Known as "Scotland of the East", Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, the abode of clouds. At a height of 1,525 meters above sea level, the city's weather is one of the best in the entire northeastern region. Starting from the weather, the waterfalls, the variety of oranges, strawberries, tamarillos or tree tomatoes, squash vegetable, best known chowmein (noodles) to the best choir (Shillong Choir) and rock band, Shillong has a lot to offer. We tell you when is the best time to visit this hot pick among tourist destinations of northeast, how to reach there, where to stay, what to eat and where to shop. [Know: Best Months to Visit Shillong]
To reach Shillong visitors can take a flight from Delhi to Umroi Airport or from Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi or any major cities of India to the Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati. The Umroi Airport is located 30.9 kilomtres away from the Shillong city. The distance between Guwahati and Shillong is about 104 km. One can also travel by train to the Guwahati Railway Station. From Guwahati, one can take a private taxi or share a taxi to Shillong or can even commute via public bus services. Shillong Public Transport Service Bus Depot is located in Police Bazaar and is one of the central points of Shillong. It provides bus services across the city and other states. Shillong is approximately 2 to 3 hours away from Guwahati city.
Places to Stay in Shillong:
Here is a list of hotels one can stay during their visit to Shillong. People can also book Air B&Bs these days or Oyo Rooms which are easily available in the town...
Hotel Polo Towers:
Having earned the reputation of being the most reputed hotel in Shillong over the last decade this hotel offers a luxurious guest experience. Located in Oakland road in the centres of Shillong it provides easy access to services to the customers.
Café Shillong Bed and Breakfast:
They provide a unique experience to the guests by accommodating them in 70 years old Bungalow. It is located in Lachumiere, the city's premium location.
The Heritage Club-Tripura Castle:
Premium luxurious stay experience for guests enjoying the serene location surrounded by pine trees. Lots of history associated with this place as this the family retreat for the Maharajas of Tripura.
Hotel Poinisuk is in the heart of the city, in Laitumkhrah. They have a wide range of amazing accommodations with beautiful interiors. Hotel Poinisuk provides the travelers a comfortable stay at the property. The property is located 8 minutes away from the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians and is 5km from the Don Bosco Museum. The rooftop restaurant and bar area are the best part of the property. It offers a beautiful night view of the surrounding localities located in different small hills and uplands. Every Wednesday they also organize Karaoke Nights for the guests to enjoy.
Hotel Centre Point:
Hotel Centre Point in Police Bazaar have been the most sought after choice for travellers from many years. It offers a comfortable stay and is located at the centre of the Market area. The food and the quality of service of centre point has been an attraction for tourists over the years. The hotel also has an in house bar 'Cloud 9' at the roof top and organises successful events and parties on weekends and on special occasions. They also have a resident DJ for the bar and lounge area.
Pinewood Hotel is the one of the oldest hotels in Shillong and is trusted for their quality service even now. It is located near the Governor's House. This hotel is one of the oldest structures of Shillong and was started by a Swiss couple in the 19th century. The Hotel is a 7 minute walk from the State Convention Centre and the Botanical Garden.
Places to Visit in Shillong
Shillong has is blessed with a bountiful of natural beauty, even within the city there are many such locations that offer a great escape for people. Some of the iconic place that one can visit in Meghalaya are Elephant Falls, Laitlum Grand Canyons, The Umiam Lake and can also visit the polo orchid resort just next to the lake.
Another very famous place is the Seven Sisters Falls in Cherrapunjee, Weisawdong Falls in Sohra, The Sacred Grove Forest in Mawphlang etc.
People can also visit the falls like Nohkalikai Falls, the name of the falls also has an interesting backstory. Travellers can also visit the Phe Phe Falls located 20 kilometres from Jowai. The sight of falls is breath-taking and a life time experience. Trekkers can also trek in and around Meghalaya like the Mawryngkhang trek, which is also known as one of the most thrilling treks to try in the State. [Also Know: Shillong Ropeway Service]
Iconic Eating Venues of Shillong:
Shillong has many eateries , and numerous pretty café and hangout spots. Some old eateries and restaurants in shillong still have the charm yet new places have also come up in the recent times. Visitors should try the cakes of the most popular bakery in Shillong, 'Legacy- The Cake Shop'. Then there are other pocket friendly places one can try like the Reens Bakery, The ee cee bakery etc.
Some other pocket friendly places to try out in shillong are Tit Bitz in Fire Brigade, Hashtag near Don Bosco Square, The Food Solution in Laitumkhrah and more.
The City Hut Dhaba is also a great place to dine in with one's family and enjoy a good Indian meal. They serve the best North Indian food in Shillong. However, people visiting Shillong should not miss out on the Street Side Momos as they are the best!
Here is a list of restaurants in shillong & one should try out during their visit to Shillong:
Munchies is located near Don Bosco Square in Latumkhrah and is an iconic hangout spot for students from the surrounding colleges like St. Edmund's, Anthony's, St. Mary's, Women's College. The eatery is known to serve good beef burgers, fries, wraps, and their best-selling drink, Tang in just 20 rupees. The eatery has a shack like structure and serves pocket friendly items. It is a popular place and is mostly crowded with visitors, travellers, students.
