If you follow me on Instagram, you must have seen my instant updates of my Manali trip which I took in December 2019. Though this was my 4th trip to Manali but that’s the beauty of Manali, you never get bored of it. Manali, I feel is a place where you can go with your friends as well as family, and obviously suitable for solo travellers too. Once, Manali was a backpacking capital of India but now, it’s a place for every kind of traveller. In this post, I will share top things to see in Manali with friends and family. I am sure if you are planning a trip to Manali, you are going to find this post really useful. I strongly recommend you to bookmark this Manali blog for your ease.
So here are top things to see in Manali with friends and family:
Top Things To See In Manali
Solang Valley is a beautiful place situated just about 30 minutes of drive from main Manali. The snow-covered peaks makes the sight really beautiful. Also, if you love adventure sports then you are surely going to love Solang Valley. Here, you can do zorbing, skiing, para-gliding, rifting, ice-scooter riding and lots more. Of all the places in Manali, I personally loved Solang Valley and I must say, Solang Valley should be on top of your list of things to see in Manali.
Bonus tip: If you are going in Nov, Dec, & Jan then make sure you reach the place by 9 AM as it’s the peak season for all the snow lovers and place becomes really crowded. If you reach late then 1) you will not get car/cab parking and you’ll have to walk a lot to reach to the main point, 2) you’ll have to wait really long for your turn, if you try any adventure sport there.
Built by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu in around 1460 A.D, Naggar Castle is really a beautiful preserved castle turned hotel. Though, if you do not wish to stay there, you can simply visit the castle, walk around the museum and click photos there. The castle have been used to shot many Bollywood songs including ‘O Re Piya‘ from Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya and ‘Yeh Ishq Haaye‘ from Jab We Met.
Hidimba temple is an ancient cave temple of Devi Hidimba who is the wife of Bhima, the Mahabharata’s epic hero. The temple has a view point and a beautiful park which is totally worth spending a quality time with nature. Although, during the peak hours around 4PM, it becomes very crowded therefore it is better to visit the temple at early hours around 10-11 AM.
Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa Monastery or popularly known as the Tibetan Monastery of Manali is situated just about 10 minutes walk from the Mall Road of Manali. The place is very peaceful and if you are into meditation or simply love visiting monasteries (just like me) then this is a one of the not-to-miss things to see in Manali.
Here’s another famous temple to visit in Manali. Vashisht Temple is a known for natural hot water spring. If you wish to witness the magic of nature, then do visit this temple as here you’ll get to how the natural hot water coming out from the source of the mountains.
Visiting Manikaran requires an entire day as it is about 3 hours drive from Manali. It is an old and famous Gurudwara which is known for the natural hot water which is believed to be medicated. It is said that this water was used to heal wounds and diseases many years ago. There is also an old Shiva temple just about 5 minutes walk from the Gurudwara.
Mall road is a shopaholics heaven and foodie’s paradise. Here, from Handicrafts to handlooms, to toys and accessories, you get it all. There are many amazing cafes and restaurants on the Mall Road that one should not miss. My personal favourites are Amigos German Bakery and Noodles restaurant. You may also try eating 5 flavours softy on the mall road, it’s really good.
Bonus tip: Shopping on the Mall Road in Manali is similar to shopping in the local markets of Delhi and Mumbai (or maybe your own city), so make sure you bargain before you pay.
Just about 50kms from Manali, Rohtang Pass is a beautiful highway top which gives you an amazing view of mountains. Though, from Nov to March, Rohtang is closed due to road blockage from heavy snow, but here’s a pic from my previous visit to Rohtang Pass. Also, you need to take special permission to visit Rohtang. So, make sure you get the permission because before you enter the area there is a check post.
More Options For Local Sight Seeing in Manali:
Apart from the above mentioned things to see in Manali, you can also-
- Visit the Van Vihar forest, which is just opposite to the Mall Road of Manali
- Visit Vaishno Devi Cave temple in Kullu
- Visit Club House of Manali; here you can shop for handlooms, or play games. Don’t go to the haunted house, it’s waste for money.
- Visit apple orchards; it’s seasonal and you might see it only in the month of June, July etc
- Visit Kasol; you need 2 days for it
This time I stayed in Bodh International Hotel. This is a 3 star property, walking distance from the Mall Road. Apart from the good location and cozy rooms, this hotel is not that good. If you’re expecting for good food or fast room service, this ain’t a good option.
Before this, I stayed in La Ri Sa Resort, which is an amazing resort with a beautiful library and big apple orchards within the premises. Read my review of La Ri Sa Resort here.
Frequently asked questions:
Is Manali worth visiting?
What should we do in Manali for 3 days?
Day 1: Local sight seeing
Day 2: Visit Solang Valley and Naggar Castle
Day 3: Visit Manikaran/Kasol (So, Kasol is half an hour drive from Manikaran, you can cover both places in 1 day)
What is there to do in Manali at night?
You can roam at the Mall Road till late night and enjoy eating the street food.
How far is Shimla from Manali?
So, Shimla is 265 KMS from Manali. You can either take an over night bus to Shimla from Manali or you can drive down to Shimla, it takes approx 7 hours from Manali to Shimla during the day time.
How far is Rohtang Pass from Manali?
Rohtang Pass is just about 50kms from Manali, takes approx an hour or two to reach.