One Day Itinerary - Shimla (Places To Visit in Shimla)
Shimla, hands down, is one of the best places to travel in North India without making a hole in your pocket. Be it the exquisite mountainous landscapes, snow-clad peaks, rich history, lip-smacking street food or amicable locals, you name it, and Shimla has it. No wonder it invites countless domestic and international tourists each year. The best part about travelling to Shimla is that you don't have to ask for a 6-day leave from your boss to explore the serene hill station. You can tick off all the best places to visit in Shimla in just 24 hours if you do things the right way! If you're short on time, follow this one-day travel itinerary to cross off this beautiful place from your bucket list!
How to Reach To Shimla
- Road: Via personal car or bus, Chandigarh to Shimla distance - 3.3 hours, Delhi to Shimla distance - 8.3 hours
- Air: Flight to Shimla Airport
- Train: Kalka-Shimla Special Train
There are a plethora of ways of reaching Shimla, the most popular of them being road-tripping with friends while relishing the breath-taking views that passes by. However, I would suggest you do what I did, take the road less travelled, or let's say the "track" less travelled. That's right. You can also reach the hill station via the narrow-gauge special train that travels from Kalka, Haryana to Shimla.
Not only is it the cheapest mode of reaching the place, but the views from the train are better as well. Although, the train (5.5 hours) takes longer than cars or buses (3.5 hours) to reach the town if you’re driving from Chandigarh. The special train moves at an awfully slow place. But don't worry, you'd remain entertained throughout your journey, just make sure to book the window seat! You can easily book the train tickets from MakeMyTrip. If you're travelling from the South or East, then it's best for you to take the bus to the Northern hills.
Where To Stay In Shimla
You'd have to stay overnight to cool off after a bustling day in the city and take the train back to Kalka. Shimla has countless stunning AirBnBs to choose from. We stayed at Hasta La Vista homestay, since we only needed a place to crash at night, and didn't want to splurge all our money on fancy accommodation. You can cook your food at the homestay if you want to save a couple of bucks or ask the host for the meals. This is pretty much the modus operandi of bed and breakfasts.
However, if you're not a homestay person, there are several excellent hotels in Shimla to choose from as well. Treebo Trend Snow View Resort is the one I'd give my vote to. You can book a room from booking.com. Chop chop! Good hotel rooms are a scarce resource in Shimla.
Best Places To Visit In Shimla In One Day
Shimla is a pretty small town, so you can cover all the happening spots in under 24 hours if you don't slack off. Here are the best places to visit in Shimla that you simply do not want to miss out on if you're in the hill station.
- The Ridge
- The Mall Road
- Jakhu Temple
The Ridge is the prime social hub of the town and is located right at the centre of Shimla. It's easily accessible from Mall Road. The two spots meet each other at the “Scandal Point” on the West End. The Ridge is a hotspot for all the festivals and fairs that occur in the town. It houses some of the must-see landmarks, including the Christ Church and a historic Tudorbethan styled library.
The architecture of the region is inspired by Tudorbethan and the neo-Gothic style of the colonial era, as in 1864, Shimla was declared to be the summer capital of the British Empire. So while you're there, you can also experience the splendour of European architecture. The place looks particularly picturesque during the winter when a pristine blanket of snow covers the Ridge.
Along the Ridge, you would also find the famed Lakkar Bazaar from where you could shop some exquisite wooden artefacts. You could easily scale the entirety of the Ridge in just under 2 hours. On to the next stop! There’s a lot to cover.
The Mall Road
The Mall Road is the main shopping district of Shimla and unarguably the most happening of all Shimla tourist places. If you’re on Cart Road, you can reach the Mall via the Lift, which in itself is a famous Shimla tourist attraction.
You can shop till you drop in the narrow street which houses chic stores, clubs and cafés at every turn. If you're not big on shopping, you could scale the entire street on foot and savour the serene vibe of the place. Vehicles of any sort are not allowed inside Mall Road, so the whole place is yours to explore, with no obstacles! There are also plenty of street food vendors where you could get a taste of the classic local food of the hill station.
If you’re not a street food person, the thoroughfare also harbours an assortment of excellent upscale restaurants such as the Brew Estate, or the Eighteen71 Cookhouse And Bar. My choice is the Wake and Bake cafe. If you’re lucky enough, you could get a seat on the roof of the café from where you could enjoy the scenic beauty of the mountains while sipping a toasty cup of cappuccino.
- Distance from The Ridge: 1.5 Km
- Travel Time:
- On foot: 1 hour
- Ropeway: 5-10 minutes (₹550 return trip per person)
- Cab: 10 minutes (Prices vary)
Shimla is all about its scenic beauty, and the perfect place to get a vantage view of the hill station is from the highest point of the town, the Jakhu Temple. It is tucked between Mall Road and The Ridge, and thus, is easily accessible from either of these spots. The temple is home to one of the largest Hanuman idols in the whole of India, making it one of the best places to visit in Shimla.
Hanuman is a prominent deity in Hinduism, so visiting the temple could prove to be an excellent cultural experience as well. There are two ways of reaching the temple. You could walk to the spot from the Ridge, which would take a good hour or so. Since we're short on time, I'd rather suggest you reach the Jakhu Ropeways on foot, and then take the cable car ride to the temple. The ropeway ride would certainly make for an excellent Shimla sightseeing experience. Catching a cab is also an alternative.
Distance from The Ridge: 5 Kms
Entry Fee: None
Entry Timing: 10am - 2pm, 3pm-5pm (open on all days, except Mondays)
While Annadale might not be the biggest tourist attraction in Shimla, it is certainly worth checking out if you have time. The prime attraction of this place is the Army Heritage Museum. The museum will give you a peek into some historical artifacts of the Indian Army. Visting the place would also be an insightful experience for those who want to learn more about the history of the Indian Army.
You can take a trip down the history lane inside the walls of the museum, or adore the greenery outside. You can also try your hand at golf at the nearby golf course. Annadale is easily one of the top 10 places to visit in Shimla. If you plan on going on this optional tour, do carry your identification with you (Adhaar Card or Passport). You can reach Annadale via a cab or a bus.
Shimla Best Time To Visit
- Best Time To Visit Shimla: December to January
- Cheapest Time to Visit Shimla: July to September
Shimla is beautiful all year round. However, if you want to visit the place to experience its white, then the best time to visit Shimla is between December and January. That's when the hill station gets blessed with snowfall. On the other hand, if it's the colour Green that invokes pleasure in you, then you could visit the hill station between May and June. Do not plan a trip between July and September if you're not a rain person. This is when Monsoon occurs in the place, and it rains pitchforks in Shimla during the entirety of this period. There is an additional risk of landslides during the monsoon.
Shimla has a lot to offer in its cradle. This itinerary consisted of all the best places to see in Shimla, and hey, it took us just a day to see them! Of course, since we're short on time, you'd have to hustle hard, but you'd nonetheless have a time of your life in this hill station. Happy travelling!
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