15 Breathtaking Places To Visit in Sikkim for First Time Visitors (Updated 2020)

places to visit in sikkim

Tucked away quietly at the foothill of Himalayas, Sikkim is a gorgeous destination that you cannot miss out on. Although it is the second smallest state in India, this doesn’t dim the beauty and charm that exudes out of every corner of this wonderful state. And with so many breathtaking places to visit in Sikkim, you will have a hard time leaving this state once your trip is over.

This is a place that will make you fall in love with traveling if you aren’t already. A place which will bestow upon you so much kindness and love and will display in front of you so many colors that you would fall in love with your life, all over again.

 

Pelling
Pelling

 

Although you might feel that since Sikkim is a small state, there might not be a lot to visit around. However, this is untrue. Even ten days are less to witness all the beautiful cities and valleys because there are just so many amazing places to visit in Sikkim.

Check out a few of these stunning places to visit in Sikkim to enjoy a blissful trip to this wonderland.

 

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Also Read: Souvenirs to Buy in Sikkim

Top Places to Visit in Sikkim

Gangtok, North Sikkim

 

Capital of the mountainous northeastern state of India, Sikkim, Gangtok is one of the cleanest hill stations in India and one of the top places to visit in Sikkim. A popular Tibetan Buddhist center, Gangtok is also the base for getting permits to hike and trek to other spots in Sikkim. But that is not all, the mall road in Gangtok is extremely clean and is a popular shopping hub over her. And this is one of the top Sikkim tourist places to admire, as, after the nightfall, the whole street is bathed in golden lights.

You will also find authentic Sikkimese food over here which makes it such a nice stopover. Moreover, this is the place from where you can reach the famous Tsomgo Lake and the Nathula Pass and can make your way further to the northern Sikkim.

 

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To know more about how to travel in and around Gangtok, read our North West Sikkim Guide

 

Lingdum Monastery (Ranka Monastery)

One of the best places to visit in Sikkim, Lingdum Monastery is not frequently visited by people because not many know or care about it. Also, if you are hiring a private taxi, the cab drivers won’t inform you about this monastery as it is not a part of the standard sightseeing packages.

However, if you have always been intrigued by the lives of monks and would delve a little deeper into the Buddhist culture then you should definitely plan a visit here. You can enjoy the mountain views and the prayer hymns that are constant at this monastery.

 

Ban Jhankri Falls

Another one of the top places to visit in Sikkim, especially in Gangtok is the Ban Jhankri Falls which is located inside Ban Jhakri Park. This is the perfect place to relax and enjoy yet another beautiful fall in Sikkim. Although the waterfall is not in a natural environment like the Kanchenjunga waterfalls, it is still breathtakingly beautiful.

You will also find a few food and souvenir stalls nearby where you can dress up like a Sikkimese. And you can even get your pictures clicked in the traditional outfit for just 100 INR.

 

Ban Jhakri Waterfall, Gangtok
Ban Jhakri Waterfall, Gangtok

 

Tip Top Viewpoint

Last, but not least, you need to visit the Tip Top Viewpoint, also popularly known as the Tashi Viewpoint. This is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim as you get to observe the various surrounding mountains. And although it is freezing cold at this point, a good hot cup of coffee can do wonders while you enjoy an amazing view that complements it.

 

Where to Stay in Gangtok

Since Gangtok is one of the top places to visit in Sikkim, you will find several accommodation options here. Here are a few options for different budget ranges:

 

 

You can even check for the suitable accommodations in the below Search box.

 



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Rumtek Monastery, North Sikkim

 

Located at a distance of 22 km from Gangtok is the Rumtek Monastery which is also one of the best places to visit in Sikkim. At an elevation of approximately 5000ft, this monastery is the largest and most important Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim. The monastery houses thousands of witness monks who enjoy a normal lifestyle here and study more about Buddhist rituals and cultures.

 

Rumtek Monastery
Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok

 

With beautiful architecture and colors, this monastery will leave you speechless but that is nothing compared to the view offered from the top of the monastery. From the terrace, you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Gangtok city and fall in love with it.

 

Dzongu, North Sikkim

 

Inhabited by the Lepcha community, Dzongu Valley is another one of the most amazing places to visit in Sikkim as it offers the most majestic views of the Kanchenjunga mountain. A place that is bounded by the Teesta River in its southeast and Tholung Chu River in the North East, Dzongu is really green, beautiful, and peaceful. There is plenty of vegetation here, most houses are made of wood here, and you will find that their specialty consists of handloom clothes, cane and bamboo products.

