Things to do in Shillong
Located in the lap of the Himalayas, Shillong is one of the most elegant and popular tourist destinations of Meghalaya. Often referred to as the abode of clouds, Meghalaya is well-known among travel enthusiasts mainly for the wide range of surprises which it offers to the visitors at every nook of the state.
From exploring the serene lakes to enjoying the picturesque views of the foggy mountains and gorgeous waterfalls, there are a lot of things to see and enjoy in this city. Shillong is also home to a number of well-preserved museums which portray the cultural beliefs and history of its inhabitants ideally. Even the adventure geeks are going to fall in love with this place instantly as there are innumerable varieties of thrilling activities to try out here.
Along with all these, there are a number of local restaurants scattered all over the hill station and some of the mouthwatering dishes are definitely a must-try even if you are not a foodie. Be it angling at Dawki or boating in Umiam Lake, there are a lot of things to do in Shillong which will let you earn some remarkable reminiscences.
Once you step on the land of Shillong, quite often, you will feel that this city shares an intense and soothing connection with nature and its tribes. The peaceful vibe of the valleys, misty captivating hills, and the mesmerizing sky, all of it is what makes Shillong such a perfect place for the tourists to unwind and enjoy amidst its overwhelming greenery and serpentine waterbodies.
Following are the things to do in Shillong
1 Umiam Lake
Someone looking for indulging in a varied range of water sports will be in complete awe after visiting this place as it offers a wide range of exciting water sports activities starting from fishing, cruising, water skiing, kayaking to water scooter rides. Taking a boat ride and enjoying the picturesque views of the mountains and lush greenery all around will definitely rejuvenate your soul to the fullest! Hence, Umiam Lake Tour comprises everything one can expect and it is completely worthwhile to spend some amazing time amidst nature with your family here.
2 Dawki- A perfect place to enjoy a boat ride
The boating experience on this river is undoubtedly charming as it really does feel like floating on a transparent piece of a glass sheet. Besides that, the picturesque views of the Jaintia Hills on one side, and the green forestry on another, and vibrant colored fishes flowing in the emerald blue color will definitely detoxify your spirit and offer a splendid encounter.
3 Riverside Camping at Shnongpdeng
Alike to the crowded town of Dawki, the Umngot River flows through Shnongpedeng too which is around 7 km away from Dawki. This cousin of Dawki is quite unknown to the tourists as of now, maybe that is why it is still a bit serene and peaceful.
The primary importance of Shnongpdeng is that from this village the water of Dawki River reaches Bangladesh. Spending a night in a tent by the Umngot River below a clear sky and enjoying the bonfire is going to be one of the most loved memories from your entire trip!
One can enjoy an exciting boat ride at Dawki, however, the tranquil environment of Shnongpdeng makes the encounter to be more splendid. That being said, there are a number of water sports options along with boating in which one can take part and create some vibrant memories to cherish endlessly.
4 Scuba Diving
There are a number of institutes and agencies which will provide you the basic training and will give you a brief about the usage of equipment and other details. All over the complete experience of diving into a depth of 10 m is going to feel extremely surreal and delightful!
6 Cliff Jumping
The banks of the river are filled with naturally occurring cliffs all around. However, the higher the cliff is, the more breathtakingly exciting your experience will be. But make sure to choose the height of the cliff depending on your diving skills.
9 Shillong Sightseeing Tour
From boating at Umiam Lake to enjoying an amazing time in Lady Hydari Park, there is a long list of places in Shillong which you must definitely explore. However, considering the number of days you are going to spend here, prepare an outline of the spots which you want to explore.
Maybe covering all of the best places won’t be possible, but one can definitely try to prepare a customizable list of the places considering whether they prefer museums and other places of historical importance over the natural attractions, waterfalls, and parks. Some of the most popular places for sightseeing in Shillong are Ward’s Lake, Shillong Peak, Spread Eagles Falls, Sweet Falls, Butterfly Museum, Ever-Living Museum, and many more!
