Are you planning a refreshing getaway to the hills? Pick Darjeeling to make a spectacular choice to feed your much-awaited wanderlust. Popularly known as the ‘Queen of the Hills, Darjeeling has a lot to offer, from emerald green mountain valleys with the snow-capped Kanchenjunga in the background to Colonial Era architecture and captivating wildlife, you have some best places to visit in Darjeeling on your to-do list.
Confused about planning your trip? Scroll down as we got you covered on what to do, see, and where to eat in Darjeeling in our all-inclusive guide
What to do
Sunrise at Tiger Hill
Sunrise at Tiger Hill is truly breathtaking for the sparkling white views of the Kanchenjunga peaks illuminated by the rising sun and the rapidly changing hues of the infinite sky. For the best experience, arrive early to book a comfortable spot at the observatory deck.
Take a tour around the tea- estate
Darjeeling Tea is popularly known as the ‘Champagne of Teas’ and is highly regarded by refined tea drinkers globally. Darjeeling is home to 80+ dynamic tea estates spread over emerald green valleys, and you can spend a day visiting one and learning about the tea production process. If there’s only one thing you can buy from here is a fresh batch of authentic Darjeeling tea.
Whistling Joy Ride
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, popularly known as the ‘toy train’ is no ordinary train journey. Inaugurated in 1881, this train journey covers 80 km from New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri to Darjeeling via Kurseong and Ghoom. The route offers you spectacular hillside views as it winds through the steep mountains. Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the ‘toy train’ should be on your bucket list.
The Darjeeling Ropeway
The Darjeeling cable car is a great way to experience panoramic views of the Darjeeling valley. The Cable car ride runs for around 45 minutes and starts at Singamari at 7000ft and travels down to Tukvar at 6000ft. During the peak seasons, go early, as there are long queues for the ride.
Trekking with the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
The Himalayas are every trekker’s dream. The Himalayan Mountaineering Insitute in Darjeeling offers a variety of mountaineering and adventure courses throughout the year. If you’ve got some extra time from your trip, sign up for a course.
Shopping at Chowrasta
Chowrasta is a public square in Darjeeling located at the heart of the city. This is a happening spot for locals and tourists for strolling in the evenings. You can spot the best souvenir shops here and buy anything from art pieces to handmade home decor.
Best places to visit in Darjeeling
Yes, the Kanchenjunga counts as a site of its own when you are in Darjeeling. This is the third highest peak in the world and the pillar of the Himalayas. The majestic white peaks of the Kanchenjunga provide a beautiful backdrop to the gorgeous green valleys in Darjeeling. The Kanchenjunga is highly visible during the summer and the winter seasons.
The Batasia Loop is a spiral railway, that the toy train runs through. It provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the valleys and the Kanchenjunga and is a spot to visit for its unavoidable glory. The place is surrounded by lush green gardens and has the Gorkha War Memorial at the center. You can also find a flea market here in the morning.
The Japanese Peace Pagoda
The Japanese Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist temple in Darjeeling. It was built as a symbol for ‘Unity for World Peace’ under the supervision of Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fuji who also founded ‘Nipponzan Myohoji’, a Buddhist order for world peace.
The Ghoom Monastery is also popularly known as ‘Yiga Choeling’. It is known for its 15 feet high statue of Maitreya Buddha.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
This is the largest high-altitude zoo in India, located at 7000ft, and is well known for its conservation of Himalayan animals and endangered species. It received the prestigious ‘Earth Heroes’ award in 2014 and is the first Indian zoo to receive this award.
Where to Eat:
Some eateries here are also the best places to visit in Darjeeling such as
Glenary’s is an iconic century-old Darjeeling eatery established during the colonial era. It is divided into three floors- the Glenarys Bakery and Cafe on the ground floor, the main restaurant on the upper floor, and The Buzz Bar in the basement. Glenary’s is perfect for any time of the day to have an incredible breakfast, lunch, and dinner spread. It is also the ideal spot for an evening coffee with freshly baked pastries and a gorgeous view.
Keventers was also founded in the Colonial Era in 1911 by Edward Keventers. This is THE spot for English breakfast, and their meat platter is a must-order when at Darjeeling. During peak season, it fills up pretty quickly for breakfast, so get there early.
For authentic Tibetan food, head to Kunga restaurant. This family-run restaurant has nearly two decades of glorious legacy in serving authentic Tibetan food at unbeatable price range and taste.
Not in Darjeeling, but is worth mentioning. Margarets Deck is located on the way to Darjeeling in Kurseong and is the perfect roadside joint for tea and snacks. This popular eatery has a gorgeous open verandah with a panoramic view of lush green valleys where you can relax and enjoy a cup of tea.
If you need something to munch on in the evening, try the endless street food options at Mall road, laced with food stalls selling pocket-friendly street food from momos to noodles.
How to get there
To fly in, you have to fly to the Bagdogra Airport.
From there, it’s a 4-hour scenic drive up the mountains to Darjeeling via car or bus as you wish.
To arrive by train you have to take a train from Sealdah station (in Kolkata) to New Jalpaiguri (NJP in Siliguri. From New Jalpaiguri, you can take the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), popularly known as the toy train to Darjeeling.
Taxis and shared Jeeps to Darjeeling are available from Siliguri after arriving at New Jalpaiguri by train. These shared Jeeps are an affordable way to visit the best places in Darjeeling.
Buses to Darjeeling are also available but are generally slower due to the steep and narrow roads on the climb to Darjeeling.
- The weather in Darjeeling is quite unpredictable, so pack keeping the seasons in mind.
- The summer is quite pleasant in Darjeeling, so wearing long-sleeve attire and summer jackets is enough for comfortable Darjeeling summer.
- In the peak winters, the temperature can dip beyond minus. So, pack enough thermals, heavy jackets, and insulated coats to layer yourself up properly to enjoy a cozy and warm winter vacation in Darjeeling.
- Darjeeling monsoons come with heavy pouring down the hills and landslides. So carrying an umbrella and raincoat is a must if you are planning a trip in the monsoon.
- Motion sickness medicine is essential on a Darjeeling trip, as the roads are winding, and no one wants to spoil a day out in the valley feeling nauseous.
- Essentials like toiletries and Medicines are easily available in Darjeeling, so don’t need to burden your baggage from home.
That’s all you need to spend an epic holiday in Darjeeling.
And when it comes to finding a suitable and safe base in Darjeeling, choose Anutri Hill Resort, your dream hillside hotel- with a peaceful location and amazing views. The best part about our rooms is a panoramic view of both the Kanchenjunga range on the right, the lush green valleys in the middle, and the Batasia Loop to the left. This is unique to our property and allows our guests to wake up to a 180-degree view of the breathtaking valley. Our rooms are available in various styles, with impressive decor and price ranges, to offer an ideal fit for every traveler!