Top 20 Things to Do in Darjeeling in 2024

Darjeeling, the popular hill station of West Bengal is the best introduction to the North Eastern Himalayas. Perfect for families, honeymoon couples, nature lovers, and adventure enthusiasts, the hill town offers some of the best experiences to be cherished for a lifetime.

Blessed with paradisical beauty and lush landscape, Darjeeling is a perfect getaway from the hustle-bustle of city life. There are a plethora of things to do in Darjeeling that can make your trip cherishable with your loved ones.

Best Things to Do in Darjeeling

To help you have the best time of your life, here are the top 20 Things to do in Darjeeling when you visit this picturesque hill town.

  1. Stay at a Tea Garden
  2. Drive up to Tiger Hill
  3. Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
  4. Explore colonial connections
  5. All aboard the Joy Ride ‘Toy Train’
  6. Discover the roots of Tibet
  7. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
  8. Trek the Darjeeling Observatory Hill & Mahakal Temple
  9. A thrilling ride on Darjeeling Ropeway
  10. Sit on Darjeeling Chowrasta
  11. Visit the Peace Pagoda
  12. Shopping in Darjeeling
  13. Fresh air of the mountains at the Batasia Loop
  14. Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center
  15. River Rafting in the Teesta River
  16. Happy Valley Tea Estate
  17. Treat yourself to Hasty Tasty
  18. Support the women
  19. Get a Tattoo
  20. Gateway to the North Eastern Himalayas

Stay at a Tea Garden

Glenburn Tea Estate

Tea tours is not a new concept in Darjeeling. The hill station is blessed with numerous sprawling tea gardens. The ‘Mecca of tea’, Darjeeling has 80 odd operational tea gardens. The tea gardens are one of the popular tourist attractions of Darjeeling. The lush gardens span across thousands of acres of land. Also, the Darjeeling tea is a brand that has made a great name for itself in the world.

Don’t just visit the tea gardens in Darjeeling, plan to stay in the tea gardens. The tea estates have designed various comfy lodgings. Choose from option of a British Era Colonial mansion or a simply budget lodging, the experience is a cherished memory. Away from chaos of cities spend few days in the blissful environs.Read More

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Drive up to Tiger Hill

The Tiger Hill in Darjeeling is a popular tourist attraction. The beautiful lookout at an altitude of 8482 feet offers blessed views of the sun rising over the majestic snow covered mountains of Himalayas. Especially the peak of Mt. Kanchenjunga shines like a beauty beyond words.

Do not miss an early morning outing to Tiger Hill at any cost. Every tourist visiting Darjeeling comes here to catch the sun’s first rays as they hit the distant snow covered peaks of the Kanchenjunga peak.

On a really clear day you may even see the breathtaking view of Mt Everest. Not just known for great views during sunrise; it’s the perfect place to soak in the Himalayan bliss anytime during the day. Read More

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[Also Read Best Places to go for Honeymoon in North East India]

Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is a pilgrimage for all climbing enthusiasts. Adventure lovers from all over the world, wishing to scale the heights of Mt. Kanchenjunga cannot miss a visit. The institute in essence is an inspiration to trek some of the highest mountain peaks in the world. Be it nature lovers, adventure junkies, or any visitor, this is a popular tourist attraction in Darjeeling.

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was established to honor the feat of two famous mountaineers, Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary after they climbed the Everest in 1953. Moreover, the well-stocked museum awes the visitors with mountaineering displays and many expedition artifacts. Your love for the mountains multiplies here. Read More

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Explore colonial connections

The Britishers residing in India had fallen in love with the scenic charm of Darjeeling. While tracing the colonial roots in Darjeeling, sample the elegant 19th century lifestyle at the Windamere Hotel or the Glenburn Tea estate.

These beautiful building are full of colonial memorabilia. Enjoy a luxury stay here. Packed full with old photos, works of art and antique furniture, you can get lost in memories. Enjoy the remembrance of the bygone era, staying in the languid comforts of a colonial style accommodation.

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All aboard the Joy Ride ‘Toy Train’

Darjeeling is known all over the world for its scenic beauty and the impressive mountain railway. A marvel of engineering and architecture, the narrow gauge line runs the “Toy Train” named as a UNESCO World heritage site.

Although the train ride is more of a way to arrive to the hill town, to summarize it is an experience of a lifetime.  The Toy Train Ride definitely rates as one of the top things to do in Darjeeling.

The Darjeeling railway is recognized by UNESCO to be “the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway” in the world. You certainly should not miss a ride. As you aboard the Toy Train, experience a languid ride enjoying wonderful views.

The ancient steam train hoots, hisses, and chug-a-lugs it is way around the mountain. The train takes a half-day return journey from Darjeeling to Ghoom. Tickets cost 360 INR and include entry to the railway museum in Ghoom. The ride on the toy Train is one of the favorite activities in Darjeeling. you can plan your Sikkim Darjeeling Tour Packages with Indian Holiday with customized Itinerary.

