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4.3 /5 235 votes


Best Time: Throughout the year Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Dehradun Check Flights

"Misty lakes and mountains"

Nainital Tourism

The gem of Uttarakhand - Nainital is a charming hill station that sits prettily at the green foothills of the Kumaon ranges in the Himalayas. Located at an elevation of around 1938 metres, the epicentre of the town’s popularity and beauty lies within the gorgeous Naini Lake, after which the town is named. Founded by the British due to its resemblance to the Cumbrian Lake district, Nainital brims with elegant colonial structures that amplify the beauty of this place. It is a perfect weekend getaway from the Indian capital of Delhi.

This quaint little town experiences a pleasant climate throughout the year, making it a tourist getaway, especially preferred by families and honeymooners. The Naini Lake, along with the other lakes in the area, has earned this town the title of ‘City of Lakes’. Whether you want to go boating on the beautiful Naini Lake or any of the other lakes, relish some local delicacies, shop at the Tibetan Market and Mall Road, or take a ropeway ride to soak in the beauty of the Himalayas from Snow View Point, Nainital is sure to leave an imprint on you that will last a lifetime.

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What Makes Nainital An Amazing Tourist Destination

What makes Nainital one of the most appealing hill stations to visit is the ropeway ride, which attracts a huge number of tourists daily. A ride on the cable car promises mesmerizing views of the entire Naini Lake from a vantage point. Other adventure rides for adrenaline junkies include water zorbing, paragliding, and trekking activities. Taking advantage of its proximity to Punjab and Delhi, Nainital boasts of some excellent restaurants serving authentic Punjabi and North Indian fare. There are dozens of cafes dotting the promenade near the Naini Lake, and you can spend a pleasant evening sipping a cup of coffee and watching the breeze glide over the silvery blue waters of the lake. Nainital also has some mythological legends attached to it, which makes the Naina Devi Temple a very popular spot for pilgrims. Another religious place that also doubles as a tourist attraction is the St. John’s Church, whose impressive old-world architecture and huge stained-glass windows make it a must-see place in the city. Nainital has plenty of markets scattered all over the city, where you can shop for everything starting from tiny trinkets and candles to jewellery, handicrafts and stylish scarves and shawls. Despite advancing on par with the modern world, Nainital still holds on to some of its old-world charm and simplicity. The locals of the city keep alive traditions and customs of the bygone era, as reflected in the many vibrant fairs and festivals the town celebrates.

City of Lakes

Known as the 'Lake District of India', Nainital is a tourist attraction for both adventurers and seekers. Famous for its lakes and its picturesque location, Nainital is the perfect summer retreat for those wishing to escape the unbearable summers of north India. Besides being a tourist hotspot, Nainital is also famous for its education, be it St. Joseph's College, or Birla Vidya Mandir, or even the renowned Sherwood College, famous for giving illustrious celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Kabir Bedi, Manish Pandey, Majo Nath Sharma, and Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.


The name Nainital means 'The Lake of the Eye', which traces its origins back to the ancient mythology when one of the charred remains of Goddess Sati had fallen down here, apparently the eye. No wonder why Nainital also houses one of the Shakti Peeths in India, i.e. Naina Devi.

Shopping in Nainital

When it comes to the shopping haul, there is no better place than the narrow and hyped street markets of Nainital. The hill station offers many specialities for shopping ranging from branded goods to locally produced apparels and products. The biggest market in Nainital is the Mall Road market where you’ll find anything and everything of your choice and the best thing about it that it doesn’t scare your pockets. The market is usually crowded with tourists and people visiting from different states for souvenirs and local goods. The street has a long chain of shops located on the bank of Naini lake and is a must visit place in the city. If you’re ever visiting, don’t forget to buy the popular wax candles which became a favourite memoir after the establishment of a flourishing wax industry in the 90s. Tibetan market or Bhoti Market is another popular marketplace especially known for its scarfs, women clothing and shawls. If you want an excellent shopping experience for food and clothing, Bara Bazaar in Mallital offers you a diverse range and pocket-friendly prices. Don’t forget to try the roadside bhel puri in around the market; it’s every shopper's favourite!

