Which one is better Manali or Shimla? Check who wins by 4:2
Both Manali and Shimla are located in Himachal Pradesh; Shimla is queen of Himachal Pradesh and Manali is Jannat in Himachal Pradesh.
It is definitely a tough competition between Manali and Shimla, as both are beautiful, easily reachable and surrounded by extremely beautiful landscapes featuring several mountain peaks.
State Himachal Pradesh is situated in northernmost part of India and have seen numerous migrants across the globe. It was mostly a winter resort for most of the Indian travellers looking for snow because in winters it turns into landscape of beautiful snow covered mountains.
Whenever you plan to visit a hill station, this question will definitely hit to your mind at first,
Which one is better Manali or Shimla?Traveler
Manali and Shimla have their own charm but are very similar in nature. The duo is predominantly frosting in winters and moderately warm during summers. In winter, both are covered with dense snow. Therefore, these places are known as Switzerland of India.
Shimla is also known as Simla, Shimla city drives its name from Shyamala Mata, a fearless incarnation of the goddess Kali. It is the capital and largest city of Indian state, Himachal Pradesh. Beauty of this enchanting place is quite hypnotising and has captured the attention of British army. Hence it became the summer resort for Britishers.
On the other hand Manali is yet another mesmerising travel destination. It is the resort to tourist in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. One can call it as a cherishing tourist town in the lap of Himachal Pradesh. It’s just the door of heaven to numerous adventure activities that you can engage into here. Likewise Shimla, Manali brings a different travel experience altogether with the change in weather.
So far I am sure you have planned to visit both places at least once in your lifetime, but still thinking which one is better and which one to visit first, Manali or Shimla?
Let’s figure out few of the key factors which will help you decide, which one is better among Manali or Shimla?
Accessibility to Manali and Shimla from Delhi
Accessibility to any travel destination is one of the key factor for the traveler. This includes three sub-factors, how to reach, how much time it will take and how much it will cost.
How to reach Shimla from Delhi – Wanderers might be thinking how to reach Shimla, I would like to give note here. Shimla is one of the most easily accessible hill station as a travel destination of India. There are many ways one can reach Shimla, it is very well connected to major cities of India, in fact Delhi.
- HPTDC and HRTC Government buses are one of my favourite, they operate every day from Delhi ISBT. It is just a overnight journey from Delhi to Shimla via Panipat, Karnal, Pipli, Ambala and Chandigarh. It may cost around rupees 900 to 1500.
- Another way is to take a train from New Delhi Railway Station. The journey will be in two stages Train from New Delhi Railway Station to Kalka Railway Station by train Kalka Shatabdi Special 02005 then Kalka to Shimla Railway Station by train Shimla Express Special 04543. The first one cost ranges from rupees 130 to 1200 and the later one cost ranges from rupees 70 to 500.
- Earlier there was one more way to reach Shimla from Delhi, that way airway. There is a Jubbarhatti Airport almost 25 kms before Shimla, which is a domestic airport connecting Shimla to Delhi. After the shutdown of Kingfisher Airlines there are no scheduled flights to Shimla from Delhi and vice versa.
- My another favourite is driving my self to Shimla from Delhi, it is just 350 Kms from Delhi. Driving through the mountains is seriously an experience on another level altogether.
How to reach Manali from Delhi – Reaching Manali from Delhi is not that easy like Shimla, but still there are many ways you can visit mesmerising landscape of the Manali, the heaven of Himachal Pradesh.
- The fastest way to reach Manali from Delhi is flight to Kullu Manali Airport from Delhi Airport then take a taxi to Manali. It will be somewhere around 4 hours journey plus time to reach airport from your residence in Delhi. This is obviously an expensive bet.
- The cheapest way is undoubtedly the bus from ISBT Delhi. Likewise for Shimla, for Manali also HPTDC and HRTC Government buses operate everyday from ISBT Delhi. It may cost around rupees 900 to 1500.
- Driving yourself to Manali is still an option, but it is quite a good distance from Delhi to Manali; Distance is near about 535 Kms from Delhi to Manali.
I hope this might have helped you a little bit. So after knowing the fact Shimla is easily accessible, can you answer to yourself now for the question, “Which one is better Manali or Shimla?”. Still confused let’s checkout the accommodation options available in Manali and Shimla.
Accommodation in Manali and Shimla
Accommodation is another key factor for most of the travellers, since not everyone can stay anywhere.
Where to stay in Shimla – Since it is one of the most easily accessible hill station and of course most famed travel destination, one can find many option for stay in Shimla across the hill station. I would suggest to book your stay well in advance in peak season. It is so close to Chandigarh that as soon as the snowfall news breaks out, people from Chandigarh pack their bags and reach to Shimla in couple of hours.
Though there are plenty of options available in Shimla, my recommended stays would definitely be heritage resorts maintained by HPTDC. The reason behind this is the fabulous location they have acquired, and these all are from the time of British people.
