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

Should you visit Varanasi or Pondicherry?

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 Pondicherry 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 Pondicherry?

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.

Pondicherry

Located on the eastern coast of India in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry has a long and interesting history of trade and war as the largest French colony in India. Today the French influence in the city remains, especially in the old quarters. This being said, Pondicherry very much embodies and east-meets-west culture.

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, Pondicherry 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 Pondicherry is $33. 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 Pondicherry in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Varanasi or Pondicherry? 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 Pondicherry


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 Pondicherry Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varanasi $4.94
    Pondicherry $5.66
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:

  • Varanasi hotel to Bodhgaya hotel private transfer: $135
  • Varanasi Airport: Transfer to/from Varanasi Hotels & Airport: $18
  • Varanasi Airport to hotel private transfer: $18
  • Varanasi Airport Transfer: $14
  • Varanasi Airport Transfer: $30
  • Varanasi Airport : Transfer To Hotel / To Airport: $12
  • Spiritual Varanasi - A Most Amazing Heritage Walk with Private Transfer: $108
  • Private Varanasi Heritage Walk with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • Private Transfer: Varanasi Station to Hotel: $12
  • Private Transfer from Lal Bahadur Shastri (VNS) Airport to Varanasi: $41
  • Private Transfer Varanasi Airport (VNS) To Varanasi Hotels Drop: $12
  • Private Departure Transfer to Airport from Hotel in Delhi By Car: $34

Is it cheaper to fly into Varanasi or Pondicherry?

Prices for flights to both Pondicherry 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 $7.14
    Pondicherry $11
Typical Food Prices in Varanasi

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


  • Dinner In Town
    $4.13

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 Pondicherry

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

  • Indian Cooking Class in Pondicherry: $28
  • French-Creole Cooking Class in Pondicherry with a Local Family: $78
  • South Indian Dinner With A Local Family In Pondicherry: $161
  • Cooking class in Pondicherry (with Lunch or Dinner): $289

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varanasi $10
    Pondicherry $11
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: $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 Pondicherry

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

  • Sri Arunachaleswara Temple Tour From Pondicherry: $48
  • Auroville Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Best of the Pondicherry (Guided Full Day City Tour): $133
  • Cultural Day Tour of Pondicherry and Auroville: $262
  • Day Trip to Mahabalipuram (Curated Private Sightseeing Experience): $149
  • Guided City Tour in Pondicherry with complimentary refreshments: $47
  • Heritage & Cultural Walking Tour of Pondicherry : $15
  • Magical Pondicherry Markets Tour : $13
  • Pondicherry Art Trails (2 Hours Guided Walking Tours): $13
  • Pondicherry City Bicycle Tour: $170
  • Private Walking Tour in the French Quarter of Pondicherry: $57
  • Spiritual Walk Tour Pondicherry: $13

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varanasi $7.85
    Pondicherry $6.90


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


Which is Bigger, Varanasi or Pondicherry?

Varanasi has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Pondicherry. When comparing the sizes of Varanasi and Pondicherry, 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.