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Best Places to Visit & Things to Do in Nainital, Uttarakhand

Find out top 20 reasons why you should Visit Nainital for an amazing Holiday.

The Lake City, Nainital is situated in the lap of Uttarakhand and it vies with several hilly destinations to secure a place in the list of top 10 hill stations in India. A quiet little valley at an elevation of about 2084m (According to Kumaon Vikas Mandal Nigam) with a centrally located lake, it is also one of the most visited hill stations in North India.

This colonial picturesque town is surrounded by 7 hilly and snowy lofty Peaks, the mesmerizing mountain lake of Naini decked in colorful boats, the revered Naina Devi temple on its banks and numerous enchanting forest trails are the vistas for which the tourists come for.

The authentic cuisines in stalls of the markets, amazing cafes and restaurants and the delightful hustle and bustle in the evening on the streets makes Nainital worth visiting.

During the summer break many tourists visit here, since the trend is changing, a lot of people take a weekend tour to Nainital as well. Adding further to its glory, Nainital is also one of the favorite destinations for honeymooners and couples.

Quick Info on Tourism in Nainital

Top Nainital Tourist Attractions Nainital Lake, Naina Devi Temple, Governor’s House, Snow View Point, Naina Peak, Mall Road, Nainital Zoo, Ropeway
Top Excursions (Places to Visit) Nearby Nainital Nakuchia Lake, Bhimtal, Sattal, Kainchi Dham, Pangot, Jim Corbett National Park
Top Things to in Nainital Boating, Shopping, Yatching, Trekking, Horse Riding
Best Time to Visit Nainital Round the Year

Popular Nainital Tour Packages

Why the Bliss and Beauty of Nainital Never Fades Away?

Nainital Tourism

Pour yourself coffee and sip on it while your eyes gaze at the sprawling and sparkling lake with a couple of boats sailing over it surrounded by yet to be brightened mountains; it makes you feel that you are witnessing one of the paintings of Claude Monet. The serene surroundings and the healing touch of nature is one of the best reasons why Nainital is one of the most visited Hill Stations in Uttarakhand.

Here the mountains look gorgeous under the glimmer of the stars. When the purple of the sunsets die the evening markets look surreal, the serene desolate woods where the scenic moon sometimes glimmers from above, if you are lucky enough you will definitely behold this gorgeous view. Miles and miles of the lake sparkles with lights from the surroundings under the night and the cold winds of the north is a complete soul pleaser.

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A Lake Tour You Should Not Miss

Nainital Lake

OBVIO! If you are in Nainital, you have to go and see the lakes situated around the city. Nainital is also known as the city of Lakes. Naini Lake, the most beautiful and popular tourist attraction of Nainital is a must not miss. Boat rides in Naini Lake give you a chance to see the lofty mountains and dancing clouds over it and take amazing pictures.

Naukuchiatal (Lake with 9 corners), Bhimtal (with the small island in the middle of the lake) and Sattal (there are 7 lakes in this area), Khurpatal (the hoof-shaped lake) are must see places in Nainital. Each lake is situated at a short distance from each other; thus, it merely takes half a day to see all of these. You can decide to stop for lunch at any of these lakes as most lakesides are replete with a number of small and big eating joints except for a few lakes in Sattal.

To talk about Sattal, this place is a loner (except for Government Lake, which has commercialized). Sattal is in fact one place where fishing is allowed; it is a perfect Weekend getaway around Nainital for those who would like to spend some time in utmost peace and amidst surreal nature. Few isolated lakes here would be Panna Lake, Sita Tal and Ram Tal. One must see the island aquarium in Bhimtal that has a variety of fishes.

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Let’s Savour the Taste of Delhi in the Amazing Chandni Chowk Restaurant of Nainital

Chandni Chowk Nainital

Located in the Mall Road of Nainital, Chandni Chowk Restaurant is one of the most fascinating restaurants where you can relish the cuisines of Delhi. It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital. This restaurant brings you the taste of Chandni Chowk cuisines of Delhi.

In fact, the architecture and the interior have been inspired from Chandni Chowk which works a magic for the restaurant as it lures many tourists. Tourists barge in seeing something totally out of the box and exit with a belly full of delicious food.

