Amidst hills adorned in emerald hue, Shillong's beauty, a vision so true. Nature's canvas, breathtakingly rare, A paradise found, beyond compare.

Shillong, also known as the Scotland of the East, is the epitome of the natural splendor and charismatic beauty of mother earth. Cradled amidst the picturesque hills of Meghalaya, Shillong offers a kaleidoscope of attractions and experiences to immerse in a peaceful holiday retreat. The scenic city of Meghalaya is brimming with surreal wilderness and ecstatic essence, making it complete bliss. Blessed with majestic peaks shrouded in mist, lush green valleys and mesmerizing cascading waterfalls, it offers a dreamlike backdrop against clear blue skies. There are numerous places to visit in Shillong for an ideal escape into the natural world. From the hypnotic living root bridges to the heart-warming chalets or the hut-shaped houses, Shillong is a nature’s paradise. Want to explore heaven on earth? Keep reading!

Best Places To Visit in Shillong: To Kiss the Nature

Shillong, Meghalaya
Shillong, Meghalaya

The transcendent beauty of Shillong is a treat to the eyes and will surely uplift your holiday mood. There are umpteen places to visit in Shillong for a peaceful vacation in nature’s embrace. The charm of Shillong lies not only in its scenic vistas but also in the warm hospitality of its people, adding a touch of genuine magic to the experience. This is a place that will make you click the most beautiful and panoramic photographs for a blissful time amidst the heavenly vistas.

Here is the list of the best places to visit in Shillong, Meghalaya that you should definitely add to your bucket list:

  1. Elephant Falls
  2. Umiam Lake
  3. Laitlum Canyons
  4. Sweet Falls
  5. Ward's Lake
  6. Mawlynnong
  7. Shillong Peak
  8. Police Bazar

1. Elephant Falls: Witness the Heavenly Waterfalls

Elephant Falls, Shillong
Elephant Falls, Shillong

Originally the waterfall was known as the 'Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew' or the Three-step waterfall by the local Khasi people, as the water flowed in three steps here. But after the arrival of British, it was renamed as Elephant Falls as there was a rock on the foot of the waterfall that resembled an elephant. However, you will not be able to spot that now as it was destroyed in an earthquake in 1879. Situated around 12 KM from the capital city of Shillong, the falls is one of the best places to visit in Shillong. One can visit here to enjoy a picnic time with your family and friends and escape the humdrum. The mesmerizing view with soothing milky falls is best to visit in monsoon to click the best panoramic photographs but take extra care as it can be slippery.

Location of Elephant Falls, Meghalaya:

GRPC+CXH, Upper Shillong, Shillong, Meghalaya 793009

Timings of Elephant Falls: 9 AM to 5 PM

Best Time to Visit Elephant Falls, Shillong: All year round but it is most beautiful after the monsoon.

Places to Visit Near Elephant Falls: Laitlum Canyons and  
Shillong View Point

Things to Do at Elephant Waterfalls, Shillong:

Click panoramic photographs, explore the trekking trails, and relax close to nature

Other Facilities Nearby: Parking, food stalls and souvenirs shops

How to reach Elephant Falls in Shillong:

To reach Elephant Falls in Shillong, take a taxi or drive to the falls, which are located approximately 12 KM from the city center. Follow the well-marked road leading to the falls.

Shillong to Elephant Falls Distance: 12 KM

Suggested Read: Top Places to Explore in Cherrapunji: Listen to the Mountains Calling You

2. Umiam Lake: A Nature's Paradise

 Umiam Lake, Shillong
Umiam Lake, Shillong

Situated 15 KM North of Shillong, Umiam Lake is a gorgeous site alluring tourists from all over the world. The hypnotic man-made reservoir was formed after a dam was constructed on River Umiam in 1965 to generate hydroelectric power as part of north-east India's first hydel power project. There is a park near the lake which is an alluring destination for family picnics close to nature. Enveloped by lush green East Khasi hills, it is one of the best places to visit in Shillong in one day. A paradise for nature lovers and photographers, the lake’s panoramic sunset views and tranquil atmosphere are enough to uplift your mood. Tourists can also enjoy boating, fishing and a few other water sports like Angling, Kayaking and water skiing for an ideal escape. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy trekking and camping here for a stunning experience.

