To be honest, there is really no straight answer to the question of the best time to visit Srinagar as it would be different for every person. Kashmir remains beautiful for all 12 months and when should you visit will entirely depend on what is it that you want to see.
Some people come to Kashmir seeking lush green meadows, whereas snow is what attracts a lot many other people. Being away from the crowd and spending some time in solitude is the agenda of the trip for some while some love being among the crowd.
Sometimes Srinagar is merely a part of the Ladakh ride and sometimes, it serves as the base to explore the beautiful valleys of Kashmir. Whatever the situation, the fact remains that Srinagar is among the most beautiful cities in our country and is definitely worth visiting.
If you too have been thinking of planning a trip to Srinagar or Kashmir then in this article, I will provide some information on how the city looks at a certain time of the year. Depending on your own preference, you can then decide when would you like to be here.
For more details on visiting Kashmir, including information like what to see, public transport, where to stay, mobile connectivity, itinerary planning, taxi rates, etc., please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Kashmir – A Complete Travel Guide.
When is the Best time to visit Srinagar?
The best time to visit Srinagar is the months of January, February, April, September, and early October. If it is snow you are after then January and February is the best time to visit.
If lush green is what interests you then you should plan a trip in April or September. To see the orange of the autumn in the Chinar trees, October is when you should plan. If you went in November, the orange would have turned into red.
Srinagar gives you access to visiting some of the most desired destinations in India. Places like Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam are merely a couple of hours away.
Not only you will be able to explore Kashmir as much as you like, but you can also always extend your trip by a few more days and head towards the valleys of Zanskar and Ladakh.
Even if you were just staying in Srinagar city, there are so many places to see here that it will keep you busy for a couple of days and you will still not be done.
It then brings us to the question of the best time that you should plan a trip to Srinagar, or in general Kashmir.
This will entirely depend on what you seek and some other factors like how are you traveling, whether is there a budget limitation and how many days you have in hand. Read on to find out more.
Srinagar in January
Winter is at its peak and you will definitely feel the chill in the wind. Pack all your woolen clothes and a heavy windproof jacket if visiting this time.
The average temperature of Srinagar in January will remain about 3 degrees Celsius. At night, it can drop down to -5 to -7, and at noon, will rise up to 12 Degrees Celsius.
It can snow anytime but the amount of snow on the ground will be a bit less towards the earlier part of the month.
Srinagar in February
The weather will mostly remain the same as in January but the amount of snow will be far greater. The average temperature of Srinagar in February will be about 5 degrees Celsius.
Nights will be extremely cold with temperatures dropping below zero. But the days will feel enjoyable with the temperature at noon touching almost 10 degrees.
If you want to see snow, then you should plan your trip for either January or February. It continues to snow in the valley in both of these months and you will have a high chance of seeing snowfall.
If you are interested in winter sports like skiing, then you should plan your trip in either late January or early February. This is when the snow on the ground will be suitable for such sports.
These sports however do not happen in Srinagar and you will either have to go to Gulmarg or Pahalgam.
Also Read: Srinagar Taxi Union Rates
Srinagar in March
Snow will start to melt and will be gone from the city in early March. The average temperature will rise to 12 Degrees. Nights will remain close to 0 but won’t drop below it. Day temperature at noon may rise to 20 Degrees Celsius by the end of the month.
Srinagar in recent years has started to see very little snow. It can snow in the city in March as well but the chances of that happening are becoming rarer with each passing year.
Places like Gulmarg and Sonamarg however will definitely have snow in March.
Srinagar in April
Spring season arrives and it will start to get warm. Day temperature may as well go up to 25 Degrees Celsius. Nights will be pleasant at about 6 to 7 Degrees. The average temperature of Srinagar in April will be close to 16 to 18 Degrees.
April is considered the peak tourist season in Kashmir. The entire valley gets filled with tourists from all over the country. This is also when the famous Tulip garden is in full bloom.
If you want to enjoy pleasant weather, see the Tulip garden, and enjoy lush green valleys and the garden, then April is when you should visit Srinagar. Take a look at the video below of Shikara ride to the famous floating flower and vegetable market of Srinagar.
Srinagar in May
By May, you may actually start to feel a bit hot at noon. It’s peak tourist season and the city may even get a bit crowded. The average temperature will be about 20 degrees Celsius. Nights will dip down to 10 whereas the maximum day temperature will be around 30 degrees Celsius.
