Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, Shimla Travel Guide

Shimla Travel Guide: Where Colonial Echoes Meet Himalayan Splendor

Shimla Travel Guide: Nestled like a jewel amidst the emerald embrace of the Himalayas, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh is more than just a hill station; it’s a symphony of experiences. Picture Victorian-era buildings painted in candy hues, toy trains snaking through verdant valleys, and crisp mountain air that awakens your senses. Welcome to a land where whispers of colonial history mingle with the timeless beauty of nature, inviting you to unravel its enchanting tapestry.

How To Reach Shimla:

Shimla Travel Guide

Shimla, fortunately, isn’t a recluse. You can reach this aerial gem by air, train, or road:


  • Chandigarh Airport, 120 km away, acts as your gateway. Regular flights connect major Indian cities to Chandigarh. From there, hire a taxi or take a bus to Shimla.


  • Trains chugging through picturesque landscapes culminate at Shimla railway station. The Kalka-Shimla toy train ride on a narrow-gauge track is a journey in itself, offering stunning views and a timeless experience.


  • Road trippers, prepare for winding, scenic drives that will make the destination even sweeter. Shimla is well-connected by national highways from major cities in North India.

About the Queen of Hills:

Shimla, once the summer capital of the British Raj, wears its colonial legacy with pride. Grand architecture like Viceregal Lodge and Christ Church stand in silent testament to a bygone era. But Shimla’s story doesn’t end in the past. Bustling bazaars like Lakkar Bazaar overflow with colorful handicrafts, while The Mall, a pedestrianized avenue, thrums with the pulse of modern-day India. Nature, however, remains the star. Rolling hills painted emerald green by pine forests, cascading waterfalls whispering secrets, and snow-capped peaks piercing the sky – Shimla’s natural tapestry will leave you breathless.

Best time to visit:

Summer (April to June):

  • This period experiences pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C.
  • It’s ideal for outdoor activities like sightseeing, trekking, and adventure sports.
  • The days are sunny and clear, offering excellent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Autumn (September to November):

  • Autumn brings crisp, cool weather with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C.
  • The landscapes are adorned with vibrant hues of orange and gold as the leaves change colors, creating picturesque vistas.
  • The crowds are thinner compared to summer, making it an excellent time to explore popular attractions without the rush.
  • It’s also the apple harvesting season, adding to the cultural charm of the region.

Tourist Map Shimla Travel Guide:

Govt Tourist Map of Simla District:

Shimla Travel Map 1

Govt Simla City Tourist Map 1:

Shimla travel Guide Map1

Govt Simla City Tourist Map 2:

Shimla travel Guide Map2

Must-See Places:

While Kullu boasts stunning landscapes and adventure activities, Shimla, the “Queen of Hills,” offers a charming experience filled with colonial echoes, breathtaking beauty, and unique adventures. Here’s a list of must-visit places in Shimla that you won’t find in Kullu:

The Mall Road:

The Mall Road

Shimla’s beating heart, this vibrant, pedestrian-only zone is bustling with life. Picture yourself strolling past bustling shops, charming cafes, and historical buildings. Soak in the colonial charm and relish a local treat from a street vendor.

Viceregal Lodge (Indian Institute of Advanced Study):

Viceregal Lodge (Indian Institute of Advanced Study)

Step back in time at this magnificent colonial-era building, built in 1888 as the summer residence of British Viceroys. Imagine the grand balls and official meetings held within its walls as you admire the opulent interiors and stunning architecture. Today, the building houses the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

Chadwick Falls:

Chadwick Falls

Tucked away amidst dense forests, Chadwick Falls cascades down from a height of 86 meters, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of nature’s beauty.

Shimla Travel Guide: Christ Church

Christ Church

This Neo-Gothic church, built in 1857, is the oldest in Shimla. Imagine the peaceful hymns echoing within its walls as you admire the intricate woodwork and beautiful stained-glass windows. Find a quiet corner and soak in the serenity of this historical landmark.

