Snow-laden highlands, serene lakes, and appealing valleys – stunning landscapes of Gangtok form a magical collage that allures tourists from all around. The capital city of Sikkim is a mesmerizing hill station sitting in the lap of Eastern Himalayas. With the kind of natural beauty that Gangtok has, it becomes irresistible to keep one from exploring these beautiful places to visit in Gangtok.
Top 30 Places To Visit In Gangtok in 2019
The list of places to visit in Gangtok is so expansive that zeroing down on one is a tough task. Nevertheless keeping one ready might help. Here are the shortlisted 30 places to visit in Gangtok:
1. Rumtek Monastery
Rumtek monastery is one of the most popular places to visit in Sikkim, Gangtok. The monastery belongs to the Kagyu sect of Buddhists who started living in Tibet in the 12th century. It is one of the most important and magnificent monasteries in Sikkim. The style and structure resemble the original one located in Tsurphu, Tibet. Make sure to stop by here on your trip to the magnificent Gangtok and take back some pleasant memories.
Opening hours: 10 AM – 5 PM in winters, 8 AM – 5 PM during summers
How to reach: You can avail a taxi or a bus at the airport to Rumtek Monastery. The total distance from airport to monastery is around 34 Kilometers and it takes an hour and half to two to reach via taxi.
Major attractions: Golden Stupa, hiking downhill, and several other old and historic monasteries
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Visit Sikkim and explore Yumthang valley, Tsomgo Lake, Gangtok, Nathula Pass, and Pelling. Experience peace and tranquility while exploring Buddhist monasteries, snow-capped mountains, and wildlife sanctuaries. Book packages inclusive of airport transfers, cab, resort, sightseeing, and meals.
2. Nathula Pass
Located at an altitude of 14,450 ft, Nathu-La is a prime corridor of the passage between India and Tibet. Passing through the serene Tsomgo Lake, it is one of the most important places to see in Gangtok. It has one of the highest motorable roads in the world that makes is a popular adventure destination. Access to this area is restricted and one needs entry permits from the zonal office to visit Nathu La. You’ll be amazed at the beauty of this place.
Opening hours: There are no opening hours as such. The pass is open for public from Wednesday to Sunday.
How to reach: During high season (like April to June, and October to November) shared vehicle would cost about INR 900 per person for Nathula including permit fee.
Major attractions: Walking along the International borders, biking, and watching the Chinese soldiers in action
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3. Tsomgo Lake
Located off the Gangtok Nathu La Highway at an elevation of 12,400 ft, Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is a glacial beauty in the hills of Sikkim. The turquoise water of the lake, magical backdrop and the serenity of the place are absolutely hypnotic. One just can’t afford to miss Tsomgo Lake among many beautiful places to visit in Gangtok. You’ll be amazed at the hypnotic beauty of this place and the hospitality of the locals of Gangtok.
How to reach: It’s located on the steep route known as Jawaharlal Nehru Road which leads all the way to Nathula Pass.
Major attractions: Yak and Mule rides along the lake, tea, and piping hot instant noodles in small eateries, ice skating, and a walk on the river in the winters
4. Hanuman Tok
Hanuman Tok is another one of the top places to visit in Gangtok. This age-old Hanuman Temple located at an elevation of 7,500 ft offers the best views of Khangchendzonga from Gangtok. It is not the spirituality but the peacefulness of the place that has attracted tourist footfall since ages. You should visit this place in the day and spend some time here basking under the sun and the spiritual vibes that these places give off. Hanuman Tok is like no other place in Gangtok. You’ll feel like you’ve entered a zen-like state here.
Opening hours: 7 AM – 5 PM
How to reach: By train, you have to stop at Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri railway stations.
Major attractions: Temple walk, serenity of the place, and Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
5. Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
This grand natural habitat in Gangtok boasts of rich flora and fauna of the normal, endangered and nearly extinct varieties. Stretched over an area of around 850 sq km, this biosphere reserve is one of the few high altitude reserves in India with musk deer, snow leopards, and Himalayan tahr. That’s not all. The ticket to the bio reserved is nominally priced, so you’ll have a ball of a time with your friends and family. Make sure to take them with you. Don’t forget to carry your camera to take lots of photographs of the beauty of this place.
