Varanasi
Sightseeing Tours

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Our most recommended Varanasi Sightseeing Tours

Varanasi: Night Cruise, Aarati Ceremony and Dinner

1. Varanasi: Night Cruise, Aarati Ceremony and Dinner

Your tour will begin at 5:00 PM with pickup from your hotel. Take a boat ride along the river, where you can enjoy the breathtaking sights of the city lit up at night. Here you’ll see locals washing, meditating or spending some serene time at the water’s edge. You might catch a glimpse of akhada, an Indian art of fighting. Disembark to watch the aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges. See a priest take a sacred brass lamp and offer prayers to the holy river. The ceremony involves lights, cymbals, scented incense sticks, and people singing hymns and chanting. It’s a truly mesmerizing experience. After the ceremony, you will be taken for a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Order your favorite dishes and relish them in the warm hospitality and cozy ambiance. After dinner, you will be dropped safely back at your hotel in Varanasi.

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Delhi: 6-Day Golden Triangle & Varanasi Private Tour

2. Delhi: 6-Day Golden Triangle & Varanasi Private Tour

Begin the first day of your trip with a pickup from your hotel or other desired place in Delhi, Noida or Gurugram. Start with a half-day city tour of Delhi. Visit Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, and India Gate. Drive by Parliament House and the President's Palace. After that, proceed to Agra via a 4-hour drive. Upon arrival in Agra, check in to your hotel.  On day 2, you will get up before sunrise, and head to the Taj Mahal to watch the sun come up over this world-famous monument. You will spend two hours exploring the site. After that, return to your hotel for breakfast and to check out, and then spend an hour visiting the Agra Fort. You will then start the 5-hour drive to Jaipur. After breakfast the following day, you will enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort. Next, visit the Jal Mahal, a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake, followed by the Maharaja’s City Palace. Drive past the beautiful Hawa Mahal, a large structure built so the women of the royal household could observe the streets outside whilst remaining hidden.  After breakfast on day 4, you will be transferred to Jaipur airport for your domestic flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel to check in. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.  In the morning of day 5, you will be driven to Assi Ghat, where you will watch the Hindu fire ceremony rituals performed by women priests. Next, enjoy a sunrise boat tour on the River Ganges to see the Ghats of this ancient city. After breakfast, enjoy a city tour of Varanasi which includes the Banaras Hindu University and its temple, a traditional school where children are learning an ancient version of Sanskrit, and a historical wrestling ground.  On day 6, if you have not chosen the option with a return flight to Delhi, you will be transferred to a location of your choice in Varanasi. If you have chosen the option with the flight, upon arrival at Delhi airport, you’ll be dropped off at a location of your choice in Delhi, Noida or Gurugram.

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Varanasi: Full-Day Tour of Temples, Sarnath and Aarti

3. Varanasi: Full-Day Tour of Temples, Sarnath and Aarti

Your private tour will start early with 5:00 AM pickup from your hotel. See the morning aarti ceremony as the sun rises, a magical spiritual experience. After this you’ll visit the main temples in Varanasi, including Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Monkey Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, and Birla Temple. These are famous for their ornate carvings and historical significance.  Continue to Sarnath, a must-see in Varanasi. Your guide will teach you the history of this Buddhist pilgrimage site, as you explore the beautiful ruins of Buddhist monuments. See the incredible Dhamekha Stupa, where Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Then visit the Sarnath Archeological Museum, the Lion Capital of Ashoka, and at a monastery with beautiful wall paintings.  Head back into town to watch the evening aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges. Watch the ceremony, where a supreme priest offers prayers o the holy river with a sacred brass lamp. The ceremony involves lights, cymbals, incense, and people singing hymns and chanting. After an amazing day of sightseeing, you will be dropped safely back at your hotel. 

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Varanasi: Half-Day City Tour and Evening Aarti (Worship)

4. Varanasi: Half-Day City Tour and Evening Aarti (Worship)

Your tour of Varanasi, one of the holy cities of India will start at 2:00 P.M. Your guide will be waiting for your arrival at your hotel lobby and you will drive to Dasaswamedh Ghat. When you arrive, you will start your boat ride on the Ganges River.   During this 1-hour boat ride, you will see a beautiful sunset and ceremonies happening on the banks of Ganges river, performed by Hindu priests and devotees. Then you will be able to observe Hindu people cremated in Manikarnika Ghat (an auspicious ceremony), where the final resting of the human body takes place. At night, you will see different shows displaying Hindu culture on the banks of Manikarnika Ghat. It’s a colorful ceremony that happens every day and showcases the glorious Hindu culture. At the end of the ceremony, you will enjoy dinner at a popular rooftop restaurant, where you can take in the unforgettable views of the city. At the end of the tour, you will be driven back to your hotel.

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From Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour and Heritage Walk

5. From Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour and Heritage Walk

One of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and one of the most holy for Hindus, Varanasi is the true embodiment of culture, mythology, heritage, and a real face of India. A city situated at the banks of the holy Ganges and known for its many ghats (embankments made in stone steps where pilgrims perform rituals) and large number of temples, this is definitely one of the best places to get to know India. Set off on an early-morning tour and explore this ancient city at dawn. Enjoy a boat ride past many colorful ghats and to where you can see people practicing their many rituals. One popular ghat is the Manikarnikaghat, where Hindu cremation takes place. Witness a funeral pyre there. Your tour will start with a pickup from your hotel by your guide at 5:00 AM in the summer or 6:00 AM in the winter. After reaching the ghat, get into the boat for a memorable ride on the Ganges where you’ll get to watch the city come alive with the sun. Once the boat ride is complete, walk through the oldest part of Varanasi and experience the rich culture and heritage of this mystical city firsthand. Get dropped off at your hotel at the end of the tour.

