It is not just the evergreen forests, rolling valleys, the stunning lakes, and the pleasant Shimla weather that give this hill station a unique charm, but the best places to visit in Shimla. It is without a doubt that the best places to visit in Shimla will leave you with unforgettable memories. With so many attractions – both natural splendors and man-made wonders – Shimla truly lives up to its name.
Whether you are a family holidaymaker, honeymooner, or solo traveler, this blog will give you a rundown of the best Shimla tourist attractions that will never fail to entice you. Pack your bags and get ready for a trip to Shimla, one of the most visited hill stations near Delhi, because it’s time to get started. A list of the best places to visit in Shimla in 2023 containing location, images, entry fees, and timings.
Best Places to Visit in Shimla
1. The Ridge | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
The Ridge, located in the heart of Shimla, is a top tourist destination known for its stunning views and popular attractions. This area stretches along Mall Road, connecting it to the famous Scandal Point. Visitors are drawn to this spot for its breathtaking sights of snow-capped mountains against a clear blue sky. Additionally, The Ridge is home to historic British establishments that offer opportunities for shopping and dining. With a variety of boutiques, bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops lining the street, it serves as a bustling social hub. Its natural beauty and Gothic architecture make it one of the most photographed areas in the city.
2. Jakhoo Hill and Temple | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
Nestled among alpine trees, Jakhoo Hill boasts the highest elevation in Shimla and provides picturesque vistas of the snow-dusted Shivalik Ranges and neighboring town, Sanjauli. Surrounded by lush greenery at a lofty 8000 ft. above sea level, this area is home to an ancient Hanuman temple renowned for its colossal statue (108 ft.) of the Hindu deity. Steeped in tales and enigmas, it attracts both worshippers and sightseers. According to local lore, the temple stands on the very spot where Lord Hanuman once took rest during his journey to retrieve the Sanjeevani Booti for Lakshman’s revival during the Lanka war.
Visit Jakhoo Temple, Rashtrapati Nilayam (The Retreat), Scandal Point, Ridge, and Christ Church.
Trekking, visiting the Jakhoo Temple, sightseeing, photography, exploring the local markets, and taking in the scenic views are some of the top things to do.
3. Mall Road | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
When it comes to places for couples to visit in Shimla, the Mall Road is a must-see. Not only is it a popular spot in this hill station, but it also attracts visitors of all ages. The area is bustling with cafes, restaurants, showrooms, departmental stores, and shops selling trinkets and exclusive handicrafts, making it the perfect place to experience the essence of Shimla’s touristy charm. From jewelry and books to intricately crafted wooden articles, you can find a variety of items here. Plus, there are other nearby attractions such as the Kali Bari Temple, Town Hall, Gaiety Theatre, and Scandal Point waiting to be explored. With the road closed to vehicles, taking an evening stroll while admiring the scenic beauty of the hills is truly delightful. And if you’re looking for accommodation in Shimla, most of the best hotels are situated around Mall Road.
4. Shimla Railway | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
The Kalka to Shimla toy train ride is a must-see attraction for tourists in Shimla. This narrow-gauge railway, which was constructed in 1898, has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. As it winds through the picturesque Shivalik Range foothills, the train provides breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and villages. Along the way, it makes stops at various popular destinations such as Solan, Dharampur, Summer Hill, Salogra, Taradevi, and Barog. The journey encompasses an impressive 864 bridges, 919 curves, and 102 tunnels. While not technically a destination itself, skipping this iconic toy train ride means missing out on some of the most stunning sights that Shimla has to offer.You can also plan a trip to some of the other hill stations near Chandigarh if you live in Haryana.
5. Kufri | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
Kufri, situated at an elevation of 8607 ft., is a popular destination in the region and a must-visit place just 40 minutes from the city center. Along with breathtaking panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, this small hill station is also known for its adventure activities such as ice skating and skiing. It is often referred to as the winter sports capital of India due to its excellent facilities and training options for these exciting winter sports. With regular snowfall in winter, Kufri tops the list of Shimla’s recommended places to visit in December.
