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Written by Savi, 82 Comments

ABUNDANCE – it’s the first word that strikes me when I step foot into Kashmir. It’s summer and the orchards are in full bloom. Hundreds of luscious red apples dangle precariously off trees. Juicy peaches are being harvested. Walnuts are beginning to ripen in a nearby field. Hyacinths, irises and amaranth flowers line roads that lead to snow-clad mountains. Elsewhere Kashmir’s iconic Chinar trees provide resplendent shade to passers-by.

Chinar trees Srinagar Lalit Grand Palace
The iconic Chinar trees


Here in Kashmir nature has an identity all its own. It enthralls and seduces in equal measures. If you fly to Srinagar, you will notice that it is easy to find incredible panoramas and drives everywhere you go. We’ve included some of our favourite suggestions for things to do in Srinagar in this article. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to take the time to talk to the people and listen to their stories. Kashmiris are warm and hospitable and regale visitors with sumptuous stories by the dozen. Of course, there is an unavoidable subtext of political conflicts and violence that mars many a tale, but that is what makes interactions with locals in Kashmir so enlightening. In fact these interactions will definitely be the highlight of your trip to Srinagar.


local horses near Srinagar
We had such a great time talking to locals


Things to see and do in Srinagar

Srinagar offers a plethora of scenic and experiential excursions – pick and choose the ones you like. Here is a list of things to see and do in Srinagar:


  • A sunset shikara ride on Dal Lake

A shikara ride on Dal Lake is a no brainer. Kitschy boats, bedecked with colourful carpets and rugs, welcome visitors to Kashmir. We suggest going for a ride during the evening so you can start when the sky is still blue and spot reflections of surrounding mountains and plans  in the water and stick around till the sun sets. We visited Srinagar with my mom and this was one of her favourite things to do in Srinagar.

Reflections in Dal Lake
Reflections <3


Sunset from a shikara on Dal lake in Srinagar
Can’t ask for a better sunset 🙂


  • Visit Pari Mahal

This charming monument is literally known as the abode of the fairies in local parlance. It’s easy to see why! The multi-tiered monument and its grounds boast of a spectacular view of the valley. You can see the entire city of Srinagar, its lakes, and surrounding meadows from this vantage point.

Pari Mahal in Srinagar overlooking the city of Srinagar
Gorgeous views of Srinagar from Pari Mahal!


  • Tulips and Gardens

Srinagar is home to Asia’s largest Tulip Garden. The flowers are in full bloom only for a short time during the months of March and April, so time your visit accordingly. They make for some spectacular views. But there is no shortage of scenic botanical gardens at other times of the year either – pencil Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Garden, or Chashme Shahi Garden into your itinerary and you won’t be disappointed!


  • Hazratbal Shrine

This dainty white shrine is located right by the shores of Dal Lake. Drop by on a weekday and you’ll be surprised at how peaceful it is! Girls – make sure you carry something to cover your head and wear something that covers your elbows and knees. Otherwise, you might be denied entry!

A morning at the Hazratbal Shrine


  • Floating Market on Dal Lake

If you do not mind setting up your alarm for an unearthly hour, then visit the floating vegetable and flower market at Dal Lake at sunrise. This bustling marketplace is truly unique because vendors set up shop in boats and customers arrive by boat as well. Since this is one of the most popular experiences for tourists, expect to shell out around INR 2000-2500 (£25-30) for this experience.


  • A shikara ride on Nigeen Lake

If you’re not an early riser, then head to Nigeen Lake later in the day. A number of flower vendors from the floating market drift to Nigeen Lake around 8 am. Pick up a bunch for your hotel room or just go on a boat ride in a colourful shikara as you watch miscellaneous vendors and boatsmen go about their day. Nigeen Lake provides the perfect opportunity to escape the omniscient touristy hordes at Dal Lake.

Girl in a shikara full of flowers in Nigeen Lake Srinagar
A flowery boat ride in Nigeen Lake 😉


  • A gander in apple orchards

If you enjoy experiential holidays, then try visiting Kashmir during summer months. During the months of July & August, you will be able to witness orchards in full bloom. Expect hundreds of trees laden with apples. Book a cooking class conducted in the midst of apple orchards or just pack a picnic and spend a languorous day under the Kashmiri sun.