Dzongu has a dreamlike setting as it is covered with a thick canopy of jungles and you can hear the birds chirping and enjoy the serene atmosphere whenever you visit this place. This valley is around 20-25 km from Mangan and one needs to take a permit. This offbeat place hardly receives any tourists which is why it is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim for some fantastic views and quiet time.

 

Where to Stay in Dzongu

Dzongu is not one of the most popular places to visit in Sikkim so there are not many accommodation options available for this place and you will mostly find camps and homestays available here. Here are a few options to consider:

 

 



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To know more about how to travel in Dzongu, read our Exploring East Sikkim Guide

 

Lachung, North Sikkim

 

One of the most magical places to visit in Sikkim, Lachung is a beautiful small village that lies in the North Sikkim, close to the Tibetan border. Home to the 19th-century Lachung monastery, Lachung is a magical place to visit and will make your Sikkim trip unforgettable. While it is not common to receive snowfall here, there are rare cases when it happens and the places end up getting covered in a thick layer of snow, making it look like the magical Christmas eve!

 

 

Lachung
Lachung

 

With wooden houses standing in a row and pine trees decorating its small lanes, Lachung is also surrounded by apple orchards. One of the best places to visit in Sikkim, Lachung is also the base for visiting Yumthang valley where you can discover several species of rhododendron. And this valley is quite popular for its hot springs, waterfalls, and pine forests.

 

Where to Stay in Lachung

Lachung is one of the most popular places to visit in Sikkim so you will find several good accommodation options available here if you are planning to go on your own. If you are taking a package, then you don’t need to find a separate accommodation in Lachung. Here are a few options to consider:

 

You can even check for the suitable accommodations in the below Search box.

 

 



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To know more about how to travel in Lachung, read our North West Sikkim Guide

 

Yumthang Valley, North Sikkim

 

Yumthang valley, aka Valley of Flowers of Sikkim, is situated at an elevation of 3,564 meters. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sikkim the valley is dotted with hot springs and rolling meadows. During the summer months, you can witness the blooming of several varieties of flowers, turning this place quite colorful and gorgeous.

This valley, surrounded by the Himalayan mountains, sees a lot of snowfall throughout the year. Also, the popular Teesta river flows through this valley, giving it a more magical and dreamlike feel. We so badly wanted to visit this place but it was closed during our time. So, if you get a chance, don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity.

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places to visit in sikkimplaces to visit in sikkim

 

Where to Stay in Yumthang Valley

There are no hotels or homestays in Yumthang as such so, your best option would be to stay in Lachung for a couple of nights to visit Yumthang Valley and Zero Point.

 

 



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To know more about how to travel in Yumthang Valley, read our North West Sikkim Guide

 

Lachen, North Sikkim

 

Lachen is one of the top places to visit in Sikkim if you are planning to spend time at the Gurudongmar lake. Lachen means ‘Big Pass’ and this is one of the most popular Sikkim tourist places that is promoted by the government as well. You need a permit to visit this town but it is worth it.

From here, you can not only go to the Gurudongmar Lake but also explore the Kanchenjunga National Park, trek to the valleys and hills around here, explore the monasteries, go wildlife sighting, and a lot more. This is why it happens to be one of the most amazing places to visit in Sikkim.

 

Where to Stay in Lachen

Lachen is one of the most popular places to visit in Sikkim so you will find several good accommodation options available here if you are planning to go on your own. If you are taking a package, then you don’t need to find a separate accommodation in Lachung. Here are a few options to consider:

 

 

 



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Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim

 

One of the most enchanting places to visit in Sikkim, Gurudongmar lake is one of the highest lakes in the world, situated at an altitude of 17,800 ft. This holy lake in Sikkim has many legends associated with it that makes this place quite mystical and a must-visit. This lake freezes during the wintertime and you will find a lot of Yaks, blue sheep, etc. moving around the lake during that time.

If you get a chance to visit Gurudongmar Lake, don’t miss out on it. Trust me, this place will definitely be the highlight of your trip. Unfortunately, the lake was closed during our time but, we will certainly go back to visit this magical lake soon.

 

Where to Stay near Gurudongmar Lake

There are no hotels or homestays close to Gurudongmar Lake so, your best option would be to stay in Lachen for a couple of nights to visit the lake.

