A haven for nature lovers, Shimla is a place one must surely visit once in a lifetime. It is the hill station that holds rich colonial history. The beautiful Shimla is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh and is nestled at a height of 2200m. Due to its strategic location in the awe-inspiring landscapes of Himachal Pradesh, it truly makes for a great weekend getaway.

The snow-covered marvellous mountains, pristine lakes, salubrious weather, and rich greenery, is what Shimla welcomes one with. Head towards Mall road, a hub of all the activity with a lineup of shops and restaurants. Lakar Bazaar is yet another famous bazaar that is quite famous among shopaholics. With a wide range of exotic places to explore and a plethora of adventure activities, this fantabulous destination is truly one of the most favoured and most famous destinations among travellers. So here is the top-most list of exotic places to visit in Shimla for a surreal vacation-

1. Annandale

Are you fond of open landscapes surrounded by rich green forests? Then Annandale is a place for you. During British rule, Annadale was home to several adventure sports including racing, polo & cricket. Annadale is a perfect place for golf lovers and is located just 4 km from the Ridge. This place is now converted into a small golf course and is also used as a helipad. Annadale is also a famous picnic spot for the locals. Witness the mesmerizing natural landscape of Annandale that is truly worth capturing.

Entry fees - no entry fee

Visiting Time - Army Museum- 10 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm. Monday it remains closed

Best Known - as a paradise for nature and history lovers.

Best time to visit - wintertime and summertime is the perfect time for a visit.

Things to do -

  • Get an insight into the historical ammunition of the Indian Army and several other interesting facts here.
  • Spend some time in the beautiful garden beautifully maintained by the army officers here.
  • Indulge in a hike to the highest peak at Annadale and capture the awe-inspiring view of Shimla from this point.

Nearby attractions - visit some nearby attractions like- Ram temple, Marks Church, Kali Bari temple, and Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

Nearby Restaurants - Mirch Masala, Mehak restaurant, Mezbaan, Tara Bhojanalay, Kwality restaurant, Balijees restaurant, and Restaurant Baithak.

2. Shimla State Museum

The Himachal State Museum or Shimla State Museum is located on Mount Pleasant and is one of the major places to visit. This place holds sprawling lawns and yes the marvellous British architecture that makes this place a must-visit. The museum displays the glorious past of Himachal Pradesh with its rich culture and heritage. Shimla State Museum has a collection of different artefacts, paintings, sculptures, handicrafts and a lot more things. It is indeed one of those places that give one an insight into the rich culture and heritage of the state.

Entry fees - Rs. 20 per person for Indians and Rs.100 per person for foreigners. For photography- Rs 50 for Indians and Rs. 100 for foreigners. Videography- Rs 2500.

Visiting Time - 10 am to 5 pm. From Tuesday to Sunday

Best Known - for having coins, sculptures, paintings, jewellery, textiles & archaeology. It is famous for its history and photography.

The best time to visit - throughout the year.

Things to do

  • Explore the different galleries of this museum
  • Get an insight into the different-different antiques
  • Go through the state’s rich history.

Nearby attractions - Lakkar Bazaar, Scandal point, Mall road, The Ridge, The Indian safari, Kotkhai Palace, Kiala forest, Mahamai temple, Jakhoo temple, Kali Bari temple, Johnnie’s wax museum, Shimla Christ Church & Gaiety Heritage cultural complex.

Nearby Restaurants - Embassy restaurant, Dimsum Chinese Fast food, Punjabi Rasoi, Sagar Ratna, Trishul, Gorton Castle, Viceregal lodge, Cecil restaurant, and Honey Hut.

3. Scandal Point

The scandal Point in Shimla is renowned for offering mesmerizing views of the valley and the snow-capped mountains, surrounding the beautiful Shimla. There is a strong belief that this is the place from where Bhupinder Singh, king of Patiala and viceroy's daughter eloped in the year 1892. This place is also famous for hosting the Shimla Summer Festival which is held annually. Do not miss visiting the Tudor library here. Enjoy the sunset and sunrise from here that will surely give you some picturesque views to capture, also make sure to play some arcade games in the small shops that surround this point.

Entry fees - no entry fee

Visiting Time - Sunrise to sunset.

Best Known for - photography, offering enchanting views, Tudor library

Best time to visit - All year destination

Things to do - attend the summer festival that is held annually, dining, shopping, horse riding, and sightseeing.

Nearby attractions - The Ridge, Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex, Kali Bari temple, Jakhoo temple, Himalayan Bird Park, Prospect hill, Andrews Church, Viceregal Lodge, and Rothney castle.

