Best Of Shillong: Must Visit Places For The Authentic Meghalayan Experience

 In Adventure, Backpacking Trips, Destination, Exotic Vacations, Last Minute, Shillong, Travel, Travel News, Weekend Trips

If you are planning on your next vacation to the northeastern gem of Shillong, our perfectly curated Meghalaya Holiday Packages are just a perfect balance of the best Shillong tourist places to soak in the diverse culture and the natural beauty of Shillong.

Often referred to as the “Scotland of the East”, Shillong is one of the most picturesque hill stations in the Northeast. With some of the best things to do in Shillong, this hill station offers a myriad of experiences to its tourists. From soaking in the natural beauty to exploring the colonial heritage, the best places to visit in Shillong will definitely captivate you. 

The influences of the British Era are clearly visible in the colonial architectural buildings in Shillong like the parks, museums, manmade lakes and the churches in Shillong. These Shillong tourist places, allow you to soak in vistas and immerse in the heritage of this hill station.

Surrounded by some of the most picturesque valleys of Meghalaya, the cool and pleasant climate with some of the best natural Shillong tourist places makes it a perfect place to go for a natural retreat. With some of the best trekking trails, scenic waterfalls and glittering lakes, Shillong provides ample opportunities to spend some time connecting with nature. 

The tourist infrastructure of Shillong is pretty developed offering a number of stay options for tourists to relax after a day full of sightseeing and fun. Most of the hotels in Shillong are located in the heart of the city, making the sightseeing places easily accessible to its visitors.

Many restaurants in Shillong, offer a variety of cuisines to relish your taste buds with. From international cuisines to the delicious local food of Meghalaya, there are plenty of options for you to try. 

With all this, Shillong truly is a gateway to the Northeastern region of India by providing a window to the diverse culture and natural beauty of North East. So let’s explore some of the Top Places to Visit in Shillong.

Index For Best Shillong tourist places

Top 10 Places to Visit in Shillong 

  1. Shillong Peak
  2. Elephant Falls
  3. Lady Hydari Park
  4. Mary Help Cathedral
  5. Don Bosco Museum
  6. Police Bazaar
  7. Meghalaya State Museum and Art Gallery
  8. Khasi Heritage Village
  9. Sweet Falls
  10. Spread Eagle’s Falls

Other Places to visit in Shillong for couples

  1. Umiam Lake
  2. Laitlum Canyon
  3. Bishop Falls

Other Places to visit in Shillong with kids 

  1. Ward’s Lake
  2. Air Force Museum

Top 10 places to visit in Shillong

1. Shillong Peak & Sunset View Point 


Extending to an elevation of 1962 metres above sea level, this is one of the top Shillong tourist places that offers breathtaking vistas and spectacular views of the surrounding hill-scape. It is one of the highest and most prominent peaks in northeastern India. It offers scenic views of Umiam Lake and its surroundings including Dzukou Falls, which is 100 km from here.

Shillong Peak is at the top of the list of tourist places to visit in Shillong because of its scenic outlook of the beautiful city. You will have to walk for about an hour to reach the summit where a lookout point has been built. Those who love hills and trekking will find this place a paradise with incredible panoramic views of nature.

The distance of Shillong Peak from the main bus stand is approximately 10 km, which means you hardly have to go to any remote location. The locals believe this peak to be the abode of their deity protecting the village which makes it one of the most unique places to visit in Shillong.

Visiting Shillong Peak is one of those moments which you will cherish for your life.

What to Do Here: 

  • Some adventurous and fun outdoor activities like mountain biking, trekking, etc.
  • Enjoy the scenic views of the hill-scape.

Also Read: Krem Puri: World’s Longest Sandstone Cave in Meghalaya

2. Elephant Falls


Elephant Falls is one of the many scenic waterfalls in Meghalaya. Measuring 64 meters, 50 meters, and 28 meters in height respectively, they are named Onaphaa Gynyrchieng (the female elephant), Riang Khliehriat (the male elephant), and Nohkalikai Falls.

