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12 Best Things to do in Shimla


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    • One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Shimla is often called the Queen of Himalayas and is the capital of Himachal Pradesh standing at 2130m in the north-west Himalayas. This scenic town provides many things to do in Shimla to both enjoy the picturesque surroundings and indulge in the adventure pursuits.

      The rugged mountainous terrain, snowfall, tranquil and picturesque setting make Shimla an ideal destination for camping. Some of the camping sites in and around Shimla are Sandasu, Chirgaon and Larot, Shoghi, Sarahan. There are also excellent picnic spots around this charming town namely Glenn, Summer Hill and Chadwick Falls. A trip to Shimla would be incomplete without a ride on the popular Toy train that runs between Shimla to Kalka. 

      One can even explore the pandora of amazing architectural gems that have a colonial charm such as the Shimla State Museum and the Christ Church situated on the Ridge alongside the Mall Road. Other attractions in the vicinity are Tara Devi Temple, Sankat Mochan and Kali Bari Temple.

      Here are some of the best things to do in Shimla:

    • 01Ice skating

      Ice skating
      Image Credit : Enrique T- Flickr
      Ice skating is said to be one of the most popular adventure sports in Shimla. It is known that Shimla has one of the largest ice skating rinks in India.
      Highlights: To the surprise of many, Shimla is the only ‘natural’ ice skating rink of India. This is the reason why this largest open air rink, tends to attract both tourists as well as local, alike.

      Best Time: Ice skating in Shimla usually commences in the month of December and goes on till late February. During this time, the skies are clear and the weather is cold thereby ensuring undisturbed sessions of ice skating.

      Cost: Cost will depend on the length of the session. Sessions of ice skating take place twice a day i.e. both in the morning as well as in the evening. Rink offers membership on both short term as well as long term basis.

      Safety: Equipments like cap, knee pads and skates are needed for the ice skating.
    • 02River Rafting

      River Rafting
      Image Credit : Roy Luck-Flickr
      River Rafting is one very popular adventure sports in Shimla. The free flowing rivers of Shimla offer the most ideal conditions for river rafting in the city. 

      Location: The river Sutlej that flows near Shimla offers great options for river rafting. The very popular white water rafting place in Shimla is carried out from the Chabba to Tattapani. The length of this stretch is 12 km and takes about 2 hours to challenge the much rapid and aggressive Sutlej river.

      Highlights: This adventure sport is usually carried out on an inflatable rubber dinghy.

      Image Credits : Sanjoy Ghosh-Flickr

      Best Time: The summer months are believed to be the most ideal time for river rafting in Shimla. River rafting during the monsoon and the winters is strictly prohibited.

      Cost: Variable and depends on the length of the duration and the track you choose for rafting.

      Difficulty Level: May seem tough in the beginning thus proper training and security equipments are mandatory.
    • 03Trekking

      Image Credit : Jo Simon-Flickr
      Trekking is popular in Shimla as the mysterious and the beautiful ranges of Himalayas are just the right sites for you to try your hand at trekking.

      Location: Trekking can be tried at several undulating terrains as well as hills in Shimla. Some of the popular and common routes for trekking include:

      Shimla - Luhri - Ani - Khanag - Jalori Pass - Jibhit - Banjar
      Shimla - Narkanda - Hattu Peak - Chaupal - Kedi - Halau - Kandol - Koti - Chakrata
      Shimla - Narkanda - Khadrala - Sungri - Devidhar - Rohru - Shimla
      Banjar - Bathad - Sarahan - Arsu - Rampur - Shimla

      Highlights: Treks usually vary from each other and one can pick the length of the trek depending on the time and the capability. There are several shelters as well as the rest houses that have been set for the tourists to rest and re-energize.

      Cost: Variable and depends on the length of the treks.

      Best Time: December to February.
    • 04Summer Hill

      Summer Hill is an exceptionally beautiful tourist spot in Shimla. It is situated at an altitude of 1283 meters. The area is beautified by the serene beauty of quiet hills that give it a nice and breathtaking aura.

      Location: Located on the way of Shimla to Kalka, Summer Hills is just about 5 km from the Ridge Road of Shimla. The place is surrounded by serene beauty of quiet hills, which give it a breathtaking aura.

      Highlights: This is an ideal place for those who wish to take a leisurely walk amidst the tranquillity of Mother Nature. The hilly trees of pine and deodar add to the beauty of the place. Snow clad mountains make it an ideal romantic gateway.

      Best Time to visit: Summer Hill is open all round the year courtesy its pleasant climate. However, the best time to visit the place is during winters when the weather is cool and humid.
    • 05Bird Watching

      Bird Watching
      Image Credit :  pattymcgann-Flickr
      To do some Bird Watching in Shimla, one must get up really early in the morning and drive towards the Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary to have some incredible bird watching experience.

      Location: Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary as well as few other bird sanctuaries allows bird watching in Shimla.

      Highlights: Some popular and must see birds in the bird sanctuaries of Shimla are Chakor, Kalij Pheasant, Black and Brown Partridge, Thrushes, Himalayan Magpie, Bulbul, Wood Peckers, Parrots,
      Peacock, Paradise fly catchers, Jungle Fowl, Golden and Black headed Orioles, Yellow Ioras, Red-vented Bulbuls, Blue Jays, Purple Sunbirds, Green Barbets and Mynahs. One has to be really careful and vigilant enough to listen to the voices to follow the birds here. It is advisable to go in a huge group!

      Best Time: Early in the morning before sunrise is definitely the most suitable time for bird watching.

      Cost: The entry fee in the bird sanctuaries is very minimal.
    • 06Shaily Peak

      Shaily Peak is formed by the lush green forests and the lofty Himalayas that makes it exceptionally magnificent.

