Varanasi mini-bus and coach hire

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Everything about Varanasi, options for tourism and ground-based, chauffeured and private transportation in Varanasi. For tourism operators, travel agencies, independent travelers or group travel agencies.

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About Varanasi

Varanasi is the holiest city in India and is in the province of Uttar Pradesh, India. Located on the Ganges River it"s one of the longest inhabited cities in the world. In many ways Varanasi encapsulates everything that is good and bad about India. It"s enchanting, spiritual, and indelibly colourful. But Varanasi is intense, crowded, and can get very dirty. Don"t let that put you off, just go with an open mind.

Durga Mandir, temple, Varanasi

Durga Mandir, temple, Varanasi credit: Rumi Arpita CC BY-ND 2.0

Types of Transportation to and from Varanasi

Varanasi is well connected to the rest of India by air, road, and rail. As it"s the most important city for Hindu"s, Varanasi receives millions of domestic visitors every month, and local travel agents and transport companies ensure that private chauffeured transportation is available for them.

Minibuses and coach rentals in Varanasi:

In Varanasi, minibus and coach rental generally falls into two categories.

Bus rentals for the local market:

There are a large number of local companies with small fleets who predominantly focus on the local market. They might only have one minibus or coach and they are generally used by pilgrims of domestic tourists. These companies have limited internet presence and the best way for foreign visitors to use them is through a local tour operator.


Benarés credit: RamónCC BY-SA 2.0

Coach hire as by product or core business:

Local tour operators sometimes use these coach companies and offer coach hire to tourists. Of course they charge a mark up, but they provide a link between the cheapest vehicles and international clients. Varanasi does have reputation for being the scam capital of India, so when booking a minibus or coach through a local company it"s good to ensure that coach hire is a mainstay of their business. When asked, all companies will say they do coach hire. But some will only look for a coach after you"ve paid a deposit!

Bus and coach hires for international tourists:

There is also a handful a tour companies that specialise in services for foreign visitors. Our site lists companies like NB Travels and Tours in Banaras, Vidhan Tours and Travels in Lahartara, and Shree Travels on Aktha Road. They have access to a larger fleet of vehicles. The cheapest are local Indian brands and these have enough comfort for a few days. For longer trips it"s worth spending extra on a Volvo coach. Our website lists minibus and coach rental companies and we only focus on these specialist companies, compare bus and coach rental options and book via a request for quotation.

Mercedes Benz 45 seater Ajay Travels Pvt Ltd

Bus Mercedes Benz 45 seater from Ajay Travels Pvt Ltd

Minibus and coach rental prices in Varanasi:

As a very general guide expect to pay €100 – 150 per day for coach hire in Varanasi and €70 – 100 for 16 seater minibus hire. You"ll have to pay additional costs for each kilometre travelled; budget on €1 for every 2-3 kilometres. Remember, that within Varanasi"s old town the roads aren"t wide enough for cows so your coach or minibus can only take you to the edge of the old town.

However, a minibus and coach is an excellent way to explore the rest of the Uttar Pradesh province and Varanasi makes an excellent start or end point for your journey. Would you like to rent a bus in Varanasi? You can find a selection of bus rental companies and travel agents offering bus rentals on our bus rental Varansi page. Some have reviews from other users and our site only list companies that specialise in this service.

Airport Transfer in Varanasi:

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (VNS) is located 18kms north west of the centre of Varanasi. Bahadur Shastri was the second prime minister of India and famed for winning a war against Pakistan, but to make things easier here we"ll use the airport"s simpler name, Varanasi Airport.

9seater-Sri Panchvati Travels & Tours

9-seater luxury cab from Sri Panchvati Travels & Tours

Varanasi Airport is more domestic then international

Despite the international claim, Varanasi is mainly a domestic hub with flights arriving from Delhi, Mumbai, and Agra. From the airport it can take over an hour to reach Varanasi as local traffic conditions are unlike anything you"ve seen before. Even by Indian standards they"re intense and ridiculously crowded. Rather than get stressed, sit back and watch the madness unfolds. You"ll even see elephants carrying passengers down a main road.

Varanasi International Airport transfer reservations and prices

From Varanasi the amount you will pay for a private transfer depends on your bargaining skills. Drivers will start high and then accept half the price knowing it"s still way above the standard rate. The best option is to pre book your Varanasi Airport transfer and has a smiling Indian man waiting for you with a name board and an impressive moustache. Don’t use a taxi tout, if organising a transport on arrival head to the prepaid booth outside the terminal.

Expect to pay around €10 – 15 for a transfer. You can also take a tuc-tuc, or auto rickshaw, the three wheeled vehicle that is best at negotiating tight spaces. This will cost anywhere between €3 – 10 depending on your bargaining.