Srinagar in June
June is the hottest month of the year in Srinagar. It may even start to rain towards the end of the month. Amarnath Yatra also commences towards the end of the month.
The average temperature will rise to 24. Night’s lowest will be around 15 and the day’s highest temperature will go as far as 35 Degrees Celsius. Yes, it will get hot during the day.
Together, the months of May and June are the best time to visit Srinagar if you are interested in trekking. All of the treks in the valley remain open in these months and the weather is perfect to go on an expedition.
Srinagar in July
Monsoon would have arrived and it will be raining all over, making it not a good time to visit. The average temperature will remain to be around 25 degrees celsius but the rains may cause the temperature to drop down below a couple of degrees.
I am not saying that you cannot visit Srinagar in the monsoon season. It is actually a good time if you want to see the lush green valleys that the rains will leave behind. But you must keep a close watch on the weather.
There have been times when incessant rains created a flood-like situation in Srinagar city. Even if the situation did not get so drastic, you may get trapped indoors if it continued to rain all day.
Srinagar in August
Independence day celebrations will be on and it will be tense all around. A lot of security can be seen everywhere. You can still visit Srinagar but I will not recommend it in the same week of 15th August.
The average temperature will remain around 25 degrees Celsius. Night’s lowest will be around 15 degrees whereas days can be as hot as 35 Degrees Celsius at noon.
What I stated above about the monsoon and the rains will remain applicable in August as well.
Srinagar in September
September is my favorite time to visit Kashmir, or anywhere in the Himalayas for that matter. The monsoon will be all gone but would have left plenty of greenery behind. It is the perfect time for a photography visit to Srinagar.
The weather will start to turn pleasantly cold. The average temperature will dip down to 20 Degrees. Nights will start to get even colder at a minimum of 9 Degrees whereas days will still be warm at 30 Degrees Celsius.
Also Read: When is the Best time to Visit Gulmarg?
Srinagar in October
Autumn is here and the valleys are golden. But this month also marks the beginning of winter in Kashmir. The temperature at night will start to go as far below as 5 Degrees and the Day’s maximum will be around 25.
The average temperature at this time is around 15 Degrees Celsius overall. It is another good time to visit, especially for photography. By September end, Chinar trees will be all green. In October beginning, you will start noticing them turning a little orange.
The color will darken as the month progresses. By the end of October and early November, the orange will turn into a deep red, giving an overall mysterious look to the entire valley.
But other than this, there really isn’t much that October has to offer. It is dry season and except for the Chinar trees, it will just be dry and dull all around.
Srinagar in November
Unless you wanted to see the red in the Chinar trees, November is not a good time to visit Srinagar. The vistas will be dull but the weather will be very cold.
Nights will start to drop below 0 and day temperature will also come down to around 10 degrees maximum. The average temperature will remain around 7 to 8 Degrees Celsius.
So you get terribly cold weather, and dull scenery and there won’t even be any snow around. The only upside to visiting in November is that since it is the off-season, the trip may cost you a little less.
Also Read: Doodhpathri – A Comprehensive Travel Guide
Srinagar in December
Winter is here and it can start to snow anytime. The average temperature will dip down to 2 to 4 Degrees Celsius. Night temperatures will remain below 0 and the day’s maximum will be around 17 Degrees Celsius.
It does not snow in Srinagar until late December. For most of the month, it will just be dry and cold weather. Snowfall occurs sometimes towards the end of December or early January.
So based on the information above, the months of January, February, April, September, and early October can be called the best time to visit Srinagar.
Visiting around Republic Day, Independence Day, Amarnath Yatra, in the month of Ramzan, and in the weeks of Eid is not the best choice of time for being in the valley. Let us talk about this a little more.
Independence day in Srinagar
Now since we were just talking about July and August not being a good time, another factor to consider here would be independence day.
This is the time when there is tons of security all around and the chances of violent protests are at maximum.
If you were thinking of August, then try not to plan your trip in the first half of the month; or at least avoid the week of the 15th of August. Let Independence day pass and make your plans for the latter half of the month.
This is another reason why you would want to avoid visiting in June, July, or August. Apart from the monsoon season and unpredictable rains, it is also the time of Amarnath Yatra which brings thousands of pilgrims to the valley.
