Sikkim is endowed with snow-clad mountain peaks, sylvan mountains & valleys, and fresh air. Some of the top things to do in Sikkim include trekking, river rafting, sightseeing, and shopping. Far away from the complications of cities, this Himalayan state is fascinating to explore.
If you are planning a trip to Sikkim then do consider the following activities to make the most out of your holiday. There are a plethora of activities to do in Sikkim that can make the trip unforgettable. From families and kids to couples and solo travelers, Sikkim has something for every kind of traveler.
Top 20 things to do in Sikkim to make your trip more memorable:
|Cable Car Ride||Hand Gliding||Gurudongmar Lake||Yumthang Valley||Yak Ride|
|River Rafting||Trekking||Mountain Biking||Nightlife||Monastery|
|Shopping||Temi Tea Garden||Sikkim Zoo||Ganesh Tok||Lake|
|Waterfalls||Hot Springs||Bird Watching||Helicopter Ride||Paragliding|
1. Cable Car Ride
A cable car ride in Gangtok definitely counts as one of the best things to do in Sikkim. Board the Gangtok Ropeway and enjoy the picturesque views of the landscape.
The 1 km cable car ride starts from Deorali Bazar near the Institute of Tibetology and proceeds to Tashiling next to the Secretariat. Enjoy views of Mt Kanchenjunga and the town of Gangtok from the height of 3500m.
- Timings: 9 am – 5 pm daily
- Cable Car Fees: Two-way ticket: INR 117 per adult, INR 977 for children, Entry is free for kids of age 3 and below.
Sikkim Tour Packages
2. Rumtek Monastery
Rumtek Monastery is one of the top attractions in Sikkim. The monastery is situated at a height of about 6000 ft. It is about 24 km from the city of Gangtok. The monastery follows the Kargyu sect of Buddhism, one of six main schools of Tibetan Buddhism which originated in the 12th century in Tibet. Rumtek monastery is also known as Dharma Chakra center.
The Karmapa, head of the sect exiled from Tibet resides here. The monastery is decorated with relics brought from Tsurphu Monastery. Two major festivals are held here annually during summer and winter. Walk around enjoying history, culture, and spiritual bliss.
- Timings: 6 m – 6 pm
- Entry Fees: INR -10 per person
How to reach Rumtek Monastery: It is located 24 km away from Gangtok. You can hire a taxi or a shared vehicle from the Taxi Stand at Deorali. Buses are also available. You have to walk half a mile to reach the monastery.
Tips: Wear a comfy pair of shoes. Also, before taking pictures, take permission. There are certain sections where photography is restricted. Wear appropriate clothing and respect the culture of the place.
3. Yak Ride
Yak ride is one of the must-experience activities in Sikkim. The tamed beast travel in tough terrain exposed to natural extremities and even when there are no roads. Yaks are colorfully decorated with woolen knitwear over the horns and forehead and strings of bells around the necks. The rides are thrilling and offer an experience to cherish for a long time.
The best time to try out Yak riding is from March to May and again from September to December. Some popular routes are the Dzongri region and Tsomgo Lake. Enjoy the scenery seated on the back of the gentle beast, and take a pic for the wonderful memory.
At Tsomgo Lake –
- How to reach: Take a reserved vehicle from Gangtok. You can also hire a taxi from Gangtok to Tsomgo Lake.
- Price: INR 300 per person
At Dzongri Lake –
- How to reach: You can hire a bus to Yuksom located around 5 hours from Gangtok.
- Price: INR 300 per person
4. Trekking in Goecha La Trek
Goecha La Trek is one of the best treks in Sikkim and the North East Himalayas. The approx. 90 km trek takes trekkers as high as 16,000 feet. It is one of the most romantic trails in the Himalayas. The trek passes through Rhododendron forests, the scenic Dzongri and Thansing meadows, the sapphire Samiti Lake, under the shelter of Mt. Kanchenjunga and Pandim.
The glacial Goecha La trek trail is quite difficult and is on the list of adventure enthusiasts. The months from April to June and October and November are ideal to set out on the mountain expedition.
- Difficulty Level: High
- Duration: 11 Days (upward and downward)
- Trek Starting and Ending Point: Starts at Yukdom and ends at Goecha La
- Accommodation Options: Trekking huts, tents, and guest houses
- Price: INR 20,000 (approx.)
- Tips: Carry windproof jackets, warm clothing, snacks and water, appropriate shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, moisturizer, etc.