The falls are named after the shape and size of the surrounding rocks. The water flows on all sides of the rock to dwindle in drops of water in little streams. People who live near this place call it the “Elephant Waterfalls,” which is a beautiful sight to watch. This waterfall is not very far from Shillong but has been hiding from tourists for quite some. Once you look at it, you will instantly fall in love with this place, and would want to explore more with Shillong sightseeing.

It has become one of the best places to visit in Shillong, offering spectacular views of Umiam Lake. The most suitable time to visit and explore it is around sunset, when visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the lake and some breathtaking sunsets.

What to Do Here:

  • Watch local boatmen rowing and fishing from boats; 
  • Hire anyone of the boatmen for a ride through the lake; 
  • Take a stroll on the promenade around this lake. 

3. Lady Hydari Park


Lady Hydari Park is one of the most beautiful urban parks in Shillong. The park is named after Lady Hydari who was Assam’s first Governor’s wife. The park is surrounded by lush greenery and beautifully maintained flower beds. The lawns are manicured and the area is full of colorful flowers. You can stroll along the winding pathways and listen to the birds chirping. 

The children’s play area is one of the highlights of the park. Children can play in the play area while parents can relax in the park. The park also has a small zoo where you can see several regional animals as well as birds. There are plenty of opportunities for photographers and nature lovers to take pictures in the park. 

Whether you are looking for a peaceful place to relax, have a picnic, or just want to appreciate nature’s beauty, Lady Hydari Park is definitely one of the best places to visit in Shillong!

What to Do Here:

  • Take a Nature walk through the well-manicured gardens
  • Go for a small picnic with your loved ones
  • Click some pictures of the flora and fauna in the park

4. Cathedral Of Mary Help Of Christians


The Cathedral Of Mary Help Of Christians is one of the top Shillong tourist places and a prominent landmark. It is a work of architectural genius and a symbol of spiritual importance among the churches of the city.

The Cathedral is dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary and is one of India’s largest churches. Its grandeur is enhanced by its tall spires and beautiful stained glass windows. The design of the church combines European and local elements.

The church serves as a focal point for the Christian community of Shillong and has a large seating capacity. The atmosphere of the church is tranquil and peaceful, and it is a popular place for people to pray and meditate.

The cathedral often hosts religious functions and festivals and attracts devotees as well as tourists. It is perched atop a hill and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Whether you are a religious traveler or an architecture lover, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the Cathedral.

What to Do Here:

  • Capture the neo-gothic architecture of this church with your camera
  • Marvel at the surrounding views
  • Learn about the history of this place at the information center here

5. Don Bosco Museum

Source : Tripadvisor

The Don Bosco Museum is a must-see for anyone looking to explore Northeast India’s rich and diverse culture. It’s a huge multi-story structure that looks like a bamboo basket, and it’s a great way to get a feel for the different ethnic groups that make up the region. 

Inside, you’ll find lots of exhibits and artifacts that tell the stories of the people who live there. It’s a great place to learn about the different languages and customs that make Northeast India so special. The Don Bosco Museum has three floors and each floor is dedicated to a different part of Northeast Indian culture. 

You can check out galleries with textiles, crafts, weapons, photography, and so much more. Plus, there are sections that explain the history of Northeast India and the geography of the region. It’s a great way to learn and get a better understanding of Northeast India’s rich heritage, thus making it one of the top places to visit in Shillong.

What to Do Here:

  • Learn about the linguistic diversity of North East
  • Shop some unique souvenirs
  • Relax in the cafe after exploring the galleries

Also Read: Top 10 Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya for Natural Retreat

6. Sweet Falls


Sweet Falls is a steep (96 meters) and mesmerizing waterfall cascading from a mountain on the town’s periphery near Happy Valley. However, unlike the name “Sweet,” the route to this waterfall is quite dangerous, with lots of slippery stones. In addition, the waterfall has a linear stream of water falling from a rock located at a great height, which makes it dangerous to stand directly under it.

