Gangtok Tourism and Travel Guide

Very few places in the world have a charm that never fades but only gets better with time, like fine wine. And Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim in Northeast India, is one of the finest examples of such places. Deriving its name from the Tibetan word for 'hillside’, and sitting at 1,600 metres above the sea level, Gangtok is a remarkable blend of natural beauty, modernity, culture and tradition. Gangtok tourism promises an experience to remember with this gorgeous hill town that lies parallel to a mountain ridge on the slope of a hill and is home to scenic viewpoints that open to lush green valleys that look beautiful as ever. The most prominent example of natural beauty that Gangtok tourism is blessed with are the views of the snow-clad Khangchendzonga peak. On a clear sunny day, this view can beat any skyline in the world! The buzz at the famous MG Marg, the peaceful environs of the Rumtek and Enchey monasteries, the healing touch of Yumthang Valley, the amalgam of history and culture at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and, of course, the local food that can leave a lasting impression on you are some of many experiences that Gangtok tourism has in store for travellers. Being the capital city, this town welcomes tourists not just with its mind-blowing natural beauty but also with all possible modern amenities. Accommodation facilities are available in a wide range of prices and a variety of eateries that serve cuisine for all tastes. For those who always spare a day or two during their holidays to enjoy nightlife and shopping, Gangtok tourism has those spectacular shopping complexes, night clubs, and pool parlours where tourists make memories by gelling with like-minded people and buying souvenirs. Also, Gangtok tourism boasts of being home to one of the cleanest cities in the country. The city is well-organised and beautifully-maintained with great road and air connectivity with the rest of the cities and towns nearby. If you are planning to visit Gangtok anytime soon, don’t skip this comprehensive Gangtok travel guide which not only gives the tourists an opportunity to know the place before they visit but also gives them a fair idea about what to do, what not to do, where can you have some adventure, where to visit if you want to delve into the history and culture of Gangtok, best places of attraction in Gangtok, accommodation as per their budget, including the Gangtok tourism hotels, best restaurants to enjoy food, and what not! Besides, Gangtok tourism also makes sure that strict rules are in place to prevent tourists from being cheated by miscreants, if any.
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Hotels and Homestays in Gangtok

Best Time To Visit Gangtok

With stunning views of the Himalayan peaks covered in snowmaking for gorgeous backdrops, Gangtok is a great place to enjoy a holiday. However, it is imperative that you refer to some Gangtok travel guide so that you know climatic conditions of Gangtok and when is the best time to visit Gangtok. The weather in Gangtok usually remains cool and pleasant for the most part of the year, but if you want to experience the best of Gangtok tourism, then you should visit Gangtok when the tourist season is at its peak. And even though many Gangtok tour guides suggest that it is a year-round destination, there are months when a huge number of tourists flock to this hilltown.

 

The best time to visit Gangtok is during the summer months between April and June and during the winter season from October to March when the temperatures plummet to as low as 4°C. Gangtok tourism witnesses the maximum number of travellers during the winter as the weather in these months is dry and cool, and therefore perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, paragliding, trekking, and many more activities. Planning a holiday in Gangtok during these months of the year makes for one of the best experiences that can take you away from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

 

However, it is to be kept in mind that Gangtok tourism is not as popular an option among tourists during monsoon when it receives heavy rains, which are often followed by landslides. Therefore, monsoon months are not considered an ideal time to visit Gangtok. As you might have guessed by now, this is the time when very few tourists consider exploring Gangtok tourism. Nevertheless, this can be a perfect time to witness the beauty of Gangtok during Monsoon at unbelievably pocket-friendly prices as the best hotels and hostels in Gangtok are available for booking at very nominal prices.

Top Attractions In Gangtok

Just like any other Himalayan region, Gangtok tourism is also majorly known for stunning views of the surrounding landscape which comprises valleys, hills, forests and rivers. Following are some of the top attractions in and around Gangtok:

 

Lake Tsomgo 

It is a scenic high-altitude lake located around 40 km from Gangtok at an elevation of around 3,780 metres. When you plan to visit Lake Tsomgo, don’t miss out on visiting Hanuman Tok and Ganesh Tok, the prominent Hindu temples on the way with views of the imposing yet beautiful Mt Kanchenjunga. You can also visit Enchey Monastery, a 200-year-old monastery located above Gangtok, just off the road to Lake Tsomgo.

