Ancient Srinagar is the capital of Kashmir, located in North India.
It attracts visitors from all parts, all year long due to the incredible sub-tropical climate, rich landscapes filled with lakes and mountains and it’s peaceful atmospheres.
1. STAY ON A FLOATING HOUSE BOAT ON THE DAL LAKE
Make sure you stay on a cozy and warm house boat during your stay in Srinagar, you won’t regret it! Each of these mini-floating hotels are comfortable and are definitely one of the best places to stay in order to soak in the beauty and serenity of the region. Rooms are comfortable, and each house boat usually has a dining room and a balcony to enjoy the surrounding scenery.
2. GO FOR A TREK IN THE NEARBY MOUNTAINS
Numerous mountains and hills, some of the most beautiful on our planet, surround Srinagar. It is highly recommended to go trekking with a local guide, as there are many different options to choose from. Depending on what you are looking for, you can either go for a 1 week to 3-month camping trek in the mountains; your guide will also be cooking your food and all equipment can be transported by a horse. There are also many 1-day treks which are perfect for families.
3. GO SKIING IN GULMARG DURING THE WINTER
A cheap, one hour taxi drive away from Srinagar is Gulmarg hill station. Gulmarg is well known for its snowy peaks and amazing scenery. If you have never skied before, classes are available on location for beginners.
4. VISIT THE FLOATING VEGETABLE MARKET
Every morning at 5am local farmers meet on their wooden boats to sell and exchange vegetables, as well as other products such as flowers, pashmina shawls, perfumes and saffron. The Srinagar floating vegetable market is one of the worlds most famous markets in its genre, and is a must do during your trip if you are interested in getting a glimpse into the local culture and trade.
5. TRY OUT THE LOCAL FOOD
Kashmiri cuisine is known for its rich variety of intensely flavored dishes, filled with exotic spices such as pure saffron. If you are in Srinagar make sure you give the local food a try!
6. VISIT THE OLD FLOATING TOWN
Located on the Dal Lake is the old floating town of Srinagar, which is an entire village that floats on the lake. This area is famous for its numerous Kashmiri handicraft shops as well as dried fruits, woods, incenses, embroideries and all other sorts of local produce. You can visit the town by Shikara, which are the local tourist boats in which you can lie down while you cruise past the beautiful scenery.
7. VISIT A LOCAL HANDICRAFT WORKSHOP
Kashmir is famous for its handicrafts such as pashmina shawls, papièr mâchè, silver jewellery, carved wooden boxes and their fine embroidered works. Get in touch with a local handicraft shop and ask them to show you their workshop, they will be happy to do so. It is a rich experience that immerses you straight into the local culture and tradition.
8. VISIT THE TULIP GARDEN
Take a stroll amidst thousands of tulips at one of Srinagars finest gardens, the Indira Gandhi Tulip Gardens. This is definitely one of the most visited places of the town, due to its breath-taking beauty and enchanting atmosphere. Located on the foothills of the Zabarwan mountain range with an overview of the Dal Lake, it is Asia’s largest tulip garden, spread over an area of 12 hectares.
9. ENJOY A SHIKARA RIDE
Take a Shikara ride across the Dal Lake and marvel at beautiful scenes and atmospheres that constantly vary and change as you wind your way through the surroundings. These boats are not only used by tourists, but serve as taxi’s for the locals. Shikaras are very cozy and laid back, a perfect setting for couples as well as families.
10. GO FISHING AT THE DAL LAKE
If you are a fishing enthusiast, Srinagar is the perfect place for you! You will find many local fishermen who are very friendly, with whom you can go fishing with on their boats if you become friendly with them. You can ask your local house boat or hotel to provide you with a rod and bait material and they will willingly arrange this for a cheap price.