Summer Hill:

Shimla Travel Guide:

Hike up a scenic hill to reach this popular Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Tara. Admire the scenic beauty and architectural wonders of the temple as you experience a moment of spiritual reflection.

Tara Devi Temple:

Tara Devi Temple

Escape to this picturesque getaway, offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding hills. Take a leisurely walk or ride the charming toy train. Enjoy a picnic amidst the vibrant flora, or visit the Tibetan Monastery for a cultural immersion.

Jakhoo Hill:

Jakhoo Hill

Conquer the highest point in Shimla and be rewarded with breathtaking 360-degree views. Hike to the top, visit the Jakhoo Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, and marvel at the panoramic vistas stretching as far as the eye can see.

Himalayan Nature Park:

Himalayan Nature Park

Immerse yourself in the diverse flora and fauna of the Himalayas. Explore various trails, spot colorful birds flitting through the trees, and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Gaiety Theatre:

Gaiety Theatre

Witness the vibrant cultural heritage, the Gaiety Theatre, the oldest functioning theatre in Asia established in 1881. Attend a performance, marvel at the historical architecture, and step back in time as you experience the magic of this cultural gem.

Jakhu Temple:

Jakhu Temple

Perched atop Jakhu Hill, Jakhu Temple is a sacred sanctuary dedicated to Lord Hanuman, offering stunning panoramic views of Shimla and the majestic Himalayas.


Kufri, Shimla

A picturesque hill station located a short distance from Shimla, Kufri is renowned for its natural beauty and adventure activities. Visitors can enjoy horse riding, yak rides, and trekking amidst the scenic landscapes of cedar forests and snow-capped mountains.

The Ridge:

The Ridge

Situated at the heart of Shimla, The Ridge is an expansive open space offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and colonial-era architecture. Bustling with activity throughout the day, it serves as a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike.

Shimla Waterfalls:

Shimla Waterfalls

Escape the city’s bustle by exploring the refreshing waterfalls. Popular options include Chadwick Falls, Glen Falls, and Summer Hill Falls. Hike through scenic landscapes, listen to the soothing sounds of cascading water, and capture breathtaking photos of these natural wonders.

Shimla State Museum:

Shimla State Museum

Located near the Mall Road, the State Museum is a treasure trove of Himachal Pradesh’s rich cultural heritage. Housed in a colonial-era building, the museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts, sculptures, paintings, and photographs that depict the history, art, and traditions of the region.

Viceregal Lodge and Botanical Gardens:

Viceregal Lodge and Botanical Gardens

Situated atop Observatory Hill, the Viceregal Lodge, also known as Rashtrapati Niwas, is an architectural marvel that once served as the summer residence of the British Viceroys during the colonial era.



Located just a short distance from Shimla’s city center, Annandale is a picturesque playground and picnic spot that offers lush green lawns, rolling hills, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Scandal Point:

Scandal Point

Situated at the intersection of the Ridge and Mall Road, Scandal Point is a historic landmark and popular meeting spot. Legend has it that this is where the Maharaja of Patiala eloped with the British Viceroy’s daughter, sparking a scandal that led to the Maharaja being banished from Shimla.



Tucked away amidst pine and cedar forests, Mashobra is a serene hill station located a short drive away. Known for its lush green landscapes, apple orchards, and colonial-era bungalows, Mashobra offers a tranquil retreat away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Kiala Forest:

Kiala Forest

Kiala Forest is a pristine wilderness area known for its dense vegetation, meandering streams, and serene ambiance. Visitors can embark on scenic nature walks through the forest, immersing themselves in the beauty of towering trees, lush undergrowth, and chirping birds.