The restaurant serves mostly Punjabi cuisine along with the famous Dilli ki Chaat. The best part of the restaurant is the moving mannequins that apparently look as if they are cooking different items.  The interior is also a scene depicted of a busy street of Chandni Chowk in Delhi with a life size traffic police signaling vehicles to wait. Isn’t it great? You will get the vibes of Delhi in Nainital.

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Embrace the Views of Gorgeous Snowy Peaks – Snow View Point

Himalaya View from Snow-View

Take a cable car/ropeway to reach one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nainital called Snow View. The place is a sort of miniature fun park, which is absolutely perfect for some family enjoyment. MAY THE WEATHER BE WITH YOU, if you are a nature lover, on a clear sky day you shall be able to see the part of farfetched snow-clad Himalayan Mountain range. You will behold the scenic lofty Nanda Devi Peak, Trishul Peak and Nanda Kot Peak.

Decorated with snow, a small temple will not be far away from your view where people worship Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lord Lakshman, Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga.

The view is simply outstanding and the experience can be exhilarating. There are a number of other activities that you can indulge in and my personal favorite would be getting a picture done with a snake/python around the neck (CRAZY RIGHT! But it is worth experiencing! BLINK).

  • Timings- 10:30 to 5:00pm
  • Entry Fee- Free

Top Things to Do

  • Shooting Stalls at Snow view Point is an absolutely fun place for kids and adults.
  • There is an amusement Park in Snow View point which is an amazing place to spend time with your family and friends. It is a paradise for kids because of the abundance of fun rides.
  • Gadhan Kunkyop Ling Gompa of the Gelugpa order near Snow View Point is a place for serene and spiritual vibes.

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Visit the Nainital Zoo: Respond to the Original Nature’s Call

Nainital Zoo

Yeah, I know, zoos were actually one of those places that we enjoyed going to while we were kids BUT who doesn’t want to relive those childhood days…You’re right! I should work more on my convincing skills…LOL. It is actually a must visit place in Nainital and I believe have been reckoned as amongst the most well-maintained zoos in India. I am sure you will agree with me once you visit this lovely place. Besides the number of animals and bird species that you can spot here, you will go WOW over the view of the city from here.

Most Popular Attractions of Nainital Zoo

  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Red Panda
  • Bengal Tiger
  • Markhor
  • Himalayan Palm Civet
  • Sambar Deer

Timings– 10:00am to 4:30pm, closed on Monday

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Adventure Time! Cave Garden

Cave Garden Nainital

One will like visiting Eco Cave Garden in Nainital for small time adventure and fun. It is a group of interconnected natural caves, which can be crawled in. There are about six caves that you can choose from; the easiest being the Tiger Cave and the most difficult is Bat Cave in which one literally has to crawl.

The place has been maintained well by KMVN who has fairly decorated the place with life size effigies of rural men and women and small yet beautiful park for the visitors to relax. It is altogether a new experience for the tourists (Unless you have tried the similar thing somewhere else as well) and is amongst the best places for some great time in Nainital.

Timings – 9:30 to 5:30pm


  • It’s one of the most popular weekend picnic destinations in Nainital.
  • Musical Fountain in the evening is a sight to behold
  • Try Ziplining, it’s one of the best things to do in Eco Cave Garden.

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Let’s try Rock Climbing


Not that far from Cave Garden is the Barapathar or Bara Pathar, behind which is a rock-climbing spot. No, amateur climbers are not welcome here, you have to take at least a 7 days course in which you can learn abseiling, bouldering, climbing, scrambling and river crossing.

Now, physical agility and your duration is the main question here. If you are in the city for a long time and you are looking for something really enthralling to do, rock climbing is the best thing to do in Nainital. Being a native of Nainital, I can honestly tell you that climbing up a mountain and reaching the top is the best feeling EVER! You must include this adventure in your travel itinerary of your Nainital Tour.

Best Place for Rock Climbing – Nainital Mountaineering Club

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Shopping Paradise – Tibetan Market and Mall Road

Tibetan Market Nainital

The Tibetan market is situated at the far end of the Flatts forming an L-shape shopping paradise. It is the most popular shopping destination in Nainital. You will get to see numerous Tibetan products which reflect Tibetan culture and tradition.

From colorful Mufflers, jewelries, handicrafts, home decors to Himalayan products, you will get a plethora of products to soothe your shopper soul. It is also a place where you will find awesome souvenir shops to gift your loved ones. Men do not be disheartened, although the collection is limited for men’s wear, one might end up buying some good t-shirts and jackets.