Trekking/Hiking in Nainital

The rocky landscape of Nainital makes it a home for some of the most energised adventure sports among which trekking is a popular choice for travellers. The Lake district of Uttarakhand is at a normal elevation of 1,938 meters which provides trekkers with the best experience of thrilling climb and peace in the midst of green woods. Naina Peak is one of the most preferred treks which offers a six to seven hours of rigorous trekking experience and an achieving height of 2611 meters. The striking foot trail is surrounded by think confers and is a beloved place by birdwatchers. The location is a home for various bird species such as Sunbirds and Himalayan Griffon Vultures. One can enjoy the bliss of natural serenity after completing the thrilling climb to Naina peak. Another popular spot is the Tiffin Top Trek, a short trek with spectacular action and luxurious natural experience. It is a 3-kilometre trail that is often started early morning for the tourists so that they can enjoy the campfire on the base at dusk. The SNow View and Camel’s back trekking circuit are other popular options to indulge in the tranquil air of Nainital.

Restaurants and Local Food in Nainital

Nainital being a popular tourist spot, houses a flattering variety of cuisines from North Indian, Chinese, Continental, Italian to Thai, Tibetan and the local cuisines of Uttarakhand. Hence you can enjoy popular Indian delicacies like Dal Makhani, Tandoori Roti, Naan, Paneer dishes as well as savor a number of continental delicacies. The local cuisine can be equally mouth watering with preparations like Ras (a dish made with several dals), Baadi, Bhatt ki Churkani, Aloo ke Gutke (a spicy preparation of boiled potatoes, Arsa (a sweet dish), Gulgula (a sweet snack) and lots more.
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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 - Once you've reached Nainital, take some well-deserved rest. In the evening, you can drop in at the popular markets, whether Tibetan Market or Mall Road to satisfy your shopping instincts.
Day 2 - Start with the holy blessings from Naina Devi, a Shakti Peeth which is barely 1.8 km. from the main town of Nainital. Then, you can visit the Naini Zoo which sports a rich collection of flora and fauna.
Day 3 - You can head off to the picturesque locations in Nainital, whether Snow Top or Tiffin Top, which is connected to the main town by cable cars. Thence you can try your hands at trekking and other adventure sports, and if you're a boating freak, the best time to visit Naini Lake is from 16:00 onwards.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

A sight to soothe your eyes. Can be visited throughout the year. Also an ideal place for both devotees and adventure enthusiasts.

What's Not So Great?

Is crowded most of the time, especially during peak seasons. Not ideal for those who wish instant connectivity.

For Whom?

This is the perfect destination for those wishing a respite from the hot summers in the northern plains of India. Also ideal for the trekking enthusiasts, and the devotees of Lord Shiva and Goddess Sati / Parvati

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How To Reach Nainital

There is no direct connectivity to Nainital, except by Road. The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, some 35 km. from Nainital. As of air connectivity, the nearest airport is in Pantnagar, some 65 km. away from the district. Unfortunately, the only flights that operate are privately chartered.  

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Nainital Reviews

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gulab bisht 10 months ago
Nainital is a beautiful hill station located in Kumaon hill in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Nainital is known as the "City of Lakes" and is built around the eye-shaped Naini Lake from which it got its name. With its picturesque beauty of nature and convenient climate makes it a perfect summer holiday hill station for tourists. Nainital attracts families as well as couples alike as a travel destination. Read More
Yash Saboo 1 year ago
Nainital used to be an annual weekend getaway back when I was a child as it was only driving distance from my grandmother's place. It is a quintessential hilltop which has every element to for me to unwind. There's a plethora of things to do and places to visit. I started my trip with a serene boat ride in the Naini lake which is surrounded by seven majestic mountains. Next up, I took a tour of the Ropeway to have a breathtaking view of the snow-clad Himalayas. For me, familiarising myself with the Tibetan culture was a one of a kind experience. The best way to do that is by taking a stroll in the flea market spread across the banks of Naini lake. This is where your bargaining skills will come into play.
Kovid Kapoor 1 year ago
- Carry warm clothes and good shoes irrespective of which season you travel in.
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