10 slow and steady indulgence to try in Shimla

Venture into a cozy café

Shimla has a lot of nice and cozy cafes. Most of them have cozy interiors and beautiful stunning view of hills outside. Many have rooftop or balcony where one can calmly sit with a mug of warm coffee or a piece of melt-in-mouth delicious honey cake and watch the abuzz of the town against the backdrops of majestic Himalayas. Some of the infamous cafes and eateries of Shimla which are a must try for any visitor are:

Honey Hut

It is a concept chain café that features only honey based products. It is located right on the mall road. Along with the delicious honey base products, it offers a magnificent view of the surrounding hills while you take a bite into the delicacies.

Sharma Vaishno Dhaba

It is a dhaba restaurant on the Kufri-Chail road, a pure veg one, with dirt cheap price and highly delicious home cooked meals.

Goofa-Ashiana

Located right on the ridge, it’s a combination of two restaurants – Goofa in the basement and Ashiana on the top. The restaurant is strategically located to provide 360 degree view of the whole town of Shimla.

Indian Coffee House

This quaint and old establishment has become an institute in itself. Right on the buzzing mall road, it is famous for its delicious coffee and snacks since ages.

Aunty’s kitchen

Located near Shimla fire station, it is one of the oldest chinese restaurants in Shimla. Try out the momos and the noodles here when you happen to be passing by this area. The warm welcome of the host will surely melt your heart.

Cozy cafe shimla

Stroll on the ridge & mall road

A stroll on the ridge and the mall road, anytime during the day, is a delightful experience. Walk slow, while browsing through the numerous tiny shops and street vendor carts that line the mall road. While walking, buy some tiny winy stuff here and there. Also, stop for a while and rest on a bench set on the side. While at the ridge, snap some beautiful photographs which will become memories forever. Eat some steaming hot street food (beware, they might be spicy! 🙂 ).

You can also indulge into an ice cream while the cold winds gush through your hair. Overall, there is so much to do and so much to see on the ridge and the mall road, that one can easily spend half day to one day strolling in and around, discovering new things, or simply soaking into the beauty of the place. And we did exactly that. We arrived here in the afternoon and strolled leisurely around till it turned dark. Then we took the government installed lift and descended back into the town, boarding our cab on to the way back to our homestay.

Shimla_MallRoad-min

Read a book in your resort lawn

After all, natural beauty is something one wants to indulge into at a place like Shimla. But, romancing the nature can’t be a passing affair. Here, one needs to go slow and steady :). For this same reason, we prefer homestays and hotels that have a good amount of open space and nice view of the surroundings. So that we can sit right into the lawn or on the terrace, enjoy a book, indulge into leisurely talk with family and friends or the owner. And, watch our toddler play while we simply soak into the natural beauty. The homestay we stayed in this time around had a huge terrace, aesthetically decorated and abundant in sunshine. Our family loved to soak into the morning sun here, chit chatting. While the little one enjoyed running around from person to person, exploring this new home away from home.

Since Shimla is so beautiful, most of the hotels and resorts or even homestays provide stunning views of the surrounding. Unlike many other tourist destinations, any spot here proves to be beautiful spot. So, you can indulge into this activity anywhere in Shimla.

Indulge in some local talk

Beware of travel agencies and other locals trying to trap you into a tourist net. But do indulge into little local talk here and there while you stroll around, trek, stop by shops and restaurtants. The locals would fill you in on the history, culture and other significant details related to the place. Stories that you would love to learn and then narrate to others. We happened to stay in a homestay when we went to Shimla. The host was generous enough to indulge into some nice conversations with us. He even gave us useful tips on how to travel and where to travel, on a daily basis, with details and historical significance of various places.

The same destination looks like two different world to the locals and tourists. If you really need to get the essence of the place, the only way is to interract with the locals. You can as well choose local places to eat your food instead of fancy restaurants. Also, buy your soveniers from local vendors in the small shops. Ask them what to see, where to eat, what to do. And, they will happily fill you in with enough information.

Spend some time in Himalayan Bird Park

If you are a nature lover and like to take your travel slow, you would love to spend time at the Himalayan Bird Park. Alas, we couldn’t make it to this place this time when we visited Shimla, but we yern to visit again and make it here.The park is lush green, naturally beautiful and hosts a huge collection of common and rare species of birds. It is more commonly known as Himlayana Aviary. The park is best visited during the summer months of March-September when it is thriving with birds. It is a paradise for bird watchers.