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[Plan your Tour to Darjeeling with these tastefully crafted packages]

Discover roots of Tibet

Ghum Monastery

Darjeeling has an intriguing connection with Tibet. In 1959, after the self-exile of the Dalai Lama and the mass exodus of co-patriots, India became an important center for Tibet. Since then, the Tibetan Self Help Refugee Center in Darjeeling has evolved into one of the most important hubs of the Tibetan community. Learn about the amiable folk, their struggles along with their charming arts and crafts.

Buddhist monasteries, in this part of the Himalayas, are also worth exploring. The must-see Tibetan relic in Darjeeling is the beautiful Bhutia Busty Gompa. It is also home to the original copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Snuggled under the watchful eye of Kanchenjunga, the monastery is a treasure waiting to be unrevealed. The Ghum Monastery is also magnificent. Spend a day in the blessed spiritual ambiance.

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[Check Out Top 10 Buddhist Monasteries in India]

Where the wild things are at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Darjeeling houses a beautiful treasure known as the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. This zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered Himalayan species. Visitors are left in awe of the inhabitants of the zoo.

Built on the mountainside, the hilly landscapes copy the inhabitants’ natural habitat. Look for red pandas, Tibetan wolves, Himalayan black bears, the beautiful clouded leopard and other big cats. The natural setting helps the species of north eastern Himalayas survive without difficulty.

Set within the same premises of the zoo, there is a Mountain Institute. It is a training center for mountaineering. It also houses a museum. One admission ticket covers both attractions. Both remain open daily from 8am to 4pm. Read More

Explore Paradisical beauty Darjeeling Kalimpong Gangtok package

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Trek the Darjeeling Observatory Hill & Mahakal Temple

Mahakal Temple, Darjeeling

Darjeeling hosts a multitude of lookouts opening to the northeast Himalayas. The Darjeeling Observatory hill is a scenic location to enjoy the blissful views of the valleys. It is a short trek from the town. Get away for a few hours, to enjoy the serene views and ambiance.

A little further, originally where the Bhutia Busty Gompa stood, stands a revered Hindu Mahakal temple. The area holds significance to both religions. As the mystical hill rings with the sound of temple bells, feel the connection with the divine. Sit in the midst of the fluttering prayer flags, but watch out for groups of disorderly monkeys who have made it their home.

Turn Your Dream Holiday Into a Reality with Darjeeling Gangtok Tour Packages

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A thrilling ride on Darjeeling Ropeway

The spectacular views of Darjeeling have spellbound you but for a further delightful experience, try out a ride on Darjeeling Ropeway. The Rangeet Valley Passenger Cable Car is one of the best ways to experience the panoramic views that the hill station of North East India is so famous for.

The ropeway also called the Rangeet Valley Cable Car offers a spectacular view of the valley around the river Rangeet. Board the cable car from Singamari. The last station of the cable car is at the Singla Bazar. As you ride the cable car, you will travel from an altitude of about 7,000 ft. (or 2134m) down to 800 ft. (or 244m) in about 45 minutes. Read More

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Sit on Darjeeling Chowrasta

Darjeeling Chowrasta is the center of the town. Located on top of Nehru Road, it is a nice hangout. Tourists and locals come to lounge in the sun, watch people, and watch wonderful views of mountain peaks and valleys.

Walk towards the Darjeeling Chowrasta as the sun sets. The Chowrasta is surrounded with quaint shops and brightly lit restaurants. Also, savor the regional delicacies in local food joints and restaurants.

In addition, enjoy the horse (pony) rides. You can also pick up attractive artifacts and colorful souvenirs. After a busy day, spend a relaxing evening here. In spite of how weary you are, you will be refreshed. In fact, it will be your favorite thing to do in Darjeeling.

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Visit the Peace Pagoda

Darjeeling hosts a Peace Pagoda. One of only 30 shrines of its kind in the world, the pagoda is a must-visit site in the town. Not only is the monument spectacular, but the views are also beyond words. Built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Japanese Buddhist monk, the Peace Pagoda oozes spirituality and steps perfectly in the serene ambiance of the hill station.

The Peace Pagoda was built for the purpose to promote peace. The divine site allows a uniting space in the search for world peace. It is the perfect place to escape the busy schedules and experience a spiritual connection. Read More

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Shopping in Darjeeling

Darjeeling never runs out of things to do. Even shopping here is really fun. From the local-favorite Chowk Bazaar to the tourist haunt of Mall Road, there are many places where you can go shopping. Moreover, a delight for every kind of shopper, these markets are also dotted with small eateries to satisfy your hunger while shopping.

Also, check out some treasures from artificial jewelry, handicrafts, woolen clothing, and kitchenware to all kinds of knick-knacks. The Handicrafts, prayer flags and the tea, especially can be brought home as fond remembrances of the hill town.

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Fresh air of the mountains at the Batasia Loop

A short distance from Darjeeling, lying en route to the Toy Train, the Batasia Loop is one of the must-visit attractions to check out. Enjoy the breathtaking panorama of mountains from all angles. Savor the majestic views of Mt Kanchendzonga and the Eastern Himalayas.

