Darjeeling is located in the state of West Bengal and situated at an altitude of 2074 meters above sea level. The climate is mild and temperate with rainy summers and chilly winters. The average temperature ranges from 13°C to 15°C.
The best time to visit Darjeeling however largely depends on what your preferences are, as a traveller. Some visitors like the January chill, while others prefer to visit during peak summers to see the magnificence of the Kanchenjungha range.
November to February (Winter)
If you’re a sucker for the winters, warm blankets, fuzzy socks, steaming mugs of tea and a backyard bonfire to top it off, Darjeeling winters are for you. Temperatures fluctuate between 2°C to 5°C, often dropping as low as 0°C as well. If you can brave the chill, December to February is perfect for you to visit Darjeeling since the weather conditions are just about perfect, and rainfall is a rare occurrence.
If you’re planning to visit Darjeeling in December, try to plan your trip around late December, closer to Christmas and New Year. The atmosphere is cheery with festivities in the air, restaurants are decked up with bokeh lights making for the perfect background on your Instagram story. Grab a beer at Joey’s Pub, this country-style British pub will surely take you back in time. Grab a plate of momos complete with clear soup and the spicy chutney or gorge on some aloo dum at one of the makeshift stalls near the Mall Road.
The weather is bright and chilly all at once. Mornings and evenings are really foggy with lesser visibility, but as the day progresses, chances are probably that the sun will shine bright on you. If you’re lucky enough, you may get to witness occasional snowfall in January. Pack wisely though, you may need plenty or thermal wear and jackets to keep yourself warm.
March to May (Spring)
Spring in Darjeeling is beautiful, almost ethereal you would say. Winter has almost retreated, making way for warmer days. The temperature ranges between 15°C to 18°C, making this season highly popular among travellers. Expect accommodations and tourists’ hot spots to be booked, so it is advisable to make your bookings well in advance.
The landscape in and around Darjeeling transforms too; there is lush foliage all over contrasted by wildflowers carelessly growing here and there. If you farther up the mountains, be prepared to be greeted by tall pine trees and the vibrancy of blossoming rhododendrons.
Sightseeing in Darjeeling is perfect around this time; the sun feels warm and toasty on your skin. Visit the tea plantations, spend a calm morning exploring the area around the Ghoom Monastery or catch a spectacular sunrise at Tiger Hill.
June to September (Summer/ Monsoon)
While June and July are technically the summer months in Darjeeling, they are prone to rainfall which ranges from high to moderate in amounts. Take a toy-train ride on the much famed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or spend a day at the Tibetan Refugee Centre. If the rain bothers you too much, stay indoors reading a book with a steaming cup of hot chocolate or authentic Darjeeling tea.
Do not let the weather deter your spirits for it is also common for the sun to show up occasionally and brighten up your day. It is advisable to pack umbrellas and raincoats if you’re visiting during this time.
Come late July to September, the rainfall gets heavier in the entirety of Darjeeling district. The region becomes prone to landslides so consult with your guide or the locals before venturing out all by yourself. However, regardless of the wet and gloomy weather, Darjeeling is a sheer beauty to experience during monsoons. Be it foggy streets or the sweeping mountain vistas right after a rain shower, the landscape is picturesque and has often inspired many artists.
October to November (Fall)
Right after the monsoon season, the weather gets better. There is a slight nip in the air, but one outer layer should do the trick. The temperature ranges from 10°C to 15°C, and the autumn breeze in the air is as refreshing as it can get.
This season comes right after Dushhera and Diwali so the air is still lingering with festivities. This is a good time to chat with the locals, know more about their culture and authenticity. The months of October and November are ideal to satiate your starved adventurous soul. Plan a trek to Sandakphu for a day or two, go visit the Singalila National Park or take a crash course for rock climbing at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. If you’ve not yet gotten an adequate dose of adrenaline, go river rafting in the white waters of the Teesta.
Also, Read Darjeeling Travel Guide
It is advisable to book your stay in Darjeeling during this time in advance because this season, too, like spring can see a lot of tourists.