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Explore Darjiling

Darjeeling Hotels

Darjeeling’s hypnotic hill-station charm still lingers on. Victorian era relics cluster together around the old centre, emerald green cascades of tea plantations roll down the hillsides and a backdrop of snow-capped jagged Himalayan Mountains soars above the clouds. People from Tibet, Nepal and Sikkim mingle with foreign and Indian tourists, seeking refuge from the heat of the plains, as Darjeeling continues to thrive as a cooling, refreshing spot high up in West Bengal’s tea-laden hills.

Things to see

Start exploring Darjeeling at Chowrasta – the pedestrian square at the centre of Darjeeling’s old Victorian villas. A few high society clubs still evoke bygone times, with faded bars, smoking rooms and snooker tables – well worth a look inside. Chowrasta – and the mall that runs off it – bustle with tea stores – some of the best places to sample and buy Darjeeling’s delicate black blend, whose fragrant aroma floats around on the cooling Himalayan breeze. Head out of town to one of the many tea plantations that scatter the deep green countryside for a more in-depth tea tasting, stopping at some of the area’s best viewpoints. Tiger Hill offers a particularly resplendent view at dawn, as a deep orange glow lights up the distant Himalayas, including Khangchendzonga – the world’s 3rd highest peak. Back in town head to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Museum – where some of India’s leading explorers have trained.

Hotels in Darjeeling

You might be shocked by Darjeeling’s prices compared to the rest of India. As such a popular tourist destination, cheap hotels in Darjeeling are not as cheap as elsewhere, though they offer similar basic facilities including simple rooms with or without fan, and shared bathrooms. If you feel like stepping back into bygone times, check in to one of Darjeeling’s upmarket guesthouses, brimming with period furniture, Himalayan handicrafts and thick colourful fabrics. To experience Darjeeling’s secluded mountain forests, obtain a permit and head to an off-the-beaten-track guesthouse to wake up to the sound of monkeys howling in the tree-tops.

Where to stay

Darjeeling’s maze of roads hug the mountain-side in interconnected cascades, often leaving visitors confused and disoriented. This is part of the fun though, and if you base yourself near Chowrasta or The Mall – also known as Nehru Road – you’ll never be far from tea stores, restaurants and shops. After a day wandering around Darjeeling’s web of winding streets, it’s nice to know you’re not far from your hotel room. Away from the hustle of central Darjeeling, the roads tend to be less busy – good for light sleepers – plus accommodation generally comes with a lower price tag.

How to get to Darjeeling

International visitors can fly to Delhi or Kolkata to get a connecting flight to Bagdogra Airport, approximately 8 miles from Siliguri, where you can take a 3 hour bus journey to Darjeeling. The nearest railway station is at New Jalpaiguri, near Siliguri. If you don’t fancy the bus, you could organise a taxi to take you up to Darjeeling, or book on to a tourist shuttle bus through a travel agency. The UNESCO heritage listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway provides an enchanting 3 hour steam train journey from Kurseong, or a quick 50 minute pleasure ride from Ghoom.