11 Best Travel Tips for Himachal Pradesh – Based on Seasons
Himachal Pradesh is one of the most popular tourist places in India, which is preferred by people of all age groups. Nestled in the lap of the magnificent Himalayan mountains, the state is studded with mesmerizing hill stations, deep valleys, gurgling rivers, waterfalls, suspension bridges, and some of the world’s toughest roads to drive on. With a plethora of activities to indulge in and some of the best places to visit, this state spoils travelers with a lot of choices to make a memorable vacation here with our Himachal Pradesh Vacation Packages.
The state of Himachal Pradesh has some popular hill stations like Manali, Shimla, Dharamshala, and Dalhousie for a leisure vacation. Jibhi, Bir-Billing, Kasol, Tosh, etc are some other emerging destinations that have already gained popularity among the younger generation. Other offbeat places to visit in Himachal include Kalpa, Tirthan Valley, Sethan, Sissu, Chitkul, etc.
For those seeking some adventure the cold desert of Spiti Valley is just perfect to satiate the adventurer in you. Himachal Pradesh is also blessed with some of the best outdoor adventure activities like treks, hikes, winter sports, etc, thus making it a haven for adventure seekers. You can explore the waterfalls, climb different mountains or just ride a bike on the winding roads, a journey to Himachal Pradesh is just a perfect escape from your routine life.
Best Travel Tips for Himachal Pradesh in Summer
The summer months in Himachal Pradesh are from April to June. The weather in this season is very pleasant compared to the rest of the country. The place offers stunning landscapes and clear skies which makes it an ideal time for tourists to visit and experience the beauty of the region.
- Planning an Itinerary: All the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh are open for tourist movements in summer. If you planning to travel in this state during the summer, here are some travel tips for Himachal Pradesh itinerary planning. Start by jotting down the places you want to visit, plot them on the map and understand the best route to cover the places as per your requirement.
Allocate ample time to explore each destination and include travel time between places. Try to not rush in-between places and savor the complete beauty of each destination. Consider the altitude and accessibility of places to avoid altitude sickness and long travel hours.
- Booking Your Stay: Being a tourist hub for all age groups, Himachal Pradesh offers a wide variety of accommodations to choose from as per choice and budget, from backpacking hostels to luxury hotels. The state also offers options to stay like guesthouses, homestays, camps, dormitories, treehouses, domes, etc.
Booking your stay well in advance is one of the Himachal Pradesh travel tips, especially during peak summer months when tourism is at its peak. If you want an exotic stay with a view and in close proximity to major attractions, then you should definitely book in advance to avoid peak season charges.
- Clothing: For your Himachal Trip in summer, you can wear light breathable clothes like t-shirts, tops, shorts, light bottoms, etc. However, the temperature in the evening and at night can be cold, so carry a few sweaters or jackets. Do carry sturdy and comfortable shoes, if you are planning to engage in outdoor activities.
If you are planning to visit some high-altitude places like Spiti Valley, keep in mind that the temperature here is cold as compared to the rest of the state. It is advised to wear warm clothes during the daytime. Pack thermals and heavy woolens as the temperature can drop significantly at night
- Activities To Do: Trekking is one of the best things to do in Himachal Pradesh during the summer months. Other than that river rafting, paragliding, and Zorbing are also done here. Since all the routes are open, you can also take a bike trip and explore the high passes in this state like Rohtang, Baralachla, Jalori pass, etc.
Himachal is also a fruit basket in India, so you can also visit the fruit orchards and engage in fruit plucking activities during summer and taste the fresh fruits like apples, apricot, orange, cherries, etc.
Best Travel Tips For Himachal Pradesh in Winters
The state of Himachal Pradesh transforms into a winter wonderland from December to February, making it a magical destination for tourists seeking snow-covered landscapes and want to indulge in winter adventures. Most of the places in Himachal are covered in snow which creates a charming atmosphere and perfect weather to enjoy hot beverages
- Planning an Itinerary: Plan your itinerary properly considering the roadblocks and closures is one of the top travel tips for Himachal Pradesh during winter. It is also necessary to know that some remote locations in Himachal are not accessible in winter.
Due to heavy snowfall, it may happen that the route you will be taking might be closed. In this case, it is always better to have a flexible schedule, buffer days, and alternative plans. Include both winter sports and sightseeing activities in your itinerary, and don’t miss out on experiencing the local winter festivals and celebrations.
- Booking Your Stay: Some popular tourist destinations like Shimla, Manali, Jibhi, Kasol, and Dharamshala are very crowded during November and December. Very few hotels provide centralized heating or room heaters and these get sold out very quickly. Also, the hotel with the best views is also packed during this season. Therefore, it is advised to book your stay in advance if you want a stay as per your choice.
- Clothing: Pack heavy woolen clothes like jackets, sweaters, thermals, scarfs, gloves and winter caps to cover your ears and head as the temperature in some regions can drop below the freezing point. Invest in a good quality windproof and waterproof jacket to protect yourself against harsh cold winds. Don’t forget to carry sturdy waterproof boots or snow boots to walk comfortably on snow-covered terrains.
