Should you visit Dharamsala or Darjiling?
Should I visit Dharamsala or Darjiling? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
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 city 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 $33, while the average daily cost in Darjiling is $32. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Dharamsala and Darjiling in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $21. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Dharamsala the cost is $42 on average.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $24 in Darjiling For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average traveler spends about $7.70 per day in Dharamsala for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
On average, meal and food prices in Darjiling cost around $13 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $5.20.
Meals for one day
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:
The average price of local transportation around Dharamsala is $4.74 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
To get around in Darjiling, the average visitor spends $6.91 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dharamsala
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dharamsala:
Dharamsala- Transfers+Hotel+Sightseeing (3 Days):
Affordable Dharamshala Airport Transfer:
Dharamsala's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $5.13 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
In Darjiling, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $11 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Dharamsala
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Dharamsala are as follows:
Dharamsala Half Day Sightseeing Tour:
Half-Day Private Kangra Valley Cycling Tour from Dharamshala:
Hiking Day Tour to Triund from Dharamshala:
The average person spends about $5.13 on alcoholic beverages in Dharamsala per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Darjiling, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $8.10.
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.
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