The Loop was built to navigate the steep descent of the mountain railway. Marvel at the engineering feat which also has a mountain garden. Enjoy the view of a toy train chugging down the slope making a 360-degree loop here. Right in the center of the gardens, rests a War Memorial dedicated to the Gorkha Soldiers. The serene location with incredible views is a good place to check out in the hill station.

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Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center

Handicrafts and clothing, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center

The Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center in Darjeeling is one of the places to check out for those interested in the lives of the Tibetans in exile. At the Tibetan Center explore some treasures made by skillful artisans.

From handicrafts, metal-making, jewelry designing, and thangkas (Tibetan cloth paintings), there are many skills the artisans present. The most well-known is carpet weaving. For gorgeous Tibetan carpets, this is the best place in the hill station. You can order one rare piece to warm your home. The exquisite skill is worth praise. Put one to your name, if you don’t mind waiting six months for one to be made. If not for purchase, the skill of the carpet weaves must be seen the person. Read More

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River Rafting in the Teesta River

The Queen of Hills, Darjeeling is getting increasingly popular for several sports. Particularly, the White Water Rafting in the Teesta River is becoming a thrilling adventure to be tried. Gushing down the mountains, the foaming white water stretches with varying rapids. It is excellent for rafting for both beginners and also seasoned rafters. Combine rafting with camping beside the Teesta River for the best experience.

The River Teesta offers exciting river rafting opportunities all around the year. Avoid the monsoon season, roughly months from July to September. The best time is between December to June. But during winter, the water can be ice cold. Meanwhile, March to June is the peak season.

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Happy Valley Tea Estate

Want to know what really goes into your cup of tea? With this in mind, visit Darjeeling’s second oldest tea estate, Happy Valley Tea Estate. The scenic tea garden spread over 437 acres of land, is one of the world’s highest tea factories.

A massive workforce of more than 1,500 employees works here. Positioned at 6,800 feet above sea level, 3 km from the town it is an experience you must not miss out on. The serene location grows not just the finest tea but offers a treat truly remarkable sights of The North East Himalayas.

Plan a full day outing and enhance your knowledge of the tea industry. The Happy valley tea estate produces some of the finest quality of luxurious hand-rolled tea. Moreover, for this reason, Darjeeling is internationally famous its organic farming. When in Darjeeling you cannot miss a visit. Sample the tea and don’t forget to bring home some. Read More

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[Also check out top 10 best tea plantations in India]

Treat yourself to Hasty Tasty

Darjeeling has many lavish eateries, restaurants, and food joints. However, Hasty Tasty is a treat for all the foodies visiting the hill station. Packed from the minute it opens, this strictly vegetarian cafeteria, by all means, delivers fast, delicious food. The specialties of the hill town feature on the menu. The highlight of grabbing a seat here is to view uninterruptedly gaze across the valley at Kanchendzonga.

In addition, the charming ambiance simply captures your heart.

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Support the women

Darjeeling is full of hardworking women folk. While holidaying in the hill station, take the initiative to help the women out. Visit the Hayden Hall with the intention of helping women.  You can volunteer a few hours for education and training. In addition, you can see them at work. These amiable folks have some interesting stories to tell.

Also, lend your support by buying something from the shop. The hand-woven carpets and bags, or knitted hats and socks are beautiful, and your money goes into empowering the women.

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Get a Tattoo

Wondering why we have this on our list of things to do in Darjeeling? Well, getting a Tattoo in Darjeeling is an experience unlike another. Unlike other places in India, the body art here is crafted uniquely. With a hippie essence coupled with Buddhism imagery being a significant part, the creation is in fact inimitable. Get yourself inked with some inspirational quotes or some inspiring image of Lord Buddha meditating.

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Gateway to the North Eastern Himalayas

The secret pleasures of the North Eastern Himalayas, in fact, are only explored with a leisurely holiday in Darjeeling. The hill station can be put up as a base while you plan out tours to the breathtaking northeastern states. Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Tripura have many unexplored treasures. Set your base at Darjeeling and go exploring. In other words, the mountain shall ensnare your hearts. Go wander lusting in the mountains!

Conclusion

Darjeeling is an amazing tourist destination where you can visit with your loved ones and partake in outdoor activities. Now, you have a list of popular activities in Darjeeling that can make your trip memorable. Plan a trip to Darjeeling with your family, spouse, and kids to enjoy the time of your life. You can book a Darjeeling tour package with us, which is customizable and modify it according to your requirements. Contact our travel experts for more information and to book a tour with us!

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[Also check out 26 things to do in North East India or explore packages to plan your trip]

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Debashree Chakraborty

A travel writer by profession and self-professed addict to literature and travelling. Go through her penned down travel experiences on indianholiday.com

Comments ( 3 )
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  • Farheen

    so amazing. Keep publishing such great content. Keep writing and sharing your thoughts with us.

  • Ruma Dey Baidya

    Hi Debashree,

    Just finished your beautifully-written Rendezvous with Darjeeling.

    Thanks
    Ruma Dey Baidya

    • Debashree Chakraborty

      Hey Ruma,

      Thank you for your kind words. Follow our blog for more information on India Travel and tourism.