Also read: Best places to visit in Sikkim in Summer
5. River Rafting
River rafting in Sikkim is available in River Teesta and its tributary Rangit. Teesta River has been ranked at Grade 4 on the international scale. Teesta with Its chilly waters has a series of rapids with sketchy intensity and character while Rangit has more turbulent waters and offers a great challenge to most experienced rafters.
River Rafting will be a great experience for a lifetime when combined with camping. It would be apt to say that one must come and enjoy the gushing waters of Teesta and Rangit on the rafts whenever in Sikkim. The adventure is worth capturing your fears.
Rafting in Teesta River:
- Grade: I to IV
- Best Season: October to April
Rafting in Rangeet River:
- Grade: I to IV
- Best Season: October to April
White Water Trails in Sikkim:
- Tarkhola to Malli (20 km, 2 h)
- Tarkhola to 29th Mile (33 km, 3 h)
- Rangpo to 29th Mile (28 km , 3 h)
- Tarkhola to Kali Jhora (37 km, 5 h)
- Malli to 29th Mile (11 km, 1 h)
- Malli to Rayang (13 km, 2 h)
- 29th Mile to Kalijhora (18 km, 2 h)
- Malli to Kali Jhora (24 km, 3 h)
Price: For 5 km rafting – INR 800 per person, For 7 km rafting – INR 1,200 per person
Minimum Age Required: 14 years and at certain places, the age can go down to 10 years.
Tips: If you are a foreigner, carry a valid passport. If you have any ailments like heart problems, asthma, epilepsy, etc. avoid river rafting. Intoxication is not allowed before river rafting activity.
6. Bird Watching in Kewzing
Kewzing in Sikkim is a wonderful birding paradise. Whether you are an ornithologist or a normal birder, the dense forest of Kewzing is a place to check out. The home of a total of 200 species of birds, some of which are native inhabitants of Sikkim.
Satyr Tragopan, a rare species of pheasants of Eastern Himalayas is only found here. Among the commonly found species are, the Fire-tailed Myzornis, Sultan Tit, Puff-throated Babbler, and Streaked Spiderhunter.
Get hold of binoculars, walking shoes, and generally a bird expert and set off to enjoy one of the best things to do in Sikkim.
How to reach Kewzing: You can take a taxi to Kewzing via Ravangla. Kewzing is located approx. 72 km away from Gangtok and will take around 3 hours to reach.
7. Sikkimese Nightlife
Sikkim may not look like it, but it has an exciting nightlife. Mostly Gangtok is a popular place to spend the hours after dark in. There are numerous options for night pleasures which include pubs, bars, casinos, and nightclubs. Do not be surprised that the first land-based live casino in India was set up in Gangtok.
There are actually a number of casinos to test your fortunes. The local drink of the mountain state, Chaang is quite tempting and the price is quite low. Snacks and delicious dining add to the fun. Try out the nightlife, it is actually one of the best things to do in Sikkim.
Famous places to enjoy Sikkim nightlife –
- Cafe Live & Loud
- Pub 25
- Casino Sikkim at The Royal Plaza
- Casino Mahjong at Mayfair Spa & Resorts
8. Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking is one of the most adventurous activities in Sikkim. The thrilling trails for mountain biking and the pictorial scenery lure adventure enthusiasts from all over the world. The biking adventure allows one to savor the beauty of the hills, grandiose views of snow-covered peaks, and an understanding of the Sikkimese culture.
Mountain biking can be enjoyed throughout the year but the popular season is, April and May and from mid-September to October. There are more than seven intriguing trails to embark on according to fitness levels. Most trails start from Gangtok, Rumtek leading to Temi, Yumthang, and other remote locations. Read More
Popular Sikkim cycling routes:
- Gangtok – Ranka – Martam (29 km)
- Yuksom – Kheochapari (25 km)
- Sirwani – Temi (27 km)
- Temi – Rabongla (26 km)
- Pemayangtse – Rinchenpong (45 km)
9. Paragliding in Sikkim
Paragliding in Sikkim is a popular adventure sport and one of the best things to do. The Himalayan topography is just right to try out soaring the skies. Gangtok offers certified paragliding adventures.
Tandem flights are offered here which means an experienced and certified pilot will accompany you in your attempt to fly. Short-haul flights are available for 15-20 minutes. Long-haul flights maximum of an hour is offered.
Feel the fresh air on your face, gawk at views of the wonderful Himalayan range in its snow-covered glory and experience the thrill of floating on the wings of your glider.
