May 21, 2024 3 min read

Is Nainital Cheap or Expensive? A Guide to Planning Your Trip

Nainital, a picturesque hill station in Uttarakhand, is a beloved destination for travelers seeking natural beauty, serene lakes, and a respite from the bustling city life. But when planning a trip, one crucial question arises: Is Nainital cheap or expensive? The answer depends on various factors, including the time of year you visit, your choice of accommodation, dining preferences, and the activities you choose to indulge in.

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Peak Season vs. Off-Season

The cost of visiting Nainital can vary significantly depending on the season:

  • Peak Season (May to June): This is when Nainital experiences an influx of tourists. School holidays and the desire to escape the summer heat drive many to this hill station. During these months, prices for hotels and other accommodations skyrocket. It’s not uncommon to find that hotel rates double or even triple compared to the off-season. Additionally, popular attractions can be crowded, and finding budget-friendly options becomes challenging.

  • Off-Season (July to September and January to March): Visiting during the monsoon or winter months can be more economical. Hotel rates are considerably lower, and you might find discounts on various services. However, the monsoon season brings heavy rains, which can hinder outdoor activities, while winters can be quite cold, limiting some sightseeing opportunities.


Accommodation is one of the primary expenses when traveling to Nainital. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Luxury Hotels: High-end hotels and resorts can be quite expensive, especially during the peak season. Prices can range from INR 8,000 to INR 15,000 per night.

  • Mid-Range Hotels: There are plenty of mid-range options that offer good amenities without breaking the bank. These typically cost between INR 4,000 to INR 7,000 per night.

  • Budget Hotels and Guesthouses: For those on a tight budget, there are many budget hotels and guesthouses available. Prices range from INR 1800 to INR 2,500 per night, though these can also rise during peak season.


Dining in Nainital offers a wide range of options, catering to various budgets:

  • High-End Restaurants: Dining at luxury restaurants in premium hotels can be quite pricey, with meals costing upwards of INR 1,000 per person.

  • Mid-Range Eateries: There are many mid-range restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a meal for around INR 300 to INR 800 per person.

  • Local Dhabas and Street Food: For budget-conscious travelers, local dhabas and street food vendors offer delicious meals at very affordable prices, often under INR 200 per person.

Activities and Sightseeing

The cost of activities and sightseeing can also add up, but there are options for all budgets:

  • Boating on Naini Lake: A popular activity, boating costs vary depending on the type of boat and duration, typically ranging from INR 150 to INR 500.

  • Cable Car Rides: A ride to Snow View Point costs around INR 300 per person.

  • Local Transportation: Rickshaws and taxis are available for local travel, but rates can be higher during peak season. Bargaining can often help secure a better price.


Nainital has bustling markets like Mall Road where you can shop for souvenirs, woolens, and local handicrafts. Prices here can vary, and bargaining is common practice.


Whether Nainital is cheap or expensive largely depends on how you plan your trip. During peak seasons, be prepared for higher costs and crowded spots. Opting for off-season travel, budget accommodations, and local eateries can make your trip more affordable. Ultimately, with some careful planning, Nainital can be enjoyed by both budget travelers and those looking to splurge on a luxurious getaway