Ultimate Shimla Travel Guide: Explore Top Attractions, Hotels, and Activities

Shimla is a beautiful hill station in India that is known for its stunning beauty and pleasant climate. Shimla is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, and beautiful valleys. The views of the surroundings are stunning and will give you peace and an unforgettable experience. Numerous wonderful attractions in Shimla will provide you with the perfect trip. If you love adventure, this place is perfect for you. There are many trials around Shimla for trekking and hiking. Shimla has one of the oldest natural ice skating rinks in Asia. It is a fun activity, especially in winter. The Kalka-Shimla railway is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The toy train ride offers picturesque views of the hills and forests. Shimla was the summer capital of British India, and you can see many old buildings and structures with British-style architecture. Visiting Shimla can be a memorable experience with its mix of natural beauty, cultural richness, and a range of activities for all travelers. In this article, we will discuss how to plan a convenient and comfortable trip to Shimla, along with highlighting the top destinations in and around the area.
If you are planning a trip to Shimla book your hotel and car in advance. Hotel prices are very high during the peak season and they might not also be available. It is better to compare the prices of hotels and book them in advance. It is also necessary to book a self drive car rental Shimla so that you do need not to rely on scheduled and overcrowded public transportation and expensive taxis. Hire a rental car and plan your trip as you want with easiness and comfort. 

Top Tips for Planning a Trip to Shimla

  Plan your visit between March and June for pleasant weather or December to February for snowfall.

  Shimla is a popular tourist destination, so book your hotel or guesthouse well in advance, especially during peak seasons.

  Book self drive car hire in advance so that you can plan your trip without the wastage of time while waiting for buses and taxis. Hiring a self drive car will give you an affordable and comfortable journey and you can explore the place better.

  Pack lightweight and comfortable shoes for your journey. Comfortable shoes are a must for walking on the hilly terrain.

  Pack light woolen clothes for summer evenings and heavy woolen clothes for winter.

  Do not miss out on nearby places like Kufri, Chail, and Mashobra, which offer additional scenic beauty and activities.
  Remember to try local Himachali dishes such as Chana Madra, Dham, and Sidu. Visit popular cafes like Wake & Bake and Cafe Sol.

  Carry a first-aid kit, and necessary medications, and stay hydrated.

  Be careful of local customs and traditions. Always ask before taking pictures of local sites and people.

  Stick to well-trodden paths when trekking or hiking, and avoid roaming out alone after dark. 

  Carry a local SIM card or ensure your phone has roaming. Mobile connectivity is good in most parts, but some remote areas might have limited service.

Top Destination In Shimla

The Ridge: The Ridge is the cultural heart of the city. On clear days or after a light rain, you can see stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks to the north. This area, known as The Ridge, is home to several important landmarks. The Christ Church, with its neo-Gothic architecture, stands tall and impressive. Nearby, you will find the state library and a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The Gaiety Theater, with its distinctive slate roof, and the Town Hall are also prominent features. Additionally, there is an underground reservoir built in the 1880s that still plays a crucial role in providing the city with its daily water supply. 

The Mall Road: The Mall Road is like the main street in the hill station. It is where people do a lot of business. It is next to another street called The Ridge, but a bit lower down. Lots of shops, restaurants, and fancy stores are on this street. You will see the Gaiety Theater and Town Hall buildings here. Towards the west end, there is the Himachal Emporium selling local crafts. Scandal Point is where The Ridge and The Mall meet. It is a busy place with old and new buildings mixed together. The Mall has history and new stuff too, so it is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Whether you want to shop, eat, or just hang out, there is something for everyone on The Mall.

Viceregal Lodge: When the Viceregal Lodge was finished in 1888, it was one of the fanciest and first buildings in India to have electricity. Architect Henry Irwin designed it to look like a big Scottish castle. This place has seen a lot of important events throughout history, and there is still a room where they decided where Pakistan's border would be after India became independent. After India gained independence, the building became part of the President's Estate. Later, President S. Radhakrishnan gave it away to promote higher education. Now, it is called the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. People of all ages can visit some parts of the Lodge.

