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Varanasi Tourism | How to Plan a Trip to Varanasi


  • Varanasi Ghat Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi At a Glance
  • Average Climate:5°C - 20°C
  • Best Time to Visit:October - March
  • STD Code:0542

Varanasi Travel Guide

Renowned as the world’s oldest living city, Varanasi is fondly called Banaras and Kashi. It is also referred to as the ‘Spiritual Capital of India’ and one of the holiest cities in Hinduism. Boasts about rich cultural heritage, prehistoric monuments, world-famous river Ghats, and ancient temples, Varanasi is a must-visit tourist destination for those who are interested in exploring India in its best form.

It is said that Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, and even older than legends. Banaras is known as Lord Shiva’s city and attracts millions of tourists year after year from all over the world. Here is the Varanasi tourism guide with which you can get detailed information about this holy city. Take a look and know about the popular tourist places of Varanasi, things to do, how to reach, and accommodation facilities in Banaras.

Why visit Varanasi?

Varanasi is among the seven holy cities in Hinduism that oozes spirituality and mesmerizing beauty. This city is located on the bank of the River Ganges and is home to almost 80 Ghats where people take a holy dip, which is believed to banish all the sins from the body and soul. It is believed that if one dies here he or she will be liberated from the eternal cycle of birth and rebirth. The quintessential charm of this holy city enhances the Varanasi travel experience.

Best known for its narrow winding lanes, numerous temples, and Ghats that are the centers of a lot of religious activities, Varanasi is akin to Jerusalem and Mecca and features amongst the top holy places in the world.

From dawn to dusk, the banks of the pious river Ganges are frequented by a large number of pilgrims. These Ghats bustle with a whole lot of activities performed by them. The devotees take a dip in the sacred river, perform various religious rites, collect water in pots to take back home for different rituals, and seek blessings of the saints.

On your travel to Varanasi, you can not only witness the unique experience of all the things happening at the Ghats of Varanasi but also actively participate in them. The air reverberates with the chants of the Sanskrit Shlokas and offers blissful experiences. The Ghats of Banaras does have a quaint charm that is simply not explicable in words. One can have the best view of these Ghats while enjoying the boat rides in the Ganges River.

The ancient temples of Varanasi have a unique charm. These temples are architectural marvels, which can leave anyone spellbound. The gold-plated spire on the Vishwanath Temple is sure to impress any onlooker. Varanasi is also home to some of the popular monuments including the museums, which house a very interesting collection of arts and artifacts and for shopping so that you can buy some exquisitely beautiful Banarasi Sarees. These amazing tourist places of Varanasi make your tour memorable.

Varanasi Tourism

Varanasi is best known for its narrow winding lanes, numerous temples, and Ghats, which are the centers of many religious activities. From dawn to dusk, the banks of the pious river Ganges are frequented by a large number of pilgrims. These Ghats bustle with a whole lot of activities performed by them. You can take a dip in the sacred river, perform various religious rites, collect water in pots to take back home for different rituals, and seek the blessings of the saints.

On your trip to Varanasi, you can witness the unique experience of all the things happening at the Ghats of Varanasi and actively participate in them. The air reverberates with the chants of the Sanskrit Shlokas and offers blissful experiences. The Ghats of Banaras has a quaint charm that is not explicable in words. One can have the best view of these Ghats while enjoying the boat rides in the Ganges River.

Language Spoken in Varanasi

Hindi and Bhojpuri are majorly spoken in this city, but other languages, such as Urdu and Bengali, are also spoken here.

Where is Varanasi located?

This city is settled on the left bank of the Ganges river in southeastern Uttar Pradesh.

Best time to visit Varanasi

The winter season is the best time to visit Varanasi. From November to March, Varanasi experiences pleasant and soothing weather which makes the sightseeing and outdoor activities comfortable. The temperature remains low and the region enjoys the soothing breeze throughout the day. In the summer and monsoon seasons, Varanasi experiences hot and humid weather, which makes sightseeing difficult. Ganga Mahotsav, Deepavali, Maha Shivaratri, and Chhath Pooja are the popular festivals of Varanasi that are celebrated every year in the winter season, which attracts a large number of tourists. This festival is the perfect way to witness the rich cultural heritage of Banaras.