 

Rumtek Monastery and Ranka Monastery

Rumtek Monastery is about 15 km from Gangtok and is one of the most famous places of attraction in Gangtok tourism. Ranka Monastery, on the other hand, is about 20 km from Gangtok and is comparatively newer, peaceful and also very beautiful. There is Kanchenjunga Tourist Complex, a combination of hotel and family amusement park, located very close to Ranka Monastery.

 

Mahatma Gandhi Marg (MG Marg)

Do you love exploring places on foot more than sitting in the backseat of a car and looking out of the window? If yes, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, also known as MG Marg, is one of the best options in Gangtok tourism. It’s a vehicle-free avenue located right at the heart of the main shopping district. A lot of tourists and even locals can be seen taking walks here. It’s quite close to the tourist information office and a taxi stand making it even easier for the tourists to reach this avenue and get the required information about nearby places to visit.

 

Nathula Pass

It’s a high-altitude mountain pass located around 56 km from Gangtok in the Eastern Himalayas at an altitude of approximately 14,450 feet. One of the highest passes that Gangtok tourism is known for, Nathula is one of the three open borders for trade between India and China. The picturesque beauty surrounding the pass can be accessed from Gangtok for almost the whole year. The famous pilgrimage of Kailash Mansarovar passes from Nathula Pass and takes the pilgrims to China-occupied Tibet.

 

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Pick any Gangtok tour guide and you’ll find this name in almost all of them. Located in Deorali, which is less than 2 kilometres from the main town of Gangtok, sitting amid a forest of birch trees, oak and magnolia, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is one of the top tourist attractions. Tourists, especially history lovers and minimalists who are in the city to explore the best of Gangtok tourism, should just not miss this place.

 

Tashi View Point

What’s Gangtok tourism without its stunning viewpoints? Located in Tashi, about 8 km from Gangtok, Tashi View Point offers panoramic views of snow-clad Mt Kanchenjunga peak on a sunny day. Reach this place before sunrise and you will experience how the mountain dazzles you with the changing shades of sunlight. If you gaze in the opposite direction, you will be able to see the Labrang and Phodong monasteries.

Activities And Things To Do In Gangtok

 

Stroll at the MG Marg

There are very few places in this world where you won’t get bored even if your camera or phone battery dies, and one such place is MG Marg in Gangtok. It is the city's social-commercial hub that is lined with restaurants, hotels, travel agents, and wanderers walking leisurely. A simple walk at this pedestrian-only avenue lets you enjoy the stunning scenic views that surround this place. In fact, it won’t be an overstatement if we say that it’s one of those places in Gangtok tourism where you won’t feel the need to get intoxicated, for the scenic views and vibe of the city are enough to leave you spellbound.

 

Go shopping

It goes without saying that you wouldn’t want to return home without getting some Gangtok tourism souvenirs for your loved ones back home. Apart from all the handicrafts, knick-knacks,  and cool local accessories that may catch your eye at the shops in Gangtok, don’t forget to buy yourself the local fruit squash, alpine cheese, Temi Tea and Maha Gurudev Tea.

 

Raise a toast

If you are someone who loves the idea of lightening things up while holidaying, zeroing in on Gangtok tourism for your next holiday is the right choice. Gangtok, besides being home to awe-striking natural beauty and places of cultural attraction, is also known for its liberal lifestyle, which comes as a great news for the travellers who love partying after spending the day sigh-seeing. Go drinking at the famous Pub 25, an upscale pub located at MG Road offers a great collection of drinks, delicious food, and an amazing ambience. 

Besides, you can also try the Taste of Tibet, another restobar serving Tibetan food, thupkas, gyathuk and thentuk.

Don’t enjoy drinking and can’t find any options for yourself in any of the Gangtok travel guides? Well, you may as well like to have some coffee in the hilltown of Gangtok! Cafe Tibet, on the way up towards the Zero point, is a small cafe run by a Tibetan native that serves awesome coffee.