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Visit Naldehra Golf Course

It’s a huge golf course. It also houses a golf club. The employees and staff are warm and courteous. One can enjoy a few shots of golf while visiting here. It is lush green, peaceful and stunningly beautiful. Even if one doesn’t want to really indulge into golf, one can easily spend hours here relaxing on the grounds and admiring the lush greenery and natural beauty. There are trekking trails around the golf course that can be taken during the day. We had a wonderful time trailing on the Naldehra trek when we visited Shimla last.

Relax in Chail Cricket Ground (At a little distance from Shimla)

The Chail cricket ground is the highest cricket ground in the world! The ground is huge and green. If one happens to visit Chail or is staying in Chail itself, then it is a must visit. You can as well do a day trip to Chail from Shimla, covering the Chail palace as well. It is an old palace amidst beautiful landscape, a must visit.

Visit Annadale

Annadale is a cricket and polo ground, located 4km from the ridge. The place hosts picnic parties, birthday balls, fancy fair flowers, races and polo matches. From here one can view vast stretches of green hills and forests. Tourist visit here for picnic in a nice relaxing atmosphere and soaking into the surrounding beauty.

Have a picnic at the Naldehra trek

Naldehra trek is located amidst dense deodar and pine forests. It has a hiking trek with vast stretches of greenery surrounding it. At one end, it meets the beautiful Naldehra golf course. Horses are provided for trekking and one can go by foot as well. Many tourists visit this place for picnic amongst the woods. However, beware of monkeys here when you open up your mouth watering delicacies 🙂 Our packet of biscuit was snatched away by a monkey even before we could realize what was happening !! 😀 . But definitely, the trek is ever refreshing.

Naldehra Trek 7
Vast green stretch of Naldehra trek

Take a heritage walk around Shimla

Shimla can be called a walker’s paradise. Every lane here would take you through buildings and monuments with significant history and reach culture. The best way to get acquainted is to take a heritage walk under Shimla’s heritage zone.The walk stretches from viceregal lodge to the ridge. Imposing and attractive structures like the christ church, the giety theatre, the band stand, heritage hotels, old office buildings like those of the telegraph and thomas cook, and government offices are highlight of this walking tour. Loose yourself to discover a different world in the lanes of Shimla … through the heritage walk.

Tips on visiting Shimla

  • There is so much to see and so much to do in Shimla, so, allocate ample time. We visited for 3 days but that time seemed to be too small.
  • Wear comfortable cloths and keep warm cloths with you, even when visiting in summer months.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes because the best way you can explore Shimla is by walking on foot.
  • Try out local restaurants and road side dhabas for food.
  • Buy soveniers from the local shops on mall road and lakkar bazar, you might need to bargain a little.
  • Go to the offbeat spots, which will give you the time and opportunity to experience the serene atmosphere of Shimla in tranquility.
  • Interract with the locals, they are quiet generous and helping.
  • You can reach Shimla from Delhi or Chindigarh. Both have international airports and both are well connected to Shimla by road as well as rail route.
  • You can as well try the Kalka Shimla toy train to ply to Shimla. It is an experience of a lifetime.
  • Club a few other locations along with Shimla when visiting here – like Kufri, Chail, Manali, Kullu etc.

You might as well be interested in

11 major attractions of Shimla

Shimla to Manali – one of the most scenic road trips in India

Little Chillie Shimla

Kalka Shimla Toy Train ride

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40 Responses

  1. […] We had lunch en-route and by the time we reached back, it was around 4pm. I went straight to the roof of the homestay. It was a delight to see the black dark clouds hovering over the mountains. (Many call this kind of weather gloomy but I have a special love for the hovering clouds, particularly when amidst nature) The next day, we had to start quiet early for Manali. Because of this reason also, we thought to let our parents and kid relax for the day. Sitting on the terrace, we enjoyed witnessing the formation of black clouds over the mountains until it started raining. Then we headed back to our rooms to enjoy some fresh hot coffee. Tips: If you are headed to Shimla for the first time, we would highly recommend to stay for a few more days. There are several other places of interest to cover in and around Shimla, and many activities to do, all of which we didn’t cover in this trip. You might be interested in including some of them in your list. Check out these post links for further details: 11 must see places in Shimla 10 offbeat indulgence in Shimla […]

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  3. We’ve been to Shimla and tried most of these places. Naldehra treak is so peaceful with lush greenery all around.
    We also spotted some beautiful birds at Himalayan bird park. Next time I would definitely try the honey hut and dhaba.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • The Dhabas were like the highlight of our trip..that delicious north Indian Parathas , curd, pickle and what not…it was wonderful..do try next time