      Location: Shaily Peak is located about 23 km from Naldehra. From the Khatnol, the base for the steep climb to the peak is about 8 kms. In case, you are not fit enough for trekking, you can also hire a pony to reach here.

      Highlights: The dense forests as well as the rocky trails adorn the Shaily Peak. Beauty of the Shaily Peak encourages everyone who comes to this place to take pictures and capture this beauty.

      Best Time: Shaily Peak is open all round the year. The ideal time to visit the Shaily Park is morning for anyone who enjoys trekking. The Peak looks exceptionally spectacular during the sunrise and the sunset. Do carry your lunch if you plan to venture out on the trek.
    • 07Jakhoo Hill

      Jakhoo Hill
      Image Credit : T toes - Flickr
      Jakhoo Hill is the highest point of the city. It is covered with the Alpine trees. On the top of the flat hill is the colourful Jakhoo Temple as well as the newly built Hanuman statue. Said to be the favorite escape for the visitors who enjoy calm and peace, you just need to be beware of the criminal minded monkeys who are ready to rob food from the visitors.

      Location: In order to reach the hill top, you’ll have to walk for approximately 30 minutes. Thereafter, there is a pleasant route that will direct you to the Jakhoo Hill.

      Highlights: The summit of Jakhoo Hill Shimla is some 2,455m and about 200m higher than the central ridge of Shimla. Temple at the Jakhoo Hill is dedicated to the Lord Hanuman who is believed to be the Hindu monkey god. Monkeys clearly rule the Jakhoo hill.

      Best Time: Ideal to visit during winter months of November to March. Open Daily!
    • 08Chadwick Waterfall

      The clear waters of the Chadwick Waterfall cascade deep down a gorge at a height of approximately 86 m. What amplifies the beauty of the place is the surrounding hills as well as the thick green trees of Pine and Deodar. After you have had a hectic travel schedule exploring the entire Shimla, you can come back here and unwind. This place will give you ample ‘me’ time.
      Location: Chadwick Waterfall is situated within the dense and the very beautiful Glen Forest. This waterfall lies at a distance of about 7 km from Shimla and about 4 km from Summer Hill.

      Highlights: The place was originally famous as the ‘Chidku Jhaar’ where Jhaar stands for waterfall and in the local dialet ‘Chidku’ means the bird. It is so called because the waterfall is at such a height that only a bird can reach to the top. Britishers gave it the name ‘Chadwick Falls’.

      Best Time: Can be visited anytime of the year but it is advised to go there in a group.
    • 09Shopping at Lakkar Bazaar

      Any vacation or holiday to Shimla is just incomplete without Shopping at Lakkar Bazaar. Lakkar Bazzar is an ideal shopping destination for people who enjoy colorful street shopping.

      Highlights: The Shimla’s Lakkar Bazaar is famous especially for its woolen apparels. In the Bazaar you can come across a diverse range of artefacts, pashmina shawls, woolens and handicrafts for you to pick from. Dry fruits and the "Kullu Shawls" of the bazaar are also very famous. A popular eatery here in the Lakkar Bazzar is the Sita Ram. It serves the best sumptuous ‘chole bhature’ to satiate your hunger post shopping. Other things found at the Bazaar include wooden handicrafts, Chinese shoes, Tibetan mats and carpets. Shops also house handmade shoes, woolen caps and dolls.

      Best Time: April to August and December to January is the best time to visit this Bazaar. The bazaar stays open from morning till midnight.

    • 10Kuthar Fort

      Kuthar Fort is placed in the undying serenity of the Himalayas. The fort spans over an area of about 52.8 square kilometers and is located in the middle of the exotic background, pools as well as the beautiful gardens.

      Location: Kuthar Fort is located at a small distance from both Arki and Subathu that are both an hour away from the Shimla airport, Jubbarhatti. Situated in Solan, the fort is one of the key attractions here.

      Highlights: Some sectors of the forth are as old as 800 years however there are some new sectors that have been built and are a mere 8 decades old. Stretched in the large area of the region, there are a number of fresh-water springs flowing through here. It is surrounded by different picturesque locations such as the Gurkha Fort from Subathu, Kunihar, and Kasauli hill station.

      Best Time: Open all year round.
    • 11Green Valley

      Green Valley
      Image Credit : GIACOMO BRINGS-Flickr
      Green Valley is truly one of the most famous tourist destinations and photography points in Shimla. Seen as the popular shooting spot in different Bollywood movies, the Green Valley brings forth endless beauty. Noted for its elite beauty, Green Valley has been mentioned in number of articles and travel books.

      Location: Located near near Kufri at Shimla, the Green Valley is surrounded with the verdant hills.

      Highlights: Here at the Green Valley you can spot some rare animals such as yaks that are seen grazing and wandering here. The visitors who come here can cherish the lush green environments that are exceptionally picturesque. It is today one of the most photographed sights of the Shimla.

      Best Time to Visit Green Valley: Open all year round, the best time to visit this place is post monsoon or during the summer time when the dense forest has lush green surroundings. Ideal months include July to October and from February to April.
    • 12Kiala Forest

      Kiala Forest is located in the valley of Kotkhai in Shimla. Definitely an interesting place to visit, the forest is beautified with the lush green vegetation as well as many indigenous animals. The forest is said to be an ideal destination for all the wildlife enthusiasts as well as nature lovers. A number of visitors from different place both far and near come to this to bask in the natural beauty.

      Highlights: Kiala Forest boasts of rich foliage and wildlife. Photographers as well as visitors can click incredible pictures of the beautiful landscapes as well as the animals in their wilderness. Bathroom facilities are available here. Those who wish to store their luggage and baggage can make use of the lockers as well as the storage facilities available here.

      Best Time: Open all round the year. Ideal to visit during the day time one can plan a visit to the Forest during months of March to October.