Tourists recognize Sweet Falls as the best place to visit in Shillong around sunset, as you can witness some spectacular sights against the backdrop of Shillong. However, you will also have to watch out for some small forest fires along the way.

The recommended route to view these beautiful waterfalls stretches through 3 km of jungle trail, where you will have to climb up and down a steep path. Many locals visit this place to indulge in activities like hiking, trekking, rock climbing and other adventure activities. You can easily find people willing to hire bikes or trekkers to see this gem of all the places to visit in Shillong.

What to Do Here:

  • Trek through the jungle trails or hire a guide to apprise you of more places to see in Shillong;
  • Rock climbing if you are into adventure activities. ( Note that only experienced climbers should attempt rock climbing here.)

7. Khasi Heritage Village

Source : Pinterest

Khasi Heritage Village is the first and the only heritage village of Khasi Hills. It occupies an area of 21 acres and was set up as a Christian outreach project in 1990 by the Presbyterian Church of Meghalaya. The village features several Khasi people where you can encounter the tribal lifestyle and their traditions.

The key objective behind this project is to bring people closer to Khasi history, culture, and tradition, so you can get a closer look at all the daily activities of tribal people and see their artefacts, storehouses, kitchen, tools, and other items of everyday use. This village’s heart lies in a local market surrounded by shops selling traditional Khasi handicrafts like silver jewellery and blankets.

There are also some live demonstrations of Khasi crafts by the locals which are fascinating to watch. Visiting Khasi Heritage Village is an excellent idea if you want to feel the Khasi’s local culture, tradition, values and get some insight into their way of life. What makes this one of the most loved tourist places to visit in Shillong is the Monolith Festival of the Khasi tribe.

What to Do Here:

  • Watch traditional culture, dance and other activities; 
  • Participate in local activities and learn tribal dance.
  • Visit the amphitheatre to watch some notable documentaries on the Khasi tribe; 

Also Read: Resorts In Meghalaya

8. Meghalaya State Museum & Art Gallery


Meghalaya State Museum & Art Gallery is the only museum in Meghalaya and definitely one of the most unique places to visit in Shillong. It is located on the premises of the State Secretariat. The gallery has a vast collection of artefacts, artworks, and sculptures that showcase this region’s rich heritage and culture. You can explore rare paintings and learn more about their history, craftsmanship, creation process and meaning.

This is a tourists’ favourite among all tourist places in Shillong where you can learn more about the culture of the locals, region’s rich history and traditions. Some significant exhibits include prehistoric artefacts like stone axes and rubbing tools, ancient Khasi sculptures, tribal jewellery made from glass beads and many more exciting collections.

What to Do Here:

  • Explore some rare collections and learn more about their history, craftsmanship and creation process; 
  • Witness an interesting collection of Khasi artworks and sculptures; 
  • Have a look at the well-maintained artefacts that tell a lot about the culture of Meghalaya. 

9. Spread Eagle Falls


Spread Eagle Falls is one of the most charming Shillong tourist places. It is a natural marvel that showcases Meghalaya’s natural beauty. Spread Eagle Falls is a hidden gem in the midst of the lush greenery. It is also called Sati Falls and cascades from a height. 

The water glimmers in the sunlight as it falls. The waterfall gets its name from the fact that the water spreads like eagle wings as it descends. There is more to visiting Spread Eagle Falls than a scenic view. It is an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature in Meghalaya and the surrounding forests and foliage. It is also a great place for photography and picnics. The lush greenery creates a tranquil atmosphere.

If you’re a hiking enthusiast, there are plenty of trails nearby that will take you to the falls. As you make your way through the lush greenery, you’ll get more and more excited to see the untouched beauty of the falls. Make sure to add Spread Eagle Falls to your tour in Shillong to experience the beauty of nature in Meghalaya.

