Darjeeling, an utterly gorgeous hill station at the base of the intimidating Eastern Himalayas, is among the best places to visit in India. There are scores of places to visit and top things to do in Darjeeling, West Bengal. Not many are aware that Darjeeling has a turbulent past. It was once part of the Kingdom of Sikkim before being developed as a summer retreat by the British. It was quickly discovered that the climate, soil, and other conditions in Darjeeling were perfect for growing tea. As such, you will find scores of tea plantations in Darjeeling that export tea to innumerable places across the world! The stunning tea plantations and other tourist places in Darjeeling attract a vast number of travelers. So when you visit this gorgeous hill station, don’t forget to try some of the below-listed top things to do in Darjeeling!
Fun Places to Visit & Top Things to do in Darjeeling:
Instead of flying down to Darjeeling on last minute flights, take a bit of time to carefully plan a trip. If you have enough time, you can explore nearby attractions as well such as Kalimpong, Gangtok, Kurseong, and more. Check out our list below and try as many of the best, most fun, and top things to do in Darjeeling as you can!
1. Explore the tea plantations
Darjeeling is synonymous with tea gardens! Visit as many of these gorgeous and sprawling tea plantations as you can on your trip to Darjeeling. You can even stay at a tea estate. What better way to explore them! Take a stroll amidst the lush tea garden, try various types of delicious teas, and enjoy sweeping views of the lush green carpet.
2. Hike or drive up Tiger Hill
Tiger Hill Darjeeling is a must-see! Among the most stunning of all Darjeeling tourist places, it offers remarkable sunrise and sunset views over the snow-clad Himalayan Mountains. Drive or hike up Tiger Hill Darjeeling early in the morning and enjoy spellbinding views of the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga Peak.
3. Ride the Himalayan Mountain Railway Toy Train
A Himalayan Toy Train ride is among the top things to do in Darjeeling especially if you’re visiting on business class flights with kids in tow. A complete train journey can take up to a day with the train running all the way from the lowermost regions of the Himalayan mountains all the way up to Darjeeling town. Enjoy popular tourist places in Darjeeling along the way!
4. Explore the Buddhist and Colonial history of Darjeeling
Marvel at the colonial architecture of Darjeeling by visiting places such as the Windamere Hotel. It is evident the British found Darjeeling incredibly charming. Also, Darjeeling is home to scores of Buddhist monasteries as well. Visit any of them you like and know more about Darjeeling’s connecting with Buddhism.
5. Pray for world peace at the Japanese Peace Pagoda
A compelling monument, the Japanese Peace Pagoda is among the top tourist places in Darjeeling. The pagoda is home to gold statutes of the Lord Buddha that depict various stages of his life. Visiting this iconic landmark and enjoying its history along with the statues is among the top things to do in Darjeeling.
6. Spot rare animals at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo
If you’re an animal lover, this is among the top things to do in Darjeeling. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo was established with the intention to protect and breed rare and endangered Himalayan animal species like the Himalayan Wolf, Snow Leopard, and Red Panda. You can also look at panthers, reptiles, deer, and other species.
7. Eat delicious local food
Whether or not you’re a foodie, gorging on delicious local food is among the top things to do in Darjeeling. The city is famous for its food which is a unique blend of Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan cuisines. As you stroll along the streets, grab a delicious bite of Thukpa, Momos, or Churpi among other things.
8. Shop for local artifacts
Nehru Road, Chowk Bazaar, and Mall Road are some of the many places you can shop for local artifacts in Darjeeling. Check out clothes, footwear, woolen items, handbags, jewelry, handicrafts, and other beautiful items sold at incredibly low rates. You can pick up souvenirs as well as gifts for loved ones back home.
Best Time to Visit Darjeeling
If you wish to try some of the top things to do in Darjeeling in December, know that winters in Darjeeling can be pretty harsh. However, if you love cold weather, visit during this time by all means and let the winter beauty of Darjeeling stun you. Summers, on the other hand, offer ideal and pleasant weather for exploring Darjeeling. You can book cheap flights to India from USA for elsewhere in the world for a trip to Darjeeling during this time. You can also visit Darjeeling after the monsoon season. Specifically, any time between September-November and February-March is the best time to visit Darjeeling.