Top Things to Do in Darjeeling

The scenic and popular hill station of Darjeeling is the highlight of West Bengal and one of the oldest mountain settlements in India. With sprawling tea gardens, unparalleled views of the Kanchenjunga Peak, and a colourful local culture, Darjeeling makes for a memorable travel experience.

Table of Contents

  1. About Darjeeling
  2. Things to do in Darjeeling
  3. How to Plan a trip to Darjeeling
  4. Places to stay in Darjeeling

About Darjeeling

Darjeeling

It is often called the Queen of Hills for its natural beauty and deep-seated heritage, historical and cultural. Darjeeling lies in the Lesser Himalayas on the Darjeeling-Jalapahar Range, which originates in the south from the Ghum district, and rises to an elevation of 6700 ft.

Check out this handy tour guide to experience all the treasures of this Himalayan town.

What is Darjeeling famous for?

Dajeeling

With its long history and breathtaking nature, there are a host of famous places that appeal to its visitors. The region is synonymous with the best teas in the world since the colonial days. The entire district boasts numerous tea gardens cultivating different varieties of teas, including some rare and unique blends that are only found here, which are exported to different parts of the world. Apart from that, Darjeeling boasts the best views of the Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world, one of the oldest narrow-gauge mountain railways which are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage.

[Also Read: #60DaysOfSummer – Tea Plantations in Darjeeling]

Things to do in Darjeeling

Darjeeling tourism is not just about ancient structures and nature spots. To truly experience the beauty of this hill town, you have to engage in different activities, apart from exploring the popular tourist attractions. 

  • Try white water rafting. This activity is not limited to the Upper Himalayas and Darjeeling’s Teesta River proves it. It is the most exciting outdoor sport you can enjoy in Darjeeling. The ride goes through a series of rapids on the upper reaches of the Teesta and ranges from easy to pro-level. The extreme levels are only for professionals and avoid rafting tours during the monsoon.
  • A Darjeeling tour is incomplete without a ride on the popular toy train. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a narrow-gauge mountain train that circles the town at a slow pace and offers stunning views of the landscape.
  • Experience the Darjeeling Ropeway, India’s first cable-car system, built-in in 1968. The ride starts at North Point in Singamari and ends at Singla Bazaar, giving you uninterrupted views of the hills, valleys, tea gardens, waterfalls, and Kanchenjunga from 7000ft.
  • Shop for local art and crafts, and trinkets from Mall Road. It is the busiest and most commercial part of the town with a host of dining and leisure options. 

Places to visit in Darjeeling

With a host of tourist places, there’s always something for every kind of traveller. Here are some of the top-rated places for a wholesome sightseeing trip. 

1. Ghoom Monastery

Ghoom monastery

2. Japanese Peace Pagoda

Japanese Peace Pagoda
  • How to Reach – This tourist spot is only 2.7KM from the town centre but can take longer on the hilly road. You have to take a local cab or rent a car to reach.
    • Timings– 4AM-7PM
    • Entry Fee– Free
    • Time Required– 1-2hours

3. Batasia Loop

Batasia Loop Darjeeling
  • How to Reach – The mountain loop is located at 5KM from the main town. You can book a cab to reach and walk around or drive around the loop in the same car.
    • Timings– 5AM-8PM
    • Entry Fee– INR 15
    • Time Required– 1-2hours

4. Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park

 Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park Darjeeling
  • How to Reach – The natural reserve is located at 1.4KM from the town centre. You can book a cab for half-day and travel.
    • Timings– Summers: 8AM – 4PM, Winters: 8AM – 4PM (Thursday closed)
    • Entry Fee– INR 20 per person, INR 10 for the camera.
    • Time Required– 4-5 hours

5. Happy Valley Tea Estate

Happy Valley Tea Estate Darjeeling
  • How to Reach – The tea estate is located at 2.6KM from the main town. You have to book a cab or rent a car to reach.
    • Timings– 8 AM – 4 PM (Tuesday – Saturday), Closed from November to February
    • Entry Fee– Free. Guided Tours- INR 50-75
    • Time Required– 2-3 hours

