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Gangtok: Sikkim’s Capital Town is ‘Lofty Hill’ Personified

Gangtok Budget Travel

Gangtok budget travel plan for first time backpackers or groupies can prove beneficial. It will not only help extend your stay but also save huge bucks. 

The most optimum Gangtok budget travel plan will ensure that you are able to cover the maximum locations in minimum bucks spent. Your aim is not to spend precious travel time inside hotels but to go out and explore nature in this gorgeous hill town. Being a safe destination, you can easily crash in nominal bed and breakfast places, inns, guest houses and even hotels.  Gangtok is also one of the safest places for solo female backpackers so even women can cut down travel cost and spend as much time as possible amidst greenery and quietude.

Gangtok Budget Travel

Gangtok is a lovely hill station located in the north eastern part of India. Photography by Pranab Paul

Gangtok Budget Travel: An Overview

Saving on accommodation Book in advance and stay in a guest house or a good ‘bed and breakfast’ place.
Saving on food Eat the local cuisine 
Saving on travel internally  If solo, speak with fellow travelers and share cabs with them or use local transport.
Saving on travel externally Travel by train
Top Gangtok budget travel tip Travel off season.
Gangtok Budget Travel

The hill town of Gangtok sparkling during night. Photography by Pranay Pariyar

Introduction to the Town of Gangtok

Gangtok, located in the north eastern state of Sikkim,  isn’t just a beautiful place, it is pure enchantment. The first three things that come to a traveler’s mind are food, culture and nature’s beauty. Gangtok as a travel destination personifies all three. The culture, the people, the richness of the ancient museums and the endless stories across town are all  magical.

The beautiful mountains glitter at night with the lights shining bright from hundreds of cottages. It is a sight to cherish. Whether it is a family outing you are looking for or a backpacking adventure, Gangtok won’t disappoint you.

Location Sikkim, North East India
Mode of Travel By Road (nearest bus station: New Jalpaiguri 

By Train (nearest railway station: Siliguri)

Best time to visit April
Accessibility Throughout the year
Nearby places to visit Darjeeling, Kalimpong
Gangtok Budget Travel

Gangtok as a travel destination is accessible throughout the year. Photography by Ankur Jain

Gangtok Budget Travel for Popular Routes

Gangtok from Kolkata: Travel via train till Siliguri

Gangtok from Darjeeling: Travel by bus till Gnagtok

Gangtok from New Delhi: Travel via train till Siliguri

Gangtok Budget Travel Plan: Top 5 Destinations for First Timers

Temi Tea Garden

Gangtok Budget Travel

Temi Tea Garden and Estate. Photography by Ankit Pradhan

The lush tea gardens, filled with a wide variety of naturally grown tea is a sight to behold. If there is one thing that one cannot get enough in Gangtok is its tea gardens. Temi tea garden is one of the largest tea garden with an area of 440 acres.

Established in 1969, this tea estate produces one of the healthiest organic and delectable tea varieties in Asia. The highlight of this estate is the freedom it provides to the visitors to roam around in the garden and breath in the fresh aroma of the wide variety of tea they grow. 

Another feature which makes the experience even better is the freshly prepared tea they offer to the visitors. Majority of the stalls also offer delicious momos, a specialty of Gangtok. The fresh hot tea, along with the cool wind of Gangtok makes the entire experience memorable.

Pemayangtse Monastery

Gangtok Budget Travel

Pemayangtse Monastery. Photography by Arash Mehdi

If you are a wanderer looking for peace of mind, or a writer looking for inspiration, the Pemayangste monastery will provide you with both. Located at an elevation of 2 km, the magnificent structure is surrounded by snow-covered mountains on both the sides.

The authenticity of this place attracts a lot of footfalls and gives an enchanting aura and experience. Divided into three floors, the old walls are beautifully covered with different kind of traditional art and paintings, along with statues of saints and Rinpoche.

The monastery has a heavy Tibetan designed structure along with very less renovation. Visitors can sit in the prayer hall and interact with the locals or write or paint peacefully in a corner, as art in any form is appreciated in Pemayangstse. 

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Gangtok Budget Travel

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. Photography by Rushikesh Parekh

Famous for the names associated with its establishment, Namgyal Institute encourages the research on history, religion, language, and art of the Tibetan culture. Dalai Lama himself laid the foundation stone for this institution which was officially opened by the Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and hence holds a great essence of importance and history.

The institute holds a wide information on different aspects of the Tibetan history. One of the most interesting place in this institution is the museum, located on the ground floor. For all those who find history fascinating will love the well informative museum as it contains some really rare statues and artifacts which leaves everyone in awe.

