamsala or Darjiling?

Darjiling has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Dharamsala. When comparing the sizes of Dharamsala 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