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Best time to visit Nainital

Discussion in 'Uttarakhand' started by Jimish, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Jimish

    Jimish New Member

    Going to Nainital has always been on the list of places to visit, but I have never had the chance to go, or you can say I have never planned the trip in advance. I hope to visit Nainital either in February or during the summer season next year.

    I would like some suggestions to know when the best time to visit Nainital is?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi, @Jimish, welcome to the forum!



    With its several lakes, along with a backdrop of the mountains, Nainital has earned the reputation of being one of the best hill station destinations in the country. Just sitting beside the Naini Lake, relishing in the views around you, is enough to rejuvenate your weary soul. Nainital isn't as rural though and you can find almost everything that you might need in this hill station in Uttarakhand. For that reason alone, it's enough to make you want to pack your bags and reach the hill station already. But wait, there is one more thing you need to know, 'When is the best time to actually explore Nainital?' This guide would help you find out just that, which season should you visit the hill station and what it has to offer for you within each season.

    Best Time to Visit Nainital

    Nainital, located about 2,000 metres above sea level, has pleasant climate almost all-year round. Because of this elevation, temperatures here are cooler as compared to the plains. Generally though, the hill station has three seasons, namely: winter, summer and monsoon. These three seasons offer a different landscape for the hill station too, thereby giving you a different view of Nainital depending on which season you visit.

    1. Winter Season - For Snow-Covered Landscapes

    Winter (Image from Myoki)

    The onset of the winter season is the month of October. Although there is no snow yet at this time, temperatures barely exceed 18°C. Nights can be chilly so bring some medium to heavy woollens. October is one of the best months for sightseeing though as the climate is neither too hot nor too cold. October is also the month after the monsoon season so you can expect greener surroundings around the hill station. Even visiting the temples around Nainital is a must during this month, from the Goddess Naina Devi Temple, to the Mukteshwar Temple. Darshans can be very comfortable during this time and there is still no high influx of tourists during this time so your pilgrimage can be very peaceful.

    As Nainital reaches the month of November, temperatures now reach 15°C but still, snow might not yet occur. Days are a bit warmer while nights can be very chilly. Do bring your heavy woollens especially if you come from a tropical place. During November, sightseeing is still very much possible especially as the days are crisp and clear. A must try during this time is riding the Nainital Ropeway, especially during the early morning. You can enjoy the views of the Himalayas from above but make sure you dress accordingly so you don't get cold while on the ride. November might see quite a few tourists only due to the colder climate of the region.

    December is the winter season proper, along with January. Temperatures range between 5°C to 12°C but nights can be very chilly. At the end of December and until January, snowfall might occur around the hill station. By this time, temperatures can reach below zero too. It is a very beautiful and unique experience but can also be very challenging. Make sure that you bring your heavy woollens along with your thermal clothes. Socks and shoes with good grip are also must bring items. Although it can be very cold, a visit to the Naini Lake is a must during this time. The views of the snowcapped mountains along with the waters of the lake can mesmerise you.

    February is the last month for the winter season. Temperatures begin to rise now, reaching 11°C and snow might still be available in some roads although snowfall is rare to occur. A must do during this time is riding the ropeway to reach the Snow View Point, where the views of the Himalayan peaks are very clear. You can also indulge in sightseeing around Nainital or even shopping and enjoy the serenity as this is part of the off-peak season in the hill station. Make sure you still have your heavy woollens as nights can still be chilly during this month.

    2. Summer Season - A Blast of Colours

    Summer (Image from Cube Trip)

    In contrast to the white landscapes during winter, summer provides one with a colourful landscape in Nainital. Summer season begins with March, with temperatures still not exceeding 15°C. This cooler temperature allows for one to do some sightseeing. You can even enjoy a boat ride amidst the Naini Lake and enjoy the views of the snow-capped Himalayas. March is part of the peak season too, but tourists aren't as plenty during this time as compared to the other summer months. Thus, if you want to enjoy the warmer climate without the throngs of crowds, March would be an ideal time for that.

    The blooming of flowers around the Himalayan Botanical Garden in Nainital continues in the month of April. Temperatures reach the 20°C mark so still very bearable and cool. Sightseeing, boating, ropeway riding, shopping... You name it, you can do it all during this time. However, by this time, a large number of tourists reach the hill station to seek some form of respite from the heat of the plains. Make sure you book a hotel room in advance to avoid any delays or hassles. You can dress more comfortably though, light woollens would suffice for the night. During the day, cotton clothes would be acceptable too.