What to Do Here:

  • Hike around the trails to get the best views of the waterfalls
  • Enjoy a nice picnic amidst the peaceful ambience
  • Go bird watching and bird photography in the surrounding forest

10. Police Bazar 

Source : Tripadvisor

The Police Bazar is a small market known as ” police paradise” by local people because this market is always bustling with people. Many people come here to buy small items like t-shirts, vegetables, clothes, and other things. The best time to visit this place is when the market starts to set up. This market is among the top Shillong tourist places for its street food and popular restaurants like City Hut and Jiva Sizzlers to enjoy the local cuisine.

The most suitable time to visit this place is around sunset, when you can watch some breathtaking sunsets against the backdrop of Shillong. You will find many beautiful and artistic souvenirs during your Meghalaya road trip in this market. It is quite a large market where you can find handicrafts, local outfits and other traditional items.

What to Do Here:

  • Enjoy local food with tasty flavours
  • Take away souvenirs and local handicrafts; 
  • Watch breathtaking sunset against the backdrop of Shillong.

Other Places to visit in Shillong for couples

1. Umiam Lake


Umiam Lake is a reservoir and one of the popular places to visit in Shillong for couples. It is 4 km from Umiam town and has an area of 2.27 sq. km. The lake is an important source of drinking water for the city and remains one of the most popular tourist places in Shillong. The lake has a garden house where you can stay and enjoy the view. Some people pay a small fee to rent the place for picnics and parties. 

The artificial lake was created after constructing a dam under a hydroelectric power project. With the magnificent East Khasi Hills surrounding it, you can enjoy boating and other fun watersports or sit quietly by the lakeside to cherish the stunning sunset. It is located on the banks of Sohra Dam, one of the biggest in northeastern India.

You can indulge in a fishing session or take a quick dip in the cool water. The number of tourists visiting this place is increasing rapidly because of its beauty, and its proximity to Shillong city. The Umiam lake is also surrounded by some of the best resorts in Shillong which makes this one of the top Places to visit in Shillong for honeymoon.

What to Do Here:

  • Boating, swimming, and several other watersports for adventure lovers; 
  • Camping/Rent a place to stay overnight; 
  • Enjoy the view of the surrounding hills, forests, and waterfalls; 
  • Kayak/Canoeing, or hire one and enjoy the calm water of this beautiful lake.

2. Laitlum Canyons


Laitlum Canyon, located in Meghalaya’s central region, is an ideal romantic places to visit in Shillong for honeymoon for couples seeking to create lasting memories. This picturesque destination is linked to a series of cascading canyons, including the renowned Nohkalicai Canyon and Meghalaya backwater park, and is only a 1-hour drive from Shillong. 

Couples can spend a romantic day in this captivating tourist spot, indulging in a variety of activities while admiring the stunning scenery around them. The sound of the water cascading through the expansive canyons creates an enchanting atmosphere that is perfect for romantic moments.

As you explore this lovers’ paradise, the river will take you by the hand and take you to the top of the hill, where you’ll be able to share some intimate moments while taking in the stunning views of the Meghalayan countryside. You’ll also be able to explore the mysterious rock formations and black lines that add to the intrigue of your journey. It’s sure to be an amazing honeymoon adventure where nature and love come together to create amazing memories!

What to Do Here:

  • Kayaking, rock climbing, and trekking tours through the canyons; 
  • Visit this place and watch the breathtaking sunset.
  • Enjoy delicious meals on the way back

3. Bishop Falls

Source : Tripadvisor

Bishop Falls is one of the hidden gems among the romantic places to visit in Shillong for couples. This natural wonder is surrounded by lush greenery and is an ideal place for couples to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend quality time with each other. It is easy to reach from Shillong and the scenic route takes you through beautiful landscapes. 

When you arrive at the falls, you will be welcomed by the soft sound of the water cascading down from a high point. Couples will be able to enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the falls while taking pictures. 

