12 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi | Top 12 Things to do in Varanasi

In this travel guide, we have mentioned the 12 best places to visit in Varanasi that every tourist visiting there must explore.

The Hindu city of Varanasi has a long and rich history, making it one of the most important in the region. From the people who live there to the festivals they hold and even the everyday things that they do, the city is known for its culture and the holy spirit.

Every year, Varanasi attracts a large number of tourists from both India and other countries. On the other hand, the hill stations, trekking spots, and wildlife sanctuaries located near Varanasi make for a wonderful vacation destination. Some are ideal for short weekend getaways or day trips.

Before diving into the deep, let’s have a quick look at the best places to See in Varanasi.

Tourist Places in VaranasiLocation
Kashi Vishwanath TempleLahori Tola, Varanasi
Dashashwamedh GhatDashashwamedh Ghat Rd, Ghats of Varanasi, Godowlia, Varanasi
Alamgir MosquePanchganga Ghat, Ghasi Tola, Varanasi
Assi GhatNeighborhood in Varanasi
New Vishwanath TempleBanaras Hindu University Campus, Varanasi
Ganga RiverNear bank of the Ganges 
Manikarnika GhatNear Lalita Ghat, Ghats of Varanasi
Dhamek StupaDharmapala Rd, Singhpur, Sarnath, Varanasi
Banaras Hindu UniversityAjagara, Varanasi
Ruchika Art GallerySankat Mochan Rd, Varanasi
Ramnagar FortVaranasi Rd, Ramnagar
Shivala GhatNeighborhood in Varanasi

Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

Varanasi is one of the most preferred travel destinations in UP. Are you interested in visiting Varanasi? Check out some of the best places to see in Varanasi.

1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of Shiva’s twelve Jyotirlingas, is one of the best places to visit in Varanasi. It is located in Varanasi on the western bank of the holy Ganges River. Lord Shiva, also known as Vishwanatha or Vishweshwarar, is the primary deity of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Lord Shiva is worshipped as a deity in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, India’s cultural capital. The temple’s tower is covered in 800 kilograms of gold plating.

kashi vishwanath temple
Kashi Vishwanath Temple

If you have a camera or any other electronic device, you must leave it outside in a locker. Foreigners can enter through Gate No. 2 and walk past the Indians who are still waiting to be served. 

  • Location:- Lahori Tola, Varanasi
  • Time:- 6am to 9pm

Suggested Read: Want to explore Sarnath as a tourist? Read our travel guide on the best tourist sites in Sarnath.

2. Dashashwamedh Ghat

Lord Brahma has performed the Dasa Ashwamedha compromise at this location. This Ghat is a sacred site where various religious rites are performed. You can’t complete your trip without going to Dashashwamedh Ghat. That’s why it is considered one of the best places to see in Varanasi.

dashashwamedh ghat varanasi
Dashashwamedh Ghat

You can see a celestial display in the city of lights, Dev Deepavali, at the time of Kartik Purnima. Hundreds of people visit this Ghat each day to witness the nightly Ganga Aarti.

One can’t put into words how moving it is to witness the Ganga Aarti ceremony. When visiting Varanasi, don’t skip out on this meditative experience.

  • Location:- Dashashwamedh Ghat Rd, Ghats of Varanasi, Godowlia, Varanasi
  • Time:- 8am to 7pm

3. Alamgir Mosque

On a list of temples, the Alamgir mosque stands out as a proud symbol of the Muslims who have lived in this area for hundreds of years. This mosque is one of a kind because it is on the banks of the Ganga.

It is known for its beautiful Islamic architecture. People think that it was built by the Mughal Sultan Aurangzeb, who was Akbar’s great-grandchild.

Alamgir Mosque

This mosque is called Alamgir because that was another name for Emperor Aurangzeb. In the past, it has been said that Aurangzeb was the one who tore down a temple to build the mosque. There is no doubt that it is one of the best tourist sites in Varanasi.

  • Location:- Panchganga Ghat, Ghasi Tola, Varanasi
  • Time:- 6am to 9pm

4. Assi Ghat

The Assi Ghat is also a very popular tourist site in Varanasi. It is located where the Assi and Ganga rivers meet. Assi Ghat is known for the big Shiva Lingam set up under a peepal tree. It is very important to religion and has been discussed in the Puranas and many legends.

Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat is the center of Varanasi. Both locals and tourists go there to see the beautiful views of the Ganges River at sunset and sunrise.

It is where tourists and foreigners live who come to Varanasi and stay there for a long time. The Ghat has long been a popular place for young people to hang out in the evening.

  • Location:- Neighborhood in Varanasi
  • Time:- 9am to 5pm

Suggested Read: Want to explore Vrindavan as a tourist? Read our travel guide on the best tourist spots in Vrindavan.

5. New Vishwanath Temple 

Every religious man goes to the New Vishwanath Temple to feel the power and presence of the great Lord Shiva. It is in the heart of India’s cultural capital, Varanasi. Still, it is also next to the holy river Ganga, which makes it even more holy. 

New Vishwanath Temple 

So, the grand New Vishwanath Temple, which is part of Banaras Hindu University, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Varanasi. When a person goes to this temple, they have the chance to put themselves in God’s hands and listen to the voice in his heart. This is truly a very beautiful place in Varanasi.