If you are still not satisfied then another destination, Mall Road will blow your heart away. It is a lifeline of the hill town of Nainital. Various food stalls, souvenir shops, home decors, clothes shops, handicrafts shops and the hustle and bustle of tourists all around makes Mall Road one of the best places for shopping and hanging out with family and friends in Nainital.

Highlight- Here is a thing: SMILE, BARGAIN, SMILE AGAIN, SAY THANK YOU and REPEAT!! Bargain is the key and the riches of trendy clothes shall be bestowed upon you at the Tibetan Market and Mall Road in Nainital.

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Let’s Eat at Sonam’s

Sonam Fast Food Nainital

Your nose smells something eventually while squeezing yourself in the narrow alleys of Tibetan Market which makes your stomach gurgle violently. AND you cannot help move briskly towards the far end of the market to grab a plate of hot steaming momos.

The first bite of this lip smacking momos will prove that it was worth stealing time from shopping. Sonam is a small but best eating joint in Nainital that has a huge fan following. Momos are the must try here along with Dry and Soup Thukpa.

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Relax Your Mind with a Desi Head Massage

Head Massage Therapy

Forget about the hi-fi health and fitness spas, it’s to get a typical Desi head massage in Nainital! After all that loitering around, you spending too much on your wife’s and kids shopping in the Tibetan Market, you have to take one of these hillbilly-style massages. You may not have to look out for these yokels much as they can be found sitting on the side of the Upper Mall Road with a Head Massage signboard. For merely Rs 50 to Rs 100 you can get a good deal of refreshing massage that guarantees to keep you feeling alive all through the trip! TRY IT… You can THANK ME later.

Health Benefits of Desi Head Massage

  • Increased Energy Level
  • Stress Reliever
  • Rejuvenates the brain Cells
  • Improves concentration

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Skating at Zoomland

A bit under-maintained now, this place used to be a happening place where young boys and girls eyed each other along with learning skating… I have seen a lot of love stories take shape here. Gone are those GOLDEN DAYS. You can take a pair of skates here and hit the skating rink and skate while some great music is played in the background. AHH… I feel like going back home now!

Highlight – Kids can also learn skating under the supervision of professional Skaters.

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Colonial Charm of the Governor’s House


Governor’s House aka Raj Bhawan is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nainital. If you love to explore historical attractions then this is a perfect place for you to revel in the colonial charm of the Britishers. The Gothic and European architecture is a sight to behold. It is a two storeyed building with 113 rooms which used to be the summer residence of the Britishers.

The Brits were homesick I guess and therefore they tried to build things that could remind them of their homeland. The Governor House in Nainital is precisely the example of their love for their country. This building resembles a lot to the majestic Buckingham Palace in London. This majestic building still maintains its charm and now has an 18-hole golf course as well. Who wants to go to London, when we have our own version of Buckingham Palace?

Highlights – Raj Bhawan is very popular for Golfing. If you love Golfing then the breathtaking golf course of Raj Bhawan is one of the best places for Golfing in Nainital.

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Trekking in Naina Peak

Naina Peak Trek Nainital

Situated at an altitude of 2,615 m, Naina Peak houses the best views of snow-capped Himalayan mountains. It is also known as China Peak. It has always been the major tourist attraction in Nainital. If you love to do adventures then trekking here is one of the best things to do. This enchanting trail will take you to the gorgeous Rhododendron forests, amazing Deodars and Cypresses.

Whether you are an amateur or an expert, you can enjoy this trek. Also, the majestic views of Khurpatal Kaladungi and beautiful Naini Lake will delight your eyes. The view from the trail and the top is simply fantastic; I guess the joy of reaching the top makes the panorama even more gorgeous. So, if you are in Nainital you must trek to Naina Peak for some adrenaline rush.

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Capture the Beauty of St John’s Church

St.Johns-Church Nainital

St John’s Church in Nainital is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations for solace seekers. It was founded by Bishop Daniel Wilson of Kolkata in 1844, hence the church is named after him. There is a forest located near the church and it is said that St John stayed in an unfinished cottage for a long time in that forest which is the reason why this church is also known as Wilderness Church.

