How to Spend 3 Days in Darjeeling
With three days in Darjeeling, you'll be able to check off many of the city's most popular attractions and still have time left over to go trekking or do some sightseeing in the surrounding area. Here's how to make the most of three days in Darjeeling.
Day 1: Tiger Hill and Tea
Start your Darjeeling experience off bright and early with a visit to Tiger Hill, a popular vista point just outside the city that’s best known for its sunrise views over the Himalayan Mountains. Sunrise tours generally also include a stop at the nearby Ghum Monastery plus round-trip transfers from your Darjeeling hotel. Many visitors come to Darjeeling because of its tea heritage, and visiting a tea plantation is a quintessential part of any visit to the city. Many area plantations offer guided visits that cover the entire tea-production process, from field to cup. As plantations are often on the outskirts of town, tours that include transportation from your hotel are a hassle-free way to visit.
Day 2: The Toy Train and the Peace Pagoda
On your second day, take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, aka the "toy train," a narrow-gauge train that zigzags all the way up to the highest railway station in India, at Ghum. If you take the morning departure, you can spend the afternoon visiting some of the city's religious sites, including the popular Japanese Peace Pagoda, which features a series of sculptures depicting the life of the Buddha. You can go one-way or round-trip, but be sure to book your seats in advance, as this popular activity can sell out. Consider rounding off the day with a culinary experience in the home of a local family. You’ll learn firsthand about life in Darjeeling while sitting down to a delicious, home-cooked meal.
Day 3: Day Trip from Darjeeling
On your final day, take advantage of Darjeeling’s unique location in the foothills of the Himalayas on a scenic day trip. Active travelers might want to consider a day hike with a local guide; one popular route runs from Maneybhanjang near Darjeeling all the way up to the 9,840-foot-high (3,000-meter-high) peak of Tonglu, in Singalila National Park. The region also offers plenty of areas for mountain biking and wildlife spotting, particularly in Sinchel Wildlife Sanctuary, just east of town. Alternatively, head to the nearby town of Kalimpong to visit temples, monasteries, hillside overlooks, and even plant nurseries.