Beyond Sightseeing:

It’s just about static sights; it’s about experiences that stir your soul:

  • Toy Train Ride: Take a nostalgic journey on the Kalka toy train, chugging through charming towns and breathtaking landscapes.
  • Narkanda Trek: Lace up your boots and conquer the moderate trek to Narkanda, a scenic town overlooking snow-capped peaks.
  • Apple Picking: Visit an orchard in the fall and savor the joy of hand-picking juicy apples straight from the tree.
  • Ice Skating: In winter, Shimla transforms into a wonderland. Glide across the ice rink at the Scandal Point and create memories that last a lifetime.
  • Ghost Stories by the Fireplace: As the sun dips below the horizon, cozy up by a crackling fire and listen to local ghost stories whispered in the shadows.
Toy train ride shimla

Nearby Destinations:

Shimla is your base camp for explorations galore:

  • Kufri: Escape to this scenic hamlet known for its apple orchards, adventure activities, and stunning Himalayan views.
  • Chail: Discover this quaint hill station, adorned with colonial bungalows and the world’s highest cricket ground.
  • Naldehra: Breathe in the fresh air of this pine-scented haven, perfect for nature walks and horseback riding.

Food Delights:

Food delights Shimla
  1. Chana Bhatura: A popular North Indian dish consisting of deep-fried bread (bhatura) served with spicy chickpea curry (chana masala), often enjoyed for breakfast or as a hearty meal.
  2. Siddu: A traditional Himachali bread made from wheat flour, stuffed with a mixture of spices, and steamed or baked, usually served with ghee or butter, and enjoyed as a snack or breakfast item.
  3. Madra: A traditional Himachali dish made from soaked chickpeas cooked in a yogurt-based gravy with aromatic spices like cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon, offering a rich and creamy flavor.
  4. Tudkiya Bhath: A Himachali rice dish cooked with lentils, vegetables, and spices, typically prepared during festivals and special occasions, offering a hearty and flavorful meal.
  5. Babru: A popular street food snack of this State, made from deep-fried dough stuffed with a mixture of black gram paste and spices, served with tangy tamarind chutney or green chutney.

Must-Try Experiences:

  • Momos & Siddu: Savor steaming momos and tangy Siddu, local dumplings, at The Mall’s numerous eateries. These savory treats burst with flavor and come in endless varieties, leaving you wanting more.
  • Woodcraft Shopping: Delve into Lakkar Bazaar, a treasure trove of intricately carved wooden trinkets. Lose yourself amongst colorful boxes, ornate furniture, and handcrafted souvenirs – perfect mementos of yourTrip adventure.
  • Himalayan Picnic: Pack a basket overflowing with delights, find a sun-drenched meadow amidst rolling hills, and indulge in a breathtaking picnic. Embrace the serenity of the Himalayas as you feast on your spread with stunning vistas as your backdrop.
  • Sunset at The Ridge: As the sun dips below the horizon, gather at The Ridge and witness a spectacle of dazzling colors. Watch the sky transform into a canvas of fiery oranges, pinks, and purples, painting the majestic mountains in their magical glow.
  • Tibetan Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the State’s Tibetan community at Lakkar Bazaar. Explore stalls brimming with colorful prayer flags, handcrafted jewelry, and unique souvenirs, leaving you with a piece of Tibetan heritage.

Shimla Travel Guide Travel Planning:

  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (March-June) and autumn (September-November) offer pleasant weather and stunning vistas. Winter (December-February) brings the magic of snowfall, while monsoon (July-August) is best avoided for its heavy rains.
  • Getting Around: Walking is the best way to explore The Mall and other central areas. Taxis and buses are readily available for trips around the city and to nearby destinations. Remember, Shimla is a hill station, so be prepared for some uphill walks! However, the effort is always rewarded with breathtaking views.


Shimla offers a diverse range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. Here are some options to consider:

  • Budget-Friendly: Cozy homestays and guesthouses nestled in quaint lanes offer charm and affordability. Many even boast stunning mountain views, making your stay feel like a home away from home.
  • Mid-Range: Charming hotels and resorts in central locations provide comfortable stays with easy access to attractions. Think balconies with scenic vistas, cozy cafes on-site, and friendly service.
  • Luxury: Pamper yourself in grand heritage hotels and luxurious resorts. Imagine opulent interiors, impeccable service, breathtaking surroundings, and unforgettable experiences.