Annandale: It is a big open area in Shimla where people used to do lots of different things like having fairs, racing horses, playing polo, golf, tennis, cricket, and football. A long time ago, in 1888, they even had the first Durand Football Tournament there. To get there, you have to go down hill. Nowadays, mostly helicopters land there, but you can still find a golf course and a museum about the army's history. It is a nice place to check out with car rental Shimla.

Jakhoo Temple: Jakhoo Hill stands tall above Shimla city, reaching an altitude of 2,445 meters. It is the highest point in Shimla and is famous for being the home of Lord Hanuman. To reach Jakhoo Temple, which sits atop the hill, visitors need to cover the journey that takes around half an hour starting from The Ridge with car hire Shimla. Alternatively, there is also a ropeway service available for those who prefer a more convenient way to reach the temple.

Chadwick Falls: Just a short distance away from Summer Hill, you will find Chadwick Falls, which is at its best during the monsoon season, from July to September. Chadwick Falls is formed by nature, and it is a delightful sight to see, especially when it is raining. So, it is a perfect time to visit Chadwick Falls and enjoy the serene beauty it offers.

Tara Devi Temple: Up on a hill called Tara Devi, there is a brand-new temple made of wood and stone. It has a special kind of roof made of slate, like blackboards in schools. This temple looks like the ones you see in the hills, with its own style. If you stand at the top, you can see all around you, like turning in a circle. Sometimes, on days that are considered lucky, people who believe in the goddess Tara Devi have a big lunch together for everyone, and it is free. To get there, you have to drive up a road that goes uphill from a place called Shoghi with self drive car rental Shimla. This temple is the house of Goddess Tara devi and is highly sacred place among Hindus.

Kali Bari Temple: In 1845, a Bengali brahmin built the Kali Bari temple. This temple is for the goddess Kali, who is known for defeating evil. It is very close to The Mall Road. Many Hindus from the town and Bengali visitors come to pray here. People have been coming to this temple for a long time to pray.

Sankat Mochan Temple: Just as you reach Shimla, if you take a small turn downhill from the main road near Tara Devi hill, you will find Sankat Mochan Temple. It is a temple devoted to Lord Hanuman, who is believed to help people out of their problems. This temple was constructed in 1950. It is about 5 kilometers away from the middle of the city. Every Tuesday and Sunday, all through the year, there is a free lunch for everyone at the temple. It is arranged by the people who worship there.

Craignano Nature Park: It is a lovely spot just outside Shimla city. It is a great place to relax and enjoy nature's beauty. One of the park's highlights is its tulip garden, which looks especially beautiful in March and April when the flowers are in full bloom. The garden's peaceful atmosphere lets you calm your mind and feel at ease. It is located about 16 kilometers away from the city, along a road that branches off from the main road to Mashobra from Shimla-Naldehra.

Himalayan Nature Park: Himalayan Nature Park in Kufri is like a dreamland for people who love animals and nature. It is a place you should not miss. You will find over 180 different kinds of birds and animals there. This park shows you what wildlife is like in the Himalayas. It is located about 16 kilometers away from Shimla.

Self Drive Car Rental at Shimla Railway Station

You can rent a self drive car at Shimla Railway Station easily. We provide the best and fastest service in the area. You can select any pickup and drop location that is the most convenient for you, including railway stations, bus stands, and others. We will deliver the car there for you. Renting a self drive car in Shimla will give you the freedom and privacy for your whole trip. You can go anywhere without taking any stress from scheduled public transportation and costly taxis. Just pick a car directly from the location you are landing in Shimla. Drive it to your destination and explore Shimla, then return the car wherever you want. It will help you to make the trip comfortable, enjoyable, cost-effective, and adventurous. You can rent self drive car easily at any location in Shimla as per your convenience.

