11 Travel Tips to Get the Best Out of Varanasi

Travel Tips to Get the Best Out of Varanasi

Varanasi is a city of ancient temples, holy ghats, vibrant culture, and mouth-watering cuisine. Visiting Varanasi can be a transformative experience for travelers who are seeking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of India. However, navigating the city can be challenging for first-time visitors. To help you get the most out of your trip, we have put together 11 travel tips for Varanasi.

11 Travel Tips to Get the Best Out of Varanasi

1. Best time to visit Varanasi

The best time to visit Varanasi is from October to March when the weather is pleasant, and the city is alive with cultural festivities. During this time, you can witness several festivals like Diwali, Dussehra, and Holi. Summers in Varanasi can be extremely hot and humid, and monsoons can lead to flooding in some areas of the city.

2. How to get to Varanasi

Varanasi is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, which is located about 25 km from the city center. You can also reach Varanasi by train, as the city has two major railway stations- Varanasi Junction and Mughal Sarai Junction. If you prefer to travel by road, you can hire a taxi or take a bus from nearby cities.

3. Where to stay in Varanasi

Varanasi offers a range of accommodations to suit all budgets, from luxury hotels to budget guesthouses and homestays. The best areas to stay in Varanasi are the old city, near the ghats, or near the temples. You can find accommodations that offer stunning views of the river Ganges and are located within walking distance of major attractions.

4. What to pack for Varanasi

When packing for Varanasi, it is essential to consider the local weather and cultural norms. Summers in Varanasi can be hot and humid, so it is advisable to pack lightweight and breathable clothing. The monsoon season can be unpredictable, so it is best to carry a waterproof jacket or umbrella. When visiting religious sites, it is important to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees.

5. Getting around the city

Varanasi can be a unique experience in itself. Tuk-tuks, taxis, and boats are the most common modes of transportation in the city. Tuk-tuks are the most affordable option for short trips within the city, while taxis are better for longer journeys. Boats are a must-do in Varanasi, as they offer a different perspective of the city from the river.

6. Must-see attractions in Varanasi

Varanasi is home to several must-see attractions, including the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the Dashashwamedh Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat, and the Sarnath Archaeological Museum. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most revered temples in India, and it is believed that a visit to this temple grants moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

7. Food and drink in Varanasi

Varanasi is a food lover’s paradise, with a range of delicious street food and local cuisine. Some of the must-try dishes in Varanasi include chaat, lassi, kachori, samosa, and thandai. You can also try the famous Banarasi paan, a betel leaf stuffed with various fillings and toppings.

8. Safety tips for Varanasi

Varanasi is a safe city for travelers, but it is essential to take certain precautions. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in secluded areas. Be mindful of your surroundings and belongings, as pickpocketing and theft are common in crowded areas. When using public transport, choose authorized and licensed services. It is also important to be respectful of local customs and traditions.

9. Cultural etiquette in Varanasi

Varanasi is a city with a rich cultural heritage, and it is important to be mindful of local customs and etiquette. When visiting religious sites, dress modestly and remove your footwear before entering. Do not touch or disturb offerings or idols in temples or shrines. When interacting with locals, it is important to be respectful and polite.

10. Shopping in Varanasi

Varanasi is known for its traditional handicrafts and textiles, including silk sarees, brassware, and wooden toys. The city has several markets and bazaars where you can shop for souvenirs and gifts. Some of the best places to shop in Varanasi include the Vishwanath Lane Market, Godowlia Market, and Thatheri Bazaar.

11. Experience the Ganga Aarti

No trip to Varanasi is complete without experiencing the Ganga Aarti. The Ganga Aarti is a daily ritual performed at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, where priests offer prayers to the river Ganges. The ceremony is a beautiful spectacle of light, music, and devotion, and it is an experience not to be missed.


In conclusion, Varanasi is a city that offers a unique and transformative travel experience. By following these 11 travel tips for Varanasi, you can ensure that your trip is hassle-free, enjoyable, and culturally enriching. Whether you are exploring ancient temples, sampling delicious street food, or cruising along the river Ganges, Varanasi is a city that will leave a lasting impression on you. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to this magical city.

Banaras Trip
Author: Banaras Trip

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