Should you visit Leh or Dharamsala?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Leh and Dharamsala. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.
Leh is a small town located in the Indus river valley at a crossroads of the old trading routes from Kashgar, Tibet, and Kashmir. Today, the town is best known for its Buddhist sites and nearby trekking areas. It is situated in northern India, amidst the mountainous Himalayan range.
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 Leh?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Leh is $35, while the average daily cost in Dharamsala 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 Leh and Dharamsala in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $30 for a double occupancy room in Leh.
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.
On average, meal and food prices in Leh cost around $12 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 $4.80.
The average traveler spends about $7.49 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.
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:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $7.06 per day to get around in Leh.
The average price of local transportation around Dharamsala is $4.60 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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Leh
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Leh:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dharamsala
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dharamsala:
Affordable Dharamshala Airport Transfer:
Dharamsala- Transfers+Hotel+Sightseeing (3 Days):
Is it cheaper to fly into Leh or Dharamsala?
Prices for flights to both Dharamsala and Leh 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $13 per person, per day in Leh. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Dharamsala's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $4.99 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.
Tours and Activities in Leh
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Leh are as follows:
Audio Guided Tour of Leh Bazaar – Life in Leh:
Heritage & Cultural Walk of Leh (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour):
Leh Food Crawl (2 Hours Guided Food Tasting Tour):
Multi-experience Tour - Archery, Copper Art and Apple Orchid Farm Stay:
Tibetan exile walking tour:
Leh Monastry Full Day Tour:
Private Custom Tour: Leh local Sightseeing with guide:
Tourisct Highlights of Leh (Guided Fullday Sightseeing Tour by Car):
Likir and Alchi Monastry Tour from Leh:
Leh city tour (Pickup from Leh):
Leh Local Sightseeing:
Pangong Lake Day tour from Leh:
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 $5.00 on alcoholic beverages in Leh per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
The average person spends about $4.99 on alcoholic beverages in Dharamsala per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When comparing the travel costs between Leh and Dharamsala, we can see that Leh 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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