Nearby Restaurants - The dragon villa, Sichuan Palate, Café Park, 1871 the Cookhouse and Bar, The Rasoi, and Honey Hut.

4. Prospect Hill

Prospect Hill is one of the famous places in Shimla and is home to a temple devoted to the goddess Kamna Devi. Tourists from all over India visit this place for religious purposes and also for its unmatchable beauty that lies in its green valley, gorgeous meadows, and pristine water bodies. Prospect Hill is a perfect place for trekking and picnicking. Capture the enchanting views of the green panoramic valley, explore the pristine water bodies and pay a visit to the Kamna Devi temple. One must consider visiting this place.

Entry fees - no entry fee.

Visiting Time - 24 hours.

Best Known for - photography and leisure walk.

The best time to visit - is from April to September and November to February.

Things to do - trekking, sightseeing, and religious tour

Nearby attractions - Summer hill, The Ridge, Viceregal Lodge, SankatMochan, Mall Road, Kufri, Jakhoo temple, Fagu, Chadwick falls & Shimla. 

Nearby Restaurants - Indian Delight Restaurant, the great Urban Dhaba, Wake Bake, Hide Out Café, Café Simla Times, Blossom, and Café Sol.

5. Kali Bari Temple

The Kali Bari temple is devoted to the goddess Kali, also known by the name Shyamala.  and is an ancient temple, constructed in the year 1845. The temple is located on Jakhoo hill. This temple is considered of immense religious importance for devotees. The temple holds the idol of the goddess Kali beautifully adorned with jewellery and flowers. The devotees pay a visit during the festival of Navratri and seek blessings. Visit this temple on your next Shimla trip, sit for hours and just absorb the heavenly vibe here.

Entry fees - no entry fee.

Visiting Time - 6 am to 7 pm

Best Known for - religious prayer

Best time to visit - all-year destination.

Things to do - Religious tours and sightseeing

Nearby attractions - the ridge, Christ Church, JakhooTemple, Viceregal Lodge and Botanical gardens, Jakhoo Hill, Shri Hanuman Mandir, Jakhoo, and Mall Road.

Nearby Restaurants - Wazwan, Arora Sher-E-Punjab, Dalziel Restaurant, KFC, Nalini, Indian Coffee House, Good Old Times Café, Jagat Bhojanalaya, and Trishul.

6. Chadwick Falls

The pristine Chadwick Falls is one of the major tourist attractions of Shimla falls from an altitude of 1586 meters. This fall is surrounded by dense forest, lush deodar & pine trees. The monsoon season leads to an increase in the water level of Chadwick falls and makes this place more beautiful. This waterfall is indeed a treat to one’s eyes with its attractive beauty and ambience. Just visit this place and capture the scenic views here. This place is ideal for photographers and peace seekers. So head towards this place and make your day memorable.

Entry fees - no entry fee

Visiting Time - Sunrise to sunset.

Best Known - for trekking and hiking.

The best time to visit - is from March to June. One can even visit from June to September, this is the monsoon season and the water increases considerably.

Things to do - Enjoy trekking, Indulge in photography as this place is worth capturing.

Nearby attractions - Shimla Glen, Summer Hill, Luturu Mahadev temple-devoted to Lord Shiva.

Nearby Restaurants - Nalini, The Westend, wazwan, Tara Bhojanalaya, Dalziel Restaurant, Arora Sher-E-Punjab, and Hide out Café.

7. Tara Devi Temple

Tara Devi temple is one of the popular places in Shimla and is located atop a hill, Tara Parvat is only 11 km drive away from the city center. One can reach this temple via the Kalka-Shimla highway. The temple is believed to be 250 years old. Devoted to the Tibetan Buddhist goddess, tara, is believed to be one of the nine sisters of the goddess Durga. The idol of the deity, placed in the temple is wooden and is believed to be brought by the Sen Dynasty from West Bengal. Witness the gorgeous views of eh logy mountains, pine forests & lush greenery that is surrounding the Tara Devi temple.

Entry fees - no entry fee

Visiting Time - 7 am to 6:30 pm

Best Known - as a religious place. Apart from this, it offers enchanting views of the beautiful Shimla from the hilltop.

Best time to visit - All-year destination

Things to do - religious prayers and Historical tour.

Nearby attractions - Annandale, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Mohan Shakti Heritage Park. Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex, Viceregal Lodge, JakhuTemple, The Ridge, and the Kali Bari temple.

