Shimla, the most sought after hill station, needs no introduction. Its lush greenery, pleasant climate, and snow-clad hills have attracted tourists for years. With a plethora of activities and places to visit in Shimla, the Queen of Hills offers more than you can hold onto.
But before we take you through the best things to do in Shimla, let us quickly scan through some essential information that will help you plan your trip to this beautiful hill station.
Best Time To Visit Shimla:
Shimla is a year-round destination. However, due to heavy rainfall and the high possibility of landslides, it must be avoided during the monsoon season (July–September).
March–June: Summers in Shimla is pleasant and perfect for trekking, camping, and rafting. The temperature varies between 15 ° & 30 ° and you would need light woolens during the night hours.
October–February: Winters in Shimla are popular for snowfall and snow activities. The temperature varies between – 2 ° & 8 ° and you would need thick woolens.
The best time to visit Shimla is December–February, especially for those who wish to enjoy the snow. One can go skiing and ice-skating during this period.
How To Reach Shimla:
By Air: The nearest airport, Jubbarhatti, is located 23 km from the main city. The other nearby airports are Chandigarh and New Delhi.
By Train: The world heritage narrow gauge railways connect Shimla to Kalka. This toy train route is quite popular with kids. Further, Kalka is abundantly connected to all the major cities of India.
By Road: Shimla is approximately 350 km from New Delhi, and 118 km from Chandigarh. Regular buses, both private and state-run, ply from Delhi en-route Chandigarh.
10 Things To Do In Shimla:
It is now time to explore the activities you can undertake in the hill station if you’re thinking about what to do in Shimla. To save you from the never-ending chaos of narrowing your list, we have prepared a list of most popular things to do in Shimla.
Toy Train Ride: Passing through the green hills-
Enjoying the Kalka – Shimla toy train ride is, indeed, one of the best things to do in Shimla. The old railway line along the mountains paints a tranquil picture of the place. Watch the other end of the train from your window as the toy-train moves like a snake on the curved tracks. And boy you are lucky if it starts to drizzle! Also, on this route is the famous tunnel no 33, which is one of the 25 most haunted places in India.
Shopping at Lakkar Bazar: For The Shopaholics-
When the sun reaches the horizon in the evening, Lakkar Bazar is a different sight, altogether. The long stretch of shops on either side offers some of the finest woodwork artifacts. Apart from artifacts, you can also buy winter wears at a very cheap price. It is a good place to pick souvenirs and little gifts for your loved ones.
Don’t Miss: Check out the local handmade shawls and Nehru jackets.
Ice skating: Asia’s Only Open-Air Ice Skating Rink-
Show off your skills at the open-air ice skating rink is one of the things to do in Shimla during peak winters. The rink attracts thousands of people every year in search of an amazing ice skating experience. The ice is formed by a special technique that the British taught the Garhwali highlanders. The thickly forested hillside keeps it shaded and the low temperatures in winters prevent it from melting.
Timings: 8 am – 11 am and 5 pm – 8 pm; December – March
Cost: INR 100 – INR 200
Rafting At Tattapani: Feel The Adventure-
Located 50 km from Shimla, Tattapani is simply a heaven for adventure lovers. Nestled on the banks of Satluj, the region is popular for its natural hot water springs, lush green valleys, and one of the finest rafting experiences that attract thousands of tourist every year. A perfect weekend getaway, Tattapani will surely rejuvenate your soul.
Cost: INR 1,500 per person per ride.
Chadwick Waterfall & The Glen:
Chadwick Waterfall: See The Splendid Beauty-
Amidst the Glen forest lies the tranquil Chadwick waterfall. Located 7 km from Shimla, the waterfall is an ideal place to start your day with. The combination of aesthetic beauty and a serene environment makes it perfect for catching up on some solitude. And yes, witnessing sunrise at Chadwick fall is one of the best things to do in Shimla if you are a nature lover. The trek to the waterfall itself is extremely peaceful & enthralling.