  4. As an ardent traveller, i have always kept distance from Shimla and its likes primarily because i’ve heard it is too commercialized and crowded. Something most of the yesteryear’s must visit spots are undergoing. But your blog seems enticing and makes me wanna visit it irrespective of crowds. I would though prefer some far out hotel and just spend some peaceful time there rather than walking on mall road

    • The main town is very small, and yes, it has been commercialized. That’s why we recommend visit spots outside of the town, venture into nearby places and prefer off season. That way, you will still be able to beat the crowd

  5. I have been lucky one for being in Shimla. This place is one of my favorite in India. It’s fresh and hilly unlike other Indian cities. Only have to be watched out monkeys on the top, they are extremely intelligent to take your things away without you notice. You pointed out very well.

    • Ha ha. You are right. I once visited Shimla as a child and the monkey took away one of my favorite dresses. Guess it thought the dress would fit it 😛

  6. The concept of Honey Hut sounds unique and delicious. Do they serve only desserts or there are options in main course as well?
    Also the Naldehra trek and Himalayan Bird park will be on top of my list visit Shimla in future as they seems like a perfect way to enjoy the best of the hill station.

    • Honey hut is a cafe Suma, they do have other snack options but not main course

  7. Sounds like a lovely place to visit. I really enjoy just hanging out in cafes and reading my book. The bird park looks like a great place to visit to.

  8. Shimla is high on my list of places to visit in Northern India, so this post is a great starting point for me to plan out my currently hypothetical trip. When I do eventually make it there, I’ll be sure to heed your advice and try to visit for more than 3 days! There really does seem to be so much to occupy yourself with!

    • I wish you will have as wonderful a time in Shimla as we had with our loved ones. If you have any questions related to your trip planning, we will be glad to help 🙂

  9. What a wonderfully peaceful looking place to visit – I love these kinds of spots and really adore the concept of the Honey Hut.

    • Indeed it is a sweet and relaxing hill station for holidaying in India. Although not so laid back after the massive commercialization over the last few years..but yet it has managed to preserve it’s charm

  10. This sounds like an amazing area to explore. The temptation to eat, sitesee, and stroll through is irresistible.

  11. Nice! I had never heard of Shimla before reading your post. I’m especially interested in the bird park. It seems different from the other bird parks I’ve been to before.

    • It is an open park and being in the biodiverse himalayas, it does attract a lot of different wonderful bird species

  12. NowThatsAHoneymoon

    I love coffee! Looks like I will enjoy the coffee culture in this place. Nice photos too!

  13. Honey Hat seems to be so interesting. And Aunty’s kitchen is so beautiful. Definitely my favourite places from your list 🙂

    • Don’t miss them when you go to Shimla. You will have a rocking holiday 🙂

  14. I was not aware of Shimla before reading this and thank you for the introduction. Great tip about relying on the locals for information. That often leads to interesting discoveries.

    • Thanks! Indeed locals are the best source of information when it comes to travel

  15. I really had never thought of Shimla as a destination before, but you make it sound so relaxing. I might just have to go.

  16. Wow, I really want to travel to India! Heard the best stories about it. And there are some really helpful tips in here.
    Cheers,
    Finja

  17. India was not really on my bucketlist, but I migth reconsider 🙂

    • You definitely should. India has got so much to offer to a traveler, a lifetime might not be enough

  18. I’d love to visit the Himalayan Bird Park. Photographing birds is my newest passion, so I’m sure I’d have a wonderful time there.

  19. […] Shimla Toy Train – breathtaking journey, must rideHow we planned our Shimla Manali trip 10 offbeat indulgence to try in ShimlaGet us in your […]

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  21. […] as well be interested in:Little Chillie ShimlaKalka Shimla toy train11 major attractions of Shimla10 offbeat indulgence to try in ShimlaSpread the […]

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  23. […] We had lunch en-route and by the time we reached back, it was around 4pm. The next day, we had to start quiet early for Manali. So, we thought to let our parents and kid relax for the day. Sitting on the terrace, we enjoyed witnessing the formation of black clouds over the mountains until it started raining. Tips: If you are headed to Shimla for the first time, we would highly recommend to stay for a few more days. There are several other places of interest to cover in and around Shimla, and many activities to do, all of which we didn’t cover in this trip. You might be interested in including some of them in your list. Check out these post links for further details: 11 must see places in Shimla 10 offbeat indulgence in Shimla […]

  24. […] 10 slow and steady indulgence to try in Shimla […]

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