An Offbeat Guide to Srinagar: Things to Do & See

Ringed by picturesque mountains, all snow-capped and stunning in winters, Srinagar is a microcosm, a melting pot of nature and culture that envelops one in a mystique hitherto unbeknownst. The city houses the pretty Dal Lake, which almost magically transforms into a frozen landmass every winter. Numerous houseboats and jewellery shops fringe the lake, but what makes it even more special is the weather – cool and placid, with a chill in the air that seeps into your soul and soothes it. Here in this blog you can read about our favorite things to do in Srinagar.

But before that, you must know –

Why We Love Srinagar?

What we loved about Srinagar most was the contrast between the new and the old city- with the new being symbolised with fancy cars and hotels, and the old soaked in gorgeous hand-embroidered pashmina shawls and some of the most fragrant saffron we’ve ever seen!

The mild summer climate is warm and welcoming, whilst the icy cold winter becomes a hub for all kinds of ice sports- from hockey to skiing – the range of options are endless. One of our secrets to a fulfilling trip was knowing our way through the labyrinth of streets to treat ourselves to the finest delicacies in town. A short walk after dinner, through nearby parks, and we were good for a while to come!

COME explore Pahalgam with US

things to do in Srinagar

Surreal views at the Dal Lake

Essential Things to Do in Srinagar

Take a Shikara Ride

Situated in the mesmerizing backdrop of Himalayas, Dal lake is a hub for Shikara rides. To witness the grandeur of this place, one can take these traditional wooden boats and the boatman will show you the surrounding areas that have been bestowed with real beauty and grace.

One can board Shikara in a group or go for a solo ride. The cruise on Shikara will cost INR 400 per hour and an additional INR 150 if you wish to get photographed in the traditional Kashmiri dress. No doubt this place makes you want to groove to ‘Jiya Re’ just like Anushka Sharma did in the famous Bollywood movie – Jab Tak Hai Jaan!

things to do in Srinagar

Colourful houses in Srinagar

Wear a Phiran

The typical Kashmiri outfit for both men and women in Kashmir is the Phiran. People usually rent it to get photographs clicked but I would recommend you all to buy it instead. They give you such a bohemian look and the Kashmiri aesthetic that even after returning from Kashmir I used to wear it in the peak Winter week in Delhi. I got lots of compliments for the same. Also, it is like again feeling the tenderness of your trip to Kashmir.

things to do in Srinagar

Sport a phiran and feel like a Kashmiri princess

Explore the Gardens

We have always heard that heavens have pristine lakes, enchanting gardens, and divine aura… so does Srinagar. Be it Nishant Garden or the Mughal Garden, Shalimar Bagh or Charari Shareef, the exemplary landscape and built over fine taste and choice, all of these gardens are the ideal places for nature lovers.

things to do in srinagar

Moments of sheer bliss overlooking beautiful garden in Srinagar

Spend a Night in a Houseboat

This is a must experience thing. Living in houseboats can be a whole new experience- living on the shimmering waters in an elegant bedroom and luxurious conveniences. The intricately carved wooden houseboat takes you to the world of stillness and peace.

things to do in srinagar

A day in the houseboat in Srinagar

Shop, Shop, Shop

I always make sure any of our itineraries include some ‘Me-Shopping’ time. Firstly, retail therapy is always successful and secondly, collecting antique materials and souvenirs makes it easier to beat the nostalgia after returning to your home.

Heritage walk around Old Town Area

Walking at a new place is even better because one can notice the little things that we become oblivious off when traveling in a vehicle. While taking a stroll you get to meet a lot of locals, sit on the pathways, talk about life and not to forget the shredding of calories while walking.

Stroll around Dal Lake Promenade

Kick off your day with a good dose of calm moments of solace by walking along the long Dal Lake promenade. The 15 km long promenade attracts a lot of tourists so to escape the touts and crowds walk a wee bit further. Sit and watch the day go by.

Hike to the Shankaracharya Temple

This holy shrine in Srinagar is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is known by various names like Pas Pahar and Takht-e-Suleiman. This temple has a lot of historical significance and here you will not only find people from Hindu religion worshiping Lord Shiva but also Christians who believe this place to be a “Prophet of Mankind.” We personally love going to such religious places during our trips because it gives us insight that despite big advancements there is a creator – the Almighty who gave us life.

Catch Sunset at the Boulevard Street

Watching a sunrise or a sunset is simply magical. When in Srinagar, head to the boulevard street and watch the sun set or rise in all its glory when the light illuminates the shikaras as well your own self.

It looks so stunning that you’ll end up spending a lot of time on the boulevard street, admiring the orange hues!

Boulevard Street

Head to the Boulevard street, Dal lake

things to do in srinagar

Catch the stunning sunset at the Boulevard street, Dal lake

Visit the Hazratbal Shrine

On the bank of Dal lake lies this Muslim shrine – Dargah Hazratbal. Surrounded by lush green lawns, this holiest Muslim shrine in Kashmir is full of tranquillity. The sunlight that sieves through the curtains, sight of people praying whole-heatedly captured our hearts. Also, the top of this shrine gives you a panoramic view of the splendid beauty of Srinagar.