With the lush environment and the light playing on the water, there is no better place to take pictures than at Bishop Falls. Bishop Falls is a testimony to the beauty of nature in Shillong. It is a place for couples to spend quality time together and create lasting memories.

What to Do Here:

  • Marvel at the surrounding valley views
  • Capture some beautiful pictures of this waterfall

Other Places to visit in Shillong with kids

1. Ward’s Lake

Source : Tripadvisor

Wards Lake is an idyllic and picturesque spot situated in the center of Shillong and is widely regarded as one of the best places to visit in Shillong with Kids. Surrounded by lush gardens, this tranquil lake is a perfect retreat for people of all ages, particularly families. 

Pedal boating is a popular activity for children and adults, and is a great way to explore the crystal clear waters while taking in the lush greenery. Fish feeding is also a great activity for children, as it introduces them to the wonders of the water. The beautifully maintained gardens and walking trails around the lake are ideal for picnicking, allowing families to spend quality time together and take in the beauty of the natural surroundings. 

With its picturesque wooden bridges and colorful flora, the lake is an ideal place for photographers to take pictures of its beauty. Furthermore, the playgrounds and play equipment ensure that children have an enjoyable and memorable visit to this tranquil oasis.

What to Do Here:

  • Go Paddle Boating in the Lake
  • Feed the fishes in the lake
  • Children can have fun in the play area

2. Air Force Museum

Source : Tripadvisor

The Shillong Air Force Museum is one of the popular places to visit in Shillong with kids, providing an exciting and educational experience of India’s aviation heritage. The museum features a remarkable collection of aircraft, ranging from fighter planes to vintage aircraft, which have played a vital role in the nation’s defense. 

Children can marvel at the immense size and power of the aircraft while learning about their importance. Additionally, the museum features a variety of informative exhibits, displays, and historical artifacts associated with the Indian Air Force, allowing children to gain a greater understanding of the armed forces and technology that protects India. 

This museum serves as a perfect combination of an educational and recreational experience for families, allowing them to explore together while gaining an appreciation for India’s military aviation legacy.

What to Do Here:

  • Take a Guided Tour of the Museum
  • Attend the educational workshops organized by the museum
  • Purchase aviation-related souvenirs, books, and toys from the gift shop

If diving deep in the culture and heritage of Meghalaya is something that you always fantasized about, then Shillong is the perfect place where you will get to know a lot about this beautiful state’s history, tradition and culture. You can learn about some deep-rooted customs and traditions that are still followed by people in this region. In addition, you can visit these beautiful Shillong tourist places in Meghalaya that have historical significance and contribute to the state’s uniqueness. We at WanderOn are always eager to offer all possible assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shillong tourist places

1. What are the top tourist attractions in Shillong?

Shillong boasts several top tourist attractions that boasts colonial charm to natural beauty. Some of the top Shillong tourist places include the beautiful Umiam Lake, Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak for panoramic views, Don Bosco Museum for cultural insights, the serene Ward’s Lake, and the fascinating Air Force Museum, among others.

2. What is the best time to visit Shillong?

The best time to visit Shillong is during the months of September to May. This period experiences pleasant weather with mild temperatures, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Monsoons, from June to August, should be avoided due to heavy rainfall.

3. What type of accommodation is available in Shillong?

Shillong offers a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets. You can find luxury hotels, boutique guesthouses, mid-range hotels, and budget-friendly lodges and hostels. Homestays and cottages are also available for those seeking a more immersive experience.

4. Do I need any special permits to visit certain places in Shillong?

For Indian tourists, no special permits are required to visit most places in Shillong. However, if you plan to explore areas in Meghalaya beyond the capital city, it’s advisable to check if any specific permits or permissions are needed, especially if you intend to visit tribal areas or restricted regions. It’s always a good practice to inquire locally or with relevant authorities before embarking on such trips.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment