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

Should you visit Varanasi or Darjiling?

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 Darjiling 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 Darjiling?


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.


What began as a cluster of villages grew to prominence in the 19th Century when the British first established a hill station here and eventually realized that the climate was well-suited for tea plantations. Darjeeling (or Darjiling) has since become known for its teas in addition to cultural diversity, stunning views, and trekking opportunities.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Bicycle Tours in India, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in India, The Best Adventure Tours to India, and The Best Sightseeing Tours in India.

Which place is cheaper, Darjiling 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 Darjiling is $35. 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 Darjiling in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varanasi $16
    Darjiling $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varanasi $32
    Darjiling $26
Compare Hotels in Varanasi and Darjiling

Looking for a hotel in Varanasi or Darjiling? 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 Darjiling

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 Darjiling Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varanasi $4.95
    Darjiling $7.49
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Varanasi

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

  • Tuk Tuk Through Town
  • Rickshaw Ride

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: $177
  • From Agra: Budget One Way Transfer Agra to Varanasi: $170
  • Smooth transfer from Varanasi Airport to Hotel: $60
  • Private Transfer from Lal Bahadur Shastri (VNS) Airport to Varanasi: $41
  • From Varanasi Airport Transfer: $36
  • Delhi Private Arrival Transfer From New Delhi Airport To Hotel In Delhi: $34
  • Private Departure Transfer to Airport from Hotel in Delhi By Car: $34
  • Varanasi Airport Transfer: $30
  • Private Varanasi Heritage Walk with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • One-Way Transfer Airport to Hotel: $24
  • Varanasi Airport : Transfer to Hotel / To Airport: $22
  • Varanasi Airport: Transfer to/from Varanasi Hotels & Airport: $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Darjiling

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

  • Private Transfers Darjeeling - Gangtok Drop: $123
  • Private Transfer Darjeeling Hotels To Bagdogra Airport IXB Drop: $74

Is it cheaper to fly into Varanasi or Darjiling?

Prices for flights to both Darjiling 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 Meals for one day
    Varanasi $7.14
    Darjiling $14
Typical Food Prices in Varanasi

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

  • Dinner In Town

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: Highlights Tour with Tasting &Sunset in Varanasi: $16
  • Taste of Varanasi (2 Hour Guided Street Food Tour): $22
  • Varanasi Food Tour with Monu: $22
  • Varanasi Cooking Classes with Indu and Shobha: $40
  • 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

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varanasi $11
    Darjiling $12
Typical Entertainment Prices in Varanasi

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

  • Boat Ride

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: $82
  • 1 day Varanasi Tour: $88
  • 11 - Hours Agra Tour: Sunrise and Sunset of Taj Mahal from Delhi.: $97
  • 2 Day Private Mystical Varanasi Tour: $49
  • 2 Days : Varanasi Private Guided Tour With Airport Pickup: $180
  • 2 Days Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $116
  • 2 Days Enlightening Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $189
  • 2 Days Varanasi tour package for first timers: $150

Tours and Activities in Darjiling

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

  • A Full Day Tour Of Darjeeling: $232
  • Best of Darjeeling (Guided Halfday Sightseeing Tour by Car): $82
  • Colonial Heritage Walking Tour in Darjeeling: $31
  • Darjeeling City Tour with Uber: $65
  • Darjeeling Full-Day Sightseeing Tour with Guide & Transports: $98
  • Darjeeling Tea Garden Tour : $55
  • Day Trip to Kalimpong (Guided Private Sightseeing Experience from Darjeeling): $147
  • Day Trip to Kalimpong (Guided Private Sightseeing Experience from Gangtok): $147
  • Day_Trippers (Darjeeling Full Day Tour).: $123
  • Discover the Spiritual Trails of Gangtok (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $12
  • Excursion to Tea Estate Tour With Tea Processing Tour with Transportation: $61
  • Gangtok Monastery Tour (Guided Halfday Sightseeing Tour by Car): $82

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varanasi $7.86
    Darjiling $8.78

When comparing the travel costs between Varanasi and Darjiling, we can see that Darjiling 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 Darjiling Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Varanasi or Darjiling?

Varanasi has a larger population, and is about 9 times larger than the population of Darjiling. When comparing the sizes of Varanasi and Darjiling, 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.