    By the month of May, temperatures reach the 23°C mark. There's still the crowds that throng to the hill station so it's still considered as peak tourist season. It's a must to visit the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary during this time. The slightly warmer temperatures might mean more opportunities to see wild animals as they seek refuge from watering holes. Trekking to the Tiffin Top or even the Naina Peak can also be done during this month, as the temperatures are just right for that. You can also enjoy the views of the mountains clearly during this time. Of course, sightseeing around Nainital, with the likes of its temples and lakes, can also be enjoyed during this month.

    June is the last month for the summer season. Temperatures remain roughly the same at 22°C. There would still be some crowds during this time, especially during the first half of June. If you reach the hill station by the end of June, rainfalls might already occur which can dampen your trip. However, the Eco Cave Gardens is some sort of indoor attraction, which mimics the natural caves and animals residing in there. It's a must visit place during this time especially if you have children with you.

    3. Monsoon Season - A Different Kind of Trip

    Monsoon (Image from Panoramio)

    Monsoon might be regarded as an off-peak season but there's no doubt that the beauty of Nainital is undeniable during this time. July is the onset of the monsoon season with temperatures around 20°C. July receives the most abundant rainfall too so expect to get drenched during this month. Lakes are fuller though as they are fed by the monsoon rains. The surrounding forests are greener and provide one with a different view of the hill station. An added bonus is that there isn't much tourists during this time so you can enjoy the serenity and tranquility.

    Both September and August receive medium to heavy rainfalls. Temperatures are on the lower side too at 19°C so make sure you bring both rain gears and cold climate gears. Do bring some shoes with good grip or even boots if you want to try trekking during this time. While sanctuaries such as the High Altitude Zoo, Pangot & Kilbury Bird Sanctuary and Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary won't have much animal sightings, the beautiful forests are bursting with lush greenery during this time. Indoor attractions like the Gurney House and the Governor's House can also be visited when the rains are lashing out.

    Monsoon season offers great discounts for tourists. If you are on a tight budget, you can try this season to save some money when it comes to hotels and even restaurants. Backpackers would enjoy this time too as there are less tourists and the rates are very backpacker-friendly.

    Summary of Seasons of Nainital

    Temperatures5°C to 18°C (Below Zero in December and January)15°C to 23°C19°C to 20°C
    Best ForHoneymoon Couples & Snow LoversFamilies & Groups of FriendsBudget Travellers & Nature Lovers
    ActivitiesSightseeing, Ropeway and BoatingSightseeing, Boating, Trekking and Wildlife SpottingIndoor Sightseeing and Nature Trailing
    Must BringHeavy Woollens and Thermal ClothesCotton Clothes and Light WoollensRain Gear, Medium to Heavy Woollens and Boots
    Tourist InfluxMediumHeavyLight
    This table summarises the different seasons of Nainital and for whom they might suit best. The winter season is very cold but tourists aren't that plenty. It's a great time for honeymoon couples or even people who would love to see snowfall personally. Sightseeing, boating and ropeway riding are some of the activities that you can do during this time. Just make sure that you bring appropriate winter clothes, like thermals and heavy woollens. Socks and mittens are also a must especially if you want to indulge in lots of sightseeing.

    The summer season is perfect for families, especially those with smaller children who cannot adapt well to super cold climates. Temperatures are cool during this time, but not too cold. Tons of activities can also be done like sightseeing, boating, trekking and even wildlife spotting. For day time, cotton clothes would suffice but you might need light woollens during night time. There's a larger influx of tourists too so make sure that you book your hotel room in advance.

    The monsoon season is a good option for those in a budget or even those who enjoy the beauty of nature. Rains might be rampant but that just means that the entire hill station is covered in lush greenery too. Hotel rates are lower as this is considered as off-peak season for Nainital. Yet it is still easily accessible as there are different entry points to reach the hill station even if one access point is blocked or closed. You can enjoy visiting indoor attractions in the region or even nature trailing if you're into that.


    No matter what season you choose, expect Nainital to fulfil your wanderlust desires. Its beauty isn't captured with just one season as it has different landscapes for each. A myriad of activities can also be enjoyed within each season. Enjoy your trip to the City of Lakes, Nainital!