Places to see in Shimla & things to do in Shimla: The Planning
After weeks of orchestrating and planning in January 2020, my two friends and I decided to take a short trip of four days from Delhi to explore the best places to see in Shimla. Yes, you heard it right in ‘2020’. Thankfully our trip happened months before the coronavirus outbreak.
So, it was a girl’s trip, it was challenging to convince our parents for letting us go as their major concern was safety. Still, we did our homework, discussed every little detail and finally turned their ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ as we were confident enough and somehow managed to have the time of our lives. We also planned for things to do in Shimla after getting there.
The next thing on our list was to get ready with all of the reservations from our bus tickets to a place to stay and then wait for the final day to arrive. Shimla was first on our list from the day we thought of having a girl’s trip. It is the ‘queen of hills’ and you will come across many places to see in Shimla.
The hill station is present in north India and also one cannot deny the amazing vibes of the mountains and how the memories stay with you for a long time even after you leave. Breath-taking views from the smallest flower, to the most dramatic rock face, from a small gush waterfall, to a snowy peak. We took it as a perfect opportunity to appreciate nature as we almost forgot how fresh air feels like while living in Delhi.
Delhi to Shimla distance- 342 km, takes about 7 hours to reach.
Places to see in Shimla
- The famous ‘Mall Road’
There are several tourist places in Shimla but Mall road always remains the most famous of places to see in Shimla. It is the main street in Shimla stretching from Scandal Point to Oberoi Clark and the centre for all cultural and social events. It’s filled with all the major hotels, restaurants, clubs, shops, banks, bars and everything else you would need to have a perfect evening with your friends. A cup of coffee in our hand and a lot of gossips while walking down on the mall road on a chilly night with panoramic views was our way to go. Gaiety Theatre, the scandal point, Kali Bari temple and the town hall were the main attraction on the mall road.
2. The Ridge
The Ridge connects and acts as the centre for Mall road, the scandal point and lakkar Bazar. This place is known as the face of Shimla and every year Ridge also serves as the location for Summer Festival held in April or May.
This is one of the places to see in Shimla. As this place is full of the crowd most of the times, as tourist loves to spend their time at the Ridge. You might find yourself not sure about where to go, what to do in a limited period. Hence, we have summed a few places to visit in Shimla, one can surely start with.
3. Christ church
- It was the second oldest neo-gothic church in north India build by Britishers in 1857.
- It’s a pure architectural beauty and looks nothing less than a castle. Time: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
- If you walk towards your right from the Christ church, you will notice a lovely and breathtaking valley and can spend hours looking deep into it.
- Almost half of Shimla is visible from there. Also just on the road, there are people with horses to give you a ride too which can be a thrilling experience on your trip.
- Just on the right, you will notice a beautiful park with a fountain in the middle of it which looks astonishing at night; we spent hours their just sitting and talking.
5. Shri hanuman mandir, Jhaku Temple Park
“The entrance of mandir”
“The 108-feet-high idol of Shri hanuman”
Next place on our list was Jakhoo Temple. It is an ancient temple in Shimla, dedicated to a Hindu deity’ Hanuman’. It is present on Jakhoo Hill, Shimla’s highest peak, 2.5 km east of the Ridge at the height of 2,455 m above sea level. This place holds great religious meaning to it as according to the Ramayana, Hanuman stopped at this location to rest while searching for Sanjivni Booti.
To reach their one needs to trek from the Ridge for about two hours (or take a cab for ₹400 for 4 people). If you have a love for trekking then visiting here will be a wonderful opportunity. This is amongst the most worthwhile things to do in Shimla. Thus, it is one of the places to see in Shimla.
Point to remember: In mountain top there are lots of monkeys, be careful with all your belongings, especially your glasses, purse and mobile etc.
Places to see in Shimla: Food
- Cafe under the tree (my personal favourite)
If you are a foodie there are many things to do in Shimla. You can explore this cafe is simply a gem when it comes to food, ambience and the peace it has. It’s not located on a bustling road or in the middle of the town, it’s Located near the Jaku Temple which is Between the forest surrounded by hills.
