Wonder what are the best things to do in Darjeeling, as you plan to pay a visit?
I’m going to tell you all about that and more in this piece. So buckle up, and read through to find out all about that.
You’re going to find out all about the things that will make this trip, one to remember.
But, before that I must answer a burning question that many people have.
It’s from the people who haven’t been to this wonderful hill station. And also from the people who want to visit India and are looking for the best places to go to.
Why is Darjeeling Famous?
Well the answer to this question is going to sound similar to that of – why are mountains so awe inspiring to look at?
It is from the foothill town of Darjeeling that you’re going to get the best view of the Himalayas.
The main reason why Darjeeling is called Queen of Hills. That could have been the main thing in and of itself, but Darjeeling’s got a lot more to offer.
Darjeeling tea is a favorite of people around the world. The plantations are here, where the locals work to make a living.
Being the hotbed of tourism that this town is, a lot of things have come up to support that. And all of that put together, makes Darjeeling a big name in the list of tourist destinations in India.
As you’ll get to see here, there’s a lot to experience. So let’s get to it without further ado.
18 Top Things to do in Darjeeling: 2019 Edition
There’s a proverb which says, “Good things come in small packages”.
Darjeeling is a true testament to that. Even if the town is small, there’s just so much to do in and around.
If you want to experience all of that, you have to have a good amount of time on hand.
So have a look.
1) Enjoy the Dooars En Route to Darjeeling
As you start your journey to Darjeeling, you can take a minimal detour to visit the Dooars region.
That will be from New Jalpaiguri, a mere jeep ride or so to this region.
Picturesque foothill landscape, with tea plantations here and there. It is going to be a real freshening up for the mind and the spirit.
You can stay here for a day or two before you go to Darjeeling.
Dooars is a wonderful place, a wonderful stay which you don’t want to miss out at any cost.
2) Trek through Sandakphu
This is for all the outdoor fanatics.
A trek through Sandakphu can be among the most gratifying experiences that you can have here.
This peak is the highest in the region and occupies a spot in the to do list of most of the tourists.
But the trek is just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s the view from atop that will mesmerize you to the core. What do you get to see from there you ask?
Mt. Everest and Kanchenjunga.
Two of the highest points on the surface of planet Earth.
3) Animal Watch at Padmaja Naidu
Wonder which are the best places to visit in Darjeeling?
The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is definitely one of them. And if you love animals, I bet you’d be spending a lot of time here.
Ever since the year 1958, when this place opened up its gates to the public.
People have been coming over to watch exotic animals frolic around in their natural habitat. From the elusive Himalayan wolf to the cute red pandas.
Overall, you’ll be able to have a great time with your family and friends in this park.
4) Quench your Hunger with Himalayan Delicacies
Momo is the most famous food to eat in Darjeeling, arguably.
And in case you’re hungry while in town, you’ll come across eateries selling these in every corner.
People here, as well as the tourists love them some good old momos.
But, there are other interesting food items as well, like the Thukpa. Which is to put simply, noodles soup with meat and veggies.
And to top it all off with something sweet, you have Churpi. Somewhat sweet and very, very flavorful.
Thus, in Darjeeling you won’t find it difficult to come across good food.
5) Adventures on the Teesta River
Now that you have loaded up your fuel tank, it’s time for some adventure.
What about rafting through the river Teesta? Sounds thrilling?
Well it is.
You, along with your friends can experience the powerful adrenaline rush that comes with rafting through a turbulent river.
Or course, it can be dangerous.
But that’s why there are people who look after the safety aspect. So that tourists can enjoy this amazing sport without any serious physical jeopardy.
The ideal time for this sport in Darjeeling is between June and December.
And if you think you’re up for it, then pack up and hit the water.
6) Visit Peace Pagoda to Enjoy some Tranquility
The beauty of Darjeeling is that it can provide both adventure and relaxation depending on where you are.
In between the bouts of adventure, you can enjoy some calmness once you visit certain places.
The Peace Pagoda is one of them.
On top of Charlemont Hill, stands this beautiful Buddhist establishment. You can thank Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk from Japan for this.
And yes, the view from this place is one of its kind.
7) Learn About the Tibetans’ Peril
Tibetans have had a rough history for the past century.
But they’ve worked their way out of that by acquiring skills and putting them to practice. And if you’re interested in learning more about that.
Then Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center is the place to visit.
Here you’ll get to see how the Tibetan people who were in exile worked their way out an adverse situation.
More than that, it’s going to inspire you to do the same, no matter what situation you are in.
8) Watch the Sunrise at Tiger Hill
A trip to Darjeeling is incomplete without witnessing the sunrise from the most perfect vantage point there is.
If you want to witness this, the first thing is that you’ll have to wake up really early. And head straight to Tiger Hill.
You’re going to find a lot of excited tourists.