10 Don Bosco Museum
It is extremely admirable the way this city boasts of its native tribal culture in a variety of approaches. Besides that, an extra amazing attraction of this place is a skywalk on the top floor of the museum which offers a panoramic view of the complete city to the tourists.
Being a part of the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures (DBCIC), this museum has its own separate research section, publications, and newsletter which is really very impressive! One needs almost 2-3 hours to explore this beautiful museum properly.
Don Bosco Museum is often referred to as the architectural pride of Shillong as its elegant design is really a remarkable one. This museum has separate galleries which give an in-depth overview of the past lifestyles of the communities of the region.
11 David Scott Trail Trek
Considering the fact that it was built during the British era, this trail is one of the most preserved and underrated attractions of Shillong. The trail course is a part of a 100 km trade route that was constructed between India and Bangladesh by the British administration of India.
Stretching in between two elegant Khasi Villages of Mawphlang and Lad Mawphlang, this trek route is one of the most beautiful and captivating ones among the northeastern parts of India. Besides that, the most satisfying fact about this trail is that people of all ages, be it, beginners, kids, or elderly people can go for a shorter route of this natural hike smoothly.
12 Double Decker Root Bridge Trek
From Tyrna village, a 2.5-3 hours long trek will take you to the famous Double Decker Root Bridge. However, the complete trail is filled with green bushes, old and huge trees, and short streams flowing down from everywhere around.
After crossing several living root bridges, hanging iron bridges, and some lovely small villages, you will reach the footsteps of the double root bridge and a tempting pool. On reaching the Double Decker Root Brideg it will be worth taking a chilling dip in the fresh and clear water of the pool.
13 Explore Bara Bazar (Iewduh) Traditional Market
The unusually encouraging and exciting fact about this market is that most of the shops here are run by women and this unique system has been going on for generation after generation. Even though the entire market area is exceptionally clumsy and cramped, the brighter part is that there are no such items that are not available here.
From handmade clothes, handicrafts made by the locals to a varied range of tools, fruits vegetables, and groceries, everything is available at a decent rate here. Iewduh Barabazar is the perfect one-stop solution for everything you need to buy. One must definitely visit this place when they visit Shillong and grab varieties of souvenirs to cherish forever.
14 Shopping at Police Bazar
Be it elegant shoes, sneakers, a variety of comfy clothes, or stylish dresses, one can manage to get all the items here with ease and at cheaper price. After getting done with exploring and shopping, sneak into any of the restaurants and try out the local cuisines and mouthwatering dishes.
Besides that, most of the cabs and bus stands are located here and hence, one can easily plan their next day sightseeing tour by taking a look through the numerous packages which these cabs and taxi services offer.
15 Lakefront Nature Camping at Mawsynram
Staying overnight at the campsites of Phlang Mawsyrpat Village, Mawsynram surrounded by the dense greenery of Phlangmawsyrpat community forest on one side and the serene WeiingLake on the other will definitely reinvigorate your soul and strengthen your spirit to the fullest.
From trekking through the lush virgin forests to caving through the nearby caverns along with opting for the numerous water activities in Weiing Lake, you will feel extremely awestruck while exploring this calming village in countless ways. Take back a bag full of splendid memories from the camping experience in the wettest place on the planet.
16 Mawphanlur Day Tour- A Tranquil Getaway
A one-day tour will be enough to explore the complete village. Even though there are no such activities to indulge in except kayaking through the calm lakes but you will enjoy taking an endless stroll through the idyllic village roads and green valleys and moving from one alley to another while the abundance of fresh air purifies your mind to the fullest!
17 Umden Village Tour
Trekking through the village roads while witnessing each step of sericulture followed by the process of weaving, dyeing, and spinning of the yarn and lastly, a glance at the method of the preparation of elegant silk clothes of beautiful and exquisite designs are extremely wondrous to observe. One can also manage to shop for some souvenirs here, if interested.