Couple sitting in apple orchards in Srinagar
Surrounded by apples and mountains 🙂



Day Trips From Srinagar

If you are in Srinagar for a city break, then make sure you pencil in a couple of day trips in your itinerary. There is no shortage of scenic drives in the area. You could literally drive in any direction and be spellbound by the nature beauty of Kashmir. Here are a couple of our favourite day trips from Srinagar – pick the ones that suit your tastes best:


  • Sonmarg

Sonmarg literally translates to Meadow of Gold and it truly lives up to that name. A 2 hour drive, peppered with little villages and scenic waterfalls, leads to Sonmarg. The picturesque valley is popular with both locals and tourists, so expect a crowd during summer months. If you have a day or two to spare, then you could also hike to the gorgeous Vishansar Lake in Sonmarg.

Couple enjoying the peace at Sonmarg near Srinagar
The two of us in Sonmarg


  • Yousmarg 

If you have a soft spot for offbeat places that do not feature on most tourists’ itineraries, then head to Yousmarg. Hundreds of pine trees and striking pastures frame this quiet and picturesque meadow. Yousmarg is only 50 kilometres from Srinagar, so it makes for the perfect day trip from the city.

Gorgeous drives around Srinagar 🙂


  • Gulmarg

Gulmarg is one of Kashmir’s most iconic spots and it is 1.5 hours away from Srinagar. It boasts of an impressive gondola ride that offers panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayas. If you’re there during winter months, don’t forget to sample the skiing slopes at Gulmarg. You can read more about our time in Gulmarg in our article: road trip to Leh Ladakh.

Couple on top of Gondola in Gulmarg near Srinagar
Snow clad mountains at Gulmarg


  • Pahalgam

The bustling town offers several sightseeing opportunities. We love the idyllic Aru Valley in the area.


  • Dachigam National Park

Dachigam National Park is less than 25 kilometres away from Srinagar. It’s idyllic environs aren’t the only draw here. It’s possible to spot the elusive Kashmir Stag, Black Bears, and dozens of colourful birds. However tourists need a special permit to enter the area, so you need to plan ahead if you intend on venturing to Dachigam.

Choosing Accommodation in Srinagar

Srinagar has a range of accommodation to cater to all budgets. As you probably know, we love luxurious and experiential holidays, so we chose to stay at The Lalit Grand Palace. As the name suggests, the hotel offers visitors a chance to stay at a refurbished palace – expect ornate furnishings, decadent chandeliers, and ornate staircases. If you’re not one for traditional tapestries and old-world charm, you can also choose a room in the modern wing. Expect contemporary furnishing and stunning views of the surrounding mountains here. We chose the latter and found ourselves lounging in our patio on the daily.

Palace rooms in Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar
Rooms in the palace wing at Lalit Grand Palace


Breakfast in patio right outside room at Lalit Grand palace Srinagar
Our breakfast spot right outside our room 🙂


The Lalit Grand Palace is less than a 5 minute walk from Dal Lake, so it’s easy to head to the lake every evening at sunset or sunrise. But that isn’t even the highlight of a stay here. The rooms are positioned amidst 37 acres of private orchards and gardens. It is easy to spend entire days wondering through orchards laden with apples during summer months or bare boned trees, covered with powdery snow, during winter months. If you want to work up an appetite, go for a walk in their sprawling gardens or check out their fitness centre.

Gardens at Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar overlooking Dal Lake
Beautiful grounds at the hotel overlooking Dal Lake


Apple orchards at Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar
Apple orchards within the property 🙂


Gorgeous scenery all around


Dining was a definite highlight of our stay at The Lalit Grand Palace. The menus offer a variety of culinary options ranging from Oriental specialities to Kashmiri delights. We tried everything but as you probably know – we’re fruit eaters! So we loved the farm-to-fork concept the hotel promotes. Most of the food that is served at the hotel grows right there. Cue the most sumptuous fresh produce we’ve had in months – fruit juices squeezed fresh in front of our eyes, salads made from iceberg lettuce and herbs grown at the hotel, soups made from tomatoes grown on the property, and desserts garnished with walnuts from trees we picnicked under.  And all this in an alfresco-setting that would put some of the world’s best restaurants to shame.

