Varanasi is an old as well as a complex city. It is one of the holiest cities for Hindus as well as one of the most ancient ones. You can feel the fascinating vibes as soon as you enter the city. Pilgrims come here to take a dip in the holy waters and wash away their sins as a part of their faith. Also referred to as the ‘City of Light,’ a trip to Varanasi is bound to be an unforgettable one. You are sure to see something new and exciting every moment.
Are you planning to travel solo to the cultural capital of India? The first thing you need to do is book an accommodation for yourself and then find out about the things to do on a solo trip to Varanasi. Regarding how to reach, the best way to reach Varanasi is to take a train or a flight.
Tips when travelling solo
The first thing that comes to mind when one travels solo is the safety aspect, especially if you are a female. However, as long as you take the right precautions, there is nothing to be worried about.
- What you wear is important and short and revealing clothes are not appropriate for women. So, dress conservatively while in Varanasi.
- Do not go out at night with strangers. Stick to safety rules that you would follow in any other country or city.
- Stay in one of the good hotels in Varanasi and avoid cheaper or shady joints. Be aware of the scams and pick-pocketing.
However, these petty reasons should not deter you from visiting Varanasi. These are general rules of safety, which you should follow at all times, irrespective of the place you are in. You are sure to come back for more of that unique experience that can be enjoyed only in this magical city. The whole experience is quite spiritual and enlightening. And, there is plenty to do and see here.
Here are some fun and exciting things to do and explore while in Varanasi:
• Explore the ghats
Varanasi has more than 80 ghats! Walk on those ghats to feel the real essence of the city. Assi Ghat is quieter than the other busier ghats of the Old City, and you will see locals gathered here for some quiet moments.
• Go for the Ganga Aarti
One of the essential things to do in Varanasi is the Ganga Aarti. You will simply love the beautiful, rhythmic ceremony where diyas and flowers are offered to the Mother Ganges. It may get a bit crowded as many locals and most tourists make it a point to attend the aarti. However, the experience is truly worth it.
• Take a boat ride on the Ganges River
Another absolute must is a boat ride on the Ganges river when visiting Varanasi. As the boats are in high demand, you need to negotiate the price and the final cost will depend on how far you want to go.
• Tour the area around the Malviya Bridge
Malviya Bridge was earlier known as The Dufferin Bridge and offers a great experience as you stroll along the Ganges, downstream. The double-decker bridge carries a rail track and it is interesting to watch different vehicles go across.
• Explore the city and its labyrinth of streets
The streets of this city are like a maze. You can easily lose yourself in the small alleys. You can keep exploring forever and do not worry about getting lost, as either way you will come out on the main street or the river.
• Varanasi during festival
If you are lucky to be in Varanasi during a Hindu festival, you are in for a unique experience! Watch hundreds of people in almost every street corner, all dressed in orange. The religious fervour will overwhelm you.
• Dine at the Brown Bread Bakery
If you crave for western-style food, then just head straight to the Brown Bread Bakery. You will be served some delicious organic products and the food will leave you craving for more.
• Visit the Banares Hindu University
Established in 1916, the Benares Hindu University continues the tradition of top-quality education. Spread over an expansive campus, the university is quite peaceful as compared to the city outside. Explore its wide, tree-lined streets and parkland and the Bharat Kala Bhavan that boasts of 12th-century palm-leaf manuscripts and a wonderful collection of miniature paintings. You will enjoy looking at different manuscripts, interesting sculptures, and local history displays.
There are many popular low-cost hotels in Varanasi that are given high ratings by tourists and are popular amongst travellers. Some of these include Hotel Surya, Hotel Grapevine, Hotel Varuna, Hotel Vaibhav, Hotel Plaza Inn and many more. Book any of these and enjoy the various things to do on a solo trip to Varanasi.