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20 Best Things To Do In Shimla – Queen of Hill Stations

Your holidays in Shimla can lead you to a myriad of adventure, snow- filled fun, long walks with your better half, and great shopping options. If you are planning to make a list of places to visit in Shimla, then this is a must-read. Read on and know about the things to do in Shimla:

List of Things to Do in Shimla 2019

1. Revisit British Era with Viceregal Lodge

The Majestic Viceregal Lodge also called Rashtrapati Niwas is like a mini museum of British colonial rule and houses a collection of ancient antiques and photographs from that period.

  • When to visit: All days (10 AM to 5 PM) except Monday and public holidays
  • Suitable for: History buffs and students

2. Stroll Lakkar Bazaar for wooden souvenirs

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A stroll through the Lakkar Bazaar or the Tibetan market can land you great souvenirs at bargain prices. The nearby Gaiety theatre is also a rich cultural heritage and worth a visit.

  • When to visit: All days (9 AM to 7 PM)
  • Suitable for: Souvenir collector and shopaholics

3. Be a Passenger of a Toy Train

The historic Kalka Shimla Toy Train is on the bucket list of most people travelling to that region. Riding on the train gives a joy unlike any other. The mesmerising route takes 4 hours and 40 minutes to complete.

  • When to visit: All days. Make sure to follow these train timings

From Kalka to Shimla

Train No.Train nameDepartureArrivalType of CompartmentFare


72451Rail Motor05:1009:50First ClassRs.305
52451Shivalik Deluxe05:3010:15Chair CarRs.415
52453Shimla Express06:0011:15SittingRs.65
52455Himalayan Queen12:1017:20Chair CarRs.255

From Shimla to Kalka

Train No.Train nameDepartureArrivalType of CompartmentFare


72452Rail Motor16:2521:35First ClassRs.305
52452Shivalik Deluxe17:4022:35Chair CarRs.415
52454Shimla Express18:2023:20SittingRs.65
52456Himalayan Queen10:3016:10Chair CarRs.255
  • Suitable for: Couples, families and children

4. Skiing in Kufri, one of the best things to do in Shimla

Kufri is a scenic hill station, and its name is derived from the local word “kufr” meaning lake. If you have listed down places to visit in Shimla, then this is one place which you shouldn’t miss. It is famous for ski runs due to the extensive slopes and beautiful views. If you come here during the winter season, you will find skiers from all over the world here enjoying their skiing sessions.

  • When to visit: January to June, September to December
  • Suitable for: Outdoor enthusiasts, couples and snow sports adventure lovers

5. Exploring Annandale Museum

Ranked as one of the best museums in army culture, the heritage site also has a beautiful garden of cedar trees adjoining it. The museum has a collection old weapons and artillery of the Indian army and is one the essential things to do in Shimla if you are a history buff. The museum also has a collection of cacti plants and is supposed to be one of the biggest in India.

  • When to visit: Army Museum timings – 10 AM to 5 PM with a break between 2 PM and 3 PM
  • Suitable for: Nature lovers and history buffs

Must Read: 25 Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh

6. Watching the sunset at Scandal Point

The flat platform on the Ridge road becomes a beehive of activity in the evenings as people throng to visit the Scandal Point. It offers a divine view of the magnificent sunrise and sunset. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Tudor Library for its vast collection of books.

  • When to visit: 9 AM to 9 PM, especially during March to June
  • Suitable for: Families and couples

7. Rafting at Tattapani

One of the biggest rafting regions of Himachal, Tattapani offers two ranges – 14 km and 36 km route. It’s just 50 kms from Shimla and can be reached within 2 hrs. The surrounding areas also have natural hot water springs.

  • When to visit: January to December
  • Suitable for: Outdoor enthusiasts and water sports adventure lovers

8. Golfing in Naldehra

One of the most scenic golf courses in the world, the Naldehra golf course is also the oldest golf course in India. This place has to be on your list of things to do in Shimla. The course is set in challenging angles along a ridge and beautiful tall cedar trees. It has 18 holes and 18 tees.

  • When to visit: January to June, October to December
  • Suitable for: Golf lovers

9. Walking through the Pine forest

One of the most awe inspiring places to be is the Summerhill area of Shimla. It is located just 4.5 km from the bus stand. Just bring a book along and wander between the tall pine trees for hours and hours amidst nature.

  • When to visit: January to June
  • Suitable for: Trekkers, nature lover and outdoor enthusiasts

10. Trekking to the top of Jakhoo Temple

Jakhoo Temple is located at the height of around 2,455 m above sea level. Trekking is a popular activity for tourists to reach the top. It takes around 1.5 to 2hrs to get to the peak. Though the activity is easy during other seasons, it can get a bit tiring during summer.

  • When to visit: All days of the week (7 AM to 8 PM)
  • Suitable for: Trekkers, devotees, and peace seekers

11. Shopping at Mall Road

The place to rekindle your romance is also a big tourist attraction for shopping. If you love shopping, ensure you add this place to your list of things to do in Shimla and shop lazily around the handicraft stalls, or take a bite from the nearby bakery.

