Weekend Budget Trips from Delhi
Weekend Budget Trips from Delhi
Hey Delhiites! Are you bored with your daily hectic life running from here to there and looking for weekend trips?
Are you looking for a break from your daily monotonous hyperactive schedule, and would like to relax for a while?
So, let’s freshen you up a little with a list of few easy budget trips that you could make up in weekends, without bothering much to your boss or your customers.
Some people love travelling with their friends and family members while there are some who love their own company i.e. the solo travellers. So, here we will discuss in brief about few destinations near to Delhi where any segment of traveller can visit in just a few bugs.
Weekend Trips from Delhi
Lansdowne – The closest hill station to Delhi, Lansdowne is a picturesque place that not many tourists know of. Located at an altitude of 1780 metres above sea level, this hill town is surrounded by thick oak and pine forests and the place offers great views of the mountains around. Lansdowne is also a cantonment area and is a regimental centre of Garhwal Rifles.
One can visit Lansdowne from Delhi in weekends, by taking an overnight journey and within 7-8 hours you reach the beautiful hill town of Lansdowne. There are two options to reach Lansdowne. First, you can take a bus to Kotdwar from Delhi Kashmiri Gate ISBT. Once you get down at Kotdwar, you will get shared taxis (Mahindra Jeeps) for Lansdowne. The cost for both will be somewhere around Rs. 400 (Rs. 300 for bus and Rs. 100 for a taxi).
On reaching Lansdowne, you will get budget accommodation near the market itself. On my visit, I took a room at Dharamshala which cost me Rs. 500 per night. This is the famous Dharamshala in Lansdowne which is at 5 min. walking distance from the market. There are other budget lodges and guest houses also available in Lansdowne where you can get the room at Rs. 500-800.
For food, you can visit the local restaurants available in the main market. I took my meals at Mayur Restaurant which cost me Rs. 100-150 per meal. Tipsy Restaurant is also renowned for its meals. So, you can try some delicacies there also.
Lansdowne is a small town and you can visit the tourist spots there on foot. Places to see in here includes Bhulla Lake, Garhwal Rifles Regimental Museum, Tip N Top, St. Mary’s Church etc.
Kanatal – A small village and a hill station in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India, Kanatal is not less than a heaven on earth. This charming hill station is surrounded by coniferous trees and provides an awesome sight of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks.
Kanatal is situated at an altitude of 2600 metres above sea level and it is a perfect weekend getaway for people who are looking for a small break from their hectic schedule.
You can make up your trip to Kanatal in a low budget. Within Rs. 500 you can reach Kanatal from Delhi by taking a bus till Rishikesh or Dehradun and then further taking a bus or shared taxi to Chamba/Kanatal.
Accommodation is widely available in Kanatal. There are many campsites and resorts available in Kanatal. For budget travellers, there are camp options where per night stay would cost around Rs. 1500 per person per night including meals.
Kanatal is a small hamlet that offers majestic views around. So, you can simply spend some quality time close to nature or can explore the famous nearby tourist spots like Surkanda Devi Temple, Dhanaulti, Tehri Lake etc.
Nainital – Nainital, often known as “The City of Lakes” is a popular hill station in North India. It is a very good option for backpackers and budget travellers who are looking for a break from their daily routine. Nainital is at a distance of 295 km from the national capital Delhi and it is a perfect weekend destination. Naini Lake from which Nainital got its name is the main attraction of this place. The beautiful hills surrounding Nainital add charm to this hill paradise. You can enjoy a walk on the Mall road and can climb up to the snow viewpoint to get the majestic views of the Himalayas.
You can reach Nainital from Delhi by taking an overnight bus from Anand Vihar ISBT. The ticket for the same costs around Rs. 400. For stay, there are many guest houses and lodges available in Nainital where you can get a room at around Rs. 800 per night. For meals, you can use the services of local dhabas where per meal would cost you around Rs. 150 per person.
