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

Should you visit Varanasi or Leh?

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 Leh 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 Leh?

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.

Leh

Leh is a small town located in the Indus river valley at a crossroads of the old trading routes from Kashgar, Tibet, and Kashmir. Today, the town is best known for its Buddhist sites and nearby trekking areas. It is situated in northern India, amidst the mountainous Himalayan range.

Which place is cheaper, Leh 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 Leh is $39. 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 Leh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varanasi $16
    Leh $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varanasi $32
    Leh $34
Compare Hotels in Varanasi and Leh

Looking for a hotel in Varanasi or Leh? 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 Leh


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 Leh Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varanasi $4.98
    Leh $7.92
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Varanasi

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


  • Tuk Tuk Through Town
    $0.96
  • Rickshaw Ride
    $0.60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Varanasi

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

  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Station to Hotel: $12
  • Varanasi Airport : Transfer To Hotel / To Airport: $12
  • Private Transfer Varanasi Airport (VNS) To Varanasi Hotels Drop: $12
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Airport to Varanasi Hotel: $13
  • Varanasi Airport Transfer: $14
  • Varanasi Airport to hotel private transfer: $18
  • Varanasi Airport: Transfer to/from Varanasi Hotels & Airport: $18
  • Private Departure Transfer from Varanasi Hotel to Airport: $28
  • Private Varanasi Heritage Walk with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • Varanasi Airport Transfer: $30
  • 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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Leh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Leh:

  • Leh Airport Transfer: $33

Is it cheaper to fly into Varanasi or Leh?

Prices for flights to both Leh 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 $7.19
    Leh $14
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varanasi $11
    Leh $14
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:

  • Audio Guided Walking Tour of Banaras Ghats, Varanasi: $6.12
  • Varanasi Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $6.81
  • Varanasi Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $6.97
  • Sarnath Audio Tour on HopOn India App – Land of Buddha's First Sermon, Varanasi: $7.66
  • Spiritual and Heritage Walking Tour in Varanasi: $8.66
  • Ghats of Varanasi Morning Walking Tour: $9.88
  • Varanasi's Spiritual & heritage walking tour: $11
  • Temple Walk Tour Varanasi: $12
  • Spiritual Tour in Varanasi with a local- Experience true essence of spirituality: $12
  • Varanasi Walking Tour : $12
  • Vibrant Markets of Varanasi (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $12
  • Vibrant Markets of Varanasi (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour): $13

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varanasi $7.91
    Leh $5.61


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Varanasi and Leh, we can see that Leh 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 Leh would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Leh than you might in Varanasi.

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


Which is Bigger, Varanasi or Leh?

Varanasi has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Leh. When comparing the sizes of Varanasi and Leh, 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.