Alfresco restaurant at Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar
Dining under a huge Chinar tree – magical 🙂


Sunset over Dal Lake from Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar
Enjoying Kahwa while watching the sunset over Dal Lake


You can compare rates and book a room at The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar here. Check out this video to get a better idea of our stay at hotel and whether it’s right for you:



Things to eat in Srinagar

Sampling local food is an important part of experiencing Kashmiri culture because a lot of ingredients used in Kashmiri cuisine are native to the area and secrete tales about the people and the culture. Take, for instance, nadru (lotus stem) found in abundance in the lakes of the region or haaq – unique leafy greens found only in Kashmir.

Here’s a list of foods and culinary experiences you must sample when you are in Srinagar. Expect a generous serving of white rice with everything! Let’s go:

  • Wazwan : No mention of Kashmiri food would be complete without Wazwan. Traditionally, it refers to an elaborate feast, featuring choicest delicacies, prepared specially for weddings and special occasions. But you will spot Wazwan tasting platters on most restaurant menus. Think of it as an introduction to Kashmiri food, a rustic dégustation menu curated by the head chef if you may. This is the perfect way to sample a series of local delicacies, ending with the indulgent gustaba, meatballs in a creamy yogurt-based sauce.
  • Rogan josh: If you’re going the à la carte route, start with Rogan Josh. Flavourful curried lamb, which can be found all over India but tastes very different in Kashmir. It comes packed with flavour and with the slightest bit of gravy.
  • Tuji – Tuji isn’t just a dish, it’s an entire experience in itself. Moreish morsels of BBQ’d meats are served with steaming hot sheer chai (a novel pink coloured flavourful tea) and traditional breads by the shores of the iconic Dal Lake. Friends and families congregate to partake in the ritual of snacking and gossip and laughter inevitably ensues.
  • Haaq saag: A staple at ceremonies and occasions, this is a simple dish made with Kashmiri leafy greens, mustard oil, and salt.
  • Nadru Palak: Another staple at dinner tables in the region, this is spinach cooked with lotus stem and a couple of Indian spices such as chilli and asafoetida . If you don’t enjoy greens, you could also try Nadru Yakni (lotus stem in a yogurt sauce)
  • Tabak maaz: Kashmiri-style lamb ribs, marinated with local spices and milk, and fried. This indulgent delicacy is extremely popular with locals.
  • Phirni: If you have a sweet tooth, do not leave the area without trying a bowl (or two) of phirni. This indulgent dessert is made from ground rice, cream, milk, sugar, cardamon, and a variety of nuts including almonds and pistachios. It is delicately flavoured with rose essence which lends it an inimitable flavour.
  • Shufta: This is truly as indulgent as it gets. Shufta is a creamy dessert made with generous amounts of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts alongside a dash of pepper and cardamon. It is said to induce warmth on the coldest of days!
  • Kahwa: Whether you opt for Wazwan or go the à la carte route, one thing is for sure. Kashmiri food will leave you feeling satiated but drowsy. It’s perfect to wash it all down with a cup of Kahwa – this flavourful concoction is made with green tea, saffron, and spices and serves with a generous sprinkling of slices almonds. It has dozens of health benefits and is said to be excellent for digestion, weight loss, and building immunity. It can also help warm you up on the coldest of days!
  • On the subject of tea, there are a few quirky cafés in Srinagar, which are perfect for a cuppa with friends or family. Check out Chai JaaiBooks and Bricks, or the Game of Thrones themed Winterfell Cafe by the shores of Dal Lake.
You can’t leave Srinagar without having Wazwan 🙂


That’s it – our favourite things to see, do, and eat in Srinagar. If you’ve been to this beautiful part of India and have some suggestions, please leave a comment below 😀


82 thoughts on “A Guide to Srinagar: Things To Do, See, and Eat

  1. Another stunning post guys! India is a country that has always fascinated me, and I love how you guys have shown another side to this gorgeous country. The mountains, rivers, and streams seem worlds away from the busy cities. Dare I say that your photos of Srinagar remind me slightly of Queenstown, New Zealand?

    1. I find that so intriguing Mark – Srinagar is well and truly gorgeous even though it lacks the sheer scale of Queenstown 🙂

  2. I am awwwed by the pictures sooooooo beautiful. Could you please tell me which is the best time to travel to kashmir so I can experience all the above…

    1. Hey Sasmita – so good to hear that. Kashmir is actually gorgeous both during summer and winter but we visited during summer months (July)

  3. That was a really a perfect guide for Srinagar.Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I will follow the same itinerary for my trip in September.

