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

Should you visit Varanasi or Bodh Gaya?

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

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 $27, while the average daily cost in Bodh Gaya is $47. 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 Varanasi and Bodh Gaya in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $30 for a double occupancy room in Varanasi If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

The prices for places to stay in Bodh Gaya can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $20, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $40.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varanasi $15
    Bodh Gaya $20
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varanasi $30
    Bodh Gaya $40

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Varanasi cost around $6.49 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 $2.60.

Bodh Gaya food costs typically run travelers around $14 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Varanasi $6.49
    Bodh Gaya $14
Typical Food prices in Varanasi

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


  • Dinner In Town
    $4.69

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Varanasi

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

  • Local Uttrakhand Cuisine Cooking Class in Rishikesh: $9.89
  • Udaipur Food Tour: $12
  • Authentic Indian Tea Brewing and Paratha Cooking Private Online Class: $15
  • Hyderabad Street Food Tour: $16
  • Wagah Beating Retreat Border Ceremony (with Dinner) in Amritsar: $16
  • Authentic Maharashtrian Cuisine Private Virtual Cooking Class from Mumbai: $18
  • Mandovi River Dinner Cruise in Goa: $19
  • Cooking Class And Dining Experience In Varanasi: $20
  • North Kerala Culinary Food Tour in Thalassery: $24
  • Mumbai Walking Food Tour: $25
  • Cooking and Dining Experience in Agra: $27
  • Cooking Class with a Local Family in Mumbai: $36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bodh Gaya

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

  • Local Uttrakhand Cuisine Cooking Class in Rishikesh: $9.89
  • Udaipur Food Tour: $12
  • Authentic Indian Tea Brewing and Paratha Cooking Private Online Class: $15
  • Hyderabad Street Food Tour: $16
  • Wagah Beating Retreat Border Ceremony (with Dinner) in Amritsar: $16
  • Authentic Maharashtrian Cuisine Private Virtual Cooking Class from Mumbai: $18
  • Mandovi River Dinner Cruise in Goa: $19
  • Cooking Class And Dining Experience In Varanasi: $20
  • North Kerala Culinary Food Tour in Thalassery: $24
  • Mumbai Walking Food Tour: $25
  • Cooking and Dining Experience in Agra: $27
  • Cooking Class with a Local Family in Mumbai: $36

Local Transportation

Varanasi's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $4.50 per person, per day on transportation in Varanasi.

Bodh Gaya's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $21 per person, per day on transportation in Bodh Gaya.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varanasi $4.50
    Bodh Gaya $21
Typical Local Transportation prices in Varanasi

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


  • Tuk Tuk Through Town
    $1.09
  • Rickshaw Ride
    $0.68

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Varanasi

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

  • 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
  • Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport Private Transfers (SXR) for Srinagar: $14
  • Pune International Airport Private Transfers (PNQ) for Pune: $19
  • Private Vadodara Airport (BDQ) Transfers for Vadodara: $15
  • Private Transfers From Delhi To Jim Corbett National Park: $59
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Station to Hotel: $13
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Airport to Varanasi Hotel: $15
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Airport (VNS) to Varanasi Hotel: $48
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Airport (VNS) to Varanasi Hotel: $47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bodh Gaya

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

  • Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport Private Transfers (SXR) for Srinagar: $14
  • Pune International Airport Private Transfers (PNQ) for Pune: $19
  • Private Vadodara Airport (BDQ) Transfers for Vadodara: $15
  • Private Transfers From Delhi To Jim Corbett National Park: $59
  • Private Transfer from Bodhgaya Hotel to Gaya Airport: $13
  • Private Surat International Airport (STV) Transfers for Surat: $15
  • Private Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport Transfers (AMD) for Ahmedabad: $16
  • Private Rajkot Airport (RAJ) Transfers for Rajkot: $15
  • Private Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Transfers (CCU) for Kolkata: $21
  • Private Maharana Pratap Airport Transfers (UDR) for Udaipur: $21
  • Private Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport Transfers (VNS) for Varanasi: $19
  • Private Kozhikode Airport (CCJ) Transfers for Calicut: $19

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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Varanasi can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $9.55 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Bodh Gaya can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $8.94 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varanasi $9.55
    Bodh Gaya $8.94
Typical Entertainment prices in Varanasi

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


  • Boat Ride
    $0.95

Tours and Activities in Varanasi

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

  • Explore Old City of Hyderabad with Experienced Storyteller Online Experience: $19
  • Instagram Tour in Delhi: $101
  • Lamadug Trekking Day Tour from Manali: $21
  • Mathura Vrindavan, Taj Mahal and Agra City Private Day Tour from Delhi: $118
  • 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
  • 11D10N Golden Triangle and Holy City Private Tour from Delhi: $863
  • 2 Day Private Bodhgaya Tour From Varanasi: $189
  • 2 Days Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $170
  • 2 Days Enlightening Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $180

Tours and Activities in Bodh Gaya

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

  • Explore Old City of Hyderabad with Experienced Storyteller Online Experience: $19
  • Instagram Tour in Delhi: $101
  • Lamadug Trekking Day Tour from Manali: $21
  • Mathura Vrindavan, Taj Mahal and Agra City Private Day Tour from Delhi: $118
  • 11D10N Golden Triangle and Holy City Private Tour from Delhi: $863
  • 2D Delhi and Agra Combo Private Tour: $110
  • 2D1N Adventure Camping in Jaipur: $33
  • 2D1N Bhandardara Lakeside Camping Experience : $20
  • 2D1N Bhandardara Lakeside Camping Experience from Mumbai: $20
  • 2D1N Gir National Park Tour from Ahmedabad: $69
  • 2D1N Golden Triangle Tour from Delhi: $158
  • 2D1N Hampi Private Sightseeing Tour from Bangalore: $164

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Varanasi spend on average $7.14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Bodh Gaya spend on average $5.13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varanasi $7.14
    Bodh Gaya $5.13

Sample the Local Flavors in Varanasi

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Varanasi:

  • Pub Crawl in Delhi: $18
  • Pub Crawl in Pune: $18
  • Pub Crawl in Mumbai: $18
  • Pub Crawl in Jaipur: $18
  • Udaipur Pub Crawl: $19
  • South Mumbai Pub Crawl: $19
  • Pub Crawl In Bangalore: $19
  • Pub Crawl in Goa: $20
  • Sula Vineyards with Wine Tasting Day Tour from Mumbai: $49

Sample the Local Flavors in Bodh Gaya

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Bodh Gaya:

  • Pub Crawl in Delhi: $18
  • Pub Crawl in Pune: $18
  • Pub Crawl in Mumbai: $18
  • Pub Crawl in Jaipur: $18
  • Udaipur Pub Crawl: $19
  • South Mumbai Pub Crawl: $19
  • Pub Crawl In Bangalore: $19
  • Pub Crawl in Goa: $20
  • Sula Vineyards with Wine Tasting Day Tour from Mumbai: $49


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.

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Varanasi vs. Bodh Gaya Travel Comparison

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