Best Things To Do in Varanasi, India

Are you looking for what to do in Varanasi?


  • Varanasi Ghats: The Ghats on the banks of the river Ganges are the soul of Varanasi. The Ghats are virtually the kaleidoscope of belief, customs and traditions of Varanasi.
  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple: The towers of the temple were gold plated by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh.The ‘shivalinga’ in the temple is housed in a silver altar.
  • Manikarnika Ghat: Manikarnika ghat is where dead are brought from all over the country to be cremated by fire. There is a ‘sacred fire’ that has been burning since centuries.
  • Ramnagar Fort: Built in red sandstone, the fort has a museum displaying a Royal collection and ornate palanquins.
  • Sarnath: Sarnath is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage and heritage site. Buddhist temples built here are by missions from Japan, China, Tibet, Cambodia and others.
  • Nepali Temple: This unique temple is situated on the Lalita Ghat on the bank of the river Ganges. The temple was commissioned by the King of Nepal and is built in the Nepali style.

Below we have a list of things to do in Varanasi and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Varanasi getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Varanasi with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Varanasi

Here is the list of things to do in Varanasi and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Sarnath

    Religious Site, Observatory, Statue

    An old Buddhist story tells us the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to the king. The king was planning to kill the doe for his feast. He was so moved that he created a park as a sanctuary for deer. Sarnath from Saranganath means “lord of the Deer”. Sarnath is a city located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi. It is near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers i...Read more
  2. Dashashwasmedh Ghat

    4.6 (1675 Votes)
    Dashashwasmedh Ghat

    Religious Site, Outdoors, Water Body, Landmark

    The sound of the conch is a call for prayers. Come to the Dasaswamedh Ghat to rejoice in the Agni Puja. Young priests in saffron coloured dhotis starts the aarti by chanting mantras and songs. They light up brass lamps and incense sticks next to the puja thali.  This aarti is a dedication to Lord Shiva, River Ganges, Surya, (sun) Agni (fire) and the whole universe. Dashashwasmedh Ghat is o...Read more
  3. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

    4.7 (1293 Votes)
    Kashi Vishwanath Temple

    Religious Site, Temple, View Point

    Feel close to God when you are in a temple. Feel blessed to be there and carry this closeness when you return home to your everyday life. Your presence at the temple will give you a clearer sense of purpose and peace. Visit and revel in the history of Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi and receive spiritual perspective. Kashi Vishwanath Temple is also known as the Golden Temple dedicated to th...Read more
  4. Kaal Bhairav Temple

    Religious Site, Temple

    Come out of your worldly difficulties. Your mind is heavy with problems which is crucial. Who can you share them with? Where can you find peace? You cannot think or see clearly at home and you need attention. Enter Kaal Bhairav Temple, the dust of disturbance will be lifted. The fog and haze you are in will settle. You will find a path that did not exist before, find solutions to unanswered que...Read more
  5. Yoga Education Training Society

    Outdoors, Educational Site, Yoga Centre

    You can’t touch your toes? You are not flexible? You are not strong or patient? It does not matter. Everyone starts somewhere. Give yoga a try and control your breathing, move your body and find peace in this crazy life. Join the Yoga Education Training Society and find enlightenment. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root "yuj", which means to yoke. Put the spirit and physical body t...Read more
  6. Manikarnika Ghat

    4.5 (1561 Votes)
    Manikarnika Ghat

    Religious Site, Water Body

    Manikarnika Ghat is the main cremation Ghat of Varanasi. Manikarnika Ghat is one of the oldest and most sacred Ghats in Benaras. According to the Hindu mythology, being burned here provides an instant doorway to freedom from the cycle of births and rebirths. It is believed Lord Vishnu meditated here for many years and left his footprints in a circular marble slab. According to mythology Lord Vi...Read more
  7. Assi Ghat