Location of Umiam Lake, Meghalaya: In the hills 15 KM, north of Shillong in the state of Meghalaya, India

Timings of Umiam Lake: 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Best Time to Visit Umiam Lake, Shillong: Between March and June

Places to Visit Near Umiam Lake: All Saints Church, Ward's Lake and Elephant Falls

Things to Do at Umiam Lake, Shillong:

Boating, fishing, water sports, click panoramic photographs, witness the mesmerizing sunset views, trekking and camping

Other Facilities Nearby: Parking, washrooms, boathouse and food stalls

How to reach Umiam Lake in Shillong:

The Shillong Airport is the closest airport to Umiam Lake. One can take a taxi from Shillong and reach the Umiam Lake via the scenic NH6 route. It is a short one-hour drive from any area in Shillong. To reach the lake one can take a taxi and reach it within 30 mins.

Suggested Read: Best Places to Visit in Coorg: For a Gladsome Holiday amidst Blooming Nature

3. Laitlum Canyons: A Blissful Escape in Heavenly Landscapes

Laitlum Canyons, Shillong
Laitlum Canyons, Shillong

One of the top places to visit in Shillong is the breathtaking ‘Laitlum Canyons’, which litreally means ‘end of the world or hills’.  Situated on the East Khasi Hills, the Canyons are brimmed with umpteen adventures for tourists. From trekking lovers, nature enthusiasts, honeymooners to groups and families, this place is a scenic getaway away from the humdrum. This paradise on earth is located at about 24 KMS south of Shillong and is about half an hour’s drive from here. Embracing lush green valleys, picturesque mountains and the majestic charm of nature, the canyons offer a tranquil escape in the lap of mother earth. Capture the hypnotic sunrise and sunset views, and witness the beautiful Rasong, a small hamlet situated deep in the ridges of the Laitlum gorge.

Location of Laitlum Canyons: CWX5+GHH, Meghalaya 793015

Best Time to Visit Laitlum Canyons: 6 AM to 5 PM

Distance Between Laitlum Canyons to Shillong: Around 24 KM, 1 Hour 20 Mins

Best Places to Visit Near Laitlum Canyons: The village of Smit

Things to Do on Laitlum Canyons:

Trekking, photography, nature walks, birdwatching and relaxing in nature’s lap

How To Reach Laitlum Canyons:

The best way to reach here is by hiring a taxi from Shillong that will drop you here on time while you can enjoy the scenic beauty.

Suggested Read: Offbeat Places in Himachal Pradesh: Explore Destinations Off the Tourist Radar

4. Sweet Falls: For a Refreshing Retreat

Sweet Falls, Shillong
Sweet Falls, Shillong

Offering a heavenly experience amidst the lush green mountains and blue sky, Sweet Falls are a must visit destination in Shillong. Located about 5 km from Happy Valley, the hypnotic falls cascade from around 96 metres above. The route is a little challenging and one has to be extra cautious to avoid slippery lands. The most interesting part is that Cherrapunji is just 7 KM from here making it one of the best places to visit in Shillong and Cherrapunji. From the verdant areas nearby the falls to the rich wildlife, the nearby area is a perfect place to explore the rich flora and fauna. Do explore the butterfly museum and a mini zoo nearby. Capture the most beautiful scenes during the sunset time for a blissful holiday experience. There are many amazing things to do in Cherrapunji to make you relish every moment.

Location of Sweet Falls: CWX6+P34, Laitlum, Village, Shillong, Meghalaya

Best Time to Visit Sweet Falls: 6 AM to 5 PM

Distance Between Sweet Falls to Cherrapunji: 7 KM

Best Places to Visit Near Sweet Falls: Cherrapunji

Things to Do on Laitlum Canyons:

Trekking, photography, nature walks, birdwatching and relaxing in nature’s lap

How To Reach Laitlum Canyons:

The best way to reach here is by hiring a taxi from Shillong that will drop you here on time while you can enjoy the scenic beauty.

How To Reach Sweet Falls

The best way to reach Sweet Falls is via a taxi from the Police Bazaar which is located about 12 KM here.

