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13 Top Things to Do in Sikkim, The Must-Do Activities for an Eventful Holiday

One of the amazing Himalayan states in Northeast India, Sikkim is an idyllic hill station, famed for many reasons. From being the highest literate state in the northeast and the first organic state in India to being home to the Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim is a small state that attracts flocks of tourists all over the world.

Bordered by West Bengal, Bhutan, Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, Sikkim is full of dramatic landscapes with vertical terrains. It’s a fact that, because of its geography and the location close to the international border, Sikkim is not easy to travel and even to enter some areas, you need permits from specific departments. But, the thrill of adventures the place offers with its numerous must-visit places, is unmatched and unforgettable. There is no dearth of incredible things to do in Sikkim. Whether it’s water rafting, trekking or a monastery walk and enjoying the active nightlife – Sikkim tourism has something for every traveller.

Let’s know about the top things to do in Sikkim in detail.

Popular Trekking Trails in Sikkim Goechala Trek, Khangchendzonga Base Camp Trek, Dzongri Trek, Hilley Varsey Trek, Green Lake Trek
Monastery Tours in Sikkim Rumtek Monastery, Enchey Monastery, Ralang Monastery, Phodang Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery
Village Walks in Sikkim Pelling, Singhik, Dzongu, Bhulong, Rodhu Khandu
Yak Ride in Sikkim Changu Lake or Tsomgo Lake
Helicopter Ride in Sikkim Gangtok
Ropeway Ride in Sikkim Gangtok
Paragliding in Sikkim Gangtok
White Water Rafting in Sikkim Melli, Triveni, Rangpo
Birdwatching in Sikkim Rumtek Gompa, Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, Tsomgo Lake, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, Khecheopalri Lake, Pelling, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary
Hot Spring Experiences Reshi Hot Spring, Borong and Ralong Hot Spring, Yumthang Hot Spring, Yumesamdong Hot Spring
Pilgrimage Places in Sikkim Char Dham Namchi, Tsomgo Lake, Gurudongmar Lake

Explore Popular Sikkim Tourism Packages

Trekking, For Sheer Exhilaration!

Trekking in Sikkim - Kanchenjunga Peak View

The vastness of Mount Khangchendzonga lies at a height of 8,586 metres, making Sikkim a paradise for trekkers. From all over the world, mountain lovers and adventure enthusiasts are drawn to this paradise of alpine beauty, to get close to the breathtaking landscapes and peace the mountain offers. Trekking is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Sikkim as it lets you have an experience of many proportions. From walking through the verdant valleys with blooming wildflowers, watching exotic animals like Red Panda on the treetops, to crossing gushing rivers and waterfalls – trekking in Sikkim will give you a backpack full of memories.

Places for Trekking in Sikkim

Also Read: Best Time for Trekking in Sikkim

Monastery Tour, For Exploring The Culture!

Rumtek Monastery Sikkim

Similar to other Himalayan regions in India, Sikkim has also been strongly influenced by Buddhism. The presence of over 200 monasteries clearly agrees that Buddhism is an essential part of Sikkim. Monastery Tours are the top tourism activities in Sikkim for many reasons. For exploring Sikkim and its culture as well as learning about how the mountainous life in the place revolves around the monasteries, how the monks live and how they influence the tradition in Sikkim – a Monastery Tour is all you should experience. Besides offering a peaceful environment for getting close to the almighty, these monasteries tours will also lead you to the stunning places in Sikkim where you can discover another gorgeous hidden gem of Sikkim.

Places for Monastery Tours in Sikkim

Also Read: Culture of Sikkim

Village Walk, For Getting Close To Sikkimese Hospitality!

Sikkim Village Tourism

People say, if you are a true traveller and want to know a place in depth, talk to the locals. Be their guests, stay with them and learn about them. A village walk is one such way to get close to the locals of Sikkim. Besides the must-visit tourist destinations, the quaint villages in Sikkim are undoubtedly some of the best places to explore. Staying in a homestay, eating their homemade traditional food, having a chit-chat over a course of barbecue at night and contributing your valuable skills to their livelihoods – is the best way of discovering Sikkim.

Places For Village Walks in Sikkim

  • Pelling
  • Rodhu Khandu
  • Singhik
  • Bhulong
  • Dzongu
  • Lachen

Also Read: Sikkim Festivals

Yak Ride, A Fascinating Ride!

Yak Ride Sikkim

Yak Ride is surely one of the unique things to do in Sikkim. It is a tranquil ride, only available in Changu or Tsomgo Lake, which is located at a distance of 40 kilometres from Gangtok. Yaks are calm and gentle animals and riding on them to explore the area is one of the enthralling experiences you will have in Sikkim. The animals are covered in long black hair to protect themselves from cold. The yaks in Changu Lake are decorated with woollen knits and have bells around their necks. Each of them comes with a trainer who will control them on your ride to make it safe. Exploring the lake and the mountains by sitting on a yak will surely become an experience within itself.