Opening hours: 10 AM – 6: 30 PM
How to reach: Sikkim state transport buses are available between Gangtok and Siliguri. Private buses are also available from Siliguri and Bagdogra.
Major attractions: Animal safaris, hikes and trek to the reserve, and snow leopard spotting
Suggested Read: 112 Most Spellbinding Places To Visit Near Gangtok In 2019
Namchi means top of the sky. It is one of those tourist places to see in Gangtok that offers picturesque view of the Khangchendzonga range and the Rangit valley simultaneously. The 135 feet high statue of Guru Padmasambhava, perched upon the valley in Samdruptse at Namchi, is a famous attraction amongst tourists. It is touted to be the best places to visit in Gangtok city. Make sure to include Namchi in your itinerary. We promise that you will not be disappointed and will have a ball of a time here in this beautiful place.
How to reach: The nearest airport to Namchi is Bagdogra Airport, which is around 124 km from Gangtok.
Major attractions: Shedrup Choling monastery, Ngadak monastery, Dechen Choling monastery, Rock garden, treks to the surrounding valley and photography of magnificent Khangchendzonga from Namchi
Visit Gangtok to get the best views of Khangchendzonga. Khangchendzonga, for those of you who don’t know, is the third highest peak in the world. It was once considered the highest mountain in the whole world before the height of Mt Everest was recalculated, making it one of the most important places to visit in Gangtok Darjeeling. Tashi Viewpoint and Singhik View Point are considered as one of the best spots for photography. So, head to this place with your polaroids and make memories that you can store for a lifetime. Also, make sure that you reach this place before sunrise/sunset to catch the sky in its full splendor.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Jalpaiguri railway station, about 221 Km from the Khangchendzonga National Park.
Major attractions: Goeche La, Dzongri, Khangchendzonga National Park, and Khecheopalri Lake.
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8. Do Drul Chorten Stupa
If you love peace, spend some time at Do Drul Chorten Stupa. The stupa surrounded by 108 prayer wheels is one of the most popular places to see in Gangtok. Those of you who seek serenity should definitely visit the place as it is not much crowded. One can relax and meditate in a calm atmosphere. The spiritual vibes that you receive from this place will turn your day around. We highly recommend you to visit this place with friends and family.
Opening hours: 8 AM to 6 PM all days of the week
How to reach: It’s only 2kms from Gangtok Town in Deorali area.
9. Tsuk La Khang Monastery
The walls, platforms, and slabs of this palatial monastery are extravagantly ornamented with paintings and images of Buddha, Bodhisattva and other tantrik idols of Buddhism. All those who follow the path of spirituality and Buddhism should definitely visit the monastery. It is one of the top places to visit in Gangtok. You’ll be taken in by the glamorous walls of this popular attraction and will not want to leave even after spending a solid two hours here. The aura surrounding this place is truly magical, leaving an imprint on the visitors.
Opening hours: 7 AM – 5 PM all days of the week
How to reach: Tsuk La Khang Monastery is situated at a distance of 3 km from the Gangtok SNT Bus Station. You can hire a cab from here to reach the monastery.
Suggested Read: 10 Beautiful Lakes Near Gangtok To Visit On Your Next Vacation
10. Flower Exhibition Centre
Are you a fan of nature and all things green? Then pack your bags and head to the Flower Exhibition Centre in Gangtok. The exhibition center is located near Ridge Park in Gangtok and houses the annual orchid show. From March to June many exclusive varieties of orchids are displayed here. The beauty of vibrant flowers captivates all and this center is a paradise for those who love colors and flowers.
Opening hours: 9 AM – 5:15 PM
How to reach: Since the roadways in Gangtok are very well connected, the Exhibition Centre is accessible too.
