Darjeeling Travel Guide

Darjeeling, known as the Queen of Hills is the most popular hill station in West Bengal with major attractions being the the local tea estates and toy trains operated by DHR which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Darjeeling weather is pleasant in summers & chilled in winters.

Also check our Darjeeling BLOG.

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Also see North Bengal Homestays.

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How to get to Darjeeling ?

By air: The nearest Airport is Bagdogra, you’ll get buses, trains to Siliguri town from where you’ll get shared sumos and NBSTC buses upto Darjeeling. Train timings between Bagdogra & Siliguri are given below

By train: The nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri Jn (NJP) & Siliguri Jn, from where trains are available to rest of the country. From NJP & Siliguri, you’ll get shared sumos or NBSTC buses upto Darjeeling.

There are a lot of trains from Kolkata to NJP/Siliguri Jn., with Tourist Special trains arranged during peak season, most famous being the Darjeeling Mail. You can book your tickets here or from IRCTC app. Click on links below for details of the train:

You can also take a ride in the narrow gauge toy train from NJP to Darjeeling operated by DHR which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A single train leaves every day at 10:00 from NJP Jn. towards Darjeeling and 08:00 from Darjeeling towards NJP/Siliguri and takes around 7 hrs to reach. It is advised to book your tickets beforehand as they’re always in demand. You can book your tickets here or from IRCTC app. Click on links below for details of the train:

Darjeeling Railway Station
Darjeeling Railway Station

By road: You can take a night VOLVO, AC, Non AC bus from Kolkata to Siliguri which will reach by morning. From Siliguri take a NBSTC bus or shared sumo to Darjeeling. If you want to reserve a car, check with the plenty of tour operators available in NJP and Siliguri or can check here for some car hire contact numbers.

Top 20 Attractions of Darjeeling

Happy Valley Tea Estate
  • Happy Valley Tea Estate – Spread over a huge area, you are recommended to take the factory tour conducted by them where they show you the step-by-step process that takes place in tea manufacturing process from plucking the tea leaves to packing of the tea. At last, they give you to taste hot tea of various kinds. My favourite were Rose Tea & Tulsi Tea. It’s better to enquire timings & days of factory tours. They have a shop where you can buy tea & other souvenirs. Entry Fees Rs. 100
Batasia Loop Darjeeling
  • Batasia Loop Darjeeling – This along with many other loops built for DHR to avoid steep hill climb. The centre of the loop is well decorated with garden & gives a beautiful view of Darjeeling town & surroundings, and on a clear day a stunning view of Mt. Kanchanjunga peak. It also has a war memorial in the centre of the loop dedicated to the Gorkhas who had laid their lives for the nation. It is very good place for hanging around. Photographers get ready with their cameras when they hear the whistle of the toy train to get the perfect shot of the train circling the loop.
Darjeeling Toy Train
  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train Ride – Get all toy train information here.
Nightangle Park
  • Nightangle Park – This park is famous among young crowds & lovebirds. Ideal for an evening visit to spend some leisure time
Tiger Hill Sunrise Observatory
  • Tiger Hill Sunrise Observatory – Tourists start visiting this place as early from 4 am to watch the beautiful sunrise & the golden sunlight falling on Kanchanjunga Peak.
  • Darjeeling Ropeway – The ropeway passes over tea estates & valleys & offers breathtaking views from above. But during peak season, there is a long queue each separate for tickets & boarding & may take hours to finally get to ride. Tourists also arrive hours before the ropeway starts operation in the morning to avoid the queue.
Tenzing Norgay Statue in Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
  • Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Museum – This museum displays clothes, equipments, gears, boots, etc. used by mountaineers from all over the world including Tenzing Norgay, Edmund Hillary to climb Mt. Everest & several other Himalayan peaks & their stories of surviving in harsh conditions & deaths. There is an indoor rock climbing which you can do for Rs. 30 each(most probably).
Darjeeling Peace Pagoda
  • Japanese Buddhist Temple & Peace Pagoda – The Pagoda is situated in the backdrop of lush green Pine Forest on one side & beautiful view of Darjeeling town on the other.
Lamahatta Eco Park
  • Lamahatta Eco Park – Situated 20 kms off Darjeeling, this park with lush green Pine Forest in the backdrop and a small trek to the top of the hill where there’s a pond in the middle of the Pine Forest. There are a lot of small trails leading to more dense forests.
Royal Bengal Tiger in Darjeeling Zoo
  • Zoo & Bengal Natural History Museum – The huge sloping zoo features many animals including red panda, royal bengal tiger, etc. Inside the Zoo premises is the BNH Museum. It showcases animal skin, skulls, heads, horns, preserved body of animals, birds, insects, etc.

Other attractions: Batasia Loop Darjeeling, Ghoom Monastery, Barbotey Rock Garden, Bhutia Busty Monastery, Dali Monastery, Lloyd Botanical Garden, Himalayan Tibet Museum, Observatory Hill View Point, Darjeeling Mall(hangout in evening).

Also see Weekend Getaways from Kolkata

Must do in Darjeeling

  • Take a guided tea factory tour in Happy Valley Tea Estate(enquire day & timings beforehand) & buy tea from there. Should try the Tulsi Tea & Rose Tea.
  • Take the 7 hr. long DHR toy train(UNESCO World Heritage Site) ride from New Jalpaiguri Jn or Siliguri Jn to Darjeeling. If not, at least take the Joy Ride From Darjeeling to Ghum & back.
  • Hop in to the Oxford Book Store situated right on Mall Chowrasta Ground. It has a large collection of local books including books from Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan, North East, etc. which you usually won’t get in other city book stores.
  • Take the Chatakpur Cycling Trail (which I couldn’t do due to guide issues)
  • Try their local food which is influenced by Tibetan & Nepali Cuisine mainly. See eateries to try out.