 

Yak Safari

Yak safari is another unmissable experience of Gangtok tourism which promises to excite children and adults both. Make sure you hold on tightly to the hump and enjoy the yak ride. It is an awesome experience to tour the city while riding a Yak. And don’t worry, the yak won’t mind if you click a picture or two with it. If you face difficulty finding a perfect yak safari, you can opt for the most suitable Gangtok tours and travels which include a suitable yak safari package. Guess what, you can also go for a Yak ride near the gorgeous Tsomgo Lake can only accentuate your Gangtok tourism experience.

 

Gangtok Ropeway

Ropeways are an integral part of Gangtok tourism. Some of the best places to visit in Gangtok can be accessed from the ropeway route which starts from Deorali Bazaar, stopping once at Nam Nam, and then moves on to its final destination Tashiling. However, the most exciting part is the unrestricted views of Gangtok city and the surrounding region from up above. Not just the cityscape of Gangtok tourism, even the grandeur of the imposing Kanchenjunga peak can be witnessed from the ropeway.

 

Adventure sports

Adventure and Gangtok tourism always go hand in hand. When exploring Gangtok, you can indulge in various adventure activities including cycling around the city, going for river rafting in Teesta river, or book a suitable Gangtok tours and travels camping package which includes camping, river rafting, bonfire, meals, stay, and transfers. If this doesn’t satiate the adventurer in you, then you can always go for other adventure activities offered by Gangtok tourism such as paragliding, hiking and trekking.

 

Be a part of major festivals in Sikkim

When it comes to celebrations and festivities, Gangtok tourism is as good as the rest of the states in the country. In fact, Gangtok tourism boasts of organising festivals that engage locals and international tourists alike. So when you’re in Gangtok, just keep track of any ongoing festivals like the International Flower Festival, Losoong Festival, Bumchu Festival, Maghe Sankranti Mela and more.



Where To Stay In Gangtok

The kind of popularity that Gangtok tourism enjoys among the travellers, there is no surprise that it is home to some opulent resorts, luxurious hotels, cosy homestays, and budget-friendly hostels as well. This means that Gangtok tourism has everything that tourists can expect from the accommodation as per their budget. It completely depends on when and how you travel. Let's take a look at some of the accommodation options that are part of Gangtok tourism.

 

Luxurious hotels in Gangtok:

If you are looking for luxurious experience from your Gangtok tourism tour plan, the main market and high-end hotels near MG Marg are your best bet. These comfy accommodations include Gangtok tourism hotels that are specially designed for travellers who prioritise comfort in their lives. Let's take a look at some of the best resorts that are part of Greece tourism.

 

  • Hotel GreenDave, MG Road
  • Mayfair Gangtok Spa Resort & Casino
  • 3 The Nor-Khill, Paljor Stadium Rd
  • 4 Teen Taley Eco Garden Resort, Rumtek

 

Mid-budget hotels in Greece

When it comes to exploring Gangtok tourism, most travellers prefer mid-budget accommodations as it allows greater flexibility and a wide range of experiences when it comes to mixing with locals. You can enjoy a plethora of activities and comfortable stays if you choose your Gangtok tours and travels in advance and travel when it’s not the peak season. Here are some mid-budget hotels that are part of Gangtok tourism.

 

  • Bamboo Grove Retreat, Bamboo Grove, Kazi Road
  • Hotel Delamare, Church Road
  • Hotel Golden nest & Hotel Hill View
  • Hotel Rigwa International Living Complex, M.G. Marg
  • Hotel Tibet, Paljor Stadium Road
  • Sonam Delek, Tibet Road

 

Budget hotels and hostels in Greece

Is there anything more enticing than the idea of exploring Gangtok tourism comprehensively at a very budget-friendly cost? Not really. And luckily, Gangtok happens to be that destination which embraces backpackers and budget travellers as warmly as it does to the luxury travellers. There are ample hotels and hostels that provide more than decent accommodation facilities at very basic prices. If you also want to get the best out of Gangtok tourism in budget, all you need to do is do your research and plan well while preparing your itinerary. And don’t forget to check out the following budget accommodations in Gangtok:

 

  • Modern Central Lodge, MG Marg
  • Green Hotel, MG Marg
  • Hotel Nirvana, Namang Road
  • Hotel Pandim, Mall Road
  • 2 Hotel Sonali International

 

Some of the best hostels that are part of Gangtok tourism are:

