Should you visit Pondicherry or Dharamsala?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Pondicherry and Dharamsala can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
Located on the eastern coast of India in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry has a long and interesting history of trade and war as the largest French colony in India. Today the French influence in the city remains, especially in the old quarters. This being said, Pondicherry very much embodies and east-meets-west culture.
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 Pondicherry?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Pondicherry is $30, 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 Pondicherry and Dharamsala in more detail.
Travelers usually pay around $28 for a double occupancy room in Pondicherry If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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 Pondicherry cost around $9.85 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 $3.94.
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 Pondicherry
For Pondicherry, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
South Indian Dinner With A Local Family In Pondicherry:
Cooking class in Pondicherry (with Lunch or Dinner):
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:
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Pondicherry than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $5.08 on transportation in Pondicherry on average per day.
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 Pondicherry
Also for Pondicherry, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Pondicherry Village visit - Palm Wine (Toddy) Trail with Transfers:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dharamsala
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dharamsala:
Dharamsala- Transfers+Hotel+Sightseeing (3 Days):
Affordable Dharamshala Airport Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Pondicherry or Dharamsala?
Prices for flights to both Dharamsala and Pondicherry 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Pondicherry, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $10 per day, per person.
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 Pondicherry
For Pondicherry, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Cycling Tour along Pondicherry:
Pondicherry city sightseeing by Private vehicle:
Historic Temples Tour in Pondicherry:
Private Tour of Pondicherry and Auroville:
Private Custom Tour: Pondicherry Sightseeing with Guide:
Puducherry City Tour (Pickup from Hotel):
Pondicherry Sightseeing with French Colony Walk:
Pondicherry City Bicycle Tour:
Cultural Day Tour of Pondicherry and Auroville:
Cultural Day Tour of Pondicherry and Auroville with Lunch:
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:
Typically, people visiting Pondicherry spend on average $6.19 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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 Pondicherry and Dharamsala, 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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