Few of my personal favourites are,
- Hotel Peterhoff, Shimla, Himalchal Pradesh – a property near the heart of Shimla, the Mall Road.
- Hotel Apple Blossom, Fagu, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – I love the peace around the property and mostly covered with fog thoughout the day.
- Hotel Golf Glade, Naldera, Near Mashobara Valley, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – a beautiful location very close to golf course.
- Hotel Hatu, Naldera, Himachal Pradesh – Surrounded by apple orchard, a kind of untouched place almost 65 kms from Shimla mall road. I bet if you stay at this property, you’ll have to push yourself very hard to leave that place. This is so damn amazing.
- There are plenty of 4 and 5 star hotels in Shimla.
Where to stay in Manali – Just like Shimla Manali is also quite a famous destination of the Himachal Pradesh, finding a stay won’t be that much difficult. Same like Shimla, HPTDC offers resorts at premium location in Manali. You can definitely go check their website for more details.
I definitely don’t suggest people to stay near Mall road, neither for Manali nor for Shimla. These places are always crowded with lots of people. If you are going to hill station your stay must be in the hills.
Let me list down few of the amazing properties in Manali you would definitely want to stay,
- Span resort and spa, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
- Shivadya Resort, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
- Anantmaya Resrt, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
- Apple Country Resort, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
- Of course there are plenty of other 4 and 5 star properties.
Since there is an endless list of accommodation options available in Manali or Shimla, answering which one is better has become even more difficult. Isn’t it? Without knowing the attractions in any travel destination it is really hard to decide which one to visit. Let’s checkout the attractions offered by Manali and Shimla.
Tourist attractions in Manali and Shimla
Tourist attractions and its accessibility from your stay holds one of the major factor, that can help you decide which one is better to visit among Manali and Shimla.
Shimla – Shimla is such a crowed place and most of its attractions are close to each other. If you have planned to stay near Mall Road you can easily cover all of them in a day or two. But I don’t suggest to stay near Mall Road for long time, just stay for a day or two and try to cover all these attractions.
If possible stay in Mashobara, Naldera, Fagu or Narkanda for rest of your days for a peaceful and mesmerising holiday.
Listing few of the major attractions in Shimla which you can visit if staying near Shimla Mall Road,
- The Mall Road, Shimla
- The Ridge, Shimla
- Christ Church, Shimla
- Shri Hanuman Mandir, Jakhoo Temple, Shimla
- Kali Bari Template, Shimla
- Botanical Garden & Hotel Peterhoff, Shimla
- Himachal State Museum, Shimla
In my suggestion, don’t use your personal vehicle to spot these attractions in Shimla, since Shimla is one of the most crowded hill station and you’ll probably put yourself in trouble driving across the city.
Manali – Manali has even more to offer its tourist, but of course they are not as close as Shimla has. Deciding on which one is better Manali or Shimla is going to be a lot easier after you go through following attractions in Manali,
- The Mall Road, Manali – Every hill station has a mall road.
- Hadimba Devi Temple, Manali – at a walking distance from Mall Road.
- Manu Temple, Manali – 2 Kms from Manali city center
- Jogini Waterfall, Manali – 4 kms from Manali city center
- Solang Valley, Manali – 8 kms from Manali city center
- Rohtang Pass, Manali – 16 kms from Manali city center
- Old Manali – 2 kms from Manali city center
- Sethan Valley, Manali – 3 kms from Manali city center
- Vashisht Bath, Manali – 1 km from Manali city center
- Sissu, Manali – 27 kms from Manali city center
- Atal Tunnel, Manali – 17 kms from Manali city center
- Arjun Gufa, Manali – 0 kms from Manali city center
- Bhrigu Lake, Manali – 8 kms from Manali city center
- Malana, Manali – 21 kms from Manali city center
- Van Vihar, Manali – 0 kms from Manali city center
- Himalayan Nyingmapa Buddhist Temple, Manali – 0 kms from Manali city center
- Kothi Village, Manali – 8 Kms from Manali city center
- The great Himalayan National Park, Manali – 63 Kms from Manali city center
- Naggar, Manali – 14 kms from Manali city center
- Gulaba, Manali – 0 kms from Manali city center
- Rahala Falls, Manali – 8 kms from Manali city center
- Jana Falls, Manali – 8 kms from Manali city center
- There is an endless list of attractions in Manali.
Looking at this long list of tourist attractions in Manali, I am sure now you would have made up your mind to travel. Can you answer it now, which one is better Manali or Shimla? Please share it to your favourite social media along with your side of story.
Adventure activities in Manali and Shimla
Adventure activities could be a factor to decide further that, which one is better Manali or Shimla?
Shimla – Although Shimla is not known for adventure destination, still you can find few adventure activities. If you are visiting Shimla in summer, then you can enjoy trekking, paragliding and mountain biking. For adventure activities you should visit Shimla in winter, you can enjoy activities like skiing, ice skating and heli skiing.