There are many tourist spots in Nainital where you can visit. Few of them are Eco Cave Garden, GB Pant High Altitude Zoo, Naina Devi Temple, British architectural Rajbhawan (Governor’s House), Jim Corbett’s Gurney House, Cheena Peak, Tiffin Top etc. As there is no shared public transport available for local sightseeing so you have to cover these places on foot or you can hire a local taxi that would cost you around Rs. 1500.
Shimla – Often known as ‘Queen of the Hills’, Shimla was once the “Summer Capital of British India”. It is one of the favourite hill stations among travellers from India and abroad. Perched at a height of 2200 meters above sea level, the pleasant climatic conditions and the mesmerizing views of the mountains rejuvenates your body, mind and soul.
Being close to Chandigarh, Shimla is the most visited places on weekends. From Delhi also, Shimla can be visited on weekends. That is the reason why this city is packed up with tourists almost every weekend, especially during summers.
For the mode of travel, the public transport connectivity to Shimla from the main cities in North India is too good. From ordinary to luxury Volvo there are many buses available for Shimla from Delhi. Both government and private operators run their buses in this route and you can even book your seats in advance. The ordinary bus fare would be around Rs. 450.
For stay option, you will find many hostels, guest houses, lodges etc. in Shimla where you can stay @ Rs. 500-800 per night. If you are travelling on weekends or long weekends, then I would suggest you make an advance booking as most of the weekends, hotels in Shimla get packed.
For meals, you can try the food at the local dhabas @ Rs. 150-200 per meal. Try breakfast at Indian Coffee House which serves delicious meals at reasonable rates.
For local sightseeing, you can use city buses that are available in Shimla or you can walk and explore the places around.
Jaipur – The tour to “Pink City” offers you to witness one of the prime tourist spots of India. Jaipur is a state capital of Rajasthan and is a part of the famous Golden Triangle tour circuit also. It is called the pink city because of the pink colour that is used mostly in painting the buildings here. You can find these pink colour particularly on the walls of old constructions.
You can plan a weekend trip to Jaipur from Delhi with your friends and family or even a solo trip. By bus, it would cost you around Rs. 275 one way from Delhi to Jaipur. And by train, it would cost around Rs. 210 in a sleeper class.
For local sightseeing, you can take shared ola/uber cabs or can take an autorickshaw. The public transport system is good in Jaipur.
For stay, you will get many good options in Jaipur within Rs. 500-600 per night. There are many guest houses, lodges, hostels available in Jaipur.
Visiting Jaipur and not trying the local delicacies is not justified. Pyaaz Kachori, Dal-Bati-Churma, Sweet Lassi, Lal Maans are few of the must-try dishes of Jaipur. If you are looking for normal food then per meal would cost you around Rs. 100-150.
Amritsar – Also known as “The City of Golden Temple”, Amritsar is one of the ancient cities in India which is known for the famous Golden Temple also called Harmandir Sahib. For Sikhs, it is an important pilgrimage site which is visited by many devotees. It was built in the 16th century and the name of this city was derived from Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar).
At 500 metres from The Golden Temple is located Jallianwala Bagh, which is a memorial of national importance. This memorial is preserved in the memory of those who were killed and wounded in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
Amritsar is also known for its close proximity to Pakistan border at Wagah. Every evening, a beating retreat ceremony is organised at Wagah Border from both sides of the countries – India and Pakistan.
From Delhi, there are many buses and trains available for Amritsar. You can take an overnight journey on these buses or trains and next morning you reach Amritsar. In my suggestion, for a comfortable journey, it is better to opt for trains. The average fare would be around Rs. 280 one way in a sleeper class.
For local sightseeing, you can take auto rickshaws. For visiting the Wagah border, there is a bus service in the afternoon at around 3 pm that drops you near the check-post. The fare of this bus would be around Rs. 50 one way. In return, you will get a shared auto-rickshaw.
