The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar is undoubtedly a tourist attraction spot in India that everyone should visit once in a lifetime. A dream destination for many, Srinagar resembles a canvas of an artist filled with natural beauty, glistening lakes, colourful gardens, snow-clad mountains and warm-hearted people. The city, situated on the banks of Jhelum, Srinagar is surrounded by picturesque lakes, offering magical views all around. Not ending with that, the snow-covered peaks of the mountains in the background of the lakes entices the whole scenery and make the place more beautiful.
So, here is a guide for the best travel destination in the country and its beautiful sightseeing places. Have a read.
13 Best Places to Visit in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
- Dal Lake
- Nigeen Lake
- Wular Lake
- Shalimar Bagh
- Hari Parbat
- Tulip Garden
- Shankaracharya Temple
- Nishat Bagh
- Pari Mahal
- Dachigam National Park
- Hazratbal Mosque
- Betaab Valley
Most Popular Srinagar Kashmir Holiday Packages
Dal Lake, Kashmir Ki Kali!
The most picturesque lake in the foreground of an urban city, surrounded by cloud-clad Pir Panjal ranges, Dal Lake has been one of the top tourist places in Srinagar over the years. A large stretch of water covering an area of 18 square kilometres, elevated at 1,583 metres, Dal Lake is the second largest lake in Jammu and Kashmir.
Popular for being the ‘Jewel in the crown of Kashmir,’ Dal Lake resembles two totally different looks in two different seasons, summer and winter. In summer, on a bright sunny day, witnessing the reflection of the clear sky on the water, whereas, witnessing a frozen lake when the temperature reaches -11 degrees centigrade in winter – the beauty of Dal Lake on any day in any season, is indeed enthralling and praiseworthy.
How to Reach Dal Lake From Srinagar Airport?
The distance of Dal Lake from Srinagar Airport (Sheikh Ul Alam International Airport) is around 22 kilometres, which can be covered by a cab in around 50 minutes.
Top Things to Do in Dal Lake
- Enjoy a shikara ride.
- Enjoy a houseboat stay on the lake.
- Buying things from the floating market while having a boat ride.
- Enjoy the stunning views of the sunset.
Also Read: Other Must Visit Lakes in Kashmir
Nigeen Lake, A Peaceful Shikara Ride!
A mildly eutrophic lake, connected to the Dal Lake by a narrow strait, Nigeen or Nageen Lake is one of the best places to visit in Srinagar. Comparatively less crowded than Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake is located adjacent to a hillock, called Hari Parbat at an elevation of 1,582 metres.
The welcoming poplar and willow trees standing in a line encompassing the beautiful lake, referred to as ‘nageena,’ which gives the lake its name. A quiet atmosphere amidst serene nature, Nigeen Lake has been on the list of travellers who want to enjoy a Shikara ride away from a crowd, in a relaxing way.
How to Reach Nigeen Lake From Srinagar Airport?
The distance of Nigeen Lake from Srinagar Airport (Sheikh Ul Alam International Airport) is around 22 kilometres. It will take around 50 minutes to reach the lake.
Top Things to Do in Nigeen Lake
- Have a shikara ride.
- Stay in a houseboat.
- Take a swim in the pristine water.
- Enjoy the sunrise and sunset from the houseboat.
Also Read: Must Visit Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir
Wular Lake, The Largest Freshwater Lake!
The largest freshwater lake in India, located in the Bandipora District, embraced by majestic hills, Wular Lake has been famed as one of the best tourist attractions in Srinagar. It spreads across an area of 200 square kilometres covering a width of ten kilometres and a length of 24 kilometres.
The quaint lake has an island in the middle, which was constructed by King Zainul-Abi-Din, presently home to exotic birds, a paradise for ornithologists. The lake draws water from the Jhelum River and contributes a large portion to the fish production and livelihoods of people living on the banks. Watching a stunning sunset while having a boat ride on the lake and talking to a native fisherwoman – is all you can experience in Wular.
How to Reach Wular Lake From Srinagar Airport?
Wular Lake is located at a distance of around 60 kilometres from Srinagar Airport. It takes approximately two hours and ten minutes to reach the lake from the airport.
Top Things to Do in Wular Lake
- Enjoy spotting the birds such as Barn Swallow, the Himalayan Woodpecker, Alpine Swift and many more.
- Enjoy a boat ride on the water.
- Have a stroll on the banks of the lake.
- Have a picnic with your dear ones on one of the banks.
Also Read: Adventure Tourism in Kashmir
Shalimar Bagh, The ‘Crown of Srinagar’!