Suggested Read: Treks in India that Should be on Every Adventurer’s Bucket List

5. Ward's Lake: Enjoy Boating Amidst Photogenic Charm

Ward’s Lake, Shillong
Ward’s Lake, Shillong

If you are on your honeymoon in Shillong, then Ward’s Lake is a place you just can’t afford to miss. From the heavenly surroundings to the peaceful scenery, the gorgeous site allures numerous tourists from all over the country. Renowned as Pollock's Lake, this beautiful site is a famous picnic spot for nature lovers, honeymooners and families. Blessed with a myriad of flowerbeds, this place is a live scenery for photographers. The mesmerizing small bridge in the middle of the lake adds everything to the view that a tourist wants, making it one of the best places to visit in India during summers. Admire the rich scenery and witness the colorful fishes while enjoying paddle boating amidst tranquility.

Timings of Ward's Lake: November to February: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
March to October: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM (Closed on Tuesday)

Entry Fee of Ward’s Lake:

Adults: INR 10, Children and Senior Citizens: INR 5

Places to Visit Near Ward’s Lake: Don Bosco Museum, Umiam Lake, Lady Hydari Park, and Air Force Museum

Things to Do in Ward’s Lake, Shillong:

Boating, feeding the fishes, nature walks, and photography

Suggested Read: Top Things to Do in Darjeeling: Embark on Adventures at the Queen of Hills

6. Mawlynnong: Explore Asia’s Cleanest Village

Mawlynnong Village, Meghalaya
Mawlynnong Village, Meghalaya

Popularly known as the ‘cleanest village in Asia’, Mawlynnong is a very beautiful village and one of the best nearby places to visit in Shillong. Nestled around 90 KM from Shillong in the East Khasi Hills, the village is also known as the God’s own Garden. The picturesque village is blessed with enchanting views of lush green valleys, crystal-clear waters and countless orchids. The villagers have contributed in maintaining the charm of the village which literally feels like heaven on earth. The pleasant weather, living root bridges, locals with a 100% literacy rate with exceptional women empowerment and very welcoming aura makes this one of the best attractions in Asia.

Places to Visit Near Mawlynnong:

Umngot river/Dawki river, Bophill Falls, Umgrem Falls, and  Sky View

Things to Do Near Mawlynnong:

Explore the clean village, witness the living root bridges, relax in the scenic views, indulge in the local culture and savor local cuisine

Best Time to Visit: September-November

How To Reach Mawlynnong

One can take a taxi or bus from Shillong to Dawki to reach Mawlynnong withing an hour.

Suggested Read: Best Places to Explore in Kanyakumari: Travel to the Land’s End for an Exotic Vacation

7. Shillong Peak: Enjoy Trekking on the Challenging Peaks

Shillong Peak, Meghalaya
Shillong Peak, Meghalaya

Shillong Peak, situated approximately 10 KM from the picturesque city of Shillong in the state of Meghalaya, India, is one of the best places to visit in Meghalaya. Standing tall at an altitude of about 1,965 meters (6,447 feet) above sea level, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and the lush green valleys below. The journey to the peak is an exciting experience in itself, with winding roads that pass through dense pine forests and mist-laden hills, creating an enchanting ambiance. Shillong Peak is a favorite spot for photographers, nature enthusiasts, and tourists seeking a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The view of the sunrise and sunset from this vantage point is particularly mesmerizing, painting the sky with hues of orange and pink.

Places to Visit Near Shillong Peak: Elephant Falls and Laitlum Canyons

Things to Do Near Shillong Peak: Witness the majestic views, trekking, and nature walks

Things to Keep in Mind: Don’t take photographs without permission due to high security reasons and carry a valid id proof with you

Other Facilities Nearby: Food Stalls, souvenir shops, and telescope facilities

How To Reach Shillong Peak:

Tourists can reach Shillong Peak from the main city in about 25 mins (10 KM) via a taxi.

