When 48 hours is all you have in Shimla – we’re here to give you insider tips of how to make the most of it! The inherent charm of Shimla lies in its little lanes, the friendly residents and the wonderful views that greet you around every bend in the road. From museums, theatres and colonial lodges to picturesque walking trails, Gothic churches and the ever-bustling Mall Road—here is a guide to making the most of your 48 hours in Shimla. This post addresses your top questions of where to eat and what to do when in Shimla.
What to pack for 2 days in Shimla vacation?
As you are going on a 2 days Shimla vacation, compact luggage is ideal. Carry a backpack that can fit in your belongings or choose a compact trolley bag. You only need one pair of shoes that you’re wearing, make sure you pick sturdy ones for all the walking and sightseeing. Check the live weather of Shimla and pack just what’s needed!
Are 2 days enough to explore Shimla?
It is slightly difficult to explore the entire city in 48 hours time, but you can easily visit the hand-picked 8-10 points of interest in Shimla on your trip. If you want to explore places around Shimla and there’s lots of them (Kufri, Naldehra, Mashobra etc…) then you would need a little more time!
Trip Budget for a weekend trip to Shimla?
Shimla weekend itinerary budget would vary from anything between Rs.8000 per couple to Rs. 20,000 depending on the kind of acommodation that you choose. For great packages of a 4 star hotel on the Mall Road – check out Hotel Willow Banks Shimla
How to spend 2 days in Shimla?
With so many things to explore, Shimla is a place to be. Walk along the streets of Shimla and soak in the very essence of its people, and culture; dine at its attractive restaurants; shop at its ambient stores, and unwind at one of its many green spaces.
Day 1 – Where to eat and what to do!
Start your day 1 by walking on the main Mall Road towards the Ridge. This certainly is the lifeline of the town! One of the only pedestrian hill stations in the country, a walk on the car free road is really enjoyable and lets you experience the city at your own pace. Christ church on the ridge is a must see and don’t forget to click some pictures there!
Walk along the Mall to see other sites of interest of the Old British era – Gaiety Heritage cultural complex centre and the Townhall building. You can catch a play or witness an art exhibition at the Gaiety theatre if that’s what you’re into!
Stop for lunch at Cafe Simla Times – at the end of the Mall Road – voted as the best cafe in Shimla and enjoy the delicious wood fired oven pizzas, thick shakes, creamy pastas and sip a beer as you enjoy the view of Shimla town from the cafe’s terrace. Enjoy a lazy afternoon here and watch the sunset too – before you head on to enjoy other attractions of Shimla.
Just next doors to the cafe, visit Johnny’s wax museum and take selfies with your favourite celebs – from Messi to Honey Singh to Modi to Michael Jackson – all under one roof!
Head back on the Mall for some shopping! Dewanchand and Lal Sons are good stores for woollens shopping – if you’ve missed carrying enough sweaters for your trip or even to buy shawls as gifts for your family back home. Maria Bookstores is a must visit if you want to check out old publications of Shimla from the british times – when the town was called ‘SIMLA’!
For a scrumptious Indian dinner head to Eighteen71 cookhouse and bar at Hotel Willow Banks, 4-star hotel on the mall road Shimla. They have live music in the restaurant on weekends. Enjoy a large spread of pan Indian foods – Laal maas from Rajasthan to Sali boti (a parsi speciality) to Chettinad chicken from Southern coastal areas and of course, the Himachali special Khamod Meat. They have an equally elaborate Vegetarian spread too. Retro songs set the mood for the evening as you enjoy your meal at this restaurant.
Head back to your hotel by 11pm and recharge for a fun day ahead!
Day 2 – Where to eat and what to do!
Start your day with a visit to a temple. With a difference! Take a cable car up to the Jakhu temple – dedicated to Lord Hanuman with a 8000ft statue of the lord himself. It is believed that Lord Hanuman rested here while he was out to look for Sanjivani booti!
After this head to the Lakkar Bazaar, with access from the Ridge, to pick up small souveniers for friends back home! Shops carry all kinds of handcrafted wooden toys and other household knick knacks – ideal as a keepsake for from your visit to Shimla.
Just next to the Lakkar Bazaar is the roller skating rink! Step in and you step back in time with old bollywood numbers playing and children and adults skating enjoying a fun filled time.
For lunch head to Eighteen71, the best multi-cuisine restaurant in Shimla, to enjoy a delicious Oriental meal. Top favourites are the Thai curry or Khouseway or the classic Chicken Kung pao! Do order the dimsums while you’re there. You won’t regret it! Or if you would rather prefer a vegetarian Himachali meal (something you’re not likely to get back home) head to Himachali Rasoi in Middle Bazaar Shimla.
Now its time to head out for a bit – take a cab to the Centre of Advanced studies. The museum there is a must see and the place is beautiful – ideal for great photos!
And now its time for Himalayan rejuvenation at its best. Walk a few steps down from the Eighteen71 restaurant to Akasa spa and pamper yourself inside and out at the best spa in Shimla! Book an indulgent couple massage and feel all your ‘city & work’ stress leave your body as the professional therapists massage your tired and sore muscles.
Walk around on the Mall and experience the city at its best – before settling down with a glass of wine at the bar at Cafe Simla Times. Listening to old English classics and sipping good wine – soak in the beautiful view of the valley. You can try a Lebanese kebab or Mexican burrito to go with it. And you must end your meal with a Tiramisu – it surely is the high point on the menu here!
Head back to your hotel and snuggle into bed to get ready for your journey back home the next day!
Tips: While you’re walking around on the Mall do try the chicken patty at Trishool bakery and vanilla strawberry softy at Embassy. You’ll certainly want to come back only for these !
So that’s it from us on ‘where to eat and what to do’ in Shimla. Hope you enjoy your trip!
Sites in Shimla. Details below.