11. Kabi Town
The small settlement is historically significant as the friendship agreement between the Lepcha chief Te Kung Tek and the Bhutia chief Khey Bum Sar was signed here. There is also a small monastery in Kabi. The town boasts of some upbeat cafes, beautiful monasteries, and warm hospitality. You’ll be drawn in by the warmth of the locals here. You’ll also manage to find many homestays here to crash at.
How to reach: Regular jeep and taxi services move between Kabi and Gangtok which takes nearly 40 minutes to reach.
Major attractions: Buddhist monasteries
12. Saramsa Garden
This is a perfect family-friendly place. Trust us, it doesn’t get any better than this. A picnic and leisure destination, Saramsa Garden is managed by Sikkim Forest Department. The garden has many rare and exclusive plant species, and offers a picturesque view of River Rani and the surrounding hills. It is perfect for a small picnic with kids and a leisure getaway with family. You can thank us later.
Opening hours: 8 AM – 6 PM from Monday – Saturday
How to reach: A taxi can drop you off at the Saramsa Garden which takes nearly 45 minutes from the city center.
13. Himalayan Zoological Park
If you are traveling to Gangtok with children, make sure to include Himalayan Zoological Park in your itinerary. It is famous for pandas, Himalayan black bears, snow leopards, Tibetan wolves, Himalayan palm civets, large Indian civets, and various other animals. You’ll have a ball of a time there with your friends and family. Keep a respectable distance from the animals and avoid feeding them to ensure your and the animals’ safety.
Opening hours: 9 AM – 4 PM from Monday – Saturday
How to reach: The park is situated at a distance of around 6 km from Gangtok at Bulbulay. The entrance to the Himalayan Zoological Park is along a small pathway, opposite to Ganesh Tok. You can take a cab to reach here.
14. Banjhakri Falls
This is a 100 feet waterfall located in a park near Ranka Monastery and is popular among tourists and locals for day picnics. All the nature lovers and water babies should definitely give it a try. Make sure to come here with your significant other and take a lot of photographs against the waterfall with them. Actually, this place is popular among couples for their wedding photoshoots. So, make sure you head here!
Opening hours: 8 AM – 6 PM from Monday – Saturday
How to reach: It is at a distance of 7 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station.
Major attractions: Ban Jhakri Falls Energy Park
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15. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
A mansion reflecting the traditional Tibetan architecture, it gives insights into Buddhist culture. It exhibits cloth paintings, manuscripts, ritual objects, and human bone trumpets. Also, there is a souvenir store where you can buy jewellery, mementos and more. You can cover the aforementioned 15 places to visit in Gangtok in 4 days or less. Don’t think twice, pack your bags and leave for Gangtok now.
Opening hours: 10 AM – 4 PM from Monday – Saturday
How to reach: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is 2 km from Gangtok town. One can hire a taxi to reach here in just 10 to 15 mins.
16. Phurchachu Reshi Hot Spring
The Phurchachu Reshi Hot Spring is located near a cave called Kadosangphu. It is approximately 135 km away from Gangtok. The water gushing out of the hot spring is rich in sulfur and has medicinal value. Make sure to visit this place and have a ball of a time with your friends and family. Do not jump in the water without checking with the authorities. Go ahead and have a fun time.
Opening hours: 8 AM – 4 PM
How to reach: The spring is situated 6 km from Legship near Reshi which is around 20-25 km from Gangtok. You can reach here by taking a cab till a certain point after which you need to walk for 15 minutes.
17. Pemayangtse Monastery
140 km away from Gangtok, Pemayangtse Monastery was built by Lama Lhatsun Chempo in the year 1705. It is one of the most ancient and premier monasteries of Sikkim which has been a popular name among the places to visit in Gangtok for many many years. A morning or an evening spent at this monastery is an experience of a lifetime. Make sure to visit Pemayangtse Monastery during the summers!
Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 6 PM
How to reach: It is 2 kilometers away from Pelling.
Major attractions: Sculptures and architecture of the age old monastery, visiting the wrecks of Rabdentse, located near the monastery
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18. Khecheopalri Lake
Located at an elevation of 6,000 ft, Khecheopalri Lake is believed and worshipped as a holy lake that fulfills the wishes of its devotees. The 15th full moon day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar—which comes in Feb-March—hosts a fiesta of mass prayers offered by a brimming crowd of the locals and visitors. You’ll be amazed at the hospitality of the locals of Gangtok and the overall ambience of this place.