It can get crowded with additional security measures causing roadblocks. If you are someone who tends to stay away from the crowd then this is not the best of times for you.
Accommodation can also become a challenge at this time, especially in Pahalgam and Sonamarg.
Republic Day in Srinagar
It will be the same deal as Independence day. Try to avoid visiting in the second half of the month or at least the week of Republic day.
Ramzan in Srinagar
The majority of the people in Srinagar are Muslims. This means that the city will largely remain closed during the entire month of Ramzan which makes it a really bad time to be visiting Kashmir.
Eid in Srinagar
It will be pretty much the same situation as that of Ramzan, whether it is Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Zuha (meethi Eid and Bakra-Eid).
Several of the hotels remain completely shut down the entire week of Eid as their staff goes home for festive celebrations. The ones that will remain open will be functioning with very less staff.
Don’t be surprised if you found that the hotel was open but there was no one to cook or clean the room for you. You may find a room in the hotel but will have to eat outside.
Best Season to Visit Srinagar
Last but not least, let us talk a bit in terms of the different seasons in Kashmir. The greatest thing about Srinagar is that out here, every season has its own charm.
Come winter, the place turns into a winter wonderland with temperatures dropping as far as -10 degrees Celsius. It is the time when the beautiful Dal lake freezes over completely and becomes a playground for cricket matches.
It is also the time when people from all over the country arrive here to witness beautiful snow-covered valleys. The slopes of nearby Gulmarg see an ambush of skiers.
With that being said, too cold is not really everyone’s cup of tea. Most people would prefer a moderate enough climate due to which, the months from April to June are widely considered the most popular time for tourists.
Weather in these months is very pleasant with temperatures ranging between 10 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius.
Spring season arrives here in April and in the first two weeks of the month, you can also see the dazzling rainbow colors of the Tulip Festival in Srinagar.
This is the time when the famous Tulip garden of Srinagar, which is also Asia’s largest tulip garden, is at its full blossom.
Monsoon Season in Srinagar
Monsoon arrives here towards late June or early July and can very well last throughout August. Historically and in an ideal world, Srinagar should actually be getting very moderate rainfall but that is no longer the case, thanks to all the global warming.
The 2014 floods of Kashmir and a flood-like situation in 2018 stand witness to this face. Therefore it can be a good time to avoid visiting Srinagar.
Monsoon however does leave behind lush green valleys making it a photographer’s delight. So if greenery is on your mind then try planning a trip towards the second half of August or early September.
By this time, the monsoon would have subsided but plenty of green would still be around. The vistas at this time are mesmerizing which makes these few weeks another great time to visit Srinagar.
Autumn Season in Srinagar
The Autumn season begins towards the end of September turning the entire valley golden; presenting all imaginable hues of yellow, gold, and orange.
It is often considered a magical time to be here with pleasantly cold nights, misty mornings, red-carpeted gardens, and the rustle of fallen leaves.
The magic however mostly remains till October and it kind of turns a bit dull in November. Come December, it can then snow in the valley anytime.
In order to summarize it, let me provide a brief overview of the best time to visit Srinagar.
Best Time to Visit Srinagar for snow
The best time to visit Srinagar for snowfall will be the month of February. You can come here in January as well but in February, the amount of snow on the ground will be greater.
Best Time to Visit Srinagar for Honeymoon
It will actually depend on when you got married but the best time to visit Srinagar for your Honeymoon would be either February, March, April, or September.
Also Read: Gulmarg Gondola – How to Plan your Ride?
Best Time to visit Srinagar Pahalgam Gulmarg
The months of February, Late August, and early September will be the best time to plan a trip to Srinagar, Pahalgam, and Gulmarg. Gulmarg gets too crowded in April and May and then Pahalgam gets crowded in June and July due to Amarnath Yatra.
Best Time to Visit Srinagar and Leh
Any time between May till September is good enough if you want to visit both Srinagar and Leh. Do keep a check on the weather though in Monsoon season and if it was raining heavily, then postpone your trip by a few weeks.
Best Time to visit Vaishno Devi and Srinagar
I will say early October is the best time to visit if both Vaishno Devi and Srinagar were on your mind. That way, you get to be here during Navratras. Apart from October, the months of April, May, and September also are equally good.
I hope the information above on the best time to visit Srinagar was of help. If you have any questions, you can contact me on Instagram and I will be happy to answer. You can also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and asking a question there.