I just got back from a week-long trip to Shimla. It was out of the world, and luckily for us, it was a budget-friendly trip. Think 25k and less for a 6-day plan. Hotel stay, transport, entertainment and food included.
How did I plan Shimla Budget Friendly Trip?
We wanted to get out of the city during Diwali to avoid the firecrackers pollution in Gurgaon. It was a last minute decision. We were confused between two locations – Shimla & McLeod Ganj but eventually we decided on Shimla.
There are a number of bus service from Delhi ISBT. You can opt for AC Volvo bus. They operate throughout the day seven days a week. Based on your convenience choose a time and fare. We chose a night bus (Himsuta – HRTC). It was super comfortable, good leg space and the driver drove pretty well.
Cost: 1300 per person. Duration: 8 hours.
For the way back, we took the toy train from Shimla to Kalka, and then Kalka Shatabdi to Delhi. If you are visiting Shimla, the heritage toy train is a must experience. We decided to utilize that opportunity and instead of taking the same bus back, rode all across the beautiful scenic hills around Shimla.
Cost: Roughly INR 300 each for Toy Train Ride. Duration: 6 hours
Cost: INR 1400 per person for Kalka Shatabdi to Delhi. Duration: 4 hours
The journey back, I won’t lie to you is tiring. A 10 hour two train ride + the ride from the Delhi railway station. It does take a toll on you. But alternatively, what you can do is just do the toy train for a few stations and be back.
Hotel Stay – Shimla British Resort
Probably the best part of our Shimla stay. This was a heritage property dating back to 1823. I saw pictures online and I thought this would be a one of a kind experience, and it truly was. The location is a bit of a struggle, but if you are up for some serious walking, then there is no better property in Shimla than this.
On a side note, their in-house catering is superb. Mouthwateringly delicious food.
Cost: Roughly INR 2500 a night. We booked through GoIbibo.
Everything worth seeing and experiencing in Shimla is located in and around the Mall Road which is walking distance from the resort. In Shimla, sightseeing is possible only by foot. No cars, no transport is allowed on the city (tourist) roads. Spend some time walking and exploring, and build up an appetite to do some Cafe hopping in the city.
Food Options in Shimla
One of the best things about Shimla is its food. With major British influence, and what with the city being a tourist city, you have a lot of eating joints. Good eating joints might I add. From delicious Italian to Indian, Chinese you will find all kinds of small cafes and restaurants filled in the city. Try exploring a new place everytime you eat out. Its pure joy I assure you.
Food prices are not all that high. Quantity is amazing, so you do get the worth of the price you pay.
My favorite eating spots: Wake & Bake & Cafe Sol
Entertainment in and around Shimla
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We did a day trip to Kufri to see the green valley. It’s one of the most spectacular sights ever. Lush green forest all around, it is a delight for any nature lover. Along with that we even did a bit of adventure sports while at Kufri. It’s a good way to spend a day.
Cost: INR 1500 for the Cab. INR 2000 for all the other activities.
Who would I recommend Shimla to?
Honeymooners, anyone who has a fascination towards nature. Also, those who love the journey more than the destination.