It is built in Neo- Gothic style architecture. Stained glass windows, Pine and Deodar trees make the ambiance of the church very beautiful and peaceful. Tucked in an isolated hill in Mallital, this Gothic-style Church stands aloof from all the noise and city bustling. Although there is a school situated just next to it, one will still find this place utterly peaceful.

The graveyard at the backside of the church gives spooky vibes as it is dedicated to the people who died in a landslide of 1880. A loner will definitely make for some gorgeous pictures. It is absolutely a must visit place if you are in Nainital!

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Amazing Sunset of Hanuman Garhi


Most of the hill stations offer a spectacular view of the sunset, where the sun slowly descends towards the hills and then simply hides behind the massive mountain. It is one of the best places to explore in Nainital.

Whereas, in Nainital watching the sunset has a different feel; the sun here doesn’t hide behind the mountains it simply DISAPPEARS, it does! At Hanuman Garhi, which is 3kms from Nainital City, you can watch the sunset on the horizon and believe me it is one of the most enchanting views that one can apparently catch in Nainital.

There is a well-maintained park and a Hanuman Temple that you can visit as well. Make sure you reach the place at least an hour before sunset.

Note- Beware of the Monkeys and take care of your belongings

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Kilbury and Pangot

Pangot Uttarakhand

Yes, we understand sometimes all you need is a lazy holiday where you can lie on your back and watch the clouds float and Kilbury and Pangot are the best excursions around Nainital to do so. Far from the city’s bustles these two hideouts let you have your way. They are even great places to go for bird watching in Nainital, OF COURSE if you are interested. Where Kilbury is the home to about 500 species of birds, Pangot on the other hand is a heart shaped hamlet offering an exhilarating escape from the usual. Now, this small place is dotted with many resorts that guarantee a pleasant stay amidst ever so surreal nature.

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Gurney House

Gurney-House Nainital

A special tour to Gurney House or the house of wildlife conservationist Jim Corbett is a must if you are in Nainital. The house is not as large as the one in Kaladhungi (which has been converted as a museum) but sure is a delight to see! The current owner allows personal tours to this place, which has a number of things that belonged to Jim Corbett. Gurney House as it is called is situated on the Ayarpatta Hill in Nainital (the opposite hill of the one which has a lot of hotels); from here the view is spectacular as well.

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Naina Devi Temple – The Landmark Destination

Naina Devi Temple Nainital

Serene and surreal, Naina Devi Temple is one of the major Tourist attractions in Nainital. The temple is dedicated to Naina Devi. It is also one of the major Shakti Peethas of India. It is believed that Goddess Sati’s eyes fell here when she immolated herself in the yagna. Tourists and devotees from all across the world come here to seek divine blessings. The beautiful backdrop of the blissful Naina Lake and lofty mountain Peaks makes Naina Temple very gorgeous to look at. Nanda Ashtami is the best time to behold the magnificence of Naina Devi Temple.

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Sit by the Lakeside

Nainital Lake Night View

AAH… Like I said there is nothing better than sitting beside the lake in Nainital. As the evening closes in, this particular side placed on one end of the Flatts is thronged by a number of tourists and locals. The view is magical with the lights of the hotels reflecting on the lake water, the dark mountains and gradually dimming sky. The cool breeze against your hair, the smell of coffee dominating all other fragrances, the cozy environment and the tranquility… YOU just cannot find a perfect end to a beautiful day than this! If you do this then Visiting Nainital would be worth it.

Also Read: Popular Lakes in Uttarakhand

Jim Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park Royal Bengal Tiger

This is worth every expense! One of the oldest national parks in India, Corbett is one place that you will never forget. The Park is situated about 65kms from Nainital and thus is one of the best places to see and enjoy wildlife holidays near the city.

Sprawling across a large area, Corbett National Park is the home to many species of animals and birds. The hills, marshy lands, ravine belts and gorgeous lakes makes it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers. It also houses one of the rare endemic species like Fish Eating crocodiles, seven species of fish, 36 species of dragonflies, Majestic Royal Bengal tigers and other wild creatures. The best way to explore this enchanting wilderness is an amazing and thrilling Jungle Jeep Safari.

Other than spotting wildlife, staying in Dhikala Lodge. that is built inside the park and taking safaris on jeep, canter and elephant adds to the excitement and adventure here.

