Following is a great itineray for a first timer.
From Delhi or Chandigarh reach Kalka either via Shatabdi Express or by road. From Kalka try taking the Kalka-Shimla Railway, which is one of the Mountain Railways of India that enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status and is said to be a gorgeous journey.
If you’re taking the Heritage Mountain Train from Kalka to Shimla, your lunch will probably be on-board and en-route. But if you’re on the road, whether you chose to drive from Delhi, or get to Kalka / Chandigarh and then take a cab, kick off your weekend getaway in true Indian style by stopping for lunch at a dhaba along the way. Dharampur, just 65 kms away from Shimla, is a popular choice with travelers, and there are a number of restaurants / dhabas you could choose from.
Once you have reached Shimla and settled in to your hotels, don’t waste another minute and head straight to The Mall. The Mall is the main street in Shimla, and is lined with shops and restaurants. Cars are not allowed on to The Mall beyond a certain point, making this an ideal place to stroll around and soak in the relaxed atmosphere.
Hire a local guide and go on a Heritage Walk of Shimla and get insigts into Shimla’s history, architecture, people and places.
Pop into any of the restaurants around for a quick bite. There are options for Pizza, for Chinese, for Indian. You’ll even find a Café Coffee Day if you’re not in the mood to experiment. The Fish and Chips at the Combemere Hotel come highly recommended. Extremely popular, though I can’t seem to understand why, is Indian Coffee House. An old establishment and an institution of sorts, the place is always packed and getting a table immediately is next to impossible.
Stroll around The Mall some more, you’ll definitely find something that will catch your fancy. Or go to Lakkar Bazaar (Wooden market), just a little further down the Mall Road, for odd knick-knacks and wooden souvenirs. As another option, you could make your way to Jakhoo Hill, the highest point in Shimla for some stunning panoramic views; or take an excursion to Chadwick Falls, seven kilometers away.
After a power breakfast head towards Kufri. At a distance of 16 km from Shimla Railway Station and 5.6 km from Fagu, Kufri is a small hill station in Shimla district, positioned at an elevation of 2,510 m on the National Highway 22. Kufri is quite famous for the popular ski resort.
Enjoy adventure sports and take lunch at Kufri. Kufri is also a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers as the Himalayan Nature Park is situated on the outskirts of the town. The Park is home to over 180 varieties of fauna. Here one can enjoy a Pony or a Yak Ride.
Relax after an adventurous day and have tea while watching sunset. Head back towards Chandigarh or Delhi if you are on private car or take train from Kalka.