The lively atmosphere of the Dasaswamedh Ghat makes it one of the best places to visit in Varanasi. This tourist attraction is a swirling hodgepodge of flower sellers touting bright blossoms, boat operators hawking rides along the Ganges River, and sadhus (holy men) with face paint. You can spend hours people watching in this area during the day.
Hindu priests put on the Ganga Aarti every night at the Dasaswamedh Ghat, starting at around 7pm. Donning saffron-hued robes, the priests spread out plates of flower petals and other offerings and blow a conch shell to signal the start of the spiritual ceremony. Thousands of tourists gather to watch the priests chant and wave tiered plates of sandalwood-scented incense in intricate patterns for about 45 minutes. It’s an extravagant sight and one of the top things to do here.
Hot tip: Get to the ghat at least a couple of hours early if you want to beat the crowds and score a great spot for the show. You can also get incredible views from boats along the river or in shop balconies above the ghat.