Which place is better to stay Nainital or Bhimtal?

So, you’re planning a trip to the hills, and the emerald allure of Uttarakhand has drawn you in. But two names keep popping up in your research: Nainital, the crown jewel of the Kumaon Himalayas, and Bhimtal, its quieter, lesser-known sister. Which one should you choose? Don’t worry, my travel-savvy friend, I’m here to break it down for you!

Nainital: Queen of the Hills with a Vibrant Crown

Imagine a horseshoe-shaped lake cradled by mist-kissed hills, a bustling town buzzing with life, and a colonial charm that whispers of bygone eras. That’s Nainital in a nutshell. It’s the quintessential hill station, with something for everyone.


Buzzing energy: Nainital is alive! Throngs of tourists fill the air with chatter, hawkers tempt you with souvenirs, and pony rides and rickshaw bells add to the cacophony. It’s perfect if you crave a lively atmosphere.

Activities galore: From boat rides on Naini Lake to trekking up Tiffin Top, from exploring Eco Cave to indulging in a cable car ride, Nainital keeps you entertained. Don’t miss the iconic Naina Devi temple!

Shopping paradise: From Tibetan curios to local handicrafts, woollens to quirky souvenirs, Nainital’s Mall Road is a shopper’s haven. Remember to bargain with a smile!

Foodie’s delight: Momos, thukpa, Tibetan bread, and North Indian curries – Nainital’s culinary scene is a delightful mix of local and familiar flavors. Don’t forget to try the street food!

A list of the best hotels in Nainital

The Naini Retreat by Leisure Hotels Group, The Savoy, The Earl’s Court by Leisure Hotels Group, Shervani Hilltop, Vikram Vintage Inn – Nainital boasts a range of accommodation options, from luxurious resorts to charming homestays.


Crowds galore: Nainital’s popularity comes at a price – it can get very crowded, especially during peak season. Be prepared for jostling and traffic jams.

Expensive: Compared to Bhimtal, Nainital is pricier, from accommodation to activities and food.

Not-so-serene: If you’re seeking complete tranquility, Nainital’s constant buzz might not be your cup of chai.

Bhimtal: Tranquility with a Touch of Adventure

Picture a serene lake reflecting the snow-capped peaks, a laid-back vibe that melts your worries away, and ample opportunities to connect with nature. That’s Bhimtal, a haven for those seeking peace and quiet.


Tranquil retreat: Bhimtal’s slower pace is a balm for the soul. Stroll along the lakeside, soak in the panoramic views, and let the silence wash over you.

Adventure playground: Kayaking, paragliding, and zorbing are just a few ways to get your adrenaline pumping in Bhimtal.

Nature lover’s paradise: The surrounding hills offer excellent hiking trails, while Victoria Dam and Aquarium are perfect for nature enthusiasts.

Budget-friendly: Bhimtal is easier on the wallet than Nainital, making it ideal for budget-conscious travelers.

Charming homestays: Bhimtal’s homestay scene is thriving, offering a chance to experience local life and warm hospitality.


Limited activities: Compared to Nainital, Bhimtal has fewer tourist attractions and nightlife options.

Fewer amenities: Shopping and dining choices are more limited in Bhimtal, though you’ll find all the essentials.

Getting around: Public transport is less frequent in Bhimtal, so renting a bike or cab might be necessary.

The Verdict: It’s All About You!

Ultimately, the choice between Nainital and Bhimtal boils down to your personal preferences. If you crave excitement and a full-fledged hill station experience, Nainital awaits. But if serenity and a touch of adventure are your calling, Bhimtal will embrace you with open arms.

Bonus Tip: Consider the time of year! Nainital can get sweltering in summer, while Bhimtal’s higher altitude offers a cooler reprieve. Winter brings a magical layer of snow to both destinations.


1. Which is cheaper – Nainital or Bhimtal?

Bhimtal is the budget-friendly option. Accommodation, food, and activities are generally less expensive compared to Nainital.

2. Which is less crowded?

Bhimtal wins here again. Its laid-back charm attracts fewer tourists compared to the bustling Nainital, especially during peak season.

3. Which has more to do?

Nainital takes the crown for activities. From boat rides to cable cars, adventure sports to shopping sprees, it offers a wider range of experiences.

4. Which is better for nature lovers?

Both destinations are nature hubs, but Bhimtal might steal your heart. Its serene lake, surrounding hills with hiking trails, and proximity to Victoria Dam offer a more immersive nature experience.

5. Which has better hotels?

Nainital boasts luxurious resorts and charming homestays, while Bhimtal’s focus is on cozy homestays and smaller hotels. The “Best Hotels in Nainital” mentioned earlier can help you choose luxurious options!

6. Is it easy to get around?

Public transport is more frequent and readily available in Nainital. In Bhimtal, renting a bike or cab might be necessary for venturing beyond the lake area.

7. When is the best time to visit?

Consider your preferences! For cool weather and fewer crowds, visit Bhimtal in summer. Nainital is best in spring and autumn for pleasant temperatures, but expect peak season crowds. Winter brings enchanting snowfall to both destinations.

8. Which is more romantic?

Both can be! Take a romantic boat ride on Naini Lake or find a secluded spot near Bhimtal’s waters. It’s all about setting the mood and enjoying each other’s company.

9. Which is more family-friendly?

Nainital’s array of activities, from pony rides to cable cars, makes it ideal for families with kids. However, Bhimtal’s slower pace and natural beauty can be equally enjoyable for families seeking a relaxed getaway.

10. Can I visit both?

Absolutely! Nainital and Bhimtal are just 22 kilometers apart, making it easy to combine them in one trip. Spend a few days exploring Nainital and then retreat to the tranquility of Bhimtal.


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