A garden built by an emperor for his queen, Shalimar Bagh has been a top honeymoon destination over the years. An architecture, flaunting the Islamic garden layout, known as Persian gardens, Shalimar Bagh is the largest among all Mughal gardens in Srinagar. It features three terraced areas, which used to be treated for different purposes. The uppermost area was for the women of the royal family and the central one, called ‘Diwan-i-Khas’ was for the emperor. ‘Diwan-i-Aam’ was the outer portion of the garden, which was open to the public.
Shalimar Bagh was built in 1619 by Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan. It used to be their Royal Court and residence during the summer. The highlights of the garden are Chini Khanas, which are placed behind the waterfalls and decorated with flowers, offering an amazing visual effect. The place remains open throughout the week except for Friday and during the peak tourist season, from May to October, the authority arranges a light and sound show in the evenings.
How to Reach Shalimar Bagh From Srinagar Airport?
Shalimar Bagh is located around 13 kilometres from Srinagar Airport. It can be reached within 30 minutes by road.
Top Things to Do in Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar Kashmir
- Explore the garden and its surroundings.
- Learn about its architecture and history.
- Enjoy the light and sound show in the evening.
- Capture beautiful photographs of the place.
Also Read: Must Visit Gardens in Jammu and Kashmir
Hari Parbat, A Signature of Secularism!
A hillock, not so far from the centre of Srinagar city, surrounded by lush greenery, home to three shrines belonging to three different religions, Hari Parbat represents secularism for what our country is famed across the world. The hill has a fort on the top of it, a part of which was first built by Emperor Akbar, who planned to shift his capital to Hari Parbat but failed to do so. Later, Atta Mohammad Khan, the Afghan governor completed the whole fort.
On the southern slope, the fort has two famous Muslim shrines of Akhund Mullah Shah and Khwaja Makhdoom Sahib and on the western slope, there is a Shakti Temple, dedicated to Goddess Jagdamba. There is also a Gurdwara on the southern side of the outer wall. One of the unexplored places in Srinagar Hari Parbat is indeed an amazing place to get amused by the views of the city from the top. The place has been maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India and guarded by the Indian Army for years.
How to Reach Hari Parbat From Srinagar Airport?
It will take approximately 40 to 45 minutes to cover around 15 kilometres to reach Hari Parbat from Srinagar Airport.
Top Things to Do in Hari Parbat
- Seek blessings at the Muslim Shrines, Temple and Gurudwara.
- Explore the nature surrounding the fort.
- Capture the breathtaking landscapes of Srinagar City and Dal Lake from the top.
Also Read: Top Things to Do in Jammu and Kashmir
Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, A Bouquet of Colours!
One of the top places to visit in Srinagar in summer, Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the largest tulip garden in Asia. Previously known as Siraj Bagh, the garden was opened in 2007 owing to boost tourism and floriculture in Kashmir. Home to around 15 Lakh tulips in more than 60 varieties, the garden opens in spring every year (around March) and attracts lakhs of visitors all over the country.
The tulip garden is located on sloping ground at the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountain range, overlooking the picturesque Dal Lake. It is built in a terraced manner consisting of seven layers. Apart from the main attraction, tulips, people can also enjoy other flowers like daffodils, ranunculus and hyacinths. However, the date of the opening may change every year, so it is recommended to check the website and news before going to visit the garden.
How to Reach Tulip Garden From Srinagar Airport?
The tulip garden is located around 22 kilometres from Srinagar Airport, which can be covered within 45 minutes to one hour by road.
Top Things to Do at Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
- Explore the garden and its surroundings.
- Click beautiful pictures of the tulips and other flowers.
- Enjoy a walk along the garden.
- Buy souvenirs from the stalls.
- Indulge in Kashmiri street food outside the garden.
Also Read: Film Tourism in Kashmir
Shankaracharya Temple, A Peaceful Place Away Crowds!
The oldest Hindu temple in Kashmir, Shankaracharya Temple is a top tourist destination in Srinagar. As legend has it, Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya stayed in the temple in the 8th century while he visited Kashmir Valley and since then, it has become a popular Hindu pilgrimage. The temple is now protected nationally under the Archaeological Survey of India.
The temple is also famous among the Hindus as it remains an important part of the Amarnath Yatra. Thousands of pilgrims visit this Shivalaya while having their Amarnath Yatra. It is located at a height of 335 metres at the top of Shankaracharya hill, on the Zabarwan Mountain range. The bird’s eye view of Srinagar City and Jhelum valley from the temple are other attractions of the place.
How to Reach Shankaracharya Temple From Srinagar Airport?
The temple is located around 19 kilometres from Srinagar Airport, which can be covered within one hour by road.
Top Things to Do at Shankaracharya Temple
- Enjoy the trails while trekking to the temple.
- Spend time in peace and serenity.
- Explore the architecture of the temple.
- Seek blessings from Lord Shiva and Adi Shankaracharya.
- Enjoy the views of Srinagar City from the top.
