Shimla Guide: A Complete Overview by the Local Man

A complete Shimla Guide

Introduction to Shimla

The magnificence of Shimla is beyond my ability to put it into words. Everything is very picturesque; the snow, the mountains, the trains, and the market.

Shimla is synonymous with cool air, towering mountains, snow, and pristine wilderness. Though the Queen of Hills enjoys the title of being the ‘Capital’ of Himachal Pradesh, The other capital is Dharamshala, located around 240 km from Shimla.

This lovely hill station is surrounded by the picturesque regions of Mandi, Kullu, and Kinnaur. With Dharamshala being the winter capital and Shimla being the of Summer, of Himachal Pradesh.

The charming yet lively town provides breathtaking views of the snow-covered Himalayas, winding roads through pine trees, roofs in the Elizabethan style, and a delightful cuisine culture that creates fairytale-like surroundings.

scandal point mall road shimla

For starters of your Shimla guide itinerary, The Gaiety Theater, which has undergone a comprehensive renovation, and the building itself has a great deal of history to reveal can be a great place to spend time on the first day itself!

In this Shimla travel blog, we’ll brief you on everything about Shimla and provide you with a Shimla guide for your family!

Also, if you’re planning to tour Himachal Pradesh and often get confused by the plethora of options available, Do check our Tours page.

Reaching Shimla: Delhi to Shimla Guide

Air Travel✈️✈️

The closest domestic airport serving this stunning mountain retreat is Shimla Airport, also known as Jubbarhatti Airport (approximately 20 km from the city). Flights to Shimla depart frequently from New Delhi and Chandigarh. As of right now, you can take one of the five weekly departures from Delhi.

Even on the weekends, flying from Delhi to Shimla is the most efficient alternative. Foreign visitors can fly into the nearest international airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in Delhi. Prepaid taxis and buses will take passengers from the airport to Shimla.

Traveling by Road? Follow this!🚌🚌

Taking the road to Shimla is like a visual feast. The hill station is conveniently connected to major towns like New Delhi, Dehradun, and Chandigarh via a network of well-maintained national highways. Taking a road trip from Delhi to the picturesque mountain town of Shimla is a popular weekend activity and popular among tourists. Shimla’s nearby towns and cities are all accessible via bus thanks to the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and private bus services. Shimla may be reached from New Delhi via National Highway 1 or National Highway 22. From ISBT Kashmiri Gate, which is about eight hours away depending on traffic, passengers can board luxury buses.

Shimla guide for those who prefer the Indian Railways!🚆🚂

The closest railhead connecting Shimla to nearby Indian towns is the Kalka railway station, located at a distance of roughly 96 kilometers. The New Delhi and Chandigarh train stations both offer frequent service to Kalka. If you’re departing from New Delhi and want to arrive in Kalka before lunchtime, your best bet is to take the Kalka Shatabdi, a train that leaves Delhi every morning. To go to Shimla from Kalka station, you can take a taxi, a private cab, or a shared ride service.

Planning to visit Shimla from Chandigarh? Click here to know how to reach.

Best Time to Visit Shimla🕛 🕐 🕑 🕒

The months of March through June offer the most comfortable weather in Shimla, with temperatures ranging from 15 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius during this time. When the weather is nice like this, outdoor pursuits like hiking, camping, and trekking are some of the best ways to take in the splendor of the natural surroundings in Shimla tourist places.

Camping In shimla

The spring and summer months of April through June are perfect for taking in the city’s visual splendor, particularly the verdant vegetation that can be found on the hills that surround the city.

If, on the other hand, you are interested in seeing snow while you are in Shimla, the months of December through February are the greatest time to go. During this time, the temperature drops to well below zero, and the town is blanketed in snow, transforming it into a picturesque scene straight out of a winter book.

The snow-covered mountains and roads provide a gorgeous scene and provide the opportunity to participate in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

Your Shimla guide for family friendly and affordable hotels💰💰

Beyond the eye-catching hills that go to one’s grave because of their out of this world beauty, you will also find tons of affordable hotels in Shimla.

With their unbelievably reasonable rates, the affordable stays in Shimla never let you down with their services.

If you plan to visit Shimla tourist places during public holidays or summer vacations, don’t even think of procrastinating the hotel bookings.

Make your trip hassle free with Himachal Stay! Get done with your bookings now.

Owing to a rush that is expected to increase exponentially owing to the endemic phase of COVID-19, budget hotels in Shimla remain overbooked, sometimes even in the off-season.

Hotels that won’t make you introspect your expenses🏨🏨

Himachal Stay🏨

With the well constructed path, tourists prefer on-road transport such as State Buses to reach and about Shimla tourist places.
Breathtaking mountains, cold breezes and the road trip excite anyone with a pinch of adventure in oneself.

