Modern India's first planned city, Chandigarh has everything you can ask for. Designed by French architect Le Corbusier in 1950, its broad boulevards, lakes, gardens and civic buildings make you feel like there's a little bit of Europe in India.
Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit Chandigarh is between November to March.
How to reach
Flights to Chandigarh: Chandigarh International Airport is the nearest airport about 12km from the city. IndiGo operates non-stop weekly flights between Chandigarh and Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Dubai, Hyderabad and Srinagar. You can also reach Chandigarh by taking a flight to Delhi (262km away) and travelling by road using bus or cabs. IndiGo operates more than 150 daily flights from Chandigarh to a range of destinations in the country and abroad.
By train: Chandigarh is well-connected to all prime locations in the country through various trains including Kalka (Chandigarh) Shatabdi Express, Chandigarh Jan Shatabdi Express, Chandigarh Lucknow Express amongst others.
By bus: Two bus terminals mainly serve the city. The Inter-State Bus Terminus in Sector 43 connects Chandigarh to all major destinations in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Jammu, and Delhi (limited). And the Inter-State Bus Terminus in Sector 17 offers connectivity to all significant places in Delhi and Haryana (except those on Himachal Route like Kalka).
Getting around/local transport in Chandigarh: Chandigarh boasts a good network of bus services provided by The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU). Rental cars and app-based taxi services like Ola and Uber are the other common means of transportation to move around the city.
This is the best place to have butter chicken when in Chandigarh. The aloo paratha drenched in desi butter, the keema kaleji and the missi roti are all bestsellers.
Like the best bakeries in the world, you can smell the freshly baked bread and waffles a mile away. Breakfast is where you can do a bit of people watching here over the fluffiest ham and chicken omelettes. Sink your teeth into buttery croissants, lamb burgers, and sinful pastries. And buy a bag of tequila-filled chocolates for the night.
If you want to serenade your lover with a live band playing your song request under a starry sky, you now know where to go. Whistling Duck (there are no ducks on the menu though—we’re Punjabis) is a beautiful, sun-filled place. It is not easy to find the restaurant, but once you do, it’s hard to leave without trying their innovative menu: the quirky karela salad, burnt butter mounted chicken and apple, and cinnamon kheer are all standouts. This is undoubtedly one of the unique places in Chandigarh to try some unique dishes.
Taj Chandigarh, Sector 17 Given its excellent location right in the heart of the city, this hotel in Chandigarh is the first choice for business travellers. The fact that it houses the Lava Bar, a favourite local hang out, adds to its appeal. Insider tip: ask for a room with a view of the city’s spectacular rose garden.
JW Marriott Hotel Chandigarh, Sector 35 Situated in the city's business district, near Sector 17, the Marriott’s biggest draw is its rooftop pool. With fantastic views of the town, soundproof windows, and spacious bathrooms—you’ll never want to leave.
Medallion Chandigarh, Zirakpur This hotel makes for a perfect option if you have business to finish in the industrial belt around Chandigarh, or if you are a tourist on your way to Himachal Pradesh or Amritsar. The trendy hotel has a multi-cuisine restaurant, a funky bar and lounge space and a 24x7 pantry. Best of all, it has a wheelchair-friendly room for differently abled guests.
Spread across 30 acres of land, Zakir Hussain Rose Garden is Asia's largest with 1600 different kinds of roses. Take a walk in the garden, click beautiful pictures or plan for a picnic with your loved ones.
Enjoy the scenic view of the Himalayas from Morni Hills. About 40minutes drive from Chandigarh, the hill hosts two lakes - Tikkar Taal and Chota Tikkar Taal and is an ideal place to spend some time in a secluded and quiet environment, away from city's hustle-bustle.
Once a raw scrubland, now Chattbir zoo is a beautiful abode for a wide range of mammals, reptiles and birds. The zoological park boasts being home of Royal Bengal tiger, and the lion safari is a must thing to do here.
You've done the sights and taken in the views. It's now time to satiate the adventure bug in you. Anyone who feels Chandigarh doesn't have any secret haunts is in for a prickly surprise. Think of Chandigarh and beautiful landscaped gardens come to mind. But how about a garden that's all thorny and desert-life like? The botanist, who doesn't much care for flowers, will fall in love with Sarkaria Cactus Garden (it's Asia's largest) in neighbouring Panchkula. Breeze through more than 200 species, spread across seven acres of endangered spiked plants and fresh blooms will look dull. Yes, bouquets of cacti are what the world needs. Save the roses for the ex, from prickly plants to thrilling rides.
The adventure seeker should check out the Kikar Lodge nestled in the foothills of the Shivaliks, about 90 minutes away from the city. Sign up for the zip-line tour that lasts for two hours—outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy splendid aerial views of the forest beneath.
If you're planning to make a holiday of it, book one of the resort's cottages spread over 1,800 acres. And the last stop of your trip has to be the International Dolls Museum, Sector 23, to see a range of handmade dolls from all over the country. Unleash your inner child here.
Spend a picturesque holiday amidst a spectacular sunrise and sunset views, majestic valleys and beautiful mountains. Stay surrounded by deodar and alpine right in the lap of nature at Naldehra.
An ideal weekend spot from Chandigarh, Narkanda is excellent for skiing and snowboarding in India. Narkanda is a picture-perfect destination surrounded by alpine meadows, hills and valleys.
It is one of the favourite places to visit near Chandigarh. Small, less crowded but very attractive, this place is ideal for a quick escape from the city's chaos.
Baisakhi is one of the major festivals of Sikhs & it is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm, happiness and love in the state of Punjab and all over the world where there is mostly the Sikhism community.
The people of Punjab celebrate this festival with full energy & as this festival has significant importance for the Sikh religion, considerable activities are celebrated in the Gurudwaras. Baisakhi is also popularly known as Vaisakhi.
Chandigarh Mango festival is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm in the Pinjore Garden, Chandigarh. It allows all the mango growers to display their variety of mangoes.
It is a two-day festival that is held to encourage the farmers to adopt the latest technology and increase their mango production to get the maximum return on their produce.
A festival of the garden is a three-day celebration programme organised in the last week of February, earlier known by Rose Festival's name.
Chandigarh is the three-day-long carnival festival celebrated in November at the Leisure Valley. Several cultural events are organised like dancing, singing both folk and cultural events are organised over there.