- Best time for paragliding in Sikkim: March to June, September to November
Places for paragliding in Sikkim:
Baliman Dara (medium fly) –
- Height – 1300 to 1400 meters
- Duration – 5 to 10 min
- Price: INR 2,500
Bulbuley Dara (high fly) –
- Height – 2200 meters
- Duration – 15 to 20 min
- Price: INR 5,000
Tips: Make sure you are physically fit and your weight should not exceed 90 kg. Do not eat anything before this activity. Wear proper equipment and make sure the harness is properly fastened. Pay close attention to the instructions provided. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes and tight-fitting clothes.
10. Shopping at the MG Road
A trip to Sikkim is incomplete if you have not gone shopping at the Gangtok MG Road. The vibrant road is full of exciting wares. Check out the Chinese Feng Shui items like laughing Buddha, Dragons, New Year Lamp, or dresses worn during Tibetan festivals. You can easily find amazing bargains.
Handwoven blankets, carpets, wooden, and bamboo items are good souvenirs. The handicrafts are especially of note but do check out for authenticity. Try bargaining at the road stalls. Fill your bags with fond remembrances of Sikkim.
Timings: 8 am – 7 pm, closed on Tuesdays
11. Temi Tea Garden
Temi Garden is one of the charming tourist attractions in Sikkim. The lone Tea Estate in Sikkim has located just 18 km from Ravangla at an altitude of 1200-1800m. Established in 1969, the tea estate employs about 450 people and produces 100 metric tons of organic tea annually.
Temi Tea gardens are known for producing one of the best teas in the world evading the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides. The factory can be visited to have an interesting lesson on tea processing. One can also stay in the British Bungalow in the tea estate open for visitors.
- Best time to visit: March to May
- How to reach: You can take a bus or shared taxi from any major town like Pelling, Namchi, or Gangtok.
12. Sikkim Zoo
The Sikkim Zoo is a must-visit attraction. The Himalayan Zoological Park is certainly a place for wildlife lovers. The Park has been established to preserve the wildlife in its natural habitat. Located in Bulbuley, the zoo is 3 km from Gangtok, at an altitude of 1,780 m.
The Zoological Park is spread over an area of 205 hectares of a mountainous landscape. Some species found only in the Himalayas inhabit the park. The Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Himalayan Red Panda, Snow Leopard Cat, Goral, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Black Bear, and Crimson-Horned Pheasant are frequently spotted.
- Timings: 9 am – 4 pm daily except Thursdays
- Entry Fee: INR 25 for adults (Indians), INR 10 for children
- Best time to visit: May – mid-September
How to reach the zoo: Sikkim Zoo is located around 6 km from Gangtok. You can hire cabs to reach the zoo and explore the wildlife.
Tips: Do not feed the animals at the zoo and respect their privacy. Do not disturb the animals by loud talking or laughing. Also, avoid littering.
Also read: Best places to visit in Sikkim in December
13. Ganesh Tok
Ganesh Tok is a temple, which is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. This small temple can accommodate only a few persons at a time. To enter the temple you need to go down on all fours. Size notwithstanding, Ganesh Tok is a favorite tourist spot visited by travelers with much enthusiasm. Devotees plant saplings on the ground near the temple on behalf of those they love.
The view from the high point is breathtaking. It offers spectacular views of the city and the magnificent Khangchendzonga. Spend time here enjoying the views and the splendid ambiance.
- Timings: 6 am – 7 pm
- Entry fees: None
- Best time to visit: December to February
- Tips: Keep your footwear outside and bargain the prices at the gift shop.
14. Khecheopalri Lake
One of the attractive places to visit in Sikkim, Khecheopalri Lake is located in the corner of Sikkim, It is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. The Khecheopalri hill, lake, and valley are said to have been blessed by Guru Padmasambhava. They are revered in local culture as a land of hidden treasure.
The Khecheopalri Lake is an important stop on the Buddhist circuit in Sikkim. Fascinatingly, not a leaf can be seen floating on the lake as they are picked off by birds. An important religious fair is held every March/April. A harvest festival, Cho-Tsho, takes place in October after the cardamom crop is harvested.
- Best time to visit: February – March
- How to reach Khecheopalri Lake: Take a car to Khecheopalri Lake from Gangtok located approx. 150 km away. Visit Pemayangtse Gompa nearby before you turn on the Pelling-Rimbi road to the lake.
