Things to do in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim – A Travel Guide

by Mar 11, 2017City Guides, Northeast India, Sikkim4 comments

Gangtok, the heartland of the mystical Sikkim is one of the favourite destinations in the north-eastern India. Once you are here, you will feel that you are in a different place altogether. Neat and clean, the city is as peaceful as you want it to be and as beautiful as your heart wants to see. The capital of Sikkim with all its beauty and charm will make you fall in love with it.

So once you are at Gangtok, there are loads of things that will simply make you fall in love with this hilly capital of Sikkim. We have collated the best of them for your next trip to Gangtok.


Tsogmo Lake (Changu Lake as the locals call)

How to reach Gangtok, capital of Sikkim:

Like Darjeeling, you can reach Gangtok from Bagdogra, Siliguri or NJP. Bagdogra is the nearest airport and NJP is the nearest railhead. You can take a hired car from NJP or Siliguri.

Those looking for budget options, numerous shared jeeps are also available for Gangtok from Siliguri SNT Bus Stand. Buses are also available from Siliguri Bus stand, but jeeps are more comfortable.

Of late, the Pakyong Airport near Gangtok is operational and a few flights are flown in from Kolkata and Delhi. So you can fly in to Gangtok as well these days.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time is the summer months when the weather will be cool. Winters are quite cold here. It is best to avoid monsoons in Sikkim.

March to May is a favourable time when the weather remains cool and pleasant. You should avoid June to August, as the rain starts during this time. September to mid-November is also a good time to visit Gangtok and Sikkim. The weather remains favourable during this time as well. December to February sees quite cold temperature. You need to carry sufficient woollen clothes during this time. But the winter months are also the best month to see the snow-clad mountain peaks.

Some wonderful things to do at Gangtok

1. Take a stroll along the M G Marg

The M G Marg is the heart of Gangtok and is literally so. It is a pleasant walking street with no vehicles, rowdy traffic or garbage. There are numerous shops and food joints on either side of the M G Marg and seats in the between. Once you visit M G Marg, you will simply realise that you are in a different place, it might feel that you are not in any Indian crowded city.


2. Go for Monastery hopping

Sikkim is the home to many beautiful monasteries and Gangtok has a fair share of them. The most famous one is the Rumtek monastery that was built in the 16th century. These monasteries are the centre of Tibetan learning and are also the bearer of the age-old Tibetan tradition and culture.


Rumtek Monastery

Also, visit the Enchey Monastery and Ranka Monastery. In fact, rent a car for the day and visit the monasteries and other places of attractions in Gangtok.


Enchey Monastery

3. Paragliding in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim

The thrill of getting an aerial view of Gangtok city as well as some Himalayan peaks are simply inviting. Go for a paragliding trip at Gangtok. There are two types of paragliding trips offered in Gangtok – Medium fly and High Fly. You do not require any special training for these trips as you will be accompanied by a trained pilot. Baliman Dara near Gangtok is the takeoff location for the medium Fly. The flying time is 5-10 minutes. Landing takes place at a stadium field at Reshithang Sports Village. For the High Fly, the takeoff location is Bubbuley Dara and the altitude from where you take off is almost 2200 meters.



So if you want to get an adrenaline rush, definitely go for paragliding.

4. Take a yak ride at the Tsogmo Lake and visit the Nathula Pass

While in Gangtok, spare one day to visit the Tsogmo lake (also called Changu Lake) amidst the snow-capped mountains. Here you will find the friendly yaks ready to pose a picture with you. And if you want, also take a ride on the yaks.


Yak ride at Tsogmo (Changu) Lake

After your visit to the Tsogmo Lake, drive further to visit the Nathula Pass on the Indo-Chinese border.

5. Take the ropeway ride to get a bird’s eye view of the Gangtok city

If you are at Gangtok, do not miss the ropeway ride. It starts from Deorali and covers a kilometer of zig-zag way to Tashiling. You will get a magnificent view of the city.

Darjeeling Tourism

Ropeway ride at Gangtok | Pic courtesy: Kalyan Neelamraju

6. Attend the International Flower Festival at Gangtok

If you love colours, visit Gangtok during the month of May when the whole city is blooming with colourful flowers. The city simply gets adorned by beautiful flowers and orchids and attracts visitors from all over the globe. The flower show is held throughout the month of May and is same this year too.

Darjeeling tourism

Flowers of Sikkim

7. Experience the gastronomical delights of Sikkim

Gangtok is a place for the foodies. You will get various Tibetan and Sikkimese cuisines. Also, simple street food like momos, thukpa are yummy. A few famous restaurants of the city are Taste of Tibet, Café Culture, Green Tara restaurant, Gangtalk among so many others.


M G Marg has some great food joints

8. Go for sight-seeing

Rent a car and go for a sight-seeing trip. You will visit the monasteries, Dro Dul Chorten, Ban Jhakri Energy Park, Tashi Viewpoint, Hanuman Tok high up on the hill and other places of interest. It will definitely be a day well spent.


Ban Jhakri Waterfalls

9. Explore Sikkim

Gangtok is the centre of Sikkim. If you want to explore North Sikkim (Lachen, Lachung and Gurudongmar Lake), you have to start from Gangtok. Plan a trip to visit the exotic Northern Sikkim.

Also visit Pelling, Geyzingand Pemayangtse on West Sikkim to get marvellous views of the Kanchenjunga ranges.

Enjoy your stay at Gangtok and explore Sikkim. It is a wonderful state and is a treasure trove for travellers and tourists alike.

If you have any questions regarding your plan to Sikkim, just feel free to contact us.


Things to do at Gangtok – Spend your holidays responsibly and well

Agni & Amrita

Agni & Amrita

Travel Experts

We are Agni and Amrita, the story-telling team behind Tale of 2 Backpackers and partners in crime in travel and (mis)adventures of life. We have been travelling together for more than a decade looking for immersive experiences while enjoying the little beauties of life. We are intrigued by heritage, culture, festivals and people and that is reflected in our travel. And yes, we love the Himalayas too.

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  1. Wonderful post.This blog has an amazing information about the destination. Pi. Thank you so much for sharing the details.

    • Thank you so much!

  2. GANGTOK is capital town and a popular holiday destination of Sikkim. A bi-cable Jig-back Passenger Aerial ropeway of 935 meters long from Deorali Bazar to Tashiling Secretariat via Sikkim Legislative Assembly was built in the year 2003. The visitors can have a panoramic view of the full Gangtok city while taking a ride in this ropeway. DRILL (Damodar ropeways & infra limited) provides the cable car or ropeway ride service at Gangtok.

  3. I found North Sikkim very beautiful. Have you guys been there. This is a very well written article. Great tips.


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