Some common car rental locations in Shimla

1. Car rental at Shimla Railway Station
2. Car rental at Shimla Bus Stand
3. Car rental at Mall Road
4. Car rental in Kufri
5. Car rental in Lakkar Bazaar
6. Car rental in Victory Tunnel
7. Car rental at Tara Devi Temple
8. Car rental at Shimla Airport

Luxury Hotels In Shimla:

1. Wildflower Hall, An Oberoi Resort: This fancy hotel is surrounded by tall pine and cedar trees. You can see stunning views of the Himalayas from here. They have really nice rooms, delicious food, a spa, and fun stuff to do outside like hiking and biking.

2. The Oberoi Cecil: The Oberoi Cecil is a historic hotel owned by the Oberoi Group. It has a classic charm mixed with modern comforts. It is in a convenient spot in Shimla, making it easy to visit popular places. The hotel has nice rooms, a warm indoor pool, spa services, and good places to eat.

3. The Oberoi Clarkes: The Oberoi Clarkes is a really old hotel in Shimla, on the Mall Road. It is been there since the time when the British were in charge. It is a really nice place to stay, with fancy rooms, really good service, and you can see the beautiful mountains from there. The hotel has a cool old-fashioned style mixed with modern stuff to make it comfortable for guests.

Best Affordable Hotels In Shimla:

1. Hotel Willow Banks: Hotel Willow Banks is close to Mall Road and has comfy rooms you can afford. It also has a restaurant with different kinds of food and nice people to help you. Since it is in a good spot, you can easily see all the cool stuff in Shimla.

2. Hotel Combermere: Located right in Shimla's center, Hotel Combermere is a good choice for people looking for affordable places to stay. The rooms are comfy and there are basic things you need. They also have a restaurant on the roof where you can see all around the mountains and Mall Road. Because it is in the middle of everything, it is great for people traveling on a budget.

3. Hotel Surya: Hotel Surya is a budget-friendly place to stay with neat rooms and friendly service. It is close to Shimla's main spots like the Ridge and Mall Road. Plus, it has a restaurant with tasty Indian and Chinese food.


When is the best time to visit Shimla?
Summer is the perfect time to go to Shimla for a nice vacation in the hills. The weather is really nice from March to June, and you can see all the cool places. But if you like snow and want to try skiing or ice skating, then winter is the best time to visit Shimla.

Which is the closest airport to Shimla? Can I hire a self drive car there?
Shimla has its own airport called Jubbarhatti Airport, which is only 20 km from the city. However, most commercial airlines do not fly there regularly. The closest airport with good connections to the rest of the country is Chandigarh Airport. It is about 130 km from Shimla and takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes to reach by road. You can rent a car at Chandigarh airport and also choose self drive car rental Shimla Airport.

When does snow begin falling in Shimla?
Snow begins falling in Shimla towards the end of December.

How far is Kufri from Shimla?
Kufri is about 15 kilometers from Shimla. It takes 45 minutes to drive there.

How much does it cost to book an average hotel in Shimla?
Booking an average hotel in Shimla can cost around  800 to  3000 per night.

Can I travel to Shimla by train?
Yes, You can take a train from Kalka in Haryana to Shimla using the Kalka-Shimla rail line. The tracks are narrow and stretch for 94 kilometers. There are 5 different trains that run between these two stations. It usually takes around 5 to 6 hours to complete the journey.

Can I rent a self drive car at Shimla Railway Station?
Yes, you can rent a self drive car at Shimla Railway Station easily at a very affordable price. We provide the best and fastest service at Shimla Railway Station. Just select the pickup location as Shimla Railway Station and the car will be waiting for you at your scheduled time. 

How far is Chandigarh from Shimla?
Chandigarh is about 130 kilometers away from Shimla, and it usually takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes to travel that distance by road.

How much does it cost to book a self drive car in Shimla?
The price of self drive car in Shimla depends on a few things like the type of car, how long you want it, and the season in which you are booking. You can book cheapest self drive car in Shimla from us, give us a phone call at 7528904589 for more information or visit our website.

Is Shimla a family-friendly destination?
Yes, Shimla is a great place for families. There are lots of things to do and see that everyone can enjoy together.

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