- Activities To Do: Indulging in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding is very popular in Himachal Pradesh during winter. Other than this, snow trekking, sledding, and ice skating in Shimla are also popular among tourists. It is a great opportunity for people to make snowman, snow angels or simply have a snow fight.
The pretty hill stations in Himachal Pradesh get the rustic charm from that of a fairytale book when covered in snow, making a perfect ambiance for sipping a warm cup of coffee watching the snowfall.
Best Travel Tips for Himachal Pradesh in Monsoon
The state of Himachal Pradesh experiences heavy snowfall from July to September, which creates an enchanting atmosphere overall. This is the best time to witness hills are then covered with lush greenery, waterfalls cascading down in full flow and watch the clouds play with the majestic Himalayan Peaks.
- Planning an Itinerary: Due to the terrain, there are high chances of landslides, which might cause roadblocks, so be prepared for it. Some places might become inaccessible due to occasional road closures, so keep an alternative plan ready. Plan your itinerary with a focus on places that are accessible and safe during the monsoon season.
Keep some buffer time to travel between destinations, as the road and weather conditions may cause delays. One of the best travel tips for Himachal Pradesh sightseeing in monsoon is to include indoor activities and sightseeing spots like museums, temples, and monasteries to enjoy the natural beauty without being affected by the rain.
- Booking Your Stay: Monsoon in Himachal Pradesh is a perfect opportunity to choose some cozy and comfortable stays at lower prices. You can get good deals during this season at many hotels and resorts due to less crowd.
You might want to stay in some boutique properties with good facilities and services to ensure a comfortable stay indoors during the rainy spells. Choose a place with good views of the surroundings to enhance your monsoon experience in Himachal Pradesh.
- Clothing: While traveling in the monsoon season to Himachal Pradesh, it is advised to pack quick dry clothes. You will have to carry clothes like raincoats, waterproof jackets, and umbrellas to stay dry during sudden showers. Carry sturdy and comfortable footwear suitable for walking on wet surfaces. Don’t forget insect repellent, as the monsoon season may bring an increase in mosquitoes and other insects.
- Activities To Do: This is one of the best seasons to enjoy nature walks amidst the rolling hills and go cafe hopping or visit the Best Restaurants in Himachal on the popular hill stations. While Himachal Pradesh’s monsoon may bring occasional challenges, it presents an excellent opportunity to witness the region’s natural beauty in its most refreshing form.
General Travel Tips for Himachal Pradesh
This state is well-connected to various parts of India through road, rail and airways. You can reach Himachal Pradesh by bus or private vehicle from neighboring states like Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh. If you wish to travel on a budget, the best travel tips for the Himachal Pradesh tour will be to take local state transportation buses which run on a regular basis.
It is necessary to keep in mind that the railway connectivity to Himachal is quite limited. You can travel by train only to Pathankot and Kalka which have connectivity to major cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Amritsar. From Kalka, you can take the famous narrow-gauge toy train to reach Shimla, which is a popular and scenic route for tourists.
The major airports in Himachal Pradesh are Bhuntar Airport and Kangra Airport which have direct flights from Chandigarh and Delhi. From the airports, you can hire taxis or use public transport to reach different destinations in Himachal Pradesh.
Indian citizens do not require permits to visit any place in Himachal Pradesh. However, you do require a vehicle permit if you are planning to travel to Rohtang Pass or border areas. These can be obtained online or from local authorities.
To avoid any inconvenience, it’s advisable to check the permit requirements for your intended destinations in advance and apply for them through official channels if needed. Foreign tourists do require permits if they are planning to visit the Spiti Valley and other Protected areas
3. Code of Conduct
Himachal Pradesh also has some revered pilgrim places like temples, monasteries, gurudwaras and several churches. It is advised to wear proper clothing covering your knees, shoulders and head wherever required. These Himachal Pradesh travel tips will prevent you from hurting the religious sentiments of the locals and will ensure a smooth trip.
4. Carry Identity Proofs
While traveling to the state of Himachal Pradesh it is necessary to carry a govt. Photo ID card. It can be Aadhar, PAN card, Voter ID, or Driving license. These IDs can be used while check-in at the hotel, obtain permits, if required, or can be asked at some check-posts if you are traveling to some border towns or remote areas.
5. Some Safety Precautions
- Avoid Late Night Driving: The roads in Himachal Pradesh are considered one of the toughest in the world. So, one of the top travel tips for Himachal Pradesh is to avoid driving late at night. Along with the winding roads, the low visibility at night, wildlife crossings, and rockfalls also make it difficult to drive at night.
Other than this, limited assistance, fatigue and drowsiness of the driver also make driving late at night, a risk. In high altitude places temperature drops significantly at night which might affect the vehicle performance. Plan daytime travel to ensure safety, and exercise extreme caution if driving at night.