Himachal Stay triumphs over the other affordable hotels in Shimla primarily because of its location, just 200 meters from the Old Bus Stand of Shimla.

Besides the bus stand and connectivity, Himachalstay provides its guests with the homely feeling that becomes oblivious at Hill Stations.

With rooms well equipped with everything you need for taxi services and in-house tour packages to dining options, the hotel leaves no stone unturned to smoothen the trip of their guest.

Dolphin Cottage Homestay🏨

When near the Mall road and searching for an affordable homestay near me,  The Dolphin Cottage Home Stay in Shimla with reasonably priced accommodation with complimentary Wi-Fi for its guests, would probably be the best choice. The Shimla home has three standard rooms and one flat with two bedrooms. All of the rooms and the flat have basic amenities.

With a terrace and mountain views, Dolphin Cottage Home Stay is located in Shimla, 2.9 kilometers from The Mall Road. On-site parking is provided at no cost. Each room is equipped with a cable-ready television. The property is located 1.6 kilometers from key Shimla tourist places such as the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies and 2.3 kilometers from Victory Tunnel. Chandigarh Airport is 60 kilometers away from the property.

💫 💫 Also, read our content on the most affordable hotels in Shimla💫 💫

Budget’s not an issue? Here are the top two best luxury hotels in Shimla!💸💸💸

Deventure Shimla Hills🏨

Hotel Deventure

The Deventure Group’s flagship resort is the exquisitely designed Deventure Shimla Hills, which is known for its high level of comfort and natural beauty. It is comparable to the top 5-star hotels in Shimla.

The location of Deventure Shimla Hills, which is 24 kilometers before the state capital of Shimla, affords us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to indulge in unrivaled luxury and relax away from the hustle and bustle of the busy cities. This is a one-of-a-kind experience.

The Deventure Shimla Hills never misses an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on its guests by providing services such as:

  • The rooms are complete with state-of-the-art air conditioning and entertainment facilities
  • Locker for valuables.
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Disco for all your festivities and get-togethers!

Hotel Clark🏨

Hotel clark Shimla

In comparison to other major hotel chains in Shimla, the Hotel Clark, which can be found on Shimla Mall Road, excels over almost every 5-star hotel in Shimla. This hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Shimla and was just recently elevated to the Grand Heritage category after undergoing renovations.

The employees always maintain a high level of decorum and courtesy. They have a genuine understanding of hospitality, and it is a delight to be in their company and to engage in conversation with them.

The personnel at Oberoi Hotels receive excellent training on a consistent basis. Interactions with the personnel were always a delight. They were helpful, attentive, and eager to go the additional mile to ensure that their guests had a pleasant experience during their visit.

Looking out for some more options? Read here about the best luxury hotels in Shimla.

Shimla guide for adventure seekers!!!🏞️⛰️🏔️🧗🏽🚵

Besides the eye-captivating views of the hills, with the passage of time, The Queen of Hills has become a hub for adventure activities.

Catering to infinite bundles of joy for adventure-seeking tourists, Shimla is also known for its over-booked hotels, especially during vacations and long weekends.

Therefore, in case you are planning a long weekend in Shimla, in the light of the upcoming holidays, book your stay at Himachal Stay!

The range of adventure sports available in Shimla is extensive, from hiking and rafting to rock climbing and more. Himachal Pradesh’s capital can be found here. Shimla is a well-liked travel destination for many reasons, not the least of which is the abundance of exciting outdoor activities available to visitors.

Hip Hip Hurray Amusement Park🧗🏽🚵

Hip Hip Hurray Amusement Park

If you’re looking for a thrilling time and holiday in Shimla, try out some adventure sports like the flying fox, crossing the Burma bridge, trekking across the valley, or climbing the commando net. Having so many exciting activities in one convenient location, this amusement park is a great destination for families and friends.

The park has its own souvenir shop stocked with Himachali handlooms. In addition, there is delicious food available at the park’s cozy multi-cuisine restaurant.

The adventure activities in KUFRI🧗🏽🚵

You surely can’t skip the mention of Kufri, when it comes to mentioning fun activities in Shimla. The distance from Shimla to this location is roughly 16 kilometers. It’s well-known as a ski destination, has stunning scenery, and is home to a potato research station. Among the trees of Kufri’s forested terrain is a small zoo housing some of the most unusual species of wild animals that may be found there. It occupies a total of twenty hectares of land.

The Himachal Pradesh state bird, the Monal, is also easily spotted. Animals such as the Brown Bear, Tibetan wolf, and Barking Deer also call this zoo home. The zoo also has leopards, black bears, Sambers, Ghorals, Himalayan Thars, and Yaketcs, among other wild creatures.

