Situated in the lap of the Doon Valley, Dehradun is common to be one of the bucket list places to visit for a travel enthusiast. It is one of the oldest cities of India and has managed to maintain the old-time charm till now. Dehradun enjoys the status of being the capital of Uttarkhand. The untouched beauty of Dehradun makes it a suitable place for the ones who want to rekindle their relationship with nature. A stroll through the hill way roads or a cup of tea on top of the hilltops is enough to lure the tourists in this city. Beauty is not the only appealing factor of this magnificent city. Many tend to miss out on the amazing things to do in Dehradun for the sheer lack of knowledge.
But worry not, we have prepared for you a list of adventurous things to do in Dehradun. Make sure you check all these boxes out from your things-to-do list, the next time you visit Dehradun.
You might also want to see: Top 30 Places to Visit in Dehradun, India
1. Explore the Robber’s Cave
One of the first things to do in Dehradun is to go explore the Robber’s Cave. This nature born miracle will not only give you a peek to a serene and peaceful sight of the hillside but will also sate your adventurous soul. The journey to the cave alone is an exciting one. It is situated only 8km away from the main city. Surrounded by the hills, mountains and forests, this place is called Gucchupani by the locals. It is a naturally formed cave where a stream of river-water flows miraculously from the center of the cave and disappears under the ground only to reappear a few yards further. The rich history of the place gives the tourists an opportunity to live the thrill of “Alibaba and The Forty Thieves”. It is being said that the cave was a hiding place for robbers in the British era, thus the naming.
2. Visit the Clock Tower
You cannot visit Dehradun without planning to go to the Clock Tower. It is the landmark of the city located at Rajpur Road. Locally known as the “Ghanta Ghar”, the Clock tower is the center of the city from where all the major commercial centers are easily accessible. A gold plaque is situated on top of the tower on which all the names of the freedom fighters are written who fought for the country against British slavery. The tower is an example of splendid architectural work, having six faces. Each face of the tower has a clock on it. Don’t forget to visit this heritage point in your things to do in Dehradun list.
If you are a nature enthusiast, a visit to Rajaji National Park can easily make its way on top of your list of things to do in Dehradun. Located in the lap of the Himalayas and the Shivaliks, the park exhibits Mother Nature in all her glory. The place houses over 400 species of birds. Moreover, it is also a home for several animals like Asian Elephant, King Cobra, Sloth Bears, Barking Deer, Leopard Cat, Himalayan Bear, Cheetah, Yellow-Throated Marten and many more. The best way to experience all the flora and fauna of the park is to take the wildlife jungle safari. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture the wilderness.
4. Sore High while Paragliding over Dehradun
One of the most exciting things to do in Dehradun is to go for paragliding. Flying into the infinite sky, you will enjoy a panorama of Mother Nature. It gives you the opportunity to have an aerial view of Chakrata, Tehri Lake, Pauri, Mussoorie, Purola and Rishikesh. Witnessing the spellbinding view of the most beautiful creations of nature from above the sky will surely give you an adrenaline rush. You can book friendly packages through any adventure sports centers such as The Great Himalayan Adventures, National Adventure Sports Academy, VXplor Adventure Tourism etc.
5. Camp under the Blanket of Stars
Dehradun city is one of the getaways to many adventures and hill stations, which also gives the tourists an opportunity to camp out in the verdant valleys of Dehradun. The impeccable beauty of the city offers picture-perfect campsites where you can rejuvenate your soul. Setting up a camp with a bonfire and a cup of tea or some s’ mores, gawking at the bazillions of twinkling stars- who would not want to experience that? This is undoubtedly one of the most desirable things to do in Dehradun.
6. Witness Nirvana at Sahastradhara
The essence of Dehradun city lies in its serene beauty. One of the most peaceful places in the city is Saharstadhara which translates to “Thousand Fold Spring”. The name is appropriate for the place as it is surrounded by numerous caves and waterfalls. The water here is known for its therapeutic value as it contains Sulphur and medical properties. Taking a dip in this medical water encircled by a captivating view deserves a top place in the list of things to do in Dehradun.
7. Seek Purification at Tapkeshwar Temple
One of the very ancient places to offer prayers in Dehradun is Tapkeshwar Temple. It is located on the riverbank of Tons Rivers. The pure temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. An interesting fact about the temple is it is built in a natural cave where the major shrine lies and water drops fall naturally on the Shivling. The temple also has cool Sulphur water springs where devotees take a bath to purify themselves before entering the temple. Spending time amidst this serenity is one of the famous things to do in Dehradun.
8. Appreciate the Architectural Marvel at the Forest Research Institute
If you are an architecture enthusiast and love to explore ancient buildings with spectacular designs and forms, visiting the Forest Research Institute should be on top of your list of things to do in Dehradun. The unique institute is one of India’s leading organizations and deals with research regarding forests. Visitors can witness the marvellous blend of Colonial and Greco-Roman architecture throughout the institute.