15. Kanchendzonga Waterfalls
About 28 km through Pelling and 18 km further than the Rimbi as well as 5 km before Yuksam lies the Khangchendzonga Falls. Located at a distinct curve of the street, the falls remain similarly eye-catching throughout the season.
A regional travel agency of Pelling, the Topjor Bhutia found it in mid-90s drops. Earlier it was not known as the street made it quite invisible. These days this spot is being designed with the required facilities for the relaxation of the guests. The picturesque beauty and the solitude is worth admiring.
- Timings: 8 am – 5 pm
- Entry Fees: INR 20 per person
- Rope Sliding Price: INR 100 per person
16. Helicopter Ride at Gangtok
You can avoid the tiresome traveling by road to reach Gangtok Valley and enjoy breathtaking views by helicopter ride. The experience of witnessing the aerial views of the landscape of Gangtok Valley makes this activity one of the best things to do in Sikkim.
It is provided by the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC), which allows only five persons to take this ride at one time. You can get off at Gangtok Helipad from where Gangtok town is only 4 km away.
Helicopter ride route: Gangtok – Bagdogra – Gangtok
- Bagdogra to Gangtok – 2.30 pm (duration: 35 min)
- Gangtok to Bagdogra – 11 am (duration: 35 min)
Price: INR 3,500 per person
How to book a helicopter ride: You can contact STDC in Gangtok between 10 am to 5 pm and check availability.
17. Hand Gliding at Yumthang
One of the many things to explore in Sikkim is hand gliding. Come fly high in the sky at a range of 12,000 feet with beautiful views surrounding you! Sounds perfect? Also, this activity is meant for physically fit people, so if you have any problems, avoid this and choose from the various other things to do in Sikkim. Don’t fret if you don’t know how to hand glide, an experienced pilot will instruct you. Just enjoy the eagle eye views!
Price: INR 2,500 per person
Tip: Video recording charges to be paid separately.
How to reach Yumthang Valley: You can hire cars from Gangtok to Lachung. After a night’s halt, you can visit Yumthang Valley, which is approx. 1 hour away from Lachung.
Also Read: 12 Thrilling Adventure Sports in Sikkim
18. Hot Springs at Yumthang
On the banks of the Rangit River lies the famous Sikkim hot sulfur springs. Known for their curative properties, they are widely visited by tourists from all over India. You can stay in tents or camps on the banks and soak in these springs to benefit from their healing properties. If you have any aches and kinks to iron out, visiting the hot springs at Yumthang is one of the best Sikkim things to do.
How to reach Hot Springs at Yumthang: These hot springs are located 15 km further from Yumthang Valley and can be reached by car.
19. Valley of Flowers, Yumthang
Include a visit to Valley of Flowers, Yumthang on your list of top things to do in North Sikkim. It is a slice of heaven that transfers you to another world. You can stroll around, admire the natural beauty, and spend quality time with your loved ones in the valley’s peaceful environment. If you visit in summer, you can see the mountain slopes covered in flowers, and in winters, this place becomes a winter wonderland.
Price: Free entry
How to reach Yumthang Valley: You can easily get private cars from Gangtok town to Lachung, which takes around 7 hours to reach. From there, it will take 1 hour more to reach Yumthang Valley.
20. Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim
Make a visit to one of the most beautiful places in Sikkim, Gurudongmar Lake. Enjoy the views of snow-covered peaks and azure waters of the lake. Situated at 17,200 feet above sea level, this lake in North Sikkim is perfect for photography. Couples can spend a romantic time here as it is not crowded. Dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, you can visit a small temple here and enjoy the pleasant weather.
How to reach Gurudongmar Lake from Gangtok: Take a car from Gangtok to Lachen, which takes about 4 to 5 hours to reach. After a night halt at Lachen, it will take you another 3 to 4 hours to finally reach Gurudongmar Lake.
Tips: You must carry a pair of anti-reflective sunglasses for protection from glare. Also, wear warm clothes and appropriate shoes. Carry a valid ID proof with you.
Sikkim is blessed with paradisiacal beauty and is renowned for its diverse topography. You can indulge in popular activities during the Sikkim trip. Now, you have the list of best things to do in Sikkim that make your trip cherishable.
You can book Sikkim tour packages with us and embark on a journey of a lifetime. These tour packages are customizable and you can modify the itinerary according to your requirements. Contact us for more information and to book a tour with us. Also, share your experiences with us!