I hope Varanasi makes you as happy as I was
Need to know: Varanasi
A few tips and insights to make planning your visit to Varanasi a little easier.
Where to stay in Varanasi on a budget: The Ganga Fuji Hostel gets excellent write-ups and reviews and is just a short distance from the Ghats. Prices are around £10 a night for a private or about £4 for a dorm.
Where to stay in Varanasi like a baller: I stayed at the Ramada, a five-star hotel with a pool and spacious rooms around twenty minutes away from the city. It was in the Cantonment area where many of the resort hotels are.
Where to stay in Varanasi for a unique experience: For those wanting some quality digs closer to the Varanasi Ghats, the BrijRama Palace is located along the Ghats and is a stunning converted palace and part of the heritage hotels collection. It’s pricy, but indeed a unique luxury accommodation well worth just taking a look at due to its impressiveness even if you can’t stay there.
How to get to Varanasi: Flying into Lal Bahadur Shastri airport is the best way to reach the city, given distance can be far and trains long in India. The airport is well connected with domestic destinations ranging from budget to more premium airlines, and international airports are also served. As always, I suggest searching on Skyscanner for the best value fares. The journey from the airport to the central city took me around 40 minutes with a little traffic at a distance of 26 km.
Where to go after Varanasi: Head off and explore more of the Uttar Pradesh region, such as Ayodha and Prayagaja, home of the Kumbh Mela. For those seeking the iconic, the Taj Mahal is in Agra, also in the region, and is a great place to begin the famous India Golden Triangle tour of Agra, Jaipur and Delhi.
Accessibility in Varanasi: While the Ghats are steep and the laneways narrow, access to the waterfront can be made at points by vehicle and then a short journey out of the car. I only witnessed stairs right down to the banks but was told by a local some points can be ventured too by flat surface only.