Shimla Tours & Holidays
Join us on a holiday to Shimla
With mountain views, thick forest and charming crafts shops, Shimla is a jewel in northern India's crown.
As the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, visitors from throughout India and further afield come to this delightful city nestled in the Himalayan foothills to stroll along its scenic streets and take advantage of its cooler climate. The former summer capital of the British Empire, Shimla is still home to a number of relics from this time. Viceregal Lodge was once the summer residence of the British Viceroy, and this Tudor-style mansion can now be visited as part of your Shimla tour. The British influence can also be seen in Christ church, the second-oldest church in northern India, and the Kalka-Shimla Railway, built in 1904 to connect the city to the country's railway network.
The city's pedestrianised centre is home to the Mall, a street lined with handicraft shops and views of the Himalayas from the Ridge, and Lakkar Bazaar, a bustling market offering toys and carefully crafted wooden souvenirs. A little further out, the Tara Devi temple is one of the city's most visited landmarks, while the surrounding valleys, hills and forests provide ample hiking opportunities. To combine your Shimla tour with a visit to renowned sites such as the Taj Mahal and Ranthambore National Park, take a look at our Golden Triangle and Shimla tour.
Things to do in Shimla
While it may not have the bustle of many other Indian cities, you'll find plenty of things to do on package holidays to Shimla. India's British history remains on display throughout, as well as there being many authentic local experiences to enjoy. Here are three of our favourite things to do in Shimla.
Stroll along the Mall
As the heart of Shimla's social scene, the Mall is home to a plethora of shops and cafes, as well as a number of traditional handicraft sellers. The pedestrianised street, built by the British, is also where you'll find historic landmarks such as the Gaiety Theatre and the Kali Bari temple.
Visit Viceregal Lodge
Built as the summer residence of the British Viceroy in 1888, the mock-Tudor Viceregal Lodge is an impressive stately home with beautifully manicured gardens. Set on the top of Observatory Hill, the manor also boasts extraordinary views over the valleys and thick forest below.
Ride the ‘Toy Train’ to Solan
Often hailed as one of the country's most impressive engineering feats, the Kalka-Shimla railway was built in 1903 and connects Shimla to India's railway network. The 2.5-hour journey to Solan provides some breathtaking Himalayan scenery, with green valleys and powerful peaks viewable along much of the route.
Things to see in Shimla
Whatever time of year you visit, holidays in Shimla offer plenty of extraordinary sights. Be it cultural traditions, historical architecture or soul-gratifying nature, the city is home to all kinds of breathtaking scenery. Whether you're holidaying in Shimla or just stopping by for the day, here are some of the sights you can look forward to.
Food and drink in Shimla
If you are keen to sample the local delicacies on your Himalayan tour and travels in Shimla, you're in luck - there are plenty of cafes and restaurants lining the city's pedestrianised Mall, as well as a variety of vendors serving up mouth watering street food. Being located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the city's cuisine is characterised by north Indian staples like rice, breads, and lentils.
There are plenty of options for those with plant-based diets, and the state also has more meat-based dishes than some other Indian states.
One local delicacy that you are likely to find throughout the city is sidu. This much-loved bread is made from yeast-kneaded wheat, green peas, paneer and nuts, and is usually eaten with dal, ghee and chutney. Another ubiquitous dish is madra, which is a mild chickpea curry with a yoghurt-based sauce served at almost every restaurant in the state as well as during festivals. Other local specialities include babru, deep-fried dough patties stuffed with dal paste, and thukpa, a noodle soup made with vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, tomato, green beans and onion, which can be with or without meat. One of the region's most popular meat dishes is chha gosht, a flavourful lamb curry with a yoghurt, gram flour and chilli sauce.
If you're after something sweet, there are a number of tempting bakeries to visit in the city. Favourite local sweet treats to look out for include mittha, a sweet rice dish finished with dry fruit, and patande, a type of pancake usually topped with jam, honey or ghee. Tea lovers will also be well catered for in Shimla - the state of Himachal Pradesh is home to Kangra Valley, which has been an important tea producing area since the mid-19th century. As a result, you'll find ample black and green tea to satisfy your cravings.