Two days in Darjeeling gives you enough time to take in most of the must-visits, from tea plantations to the toy train, with time left over to dig a little deeper into the local culture of the region. Here's how to plan your time.
Wake up before dawn and head up to Tiger Hill on the outskirts of town to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas; you may even be able to see Everest on clear days. Tiger Hill tours typically also include a visit to the Ghum Buddhist Monastery nearby.
Spend your afternoon visiting one of Darjeeling's many tea estates, where you can learn everything about tea production, from planting to processing. Many tours include the chance to visit tea fields, see the various stages of tea processing, and taste different types of tea. For added convenience, opt for a tour that includes round-trip hotel transfers.
On your first evening, head to Chowrasta (aka the Band Stand), one of Darjeeling's main squares, for some evening people watching. Lined with benches and with great views over the hills, this pedestrian-only area has plenty of restaurants to choose from once you’re ready for dinner.
A religiously diverse city, Darjeeling has many monasteries, temples, churches, and mosques. Spend your second morning learning about the city's different traditions, with visits to places of worship such as the Mahakal Temple, the Japanese Pagoda, and St. Andrew’s Church; look for tours that stop at holy sites or customize one of your own.
One of Darjeeling's most popular attractions, especially with kids, is its "toy train," a narrow-gauge, 19th-century train that chugs all the way to Ghum, the highest railway station in India. Just note that it can fill up fast, so make sure to prebook tickets to avoid disappointment.
On your final evening, consider signing up for a dinner experience in the home of a local family. These sometimes include cooking demonstrations or even classes, but the focus is often more on cultural interchange and the chance to sample delicious, home-cooked North Indian fare.