Tips for Choosing Accommodation:

  • Location: Consider how close you want to be to the main attractions and The Mall. If you enjoy serene settings, venture further out towards the hills.
  • Amenities: Think about important amenities like Wi-Fi, hot water, and heating depending on the season.
  • View: Some accommodations boast stunning mountain views that will make your stay even more memorable.
  • Reviews: Read guest reviews to get a feel for the atmosphere and service offered by different options.

Remember, booking your accommodation in advance, especially during peak season, is always recommended!

Pro Traveler Tips:

  • Pack layers: Shimla’s weather can be unpredictable, so pack clothes for all temperatures.
  • Carry sturdy shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are essential.
  • Bargain when shopping: This is especially true at the bazaars. Don’t be afraid to haggle for a good deal!
  • Respect local customs: Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and be mindful of local traditions.
  • Learn some basic Hindi: A few basic phrases will go a long way in communicating with locals and enhancing your experience.


Shimla awaits you with open arms and breathtaking beauty. From colonial charm to majestic mountains, this hill station promises an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, lace up your shoes, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in the Queen of Hills!

On behalf of, thank you, We Hope Shimla Travel Guide helps you on your Shimla adventure. We hope you have a safe and memorable trip!


Certainly! Here are 15 frequently asked questions related to traveling to Shimla along with their respective answers:

1. When is the best time to visit Shimla?

  • The best time to visit Shimla is during the summer months, from March to June, when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities. The monsoon season (July to September) brings heavy rainfall, while winter (November to February) is chilly and perfect for experiencing snowfall.

2. What are the popular tourist attractions in Shimla?

  • Some popular tourist attractions in Shimla include the Ridge, Mall Road, Jakhu Temple, Christ Church, Kufri, Summer Hill, and Chadwick Falls.

3. How can I reach Shimla from [insert your location]?

  • Shimla is well-connected by road, rail, and air. You can reach Shimla by bus, train, or flight depending on your location.

4. What are the accommodation options available in Shimla?

  • Shimla offers a wide range of accommodation options including hotels, resorts, guesthouses, and homestays catering to various budgets and preferences.

5. What are the must-try local foods in Shimla?

  • Some must-try local foods in Shimla include Chana Madra, Siddus, Babru, Sepu Badi, and Himachali Dham.

6. Are there any adventure activities available in Shimla?

  • Yes, there are several adventure activities available in Shimla such as trekking, camping, paragliding, river rafting, and skiing (during winters).

7. What is the weather like during [specific month]?

  • The weather in Shimla varies throughout the year. It’s advisable to check the specific month’s weather forecast before planning your visit.

8. How far is Shimla from [insert nearby city] and how can I travel there?

  • The distance from Shimla to nearby cities varies. You can travel to Shimla by road, train, or air from nearby cities.

9. What are the shopping options available in Shimla?

  • Shimla offers a variety of shopping options including markets, malls, and local shops selling handicrafts, woollens, jewellery, and souvenirs.

10. Are there any festivals or events happening in Shimla during my visit?

  • Check the local events calendar or tourism website to find out about any festivals or events happening during your visit to Shimla.

11. Is it safe to travel to Shimla alone?

  • Yes, Shimla is generally safe for solo travelers. However, it’s always recommended to take necessary precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

12. Are there any trekking trails near This State?

  • Yes, there are several trekking trails near Shimla such as the Shimla to Kufri trek, Chail to Shimla trek, and Hatu Peak trek.

13. Can I rent a car or bike in Shimla for sightseeing?

  • Yes, you can rent a car or bike from various rental agencies in Shimla for sightseeing purposes.

14. What are the COVID-19 travel guidelines and restrictions in Shimla?

  • Stay updated with the latest COVID-19 travel guidelines and restrictions issued by the government authorities before planning your trip to Shimla.

15. Are there any guided tours available for exploring Shimla?

  • Yes, there are guided tours available for exploring Shimla which cover major attractions and provide insights into the local culture and history. You can book these tours through travel agencies or online platforms.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *