Situated at an elevation of 2084 metres above sea level, the gleaming city of Nainital, also known as the ‘Lake District of India’, is among the most popular tourist destinations for domestic as well as international travellers. This is owing to the wide variety of sights and attractions the city has to offer from exquisite lakes, snow-clad peaks to trekking routes.

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1. Astronomical Observatory, Nainital

A leading research centre in the country for Astrophysics and Astronomy, Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction in Nainital.

  • Major attractions: Highly technologically advanced telescope
  • Best time to reach: May-June, October

2. Bhimtal Lake, Nainital

An exquisite freshwater lake surrounded by lush green hills, Bhimtal Lake belongs to the list of the most famous places in Nainital

  • Things to do: Enjoy a picturesque view of the Lake District on a boat ride
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

3. Bhutia/Tibet Market, Nainital

When it comes to places to visit in Nainital, a visit to the Tibet Market is a must. Here you will find Tibetan goodies right from super warm woollens to delicious dishes.

  • Major attractions: Intricately woven woollen wear by Almora women
  • Best time to reach: March-June

4. Eco Cave Gardens, Nainital

A cluster of natural caves converted into a cave garden, Eco Cave Gardens houses six fascinating animal-shaped caves.

  • Major attractions: Series of exquisite hanging gardens, along the caved pathways
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

5. Gurney House, Nainital

Jim Corbett’s former summer house is one of the top tourist places of Nainital and can be visited with an appointment although there’s no entry fee.

  • Major attractions: 18th-century colonial architecture
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

6. Hanuman Garhi, Nainital

At an elevation of 1950 metres, this temple in Nainital, dedicated to Lord Hanuman is a must-visit for the religiously inclined.

  • Major attractions: Immense statue of Lord Hanuman with Lord Rama’s image in his chest cavity
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

7. G B Pant High Altitude Zoo, Nainital

Built-in 1984 spanning across 4.6 acres of greenery with an intriguing position of 2100 metres above sea level, this is one of the only three high altitude zoos in India.

  • Major attractions: This zoo houses a number of rare species like Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December.

8. Jama Masjid

Known for its fine Arabic inscriptions and architecture, the Jama Masjid is an architectural marvel. This famous place in Nainital was initially built for the Muslim soldiers in the British army.

  • Major attractions: The mihrab, which shows the directions to Mecca
  • Best time to reach: Throughout the year, especially during Eid

9. Kainchi Dham, Nainital

 

A temple and an ashram dedicated to Lord Hanuman encompassed by lush green hills and set alongside a river. Make sure to visit to admire this man-made architectural gem.

  • Trivia: It was made famous by Steve Jobs’ and Mark Zuckerberg’s visits
  • Best time to reach: The temple welcomes devotees all through the year

10. Kamaltal, Nainital

A small lake spanning over only 200 metres, but is filled to the brim with an abundance of lotus flowers during the flowering season. It is among the most visited places in Nainital among couples.

  • Things to do: Visitors can row, paddle, and yachting in the lake
  • Best time to reach: July-August

11. Khurpatal Lake, Nainital

Deriving its name from its ‘trowel’ shape, this lake is another famous place in Nainital owing to the emerald bluish-green colour of the lake.

  • Things to do: Go boating or try your hand at fishing and angling
  • Best time to reach: Can be visited all-round the year

12. Kilbury Bird Sanctuary, Nainital

At a distance of 12 km from Nainital, the sanctuary is in the middle of the Reserved Forests of Nainital, it is the ultimate bird watcher’s paradise.

  • Major attractions: More than 580 different species of birds
  • Best time to reach: March-June

13. Mukteshwar Temple, Nainital

A 350-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva rumoured to have been constructed by the Pandavas. Located 2312 metres above sea level, this temple is 51 km from the city of Nainital.

  • Major attractions: The snow clad peaks of Nanda Kot, Trishul, and Nanda Devi
  • Best time to reach: All throughout the year

14. Naina Devi Temple, Nainital

Situated on top the Naina Hill by the northern shore of the Naini Lake, it is a highly revered temple in India that is said to be where Sati’s eyes fell from her corpse when being carried by Lord Shiva.

  • Trivia: It is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

15. Naina Peak, Nainital

One of the most loved trekking routes, this peak is a top tourist attraction in Nainital for the beautiful bird’s eye view that it offers of the Kumaon region.

  • Major attractions: The 360-degree views from the top
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

16. Nainital Lake, Nainital

A breathtaking freshwater lake, which is one of the four famous lakes in Nainital. This is crowning glory of this hill station and an unavoidable attraction in any list of places to visit in Nainital.

  • Major attractions: Boating
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December.

17. Nainital Ropeway, Nainital

One of the major tourist places in Nainital, the ropeway constructed through Swiss technology, offers a 3-minute ride over the landscape of the city.

  • Major attractions: Two cabin cable cars and the views
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

18. Nakuchiatal, Nainital

The literal meaning of the lake’s name is ‘lake of nine corners’ and it is the deepest lake of Nainital. The heavenly lake is 175-feet deep and is surrounded by abundant trees and shrubs.

  • Things to do: Boating, bird watching, angling
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

19. Pangot, Nainital

Small colony near Nainital, which is well known for its bird community and verdant jungle that houses over 500 species of birds. Some of the avifauna to spot here are lammergeier, rufous-bellied woodpecker, khalij pheasant, and Himalayan griffon.

  • Things to do: Bird watching
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

20. Raj Bhawan, Nainital

Built as a replica of the Buckingham Palace, Raj Bhawan used to be the residence of the Governor of the North West Province of India. Hence is also popularly referred to as the Governor House.

  • Major attractions: Vintage golf course
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

21. Sariyatal, Nainital

A picturesque jade green lake, Sariyatal is one of the most serene and tranquil places to visit in Nainital. A short taxi ride (10 km) from the city will bring you this immensely popular tourist attraction.

  • Major attractions: Massive botanical garden
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

22. Sattal, Nainital

As is evident by the name, Sattal is a body of seven freshwater lakes that remain to this day an unspoiled freshwater biome. Situated at an altitude of 1370 metres above sea level, this attraction is about 22 km from the city of Nainital.

  • Things to do: Bird watching, photography
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

23. Snow View Point, Nainital

One of the most visited places in Nainital is Snow View Point. The view point offers perhaps the best view of the snow-clad mountains. So carry your cameras or binoculars to view the magnificent Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Kot snow-clad mountains.

  • Things to do: Visit the nearby Tibetan Monastery- Gadhan Kunkyop Ling Gompa
  • Best time to reach: November-February

24. St. John’s Church, Nainital

Constructed in the 1800s, it is also known as St. John’s the Wilderness and is a place of religious importance surrounded by beautiful landscape.

  • Major attractions: 18th-century architecture
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

25. The Mall Road, Nainital

It is the primary road going through the city, which borders the Nainital Lake on one side. The Mall Road includes the best handicraft shops, restaurants, and souvenir shops and is the busiest part of this city.

  • Things to do: Shop for candles and jams
  • Best time to reach: March-June, September-December

Nainital offers to the traveller everything that you want from a hill station – pleasant weather, good food, comfortable places to stay, stunning natural landscapes, and fascinating tourist attractions to make holiday memories alone or with loved ones.