  • Location:- Banaras Hindu University Campus, Varanasi
  • Time:- 6am to 9pm

6. Ganga River

The Ganges River is among the most religious places in India. It is named after the Hindu goddess Ganga. The river flows from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the southeast. Between 400 million and 600 million people use water from the Ganges River to drink and bathe every day.

Ganga River

Hindus from all over the world come to Varanasi to clean themselves in the holy Ganges water and do rituals on the many ghats that line the river. You can’t complete your trip without going to the Ganga river in Varanasi.

  • Location:- near the bank of the Ganges 
  • Time:- all-day

Suggested Read: Want to explore Nawabo Ka Shahar as a tourist? Read our travel guide on the worth visiting sites in Lucknow.

7. Manikarnika Ghat

At Manikarnika Ghat, clouds of smoke rise into the air. No, it doesn’t come from a factory. It comes from the constant burnings that take place on this Ghat.

Hindus think that Manikarnika Ghat is one of the best places for the dead to get to moksha (liberation) (emancipation from the cycle of spiritual rebirth). At this Ghat, the funeral pyre is always burning, and dozens of people are cremated every day.

Manikarnika Ghat

Priests or guides often offer to show tourists around the interesting Ghat. Still, some of them can be pushy about asking for money. I would like to say that this is one of the best places to visit in Varanasi if you want to feel calm.

  • Location:- near Lalita Ghat, Ghats of Varanasi, Lahori Tola, Varanasi
  • Time:- Daytime

8. Dhamek Stupa

Hinduism is very strong in Varanasi, but Buddhism is very strong in the village of Sarnath, which is only about 12 km away. Here is where you can find the Dhamek Stupa, a huge building made of stone and brick 43.6 meters tall and 28 meters across. More than 1,500 years ago, the stupa was built to replace a building in 249 BCE.

Dhamek Stupa

Very religious people think that after the Buddha became enlightened, he went to Dhamek Stupa to give his first sermon about the Eightfold Path. This is one of the best places to see near Varanasi and feel the positive vibes.

  • Location:- Dharmapala Rd, Singhpur, Sarnath, Varanasi
  • Time:- 6am to 9pm

Suggested Read: Do you love Mughal architecture? Read our blog post about the most famous Mughal architecture in Fatehpur Sikri.

9. Banaras Hindu University

Since its founding in 1916, Banaras Hindu University has been one of the most important parts of Varanasi. The well-known public university is one of the largest residential universities in Asia, with more than 25,000 students.

Banaras Hindu University

There are no hill stations close to Varanasi, so if you want to get away from the crowds and the hustle and bustle of the city, come to this 1,300-acre campus. The peaceful area is shaded by hundreds of tall trees and is a nice change of pace from the busy Banaras Ghats. Banaras Hindu University is one of the best universities in India.

  • Location:- Ajagara, Varanasi 
  • Time:- all-day

10. Ruchika Art Gallery

Want to bring something from Varanasi back with you? Just go to the Ruchika Art Gallery. This is the only place you need to go.

Ruchika Mehrotra, who owns the gallery and gives it its name, has made it a warm and charming place to show off her colorful paintings that capture the energy of Varanasi.

Ruchika Art Gallery

Some of the paintings are big enough that they would need to be shipped, but many of them are small enough to fit in a suitcase as souvenirs. There are also cute postcards that you can buy.

  • Location:- Sankat Mochan Rd, Varanasi
  • Time:- 9 am to 9 pm

11. Ramnagar Fort

Varanasi is one of the few places in India that does not have a fort. Ramnagar Fort is about 14 kilometers from the city center. The 18th-century sandstone fort and palace are no longer used as a defense structure. Instead, it is now a quirky museum full of old cars, fancy hookahs, antique weapons, sedan chairs covered in jewels, and a unique astronomical clock that is more than 150 years old.

Ramnagar Fort

After playing an archaeological treasure hunt at the museum, visit the fort’s temples. One of them is dedicated to Veda Vyasa, who wrote the Mahabharata and other important Hindu epics.

  • Location:- Varanasi Rd, Ramnagar
  • Time:- all-day

12. Shivala Ghat

Shivala Ghat is a nice place to go along the Ganges if you want peace. It’s not as busy as other riverfront spots in Varanasi.

Shivala Ghat

Since there aren’t many people at the Ghat, it’s easier to watch with respect as religious people take their daily dips in the holy river, and families gather for prayers and tea in the morning.

Water buffalo are known to hang out in the area, so don’t be surprised if you share the space with them. 😉😉

  • Location:- Neighborhood in Varanasi
  • Time:- 6am to 9pm

Conclusion – Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

So, these are the most beautiful and best places to visit in Varanasi that everyone visiting there must explore. As you might know that Varanasi is one of the spiritual destinations in Uttar Pradesh, therefore, you will feel a positive vibe throughout the city.

Many people believe that there only Hindu temples exist but that is not correct. There are also Muslim mosques such as Alamgir Mosque, and Buddhist sites such as Dhamek Stupa exist. So, no matter who you are, what your caste is, and in which religion you believe, you should definitely visit Varanasi and feel the positive vibe of the city.

I hope this travel guide on “Top things to do in Varanasi” was useful to you and provided you with useful information.

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