Major attractions: Treks to the surrounding areas, a visit to the Lepcha village and glimpses of the native culture and tradition.
How to reach: The lake is 34 km from Pelling town.
19. Yumthang Valley
Situated in North Sikkim, Yumthang Valley is a paradise on earth, which is full of natural wonders and picturesque beauty. It is home to a zillion flowers, spectacular mountains & a serene river, and is often also called as the ‘Valley of Flowers’ like the one located in Uttarakhand. Needless to say, its breathtaking and magical surroundings make it a must-visit place for every traveler.
How to reach: It is at around 113 kilometers from Gangtok. The town of Lachung is well connected by road.
Major attractions: Trekking along the banks of Yumthang River through pine forests up to a Shiva temple
Lachung is located at the junction of Lachen and Lachung River — at an altitude of 9,600 ft. Lachung means small pass and this one has a base of Indian army and has been described by foreign travelers as ‘most picturesque village of Sikkim’. Listed as an offbeat and quaint hamlet in Sikkim, Lachung is mainly visited by trekkers, photographers, and adventure freaks. But believe you me, the aura of this stunningly beautiful village can’t be expressed in words and can only be felt.
How to reach: Located at a distance of 125km from Gangtok, Bagdogra airport is the nearest airport to Lachung.
Major attractions: Lachung Monastery, skiing in Phuni near Lachung.
Suggested Read: Gangtok Food: 5 Scrumptious Dishes To Try On Your 2019 Vacay!
21. Lal Bazaar
Lal Bazaar is a congregation of local artisans and farmers of Sikkim where they assemble to bargain, gossip or sell their commodities. The Bazaar makes for an ideal spot for shopping in Gangtok. On Sundays, Gangtok’s Lal Bazaar is a melody of colors where ethnic groups from different villages gather. Lal Bazaar is located just below the M.G Marg and is at a walking distance from most of the hotels in Gangtok.
You can easily find various utility things in the marketplace. The smell of dried fish, vegetables and cheese permeates the air as you venture along the bylanes of the market. The bustling bazaar makes for an ideal place for taking photographs of the local vendors selling their commodities.
How to reach: It is located near MG Marg.
Opening hours: 9 AM – 8 PM
22. M.G. Marg
M.G Marg in Gangtok is considered the town center of Gangtok that houses some spectacular restaurants, food joints, and cafes. The two of the most popular ones are 9’INE Native Cuisine and Baker’s Cafe on MG Marg, and trying their lip-smacking food is one of the most indulgent things to do in Gangtok.
9’INE Native Cuisine is widely popular for its Tibetan cuisine. You can feast on delicacies like Momos, Sikkimese Set Meal with Chicken, Fermented Soybean, Dim sums, and Mushroom Kachi. It primarily serves Asian, Tibetan, and Nepalese cuisines and is a must visit restaurant in Gangtok.
At Baker’s Cafe, you can sip on your favorite beverage, while sitting on the window-side table and gazing at the picturesque valley from the glass window. This cozy Western-style cafe is known for its strong espresso, refreshing lemon iced tea, croissants, baguettes, paninis, pizzas, hot dogs, and pastries.
How to reach: Mahatma Gandhi Road is the town center and easily accessible from anywhere in Gangtok.
Major attractions: 9’INE Native Cuisine and Baker’s Cafe
This hamlet nestled south of Sikkim falls in the district of Sikip. Mt Kanchenjunga can be easily seen in the background with rare orchids growing left and right. If you want to visit this village, you should visit in the month of October or November as these rare, terrestrial orchids are at their full bloom at that time. While this is not exactly a place in Gangtok, it can make for superb day trips from when in the region.
