How to Spend 1 Day in Darjeeling
If you’re willing to wake up early, you can pack a lot into just one day in Darjeeling. You’ll have time to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas, learn all about tea production, and spend time immersing yourself in Indian culture. Here’s how to make the most out of 24 hours in Darjeeling.
Morning: Tiger Hill and Around
Start your day in Darjeeling bright and early with a trip up to nearby Tiger Hill to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas. Because of the hill's position, you can see select peaks illuminated by the early morning sun, and on clear days, Mount Everest is visible. Most visitors come here on private tours that include predawn hotel pickups and return transfers. Some tours also include postsunrise visits to the nearby Ghum Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, followed by a stop to look at the Batasia Loop, a spiral railway designed to make getting up the steep hill below Ghum more manageable.
Afternoon: Darjeeling Tea
Darjeeling is known the world over for its fine teas, and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the tea-production process at one of the area's many tea estates. Tours generally start with visits to tea fields, followed by the chance to learn about how tea leaves are processed; some even allow visitors to look right out on the factory floor. Tea tours typically wrap up with tea-tasting opportunities. While some plantations allow walk-in visitors, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by prebooking a tea tour, which includes round-trip transportation from your Darjeeling hotel.
Evening: Dine with Locals
While Darjeeling is full of restaurants serving up fresh Indian and Tibetan fare, for something a bit more culturally immersive, consider spending your last night in town attending a cooking demonstration or dinner in the home of a local family. These experiences are popular throughout India, and though they vary quite a bit depending on your hosts, more often than not they include the chance to learn about what goes into making a (usually vegetarian) North Indian meal. You’ll also get the chance to learn about life in Darjeeling from locals and maybe even get some insider tips on off-the-beaten path spots to visit.