Cheap flights to Varanasi land at the Varanasi Airport, about 25 kilometres from the city. A prepaid taxi stand outside the terminal will provide you with transportation to the city. There are many domestic flights to Varanasi on India's domestic airlines, and international travellers will need to connect with these local flights at Delhi or Mumbai. Because of the number of religious pilgrims constantly flooding the city, Varanasi has trains and buses connecting it to nearly every possible destination. These may be difficult for some travellers, though, as they are frequently overcrowded.
The part of the city that travellers arriving on Varanasi flights want to see is the banks of the Ganges River, and that needs to be experienced on foot. No other means of ground transportation would be possible there, although boats could be hired to take you up or down the river if you're tired of walking. For crossing the city, rickshaws or auto-rickshaws are the most practical choice. Taxis exist, but are not very useful inside the city because of traffic density. For day trips to various temples and archaeological sites, a taxi or some form of hired car is the best means of travel.
This is the most sacred city in the world for Hindus, and cheap flights to Varanasi (as well as every other conceivable type of transportation) bring most visitors there for religious reasons.The main attraction is simply being part of the teeming life at the edge of the Ganges. Boats can be hired to go out on the river and get away from the crowds, and boat rides are especially popular at sunrise and sunset for a stunning view of the city.
Nightly blessings of the river draw huge crowds to Dasaswamedh Ghat. Other attractions include Kathwala Temple, a Nepali-style temple with amazing woodwork, and Sarnath (about 11 kilometres from Varanasi), an archaeological site where Gautama Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon. Tours are available for the many temples in the area.
Varanasi is famous for its silk fabrics: brocades and saris can be purchased in numerous shops in the narrow, twisting streets of the old part of the city. Also available to the many shoppers who arrive on Varanasi flights are brassware, copperware, gold jewellery and hand-knotted carpets.
This hectic pilgrimage city is not setup to provide for sensory pleasure, and dining options are basic. Om Cafe is a popular vegetarian backpacker cafe, run by an American woman and offering a wide range of Western foods. Blue Lassi offers lassi (an Indian yogurt drink) of different kinds, and there are reasonable restaurants inside the major hotels. Street food is available, but may not be safe to sample. Since alcohol is banned in the old city, nightlife isn't really a meaningful concept in Varanasi. However, there are cinemas where you can take in a Bollywood movie, and the International Music Centre Ashram features regular evening performances on Wednesdays and Sundays.