 



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To know more about how to travel around these places, total budget, stay and other essential information, read our other post Exploring North and West Sikkim

 

Katao, North Sikkim

 

One of the offbeat places to visit in Sikkim while exploring the Northern Sikkim, Katao is a small village that is located around 24 km from Lachung. This is one of the least visited places in Sikkim but should definitely be on your list if you love snow and quiet surrounding.
Katao, places to visit in north sikkim
Katao

Usually, this place is covered with a thick layer of ice which makes it difficult to reach the actual village and only army vehicles will be able to cross these snow-laden roads. However, the journey itself is wonderful and everyone should experience it once.

You can go to this place by just paying 200-250 INR more to your driver who is taking you on the North Sikkim package. Just ask him to make a few hours stop at this beautiful village. Trust me, it will be the best 200 INR you have ever spent.

 

Where to Stay in Katao

Since Katao is one of the least known places to visit in Sikkim, there are no hotels or homestays available to book online. So, your best option would be to book a stay in Lachung or look for a local stay after reaching Katao.

 

 



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To know more about how to travel in Katao, read our North West Sikkim Guide

 

Ravangala, South Sikkim

 

Another one of those awe-inspiring places to visit in Sikkim, Ravangla will definitely take your breath away. With its blue cloudy sky, lush green mountains, and the colorful Tibetan flags, this place is special and quite magical. One of the best things about this small town is 130 ft. the statue, a tall and might statue of Buddha that looks utterly magnificent.

Located in South Sikkim, Ravangala is best-known for its Buddha Park, where you can stroll around the green trees and Tibetan flags and their huge prayer wheels, while the statue pales everything in its comparison.

 

 

Underneath the statue, you will find a prayer room where you can sit and meditate for a while. There are also several beautiful paintings and statues of Buddha here, depicting his life so you can learn more about him.

In our opinion, this is one of the few places that has a touch of life, spirituality, and beauty, all packed together, which makes it one of the top places to visit in Sikkim.

 

Where to Stay in Ravangala

Since Ravangala is one of the most well-known places to visit in Sikkim, you will find several good accommodation options available here in different budget ranges. Here are a few options to consider:

 

 



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Namchi, South Sikkim

 

Namchi, a popular pilgrimage center for Buddhists, is one of the top places to visit in Sikkim. In the native Tibetan language, Namchi means ‘Top of the Sky’ and when you visit this place, that is exactly what you will feel. Here, you will come across a tea garden by the name Temi Tea, that stretches across a large distance and makes this city look extremely magical and surreal.

If you just want to get lost in the natural beauty then this is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim. And, you can enjoy a cup of chai from one of the many roadside vendors along with the scenic views.

Apart from that, you can attain peace by visiting the Char Dham and the Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir. Shirdi Splashed with golden color from the outside, Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir looks immensely beautiful amidst all the green and you can meditate in the prayer room. Similarly, Namchi’s Char Dham looks quite amazing with its huge Lord Shiva statue. There is also a café inside Char Dham where you can sit and enjoy spending some time here.

 

Where to Stay in Namchi:

Namchi is one of the top places to visit in Sikkim so, you will find a few good accommodation options available here in different budget ranges. Here are a few options to consider:

 

 



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To know more about how to travel around these places, total budget, stay and other essential information, read our other post Exploring East Sikkim

 

Zuluk, East Sikkim

 

Zuluk, a small village in Sikkim, is very close to my heart and I will go ahead and say this, that this is the place that I can visit again and again. Situated at a height of approximately 10,000ft., Zuluk is one of the offbeat places to visit in Sikkim that will make anyone fall in love with it.

Why, you ask? Well, since there is a poor network connection here, you can take a break from social media and enjoy the natural beauty around it. Also, Zuluk is located on the ancient ‘Silk Route’ and offers a great vantage point to view the might Kanchenjunga mountain.

 

 

Apart from looking magical, Zuluk is also one of the best places to visit in Sikkim for all adventure lovers as you have to cross over 32 hair-pin bends to reach here. You would need a permit to visit Zuluk but trust me, it will be completely worth it.

 

Where to Stay in Zuluk:

Zuluk is one of the most well-known places to visit in Sikkim so you will find a few good accommodation options available online here. However, there are several homestays available here that you won’t find online. You can check out Zuluk Dil Maya homestay and OYO 68576 Sherpa Retreat in Zuluk.

 



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To know more about how to travel in Zuluk, read our Zuluk Travel Guide

 

Gnathang, East Sikkim

 

Gnathang or Nathang lies at a high altitude of 13,000 feet is popularly known as the ‘Ladakh of East India’ and is one of the most gorgeous places to visit in Sikkim. This village is a part of the Old Silk Route and is surrounded by gorgeous mountains and snow-capped hills.