The Glen: Famous Picnic Spot-
Located 4 km away from Shimla, The Glen is an ideal place for adventure seekers and nature lovers. For an experience like never before, hike across the valley and pass through the conspicuous area covered with pine and deodar. The abundance of flora and fauna, as well as natural streaming water, provides a wonderful opportunity for pictures.
Location: Near Chadwick Falls, Shimla, 171001, Himachal Pradesh
Pine Forests & The Nature Kiala Forest:
Pine Forests: Take A Walk Amidst-
There are many interesting short hikes from Shimla that take you through the pine forests in and around the city. Some of the beautiful trails lead you to the Glen, the Summer Hill, the Prospect Hill, and the Kamna Devi Temple. Owing to their beauty and the romantic weather, these nature walks are among the best things to do in Shimla for couples.
Don’t Miss: Sunsets from the hills.
The Nature Kiala Forest: Nature Lover’s Delight-
Enjoy a panoramic view of the city at Kiala forest which is a located little far away from the main city. It is a perfect spot for nature and wildlife lovers and also adventure sports enthusiasts. Don’t forget to capture beautiful memories in the wilderness area. Add this to the list of your things to do while in Shimla, if you are a nature admirer and want to spend some time peacefully in nature’s lap.
Location: Kotkhai, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – 171202
Price: No entry fee
Timings: Open at all time
Military Museum & Johnnie’s Wax Museum:
Military Museum: At Annandale: Walk Through The History-
If arms and ammunition excite you, then you must visit the Army Museum located in Annandale. The museum exhibits various guns, uniforms, and the document of India – Pakistan war of 1971.
Don’t Miss: The mini-golf course and helipad near the museum
Timings: 10 am – 5 pm
Wax Museum: See The Life Size Statues-
Johnnie’s Wax Museum is one of the most recent tourist attractions in Shimla, inaugurated in the year 2016. The Museum houses 16 life-size statues of popular personalities from varied fields from fields on movies to sports and politics. Don’t forget to add this place to your things to do in Shimla and meet Harry Potter, Tony Stark, Barack Obama and Amir Khan amongst others.
Location: Near Willow Bank, 2, Mall Road, The Mall, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – 171001
Price: INR 250 per person
Timings: 10 AM to 10 PM
Paragliding: Take A Dive In The Sky-
Glide across the crystal blue skies by experiencing paragliding in Shimla. Often called the ‘Queen of Hills’, Shimla is blessed with the finest natural landscapes which make a perfect place to take a dive in the sky. The best place to experience Paragliding in Shimla is Kangra Valley which is located at a distance of 233 Kms and 6 hours to reach.
Best Time To Visit: March-June
Shimla Ridge & Kufri:
Shimla Ridge: Cultural Hub Of Shimla-
Well known as the cultural hub of Shimla, visiting the Ridge must be on your list of things to do in Shimla. If you are looking for a cup of coffee or simply want to relax after a long day of sightseeing, Ridge is your stop. It is also the center of the city during festivals and events. The best time to visit is from April to August and December to January.
Price: No entry fee
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Kufri: Alluring Beauty-
Kufri is a small hill station located in Shimla at 8000 ft above sea level. The scenic beauty attracts tourist from all across the world and visiting this place is one of the most exciting things to do in Shimla. There are many places of interest – from the highest peak in Kufri, Mahasu peak to the Himalayan nature park. Other important attractions include the Chini Bungalow which is well- known for its architecture and statues, and Kufri Fun World, a fun-filled amusement park. It is also an ideal destination for photo enthusiasts.
Location: 16km from the heart of Shimla
Summer Hill: Delightful View-
The mesmerizing view from Summer Hill is one such view that you will never forget. It is a part of seven hills that form Shimla and today it houses the famous painter, Amrita Shergil. Also known as Potter’s hill, it is a perfect escape from the hustle-bustle of the city. During winters, the hill is covered in snow and in the summer season, it is a pleasant sight which will completely allure you.
Location: 5 km from The Ridge
Price: No entry fee
Timings: Open at all time