Ranging from years old knives, parchments, inks, weapons to manuscripts in Chinese, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Lepcha. Visitors can dwell on the rich history by reading the descriptions attached to every ancient artifact in the museum. Namgyal Institute is a wonderful place with a perfect combination of history and culture. 

Buddhist Park

Gangtok budget travel

Buddhist Park. Photography by Sushanta De

Buddha Park is a place where religion meets nature and beautifies every aspect of the park. Situated near Ravangla, Sikkim, the park is famous for its eco-friendly ways and intricate architecture. The prime attraction of this park is the centrally located, magnificent 130- foot high structure of the Buddha itself which towers the entire park and glows with its own alluring aura.

Under this statue is the museum which consists of different fictions and forms of Buddhas along with ancient artifacts. The park can be explored on foot or by the eco-friendly E-autos, that pick up and drop off the visitors. Outside the museum, there are four to five fountains that are often treated as wish- fountains by the tourists and has become a popular trend.

Bakthang Waterfall

Gangtok budget travel

Bakthang Waterfalls. Photography by Anusha Pradhan

This is a paradise for all the nature lovers. Situated 20 mins away from Gangtok, Bakthang falls are one of the most popular spots for all the tourists. A glorious view with a glittering waterfall gushing down the majestic rocks and forming a pool at the foot makes them a perfect spot for relaxing.

Bakthang Falls are an offbeat place for all the travelers to explore and even contains a small, old creaky hut which works as a cafeteria. Sipping hot coffee while enjoying the waterfall is a common activity at Bakthang. The cafeteria owner is full of interesting stories about the waterfall and its origin.

Gangtok Budget Travel: Best Accommodation Options for Backpackers

 Gohills Hostel

Gangtok Budget Travel

A decent room at GoHills Hostel. Picture Credits: hostel.com

If you are on a solo adventure trip and in search for new people, energy, and experiences, this is the place to stay in. Make sure to put this place in your Gangtok budget travel planner. Gohills hostel is a Bed and Breakfast destination which provides individual as well as dormitories to the guests. This is the best place to stay in if you are on a budget fixed holiday as it is rated for its best value in Gangtok.

The owners are extremely friendly and provide a very homely vibe to the visitors. Though the food is not prepared by professional chefs, it tastes equally good if not better, with a touch of home spices. Additionally, it has also been rated as a safe and welcoming place for solo woman travelers exploring Gangtok budget travel. It is a perfect place to enjoy Gangtok as it provides an insight into the beautiful and simple ways of Gangtok life and its people.

Price: 800- 1000/ Per day

Additional features: Nightclub, karaoke, board games, gift shop.

Gangtok Budget Travel: Best Accommodation Options for Groups

 Mountain Eclipse

Gangtok Budget Travel

A well furnished room at Hotel Mountain Eclipse. Picture credits: booking.com

This Bed and Breakfast is another pleasant holiday home to stay in but has an additional perk of being pet friendly. Pet lovers, make this place a part of your Gangtok budget travel planner and keep your pets along.  Situated at a comfortable distance from the main market of Gangtok, this B&B provides comfortable rooms along with a beautiful view.

 The rooms are equipped with all the required amenities and the owners are extremely helpful and friendly. The environment here is filled with energy and love and gives a homely touch to everything. A hot cup of cocoa, a bonfire and karaoke sums up a perfect night at the mountain eclipse.

Price: 2000-3000/ Per night

Additional features: Garden area, pet-friendly zone, board games and fun activities for children

Mango Hotel: Sikkim Delight

Gangtok Budget Travel

A family suit at Mango Hotel: Sikkim Delight. Photography by expedia.com

Famous for its Sikkimese hospitality, Hotel Sikkim delight is in real words, a delight to stay in. With just a ten minutes drive from the famous MG Marg, this hotel covers all the requirements of the travelers. One of the best group stay options for Gangtok budget travel. Equipped with all the necessary amenities, the hotel has its own restaurant and provides a specially prepared breakfast buffet to all its guests.It also provides cab service and has a 24 hours active help desk. The hotel specializes in making guests feel at home and has an extremely helpful staff.
Price:  3000-6000/ Per day

Additional features: Arranges for tour guide and cab service. 

 Mayfair Spa, Resort & Casino

Gangtok Budget Travel

Mayfair Spa, Resort & Casino. Photography by Ashish Kumar

If you are on a holiday with your family, this is the best resort to stay in. Marked by its beautiful architecture and interior, Mayfair resorts are famous for their comfortable environment and helpful staff. With a large area spread across 48 acres of forested land, Mayfair provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the nature and comforts of the resort at the same time. One of the best family  stay options for Gangtok budget travel.