This remote valley has a meandering stream that crosses it and is one of the remotest habitations in the Himalayas. One of the best places to visit in Sikkim, Gnathang changes colors in different seasons so the valley looks golden in autumn, white in winters, and colorful in monsoon. When you visit this place, you can explore the meadows around it and make the most of your time here.

 

Nathang Village
Nathang Village while on the way to Zuluk

 

Where to Stay in Gnathang

Gnathang is one of the least popular places to visit in Sikkim so there are no hotels or homestays available to book online. So, your best option would be to book a stay in Zuluk or look for offline stay options after reaching Gnathang.

 



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To know more about how to travel in Nathang Valley, read our Zuluk Travel Guide

 

Tsomgo Lake, East Sikkim

 

One of the most enchanting and ethereal Sikkim Tourist Places to visit, Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake looks even more magnificent when covered in snow. Situated at a height of 12,400ft., this is one of the highest lakes in India and is one of the top places to visit in India. The snow covers this amazing place for at least 9 months a year and offers a classic magical setting to the place.

What’s even more interesting is that during the summers, the lake water turns into the shade of turquoise and beautifully reflects the sky and the nearby peaks. During snowy months, you can enjoy playing in the snow and have the time of your life here.

 

Tsomgo Lake, places to visit in sikkim
Tsomgo Lake

 

To know more about how to travel in Tsomgo, read our North West Sikkim Guide

 

Nathula Pass, East Sikkim

 

Another one of the top places to visit in Sikkim, Nathula Pass gives you a chance to touch the border between China and India, an opportunity quite scarce. So, you will see Chinese soldiers at one end of the border and Indian soldiers on the other, guarding their own land. And sometimes (if you are lucky) you’ll witness them talking to each other.

In historic times, Nathula Pass was a part of the ‘Silk Road’ and it is also one of the highest motorable passes in the world. While this pass is open to Indians, you will need a permit to enter this area. Also, foreigners aren’t allowed to enter the Nathula Pass.

 

To know more about how to travel in Nathula Pass, read our North West Sikkim Guide

 

Pelling, West Sikkim

 

If you are a true Himalaya lover, then Pelling would undoubtedly be for you one of the best places to visit in Sikkim. Offering the most gorgeous views of the Himalayas and the Kanchenjunga, Pelling resembles a fairytale land and is one of the hardest places to leave in this state.

Pelling is a truly beautiful city in Sikkim with its historical palace, ruins, and hidden waterfalls. It offers you many magnificent places to visit which include the Kanchenjunga waterfalls, Wishing Lake, Sing Song bridge, Rabidentse’s ruins, Helipad area, and so on.

 

 

To know more about how to travel in Pelling, read our North West Sikkim Guide

 

Kanchenjunga Waterfalls

Make sure that you check out the Kanchenjunga Waterfalls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen in India. Do you know what is the best part of this waterfall?

It is not visible from the main road. Yes, that’s right! You have to make your way a little inside the mountain to actually come across the waterfall and this is one of the reasons why this is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim. You can easily spend a few hours sitting beside this waterfall and can eat or drink at the nearby stalls.

 

Kanchendjonga Waterfall, Pelling
Kanchenjunga Waterfall, Pelling

 

Khecheopalri Lake

Another one of those amazing places to visit in Sikkim is the Khecheopalri lake, also known as the Wishing lake. A place of worship, this place is surrounded by Buddhist flags that make this place both colorful and positive. You will truly enjoy the sun setting behind the mountains while you stand near the lake to witness it.

 

Where to Stay in Pelling

Since Pelling is one of the most popular places to visit in Sikkim, you will find a few good accommodation options available here in different budget ranges. Here are a few options to consider:

 

 



Booking.com

 

Well, there you have it. Our list of the top places to visit in Sikkim. Trust me, you won’t regret including any of these places in your itinerary. So, what are you waiting for? Prepare your own list of top places to visit in Sikkim and start planning now!

 

 

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Bharat Taxi
Bharat Taxi
1 year ago

Very well defined blog with beautiful pictures! Sikkim is a state in East India in the Himalayan foot hills also bordering China (Tibet), Nepal and Bhutan. The name has been coined from the words su him, which mean “beautiful home”, reflecting the beauty of its snow-covered mountains and lush green valleys.