Nearby Restaurants - Honey Dew, Sanjay Chauhan Pure Veg, Sharma Bhojnalaya, Jade vine Resort, Diamond Bakery sweets and Restaurants, Saraswati Bhojnalaya, and Café Under Tree.

8. Mall Road

Mall Road is one of the major attractions in Shimla and is located in the heart of the town and is lined up with a myriad of restaurants, clubs, post offices and tourist offices. Visit the stores located on mall road that is famous for their woollen clothes, and pretty handcrafted work. Mall road is also famous for its several cafes and delicacies. A tour of Mall road is truly incomplete without purchasing some trinkets and other stuff that are worth buying. So enjoy exploring this happening place with your family members.

Entry fees - no entry fee.

Visiting Time - 9 am to 9 pm

Best Known for - handicrafts, handwoven woollens, food outlets, and local food.

Best time to visit - All-year destination.

Things to do – try Himachali cuisines at the restaurants on Mall road, shop at the Himachal emporium, and in Lakkar Bazar. Click some good pictures at the very famous Ridge.

Nearby attractions - Scandal Point, Gaiety Theatre, Kali Bari temple, and Town Hall.

Nearby Restaurants - Honey Hut, Café Sol, The Devicos, The Indian Coffee House, Wake and Bake.

9. The Ridge

The Ridge is one of the most popular places in Shimla and is located in the centre of the hill station right by Mall road.  Capture some of the enchanting views of the mountain peaks of the land. The ridge is a very spacious open space that runs from east to west along the Mall. One can find the road lined up with cafes, bars, boutiques, shops, vendors selling local eateries, and restaurants. This place is best known for shopping and also for being the social hub of the city.

Entry fees - No entry fee

Visiting Time - 8 am to 6 pm

Best Known for - shopping & is renowned as the social hub of the city.

Best time to visit - April to August and December to January.

Things to do - if you are planning a visit during April or May then you can enjoy the summer festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Explore the Lakkar Bazaar, Mall Road, and Scandal Point

Nearby attractions - Jakhoo Hill, Lakkar Bazaar, Scandal Point, and Mall Road.

Nearby Restaurants - Ashiana& Goofa, Ashu’s Kitchen, Park Café, Café Pesto, and Honey Hut.

10. Jakhoo Hill

Jakhoo Hill is the highest peak in the serene Shimla. Jakhoo Hill is 8000 ft high and is one of the prime attractions in Shimla and is located just 2 km from Shimla. Jakhoo hill is home to the Jakhoo temple which is truly a heaven for all nature lovers & pilgrims and has a large statue, 108ft tall of lord Hanuman, the chief deity. This place is mostly visited by nature lovers and pilgrims. As per the legend, Lord Hanuman stopped at the JakhoTemple to take a rest when he was on his way to find the Sanjeevani root for Lord Lakshamana.

Entry fees - No entry fees

Visiting Time - 6 am to 11 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm. (Subject to change as per the temple rituals. )

Best Known for - picturesque views, tranquillity & photography

Best time to visit - summer is the best time to visit as one can witness the surrounding hills of Shimla come alive.

Things to doTake blessings of Lord Hanumana & capture the astonishing views of the nearby Himalayan peaks.

Nearby attractions - Johnnie’s Wax Museum, the ridge, Shimla Mall, Christ Church, Gaiety Cultural complex Scandal Point.

Nearby Restaurants - Honey Hut, Café Sol, Eighteen71, Wake and Bake café, Seventh Heaven, Himachali Rasoi, and Café Simla Times.

11. Green Valley

Just pack your bags and get soaked in the absolute blissful picturesque scenery around this nature paradise, Green Valley. This fantabulous place is located 10 kms from downtown Shimla and is about 2200 to 2500m above sea level. Featured in a few Bollywood films, Green valley has become quite famous among nature lovers. Green Valley is known for hiking, trekking, camping and photography and is a beautiful mountain range that falls on the way to Kufri from Shimla. It is an ideal place for a honeymoon trip in Shimla. Get a chance to spot some Yaks wandering and grazing around the valley.

Entry fees - no entry fee

Visiting Time - 6 am to 6:30 pm

Best Known for - photography

Best time to visit - March to July

Things to do - Hiking, trekking, camping, and photography.

Nearby attractions - Jakhoo temple, Christ Church The Ridge, and Mall Road.

Nearby Restaurants - The Restaurant at the Oberoi Wildflower Hall, Hide Out Café, Wake and Bake, The Restaurant, Dawat Restaurant, and the Corner Café.