This resort provides all kinds of rooms along with individual cottages which are equipped with Wifi, fireplace, television, fridge, and all other important amenities. Mayfair also has an excellent spa facility for the guests. The food here is prepared by professionals who provide a wide variety buffet for breakfast and dinners. The best feature of this resort is the peaceful evenings where one can sit with family and friends and enjoy live music and bonfires along with delicious food.

Price: Rs. 8000-15000/Per day

Additional features: A functional Casino (Entry fee: Rs. 5000/per person ; Age- 21 & above)

Gangtok Budget Travel: Best Eating Places

Bakers Cafe

Location: MG Marg

Gangtok Budget Travel

Try desserts at Baker’s Cafe. Photography by Akshay Seth

Bakers café is a cozy little place and will fir well in your Gangtok budget travel plan. One can enjoy a nice meal along with some of the bakers specially prepared desserts. Popular for its ambiance, the café also serves amazing food and drinks which are served by a really friendly staff. It is a nice eatery for Gangtok budget travel.

The music choice of this café is another popular feature as it takes request from the guests. Bakers café is one of the busiest cafes and hence required pre-booking at times.

Price: Rs. 500 for two.

Popular for: Burgers, lasagna, pastries, hot chocolate, and cappuccino.

 Cafe Fiction

Location: MG Marg

Gangtok Budget Travel

Cafe Fiction is a lovely place for both food and books. Photography by Manish Jhawar

If your idea of a perfect day is freshly brewed coffee and a great book, this café is the ideal place for you. Known for its authentic English breakfast, café fiction is one of the few places in Gangtok which offers a wide range of options to choose from, for both food and books.

The café has a peaceful vibe as it is not situated in the middle of the market area but 10 mins away from MG Marg.  A popular tag line for this place is that it’s a perfect place for coffee, cakes, and conversations.

Price: Rs. 300 for two.

Popular for: Homemade cakes, coffee, English breakfast

Cafe Live and Loud

Location: Tibet Road

Gangtok Budget Travel

Enjoy good food and music at Cafe Live and Loud. Photography by Charley Fraser Annand

An ideal place for starters and beer, café live& loud is an upbeat café with good music, food, and drinks. Situated on the popular Tibet road, it is a perfect place to hang out with friends. This café has live music performances on alternating days and a DJ on the weekends.

Café live & loud is a hub for backpackers and hence gives a chance to interact with different travelers. Its artistic vibes are evident from its walls as they are filled with different posters of bands and shows. 

Price: Rs. 500 for two

Popular for: Chinese, Indian, Asian and cocktails. (also served gluten-free food)

Taste of Tibet

Location: M G Marg

Gangtok Budget Travel

Try delicious Tibetan food at ‘Taste of Tibet’ Photography by Tosh Aggarwal

For all the Tibetan food lovers opting for Gangtok budget travel, this is your dig. Ranging from a variety of item to choose from, Taste of Tibet is one of the most popular cafes in Gangtok. Located on the MG Marg, it is generally crowded and hence booking is required.

Taste of Tibet has a mundane ambiance, but due to its authentic food, it becomes difficult to notice anything else. It is very easy to spot this café as it has statues of two dragons on the front portion, towering the café. 

Price: Rs. 800 for two.

Popular for: Fried momos, thupka, fried rice, pork fried

Frequently Asked Questions on Gangtok Budget Travel 

For Gangtok budget travel, are flights a viable option ? Not viable
Is it advisable to contact private agents for Gangtok budget travel ? Not advisable
If traveling during peak season, how to cut down accommodation cost for Gangtok budget travel ? Avail discounts from sites like makemytrip.com
Is shopping recommended for Gangtok budget travel ?  No
What is the minimum fare in a shared cab ?  Rs. 10 only
Any special Gangtok budget travel tip for women backpackers ? Yes. Converse with fellow women travelers and pool a cab to see around.

Gangtok is a place which should be thoroughly explored . So do visit all the small lanes and cozy cafes, enjoy the local music and definitely interact with the local people. Take a walk on MG Marg and taste the local tea, enjoy every moment because Gangtok is a place you will never be able to let go off. I hope that my experience will assist you with your Gangtok budget travel plan.

Happy wayfaring 🙂

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vaibhavi Joshi hails from the heartland of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal. Being an army brat she has traversed across mountains in the north and coasts in the south. Her insatiable urge to consume literary marvels makes her a voracious reader. Vaibhavi has tried to imbibe and understand as much as possible about the culture and history of the places she visits. A Biotechnology Engineer by profession, she has an appreciative eye for both the scientific as well as the artistic world. A dreamer, a hopeless romantic but nevertheless pragmatic, she believes in living each moment to the fullest.

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