Also Read: Wildlife Tourism in Uttarakhand

Paragliding at Nainital

Paragliding in Nainital

Sometimes Birds make us envy their wings. Imagine how beautiful it would be to see the whole world from Sky? We don’t have wings but we can still fly to explore the beautiful hill town of Nainital by indulging in an amazing and thrilling adventure activity called Paragliding.  Experienced guides will give you an amazing tour of Nainital from the sky and this experience is something else. It is a must-do activity if you are in Nainital. You can enjoy this thrilling activity in Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal.

Also Read: Adventure Tourism in Uttarakhand

Hope this blog helped you learn more about your options in Nainital. So, now the next time you are in this magical city, make sure you check things off this list in order to get an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section of this blog. We will be pleased to listen to it.

Nainital Distances from Major Cities

Delhi – Nainital Distance (324 km) via NH9 Approx.
Nainital – Dehradun Distance (284 km) via NH734 Approx.
Nainital – Mussoorie Distance (315 km) via NH734 Approx.
Nainital – Corbett Distance (70 km) via Nainital Road Approx.
Nainital – Ranikhet Distance (58 km) via Ranikhet Rd and NH109 Approx.
Nainital – Haridwar Distance (233 km) via NH734 Approx.
Nainital – Rishikesh Distance (258 km) via NH734 Approx.

Other Important Uttarakhand Tourism Resources

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What are the best things to Do in Nainital?

  • Visit Naini Lake
  • Paragliding
  • Boating
  • Temple hopping
  • Shopping at Mall Road and Tibetan Market
  • Sunset at Hanuman Garhi
  • Visit Corbett National Park
  • Adventures at Cave Garden
  • Visit Raj Bhawan
  • Kilbury and Pangot
  • Trekking to Naina Peak

Q.What is the best way to reach Nainital?

  • Nainital by Flight - Indira Gandhi International airport and Pantnagar Airport are the two closest airports to reach Nainital. Flights are convenient if you want to reach early.
  • Nainital By Road - Road trips are always fun. Watching scenic views on your way and stopping to click awesome photographs, if you love travelling like this then Road Trip to Nainital is best for you. You can also get buses for Nainital from Delhi and other major cities. It is a one-hour drive from Kathgodam.
  • Nainital by Train- If you love train journeys then Kathgodam Railway Station is the nearest Railhead to Nainital. It is also connected to Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and other cities.

Q.What are the best things to do for couples in Nainital?

  • Boating
  • Paragliding
  • Romantic Time spending at the Lake side
  • Temple Hopping
  • Shopping
  • Trekking
  • Visit Snow View Point
  • Adventure at Eco Cave Gardens
  • Restaurant and cafes

Q.How many minimum days are required to explore the best of Nainital Tourism?

It depends how long you want to stay at this beautiful Hill Town. The places around Nainital are also interesting and the tourist attractions of Nainital are also worth visiting. From adventure activities, temple hopping to wildlife sightseeing and shopping one can indulge in various fun filled activities. It is also a very good weekend destination. If you want to enjoy the best of Nainital then 3-4 days are enough to explore its beauty.

Q.How are the accommodation facilities for tourists in Nainital?

There are a plethora of stay options in Nainital where a tourist will not face any problems related to basic amenities and cleanliness. Depending on their budget, there are many options like good homestays, Luxury Resorts and hotels, Boutique hotels and heritage bungalows and cottages. The facilities are not less than international standards.

Q.Is there any home stay accommodation for tourists in Nainital?

  • Kainchi Dham Hilly Homestay
  • Aryan Homestay
  • Fern Villas
  • Goroomgo Homestay Gharonda Nainital
  • Avaas
  • Keshav Homestay
  • The Hive Cottage
  • Shivaya
  • Panchachuli House

Q.When is the National Carnival organized in Nainital?

The National winter Carnival of Nainital is organized every year in December. The dates are not yet announced. It is a five-day long celebration which includes various cultural performances and fun filled activities.

Q.What is the distance between Kausani to Nainital?

The distance Between Kausani to Nainital is - 115Kms

Q.What is the distance of Nainital from Delhi?

The distance of Delhi from Nainital is approx - 324 Km

Q.What is the distance of Ranikhet from Nainital?

Road Distance of Ranikhet from Nainital - 58Kms

Published: 01 Dec, 2021

About the author

Nidhi Singh

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.