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport credit: Ramón CC BY-SA 2.0

Car with Driver Hire in Varanasi:

Probably the best way to see everything around Varanasi and in Uttar Pradesh is with a car with driver. You"ll get a driver that speaks English and is eager to make friends, and you won"t need to always be bargaining for taxis.

Car rental in Varanasi with a local driver guide

Local drivers are a fountain of knowledge and will help plan your itinerary to include both the tourist spots and the local spots so you can get off the beaten track.They can also help you in the daily Varanasi battle against the monkeys. In the city you"ll see many tourists running away from these snarling beasts. It"s better to follow the local lead and show no fear. Many grandmas help out tourists by waving their walking sticks at the monkeys.

Varanasi car with driver rental companies and travel agents


Luxury car Mercedes-S-Class with driver in Varanasi from Delhi Bus Hire

Travel agents specialise in car with driver rentals and prices start at around €15-20 for the cheapest services. Quality of vehicle varies dramatically and you get what you pay for. This is the best choice if you"re looking for the comfort of a modern Toyota, even if the locals will say that this vehicle is the ultra luxurious choice. Our website lists different companies that provide this service like Car Rental in Varanasi on Santosh Kumar Singh, Varanasi Car Rental on Bangali Tola, and Varanasi Tours on Dasaswemedh Road. Use the quote form to compare and pick the best car with driver offer.

Taxis in Varanasi

Using taxis in Varanasi is not the most efficient or practical way to get around. Car taxis are often difficult to find and expensive given the back up of traffic, and tuctucs require constant haggling. A more useful and often cheaper choice is to book a private rented car with a driver for a full day.

Tuctucs / autorickshaws:

These classic Indian vehicles have three wheels and a motor that"s barely powerful enough to power a toy car, never mind the 10 or so passengers that might squeeze into the back. Bargaining hard is essential, but the tuctuc benefits from its small size and ability to negotiate through the traffic. When visiting a few places in one day it"s less stressful and often cheaper to book a tuctuc for the full day. Even at tourist prices it"s a very cheap way to get around.

Religious auto-rickshaw in Varanasi

Religious auto-rickshaw in Varanasi credit: Benjamin Vander Steen CC BY 2.0

Regular Taxis:

Car taxis can be found in Varanasi but rarely anywhere near the old town, as the dense traffic makes it unprofitable for them to compete with tuctucs here. For visiting outlying attractions taxis are useful although it"s often cheaper to hire a car with a driver and have a private vehicle for the whole day.

What to see and visit in Varanasi

Varanasi isn"t like Agra or other cities with well defined tourist attractions. The attraction is the city itself and the daily routine of life and death that plays out on the streets. Feel the enchantment and spirituality of a temple, watch dead bodies is burnt and thrown into the Ganges, and listen to the hypnotising sounds of passing traders.

Varanasi temples:

Outside the old town there are temples galore to experience. If you"ve had a bad experience with passing monkeys it"s good to appease the monkey god by visiting the monkey temple. Just don"t bring any fruit in your pocket if you don"t like excessive primate attention.

Varanasi, Ganges river

Varanasi, Ganges river credit: Jon Rawlinson CC BY 2.0
It is a belief that all sins will get dissolved after having bath in the holy rivers and praying at temples.

Visit and walk the old town of Varanasi:

Most of the action takes place in the old town, and you"ll see many funeral marches going through the narrow alleys. The experience intensifies at the ghats, stepped entrances to the Ganges River where people do everything from bathing to burning. You"ll see locals having a wash right next to cows having a poo, monkeys stealing flowers, and burnt bodies floating around.

Walking around the old town is part of the experience, or you can follow the lead of monkeys and get around by walking across the rooftops. These monkeys are not be messed with. Stare at one and it will launch into the pounce position. These sneaky primates are known to steal clothes off washing lines and then make excessive noise to attract the owners of the clothes. The monkeys must be bribed with food before they return the items they"ve stolen.

Tour outside Varanasi:

Varanasi holy ceremony

These holy ceremonies can be watched by tourists although nobody is quite sure what all the smoke and chanting means. Photo credit:Stephen Bailey

Varanasi can get very intense and it"s good to break up your stay with a day trip to a surrounding town. Sarnath is 13km from the old town and is the site where Buddha preached his first ever sermon. Allahabad is 120kms away and is where three holy rivers converge. It"s another place of unrivalled spirituality.

Options for tourist transport in Varanasi

Do you want to go sightseeing in and around Varanasi? Do you want to visit other cities in the region of Uttar Pradesh? Get ideas for tours and city trips in the region Uttar Pradesh here

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