It’s the end of Sunday and you are facing the Monday blues already. The clock feels like a time bomb, counting down to the end of our weekend, while you are left wondering where the two days went. Often, we are so undecided what to do or where to go, or compounded by the plethora of research involved, that we just cannot pick a place.
Travelling is a great way to make the most of your weekend and if you live in Delhi you are in luck! Saddi Dilli is unlike any other place in the country. The city contains the national capital region, five major satellite hubs around it, about 30 million people and more than 1000 years of history. Over the years, travellers from as far as Europe and the Far East have come to the shores of the Yamuna, in search of silk, sandalwood and stories. Even today, Delhi and its nearby areas are still brimming with places to shop, food to eat and things to do. We are taking a look at all the places, far and near, around Delhi and bringing you a complete list of all the weekend getaways you can undertake!
These are some of the most sought-after places near the National Capital Region that draw mesmerised travellers for a quick escape from their busy lives. These weekend getaways are quick to reach and easy to stay. Take a look below and see how many you’ve checked off from your list!
A small town, majorly known for its religious importance, Rishikesh attracts a large number of tourists to its mystical ghats and iconic temples. If you are looking to meditate or simply be at peace with nature, this is a perfect weekend getaway for all age groups. However, the biggest draw is undoubtedly the seasonal adventure camps that provide rafting, paragliding and other water sports.
This hill station would easily top almost all our lists of long weekend getaways. The picturesque roads, the snow capped peaks, fishing in the river Beas, the local food and cool climate - these are just a handful of things that make Manali so attractive.
The holy city of Haridwar is on the way to Rishikesh and holds religious significance as the place where the Ganga leaves its heavenly abode and enters the human realm. Haridwar is known for its enchanting ghats, evenings aartis and the many beautiful temples that fill its lanes and corners.
Kullu has been referenced in ancient texts like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as part of the several legends in those works. The area remained secluded and cut off much after India’s independence and was only connected to the rest of the country a few decades earlier. This cut off led to the place retaining much of its old-world charm and aura.
More commonly known as Bir Billing, this twin destination comprises of the two towns (Bir and Billing), separated by about 16 kilometres. The area is a must-visit for all adventure heads for a weekend getaway.
Situated just a few kilometres above its more well-known sister town of Dharamshala, McLeodganj forms the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile. This weekend getaway is also known as ‘Little Lhasa’ for its large population of Tibetans and being the place of residence for the Dalai Lama.
A backpackers delight, Kasol is also referred to as little Israel due to a large number of Israeli tourists and cafes dotting the area. The picturesque village of Malana is just around the corner and is equally famous for its Malana cream and a selection of local produce.
Shimla is arguably the most popular weekend getaway on this list so far. The capital of Himachal Pradesh has it all - mesmerising Himalayan views, trendy eateries and cafes, well-renowned shopping centres and the charm of the colonial era.
Auli is a popular ski destination in India in the winter, but an equally famous getaway in the summer. The hill station is unique for the unusual way to get to the town centre, by ropeway! It has one of the highest ropeways in India and the breathtaking views are just the added bonus.
The last major city before the India-Pakistan border, Amritsar's charm lies in its people. There is a certain way the city of the Golden Temple functions, humble at its roots and proud of its culture. A walk down its many lanes will take you through an emotional rollercoaster of the joy of food and the melancholy of its haunting past.
These weekend getaways are feasible if you are pressed for time and are looking for something that doesn’t take a lot of time to reach.
Mussoorie is the closest hill station to Delhi and the preferred getaway for long weekends as well as short ones. The rustic nature of the place, as well as the plethora of stay options for tourists, making it a convenient destination.
Located at a stones throw distance from Mussoorie, Landour offers the quiet and remoteness of a classical Himalayan town that the former cannot.
The cantonment town is a good option for people looking to have a quiet weekend in the hills without the usual bustle of tourists flooding in.
One of the several underrated Himalayan hill stations in North India, Lansdowne attracts a select few visitors looking to find peace and quiet in the hills.
Naukuchiatal in the Indian state of Uttarakhand offers picture book sceneries, majestic mountains and a wide variety of greenery. If you are visiting Nainital, this place should be added to your itinerary.
Have a weekend in Delhi when you have on plans? How about a trip to the ancient capital of the Mughal empire? Walk on the same pathways that adorned rulers like Akbar and Shah Jahan, and munch on some delightful local cuisine.
The birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura is obviously a holy place among Hindus. A large number of visitors come to the destination not only for pilgrimage purpose but also because of Mathura’s rich historical importance.
Kurukshetra finds its place in the epsilons of ancient Indian mythology as the place for the famous setting of the Mahabharata.
If you have that extra day in hand and are planning for a longer stay, then these weekend getaways near Delhi are a good option. A mix of charming hill stations, must-visit national parks and historical centres await you in this list!
Dotted with lakes, Nainital has earned the designation of ‘Lake District’ of India. Nainital’s unending amount of scenic beauty is nothing short of romantic with awe-inspiring views and some stunning weather.
This place was always known to the frequent travellers of Himachal. However, the place became a popular weekend getaway after it began regular international and domestic cricket matches.
A small hamlet in upper Himachal, Malana is known for its remoteness, making it a preferred getaway for people looking to escape the urban jungles of the city.
Another underrated weekend getaway near Delhi, Almora is located at the foot of the Himalayas. The town offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and holds a religious significance as well.
It is said that the beauty of Naldehra even prompted the erstwhile Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, to make it his daughter Alexandra’s second name. The hilly town just outside Shimla is known for its picture-perfect scenery and for one of the oldest golf courses in India.
The Britishers made Ranikhet their go-to destination in the summer because of the cool weather and natural beauty. Even after independence, Ranikhet continues to top most of our lists as a preferred destination.
Reputation precedes Chail as one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. The Maharaja of Patiala fell in love with the place and decided to merge it with another of his loves - cricket. The world’s highest cricket ground is located here.
Pangot is a quaint hamlet in Uttarakhand and is famous for being one of the best places to go birdwatching.
Mukteshwar is a town located in Uttrakhand. Named after Lord Shiva, the God who offers Moksha or salvation, the town is known to offer a calm getaway unlike many other hill stations in the area.
Named after Bhima, the mythological character from the Mahabharata, Bhimtal is revered for its aesthetic beauty. This lake city is becoming increasingly popular as it is located in the vicinity of Nainital and offers some comparatively cheaper stay options than that of Nainital.
Okay, we admit we cheated a little with this one, but this list would have been incomplete without a shoutout to Spiti Valley. Cold barren landscapes, snow-covered fields and the remote beauty of the place make Spiti a dream that every traveller wants to make a reality.
After a week's grill in your respective jobs, sitting by the western ranges of the Himalayas is such a relief. Dalhousie is still exemplary of neatly planned streets and a colonial-era architecture which is a marvel to witness amidst the lush green surrounding and snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
Distance From Delhi: 559.5 km by road
Top Attractions: Khajjiar, Kalatop Wildlife Reserve, Dainkund Peak, Ganji Pahari, St. Francis Church, Punchpula.
Best Time To Visit: The ideal time to visit Dalhousie is from the months of March to May. The weather remains delightful throughout these months. Decked in all the colours of the rainbow and more, the floral diversity of this beautiful place undergoes tremendous growth during these months.
Best Way To Get There: By Train. Train is a convenient way to reach Dalhousie from Delhi. There are close to 30 trains that will take you to Pathankot, the nearest railway head which is 70 km away from Dalhousie. You can take a bus or a car to reach your destination.
If the NickYanka wedding wasn’t reason enough to visit Jodhpur, this ancient Rajput city is a walk down history lane with every step. Historic forts and temple line the now-modern streets, but the ‘Blue City’ still is steeped with the charm and vibe that made the envy and desire of medieval rulers.
Situated in between the Aravallis, Ajmer is perhaps most famous for the Dargah Sharif or the shrine of Muin-ud-din Chishti. The city finds its roots in traditions and culture from both its Hindu and Islamic lineage and has a unique historic charm which lies in the centuries of Rajput and Mughal governance.
One of the oldest cities in India, Pushkar forms a bridge between the old and the new. The historic landmarks sit comfortably amidst modern festivals and fairs. The city, often referred to as the ‘rose garden of Rajasthan’, is also one of the five sacred dhams for Hindus.
If you are picturing camels and sand dunes right now, then you wouldn’t be wrong. Bikaner is captivating with its ancient forts and palaces, as well as the grand sand dunes and endless Thar desert. One of the great desert kingdoms of Rajasthan, the dazzling city also boasts of old-world charm through its affluent havelis which depict a culturally wealthy era of the Rajputs.
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This story was updated in October 2019.