- Keep Emergency Contacts: The hilly terrain, remote areas, and unpredictable weather pose potential risks while traveling in Himachal Pradesh. Having emergency contacts enables quick access to medical services, police, or rescue teams in case of accidents, health emergencies, or natural calamities like landslides.
Local contacts can provide vital information and guidance, ensuring better decision-making during critical situations. Having emergency contacts ensures a safety net and peace of mind, allowing travelers to seek help promptly and efficiently, which is essential when exploring a region with varied landscapes and potential challenges.
- Do not stand at the edge of a cliff or river bank: One of the top travel tips for Himachal Pradesh is maintaining a safe distance from the edges of mountains and river banks for personal safety. You should avoid this due to the risk of falling, unstable terrain, unpredictable weather, landslides, strong currents, lack of safety barriers, unseen obstacles, and potential wildlife hazards.
6. Plan your trip with a good travel agency
If you decide to travel to Himachal Pradesh by booking a complete tour package with a travel agency, do research about the travel agency before making a booking. This is one of the important travel tips for Himachal Pradesh, especially if you are planning to go in areas with no networks.
If you are planning to engage in outdoor and adventure activities like trekking, paragliding, rafting, etc, make sure you choose an established travel agency. They use good quality equipment and have professional trip/ trek leaders.
Booking with a good travel agency/ local operator who has good network/ contacts in the area or a ground operation team is always good in case of emergency situations and natural calamities. This will ensure your safety and will also give you a memorable experience of this scenic state.
7. Carry Cash
If you have some remote and no network zones in your Himachal itinerary this travel tips for Himachal Pradesh is for you. Generally, these places with power outages or limited connectivity, accept only cash as online transactions won’t be possible.
It is always advisable to carry cash if you are planning for some shopping or indulging activity there. Distribute cash among different bags or pockets to minimize the risk of loss.
8. Respect the Local Customs
Along with the scenic beauty, the state of Himachal is also culturally rich. The locals are deeply rooted in their traditions, and customs which reflect in their celebrations, festivals and way of life.
While traveling follow a few things – Seek permission before clicking photographs, avoid loud noise, dress appropriately wherever required, and respect everyone even your vehicle driver.
9. Do Not Litter
Littering in Himachal Pradesh while on a trip or a trek can spoil the beauty of the place and harm the delicate ecosystems, causing irreparable damage to the flora and fauna.
Practice responsible tourism by carrying reusable water bottles and eco-friendly travel products, avoiding single-use plastics, bringing back all the waste with them and disposing of the waste properly in dustbins or designated areas. This will maintain ecological balance and preserve the natural beauty of Himachal Pradesh for future generations.
10. Prepare for power cuts in remote areas
Some remote regions in Himachal Pradesh may have power shortages, so should go prepared for such situations. These top travel tips for Himachal Pradesh will help you gather sweet memories of your trip.
Carry power banks which are crucial to keeping your electronic devices charged. Flashlights, headlamps & torches with extra batteries are crucial to navigate in the dark. Remember to use power judiciously to conserve energy and respect the local efforts to manage resources.
11. Carry Basic Medication
The weather in Himachal Pradesh is comparatively cold, throughout the year. So, if you are traveling from the plains, there are chances you might catch the cold. So, it is advisable to carry as basic medicine kit with some basic things like electrol, band-aids, antiseptics, thermometer and sanitizer.
Traveling to higher altitudes like Spiti Valley or any trek in Himachal Pradesh can cause high-altitude sickness. Keep Dimox in the medicine kit along with basic medicines for cold, fever, and body pain after consulting your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Tips For Himachal Pradesh
1. What type of clothing should I pack for my trip to Himachal Pradesh?
For a trip to Himachal Pradesh, it is advisable to pack your clothes depending on the weather you are traveling. During summer, you can carry light and breathable clothes. Please wear full-length clothes and comfortable shoes if you are planning to indulge in outdoor activities. In winter, pack warm clothes like thermals, sweaters, jackets, gloves, and winter caps. However, the weather in Himachal Pradesh is a little unpredictable, so it is advised to carry at least one warm and one waterproof layer like a fleece, water-resistant jacket, raincoat, or scarf to cover the head and ears.
2. Do I need any permits to visit certain places in Himachal Pradesh?
If you are an Indian citizen, you do not require permit in Himachal Pradesh. However, vehicles visiting Rohtang Pass should have the vehicle permit of Rohtang. Foreign Nationals do require permits to visit the Spiti Valley and other Indo-China border places.
3. What are the transportation options within Himachal Pradesh?
The Himachal Road Transportation Corporation has an extensive network of local buses that interconnects all the town throughout the state. Other than these, private taxis, rental cars, and shared taxis also connect the major tourist hubs like Shimla, Kalka, Manali, Dharamshala, etc. Most of the parts of Himachal lack a railway network. The major airports in Himachal are in Kullu, Dharamshala & Bhuntar. Local transportation like auto-rickshaws and shared cabs are available in many towns for shorter distances.