  • Zostel Gangtok
  • Go Hills Hostel
  • Backpacker's Den
  • Tag Along Backpackers
  • Hostel Sumpurna

Cuisine & Best Places to Eat In Gangtok

Any Gangtok tourism experience cannot be complete without tasting Gangtok cuisines that cater to the taste buds of every tourist. Such is the popularity of Gangtok’s local food that many tourists travel to this place only to enjoy the authentic local cuisine. The food in Gangtok comprises of Indian, Chinese and Tibetian cuisines. This means that the tourists just cannot resist the special food of Gangtok tourism including Momos, Thukpa, Wonton, Gyathuk, Thenthuk and many more.

 

Gangtok is also known for exotic tea and coffee flavours, authentic soups, and a local alcoholic beverage called chang. Though the list of delicious local foods in Gangtok is too long, here we are with some of the must-try local dishes in Gangtok :

 

Dimsums

Dimsum, also known as momo, is a form of hot, steamed stuffing comprising vegetables, cheese, and crumbled meat layered by dough. It is usually served with hot soup and chilli sauce. Such is the popularity of this gem of a dish from Gangtok tourism that is served with as much love throughout the country

 

Thukpa

This is one of the most filling Tibetan dishes made popular by Gangtok tourism. Thukpa is majorly a thick soup mixed with meat chunks, some noodles, various kinds of vegetables and spices. It’s a must-have, especially if you are experiencing Gangtok tourism during winter as it is known to provide the much-needed warmth in the times of extreme cold.

 

Gundruk and Sinki Soup

Gundruk is prepared by drying and crumbling the leaves of the mustard oil, cauliflower and radish plant cooked and spiced with onions and tomatoes. Whereas, Sinki is made by tap roots, due to fermentation it is sour in taste. This dish is prepared at homes as a restaurant does not serve this dish.

 

Churrpi

This is a fermented dairy product which is made from cow milk or yak milk giving a mild sour taste. These are also used for making Achar or soups, also mixed with Ningro to make the most exotic combination. It is available at the roadside shops anywhere in Gangtok.

 

Kinema Curry

A fermented soybean dish which contains protein served with rice which is used in curries followed by Pickles & Soups. Kinema curry can be found in the food lists of any restaurants or hotels in Gangtok.

 

Sael roti

From Nepali food tradition Seal roti has emerged in the food culture of local habitats in Gangtok. Seal roti is prepared by blending water and rice which is deep fried to be eaten with tomato curry. This particular dish is homemade which might not be possibly found in any restaurants or shops.

 

By now, we all would know that food is an extremely important part of Gangtok tourism. So don’t be surprised if you happen to find a lot of restaurants and cafes in your Gangtok tourism itinerary. If you are a foodie who travels places to relish different kinds of food, all you need to do is go through a Gangtok travel guide that can give you an idea about some of the topmost restaurants and cafes in Gangtok that serve all kinds of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. After all, that’s another big reason why people travel to Gangtok. So without any further ado, here’s a list of some of the best places to eat in and around Gangtok where you can get the best culinary experience:

  1. Taste Of Tibet
  2. Roll House
  3. Mu Kimchi
  4. Parivar Restaurant
  5. Thakali
  6. Tangerine Lounge & Bar
  7. Masala Restaurant
  8. Osm Restaurant

How To Travel In Gangtok

If you love to travel, you are most likely to agree that the best way to explore a destination is by walking. And well, Gangtok tourism is no exception. In fact, most of the tourist attractions in and around Gangtok can easily be reached on foot if you love to walk and the idea of slow travel.

 

Private and state-run transport (SNT) buses are available for travelling to the nearby towns and cities. However, taxis ply on most of the routes in and around the city, and there are standard charges within the main areas. For a private service, the fare is calculated according to the distance. So make sure that you check the prices before you hire a cab since drivers tend to overcharge while driving tourists around the city attractions. Shared taxis are easily available within the city. However, shared jeeps might get a little inconvenient since a few other passengers share the cab with you, but it's a great option if you are on a limited budget while exploring Gangtok tourism.

