The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong is among the most beautiful places to visit in the northeast region of India. It gets its name from Lei Shyllong, an idol worshipped at the Shillong Peak. The hill station is located at a height of 1469 meters and provides relief from the scorching heat across India especially during summer and monsoon months. You can visit here if you like picturesque sights and traditions. Shillong is also called Scotland of the East and houses various tribes like descendants of the Khyrim, Mylliem, Maharam, Mallaisohmat, Bhowal and Langrim tribes.
On a Shillong tour, you can explore the pristine lakes, numerous waterfalls, mighty peaks, breathtaking landscapes, crystal clear leaks, beautiful golf course, museums, and other endless attractions. This makes Shillong what it is and boosts its tourism. There are also a lot of opportunities for people who are into adventure. On your visit, do interact with the local people as they are very kind and jovial.
So, if you want to know more about Shillong, how to reach, the best time to visit, where to eat and stay, and some useful travel tips, here is our comprehensively curated Shillong travel guide.
Why visit Shillong?
If you want to get relief from the summer, Shillong is one of the coolest places to visit in India. The food is also a major factor that attracts a lot of hardcore foodies from all over India. The waterfalls, lakes, peaks, museums, zoos, etc. are the features that make Shillong a must-visit. Nature lovers will love the breathtaking beauty all around.
If you love adventure then do come to Shillong and indulge in the various thrilling activities. But if you want to explore the culture and tradition of northeast India, then Shillong will not disappoint you.
How to reach Shillong
There are three ways to reach Shillong. The first one is by air. Shillong Airport is the closest and is located at a distance of 40 km in Umroi. You can get flights from major cities in India and upon reaching the airport, bus services are available to get to your desired location. The second way to reach Shillong is to take a train to Guwahati railway station. It is located some 105 km away and is connected to prominent places in the country. Taxis and buses are available to reach Shillong from the train station. Besides air and train, you can also use Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) and Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) operated interstate buses to reach Shillong or plan a road trip from places in proximity.
How to get around Shillong
The most convenient way to move around Shillong is to use bus services available throughout the hill station. Taxis and car rental is also a great option. Or you can always explore the places closeby by trekking.
Best time to visit Shillong
The summer season begins in Shillong from March and remains till June. The average temperature during this time ranges from 24°C to 15°C with pleasant weather. It is the best time to go on a trek and take a boating expedition in Umiam Lake. The best time to visit Shillong is winter i.e. November to February. The temperature remains cool and pleasant and can be visited to explore the best attractions of Shillong. Lastly, if you love rain, then visit Shillong in the monsoon and enjoy the views of the rain with local snacks and tea.
Places to visit in Shillong
Being a popular destination to visit in northeast India, Shillong has a lot of places to see. Be it quaint monasteries, rolling hills, or famous waterfalls, this place is enriched with natural beauty and tourist spots. Here are some of the best places to visit in Shillong on your tour -
- Elephant Falls
- Umiam Lake
- Shillong Peak and ViewPoint
- Laitlum Canyons
- Police Bazar
- Don Bosco Museum
- Ward’s Lake
- Phan Nonglait Park
Things to do in Shillong
Shillong is a paradise for nature lovers, adrenaline junkies, shopaholics, and peace seekers. Thus, there are ample things you can indulge in and spend your time doing on your Shillong tour. For the best experience, here are some of the best things to do in Shillong -
- Boating in Umiam Lake.
- Angling at Dawki.
- Trekking in the calm and composed trails.
- Horse Riding.
- Waterfall Hopping.
- Visiting Asia’s Cleanest Village, Mawlynnong. Explore the Jaintia hills.
- Indulge in golfing, rock climbing, etc.
How many days are enough to visit Shillong?
5 days are enough to explore the best of Shillong.
Average Shillong Trip Cost
The cost of travelling to Shillong will be INR 25,000 per person. It depends on the flight/train tickets, the type of accommodation, etc.
Accommodation in Shillong
There are many hotels, guesthouses, and resorts available in Shillong at different budgets and requirements. You choose from 5-star properties to budget-friendly hotels and have a comfortable stay with great amenities. Here are some of the best places to stay in Shillong -
- The Heritage Club
- Hotel Polo Towers
- Cafe Shillong Bed and Breakfast
- Quinton Enclave
- Hotel Woodland Hill Stay
Where to eat in Shillong
While tourist attractions are the reason that lures tourists to Shillong, the food of this hill station is no less. The restaurants here exhibit the colourful heritage through the cuisines they serve. From local items to Chinese, Assamese to Bengali food, you will find a different variety of cuisine to treat your taste buds. For a delightful culinary experience, here are some of the best places to eat in Shillong -
- City Hut Family Dhaba
- Cafe Shillong
- Dylan’s Cafe
- Ginger Restaurant
- Lamee Restaurant
Shopping in Shillong
Shopping in Shillong can be a fun experience as there are plenty of things to choose from. Ethnic handicrafts, spices, beautiful handlooms, fashion apparel, handmade organic products, and more can be brought from Shillong. The famous shopping markets in Shillong are -
- Police Bazar
- Bara Bazar
- Bhutia Market
Useful Tips for Shillong Trip
- Know about the permits you have to take (if any).
- Respect the local culture.
- Avoid visiting Shillong in the monsoon as there might be landslides.
- Keep yourself warm in winters and wear woollens properly.