One Day local sightseeing Itinerary for Shimla

When you think of the best hill stations in India, Shimla will surely be on that list, right?

And who would have thought that even after being an avid traveler, I still haven’t been to Shimla even once? Yeah, it took me by surprise too. So to finally tick off this from my list of hill stations to visit in India, I recently planned a trip to the North.

To make it easy for people looking to explore the capital of Himachal, I am listing a complete 1-day Itinerary for Shimla. Also, during my travel, I got my answer about “Why I haven’t been to Shimla” so far. So read till the end to know the WHY?

Itinerary for Shimla
Itinerary in Shimla

How to Reach Shimla:

From Delhi:

The Distance from Delhi to Shimla is a lot and hence night travel is recommended to save time. You can take a flight to Delhi and then opt for overnight buses/private cars to reach the hill station. It takes about 8-11 hours and the bus fare starts from INR 430 for the basic seater going up to INR 1200 for AC seats.

From Chandigarh:

We preferred the Chandigarh route. Easily nonstop flights from Mumbai were available for Chandigarh. To visit Shimla from Chandigarh, it takes 3.5-5 hours to commute with bus fares starting from INR 250 for local HRTC buses. You can also opt for private cars, whose fare starts from INR 3000-4000 depending on the size of the car, the number of passengers,  and your bargaining skills.

There are many Shimla places to visit. But as this is just a 1-day itinerary, I will be listing the ones that can be easily covered in a day and on foot, without much hassle, cost, and stress. Shimla to Manali is also another travel hotspot. The travel options remain the same.

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Shimla local sightseeing itinerary for 1 day:

1.The Ridge:

The Ridge in Shimla
The Ridge in Shimla

This is one of the hot-spots of Shimla. It’s a point where all the hawkers, stalls, and shops are present. There are some amazing statues and structures in addition to some gazebos. This is also the spot where one can change into the traditional outfit of the local people and get photographed. People usually enjoy strolling around or just enjoy the mesmerizing surrounding.

Entry Fee: FREE
Duration: 1 Hour

2. Shimla Christ Church:

 Shimla Christ Church
Shimla Christ Church

Shimla for tourism would be incomplete without iconic churches. Christ Church is right at the corner of the Ridge and is the second oldest Church in North India. It is quite interesting to just experience the same. Or sit in silence and pray for a while. The neo-gothic architecture makes this Church quite beautiful to explore and a must-have in your 1-day Itinerary for Shimla.

Entry Fee: FREE
Duration: 30 mins to 1 hour

3. Lakkar Bazar:

Lakkar Bazar in Shimla
Lakkar Bazar in Shimla

There is a tiny road starting from the ridge on the opposite side of the mall road. This takes you directly to the LakkarBazar within 5 minutes of walk. This is also a famous spot to get the local sharing vans by HRTC for nearby places. Lakkar Bazaar is known for buying wooden artifacts along with some local woolen shopping including pashmina. If you have planned to venture into nearby treks and forgotten your stick, then you can find many shops selling wooden sticks for your climb. Interestingly, it’s also the item that is sold the maximum here.

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Entry Fee: FREE
Duration: 30 mins to 1 hour

4. Mall Road, Shimla:

Mallroad in Shimla
Mallroad in Shimla

Any Shimla city itinerary is incomplete if it doesn’t include the iconic Mall road. Mall road is the main spot if you’re looking to indulge in shopping for some local crafts like handicrafts, shawls, woolen clothes, etc., You find a lot of known brands here as well, in case you have forgotten to pack anything. Mall road also hosts a lot of eateries and some of the best hotels in Shimla.

Entry Fee: FREE
Duration: 1-2 hour

5. Raam Bazar:

Shimla city itinerary without a visit to Raam Bazaar will be unfair. It’s about 10 mins from Mall road but is quite a lot of climb up and down to commute. This is their local bazaar, where you can find fruits, vegetables, local stalls, even for shopping woolen clothes for all your needs at throw-away prices. There is a bridge from Raam Bazar that leads to the bus stop, from where you can take the bus to multiple tourist hot spots too.

Entry Fee: FREE
Duration: 30 mins to 1 hour

These are some local places in the heart of Shimla that you can easily explore in a day on foot. You can also try the HRTC-run local vans to commute to short distances. You can ask any local for a nearby stop and get rolling.

I visited Shimla in the middle of February and unfortunately, did not get to witness snowfall, other than the small pits of snow on extreme ends. But the climate was cold and would get freezing after sunset. The roads and routes are steeper, so it takes more time and effort to commute on the leg. But that’s the beauty to explore the hill station, right?

Unlike other hill stations, I found extreme commercialization and greed here.

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Not in all, but especially the ones who would pounce on you and try to make some quick bucks for sure. After being to multiple hill stations in India, Shimla was a bit disappointing for my experience and in comparison to other hill stations. It’s the hill station I would be glad to skip the next time.

This is what I feel about Shimla. Please do feel free to share your views about my 1-day Itinerary for Shimla, a favorite place you like, a special travel memory, or the one you’re planning. I will be happy to read them!

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Farhat says:

    Such a nice itinerary for a day. This should work for a quick exploration of the city.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      Totally!

  2. Pretty cool and a detailed itinerary! Cheers!

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      Thanks a lot

  3. Sundeep says:

    Your Shimla experience is great and the photographs really make the place stand out for anyone looking to visit. It sounds like you had a lovely time.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      Thanks, I am glad if it could help others plan well

  4. A well described guide for those who want to explore Shimla. But I completely agree to what you have to day about the crowd and commercialisation. I too am not keen on going back a second time.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      Feeling good to know that we share the same feeling about Shimla

  5. Shimla of the 1980s and 1990s is very different from the Shimla of 2020. It was quieter and calmer. But the ride in the toy train from Kalka to Shimla would have bene nice, even though its a tad bit slow.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      I Wish, I had visited the place then, its not that great now

  6. Shimla is a nice place, but nowadays it tends to be over-crowded and more so during weekends. You are right, the hill station has been over-commercialized. We were in Shimla a couple of years ago on our road trip to Manali.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      Couldn’t agree more with you

  7. Raksha says:

    I have never been to Shimla before. I would love to visit it someday and see the pretty places. My friend visited a few years ago and she mentioned that it is crowded these days.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      Yes, totally, That’s what I have mentioned in detail too 🙂

  8. I never been to shimla. So I found this itinerary is pretty good. Thank you

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      Always a pleasure

  9. I travelled to shimla as a kid and have vivid memories of the place… Finally travelled again to shimla thorough your amazing and well documented blog post.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      That’s so good to know 🙂

  10. Shimla is truly a place one has to visit to witness the magic in the air. Your post is so detailed that people can travel Shimla with this to-do list.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      I hope people find it useful. Thanks

  11. Amrita says:

    Shimla is such a beautiful hill station. However, commercialization does make me a bit sad. We had been there almost 7 years back when things were a bit better. The itinerary you shared is perfect for a day. I wish to visit Shimla again in future, but then I am a bit wary about the crowd.

    1. Afreen Ansari says:

      That’s the only bad part about the location, crowd and over-commercialisation

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