The distance between Dehradun and Nainital, is almost 300 km and it takes more than eight hours by road, to reach Nainital from Dehradun. There are several buses that run between these two places every day, but the best way to reach Nainital, is by train. The closest railway station to Nainital, is Kathgodam. The Dehradun Kathgodam Express leaves Dehradun at 10:50 pm and reaches Kathgodam at 07:10 am. From Kathgodam, Naital is just 33 km and there plenty of taxis and buses available, to reach Nainital. It takes about one and a half hours to reach Nainital from Kathgodam.
Transport options from Dehradun to Nainital
Dehradun to Nainital By Train: Take a direct train from Dehradun to Kathgodam (nearest railway station to Nainital) that takes around 8 hours. Kathgodam Railway Station is around 33 km away from the city centre of Nainital. You can take a taxi or a bus in order to reach the city centre that takes about half an hour. It is recommended for families with kids, seniors and group travellers.
Dehradun to Nainital By Bus: Take a bus from Dehradun to Nainital, which takes about 8 hours. Nainital Bus Stand is approximately 2 km away from the city centre. You can take a rickshaw to reach the city centre. It is recommended for individual travellers, backpackers and youngsters.
Dehradun to Nainital By Car: Rent a car or hire a cab from Dehradun to Nainital, which takes over 4 hours. Cost of cab ranges from INR9 to INR65 per kilometre, depending upon the type of car. This mode of transport is recommended for families with kids and group travellers.
The road from Haldwani to Nainital is good but the stretch between Kashipur to Haldwani is horrible, prefer taking Ramnagar route, it takes extra time but it is pretty good to drive.
The biggest problem in whole route is there are no midway restaurants, you will find dhabas but no proper toilets. All the dhabas have horrible toilets, govt should look into this. The only decent dhaba is dream restaurant near Nagina. Food is great out there and also for cheap and tasty veg food in Haldwani visit Bharadwaj Restaurant in railway bazaar just below hotel Park Land which is again a good place to stay.
Its a place worth visiting once in a life. The city is surrounded all round the beautiful Naini Lake. The best place of this hill station is the pleasant temperature range in summers, the green mountain ranges surrounding the town, along with the gushing Koshi and Suyal Rivers makes the scenic beauty of this hill station incomparable apart from the natural beauty.
It was a pleasant experience as the train was on time and the journey was enjoyable. We travelled by third AC and we reached early morning the next day on time. Kathgodam is a small station and from there we took a taxi to Nainital.
Haridwar can be congested but if you have plotted the map well, it's a good drive and very good roads toenjoy your drive. Take the Bazpur - Kaladungi road either via Haldwani or to Nainital direct. Although Kaladungi to Nainital drive is isolated. Be careful and don't take the bypass from Najibabad, else you might land in Bijnor. Avoid Haridwar on Sunday afternoon-evenings, the place has bad traffic.
From Naintal Buses are available to Dehradun via Haldwani in morning and in evening. More buses are available from Haldwani. Ticket can be booked online at Ac, luxury and ordinary buses are available. If you prefer railways, daily service is available from Kathgodam-Haldwani at 7:40pm and it arrives at Dehradun at 4:00am. From Dehradun the same train departs at 10.50pm and arrives at Haldwani at 7:00 am.