There are many lodges and guest houses available near The Golden Temple in Amritsar where you can get a room at around Rs. 500-600 per night. Regarding food, since you will be in Punjab, which is known for its food, you will find many eateries where you can taste the spicy Punjabi food including Chhole Paranthe, Kulche, Chilled Sweet Lassi etc at very reasonable rates.
Mukteshwar – If you are looking for a serene place that is away from the crowd then Mukteshwar is the perfect weekend destination for you. Mukteshwar got its name from the belief that Lord Shiva killed an evil spirit here and gave him salvation. The small hill town of Mukteshwar is known for its picturesque surroundings, orchards, coniferous forests and beautiful cottages. One gets to see the mesmerizing view of the Himalayas from here.
From Delhi, Mukteshwar can be reached in two ways. First, you can take an overnight government or private bus from Anand Vihar ISBT in Delhi to Haldwani. The distance from Delhi to Haldwani is 260 km and it takes around 6 hrs. The bus ticket will cost you around Rs. 300.
Second option to reach Haldwani or Kathgodam (5 km ahead of Haldwani) is taking a train from Anand Vihar Railway Station. The train ticket will cost you around Rs. 120 in a non-ac coach.
From Haldwani, you will get shared taxis or private/govt. bus for Mukteshwar which is at a distance of 70 km from here with approx. 3 hrs of travel time. The shared taxi or a bus ticket will cost you around Rs. 80-100 for this stretch.
On reaching Mukteshwar, you will get guest houses or homestays where you can stay at around Rs. 1000 per night with breakfast. For lunch and dinner, you can try local dhabas where you can have your meals @ Rs. 150-200.
Mukteshwar is a place where there are not so much sightseeing spots but you can relax and enjoy the nature here. On clear days, you get mesmerizing views of the snow-capped Himalayas.
Rishikesh – Rishikesh, also known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, is located in the lap of nature and has an awesome spiritual energy that makes it a perfect place for yoga and meditation. It is also known for the thrilling white-water-rafting, the wonderful beach camps, and the exciting treks that rejuvenates your mind, body and soul.
For adventure seekers and budget travellers, Rishikesh is a perfect place to visit. Since it is a religious and spiritual place, vegetarian and alcohol are completely banned in Rishikesh. But, you can fill your thirst and hunger with herbal drinks and organic food available widely in the restaurants of Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is a paradise for food lovers too as it has many cuisines to offer. One can find authentic restaurants and cafes that offer International dishes as well.
The overall expenditure for 02 nights weekend trip would cost you around Rs. 2000 including transport, stay and meals.
How to Plan?
Many people working in private sectors and multinational companies in Delhi get weekend off on Saturdays and Sundays. So, whether you are travelling with your friends, family members or as a solo traveller, you can take an overnight bus or train from Delhi to any of the above-mentioned destinations. This will save you travel time and you will be able to enjoy your tour as well.
The other day in the morning, on reaching the destination, you can take some rest in your guesthouse/homestay and after that start for the sightseeing in the afternoon. Enjoy this half-day exploring the place.
On Sunday, enjoy exploring other spots in that particular destination. So, by evening you would be able to finish up with your tour and then take an overnight bus or a train for travelling back to Delhi. So, by Monday morning you will reach Delhi and then resume with your schedule.
Tips for travelling
- Go for sleeper class in trains and ordinary buses when you are travelling to a particular destination. This saves your money a lot.
- Travel in low season so as to avoid paying higher amounts unnecessarily. Hotels and Food could be very expensive in peak season especially in the hill stations.
- If travelling in low season, don’t book the hotels in advance. You may get much better deals on the spot.
- Don’t go for high expensive restaurants. In fact, try the local cuisines of a particular region in neat and clean dhabas. It will give you a true taste of that region and will also be not too heavy for your pockets.
- Interact with locals. They could be your best guide for local exploration.