9. Take a Spiritual Trip to Mindroling Monastery
Cradled in the lap of the Himalayas, the Mindrolling Monastery is one the grandest Buddhist center in India. This monastery is designed flawlessly with walls that depict the life of the Buddha and structure that displays the impeccable beauty of Japanese architecture. Surrounding yourself with the peaceful aura of this place surely should be one of the must things to do in Dehradun.
10. Enjoy a Day-out at the Fun N Food Kingdom
If you are visiting Dehradun with your family and friends, make sure you have a day-out at Fun N Food Kingdom on your list of things to do in Dehradun. It is an amusement park situated on the outskirts of Dehradun which not only offers adventurous amusement rides but also is decorated with beautiful greenery.
11. Absorb History at the War Memorial
The Khalanga War Memorial is located 5 km away from Sahastradhara Road. It is a famous tourist spot in Dehradun because of its significance. The Britishers built the memorial to honor the bravery of the Gorkhas. It is a matter of great pride when the enemy builds a memorial for their opponents. Perhaps it is the first memorial which was built by the army for their opponent which makes it one of a kind. Diving into the awe-inspiring story of the Gorkhas while visiting the memorial is one of the enticing things to do in Dehradun.
12. Skim through the Lanes of Paltan Bazaar
Your trip to Dehradun will be incomplete if you do not roam around the busy bustle roads through the Paltan Bazaar. It is famous for being one of the fun things to do in Dehradun. The bazaar is one of the oldest and stores so many things for its customers. Buy yourself some local jewellery, budget fashion wears, antiques and many more! There are limited edition books available as well. The bazaar also abodes food joints, coffee shops and bakeries. If you are a hoarder of unique things, make sure you check out this lively portion of the city.
13. Savour the Beauty of Shikhar Fall
One of the famous things to do in Dehradun is to visit the magnificent Shikhar fall cradled in the lap of nature. It is almost 12km away from the main city. The tourists have to do 1km of trekking to reach this natural beauty. One can see numerous butterflies and feathered creatures in this area making it a magical experience.
14. Bird-watching at Asan Barrage
At the outskirts of Dehradun, Asan Barrage is a wetland located near the Asan and Yamuna rivers. A large number of waterfowl are attracted to this lake including both divers and waders. A relaxed afternoon boating amongst some of the rarest bird species is definitely one of the laid back things to do in Dehradun.
15. Pick Knick Knacks from the Tibetan Market
Based near Rispana Pul or Parade Ground road, the Tibetan Market is an apt place for shoppers. The vibrant market place is perfect for pocket-friendly buys. You can grab some marvelous handicrafts which showcase the vivacious Tibetan culture or some Garhwali jewellery. There are several wooden art pieces and gorgeous wind chimes available as well. Do not forget to tick out this activity from the list of things to do in Dehradun while you bring some trinkets back home.
16. Go Trekking at Har Ki Dun
Nestled with valleys everywhere, Dehradun presents some of the best trekking experiences. Among these Har Ki Dun trek is one of the most accessible treks that will give you a breathtaking view as well as a life-changing experience. Once you are on the trek, you will pass through green meadows and pine forests. If you want to fall in love with the calmness of the Himalayas, make sure you have this trek on the list of things to do in Dehradun.
17. Indulge Beauty through the Kedarnath Trek
One of the best winter treks from Dehradun is Kedarnath trek. You witness the intact nature through a scenic view from the top of the mountains. It is as beautiful in the summertime as well when the trek is covered with lush greenery. If you are a nature lover, for you this is a must thing to do in Dehradun. Prepare your bag pack, grab your trekking shoes and start the journey.
18. Embrace Nature at Tiger Falls
Comfortably lying within the hilly terrains of Chakrata, Tiger Fall is a magnificent waterfall surrounded by natural beauty. While visiting this untouched beauty of nature, you can relax your feet under the clam water of the beneath the fall and enjoy the company of chirping birds. For a trekker visiting, this waterfall can easily be one of the most interesting things to do in Dehradun.
19. Have Fun at Malsi Deer Park
Lying at the foot of the Shivalik range, the Malsi Deer Park is a garden where various species of animals reside. The main attraction of this garden is the famous two-horned deer. The tourists can observe the deer in their natural habitat here at the Malsi Deer Park. Having a picnic amidst the wilderness of the park is guaranteed to be one of the best things to do in Dehradun.
20. Spend a Day at Lachhiwala
When you are not so sure what you should do next from your list of things to do in Dehradun, consider spending a leisure day with your family at Lachhiwala. It is one of the most famous picnic spots of Dehradun. Tourists can roam around the greenery and enjoy the serene view and gorgeous sunsets. The place also offers picturesque cottages and hotel to stay in. There are swings and rides that the children can enjoy. It is located near Dehradun, making it a suitable place for a weekend getaway.