Places to visit in Varanasi

There is no dearth of places to visit in Varanasi. Here is the list of some of the popular tourist attractions, which you can explore during your travel to Varanasi. These tourist places comprise old-world charm and attract a large number of tourists from all over the world. Some of the top places to visit in Banaras are:

  • Assi Ghat
  • Dashashwamedh Ghat
  • Manikarnika Ghat
  • Shivala Ghat
  • Ahilyabai Ghat
  • Rana Mahal Ghat
  • Panchganga Ghat
  • Kedar Ghat
  • Manmandir Ghat
  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple
  • Tulsi Manas Temple
  • Durga Temple
  • Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
  • Sita Samahit Sthal
  • Batuk Bhairav Mandir
  • Bharat Mata Mandir
  • Ramnagar Fort & Museum
  • Chunar Fort
  • Sarnath
  • Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum
  • Man Mandir Observatory

Things to do in Varanasi

Varanasi is renowned for temples, Ghats, and vibrant culture. This alluring city leaves travelers captivated with its holiness and tranquility. There are a plethora of things to do in Varanasi, which can make your tour to Varanasi memorable and a lifetime experience. Here are the top things to do in Banaras:

  • Attend evening Aarti ceremony at Dashashwamedh Ghat
  • Morning boat ride in Ganges River
  • Take a holy bath in the Ganges River
  • Stroll along the Ghats
  • Explore the holy temples
  • Shopping in the local market
  • Savor the local delicacies
  • Sightseeing tour of Sarnath
  • Attend festivals in Varanasi

Best time to visit Varanasi

The winter season is the best time to visit Varanasi. From November to March, Varanasi experiences pleasant and soothing weather, making the sightseeing and outdoor activities comfortable. The temperature remains low, and the region enjoys a soothing breeze throughout the day. However, in the summer and monsoon seasons, Varanasi experiences hot and humid weather, which makes sightseeing difficult. Ganga Mahotsav, Deepavali, Maha Shivaratri, and Chhath Pooja are the popular festivals of Varanasi that are celebrated every year in the winter season, which attracts a large number of tourists. This festival is the perfect way to witness the rich cultural heritage of Banaras.

How to reach Varanasi?

The holy city of Varanasi is well-connected with the rest of the country by air, rail, and road network. Banaras has its airport, namely Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport, an international airport located at Babatpur, 26 km away. Regular flights from all the major cities and countries fly to this city regularly.

Two major railway stations serve Varanasi, Mughal Sarai Junction, and Varanasi Junction, situated at 18 km and 2 km, respectively. Both stations are well-linked with the prime cities of the country via an extensive rail network. Varanasi enjoys excellent road connectivity with cities like Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna, Gorakhpur, and Ranchi. A number of air-conditioned luxury buses and ordinary buses frequently ply from the nearby cities and towns.

How to get around in Varanasi?

To travel within Varanasi, cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws are available. Mini-buses are also available within the city. You can also hire a cab or taxi to travel in the town. Some lanes and alleys of the city are too narrow, and you can only walk in these lanes. Therefore, boat rides are the best way to get glimpses of the enchanting beauty of the Ganges River.

How many days are enough to visit Varanasi?

2-3 days are enough to explore the enchanting beauty of Varanasi. You can get glimpses of the rich cultural and traditional heritage of the city in this duration. However, you can extend the trip if you wish to explore the nearby tourist places of Varanasi such as Bodh Gaya, Allahabad, Sarnath, and Lucknow.

Average Varanasi trip costs

The average cost for the Varanasi trip is INR 8,000 to INR 17,000 per person. However, it depends on various factors such as type of accommodation, mode of traveling, and places to visit. It can vary with the number of sightseeing tours and the type of outdoor activities.

Accommodation in Varanasi

There is a wide range of accommodation options available in Varanasi such as hotels, resorts, guest houses, lodges, ashrams, and Dharamshalas. From luxury resorts to budget hotels, Varanasi has something for every kind of traveler. Here are some of the best places to stay in Varanasi:

  • Taj Ganges
  • Amritara Suryauday Haveli
  • Ramada Plaza JHV
  • BrijRama Palace – A Heritage Hotel
  • Hotel Surya, Kaiser Palace
  • Taj Nadesar Palace
  • Hotel Heritage Inn
  • Shiva Ganges View Guest House
  • Hotel Banaras Haveli
  • Ganges Grand
  • Palace on the Ganges – Heritage Hotel

Where to eat in Varanasi?