Suggested Read: Best Things to Do in Nainital: Where the Beauty of Nature Meets the Thrill of Adventure

8. Police Bazaar: Shop Till You Drop

Police Bazaar, Shillong
Police Bazaar, Shillong

Police Bazaar, nestled in the heart of Shillong, is a vibrant and bustling commercial hub that captivates both locals and tourists alike. Shopping for the best souvenirs here is one of the best things to do in Shillong. This lively area is renowned for its diverse shopping options, where a myriad of shops, department stores, and street vendors showcase an array of goods, from clothing and electronics to local handicrafts and souvenirs. Food enthusiasts can revel in the delightful eateries that serve an enticing mix of traditional Khasi cuisine and international dishes. The area's enchanting evenings come alive with the lively nightlife, featuring bars, pubs, and local music, offering a memorable and enriching experience of the region's cultural charm. Whether you seek retail therapy, cultural immersion, or delectable delights, Police Bazaar is a must-visit destination that exemplifies the vibrant spirit of Shillong's local life giving you a glimpse of what is famous in Shillong.

Location of Police Bazaar: Shillong, Meghalaya, India

Things to Buy from Police Bazaar in Shillong: Traditional Khasi attire, local handicrafts (bamboo products and wooden artifacts), spices, tea, honey, shawls and scarves, tribal jewelry, local food products, and musical instruments. Don't forget to bargain for the best prices!

Places to Visit Near Police Bazaar in Shillong: Ward's Lake, Lady Hydari Park, Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak, Laitlum Canyons, and Sohpetbneng Peak

Best Time to Visit Police Bazaar: 8 AM to 10 PM

Shillong, the Scotland of the East, is an epitome of natural splendor and traditional charm. From the captivating verdant valleys, stunning mountain peaks, picturesque scenery and dream-like vibes, a holiday in Shillong is pure bliss. There are many places to visit in Shillong for a fantastic holiday delight close to nature. Offering an ideal exposure to peaceful surroundings, the city is home to numerous waterfalls, lakes, parks, and more to drive your holiday mood. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and book the Shillong tour packages today for a rejuvenating vacation like never before.


Q1. Which is the best time to visit Shillong?

The best time to visit Shillong is during March to June. At this time, the weather is pleasant for nature walks, exploring the major attractions and indulging in adventure activities.

Q2. What are some must-visit places in Shillong?

Some must-visit places in Shillong include Ward's Lake, Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak, Sweet Falls and Laitlum Canyons. Brimmed with natural beauty and rich culture, the Indian city of Shillong is pure bliss.

Q3. What are the best things to do in Shillong?

Exploring the cascading waterfalls, witnessing the living root bridges, nature walks, trekking, boating, indulging in local culture, tasting local cuisine and shopping for souvenirs are some of the best things to do in Shillong.

Q4. What can I expect at Elephant Falls?

Elephant Falls offers a stunning three-tiered waterfall surrounded by lush greenery. You can enjoy the view from various viewpoints accessible through a short trek and enjoy relaxing amidst tranquility.

Q5. What are the activities available at Ward's Lake?

At Ward's Lake, visitors can enjoy boating on the serene lake, stroll through the beautiful garden, and feed the fish. The lake area is perfect for a relaxing day out. It is one of the best places to visit in Shillong in December.

Q6. Can I visit Sohpetbneng Peak for a day trip, and what can I expect there?

Yes, Sohpetbneng Peak is suitable for a day trip from Shillong. It is a sacred site for the Khasi community and offers peaceful surroundings, making it ideal for a serene hiking experience.

Q7. What is the ideal duration to visit Shillong?

The ideal duration to visit Shillong is around 2 to 5 days. One can explore the natural charm and immerse in local culture for a blissful escape away from the hustle and bustle.

Q8. What are the best things to buy from the Police Bazaar?

Traditional Khasi attire, local handicrafts (bamboo products and wooden artifacts), spices, tea, honey, shawls and scarves, tribal jewelry, local food products, and musical instruments are some of the best things to buy from Shillong.

Q9. What is the famous food in Shillong?

Momos, Jalebis, Tungrymbai, Jadoh, Dohneiiong, Chowmein and Jadoh are some of the best foods to try in Shillong. One can visit the local restaurants and indulge in a satisfying culinary experience.

Q10. What is Mawlynnong famous for?

The picturesque village of Mawlynnong is known as the cleanest village in Asia. It is famous for its lush green valleys, crystal-clear waters, countless orchids, pleasant weather, living root bridges and locals with 100% literacy rate with exceptional women empowerment.