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Travel Tips for an Enjoyable Vacation in Nainital

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The mild hill climate of Nainital and the shimmering, green waters of Naini Lake attract tourists throughout the year. The town's proximity to Delhi, the Indian capital, makes it a popular weekend destination for city dwellers. You'll be able to gaze at many inspiring views throughout your stay - from pine and deodar forests to snow-capped mountains, and the lake itself.

Best time to travel

 

Though you can visit Nainital throughout the year, March to June is usually considered peak season as the weather is pleasant with sunny days and comfortable nights. Rains arrive in the mountains from late June through September. Winter, when the region experiences snowfall, is a preferred time of travel for visitors from the plains below.

Not to miss

 

Visiting the lake is at the top of most travellers' vacation itineraries in Nainital. The town is named after its beautiful, eye-shaped body of water (naini means "eyes," while tal means "lake"). As well as its star attraction, Nainital also offers great cultural, gastronomic and shopping experiences. You can enjoy typical North Indian or Indo-Chinese fare at restaurants and street food stalls. If you'd like to take home a souvenir, head to local shops that source products from artisans.

 

Getting around

 

Nainital is easily accessible from Delhi by road. The nearest train station is Kathgodam from where taxis and public buses ply tourists to Nainital. Depending on where you book your accommodation, your hotel might arrange to pick you up from Kathgodam. While in Nainital, you can hire a taxi to explore other tourist destinations like the scenic picnic spot of Kilbury or the lakes at Sattal. Your hotel's front desk can usually arrange this for you. Nainital itself is small enough that you can walk its alleyways and explore its sights on foot.

 

Cuisine

 

The hill cuisine of Nainital makes use of locally grown grains and vegetables such as buckwheat and tender fern shoots foraged from the forests. Restaurants on Mall Road, Nainital's main thoroughfare which overlooks the lake promenade, offer Indian and European cuisine. You'll find Indo-Chinese and Tibetan street specialties such as chow mein, thukpa (noodle soup), and momos (dumplings) at The Flats and the Tibetan Market. There are also cafés and pastry shops selling crumbly apple pies and gooey chocolate cakes for dessert.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Local people in Nainital are friendly. As they're exposed to many urban tourists, they generally have a relaxed approach to dress and social behavior. However, although holding hands in public is not frowned upon, other public displays of affection like kissing might be considered inappropriate. Tipping 10 to 15 percent while dining at restaurants is acceptable.

 

Fast facts

 

  • Population: 87000
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  • Spoken languages: Hindi, Kumauni, and some English
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  • Electrical: 230 volts, 50 Hz, plug type C, D, M
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  • Phone calling code: +91 5942
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  • Emergency number: Ambulance: 102; Fire: 101; Police: 100