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

Should you visit Varanasi or Mumbai?

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 Mumbai 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 Mumbai?


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.


Mumbai is the largest city in India and the capital of Maharashtra state. It is still occasionally referred to as Bombay, but most people know it now as Mumbai. It's the commercial capital of the country and is a major port city. It's also famous for Bollywood, which is the movie capital of the country and famous for it's music filled Bollywood flicks that have become popular around the world. Mumbai is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in India and has some of the most liberal views of an otherwise conservative country. Many immigrants and expats live in Mumbai and it's easy to see the blend of cultures.

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, Mumbai 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 Mumbai is $69. 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 Mumbai in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varanasi $16
    Mumbai $34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varanasi $32
    Mumbai $68
Compare Hotels in Varanasi and Mumbai

Looking for a hotel in Varanasi or Mumbai? 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 Mumbai

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 Mumbai Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varanasi $4.94
    Mumbai $7.77
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
  • Varanasi hotel to Bodhgaya hotel private transfer: $135
  • Spiritual Varanasi - A Most Amazing Heritage Walk with Private Transfer: $108
  • 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
  • Varanasi Airport: Transfer to/from Varanasi Hotels & Airport: $18
  • Varanasi Airport to hotel private transfer: $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mumbai

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

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Mumbai HTL-APT (BOM): $27
  • Transfer from Mumbai Airport to Hotel: $55
  • Private Transfer: Hotel to Mumbai Airport: $47
  • Private Transfer from Mumbai to Pune via Lonavala City Tour: $57
  • Private Transfer from Mumbai hotels to Mumbai Cruise Port: $64
  • Private Transfer from Mumbai hotels to Mumbai Cruise Port: $64
  • Private Transfer from Mumbai Port to Mumbai Int Airport (BOM): $48
  • Private Transfer from Mumbai Int Airport (BOM) to Mumbai Port: $48
  • Private Transfer from Mumbai Cruise Port to Mumbai Hotels: $64
  • Private Transfer from Mumbai Cruise Port to Mumbai Hotels: $64
  • Private Transfer from Chatrapati Shivaji (BOM) Airport to Mumbai: $39
  • Private Transfer From/To Mumbai Chhatrapati International Airport: $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Varanasi or Mumbai?

Prices for flights to both Mumbai 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
    Mumbai $26
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:

  • Tests of Best Varanasi Local Food Tour With Tourist Guide: $18
  • Taste of Varanasi (2 Hour Guided Street Food Tour): $22
  • Private Evening Rooftop Dinner: $44
  • Cooking Classes in Varanasi for 2 Hours: $50
  • 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
  • Night Boat Ride, Aarti Ceremony and Dinner: $100
  • Evening Arti Boat Tour with Dinner: $142

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mumbai

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

  • Virtual Authentic Indian Tea and Paratha Cooking Class: $14
  • Hidden Gems and Street Food Tour: $15
  • Discover Mumbai's street & beach with food tour: $17
  • Mumbai Food Tour: $20
  • Vegetarian Indian Cuisine Virtual Cooking Class Experience from Mumbai: $20
  • Small Group Authentic Mumbai Virtual Cooking Class with Dessert: $20
  • Old Bombay Bazaar and Food Tour with local Guide: $23
  • Mumbai Food Tour: $25
  • Street Food Tour - Eat like a Local with sunset view: $26
  • Old Bombay Bazaar and Food Tour with local Guide: $27
  • Guided Food Tour Through the Vibrant Markets of Old Bombay: $28
  • Indian cusine demonstration cum hands on with Hi Tea / Dinner at a Family home: $33

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varanasi $10
    Mumbai $2.66
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
  • 11 - Hours Agra Tour: Sunrise and Sunset of Taj Mahal from Delhi.: $97
  • 12 Days Buddhist Tour From The Birth To Death: $1,439
  • 2 Day Private Bodhgaya Tour From Varanasi: $189
  • 2 Days & 1 Night Exclusive Tour Package of Varanasi: $224
  • 2 Days : Varanasi Private Guided Tour With Airport Pickup: $162
  • 2 Days Enlightening Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $189
  • 2 Days Enlightening Bodhgaya Tour from Varanasi: $132

Tours and Activities in Mumbai

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

  • Mumbai City Tour : $100
  • Private Full-Day Mumbai Sightseeing Tour with Dharavi Slums: $82
  • "Best of Mumbai (Guided Full Day Sightseeing City Tour)": $127
  • "Highlights of Mumbai Guided Half Day Sightseeing City Tour: $74
  • "Religions of Mumbai (Guided Half Day Sightseeing City Tour): $80
  • 2 Hour Dharavi Slum Tour with Local Guide: $12
  • 2-Days Private Taj Mahal Sunrise Tour from Mumbai by Round Trip Flights: $230
  • 2-Hour Guided Tour of Dharavi: $25
  • 3 Hours Early Morning in South Mumbai Heritage Bicycle Tour : $39
  • 3 Hours of Pottery Making Experience in a Studio in Mumbai: $70
  • 3-Hour Private Guided Tour in Bollywood from Mumbai: $196
  • 5 Hours Private Tour in Mumbai City: $74

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varanasi $7.85
    Mumbai $3.69

Sample the Local Flavors in Mumbai

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Mumbai:

  • Bombay Party (Bar Crawl): $25
  • South Bombay Pub Crawl: $38
  • South Bombay Pub Crawl: $39
  • Mumbai Private Bar Crawl with City Night Tour: $124
  • Nashik: Private Full-Day Wine Tour with Tastings From Mumbai: $128

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

Which is Bigger, Varanasi or Mumbai?

Mumbai has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Varanasi. When comparing the sizes of Varanasi and Mumbai, 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.