21. Cycle through the Forest Trail
After visiting the valleys and relaxing at the foot of waterfalls, gear yourself up for simple yet exhilarating biking experience. The Dehradun- Mussoorie road has some amazing forest trails that you can take with you cycle. It is probably one of the most relaxing yet fun things to do in Dehradun. The trail will take you to pass the mountains and district terrains.
22. Stroll along the Old Rajpur Road
Old Rajpur Road has located just onward the Mussoorie diversion road. The road will take you back to the old era of Doon Valley where you can see ruins, graffiti, famous old food joints and middle age huts that will tell you the story of old times. A lazy stroll through this road early in the morning or late afternoon will recharge your soul. The walk alone is so peaceful that it surely deserves a place in the list of must things to do in Dehradun.
23. Brew Love at Maggi Points
Imagine a chilly night on top of the hills looking out at the vast starry night sky having a hot plate of Maggi with your loved one-amazing, isn’t it? Maggi points in Dehradun are one of the most favorite places for the love birds. These small restaurants are located between Dehradun and Mussoorie. You can enjoy the breathtaking view of Dehradun city from up there. It’s a perfect place for gossiping with your gang while coming back from a trek or just driving up there for a hot steaming spicy pot of Maggi. This would be among the most favourite things to do in Dehradun even for the locals.
24. Have a Steaming Plate of Momos
Dehradun is famous for its tiny restaurants and food joints. While one of the must things to do in Dehradun is exploring the Tibetan cuisine, we should not forget to mention about the momos of the city. There are a lot of momo joints in the main city as well as scattered around the valleys. The small restaurants are always bustling with locals and tourists. It is a great place to catch up with people and unwind over a plate of steaming momos.
25. Groove with the Nightlife in Dehradun
Dehradun at nighttime is as lively and energetic as the daytime. While you can enjoy the flawless beauty of Mother Nature in the day, you can bust you way in numerous clubs in the night. Dehradun has a wide range of lounges, bars and clubs where you can have a dance-off or just grab some drinks with your friends at night. Some of these clubs also offer mountain views. You can sit back with a drink in hand and enjoy the night view of the mountain. This is one of the most happening things to do in Dehradun.
Dehradun is the hub of various insightful institutions. It will be a total loss if you do not pay a visit to these. So the next time you stay in Dehradun, make sure you have this in your list of things to do in Dehradun. Uttarakhand State Council for Science and Technology (UCOST) gives an opportunity to explore science in every way possible. A visit to this organization will surely leave you with a great appreciation for science. It is a unique experience indeed. Everything about the place speaks and breathes science.
27. Relax at VANA Resort
If the natural meditation was not enough, Dehradun also sports a number of spa resorts that are dedicated to calm your nerve system. Vana resort is one of the famous spa resorts in Dehradun. This retreat center focuses on establishing the well-being of its visitors in every aspect possible including physical, spiritual, emotional and mental. The center offers a lot of ways to start this journey towards your spiritual growth. The retreat provides Ayurveda, Sowa rigpa, natural therapies, yoga, fitness and aqua, spa and many more techniques of relaxation. If you are feeling worn out from trying to complete your list of adventurous things to do in Dehradun, do pay a visit to this resort and get your muscles relaxed.
28. Take a Walk through the Zonal Anthropological Museum
Dehradun houses some of the greatest museums of all times. Like the city, it has been untouched and managed to hold its traditions and cultures in the most graceful manner. It is only normal that it would store so many museums. Zonal Anthropological Museum is one of the great jewels of the city Dehradun. It is one of the most popular ones as well. The museum was established in the year of 1971 by the Anthropological Survey of India. Roaming around the museum witnessing history is definitely one of the most captivating things to do in Dehradun. It has a collection of artifacts that depict the history of the origin, sustenance and development of mankind on this earth. And honestly, it is the most awe-inspiring experience one could imagine.
29. Attend the Jhanda Fair
One of the fun things to do in Dehradun is to go to a fair. As most of the locals, they are very traditional and love their culture. It is treated to watch them display their culture in the most loving way possible. Dehradun holds a lot of fairs among which Jhanda fair is one of the significant ones. It takes place at the Jhandaji Darbar Sahib which is famous for being a very religious place. The fair lasts for 15 days and celebrates the arrival of Guru Ram Rai in Doon Valley in 1676.
30. Get Blessings from the Shiv Mandir
The locals of Dehradun are condemned to be very religious and it can be seen through the establishments of many religious places in the city. Located a few miles away from Dehradun, Shiv Mandir is a famous auspicious place for the locals and the devotees. It is famous for its rich history as well. If you are a religious person, do not forget to squeeze in this in your list of things to do in Dehradun.
There you go, a list of enticing things to do while you are visiting this beautiful city. Dehradun offers a whole range of activities you can do no matter in what time of the year you visit the place.