A Travel Price Comparison for India Varanasi vs. Bodh Gaya for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Varanasi or Bodh Gaya?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Varanasi and Bodh Gaya can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Varanasi or Bodh Gaya?

Varanasi

Known to be one of India's holiest cities, many come to Varanasi on a spiritual pilgrimage looking to bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges River. Dating back to the 11th Century BC, it is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Centuries old temples make up the backdrop, as many come and come again to perform their holy rights at the edge of the historic river.

Bodh Gaya

Located in the state of Bihar in the northeast of India, Bodh Gaya is the most respected place and pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. Bodh Gaya is believed to be the site where Buddha Shakyamuni achieved enlightenment while meditating under the famous Bodhi tree.

Prince Gautama Siddartha was born in the sixth century, B.C. in what is modern-day Nepal. Siddartha lived a comfortable life of extravagance as he was born the son of King Suddhodana of the Sakya clan, but after witnessing human suffering, Siddartha decided to give up all of his possessions and embarked upon a quest to seek knowledge and the solution to such suffering. It is underneath a Pipal tree near the city of Gaya, that it is believed he began to meditate until he became enlightened. Today, a descendent of the original Bodhi Tree is located in the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in the city of Bodh Gaya.

Weather in Bodhgaya is generally warm throughout the year, with daytime highs in the 90s during summer and nighttime lows in the high 40s during winter. Because Bodhgaya is centered around religious sites, pack light layers and plan to dress modestly. Remember that you'll be expected to take shoes off at all temples, so sandals may be easier to wear and a good time-saver.

Which city is cheaper, Bodh Gaya or Varanasi?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Varanasi is $25, while the average daily cost in Bodh Gaya is $43. 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 Varanasi and Bodh Gaya in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varanasi $13
    Bodh Gaya $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varanasi $26
    Bodh Gaya $36
Compare Hotels in Varanasi and Bodh Gaya

Looking for a hotel in Varanasi or Bodh Gaya? 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 Varanasi


Hotels in Bodh Gaya


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.
    Varanasi $4.07
    Bodh Gaya $19
Typical Local Transportation prices in Varanasi

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Varanasi:


  • Tuk Tuk Through Town
    $0.98
  • Rickshaw Ride
    $0.62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Varanasi

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: $8.46
  • Varanasi hotel to Bodhgaya hotel private transfer: $135
  • Varanasi Airport Transfer: $14
  • Spiritual Varanasi - A Most Amazing Heritage Walk with Private Transfer: $70
  • Smooth transfer from Varanasi Airport to Hotel: $28
  • Private Varanasi Heritage Walk with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Station to Hotel: $13
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Airport to Varanasi Hotel: $15
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Airport (VNS) to Varanasi Hotel: $47
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Airport (VNS) to Varanasi Hotel: $48
  • Private Transfer from Varanasi to Lal Bahadur Shastri (VNS) Airport: $47
  • Private Transfer Varanasi to Bodhgaya - One Way: $127

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bodh Gaya

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

  • Private Transfer from Bodhgaya Hotel to Gaya Airport: $13
  • Affordable Bodh Gaya Airport Transfer: $15

Is it cheaper to fly into Varanasi or Bodh Gaya?

Prices for flights to both Bodh Gaya and Varanasi 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
    Varanasi $5.87
    Bodh Gaya $13
Typical Food prices in Varanasi

For Varanasi, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner In Town
    $4.25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Varanasi

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

  • Food Tour of Benares - the Food Specialties of Kashi / Varanasi / the Ghats: $36
  • Indian Cooking Classes with Local Chef in Varanasi: $37
  • From Street food tour with Evening Ganga Aarti: $40
  • Street food tour with Evening Ganga Aarti: $43
  • 3-hour Home Cooking Food tour with a local Family: $43
  • Afternoon tour of Varanasi with Evening Boat ride & Dinner: $43
  • From Varanasi:3-hour home cooking tour with a local family: $43
  • 3-hour Shopping and Street Food Tour on a tuk-tuk ride: $43
  • Private Evening Rooftop Dinner: $44
  • 3-hour Shopping and Street Food Tour on a tuk-tuk ride: $44
  • 5:hours Private Evening Aarti With Rooftop Dinner: $62
  • Private Evening Street Food Tour: $63

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varanasi $8.64
    Bodh Gaya $8.09
Typical Entertainment prices in Varanasi

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Varanasi's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Boat Ride
    $0.86

Tours and Activities in Varanasi

For Varanasi, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 01 Day Private Taj Mahal Tour (Delhi- Agra - Delhi): $94
  • 08 Hours : Private - Full Day City Tour Of Delhi: $50
  • 08 Hours : Private Full Day City Tour of Jaipur: $50
  • 11 - Hours Agra Tour: Sunrise and Sunset of Taj Mahal from Delhi.: $91
  • 2 Day Private Bodhgaya Tour From Varanasi: $189
  • 2 Days Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $170
  • 2 Days Enlightening Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $189
  • 2 Days Enlightening Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $180
  • 2 Days Varanasi Tour: $149
  • 2 Days Varanasi Tour With Sarnath: $331
  • 2 Days Varanasi private tour: $133
  • 2 Days Varanasi tour package for first timers: $148

Tours and Activities in Bodh Gaya

For Bodh Gaya, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 8 Day Buddha trail Tour- Bodhgaya, Rajgir,Nalanda, Kushinagar, Vaishali, Lumbini: $1,005
  • 8 Days Divine Steps of Buddha Tour from Bodhgaya: $790
  • Bodhgaya Day Tour (Hotel Pickup): $28
  • Bodhgaya Rajgir Nalanda Tour: $185
  • Bodhgaya Sightseeing With Monuments Entrances: $94
  • Exclusive Guided Tour of Bodh Gaya: $218
  • Excursion tour of Rajgir & Nalanda from Bodhgaya: $80
  • Full-Day Private Guided Tour of Bodh Gaya with Lunch: $45
  • Guided Virtual Tour of Bodhgaya: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varanasi $6.46
    Bodh Gaya $4.64


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Varanasi and Bodh Gaya, we can see that Bodh Gaya is more expensive. And not only is Varanasi much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Varanasi would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Varanasi 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 Bodh Gaya would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bodh Gaya than you might in Varanasi.

Budget Your Trip

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Varanasi vs. Bodh Gaya Travel Comparison

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