Places For Yak Ride in Sikkim

  • Changu or Tsomgo Lake

Also Read: Adventure Tourism in Sikkim

Helicopter Ride, Views From High Vantage Point!

Helicopter Ride Sikkim

One of the most exciting things to do, riding in a Sikkim helicopter is an experience in itself. The helicopter tour is a guided aerial journey over a particular area in a helicopter, typically of scenic landscapes or cities and this is an excellent way to view a location or the things to see that are difficult or impossible to see from the ground. One of the top things to do in Sikkim Gangtok, the helicopter ride is a chartered flight in a single engine helicopter and it is one of the most scenic helicopter rides in the world as it takes you over the Himalayas and gives you a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking landscape below. The Sikkim helicopter ride lasts for about 25-30 minutes and the exact timings depend on the location of the helipad. The best time to visit Sikkim to witness this mesmerising view is between the months of October and March when the weather is favourable for a scenic tour.

Places For Helicopter Rides in Sikkim

  • Gangtok (Joy Ride)
  • Khangchendzonga Mountain
  • Char Dham-Tathagata Tsal – Samdruptse – Sai Mandir
  • Tsomgo Lake (Aerial Flights)

Also Read: Must Visit Lakes in Sikkim

Ropeway Ride, A Must-Do Experience!

Gangtok Ropeway

In the land of joyous Sikkim, an exciting evening ropeway ride is an experience that you must not miss when visiting. There are a few places in the state that offer thrilling views of nature with the ropeway ride as an awesome background accompaniment. These ropeways aren’t just for transportation but an amazing way to explore beautiful locations in Sikkim. One of the top tourism activities in Sikkim, the ropeway ride in Gangtok offers exciting views of the city from high above. If you want something more exciting than just a panoramic view, then you should try the ropeway ride in Gangtok, which is the top tourist destination in Sikkim, as well as Northeast India.

Places For Ropeway Ride in Sikkim

  • Gangtok

Also Read: Popular Hill Stations in Sikkim

Paragliding, An Exhilarating Experience!

Paragliding in Sikkim

Paragliding in Gangtok Sikkim is an exhilarating experience. Perched on a hilltop, the city of Gangtok, which is one of the best tourist places in Sikkim, is the perfect place for paragliding. The scenic beauty of the town combined with the thrilling experience of flying like a bird from a height makes it one of the most sought-after adventure sports in Sikkim. If you are visiting Sikkim anytime between September and December this year, we recommend adding paragliding to your Sikkim tour plan to add more excitement to your trip. Moreover, the Himalayan Paragliding Festival organised in Gangtok, Sikkim every year in October provides locals and tourists with an opportunity to try this adventurous sport.

Places For Paragliding in Sikkim

  • Baliman Dara, Gangtok for medium-fly
  • Bulbuley Dara, Gangtok for high fly

Also Read: North Sikkim Tourist Places

White Water Rafting, Meet The Himalayan Rivers!

White Water Rafting Sikkim

The tiny state of Sikkim has some of the most captivating rivers that will leave your adrenaline rushing and heart thumping. If you’re someone who loves the rush of adrenaline that comes with fast rapids and the roar of crashing waterfalls, then look no further than the rivers in Sikkim for an exciting and unforgettable experience. The white river rafting will let you explore the Himalayan rivers and their varying rapids on your holiday in Sikkim. You can choose one of the two rivers in Sikkim for this exciting experience. The Teesta River, that originates from the Tso Lhamo Lake in North Sikkim and the Rangeet River, originating from Mount Kabru, a glacier in the lower region of Khangchendzonga – are two of the best places to opt for rafting in Sikkim.

Places For Rafting in Sikkim

  • Melli
  • Makha to Rangpo
  • Triveni

Also Read: West Sikkim Travel Guide

Explore MG Marg Nightlife, Meet The Lively Part of Sikkim!

MG Marg Nightlife - Mall Road Gangtok

The nightlife in Sikkim is diverse and interesting. There are a number of nightlife spots in Sikkim that allow you to experience the region’s lively culture, especially on Mall Road or MG Marg in Gangtok, where the nights become colourful and happening with lots of events. There are several bars and clubs in MG Marg that showcase international music along with food and drinks. The jam sessions by the renowned performers in the clubs also attract a number of tourists who want to be familiar with the culture of the northeast, specifically with their music. Unlike other mountainous regions in the country, life in Gangtok is more happening and MG Marg or Mall Road stands supreme for this reason.

Places to Experience Nightlife in Sikkim

  • MG Marg or Mall Road, Gangtok

Also Read: Folk Dance & Music of Sikkim

Char Dham Namchi, Seek Blessings From Lord Shiva!

Chardham Namchi Sikkim

Promoted by the Sikkim Tourism Department to encourage Eco, Village and Religious Tourism in the state, a visit to Char Dham in Namchi to seek blessings from Lord Shiva is a journey of its kind. The complex is built on the top of Solophok Hill and spreads across an area of 29 hectares. The picturesque complex, consisting of a 108-feet tall statue of Lord Shiva, was inaugurated in November 2011. It also includes four shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna and Lord Jagannath. Another attraction of the place is the outsized statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Samdruptse (135 feet).