Déjà vu is a restaurant cum bar and located in Laitumkhrah Police Point, Branto Complex Building, 3rd Floor. They serve authentic Chinese,
Boasting its title as the rock capital of India, the people of Shillong are passionate about their music. Started in the year 2016 by Dylan fans this place screams of the legend from pictures, artefacts, artworks placed aesthetically all over the café. This place makes the perfect little spot to enjoy your day out with friends relishing delicious food, playing games like darts, Uno, etc. or sipping on rich coffee vibing to the beat of this little heaven for Dylan fans This place should be on your list if you want to mesmerize yourself with a rich and cultured music experience with finger-licking delicacies to entertain your tummy.
Café Shillong Heritage:
Café Shillong Heritage which is the sister café of the famous Shillong café is one of the very famous eateries in the town of Shillong. This café is hosted in what used to be the summer villa of the royal family of Tripura. It was started in the year 2012 by two individuals namely Larsing Ming Sawyan and William Diengdoh. It is a delight for anyone who wants to enjoy a wide range of food ranging from Continental, Mediterranean, and Pan-Asian and last but not the least north-eastern traditional delicacies. The menu also boasts an exquisite range of wines which you can taste in the picturesque setting of the cafe. Café Shillong Heritage also lets you enjoy the sumptuous outdoor seating where you can enjoy the natural beauty of this place as you munch on the delicious food.
If you want to relish local Khasi food there is no better place than Trattoria which serves Khasi flavors of exclusive indigenous cuisines. Located in Police Bazaar this place is a favourite for locals and travellers who love trying out indigenous food over typical restaurant food. Some of the famous food this place prepares includes the likes of Jadoh which is a kind of spicy rice cooked with khasi traditional spices and pork, Dohmud which is Pork liver curry, Doh Khelia which is prepared using pork meat and brain, Dohjam which is a mixed pork curry among many others that this place serves. People will be delighted to taste the food with smoky flavours cooked with ginger or garlic and very little oil. Trattoria is not a place one could walk in to enjoy the ambience or chill out with friends but is a small establishment that runs on serving delicious local dishes for people to enjoy at cheaper rates compared to the cafes and restaurants around it.
Bread Café -
Widely popular for its ornamental cakes with intricate designs, this café is located right at the heart of the city. It also has a takeaway service available. This café was started by Rashi Vaswani to serve handmade gourmet coffee and cakes across the country. One of their bestsellers is the New York Cheesecake which is said to be a must-try due to its authenticity. Apart from pastries, this café also serves other food items such as pasta, sandwiches, fruit shakes, and mocktails. They have another outlet in Laitumkhrah as well. On special occasions such as Christmas, weddings, birthdays, etc, there is a high demand for speciality cakes and cookies.
You & I- Arts Café-
This beautiful café widely known for its interior design is a haven for art lovers. The creative thinker of this café is Wanphai Nongrum who boasts of serving more than 110 various flavoured tea and Khasi food. The furnishing of the café is mostly made out of raw materials with the use of mostly traditional utensils used in rural parts of the state. One can enjoy the beauty of Khasi culture and their cuisine in this café. A section of the café is dedicated to displaying the artefacts and traditional instruments. Some of the widely popular dishes of the café are Roselle tea, red potatoes with fermented fish, blueberry tea, and boiled potatoes with fish chutney. This café has another factor that is widely praised and that is the staffs involved are mostly college dropouts or belong to the underprivileged section of society.
The Grub Café & Bakery-
The bistro is a quiet little place. The café is 4 minutes away from The St. Edmund's College. The café offers a wide range of pastries, cakes, and puffs. Their best is the blueberry cheesecakes and visitors should try the freshly baked pizzas too. They serve good coffee, beverages, and continental bites. It is good to hang out spot for many people, and the evenings are mostly buzzy in the café. The café was started by a couple from Shillong in 2016.
Shops & Streets Markets in Shillong:
There are numerous places to shop in Shillong and take souvenirs to take home. People can shop in Police Bazaar which has a number of street vendors selling all sorts of things. People can buy cute umbrellas, a variety of locally grown fruits, handmade things and more. Here is a list of some places one can shop in Shillong.
This is like an one stop destination for everything and is the most famous market as it's in the centre of Shillong. It has all the bars, hotels, flea markets, shops, thrift stores lined in the streets. People who have a nick of collecting fashionable clothes can always shop in Glory's Plaza in Police Bazaar. Glory's have a number of shops which specialize in selling trendy women's clothing, shoes, accessories only.
Anders Arcade in the Laitumkhrah market is an unmissable stop for fashion lovers. Anderson Arcade have many shops that sell beautiful gowns, dresses, shoes and everything stylish. The items sold in the shops in Anderson are mostly brought from Thailand and Bangkok. It also has one or two eateries inside and one salon. A shop name Zinglui Choice in the arcade sells very stylish boots and color themed clothes, some other shops are Tres CHIC, Rapbor's and more.
Shillong has number of thrift stores in the streets of Laitumkhrah, GS Road, and Bara Bazaar. People in shillong buy and sell clothes, collectibles and other items in these thrift stores. These have huge collection of valuable items, vintage and antique items. A large numbrer of people shop from the flea markets in Shillong. If one is lucky they might also find clothes and other items of international brands in these stores.
Bara Bazaar is an iconic market place for Shillongites. The market is mostly crowded with people and vendors selling a variety of things. One can find the fresh vegetables and fruits and other household items in the market. The narrow lanes of Bara Bazaar also have quite a number of thrift stores too. And especially on Sundays new stock comes and people and students flock the market to get hold of the best thrifted items in the Bazaar. The place is famous for its vibrancy in the entire town.