Camping in Mashobra Greens🧗🏽🚵

Mashobra is the ideal location for the best camping in Shimla and one of the most visited Shimla tourist places, so head there if you’re looking for a spot in the area. Mashobra is frequently referred to as a paradise for birdwatchers. With its breathtaking panoramas of the Himalayan valleys, this location is ideal for revitalizing all aspects of your being: mind, body, and spirit.

The city is a wonderful place to visit due to its combination of natural elements, mountain sun, rustic log camps, and quiet pin-drop. The Reserve Forest Sanctuary in Mashobra is one of the best places to visit in Mashobra because it contains some of the largest water resorts in Asia, which are the source of water for Shimla, and it is located in Mashobra and remains ideal for forest camping in Shimla.

The months of September through December, as well as the months of February and April, are the most pleasant times to travel to Mashobra. At this time of day, the temperature is consistently low and pleasant, and guests delight in the scenic vistas that are available to them.

The tourist magnet, Chadwick Falls!🏞️🏞️

Chadwick Falls, a popular tourist destination and inclusion in the list of fun itinerary ideas of Shimla, plunges from a height of 1586 meters. It is surrounded by lush woodland, including stands of deodar and pine, and the sight is just breathtaking. The monsoons raise the water level of the falls, making the already stunning location even more so. Beautiful and serene, Chadwick Falls is a sight to behold.

Read more about camping in Himachal Pradesh and fun activities in Shimla with Himachal Stay.

Food is your guilty pleasure too! Here is the brief Shimla guide for foodies🍔🥣🍉🍋🍈

The lovely and bustling town of Shimla features winding lanes among pine trees, roofs designed in the Elizabethan style, and a delightful gastronomic culture that contributes to the creation of fairytale-like settings. It also offers stunning views of the snow-covered Mountains.

Siddu🥣🍉

One of the well-known Shimla food specialty, Siddu, is cooked with wheat flour and bears the name of the state. The cooking process for this recipe takes a little bit of time, but the end result is a delectable meal that is well worth the effort.

The wheat flour is stored for a minimum of four to five hours until the yeasts have had a chance to settle down. After being placed on the heat, the dough will be partially cooked at this point before being steamed and served.

Anardana Chicken🍗🍗

Anardana Chicken Himachali Style, also known as Pomegranate Chicken, is a chicken dish that is full of flavor and originates in Himachal Pradesh. Cooking the chicken in fragrant spices and dried pomegranate seeds gives the dish a one-of-a-kind flavor profile that is uniquely acidic and tangy, as well as a color that is pinkish-reddish is a must non-veg Shimla food that you shouldn’t skip!

Visiting Café Simla Times🍔🥣

Café Simla Times, formerly known as Fiesta Food Court, is named after a prominent newspaper that circulated in Shimla when the city was still known as Simla. This establishment has an artistic atmosphere. It offers a great deal of inventiveness and originality in both its food and its interior design. The meal is exceptional and the atmosphere is original.

The walls and roof are decorated with sketches of Shimla landmarks, creating the impression that the café was designed by an artist who also happened to be a chef. The presence of a model of a classic automobile enhances the mood. The café offers both indoor and outdoor seating, so you can choose to enjoy the painted walls inside or the view outdoors. In either case, everyone wins.

Their wood-fired pizzas include thin, crisp crusts, flavorful toppings, and copious quantities of mozzarella cheese. The smoked chicken and olive pizza is a fan favorite.

Himachali Dhaam🍔🥣

Together with its delicious flavor, Himachali Dhaam is a complete cuisine that claims to deliver a healthy amount of various nutrients. The meal consists of dal, rajma, rice, curd, boor ki Kadi, and may or may not have gur as an accompaniment (jaggery). Dhaam is a platter piled high with mouthwatering foods that are traditionally served at all of the festivities and celebrations.

Often get confused in tourist cities about Shopping? Follow this Shimla guide🛍️🛒

For all the shopping freaks, The Mall Road🛒🏪

The Mall Road in Shimla is a major tourist destination since it is home to several hotels, eateries, nightclubs, banks, stores, offices, post offices, and tourism information centers. Coffee in hand, shoppers may take their time strolling up and down the Mall road, taking in the sights of nature. Many tourists and locals alike visit Mall Road’s Ridge and Scandal Point to socialize, take in the Himalayan panorama, and do some shopping.

The Tibetan Market🛒🛒

This garment bazaar is perched on the hills leading up to the Lakkar Bazar Bus Stand, just off The Mall Road. This is the best market in and about Shimla to go to if you like stylish clothes that don’t break the bank. There are at least 30–40 stores in a row, so you won’t be short of options.

Lower Bazaar offers upper-class goods!🛍️💵🛍️💵

Lower Bazaar is the other major market; it is parallel to Mall Road and the two are connected by many stairs (long ones; which can be more than 100 to 150 steps of steep ascent from lower bazaar to the Mall).