6. Tiger Hill

Tiger hill
  • How to Reach – The viewing point is located at 26.5KM from the town centre. The only way to reach is to book a cab or rent a car from the town.
    • Timings– 4AM-6PM
    • Entry Fee– None. Separate fees for parking and observatory tower.
    • Time Required– 1-2hours

7. Nightingale Park

Nightingale Park
Photo Credit: Flickr
  • How to Reach – The park is located only 1.4KM from the town centre. You can either walk from Mall Road or take a cab from other locations.
    • Timings– 7AM-8PM
    • Entry Fee– INR 10 per adult
    • Time Required– 2 hours

Places to visit nearby

Apart from the popular tourist places, there are many offbeat places in Darjeeling to see and explore. Include these other scenic hill stations near Darjeeling in your trip plan – 

1. Tinchuley 

Tinchuley 

2. Singalila National Park 

Singalila National Park 
  • How to Reach – The national park is located at 36.7KM from Darjeeling. You can book a cab for the day to travel and return.
    • Timings– 6 AM – 7 PM, Closed from 16 June to 15 September
    • Entry Fee– INR100, Camera INR 100, Video camera INR 500
    • Time Required– 3-4 hours

3. Kalimpong 

Kalimpong

4. Seven Sister Waterfall River 

Seven sisters waterfalll

Places to eat

Despite being in West Bengal, Darjeeling food is a canvas of its own. Different local communities, immigrants, and earlier colonial residents have influenced the local cuisine that you find today. 

Sample the local flavours at some of these best restaurants in Darjeeling – 

  • Kunga Restaurant
  • The Locals – Authentic Nepali Cuisine
  • The Patio Restaurant
  • Nanking Restaurant
  • Shangri-La Restaurant and Bar
  • Keventer’s
  • Gatty’s Café
  • Glenary’s Bakery, Restaurant & Pub
  • Magnolia Restaurant

How to Plan a Trip to Darjeeling

How to reach

By Train

There is no railway station in Darjeeling owing to its steep terrain. The nearest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri, which is well-connected to the rest of West Bengal and other neighbouring states. There are frequent trains from all major cities in India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, etc. From New Jalpaiguri, you can rent a car to reach the town.

By Road

Darjeeling is well-connected to neighbouring states and major cities and towns of West Bengal by NH 110 and NH 55. There are regular state-run and private buses to Darjeeling from Kolkata, Haldia, Asansol, Malda, Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, and Kurseong. You can also book an outstation cab or rent a car from any of these places to reach Darjeeling. 

By Flight

There is no flight service in Darjeeling. The nearest airport is in Siliguri at Bagdogra Aiport, 43KM away from Darjeeling. You can fly to Bagdogra from anywhere in West Bengal or other major towns/cities in India. There are regular flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, etc. to Bagdogra. From Bagdogra, you can book an airport taxi to reach Darjeeling by road. 

Best time to visit Darjeeling

Darjeeling experiences classic mountain weather. The summers are warm and pleasant while winters are extremely chilly with occasional snowfall and cold waves. The best season to visit this hill station is summer when the temperature is comfortable enough to explore the outdoors. The rainy season is also best to avoid since heavy rainfall can cause landslides. Typically, March is the best month to visit.

Places to stay in Darjeeling

To make your vacation complete and memorable, find a stay at some of the best places here. Here are some of the best hotels that can make your trip special – 

  • Mayfair Darjeeling 
  • Central Gleneagles Heritage Resort 
  • Ging Tea House
  • The Revett
  • Muscatel Himalayan Resort 
  • Dekeling Resort 
  • Burdwan Palace 
  • The Elgin

Experience the beauty of Darjeeling by booking a car rental to take you to all these places with a local driver. Install Savaari cab booking app for offers and discounts on outstation rentals.  

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Top Things to Do in  Darjeeling for the Perfect Hill Station Vacation!
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Top Things to Do in Darjeeling for the Perfect Hill Station Vacation!
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The scenic and popular hill station of Darjeeling is the highlight of West Bengal and one of the oldest mountain settlements in India. With sprawling tea gardens, unparalleled views of the Kanchenjunga Peak, and a colourful local culture, Darjeeling makes for a memorable travel experience.
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I grew up sneaking away to read the well-worn travel magazines I found at my grandfather's house. Today I write stories of my travel experiences and adventures.

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