Such a great view, good food and reasonable rates that are all one needs. This cafe deserves a visit; I am sure one will not regret it. The average cost will be around 800-100 for two people (approx).
2. Cafe Shimla times
Wow, the only word which came to my mind after witnessing this unique cafe situated on mall road, But still feels distant from the hustle-bustle. Has its own charm. Soothing music, live band and the view are just phenomenal and nice. It’s a part of Hotel Willow banks and is full of youngsters and a good crowd. They have a vast range of dishes, continental, Indian, Italian, Lebanese etc. Average cost – 1000-1500 for two people. (approx)
3. Eighteen71 cookhouse & bar
This place has an astounding interior, perfect lighting and a very cosy, regal look. We heard about it from the locals and thought of giving it a try. It’s a perfect place for enjoying dinner with the family while serving your taste buds with tantalizing flavours. Each dish was delicious and served by polite staff. Average cost- 1200-1500 for two people. (approx)
There are many other restaurants/cafes in Shimla which you can explore for a unique experience, some of them are here below.
- Honey hut
- The queue cafe
- The brew estate
- Wood street cafe
There are many things to do in Shimla but an enduring diverse variety of food and having to know which place gives the best food with a reasonable amount was the kind of experience I was looking for, and I think got my answer.
Tourist places near Shimla
Next place we visited after Shimla was Kufri. Distance from Shimla- 14.3 km( takes about 35 minutes to reach).
The convenient, fastest and cheapest way to reach from Shimla to Kufri is to take a taxi from Shimla to Kufri. Kufri is a tiny hill station present quite near Shimla and is famous for trekking and hiking trails. It is thus one of the tourist places near Shimla. In winters one can also enjoy skiing and tobogganing (most renowned tourist activity in Kufri). These are some of the things to do in Shimla.
Don’t get disappointed if you weren’t able to witness snowfall in Shimla. You will definitely in Kufri as it is famous for frequent and heavy snow (although it can be the reason for heavy traffic jam while coming back, remember to take care of the timings while visiting Kufri).
Places to visit and things to do in Shimla – Kufri, mainly in summers
- Kufri Ski resort – Timings: 9 am to 6 pm. Cost: INR 300/- per person for an hour
- Himalayan nature park – Timing: 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. Tickets: ₹20, ₹10(children)
- Kufri fun world – Heaven for children as Apart from go-karting there are other bewildering adventure sports and rides including Sky Swinger, Frisch Bee ride, Mini Skater, Bungee Trampoline, Haunted house and many more. Timing: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, ₹250/- (Tickets).
The Best time to visit Shimla and Kufri
March to June: This is a popular tourist season in Shimla and Kufri as the weather is awesome. Thus it is perfect for outdoor activities. The temperature is comfortable and usually varies between 15°C and 30°C. You can also visit in winters between November and February to enjoy heavy snowfall. Kufri is thus one of the famous tourist places near Shimla.
Places to see in Shimla: Hotels in Shimla
- Holiday in a homestay, little far from mall road but a perfect place to chill far from the noise of city rush. (best deal – booking.com)
- Snow Valley Resort
- OYO, Zurich Resort
We hope this information will help you while planning your Shimla trip.
It’s always a blessing when you travel with your friends, and I was lucky enough to have them by my side. We enjoyed exploring so many places to see in Shimla. Having an enthusiastic group of friends can be quite exasperating really because they always want to go for some adventure and in the mountains, there was no shortage of it, the fresh environment, the seclusion, the simple life had a deep impact on my mind and mood.
Also, as I was with my friends, I never worried about money. Our trip was perfectly in the budget, and it took only ₹6000-7000 per person. Also, don’t forget to explore the lower bazaar in Shimla as it is a perfect place for all the shopaholics out there which can get you authentic products of Himachal at a great price. Have a nice trip.