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Varanasi: Night Tour with Aarti Ceremony and Street Food

6. Varanasi: Night Tour with Aarti Ceremony and Street Food

Try the deliciously varied street food that characterizes Varanasi, and see the famous aarti light ceremony on this magical evening tour of the city. The tour starts at 5:00 PM, with pickup from your hotel or residence. Travel through the winding streets towards the city center to witness the ritual of aarti. During the ceremony a group of priests clad in saffron and white robes will perform a ritual of Hindu worship with oil lamps, all synced to beautiful music. It’s a spectacular vision and one not to be missed. After witnessing the aarti, enjoy a street food tour led by an expert local guide. Try mishrambhu, a local milk product. Then visit multiple locations to sample a variety of delicious savory southern and northern Indian flavors. Stop at a sweet shop and see how these products are made, then sample some to satisfy your sweet tooth. At the end of the evening, you will be taken back to your hotel by your guide. 

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Walking Tour of Varanasi

7. Walking Tour of Varanasi

Take a three hour private walking tour of the back streets of Varanasi. The tour begins with a pickup from your hotel lobby at 10:00 AM, at which time you will be driven to the heart of the city, in a residential area where your walking tour will start with a guide. Wander through the oldest markets and charming alleys of Varanasi. The city is sectioned into several areas which are distinguished according to their speciality. See the typical way of living of the locals in the narrow lanes, so small, there is barely space to walk! You will see the tiny apartments stacked one over the other, spilling over with life into the streets. Switch to another area lined with numerous dharamshalas, or public dormitories, offering lodging at low prices to the city visitors. The heavy influx of tourists and devotees owes to the large number of dharamshalas as an inexpensive option to spend your days in Varanasi. Try the famous banarasi paan (a mouth freshener prepared with betel leaves) from one of the kiosk in the market. Enjoy the walk as you witness the untouched charm of the city. After the walking tour you will be dropped safely back at your hotel with chauffeur service.

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Varanasi: Morning Tour with Yoga Session and Boat Ride

8. Varanasi: Morning Tour with Yoga Session and Boat Ride

Bask in spirituality and experience the true culture of India with this morning tour of Varanasi. Depending on the time of year, start your tour at either 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM with a pickup from you guide and driver. Head to the famous Assig ghat to witness the sunrise with the Ganga Aarti. Enjoy a traditional ritual and classical dance as you welcome the morning.  Following this, have a yoga session by the banks of the river with locals and learn how this ancient art has become all the rage the world over. Once you’re done stretching your muscles, proceed to the Akhada, a traditional place for training and practicing of Indian martial arts. See how men engage in this wonderful art from the earliest hour of the day. Next up on the list will be your morning boat ride on the Ganges. Immerse yourself with views of the colorful ghats and people performing their different rituals. After the boat ride of approximately 1-hour, you will be taken to the last leg of your tour which includes a walk through the oldest part of Varanasi. Explore the narrow alleys and the innumerable tiny temples, which dates back centuries, like a local.

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Varanasi: Ganges Boat Ride and Ganga Aarti Experience

9. Varanasi: Ganges Boat Ride and Ganga Aarti Experience

Indulge in spirituality and experience Indian culture in its most raw form in this day tour of Varanasi which takes you to an experience that you won’t ever forget. Begin with your guide picking you up from your hotel in the afternoon. Head for your boating experience at the Ganges from the Assi ghat. With 108 ghats (stone embankments build by the river for religious ceremonies) the view of this city will captivate you. Get indulged in the many religious and mythological stories of this city and the ghats by your guide before you get down at the famous Manikarnika ghat (where Hindu cremations take place). Navigate your way through the narrow alleys of the oldest part of Varanasi in your heritage walk. Afterward, experience a magical Ganga aarti, a ritual where priests use fire as an offering in the form of many oil lamps. Once you’ll be done with aarti, discover Indian culture further via its at. A spectacular classical dance performance by experienced artists is going to leave you smitten. Call it a day with some finger-licking food as your guide takes for a delicious dinner.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Varanasi

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What people are saying about Varanasi

Very good tour from sunrise to sunset

Very good full day tour from sunrise to sunset with virtually all the essential places of Varanasi and Sarnath: both aarti ceremonies, boat ride, visit to numerous temples and the archaeological site of Sarnath. As our hotel was close to the Ganges, we were able to take breaks for breakfast and lunch (and they really are needed after the early morning). I recommend it for those who only have one day to see the city and want to cover as much as possible. As an inconvenience I would put its price, although it is true that there are many guide hours, all the places visited (except Sarnath) are free admission

Bhawna was an amazing tour guide: knowledgeable, professional, sweet and calm. She made all three of us feel very comfortable and we learnt a lot about the city and the culture. Her English was very good and it was easy to understand everything. She was open to questions about the society as well as the thing we did and saw. She was also flexible for changes in the program as we had already done a few thing that she had planned for us to do. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting Varanasi!

We had a great tour, everything was nicely planned. Our guides provided us with interesting insights and the drivers were also very helpful and reliable. Would definitely recommend this tour!

Guide was good and he explained in detail about all the ghats

Everything fitted

Set up friendly guide, well put together tour, good food