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Where to stay in Shimla – a neighbourhood guide

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Honeymooning newlyweds, Indian families retreating from the overbearing summertime heat of the cities, and plucky backbackers enjoying Shimla’s colonial hill station vibe are all won over by this appealing mountain town. Whether you’re looking for a cheap bed while backpacking through northern India, or seeking some luxury surrounded by opulent Colonial style, Shimla has an array of hotels and accommodation options.
Hotels in the Mall



There's a good spread of hotels in this part of Shimla, reflecting the Mall's popularity with visitors. Some look fairly minimalist in terms of architecture, others are eye-catchingly colourful, and many offer perks like free WiFi along with restaurants boasting views of mist-shrouded forests.


Lakkar Bazaar



Home to Shimla’s popular handicraft market, selling all manner of handmade wooden items – Shimla is well known for its carved walking sticks, figurines, and toys – Lakkar Bazaar is another favourite spot with visitors. It’s close to the Ridge and Jakhu Hill with its temple and towering statue of Hanuman – the popular Indian monkey god – so it’s an excellent base if you fancy being within walking distance of Shimla’s central area. Hotels in Lakkar Bazaar



While there are fewer accommodation options on this side of town, at least compared to the Mall, there are some good hotels dotted around which offer a refuge from the hustle and bustle. Vibrantly decorated guestrooms with free WiFi and views of lush greenery are the norm.


Lower Bazaar



A maze-like world of alleys cascading downhill from the Mall awaits you at Lower Bazaar. Locals hustle and bustle through the warren of market stalls and shops, buying everything and anything from clothes to spices to fruit and veg. It's a great spot to really immerse yourself in everyday life in Shimla – this is the real deal, unpretentious and alive. Check into a hotel here to be right in the heart of Shimla, where the old Colonial world collides with hectic and chaotic modern Indian life.


Hotels in Lower Bazaar



Looking into Lower Bazaar can yield budget accommodation including home stays which, despite their low prices, can offer plenty of perks. From WiFi to flat-screen TVs, there should be enough to make you feel at home, and the flamboyant Indian decor adds to the whole experience.


Chaura Maidan



Walk west along the Mall and you’ll reach Chaura Maidan – a Colonial neighbourhood known for its proximity to Viceregal Lodge, a majestic mansion built in the 1880s as a stately oasis for British aristocrats. These days you can tour the house and rambling, well-manicured gardens, while admiring the classically English arched windows, columns, and wood panelling. The rest of Chaura Maidan offers a refreshing slice of outdoor serenity.


Hotels in Chaura Maidan



A few hotels are dotted around this neighbourhood, and seriously high end luxury is available if you're looking to push the boat out and spoil yourself. Think antique furnishings, on-site spas, and elegant restaurants serving subtly spiced dishes. Some mid-range, reliably convenient accommodation can also be found in Chaura Maidan.