Planning a Trip
1 Get in
1.1 By plane
1.2 By taxi or shared jeep
1.2.1 From Nepal
1.3 By bus
1.4 By train
The nearest airport is Bagdogra in Siliguri, 96 km from Darjeeling.
Air India (formerly Indian Airlines), India's largest airline, has flights from:
Delhi - IC 880 (Tu Th Sa) and IC 879 (Mon/Fri - via Guwahati)
Guwahati - IC 879 (M F)
Kolkata - IC 721 (Tu Th Sa)
Jet Airways, a private airline, has flights from:
Delhi - 9W 601 (M W F - Via Guwahati) and 9W 602 (Tu Th Sa Su)
Guwahati 9W 601 (M W F)
Kolkata 9W 617 (Daily)
Spice Jet also operates flights from Kolkata & Delhi.
IndiGo also operates direct and indirect flights from Delhi and Guwahati.
All other cities major cities can be accessed by taking a flight to Delhi or Kolkata and connecting.
By taxi or shared jeep
Siliguri is the nearest town connected to the mainline rail network. Ample transport is available to Darjeeling from here. The most popular modes of transport are taxi (usually shared by three to four passengers), shared jeep (ten passengers), ₹150-200 depending on time.
Shared jeeps depart regularly, from several locations around town. They leave when full, and are a cheap, fast and reasonably comfortable way to get to Darjeeling.
If you have arrived by train at New Jalpaiguri, you can take a taxi or shared jeep to reach Darjeeling from the booking counter at the taxi stand in front of the railway station. There is also a prepaid taxi stand in front of the train station. If you arrive too late for the jeep to make a return journey from Darjeeling, you may end up paying more, e.g. ₹200 per person. The prepaid counter will tell you that no jeeps are available, so you'll have to find one via a fixer or by negotiating directly with drivers.
Tourists often opt to buy an extra seat or two to have more space for the 3-hour journey up to Darjeeling! Luggage is carried for free on the roof (try to hire a taxi/Jeep/Sumo with overhead carrier). Jeeps may stop for a snack and toilet break on the way up (normally a few kilometers short of Kurseong).
Reserve cars are available from Kings Travels,dial: 098304-28401/ 093319-39486 for tour purpose in Darjeeling.
Getting to and from Nepal can be tricky, despite their close proximity. From Darjeeling one can catch a share jeep to Siliguri, and then a bus to the Nepalese border, changing buses again in Nepal.
An alternative is that Juniper Tours and Travels – located just next to the clock tower in Darjeeling – offer a service where a driver can take you across the border and drop you at the Bhadrapur airport in Nepal for your connecting flight to Kathmandu. It is more expensive than organising your own transport but they make a concerted effort to look after you and will help you out if the situation becomes dicey (particularly with strikes in Nepal), they cannot be recommended highly enough and this is unusual for India.
If you are going to use the increasingly popular e-Tourist Visa (eTV) to enter India, then you cannot travel overland from Nepal. The eTV can be used only at a limited subset of entry points (mostly large airports).
There is a regular bus service from Siliguri to Darjeeling. However, buses are quite slow due to the steep, twisty and extremely narrow climb up to Darjeeling. The option of shared jeeps is available and it is very cheap and faster. But you have to wait for some time as your jeep cannot depart unless it is full of passengers.
While going to Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri: if the bus price is ₹113, consider to hire a taxi, Jeep or Sumo with overhead carrier. This will be a much cheaper option if you hire a vehicle that is going directly from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling.
Toy Train of Darjeeling
New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in Siliguri is the nearest station on the main inter-city line. Direct trains to NJP run from Delhi (approx. 27 hours) several times a day. If you are traveling from Kolkata (Sealdah Station) the best train for you will be Darjeeling Mail (circa 12 hours) running nightly at 22:05. There is also a train from Howrah Station called Paharia Express, which departs Howrah Station at 21:55 and arrives New Jalpaiguri at 08:45.
From NJP, the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), known to all as the 'Toy Train,' completes the journey to Darjeeling. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the first, and is still the most outstanding, example of a hill passenger railway. It is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This route is very popular with tourists as it passes through some very picturesque mountain scenery and has been the subject of many romantic articles. The line has a series of zigzags and loops to gain height and runs straight up several village main streets!
Seats on the DHR Toy Train sell out in peak season, so make reservations up to 1 month in advance. The train departs New Jalpaiguri at 09:00 and arrives in Darjeeling at 15:30, but only on certain days of the week. The train is diesel hauled now and is reasonably reliable and punctual. (As of December 2015, DHR service is running, resumed after repairs due to landslide in 2011.)
The steam 'Joy' train operates from Darjeeling to Ghoom round the famous Batasia Loop, four times a day – enquire at Darjeeling station. Costs ₹2200 for steam trains & 1200 for diesel trains. Website DHR: 
A steam train also operates Siliguri to 'Agony Point' above Tindharia most Saturdays and Sundays. Enquire to Siliguri station.
There is also a daily 'School Train' that leaves Kurseong at 06:15 arriving Darjeeling at 08:45. It leaves Darjeeling at 16:00 arriving Kurseong at 18:30.
This is still hauled by a steam engine and is one of the last 'day to day'/ordinary steam trains running anywhere in the world. IR keeps changing the times for it and it is notoriously unreliable often running hours late.