After getting done with the tour, spend some amazing time in the Rock Garden and staring at the horizon that offers quite an extensive view of the Khasi hills. If you are still having some time in your hands, enjoy the pleasant views of the strawberry fields, bamboo forests, and ecstatic tea gardens scattered amidst the whole village, while taking a short walk as it is quite an underrated trail indeed.
18 Visit Laitlum Canyons
Laitlum Canyons means “end of hills” and once you visit this place, you will truly feel that the meaning is completely worthy indeed! The canyons remain covered by dense fogs for the most part of the day. Even though it reduces the visibility, the cloudy weather makes this place look spectacular during the morning hours.
However, the best time to visit this place is during the afternoon as the sky remains comparatively clear at those moments. This place is ideal for adventure lovers and trekkers and if you are one of the nature freaks too, you are unquestionably going to fall for this place at once.
Besides that, make it a point to steal a small glance of the rural life of RaSong Village while going down a steep bunch of about 3000 stairs through orchid groves and bamboo plantations. The whole area of Laitlum Canyons is filled with small and long trekking paths and wandering endlessly through these trails gives an amazingly refreshing feeling. Plan out your day here accordingly and spend some grand moments in this gorgeous lush green valley.
Cherrapunjee is home to some of the most pristine waterfalls and the continuous moisty and foggy weather of this place adds a magnificient vibe to its eternal beauty. There are innumerable destinations and living root bridges in this mesmerizing town of the East Khasi Hills district. Moreover, it is stuffed with adventures and thrilling places all over.
20 River Canyoning
If you are having a strong hunger for adventure, do not miss out this fun-filled activity by any chance. With all of the adrenaline-rushing moments, the thrilling encounter of river canyoning in Cherrapunji will definitely make your trip to be an extra memorable one.
21 Zip-Lining at Mawkdok Dympep Valley
There are two types of zip lines available on the basis of two different heights. Even though each of those activities is of the same duration of 20 mins. Try not to miss out on this enthralling experience. Moreover, make sure to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the whole green valley and verdant mountain ranges while flying high from the zip lines.
Things to do in Shillong(Best Selling Packages)
Things to do in Shillong(Honeymoon Packages)
Things to do in Shillong(One Day Tour)
Things to do in Shillong(Adventurous Activities)
Frequently Asked Questions- Things to do in Shillong
Some of the prime water activities in Shillong are:
The options for zip-lining are available in:
– Shnongpdeng which is around 8 km away from Dawki
– Mawkdok Dympep valley in Cherrapunjee
There are a number of serene places like Mawsynram, Cherrapunji, and Dawki, for Camping. However, camping overnight by the riverside in Shnongpdeng is going to be the best location.
Just because Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, it does not necessarily mean that it is the only city that houses the best destinations of the state. There are a number of less-visited spots in and around the outskirts of Shillong, which includes:
-Spread Eagle Falls
-Arwah Cave, Sohra
-Phe Phe Falls
Definitely Shnongpdeng! Even though this place is still unknown for many, and maybe that is why it seems to be much peaceful and better than Dawki. Even though both the places offer a number of adventure activities, opting for camping in Shnongpdeng by the riverside is going to be the best choice.
There are numerous places for trekking and hiking in and around Shillong. However, when it comes to beginners, the Double Decker Root Bridge Trekis going to be the ideal option.
The summers of Shillong are not that hot and humid compared to the other states of India. Moreover, the weather of Shillong stays quite pleasant all around the summer months. The temperature generally ranges between 25° Celsius (Maximum) to 16° Celsius, in the months of summer.
It’s unquestionably the monsoon. However, if you are not that fond of rains, the months just after the monsoon are quite charming too.
Yes, Shillong is relatively a much safer place to travel alone than many of the other well-known Indian towns and cities. Besides that, it has ample transportation facilities and good places to stay for even solo travelers.
Most of the tours in Shillong are planned between 3 Nights 4 Days to 6 Nights 7 Days. However, to cover the whole of Shillong as well as certain hidden gems around the city, 4 Nights and 5 Days are going to be sufficient.