Things to do in Srinagar

This serene muslim shrine lies on the banks of Dal Lake

things to do in Srinagar

Beautiful Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar

Visit The Abode of Fairies – Pari Mahal

This place has to be on the top of your go-to list. It is a part of the famous Mughal Garden where colourful flowers accentuate the beauty of the garden in summers and the dew drops and snowballs make it look serene in the winters. Such places are proof that Kashmir is indeed a heaven on earth because it had an adobe of fairies too!

things to do in srinagar

Swirling and Twirling in the gorgeous Pari Mahal

Where to go in Srinagar

Follow me to Pari Mahal

Go to Chai Jaai

You can find numerous cute cafes in Delhi but finding one in Kashmir was a treasure. This place had its own charm with delicious flavours of tea being served in the chilly weather while looking at spectacular beauty of nature.

Doing a simple thing like drinking chai with a light snack was also a delightful experience here. That is the thing about travelling, it makes you live every moment as a blessing!

things to do in Srinagar

Happy and cozy inside the gorgeous Chai Jaai


Check our ULTIMATE Kashmir Itinerary

Related Posts


  • Reply Ambar P April 5, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Phenomenal photos! The great thing about travel blogs such as this one is that it introduces me to parts of the world I didn’t even know existed or knew I could visit.

    • Reply Prerna Harsh April 5, 2018 at 8:57 am

      Thanks Amber! We hope you make it to Kashmir one day! 🙂

  • Reply Amber Myers April 5, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I’ve never heard of this place before, but after seeing your photos, I really want to go. It’s beautiful!

  • Reply Jessica Taylor April 5, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Wow! There is so much to do! I would love to Spend a Night in a Houseboat! Bet the views are stunning!

  • Reply Joan April 5, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    The gardens look beautiful and it’s something I would like to do just spending sometime there. I’ve never been but hopefully one day I will.

  • Reply James April 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! I would love to try a houseboat one day. Maybe for just a week though. I like having some land to roam. 🙂
    Kashmir was not on my list of places to visit, but after seeing the pics and reading about the experience, I think it’s now getting added! Thanks!

  • Reply Patricia-Ann Que April 5, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    first, your photos are just lovely! and second, now you really got me curious about this place! it is so picturesque!

  • Reply What Corinne Did April 5, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Your photos are fantastic and so dreamy! They are so putting me in the holiday and travel mood! I have never been to Srinigar but sounds like such a beautiful place to go!

  • Reply kim April 6, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing all this lovely information about srinagar!

  • Reply Gingermommy April 6, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    What amazing photography. I love the setting. I love it when people share their travel experiences like this.

  • Reply Caitlin + Dani April 6, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    What a beautiful trip! We adding this destination to our bucket list.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey April 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Srinagar sounds like such an interesting place to go to and explore. I have to admit it isn’t somewhere I have thought of going or heard much about before.

  • Reply Marci Smith April 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    I absolutely love your site and the way you shine light on less-traveled places! I would love to go here, staying on a houseboat has always been something I wanted to do.

    • Reply Prerna Harsh June 20, 2018 at 11:46 pm

      Hey Marci, I hope you are able to make it to Srinagar soon! It’s a gem of a place in India. Just be wary of the political conditions in that area before planning a visit. Sometimes, it’s just not suitable to plan a trip! But just sometimes! 🙂

  • Reply Dana Peller April 7, 2018 at 2:16 am

    Such beautiful scenery! I love how you were able to capture all these beautiful images.

  • Reply Cristina Coroiu April 7, 2018 at 4:31 am

    Wow, the gardens, I would love to walk through those gardens. The Hazratbal Shrine also looks amazing. Your photos are so great and really makes me wanna be there.

  • Reply LavandaMichelle April 7, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Seem like a nice trip! I’m glad you had a great time. These pictures are beautiful! I’ve never heard of this place, Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Kim April 7, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    This looks like a beautiful place to visit! I’ve never heard of it before so I’m so glad you shared it!!

  • Reply David Allen Elliott April 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    It does look like an amazing adventure. I would really love the houseboat. It’s so lovely. And the gardens look amazing as well. Definitely an adventure I would love to go on.

  • Reply Alessandra April 12, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Great photos! That’s a very beautiful place!

    • Reply Prerna March 28, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Alessandra. Srinagar is gorgeous. 🙂

  • Reply Abhinav May 9, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Thanks for your Srinagar blog. It motivated me to visit Srinagar. Soon I will be visiting here. I think now my journey will be quite simple.

    • Reply Prerna March 28, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Abhinav, glad we could help. 🙂

  • Reply Family adventure: Ski packages & Ski gear for Gulmarg, Kashmir March 26, 2019 at 3:57 am

    […] You have to pass by Srinagar to reach Gulmarg. Why not make a trip out of it? There are many places to visit in Srinagar. […]

    • Reply Prerna March 28, 2019 at 6:42 pm

      Hey, I agree but you will anyway have to come back to Srinagar to catch a flight back. So my ideology would be to explore Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and other little Kashmiri settlements first, and keep Srinagar for the last two days. One can do Srinagar first as well (totally depends on one’s mood). 🙂

  • Reply Taxi Booking July 20, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Wonderful blog! This is such a cool post! I love discovering offbeat things to do. Such a lovely pictures. Very informative blog and suggestion for travelers. Visit on – Bilal maszid, Amda Kadal Lal Bazar Near Darul Aloom Bilalya, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190023.

  • Leave a Reply