Varanasi is among the most significant spiritual destinations of Hinduism. There is another side of this holy city as well, it is a paradise for food lovers. Varanasi offers myriads of food options to satiate the tastebuds of the foodies. Here is the list of few handpicked locations where you can savor the local culinary delights during the trip to Varanasi.

  • Kashi Chaat Bhandar – Tomato Chaat, Dahi Puri, Chura Matar, Palak Patta Chaat
  • Shree Shivaya Varanasi –
  • Aum Café – Dal Chilla, Chocolate Chip Pancake with Masala Chai
  • Zaika Restaurant – Mughlai cuisines, Veg and non-veg Kebabs
  • Ram Bhandar – Kachori Sabzi, Jalebi, Samosa, Cutlet

Shopping in Varanasi

Varanasi is an amazing place to buy souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones. There are several local markets in the city from where you can buy religious artifacts, silk and woolen products, antique jewelry, and handicrafts. Here are some of the best markets in Varanasi where you can enjoy shopping during your visit.

  • Thatheri Bazar - Brass product, antiques, copper products, and religious artifacts
  • Vishwanath Lane - Designer bangles, wooden toys, and décor items and dupattas
  • Godowlia Market - Items of clothing and décor items
  • Golghar - Designer and trendy footwear, clothing, and home decor items
  • Rajan Silk Market - Banarasi Sarees, suit, and dupattas
  • Lahurabir - Clothing, house décor items, home appliances, and jewelry
  • Banaras Art Gallery - Tribal Statues, Contemporary statues, paintings, both old and contemporary, and Bronze statues

Travel tips for a trip to Varanasi

  • Make sure you go for a relaxing boat ride on the Ganges River in the evening
  • Keep your valuables safe
  • Do not take photos of the cremation Ghats
  • Carry medical kit, prescribed, and essential medicines
  • Remember to carry important documents, including tickets, cash, and photo ID proof
  • Book your accommodation in advance to save yourself from last-minute hassles
  • Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes during the Varanasi tour
  • Cover your head and shoulders while visiting religious places
  • Try local cuisines and learn about their culture



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FAQs about Varanasi Travel Guide

Q: Why is Varanasi famous for tourism?

Ans: Varanasi is one of India's oldest cities and has great religious and historical significance. Its ancient temples, ghats, and other sites are widely famous, enhancing its tourist attraction. Aarti at Ghats, vibrant markets are significant reasons to make it a renowned destination for tourism.

Q: What are the top sightseeing places in Varanasi?

Ans: There are many tourist attractions that you can add to your sightseeing tour in Varanasi. Some of them are Assi Ghat, Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum, Man Mandir Observatory, Manikarnika Ghat, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Sita Samahit Sthal, Ramnagar Fort & Museum, Chunar Fort, Sarnath.

Q: What are the top activities in Varanasi?

Ans: Varanasi is one of the most charming cities in Uttar Pradesh, where you will find no shortage of activities to enjoy. Attending the evening Aarti ceremony, boat ride, and holy dip in the Ganges River, strolling along the Ghats, visiting sacred temples and shops, trying local delicacies, and attending festivals in Varanasi are some of the must-do activities in this city.

Q: Q. What is there to do in Varanasi at night?

Ans: Holistic trip to the Ganges Ghats, catch a spectacular sight of the city from the rooftop, visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and attend the Aarti ceremony. Moreover, you can explore shopping markets and enjoy the local foods in Varanasi at night. This city becomes more captivating when the sun goes down. You can enjoy various activities at night that will blow your mind.

Q: How to travel in Varanasi?

Ans: Cycle rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, and mini-buses are popular modes of travel around the city. However, taxi and cab facilities are also available. It is advised to cover the short distance by walking to make your first-hand experience of Varanasi remarkable.

Q: Why is Varanasi a famous tourist place?

Ans: Apart from religious significance, much more makes it a popular tourist destination. Perfumes, ivory works, Banarasi silk, Muslin fabrics, and sculptures are some of the things which make Varanasi famous for tourism.

Q: How many days are enough for Varanasi?

Ans: You will need around 5-7 days to explore the major tourist attractions of this city. From visiting tourist places to indulging in immersive experiences in Varanasi, you should book a tour package of 5-7 days. However, you can extend the duration per your choices and desires.