Shared sumos and cabs are the main source of transportation. You’ll get shared sumos to Siliguri, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Mirik, Takdah, etc. You can reserve them for your convenience. Few local bus plies to and from Darjeeling to adjoining areas, some of the routes I have been stated below:

Darjeeling Bus Stand
Darjeeling Bus Stand

Buses from Darjeeling to

  • Siliguri NBSTC via Kurseong, Ghoom
  • Siliguri NBSTC via Mirik, Lepchajagat, Sukhia Pokhri, Ghoom
  • Takdah via Ghoom, 6th Mile
  • Teesta Valley via Ghoom, 6th mile
  • Dhajae via Ghoom, Nagri
  • Bijanbari via Ghoom
  • Pukhriabong via Ghoom
  • Kainjalay via Ghoom, Lepchajagat, Sukhia Pokhri, Manebhanjan, Dhotrey
  • Mungpoo via Ghoom

Car and bicycle hires

  • You can reserve cars from NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri to Darjeeling drop and local sightseeing. You’ll find many tour operator offices just outside NJP station, Siliguri Bus Stand, etc. and can book from them. You can also find here some contacts for car hires.
  • You can hire cars for pick and drop, local sightseeing from North East Cabs, you can check their details here.
  • There are a number of bicycle rentals stores across Darjeeling, you can hire from them to go around. The hostel(Hideout Backpackers Hostel) where I stayed rented bikes to its guests for a certain fee. Also you can do the famous Chatakpur Cycling Trail which will take you through dense forests. The trail closes during monsoon.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railways / Darjeeling Toy Train

DHR operates a single train from Darjeeling to NJP, a passenger train to Kurseong, and 9 joyride circular tours from Darjeeling. Frequency, timings and fares may change depending on tourist demand, etc.

  • Bookings – You can book your tickets from IRCTC app, IRCTC website or from reservation counters in Railway stations in the same way normal reserved train tickets are booked. Train fare depends on tourist demand.
  • Toilets – The trip from NJP to Darjeeling takes around 7 hrs. and the train don’t have any toilets. Most of the stations have toilets but the train doesn’t stop for enough time for you to go and use it, so it can be risky. In emergency, you may request your coach attendent or TTE to stop the train in stations for a while for you to use the washroom. However, in Kurseong and Tindharia, the train stops for a while, so you can use the washroom there without any hurry.
  • Lunch – Pre ordered lunch is served in packets in Tindharia station. You can ask your coach attendent or TTE where and when to order. Usually, they take the orders few stations before Tindharia. You can have your food inside the train. However, there were many passengers observed having the food and throwing the packets outside the window in roads or in front of other people’s houses. If you take food packets, it’s a request to keep the leftovers with you under the seats and throw them in dustbins in the next stations.

DHR Joy Rides (Darjeeling – Batasia Loop – Ghum – Darjeeling)

The joy ride train leaves from Darjeeling, stops at the beautiful Batasia Loop for 10 mins., again stops 30 mins. in Ghum to go around Ghum Museum and comes back to Darjeeling. Train are pulled by either steam engine or diesel engine. Steam engine rides are expensive. Fares change according to tourist demand. Special trains for joy rides are arranged according to tourist demand and timings are mentioned at the reservation counter & changes very often. The schedules are as follows:

  • Steam Engine: 09:40, 10:00, 12:10, 12:20, 16:05, 16:10.
  • Diesel Engine: 10:10, 12:45, 16:20.
Darjeeling Toy Train Timetable from Darjeeling Railway Station
DHR timetable from Darjeeling Railway Station

Food Joints to try out in Darjeeling

  • Margaret’s Deck – This place falls on way from Siliguri to Darjeeling, so you can grab some sandwich, sausages, tea, etc. from here.
  • Glenary’s – Operating since British era; Bakery and cafe at basement – Famous for snacks, cakes, pastries, pies, crossiont, donuts, cookies, breads, etc. and a restaurant at 1st floor.
  • Kunga Restaurant – Famous for Momo, Thukpa, Bamboo Chicken, Thenthuk.
  • Keventers – Famous for its hot chocolate, drumstick, chicken/pork platter, sausage, salami, ham burger, etc. Take a table on its terrace.
  • Nathmulls – Drink & buy Darjeeling tea.
  • Hasty Tasty – Thali, chat, etc.
  • Penang Restaurant – Nepali Thali, local cuisine.

Also check our Darjeeling BLOG.

Darjeeling Hotels

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Accommodations are categorized in upper range, middle range, lower range, homestays. Distances mentioned are distance of the accommodation from Darjeeling Mall area, m=metres, kms=kilometres. For Darjeeling surrounding village homestay details check here. Book your homestays from Homestay.com

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Backpacking Hostel

Tea Estate Accommodations

Upper Range

Middle Range

Lower Range


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You can also book your homestays from Homestay.com. For homestay details of surrounding villages of Darjeeling, check my post “North Bengal Homestays“.


Bad experience in accommodations by guests

  • Hotel Binapani
  • Darjeeling Heights Homestay


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