  • When to visit: January to June, October to December
  • Suitable for: Shopaholics, foodies, and families

12. Bird watching at Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary

Located just eight kilometers to the east of the central Shimla town, the 10.25 sq. Km area is an oasis for nature lovers and bird watchers alike. Spread over a vast area, more than 100 species of birds can be seen here, along with deer, gorillas, leopards, languors, and porcupines.

  • When to visit: January to April, October to November
  • Suitable for: Wildlife enthusiasts, bird watching buffs and nature lovers

13. Ice-Skating in Asia’s only open-air ice-skating rink

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Shimla’s famed Ice Skating Club is not only Asia’s only open-air rink but also the only natural ice skating rink of India. This should be enough to put it on your list of Shimla tourist places you want to visit. When the skating season starts in December, the circular road leading to the rink is choc o block with traffic.

  • When to visit: December to February
  • Suitable for: Ice skating enthusiasts, outdoor adventure lovers, and couples

14. Trekking at Shailey Peak

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From the list of things to do in Shimla, you must surely try this if you are a trekking enthusiast. With vast expanses of lush greenery that will soothe your eyes, you will have to trek, to reach the top, but the 4-5 hour trek is worth the effort. The trek route is covered densely with deodar trees and offers a breathtaking view from the top.

  • When to visit: Every day from 9 AM to 1 PM
  • Suitable for: Photography lovers, nature buffs and trekking enthusiasts

15. Photography at Indian Institute of Advanced Study

At a distance of just five kilometers, IIAS is a historical Institute for advanced research. It houses photographs of some of the most important events in the history of India. Also, it has pictures of some classic personalities which you may be aware of.

  • When to visit: Everyday from 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Suitable for: Students, followers of space studies, history buffs, children and families

16. Bathe in Chadwick waterfall

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It is based at a distance of 10 kms from Shimla and is 1,586 m above the sea level. The route to the waterfall through the jungle is fantastic and makes it a must-go destination while planning your Shimla tourism.

  • When to visit: During monsoons or after the monsoons
  • Suitable for: Photography lovers, nature buffs and adventure enthusiasts

17. Camping at Camp Chrysalid

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If you are looking for a quiet getaway with exciting adventure activities, then look beyond hotels in Shimla. Set up a tent at the 20 units of Camp Chrysalid and experience serenity like never before. The camp is spread over an area of 3 acres and has a terraced layout.

  • When to visit: After the monsoons
  • Suitable for: Photography lovers, nature buffs, adventure enthusiasts, and couples

Must Read: 20 Hill Stations in India You Must Visit This Summer

18. Awaken your spiritual self at Tara Devi Temple

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Peace and serenity are the two best takeaways from a visit to this historic temple. Hence make it one of the things to do in Shimla if you want to de-stress. Situated at a height to 6,070, the journey itself is breathtaking.

  • When to visit: During Shardiya Navaratras and Ashtami (these happen during Dussehra) celebrations
  • Suitable for: Devotees and peace seekers

19. Dine with your loved ones at Cecil Restaurant

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This place is run by Oberoi and has a delicious mix of Mughlai, Indian and Thai cuisines served in an authentic colonial setting. It will be wise to book a table beforehand during the peak season.

  • When to visit: 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, 07:30 AM – 10:30 PM
  • Suitable for: Foodies, family, and children

20. Sightseeing and Yaks at Green Valley

Located near Kufri, the Green Valley offers endless vistas of lush greenery and photogenic mountains. Here, you can spot rare animals like yaks grazing on the land.

  • When to visit: July to October, February to April
  • Suitable for: Couples, nature lovers, and photographers

These things to do in Shimla will provide you with an excellent all-around experience across the spectrum of Shimla weather – right from snow- capped sports in winter, to the treks during clear summers. Check out the best Shimla tour packages of Thomas Cook.

Frequently Asked Questions about Things to do in Shimla:

Which language is used in Shimla?

Most of the people in Shimla belong to the Pahadi community, with a sizeable number of Punjabi and Sindhi population. Languages spoken in Shimla include Pahadi, Hindi, Punjabi and English.

Which month is the best to visit Shimla?

For a family vacation, summer is the best time to visit Shimla because the weather is pleasant and there are plenty of options for outdoor adventures. However, if you want to witness the magical snow, then winter months of November to February is the best time to visit Shimla.

What is famous for shopping in Shimla?

Shimla is a treasure land of shopping items. From handicrafts, woollen items, and traditional artefacts to handmade paper, old treasures and jewellery, and Himachali hats are specialties you can buy from Shimla.

Which is better – Manali or Shimla?

While Manali offers natural landscapes such as valleys and greener views, Shimla is the place to visit if you’re looking to explore the historical heritage of Northern India.

What is the famous food of Shimla?

Shimla has a delicious preparation of chaa ghosht, which is lamb cooked in yoghurt gravy, and murgh anardana, i.e. chicken stewed in pomegranate paste for non-vegetarians. For vegetarians, Himachali dal channa which is split gram with fennel seeds, and mathri choware, i.e. lentil fritters in spinach gravy is the best food to try in Shimla.

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20 Best Things To Do in Shimla - Queen Of Hill Stations - Thomas Cook
If you are planning to make a list of places to visit in Shimla, then this is a must-read. Read on and know about the things to do in Shimla and plan your Shimla trip accordingly.
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