Manali – Clear winner! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Thats right, Manali is a hub for adventure activities. Just take a cab to Solang Valley and indulge yourself in winter sports like skiing, snow boarding, snow scootering or tobogganing. Let me list down the activities you can enjoy in Manali,
- River Rafting – Fight the gushing waters of Beas river
- Paragliding – Imagine yourself an Eagle
- Mountaineering – Go beyond your comfort
- Zorbing – See the world upside down in from the big inflated ball.
- Jeep Safari – Travel with the local
- River Crossing – Challenge your fears
- Angling – Catch your own seafood
- Quad Biking – Cross the varied terrains
- Camping – Witness a thousand stars after the sunsets
- Trekking – Conquer those mountains
- Zip-lining – Swish through the jungles
- Rock Climbing – Challenge your physical strength
- Cable Car Ropeway – Witness the miniature town below
- Rappelling – Climb down a rock
- Bungee Jumping – Leap into the arms of nature
Winter is coming! Get ready to pack your bags.
- Skiing – Play around the snow and become a skiing professional
- Hiking – Stroll amidst the nature
- Mountain Biking – Embrace the adrenaline rush
- Snowboarding – Slide along chilly winds
- Snow Scooter – Skid through the snow
- Tobogganing – Slide down snow-covered slopes
After reading this section, what are your thoughts on our discussion “Which one is better Manali or Shimla?” Manali is clearly getting higher votes.
Foodie’s get ready
Food is an important aspect when selecting a travel destination, it purely depends on your taste and what you want to eat. My way of judging which one is better Manali or Shimla? It’s where I can easily get the local food and if that is worth trying.
Shimla – One can easily find combination of cuisine like Tibetan, Chinese, Indian and few international, but it’s really tough to find any local dishes here. You can easily find almost any chain of restaurants operating in India.
Manali – As the name suggest, Old Manali is the place where you can definitely find the local cuisines. Along with that there are numerous entries and street food stalls around the city center.
So all you foodie’s out there, I believe its easy for you now to answer Which one is better Manali or Shimla?
The Verdict – Which one is better Manali Or Shimla?
Our voting has clearly identified the winner of this tough competition between Manali and Shimla. Manali wins this race by 2 points, in fact it will be 3 points; I haven’t accounted the crowd which you have to face in Shimla.
Recommending, if you are reaching Shimla by private vehicle, park it at hotel and visit attractions by foot or hire a cab. Expect hawkers and noise across the city, it is so much crowded.
Manali is definitely a better choice for someone who enjoys adventures. Manali can be visited in summers as well as winter, you can find adventure activities across the year. Summers are moderately warm so you can escape the heat of summer in Delhi of course.
Hope you enjoyed and help you decide which one is better Manali or Shimla for your next trip. :)
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for honeymoon? Which is best place for honeymoon Shimla or Manali?
Shimla is mostly a crowded place, so definitely Manali with it peaceful and mesmerising landscapes.
Which month is best for Shimla and Manali?
If you want to run away from the heat of summer, then April, May and June; avoid monsoon season.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla in winter?
Which one is better Manali or Shimla in summer?
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for adventure?
Manali is an adventure hub both in winter and summer.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for family holiday?
You can visit any of the location, both places have temples and serene views and beautiful landscapes.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for a foodie?
Foodies can find local cuisine in old Manali
Which one is better Manali or Shimla, if we ignore the crowd of Shimla?
It will be tie between Manali and Shimla, but still Manali will have an edge because of its long list of adventure activities.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for kids?
Undoubtedly Manali, kids will enjoy all the adventure activities.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for old people above 60 years?
Avoid winter season then both Manali or Shimla is fine.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for unmarried couples?
Shimla is mostly crowded, couples need a peaceful place so go for Manali. And these days most hotels allow unmarried couples.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for winter sports?
Manali is hub of winter activities, but is you are really interested in snow sports checkout for Auli in Uttrakhand.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for paragliding?
Paragliding can be done in Solang valley.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for shopping?
Manali offers wide range of local handmade articles, which you can buy at multiple places like Old Manali market, Tibetan Market, Himachal Emporium, Manu Market and The Mall Road
Which one is better Manali or Shimla in monsoon?
A big NO. Don’t travel to any hill station in monsoon. These hills are prone to landslides in monsoon.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla if you travel by own vehicle?
Own vehicle is good to reach Shimla but avoid driving in the city, on the other hand reaching Manali will take a lot of time on your own vehicle but good to have; as most of the tourist attractions are far from the city center.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla if you travel by public convenience like bus?
Shimla will win this race, since you don’t want to drive in the crowd; in Manali you’ll have to take cab which will become much expensive,as most of the tourist attractions are far from the city center.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla if you travel by flight?
Manali of course, its really fast and Shimla don’t have operational airlines.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for girls group?
Of course Manali less crowded.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for groups?
Of course Manali, Shimla is already crowded.
Which one is better Manali or Shimla for corporate events?
If corporate can afford then obviously Manali.