As its name suggests, the bazaar is located at a lower altitude than the Mall in this hilly city. Again, the Lower Bazaar is divided into sub-markets: Ganj Bazar, a wholesale grain market; Subzi Mandi, a market for fresh produce and uncooked meat and eggs; and main bazaar, the primary shopping district for residents of Shimla and the surrounding villages and smaller towns.

For Party Lovers, here’s your guide to nightlife in Shimla!!!🌃🌙🕺💃🍻

Whether you’re a party animal or a night owl, you’ll love Shimla’s diverse nightlife options. Shimla boasts a diverse nightlife scene, with everything from hip bars to quiet cafes and lounges.

Shimla’s nightlife is fantastic, thanks to the city’s many pubs and bars. You may spend the night drinking, snacking, and listening to live music at any one of these pubs and bars.

Shimla’s nightlife is unparalleled, thanks in large part to the city’s many excellent live music establishments. The Mall, the Gaiety Theatre, and The Ridge are three of the most well-known. These establishments provide an excellent setting for live music performances by both regional and national acts.

Shimla features a variety of intimate cafes and lounges perfect for those who want a less frenetic approach to nightlife. Café Sol, and Hide Out Café are some of the most well-known.

Festivals and Events in Shimla: The Shimla Summer Festival🏕️🎶🕺💃🍻 🌈

Both visitors and residents enjoy participating in the annual Shimla Summer Festival. Once a year, in the last week of May/first week of June, it takes place. The Summer Festival has been going on since 1960, and it features many different kinds of events every year.

The event is a one-of-a-kind chance to take part in adventure sports, try regional cuisine, and learn about the state’s rich cultural history. The festival is a wonderful way to spend a week in the scenic city of Shimla, and it serves as a celebration of life and the beginning of summer.

The festival’s food stands to provide both regional specialties and exotic fare. The food stands to attract both tourists and locals since they provide a sampling of the state’s distinctive flavors and culinary specialties.

The state’s distinctive artistic and creative traditions are highlighted in exhibitions of handicrafts. Pottery, wood carving, painting, and embroidery are just a few examples of the many ways in which local craftsmen display their talents and ingenuity. Visitors can pick up mementos and presents for friends and family at the shows.

Sneak Peek into Shimla’s unique Art & Culture

Himalayan traditional dance🕺💃

The residents of Shimla take great pride in their rich cultural heritage, which includes a vibrant dancing scene. The Nati is the most well-known folk dance, typically showcased at special events and festivities.

Cultural Attire

Shimla’s natives wear a unique kind of clothing commonly referred to as “Pahari.” The lehenga, the choli, and the pashmina are the traditional garments worn by women in India. The topi cap is worn with a kurta and pajamas.

Handicrafts and Gifts

Shimla is famous for its souvenirs and handicrafts, especially its jewelry, shawls, carpets, and wooden toys. These things are sold at local marketplaces, such as Mall Road, and are available to tourists.

Vintage Architecture

Shimla’s distinct architecture combines British and Pahari influences. Shimla’s buildings are mostly constructed of stone and wood, and they feature sloping roofs and elaborate balconies. Some of Shimla’s most recognizable buildings include The Ridge, Christ Church, and the Viceregal Lodge.

Besides that, talking about Shimla’s cultural roots, it can be concluded through the city’s traditional food. Both residents and visitors alike love the restaurant’s Sidu, Madra, and Channa Madra. Regional ingredients and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron are used to create a one-of-a-kind taste.

Conclusion: Don’t forget these tips while touring Shimla

Book your hotels in advance right now!

Shimla is a famous tourist destination, so it’s best to plan your visit well in advance to avoid crowds. That’s why it’s smart to prepare for your vacation in advance, including booking your lodging and transportation.

Health is wealth!

Some people, especially those with respiratory problems or heart conditions, may experience altitude sickness due to Shimla’s high altitude. Before traveling to Shimla, it is recommended that you see a doctor and bring any essential medications.

Respect the norms and practices of the area.

Shimla has a diverse cultural heritage and many unique practices. It’s wise to be sensitive to the norms of the area and to observe local traditions. Lastly, Shimla is a stunning city surrounded by stunning scenery. Being environmentally conscientious means not littering or otherwise negatively impacting the world around you.

People Also Ask:

What is not so good about Shimla?

Though Shimla offers something or the other for everyone, owing to the comparison with Manali, some people might prefer the latter.

Who should visit Shimla?

Shimla is literally a store of delight for people of all age groups. From adventure sports for young adults to tranquil religious places for the elderly to joyful activities in Kufri. Shimla never disappoints.

Why is Shimla so famous?

Besides being the capital town of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla the Queen of Hills is famous for its rich and deep rooted art and culture, and joyful activities in Kufri and Mall Road.

About the author

CEO and Founder Of Himachal Stay.

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