    Religious Site, Water Body

    It was a joyous moment for Goddess Durga. She triumphantly killed the demon Shumba-Nishumba. And to mark her victory she threw her sword in the Assi River. The place where the sword fell resulted in a big stream, known as Assi River. This was then known as Assi Ghat. Assi ghat is described as Saimbeda Tirtha. This means that if you take a dip in the waters here, even once, all your sins will be...Read more
  8. Durga Temple

    4.5 (1413 Votes)
    Durga Temple

    Religious Site, Temple

    The Durga temple was constructed in the 18th century by a Bengali Maharani but in a North Indian style. The temple has a rectangular tank of water called the Durga Kund meaning a pond or pool. The pond has stone stairs on all sides and a watch pillar at each corner. It has multi-tiered spires and is red in colour, representing the colour of Durga. The Kund was connected to the river thus the ri...Read more
  9. Ramnagar Fort

    4.1 (813 Votes)
    Ramnagar Fort

    Historical Site, Memorial, Fort

    The Ram Nagar Fort bears brilliant testimony of a civilisation that disappeared. The Moghul Empire. The building was constructed with creamy coloured chunar sandstone. It was built in typical Mughal style of architecture, with engraved balconies, open court yards and rotundas. The fort was built on high ground and is located near the Ganges River on its eastern bank. Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant S...Read more
  10. Bharat Mata Temple

    4.3 (1153 Votes)
    Bharat Mata Temple

    Religious Site, Temple

    The Bharat Mata Temple was built by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936. This is the only temple dedicated to Mother India and is within the campus of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth. This shrine houses a map of undivided India carved out of marble with plains, mountains, and oceans. Mahatma Gandhi hoped this temple would serve as a cosmopolitan table for all Indian...Read more
  11. Nepali Temple

    4.5 (1169 Votes)
    Nepali Temple

    Religious Site, Temple, Outdoors

    Nepali architecture is a unique strain of art and pragmatism. Nepal is situated in between trade routes from India to Tibet and China. Therefore Nepali architecture has been influenced by these cultures. The Nepali Temple in Varanasi is a replica of the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. There is evidence to suggest that the land was actually transferred by the ruler of Varanasi to the N...Read more
  12. Archaeological Museum

    4.5 (844 Votes)
    Archaeological Museum

    Archaeological Site , Specialty Museum

    Buddha delivered his first sermon in 528 BC at Sarnath which now has a museum dedicated to him. There is an excellent display of artefacts from the Maurayan era and Gupta era. The earliest image of Buddha is housed in this museum with other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. In 1904 the Government of India decided to construct this museum on site after excavating antiquities here. Sir John Marshall, the...Read more
  13. International Music Centre Ashram

    Entertainment, Performance

    Discover more about receiving the fine art of music as a gift. Listen to tabla player Shri Keshava Rao Nayak, and santoor player Sri Shivaji Rao Nayak Kevale. Enrol in music lessons which include the sitar, tabla and flute. Concert completed, you leave with new appreciation for the International Music Centre Ashram. The tabla is a membranophone percussion instrument which is similar to bongos. ...Read more
  14. Harishchandra Ghat

    Religious Site, Temple, Water Body

    A man bound by duty, resilience, and honesty, a king in more ways than one. Such a man was King Harishchandra. He was the 36th king of the Solar system. His fable is very popular and taken as a yardstick for an ideal life. His name meant having golden splendour. He never took back his word and never uttered a lie in his life. This was tested heavily in his life that led to destitution and separ...Read more
  15. Panchganga Ghat

    Religious Site, Water Body, Landmark

    Inspiring and tranquil, a wonderful combination for nirvana. Let spirituality lure you to Panchganga Ghat where the rivulets Dhutapapa and Kirana join the mythical confluence of the Yamuna, Sarasvati and the Ganga. The rivulet Dhutapapa which means Cleansed of Sin and Kirana, Sun’s Ray will enlighten your spirit. The five sanctified rivers meet at Panchganga Ghat making this place holy. I...Read more