Just like you, they are eagerly waiting for the first sun rays to burst out of the horizon. And once it does, there will be that roar of excitement.
This is an absolute ‘must-do’.
9) Breakfast at Keventer’s Restaurant
For the Tiger Hill visit you’d have to get up really early, for which you probably won’t have time for breakfast.
Keventer’s restaurant is there to serve you some serious breakfast goodness.
Yes, English breakfast as they have been serving since 1911. Poached eggs, sausages and other goodies, something that you’re going to enjoy to the fullest.
And while you’re eating there, don’t forget to order the special Keventer’s hot chocolate.
All this good food is going to super charge you for the day of touring.
10) Day Camp by Lake Senchal
To the south-east of the town of Darjeeling, you have one of most beautiful lakes in the region.
Lake Senchal is one of the best places to go and have a picnic with your family and friends. With the scenic mountain lake view around, you’re really going to enjoy it.
In case you guys like it so much that you want to stay there for a couple of days. You can do that, as there are some tourist lodges with excellent facilities for accomodation.
And did I forget to mention that here is where you’ll find one of the highest golf courses in the world?
Yes, this is true and if you want to enjoy a game of golf, you can visit the course for that.
11) Witness Mt. Kanchenjunga in its Full Glory from The Mall
If you want to click the perfect mountain peak photo, then you’d get to do that from the Mall.
As for the question of what are the must-do things in Darjeeling?
This one is definitely going to be among the top 3, if I were to rate it that way.
A classic among Darjeeling enthusiasts, this is the place to welcome most of the tourist crowd. And that is for obvious reasons.
But it’s not only the view, but the general ambience of this place is just mind blowing.
12) Ride the Ropeway for that Ultimate Thrill
A lot of people say that there is only one way to witness the real beauty of this place.
That is to ride the Rangeet Valley Cable Car and absorb the surrounding views on the journey. It’s really hard to argue with that.
You will get the bird’s eye view along with that the thrill of riding a ropeway.
Because let’s face it that most of us are going to get paranoid while on the vehicle. But that thrill just adds to the profundity of the whole experience.
So, have this on your list of to-dos as well.
13) Go on a Shopping Spree in Chowk Bazaar
If you want to bring back with you some Darjeeling memorabilia, and souvenirs for your peers.
Then you can shop around for all of thar in Chowk Bazaar. This place has more cool things on sale than you’d know what to do with.
As you might know that Darjeeling has a very lively handicrafts industry. You can buy the handiworks of those great craftsmen for yourself and your loved ones.
But that’s just one of the many different things.
All you have to do is look around enough till you come across the thing that catches your eye.
14) Toy Train Joyride
The name ‘Toy Train’ is almost synonymous to that of Darjeeling.
This is rather a tiny train running between Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri. One reason why it’s called ‘Toy Train’ in the first place.
But ask anybody who has had the privilege of riding on this.
And they will tell you how much fun it is. Just make sure to book the tickets from beforhand as they’re always in demand.
15) Learn about the World Famous Darjeeling Tea
It doesn’t matter if you’re morning is incomplete without tea, or you’re downright allergic to it.
You’ve heard of Darjeeling tea and how good it is.
Once you come to Darjeeling, you’ll have the opportunity to see where it comes from and how. And for that, Happy Valley Tea Estate is a great place to visit.
It has been around for longer than all the others. With that comes some of the best kinds of infrastructure a tea plantation can have.
Other than tea, what is really wonderful is the atmosphere that this place has.
If you’re a city slicker, then you’ll find the calmness and serenity of this place really pleasing.
16) Enjoy Live Music in Pubs at Night
Darjeeling is also a place of music, dance and art. And that brings us to one of the things to do in Darjeeling at night.
Off we go to the pubs.
In Darjeeling, you can find pubs which come to life from evening onwards. And if you’re a fan of live music, the pub scene and all that.
Off the top my head I must name Gatty’s Cafe and Mayfair, but there are more which you can discover.
You’re really going to be impressed with what the local artists and musicians have to offer.
17) Learn a Thing or Two About Mountaineering
While we’re around mountains, why not go ahead and learn something about climbing them?
For that you’d have to go to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute to satisfy all the curiosities that you have.
Established to commemorate the great achievements of the great mountaineer Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.
You can find a ton of information about mountaineering from which you’ll be able to learn a lot.
And for me, the best part is the various mountaineering displays which you’ll get to see. And all of that makes this place a must visit for tourists.
18) Discover Tibet
Darjeeling is also one of the places with which there is a serious Tibetan connection.
You can find out all you want to about that, from the different Tibetan establishments that are there.
A great example of that is the Bhutia Busty Gompa.
And there are many other such monasteries, as well as museums to showcase Tibet for the tourists.
That brings us to the end of the list. Hope you have a great trip through Darjeeling and have a safe journey as well.