Also Read: Pilgrimage Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir
Pari Mahal, An Epitome of Nature!
One of the best places to explore in Srinagar, Pari Mahal resembles heaven on earth. Yet unexplored by many, the place offers stunning views of nature that one can expect in a Srinagar Kashmir sightseeing tour. An all-year-round destination in Srinagar, Pari Mahal can be easily reached from any part of the city.
The mahal was built in the mid-17th century by Dara Shikoh, son of Shah Jahan to be used as a summer retreat. It is situated at the top of the Zabarwan Mountain range comprising a palace and a terraced garden, which is home to a variety of plants. The building was once converted into an observatory and teaching centre for astrology and astronomy students, now treated as one of the best sightseeing places in Srinagar.
How to Reach Pari Mahal From Srinagar Airport?
One of the popular points of tourist interest, Pari Mahal is located 21 kilometres away from Srinagar Airport. The distance can be covered within one hour by car.
Top Things to Do in Pari Mahal
- Explore the monument and learn about the architecture.
- Spend some relaxing time in the gardens.
- Click photographs of the city from the top.
- Explore various kinds of flowers and plants in the gardens.
Also Read: Heritage Tourist Places in Kashmir
Dachigam National Park, The Residence of Kashmir Stag!
One of the best places to visit in Srinagar in winter, Dachigam National Park is home to a rich collection of flora and fauna found in Jammu and Kashmir. The name ‘Dachigam’ stands for ‘ten villages,’ which were relocated due to its formation owing to the supply of clean drinking water to Srinagar City. Later in 1981, the area, spreading across 141 square kilometres, was declared a national park.
The impressive views of the unspoiled forests and natural beauty surrounding the park attract flocks of tourists throughout the year. People also visit this park for the collection of Kashmir stag (hangul), the endangered species of red deer found in India. Apart from hangul, the park also gives shelter to two varieties of leopards, musk deer, Himalayan black beer and various exotic Himalayan birds like golden eagles, bearded vultures, crimson togo pan and koklass pheasant.
How to Reach Dachigam National Park From Srinagar Airport
Dachigam National Park is located 19 kilometres away from Srinagar Airport. It takes around 45 minutes to reach the park from the airport.
- Enjoy a safari in the lower region of the park.
- Enjoy trekking to the upper part of the park.
- Enjoy spotting exotic flora and fauna.
- Enjoy clicking pictures of the animals and birds along with the natural beauty of the place.
- Spend some time at the banks of Masrar Lake.
Also Read: Wildlife Tourism in Kashmir
Hazratbal Mosque, A 17th-Century Architectural Marvel!
Popularly known as Dargah Sharif, Hazratbal Mosque is one of the must see places in Srinagar. The only domed architecture with a mix of Kashmiri and Islam styles, Hazratbal Mosque is situated on the western (left) bank of Dal Lake along with the snow-clad Himalayas in the background. An anecdote of history, respect and serenity, the mosque can be reached by road or by shikara through Dal Lake.
The building was originally a garden and Ishrat Mahal, built in 1623 by Sadiq Khan, who was Shah Jahan’s subedar. Later, it turned into a place for offering prayers following the orders from Shah Jahan. The mosque holds religious importance as it is home to a sacred relic, Moi-e-Muqaddas, a hair of Prophet Muhammad’s beard. The place attracts thousands of pilgrims on special festivals when the relics are displayed.
How to Reach Hazratbal Mosque From Srinagar Airport?
Hazratbal Mosque is situated on the western bank of Dal Lake, 19 kilometres away from Srinagar Airport. You will reach the place within 50 minutes by hiring a taxi or cab from the airport..
Top Things to Do at Hazratbal Mosque
- Explore the mosque and learn about its history.
- Explore the nearby must visit places, such as Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake and Nishat Bagh.
- Offer a prayer and seek blessings at the mosque.
- Click some beautiful photographs of the mosque and its surroundings.
- Spend some time amidst a peaceful atmosphere.
Also Read: Popular Pilgrimage Sites in Kashmir Valley
Yusmarg, A Place From The Postcard!
On the outskirts of Srinagar, some 50 kilometres away from the city, there is a stunning place called Yusmarg in the Budgam District, that looks exactly like a picture on a postcard. A place for a digital detox, for rejuvenating yourself away from the hustle and bustle of cities, Yusmarg is such a place that does not see many tourist footfalls.
In the native language, the name of the place is derived from two words, where Yus means Jesus and marg means meadows. As legend has it, Jesus once passed through the meadows. With the undulating stretch of grassland, scattering flowers along the pathways overlooking the snow-capped hills and the ponies wandering here and there – Yusmarg is a perfect definition of a place that refreshes one’s soul and mind.
How to Reach Yusmarg From Srinagar Airport?