  4. Hi. i love reading all your posts. this one is great too. i have a query.. if November is a good time to visit Kashmir? I don’t want to visit Kashmir when it is too cold.

    1. Yes Kelly, you must plan a trip to Srinagar. It really is extraordinarily beautiful. Thanks for writing back to us.

  5. Sri Nagar is an awesome place to visit in India. I have visited to Sri Nagar nice city to visit and there is winter. Nice blog you wrote about Sri Nagar. You have mentioned here perfect combination of Stunning pictures and Nice Article about Sri Nagar. Thanks

    1. Hi Emma! Srinagar is indeed a beautiful place and we love it more each time we visit it. We are so happy to know that you enjoyed reading what we wrote. Thanks a lot!

  6. Read about you guys in the newspapers and checked out your website made me feel transported to those places along with you? Wish I could visit all the places

    1. Sure Adele Srinagar is indeed very beautiful.Every time that we visit the place we cant stop being overawed by the beauty.Happy to know that you enjoyed going through our post

  7. Srinagar looks absolutely stunning through your lens, beautiful photos. I personally liked the Yousmarg one, never really heard about this place but now i’ll make sure to go there the next time i visit Srinagar. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Kashmir was indeed amazing! Sure Kanika, you must make it a point to visit Yousmarg- you are just going to love it.

  8. Great Article! I have added these places in my list. Going to Kashmir in Feb. Any recommendations you guys for me since its winter? I will definitely borrow a couple of ideas from you guys.

  9. hey guys. I am planning to go to kashmir for my second babymoon in August. Is it a good season to visit?
    Which is the best time to visit kashmir according to you and when did you visit?

    1. Hi Sandhya,

      We visited Srinagar in August but honestly we love it in winter months, especially when it snows. It’s SO gorgeous 🙂

  10. Hi savi and Vid, We are group of friends planning to visit Srinagar in august.. is it a good time to visit suring august? i mean does it rain in srinagar ?

  11. Hey Guys..
    I am traveling to Kashmir with my husband and my 4 years old son in Mid June this year and first thing which came into my mind after flights bookings were done is to read your post about Kashmir!!!?
    And you know what I am in love with your photos and totally love the places you visited. ❤️❤️
    Since we are talking about Kashmir and being a girl.. the main thing which came into my mind is.. WHAT KIND OF CLOTHES SHOULD I PACK.. Can I wear Comfortable dresses, capri etc.? ??
    Savi could you please help me by giving some suggestions? Is there anything I should keep in mind while clothing there in Kashmir?

    Thanks and much love..
    Neha ?

      1. Thank you so much Savi!! ?

        Will start packing now.. our journey to this beautiful place will start on 15th.
        And I was so mesmerized by these pictures that we booked our stay in Lalit itself. Can’t wait to see lots of beauty out there.
        Thank you do much guys for this post..this is amazingly useful & beautiful.
        Lods of love to you. ❤️❤️
        -Neha ☺️

  12. Hi Savi and Vid ,

    Thank you so much for the article ? Is it safe to travel Srinagar in December ?? Am planning a Surprise Anniversary Tour .. My husbands dream is to visit Kashmir .. so don’t want to disappoint him if everything is closed by the time we go .. Am planning a 7 days trip to
    Srinagar ➡️Gulmarg➡️Sonamarg➡️Kargil

    Am wandering if the high way from Srinagar to Sonamarg and Kargil remains open during Dec 10.. also do we need any special permissions to visits kargil ?? Also could you please suggest some good hotels in sonamarg and Gulmarg .. I know am asking you too many questions .. sorry for that ?

    1. Hey Manasa -Yes December is a great time but road conditions change from year to year depending on snowfall. Would suggest The Khyber in Gulmarg. It’s beautiful especially during winter months. And you don’t need any special permission to visit Kargil 🙂

    2. Hi did u travel in December to Srinagar .. can u share your experience .. places u visited .. hotel u stayed

  13. Hey! nice informative post.. as always! I’m planning a trip here this May with family. Could you please tell how many days would suffice?

