After a harsh week at work, it was my birthday coming soon. And I craved quality time for myself, away from my hectic life. I tried making plans with my besties, but I couldn’t see the schedule going anywhere (no doubt they were trying hard to make it happen for me on my birthday). So, I decided to go for “Shimla” (previously, I was planning for Rishikesh) since I already had one solo trip to this incredible place 2 years back. The plan for my weekend in Shimla was something like this:
- Delhi to Shimla- By HRTC (Himachal Roadways) bus – Tata AC on Friday Night 20:24hrs
- Booked Hotel room near Old Bus stop – a simple 2 Star hotel for Saturday night
- To Explore Ridge, Mall Road, Jaku temple, Lakkar Bazar and try new cafes and restaurants on Saturday
- To explore nearby tourist spots on Sunday,
- Shimla ISBT to Delhi on Sunday night – Himachal tourism bus – Tata AC
- Monday morning – home
I tried to squeeze my schedule to fit a 5k budget which was my target, while planning the weekend in Shimla. This time, it was more of an experimental trip for me because I had already been there alone in 2015 with no constraint on budget at that time.
- Bus tickets – INR 691/- each side for Tata AC – Delhi ISBT to Shimla ISBT
- Hotel Ticket – INR1840/- for 1 night – hotel near Shimla old bus stop
- Himachal tourism’s tour to Naldehra, including, Fagu, Kufri – INR 300/- per head
Shimla is undoubtedly a fantastic place to visit and has everything one looks for in a weekend getaway or a backpacking trip. Shimla itself is not so big. You must book a hotel near the old bus stop or the mall road. So that you don’t waste time travelling in local buses or taxis.
Weekend in Shimla: Places to visit
- The Ridge
- Jakhoo temple/Jakhoo Hill
- Summer Hill
- Lakkar Bazaar
I booked my hotel near Shimla’s old bus stop and switched my google map on “walk” mode for places like Jaku temple, Lakkar Bazar etc. It took just a 20-minute walk to reach these places from my hotel, using the stairs through the local market.
Weekend in Shimla: Things to keep in mind when wandering
- If you are travelling alone or with friends, go to a cheaper hotel near the ridge/old bus stop. There are 2 bus stops in Shimla- 1st is ISBT tutikandi. Another one is the Old bus stop in Shimla, don’t get confused, you will get local buses everywhere from the old bus stop and for buses to various cities from ISBT tutikandi. Right after reaching the ISBT bus stop, choose the local bus for going anywhere in Shimla. It will cost you nothing more than 10 to 20 rupees, whereas the taxis could charge you 200-500 rupees for the same distance. Just wait for the local bus near taxi stand (or you can ask a chai wala for the bus stop). The first bus leaves at 5 am to the old bus stop, where you can get buses for all the other places to visit in Shimla.
- Switch to google “Walk” mode in the maps and travel on foot if you can since it will take not more than 30 minutes to reach most of the main spots in Shimla.
- Go for Himachal tourism‘s tour bookings by bus, instead of taxis. Since these buses will show you more places that too in low costs.. You can find one booking counter in front of the old bus stop in Shimla.
- If you travel by bike or car, go for bunk houses or Airbnb homes.
Though I prefered a bus all along, you can also try to train and train from Delhi to Kalka and then Kalka to Shimla toy train. I wanted to travel by train but made random plans, so I didn’t get reservations. I also don’t trust the railways with time!
Weekend in Shimla: Where to eat and shop
Wake n Bake
Unfortunately, I couldn’t make time to visit this place as I only had a weekend in Shimla, but I have heard about its reviews.
Cafe Under Tree
Situated next to Jakhoo Temple, it was the discovery of my trip. This place has an awesome ambience, with beautiful music. It has a great view from the highest peak of Shimla.
Chung Fa restaurant
This place is comparatively low profile but was suggested by one of my friends during my visit. Its owner is the restaurant’s chef and has been doing this work for the last 40+ years. It is one of the best places for fantastic Chinese food.
CCD at Mall
This place has an incredible view from its large windows and has unique interiors, as you can expect from CCD. A must-visit place for coffee lovers!
For Shopping, you can buy anything branded at the Mall, anything related to Shimla at Lakkar bazaar; you can also visit Sanjauli; this place has a fantastic crowd, amazing views and some pretty cool cafes and restaurants.
Overall, a weekend in Shimla can bring you to complete peace of mind on budget.