Location of Char Dham

  • Namchi

Also Read: Namchi Tourism – Best Places to Explore & Top Things to Do

Tsomgo Lake, A Visit to Indo-China Border

Tsomgo Lake Sikkim

Located around 40 kilometres far from the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is an epitome of natural beauty. It is nestled in the snow-covered mountains at a height of 3,753 metres and the Indo-China border is just 18 kilometres away from this lake. Tsomgo Lake is one of the must-see places in Sikkim and its changing colours from one season to another is the main attraction here. The glacial lake looks sapphire blue in spring and dark green in winter. The sacred lake is visited by tourists and locals during Guru Purnima to offer prayers to the guardian deity.

Location of Tsomgo Lake:

  • East Sikkim

Also Read: Gurudongmar Lake Sikkim

Bathing In A Hot Spring, A Unique Thing To Do!

Reshi Hot Spring Sikkim

There are numerous natural hot springs in Sikkim. The steaming water of these hot springs is believed to have outstanding therapeutic effects due to the presence of high sulphur content. The average temperature of these natural hot springs in Sikkim generally reaches 50 degrees celsius, higher than the surrounding environment. One of the top tourist places in Sikkim, these hot springs originate from geothermally heated groundwater. While some hot springs are warm enough to have a relaxing spa-like experience, some are extremely hot. The following hot springs in Sikkim are the places you should add to your next Sikkim vacation plan.

Locations of Hot Spring in Sikkim

  • Reshi Hot Spring
  • Borong and Ralong Hot Spring
  • Yumthang Hot Spring
  • Yumesamdong Hot Spring

Also Read: Best Time to Visit Sikkim

Birdwatching, The Best Birding Experience!

Bird Watching in Sikkim

Thanks to Sikkim Government’s progressive conservation policies and its religious convictions, it is one of the top places in the world for birdwatching. The biodiversity of Sikkim supports 22 restricted species and 19 endemic species of birds that are nowhere to be found. The unique geographical position of Sikkim is home to more than 700 species of birds, according to the renowned ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. Three distinct climate zones of Sikkim from tropical to snow make it the richest birdwatching place in northeast India that attracts numerous enthusiasts from all over the world. If you are also one of them and want to explore the variety of Himalayan birds in Sikkim, plan a trip to the following places.

Places For Birdwatching in Sikkim

  • Rumtek Gompa (East Sikkim)
  • Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary (East Sikkim)
  • Tsomgo Lake (East Sikkim)
  • Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary (East Sikkim)
  • Khecheopalri Lake (West Sikkim)
  • Pelling (South Sikkim)
  • Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary (South Sikkim)

Also Read: Wildlife Tourism in Sikkim

If you are visiting Sikkim this year, hope this blog will help you in deciding how to spend your vacation by choosing several activities to do. You can plan your Sikkim tour plan with us, if you want to spend your holidays without any hassle and comfortably. Browse our website for several Sikkim tour packages or call us directly.

Which of the above-mentioned tourist activities do you want to do first? Comment below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top things to do for tourists in winters in Sikkim?

There are numerous things to do for tourists in Sikkim, specifically in winters. Some of best things to do in Winters are:

  • Dzongri Trek
  • Monastery Tour
  • Ropeway Ride
  • Yak Ride
  • Road trip to Gurudongmar Lake
  • Birdwatching
  • Shopping

What are the best summer activities and things to do for travellers in Sikkim?

Some of the best things to do in Sikkim in summers are:

  • Village Walks
  • Paragliding
  • Water Rafting
  • Helicopter Ride
  • Shopping
  • Ropeway Ride

How to spend one week in Sikkim?

You can spend a week in Sikkim by doing a lot of activities. Sikkim is divided into four tourism circuits: East, West, North and Sikkim. You can plan your Sikkim itinerary based on which circuit you want to explore. A perfect North Sikkim trip from arriving in Gangtok on the day first and then travelling to Lachen, Gurudongmar, Lachen, Lachung and then Yumthang can be completed within a week. Moreover, visiting some tourist places in Sikkim in the East Sikkim and South Sikkim can also be done within a week.

Some of the popular 1-week tour itineraries for Sikkim are-

Which are the best tourism activities for kids in Sikkim?

Some of the best tourism activities for kids in Sikkim are:

  • Ropeway Ride
  • Yak Ride
  • Road Trip
  • Shopping
  • Food Tour
  • Helicopter Ride
  • Birdwatching

Published: 10 Aug, 2022

About the author

Nandini Bhattacharya

From the ‘City of Joy,’ Kolkata, Nandini Bhattacharya is a Travel Writer by profession and traveller by passion. She loves to explore places around the world, new cultures, different cuisines and all new things that one can learn outside the home. She also loves to document her journey so that people can be inspired and travel more. Nandini is a nature lover and talks about sustainable tourism. She wants to make this world a good place where people can live healthy and happily.