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

Should you visit Varanasi or Chennai?

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 Chennai 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 Chennai?

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.

Chennai

Formerly known as Madras from its colonial history, Chennai today is one of India's largest cities and capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on the Bay of Bengal in southeastern India with an extensive stretch of sandy beaches, plenty of dining and shopping, a number of historic temples, monuments, and churches, plus amusement parks and more.

Which place is cheaper, Chennai or Varanasi?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Varanasi is $30, while the average daily cost in Chennai is $30. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Varanasi and Chennai in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varanasi $16
    Chennai $16
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varanasi $32
    Chennai $32
Compare Hotels in Varanasi and Chennai

Looking for a hotel in Varanasi or Chennai? 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 Chennai


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Varanasi Hotel Prices and Chennai Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varanasi $4.99
    Chennai $2.63
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Varanasi

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


  • Tuk Tuk Through Town
    $0.97
  • Rickshaw Ride
    $0.60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Varanasi

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

  • From Agra: Agra to Varanasi One Way Transfer: $178
  • From Agra: Budget One Way Transfer Agra to Varanasi: $171
  • Varanasi hotel to Bodhgaya hotel private transfer: $135
  • Private Transfer Varanasi to Bodhgaya - One Way: $112
  • Spiritual Varanasi - A Most Amazing Heritage Walk with Private Transfer: $108
  • Private transfer from Varanasi to Allahabad: $67
  • Smooth transfer from Varanasi Airport to Hotel: $60
  • Private Transfer from Lal Bahadur Shastri (VNS) Airport to Varanasi: $42
  • Private Transfer from Varanasi to Lal Bahadur Shastri (VNS) Airport: $42
  • From Varanasi Airport Transfer: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Airport from Hotel in Delhi By Car: $34
  • 3-hours Temple hopping with transfers: $34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chennai

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

  • Private Transfer from Chennai City to Chennai (MAA) Airport: $38
  • Private Transfer from Chennai (MAA) Airport to Chennai City: $38
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chennai International Airport: $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chennai International Airport to Hotel: $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chennai Airport (MAA) to Pondicherry Hotels: $145
  • Full Day Tour to Kanchipuram and UNESCO's Mahabalipuram with Private Transfer: $246
  • Departure transfer: Chennai hotels to Chennai International Airport: $19
  • Departure Transfer from Chennai Hotels to Chennai airport: $20
  • Departure Private Transfer from Chennai City to Chennai MAA Airport by car: $24
  • Chennai International Airport to Hotel-Private Arrival transfer: $25
  • Chennai Airport to Hotel Transfer: $13
  • Chennai Airport Transfers : Budget Sedan and SUV Cabs: $15

Is it cheaper to fly into Varanasi or Chennai?

Prices for flights to both Chennai 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 $7.20
    Chennai $6.46
Typical Food Prices in Varanasi

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


  • Dinner In Town
    $4.16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Varanasi

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

  • Tests of Best Varanasi Local Food Tour With Tourist Guide: $18
  • Varanasi Food Tour: $30
  • Cooking Classes in Varanasi for 2 Hours: $30
  • From Street food tour with Evening Ganga Aarti: $42
  • Private Evening Rooftop Dinner: $44
  • 3-hour Shopping and Street Food Tour on a tuk-tuk ride: $46
  • Evening Dinner with Private Transfer: $50
  • Afternoon tour of Varanasi with Boat ride over Ganges & Dinner on a tuk-tuk : $59
  • Night Boat Ride, Aarati Ceremony and Dinner: $62
  • Private Evening Street Food Tour: $63
  • India: Evening Ganga Aarti With Dinner and Private Transfer: $65
  • Private Evening Handicraft Market Tour with Dinner: $71

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chennai

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

  • 2 Hour Street Food Tour in Sowcarpet Chennai : $37
  • Private In-Home Vegetarian Cooking Class and Meal in Chennai: $46
  • Private Vegetarian South Indian Cooking Class in Chennai : $48
  • South Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with a Passionate Baker: $48
  • South Indian Vegetarian Cooking Class in Chennai with Menna: $54
  • South Indian Vegetarian Cooking Class Near the Chennai airport: $62
  • Traditional Tamil Brahmin Vegetarian Cooking Lesson with a Local in Her Home: $74
  • Private Authentic Indian Cooking Class in Chennai with a Local: $76
  • Private 3-Hour Cooking Lesson and Meal in Chennai: $100
  • Authentic South Indian Cooking Class and Vegetarian Meal with a Local in Chennai: $122
  • Private South Indian Cooking Class and Market Visit in Chennai: $152
  • Food Trail In Sowcarpet With Transport And Dinner - Chennai: $220

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varanasi $11
    Chennai $2.79
Typical Entertainment Prices in Varanasi

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


  • Boat Ride
    $0.84

Tours and Activities in Varanasi

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

  • Varanasi Experience 01 Night -02 Days Tour: $85
  • 01 Day Private Taj Mahal Tour (Delhi- Agra - Delhi): $140
  • 08 Hours : Private - Full Day City Tour Of Delhi : $53
  • 08 Hours : Private Full Day City Tour of Jaipur : $120
  • 1 Day Ayodhya Tour from Varanasi Airport: $83
  • 11 - Hours Agra Tour: Sunrise and Sunset of Taj Mahal from Delhi.: $97
  • 12 Days Buddhist Tour From The Birth To Death: $1,448
  • 2 Day Private Bodhgaya Tour From Varanasi: $189
  • 2 Day Private Mystical Varanasi Tour: $49
  • 2 Day Varanasi Day Tour with Boating and English Speaking Guide: $300
  • 2 Days & 1 Night Exclusive Tour Package of Varanasi: $224
  • 2 Days Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $116

Tours and Activities in Chennai

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Chennai.

  • Chennai to Temple Trail: Srikalahasti & Sri Venkateswara Tour: $89
  • St Thomas Mount Tour Chennai: $85
  • Agra Taj Tour from Chennai: $220
  • Auroville and Pondicherry Tour from Chennai: $44
  • Bazaar Walking tour in George Town: $35
  • Best Of Chennai- Classic Tour on Royal Enfield Motorcycle: $160
  • Bicycle tour in Mahabalipuram with transport from Chennai,lunch & guide: $99
  • Birds & Beyond: Chennai to Pulicat Bird Sanctuary Day Tour: $135
  • British Architecture Walk in Chennai by Wonder tours: $49
  • Chennai - Guided half day private city tour : $52
  • Chennai Cultural Walking Tour: $26
  • Chennai Delights: Exploring the Best of the City Tour: $198

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varanasi $7.92
    Chennai $3.10


When comparing the travel costs between Varanasi and Chennai, we can see that Varanasi 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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Varanasi Expensive? and Is Chennai Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Varanasi or Chennai?

Chennai has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Varanasi. When comparing the sizes of Varanasi and Chennai, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.