Typical Costs In Gangtok

The best thing about Gangtok tourism is that it never leaves any tourist disappointed because of the budget constraints. So if you thought that experiencing Gangtok tourism was only for luxury travellers, that’s not really true. Gangtok tourism welcomes all kinds of travellers if you know the best time to travel in and if you have already made your tour bookings in advance. Also, the itinerary plays an important role when it comes to your A few free walking tours and group tours also help in reducing cost. Let's take a look at per day costs for all kinds of travellers in Greece.

 

Luxury travellers can expect to spend around Rs.4,000 - 6,000 per person per day while exploring Gangtok tourism. This includes accommodation in a 4 or a 5-star hotel which may cost you around Rs.3,500 and upwards. If you plan to eat out, upscale restaurants and bars will cost you approx. Rs. 700 or more. Local transport in private taxis and guided tours can cost around Rs.2,000.

 

Mid-range budget travellers who want to experience Gangtok tourism to the best possible extent without blowing their budget need to follow this Gangtok travel guide, according to which, the daily spendings in this case for each individual may hover around Rs.1,500-2,500. Accommodation in mid-range hotels and resorts may cost you around Rs.800-1,200 whereas 

food in mid-range cafes and restaurants usually costs about Rs.250-500, approximately.

Local transport in taxis or car rentals can be around Rs.300-400.

 

If you are strictly a budget traveller exploring Gangtok tourism who believes in spending less on comfort and luxury, then the most important thing to keep in mind is to find a suitable itinerary. To lessen everyday costs, you can choose cheap hostels over hotels, eat local food, opt for a few walking tours, and skip exclusive taxis. But still, for such a traveller in Gangtok, the daily cost can be around Rs.500-800. Local food costs no more than Rs 100-200, while public transport or shared jeeps will only lighten your wallet by Rs 50-80.

FAQs

  1. How many days do I need to explore Gangtok tourism?

Ideally, you need around 3-5 days to get the best experience of Gangtok tourism. But it also depends on what kind of experiences you are looking for and the budget.

  1. What are the things I should pack for a trip to Gangtok?

Raincoat/umbrella, good quality shoes for moderate walking and hiking, cold cream, woollens as per the season and adequate cash are some of the must-pack items that are mentioned in almost every Gangtok travel guide.

  1. Suggest three tips for planning a trip to Gangtok?

Planning a trip to experience the best of Gangtok tourism might be easier said than done. And even though you should always refer to a Gangtok travel guide before planning a trip to this destination, here are a few tips that will help you a great deal:


      1. Be prepared for a lot of road journeys during your trip as Gangtok and the nearby areas are              only connected majorly by serpentine roads.

  1. Carry an adequate amount of cash.
  2. Gangtok tourism has a lot on offer for tourists and planning a suitable itinerary as per your budget and duration can be a bit tricky. That’s why it’s recommended that you book a tour package and get the best out of Gangtok tourism.

 

  1. Which are the lesser-known places to visit in Gangtok?

Gangtok tourism has a plethora of offbeat places that offer unique experiences. Some of the best offbeat places in Gangtok are Ravangla, Gyalshing, Kaluk, Pelling, and more.

 

  1. How’s the mobile and internet connectivity in Gangtok?

Mobile and internet connectivity in Gangtok is good except for a few blind spots. This is another reason why Gangtok tourism is one of the most sought after experiences for travel lovers.

When is the best time to travel to Gangtok with families with kids?

Most Gangtok travel guides suggest that April to June and October to March are the best months to travel to this destination with family and kids as the weather remains pleasant and congenial for most of the outdoor activities.

 

Is public transport available in and around Gangtok?

Going through any Gangtok travel guide suggests that Gangtok has decent public transport for people travelling into and out of the city. The town is well connected by road, rail, and even air with the major nearby cities of India. Easy availability of buses and shared cabs makes travelling to nearby places much easier. However, it is highly recommended that you rather hire a taxi if you are stuck at night.

 

Are there any direct trains to Gangtok?

There is no direct train to Gangtok. However, if you only wish to travel by train, then you can travel to New Jalpaiguri Railway Station which is about 148 km from Gangtok city.

Written by Anshul Sharma, a writer at Tripoto. He often suffers from extreme cases of FOMO whenever he doesn’t travel and write about his journeys for more than 3 weeks. On a normal day, he consumes cricket for breakfast, psycho thrillers for lunch, and air crash investigation videos for dinner.