The distance between Yusmarg and the airport is around 45 kilometres. It will take one hour and 50 minutes to cover the distance by car.
Top Things to Do in Yusmarg
- Spend quality time refreshing yourself with the breathtaking views.
- Experience the hospitality of a homestay.
- Enjoy the companionship of Kashmiri people and indulge in authentic Kashmiri food.
- Enjoy a bit of real Kashmir away from the crowd.
Also Read: Top Destinations of Jammu and Kashmir
Betaab Valley, A Day Trip Destination from Srinagar!
One of the best places to explore in Srinagar, Betaab Valley derived its name from a Bollywood movie named ‘Betaab,’ starring Sunny Deol. Originally known as Hagan Valley, it is a place for spending a relaxing time with your loved ones, watching over the breathtaking views of the Lidder River flowing down on the foothills of the mountains, which are covered by pine and deodar forests.
Betaab Valley is located in Pahalgam, around seven kilometres from the city centre. The picturesque verdant valley lies between two ranges of the Himalayas, Pir Panjal and Zanskar, has a park inside where you can sit for hours and soak into nature. The place remains open from 8 AM till the sunset offering enough time for some activities to do.
How to Reach Betaab Valley From Srinagar Airport?
A total distance of around 100 kilometres from Srinagar Airport, Betaab Valley can be reached within two to three hours.
Things To Do in Betaab Valley
- Enjoy a walk along the valley.
- Enjoy some time in the park.
- Have a pony ride around the valley.
- Capture awesome photographs of the surroundings.
Also Read: Best Time to Visit Srinagar Kashmir
These above-mentioned places are mandatory to include in a Srinagar Kashmir itinerary. However, if you wish to plan for these places and want the best things to do in Srinagar, you can contact us for any assistance. We have several tour packages for Srinagar, the best summer/winter destination in India, which you will find at your budget.
Other Important Srinagar Kashmir Tourism Links
Other Interesting Blogs to Read
Like & Follow our social media accounts at Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin & Instagram for getting the latest updates & offers on holiday packages.
Disclaimer: We do not take credit for some of the licenced paid images used in our blogs, whether from Google Images, Fotolia & Shutterstock. All such images are the copyrights of their respective owners and we try to provide credit for them wherever we can. If, however, any copyright image has been used on our blog, the concerned person can either mail us directly to remove the image or provide credit to whomsoever the image may belong to.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top attractions of Srinagar Tourism?
There is no dearth of places in Srinagar for tourists to visit. Some of the top tourist places to visit in Srinagar Kashmir are:
- Dal Lake
- Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden
- Shankaracharya Temple
- Hazratbal Masjid
- Shalimar Bagh Garden
- Nigeen Lake
What is the best time to explore the best of Srinagar Tourism?
Srinagar has been named a popular family destination over the years for spending holidays in summer, as well as in winter. This popular hill station can be explored in winter too if one can enjoy extreme cold. However, for planning a Srinagar trip the best time is between the months of April and October, as the temperature remains perfect for sightseeing.
What are the top things to do in Srinagar Kashmir?
There are umpteen things to do while on a vacation trip in Srinagar. Here is a list of top things to do, without which your trip cannot be completed.
- Witness the magical tulips in full bloom in Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden.
- Seek blessings for humanity at Shankaracharya Temple.
- Enjoy a shikara ride and buy local things from the floating market on Dal Lake.
- Explore the gardens, the creativity of Mughals.
- Enjoy a stay in a houseboat on Dal Lake or Nigeen Lake.
- Incite your tastebuds with the popular local cuisines.
- Enjoy a subtle view of sunrise and sunset from the lakes.
Which is the best time to experience snowfall in Srinagar?
Srinagar turns into a winter marvel after two-three days of continuous snowfall. If you want to explore the marvellous landscapes in winter, then the best time for planning trip to Srinagar is between October and March.
How many days are required to explore the best of the Srinagar Sightseeing Tour?
To explore the best visiting places in Srinagar, one needs a minimum of five to seven days.
What are the nearest airports and railway stations to Srinagar?
The nearest airport to Srinagar is Sheikh Ul Alam International Airport, which is connected to Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh via daily flights. The airport is located just 15 kilometres away from the city centre. As of now, Srinagar has no operational railway station of its own. Either you have to board a train to Jammu Tawi Station or Udhampur Railway Station, from where you have to cover a distance of around 256 kilometres and 185 kilometres, consecutively to reach Srinagar.
How are the accommodation facilities for tourists in Srinagar in terms of budget and luxury hotels and resorts?
There are plenty of accommodation facilities for tourists to stay in Srinagar. They can choose whatever option suits them well, be it a budget hotel or a luxury one. One can also choose a houseboat on Dal Lake or Nigeen Lake to stay, for a different experience.