12. Christ Church

Christ Church in Shimla is the second oldest church in North India and is one of the major attractions in Shimla. It is located on Mall road and was constructed in the year 1857. The key highlights of this church are the stained glass windows, the clock tower & the frescos. For one who is in search of peace, this church is a paradise and a perfect place for them. The interiors and the neo-gothic architecture make it beautiful. Make sure to visit this church in the early morning or during the church prayer.

Entry fees -no entry fee.

Visiting Time - 8 am to 6 pm

Best Known for - its architecture, and history

Best time to visit - All-year destination

Things to do - attend the morning prayer at the church

Nearby attractions - The Ridge, Shri Hanuman Mandir, Jakhu Hill, Jakhoo temple, and Kali Bari temple.

Nearby Restaurants - Hide Out Café, Wake and Bake, Himachali Rasoi, Indian Coffee House, Trishul, The Devicos, City Point Bakery, and Alfa Restaurant.

13. Kufri

Labelled as the winter sports capital, Kufri is located 2622 meters above sea level. This place is renowned for offering winter sports like- skiing and ice skating. This beautiful destination is at a distance of 16 km from the main city of Shimla and is known for its snow-laden peaks. Travellers have to either hike or take a pony from the parking lot to reach Kufri. The major attraction of Kufri is the Mahasu peak and Fagu valley which are accessible via pony ride. Make sure to enjoy the go-karting at the Kufri Fun world which has the highest go-karting track in the world.

Entry fees - no entry fee, but one has to purchase tickets for different adventure sports and activities.

Visiting Time - sunrise to sunset

Best Known for - skiing, and ice skating.

Best time to visit - all-year destination

Things to do - enjoy skiing, pay a visit to a Himalayan wildlife zoo. Indulge in ice skating & enjoy trekking.

Nearby attractions - Mahasu Peak, Kufri Valley, The Himalayan Nature Park, Indira Tourist Park, Kufri Fun World, Green Valley, and Fagu.

Nearby Restaurants - Bawa Café, Kufri Heights, The Royal Food Junction, The treat fast food, and The Café Kufri Terriers.

14. Himalayan Bird Park

The Himalayan Bird Park is an ideal place for nature and bird lovers. It is located in the heart of the city opposite Vice Regal lodge and is visited by several tourists every year. This park is open only during the summer season. One can spot a variety of exotic and native birds here. It is home to rare and exotic birdlife as well as the iridescent monal pheasant, Himachal’s former state bird. Just take a walk around this park and explore the varieties of plants and trees.

Entry fees - Rs 10 per person.

Visiting Time - 10 am to 6 pm. It remains closed every Monday

Best Known for - its wildlife, nature, photography and birdwatching.

Best time to visit - March to September

Things to do – indulge in Birdwatching & enjoy the nature walk.

Nearby attractions - Himachal State Museum, Chadwick Falls, The Ridge, Viceregal Lodge and Botanical garden, and Christ Church.

Nearby Restaurants - The Restaurant, Hideout Café, Wake and Bake, Dalziel Restaurant, and Himachali Rasoi.

15. Summer Hill

Summer Hill in beautiful Shimla is considered to be one of the fantastic places to visit. This place is located just 5 kms from the Ridge of Shimla. Summer Hill is nestled at an altitude of about 2100 feet above sea level. This place is loved for its soothing atmosphere, lush greenery, dense forests, and varied flora and fauna. Visit this place and capture some of the fabulous views from the top. Summer hill is part of the seven hills. This place is best for trekking and serene nature walks.

Entry fees - No entry fee

Visiting Time - open at all times every day

Best Known for - Photography, scenic views and tranquillity

Best time to visit - The perfect time for a visit is in the summer season as the weather remains quite salubrious and the climate is chilly thus it is the perfect getaway from the heat of the other regions.

Things to doenjoy clicking pictures as this place is one of the picturesque places. Indulge in horseback riding through the dense forests. Visit the Manorville Mansion, which hosted Mahatma Gandhi whenever he used to visit Shimla. Trek through the dense forests and spend some time in the lap of nature. Treat yourself to the local eateries in the local bazaars.

Nearby attractions - The Ridge, Tara Devi temple, Himachal Pradesh University, and Jakhoo temple.

Nearby Restaurants - Swad Food point, Café Simla times, The Chalets Naldehra, Wake & Bake café, Ashiana& Goofa, and Hotel Barog Heights.

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