Major Attractions: The rare orchids that grow in the month of October and November
How to reach: Some 200 km from Bagdogra Airport and 27 km from Darjeeling Railway station, you can take a bus or hire a taxi to Tinkitam
24. Enchey Monastery
A beautiful temple surrounded by blooming meadows, Enchey monastery is an important place of pilgrimage for many Buddhists. The backdrop of pine trees with Kangchenjunga visible in the distance, the meaning of Enchey is solitary. Only 3 km from Gangtok, this tranquil monastery is nearly 200 years old and houses around 90 monks. Their presence only adds to the blissful aura of the monastery.
Opening hours: 6 AM – 4 PM
How to reach: It is only 15-20 mins away from Gangtok; you can take a bus or hire a taxi
25. Seven Sisters Waterfalls
Seven Sisters Waterfall is only 32 km from Gangtok, making it one of the most visited places in the region. This is due to the 7 waterfalls here that are arranged on a wide cliff. After a little rain, the area seems to freshen up; you can even spot a cheery rainbow then. Hence, the best time to visit the seven sisters waterfalls is the rainy season. You can either go here for a picnic or just for capturing the beautiful scenery.
Opening hours: 8 AM – 5 PM
How to reach: You can hire a taxi on a per-seat basis or get on a local bus
26. Ganesh Tok
If you are in Gangtok then you must visit Ganesh Tok Temple where you can admire mind-stirring views of the Kanchenjunga Hill. The temple is situated on a hilltop and offers some stunning views of Gangtok, especially in the winter season when the city is dusted with snow. It is one of the perfect places in the city for photographers and nature lovers.
Opening hours: 6 AM – 7 PM
How to reach: It is located 6 kilometers away from the town and can be easily reached via a local taxi.
27. Baba Harbajan Singh Temple
Baba Harbajan Singh Temple is located on the road that passes through Jelepla Pass and Nathu La Pass. The shrine was built to respect Baba Harbajan Singh and it is believed that he guards the lives of soldiers on the border. The shrine contains a photo of Harbajan Singh along with prayer materials.
Opening hours: 6 AM – 8 PM
How to reach: To reach the temple, you will have to hire a taxi as the temple is situated three hours away from the town.
28. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Located in the Yumthang Valley, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim, Gangtok. If you get excited by watching different species of flowers then you must visit this place and admire colorful rhododendrons that are spread in an area of 43 square kilometers. Some of the species that you will come across here are Aconites, Gentias, Saxifrages, Potentillas, and Aconites.
Opening hours: Preferred time 8 AM and 3 PM
How to reach: As this sanctuary is situated near Lachung, one has to hire a taxi to reach this sanctuary.
29. Ranka Monastery
Also popular as Lingdum Monastery, Ranka Monastery is one of the top places to visit in Gangtok in 3 days. It is relatively new if compared with other monasteries that is the reason why it is not famous among travelers. But if you are looking for a quaint place with fewer tourist crowd then you must visit this monastery.
Opening hours: 6 AM – 6 PM
How to reach: You can take a bus from the Gangtok Bus Stand or hire a taxi to reach this monastery that is situated 15-20 kilometers away.
30. Gonjang Monastery
Located just 8 kilometers away from the town, you will find Gonjang Monastery near Tashi Viewpoint. As it is situated at an altitude of 6066 feet, this monastery gives a mesmerizing view of Gangtok during snowfall time. It houses the idols of Khen-lop Cho-Sum, founders of Tibetan Buddhism in the 8th century.
How to reach: As it is situated near Tashi Viewpoint it can be easily reached and explored by travelers.
Alright! Winters are already here. Gear up, pack up, get going to one of the most amazing hill stations of north-east India. Plan your trip to Gangtok right away as you just can’t afford to miss these beautiful places to visit in Gangtok. You’ll be amazed at the myriad of episodic memories you’ll take back from this trip. This vacation will rejuvenate you like no other. Replenish your body and mind by booking your tickets to the destination right away.
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Frequently Asked Question About Gangtok
A. The best places to visit in Gangtok in 2 days are Rumtek Monastery, Hanuman Tok, Namchi and Do Drul Chorten Stupa.
A. The best places to visit in Gangtok in July are Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake, Ranka Monastery and MG Marg.