A travel Guide to Nainital

Nainital Tourism

Nainital is a popular hill station nestled in the Kumaon Hills of the Himalayan Range. Located at an elevation of 1938 metres above sea level, the most visited North Indian hill station is built around the Nainital Lake and is considered as a jewel of its state, Uttarakhand. It makes the perfect tourist getaway for newlyweds and for family vacations. Nainital tourism even caters to the interests of adventure seekers who can indulge in paragliding, camping, river rafting, trekking, and rock climbing activities on their trip to the city.

Some of the famous Nainital tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss out on during your trip include the Jim Corbett National Park, Snow View Point, Gurney House, Raj Bhawan, Astronomical Observatory, Naina Peak, St. John’s Church and the list simply goes on. Here’s a brief travel guide that you can refer to, before planning a trip to Nainital.

Places to visit in Nainital

1. Nainital Lake

The fourth lake of Kumaun Hills, Nainital Lake is located in the centre of the city. The crescent-shaped lake holds its position in the ancient scriptures and has also been mentioned in the works of several poets. The lake is divided into two parts namely Mannital and Tallital and is surrounded by the seven hills of Nainital. It is one of the most popular Nainital attractions because of the Naina Devi Temple that lies on its banks. The lake receives a lot of visitors every year because of the spectacular view that the location has to offer. It makes up for the perfect picnic spot where you can even enjoy boating or simply go for a long walk.

2. Dorothy’s Seat

The popular tourist spot is located in Ayarpatta Hills and is famously known as ‘Tiffin Top’. It was named by a British Army officer in the memory of his deceased wife, Dorothy. You can either hike or enjoy a pony ride to Tiffin Top. You can rent the horse at Mall Road. As you hike to the top, you’ll walk past a variety of trees like Cher, Oak, and Deodar where you’ll witness a 360-degree view that is serene and mesmerising. It is one of the popular Nainital tourist places, especially among photographers as they can get a bird’s eye view of the lakes and hills of Nainital.

3. Snow View Point

The Snow View Point is situated at an altitude of 2270 m above sea level and is one of the most captivating Nainital attractions as it offers the best view of the snow-capped Himalayas. You can get a clearer view of the Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Kot peaks from the large binoculars that are installed for the visitors making it one of the top places to visit in Nainital. You can take a cable ride to this location from Nainital Mall Road and enjoy the mesmerising view of the town as well.

4. High Altitude Zoo

Officially named the GB Pant High Altitude Zoo, it was built in 1984 and is one of the three high altitude zoos that you can visit in India. The zoo is located at an altitude of 2100m above sea level between the Himalayas and the Shivalik range. You can visit the place to witness several endangered animal species such as the Royal Bengal Tiger, Himalayan Bear, and Tibetan Wolves.

5. Gurney House

One of the top locations in the Nainital travel guide is Gurney House which is near Nainital Lake. It was the former residence of Jim Corbett, a hunter-turned-conservationist. There’s a museum in the former abode of Jim Corbett that showcases his life story, belongings and achievements.

6. Eco Cave Gardens

A group of natural caves turned into a cave garden makes it one of the most intriguing Nainital tourist places. The caves are carved into different shapes that resemble the natural habitats of the different animals. Some of these caves are the tiger cave, flying fox cave, bat cave and many more. You can also witness a musical fountain with audio-visual effects at the Cave Garden and attracts young, as well as old visitors. This popular tourist spot is dedicated to the wildlife of Kumaon as it holds great significance to Nainital tourism.

Things to do in Nainital

You can indulge in a plethora of activities during your visit to Nainital. Here’s a list of the most popular things you can do at the hill station.

Boating at Nainital Lake

Nainital Lake is popular among tourists because it lies in the centre of the city and is easily accessible. You can indulge in a boat riding activity in the still waters and witness the scenic beauty of the Cheena Peak and Tiffin Top. It is considered to be one of the top things to do in Nainital.

Shopping at the Tibetan Market

After enjoying a boat ride in Nainital Lake, you can visit the Tibetan market on its banks where you can shop for authentic Tibetan sweaters, scarves, ethnic dresses, bags as well as souvenirs that you can gift your close ones back at home. There’s a wide array of shops that are set up and run by the native Tibetans. It also makes up for the perfect spot for street photography, so make sure you carry your camera.

Ropeway of Nainital

The ropeway is one of the famous Nainital attractions. You can easily access one from the mall road which takes you up to Snow View Point. We’ve all read the quote, “It is about the journey, not the destination.” but in the case of the ropeway, it is about the journey as well as the destination. You can enjoy a mesmerising view of the town during your ride and the destination presents the finest view of the Himalayas.

Trek to Cheena Peak

The Cheena Peak or Naina Peak is the highest point in Nainital. Nainital tourism offers a trek through the dense Deodar and Cypress trees which is as good as the scenic view of the snow-capped Himalayas that you can enjoy at the top. In addition to that, Cheena Peak also offers a bird’s eye view of Nainital thus making it an important part of every photographer’s Nainital travel guide.

Visit Mall Road

Mall Road is a popular tourist attraction of Nainital where you can try out the local delicacies at a variety of restaurants and enjoy shopping. It was built by the British and falls on the bank of the famous Nainital Lake. It acts as a link between Mallital and Tallital which are the northern and southern sections of the lake. You should visit during the evenings as the weather makes the place look remarkable.

Best time to visit Nainital

The most visited hill station in North India, Nainital is famous for offering the best view of the magnificent lakes and the snow-capped Himalayas thus attracting domestic as well as international tourists throughout the year. There’s no specific best season to visit Nainital as it is a year-round destination and each season offers a remarkable experience to its visitors. The summers offer pleasant weather, however, if you want to witness snowfall then the best time to visit Nainital is during the months of winter. The monsoon months add to the beauty of the city but they are still the least favourable time to visit Nainital as there’s a possibility of excessive rainfall and landslides.

How to reach Nainital

Despite the absence of direct air connectivity to the city, there’s no need to be concerned about how to reach Nainital. Here are the different ways by which you can travel to the most visited North Indian hill station.

By Air

Nainital doesn’t have an airport of its own. The Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is the nearest one to Nainital. It is well connected to all the parts of the country as well as the world so numerous flights operate till Delhi. From there, tourists can rent private taxis to reach their hotels in Nainital.

By Railway

Kathgodham Railway Station is located 34 kms away from Nainital and has trains from several major cities like Delhi, Agra, Lucknow and Kolkata stopping at the station. You can take a train to this railway station and then rent a private taxi to your hotel in Nainital.

By Road

Nainital has an extensive highway network that connects it to its nearby cities and small towns. You can take a bus ride to Nainital which is the most preferable commuting option for most tourists. If you want to drive yourself to Nainital, take a flight or train to one of its nearby cities and then rent a vehicle as travelling from a long distance will be very exhausting.

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3 Star Hotels & Resorts in Nainital

Vikram Vintage Inn

₹ 9184₹ 6429 per night

Ayar Jungle Resort

₹ 11700 per night

Shervani Hilltop Nainital

₹ 16000 per night

Cedar Lodge by Aahma

₹ 7936 per night

The Pine Crest

₹ 6672 per night

Hotel Vista

₹ 2100 per night

Rosefinch Sarovar Portico Bhimtal

₹ 10500₹ 9450 per night