6. Christ Church | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
Located on the Ridge, one of the prominent landmarks in Shimla is Christ Church, the second oldest church in North India after St John’s Church in Meerut. This historic church, boasting exceptional architectural beauty, dates back to 1857 and showcases a remarkable example of neo-Gothic style. The enduring legacy of colonial rulers, its imposing silhouette is visible from afar and features stained glass windows, a brass church bell, and striking towers that create an unparalleled sight. Illuminated at night, it becomes even more enchanting and houses the largest pipe-organ in India. Don’t miss out on this splendid attraction even if you have only 2 days to explore the sights of Shimla.
7. Shimla’s Green Valley | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
Nestled between Shimla and Kufri lies the stunning natural dale known as Green Valley. As its name suggests, this valley lives up to its reputation with breathtaking scenery. Against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and dense pine and deodar forests, the valley is adorned in a lush green blanket. A peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of tourists, Green Valley offers a glimpse of nature’s splendor, making it an ideal honeymoon destination in Shimla. This picturesque beauty has also caught the eye of Bollywood filmmakers and has been featured in numerous Hindi movies. While Green Valley welcomes visitors throughout the year, summertime is recommended for the ultimate experience.
8. Shimla’s Indian Institute of Advanced Study | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
Interested in exploring the historic site where the decision to establish Pakistan and East Pakistan was made? Make your way to the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla. This renowned location in Shimla and Manali was originally built as a residence for Lord Dufferin, who served as Viceroy of India from 1884 to 1888. Known then as the Viceregal Lodge, it was one of the first buildings in Shimla to have electricity, installed as early as 1888. Following India’s independence, it became a summer retreat for the country’s president and was renamed Rashtrapati Niwas before finally being converted into a center for advanced study and research. Its striking Victorian architecture and grandeur make it a must-see spot.
Guided tours, enjoying the serenity, attending lectures and seminars are some of the top things to do
9. Himachal State Museum | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
Situated on the Mall Road, the Himachal State Museum, also referred to as Shimla State Museum, occupies a colonial mansion. It boasts a diverse array of artifacts such as miniature paintings, stone sculptures, coins, weapons, armors, dolls, jewelry, handicrafts, and numismatic articles that have been uncovered in the valley. Each of these items serves as a testament to the state’s rich cultural legacy. The collection also features an intriguing selection of bronze idols gathered from various temples scattered throughout the Himalayas. For those with a passion for history, this museum is undoubtedly a valuable resource brimming with knowledge and heritage.
10. The Mashobra | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
If you’re an adventure-seeker searching for December destinations in Shimla, don’t forget to add this spot to your schedule. Mashobra, a quaint town within Shimla, transforms into a winter wonderland for thrill-seeking enthusiasts. The vibrant green landscape is transformed into a glittering snowy playground, perfect for skiing. While there are many less crowded options near Shimla to explore, Mashobra stands out with its serene atmosphere and plethora of enjoyable activities. Whether it’s racing down the slopes on skis, snowball fights with loved ones, or building snowmen with the kids, there’s no shortage of excitement at this destination.
11. Annandale | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
There are many places to see in Shimla, including Annandale, another Colonial building that hosted many British adventure sports in its day. It is one of the top places to visit in Shimla. Visitors today can enjoy the natural beauty here, a walk down memory lane, play mini golf and visit the Army Museum. The entrance fee is free, but you may have to pay for the mini golf.
12. Shaily Peak and Naldhera | Best Places to Visit in Shimla
For those who appreciate nature and enjoy photography, Naldhera should be a must-visit destination in Shimla. Just a short drive from the main town, this scenic spot offers breathtaking views of the valley and mesmerizing sunsets over the Himalayas. Surrounded by dense forests filled with beautiful Deodar Trees, there are many lookout points to take in the stunning scenery. It’s a great place for a day trip with your family, where you can also indulge in a delicious lunch and perhaps even go horseback riding.