    1. Hey Nisha,

      Hope you had a great trip. For someone else who might be looking for the answer, we’d suggest 4 nights at Lalit Srinagar 🙂

  14. Hey Savi and Vid,

    Srinagar is absolutely soo beautiful and you have made it more from your photos. I have visited two times before in Kashmir and wasn’t able to witness the apple orchards. As you have mentioned that you have visited during summers, don’t know but I wasn’t able to see the apple orchards. What time do you recommend to witness the apple orchards in full bloom?

    1. Hi Navita – yes you can visit Kashmir in December and the itinerary will be the same. Just make sure you check the political situation before travelling to Kashmir 🙂

      1. Beautiful post and description as always! I’m planning on visiting during the Christmas break, can you please give me an insight of how Kashmir will be during that time?

  15. Wow, the pictures in this post are smashing. Till now my husband and I did not have Srinagar in our bucket list, but we surely will visit Srinagar one day. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Do you have any suggestion for less expensive accommodation in Srinagar?

    1. Hey Merina – unfortunately we wouldn’t recommend any mid-range hotels that we’ve stayed in so far as we didn’t enjoy them. However you can find some really nice apartments on Air BnB in the area 🙂

  16. I’m planning a trip here this May or June with family. Could you please tell how many days would suffice? I am exciting Srinagar is absolutely soo beautiful and you have made it more from your photos.
    Thanks u for share information about post

  17. Wonderful pictures! Nice coverage of the place, Very informative blog and suggestion for travelers. I really like to this blog its very interesting and informative. Thanks for your amazing travel guide and your photos are mind-blowing.

  18. Hey Guys!

    I am planning for a week-long honeymoon in Kashmir in the end of February. Would I be able to move around Srinagar or should I just look forward to enjoy the weather and remain stationed at some nice property because of the weather in February? I am assuming a snowy holiday.

    1. Hey Kush – you can easily move around Srinagar as all local vehicles are equipped for the weather, no problem 🙂

  19. Hi,
    Your pics are awesome along with detailed info. I was planning in april month. Will it be wise to visit kashmir in month of april? How about covid, since the cases are raising will it affect our planning? Please share a light on this.

    1. Hi Rushali – April is a great month to visit but do beware that snow has melted and everything is still quite bare and not so green at the time.
      In sofar as Covid restrictions, you just need to carry a negative RT PCR test with you, that’s all 🙂

  20. Is first week of August a good time to visit Kashmir ?
    If not, can you please suggest a few destinations in India to visit at that time.

  21. Hi,

    We are planning to visit Srinagar and places around in the 2nd/3rd week of October along with my 6 year old.
    Is it a good time to visit? Is there any link where I can get a sense of how Srinagar / Gulmarg / Sonmarg look like during this time of the year?


  22. Very valuable information, it is not at all blogs that we find this, I was looking for something like that and found it here.

  23. Very informative article, useful information for planning the trip in future. What would be the best time to visit Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar?

  24. Hi Savi and Vid,
    Firstly, I would like to tell you that you guys are amazing. I just love the way you convey your travel stories. Makes me wanna go to all the places with my partner. ?
    I’m travelling to Kashmir next month with my family. So, had to read this article and it’s really very informative. Will try to cover all recommended spots.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Warm regards

  25. Hey!. I was interesting in visiting Kashmir since forever. Time and again, I start surfing around my options. and I love pictures so having such a scenic spot is a jackpot. I have a curious question though. How do you guys manage taking such wonderful shots, when both of you are in frame. Who does that for you. and What camera would you recommend for a beginner but enthusiast for such a click worthy location.

    An admirer of your work and attitude towards life.

    1. Thanks Pooja – We use a tripod or ask a friend/guide if there is someone to help us 🙂 As for cameras, I truly think investing in a good phone is more than enough these days unless you’re going for something a phone just cannot photograph – eg a wildlife safari 🙂

  26. Hi guys,
    Great article, thanks for sharing. We are planning to visit Kashmir in mid/late March. Would 5-7 days be sufficient to cover Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonmarg and Gulmarg? Presuming Srinagar can be covered in 2 days tops.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Yes it’s doable but keep at least 7 days total as driving can take time, especially in March. Also check with locals if roads are open or not as sometimes they can be snowed under

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