Manali is a land of contrasts. There is an endless number of things to do in Manali for fun and peace. On one hand are the enduring high peaks that surround this beauty. Add to this the spice of adventure sports, crystal clear falls, crisp weather, peaceful temples and you begin to appreciate the mysterious music of this year-long magnet. In winters, snow paints the village white. This summer, plan an escape to the heavenly abode and experience all that this has to offer.
37 Best Things To Do In Manali in 2020
Manali is an awesome hill station that never disappoints its visitors. Though it is a popular tourist destination, there are many unique experiences that it offers, unlike the other mainstream hill stations. Let’s jump straight to the list of 37 exciting & unique things to do in Manali in summer for an amazing holiday.
- Waterfalls: Listen To The Music
- Temples: Pay A Visit To The Almighty
- Adventure Sports: Indulge In Exciting Activitie
- Museum Of Himachal Culture & Folk Art: Explore The Past
- Shri Hari Yoga Ashram: Practice Some Yoga
- ManaliWildlifeSanctuary:Ride A Yak
- Kwality Sher-e-Punjab: Taste Some Yummy Food
- Arjun Gufa: Meditate And Relax
- Vashist Hot Water Springs: Take A Healing Bath
- Rohtang Pass: Go On A Bike Ride
- Beas Kund: Trek To The Top
- Manikaran Gurudwara: Take A Sulphur Water Bath
- Tibetan Monastery: Pay A Visit For Peace and Pleasure
- Zorbing: For Some Fun and Adventure
- Naggar Castle: For The Love Of Art
- Bhrigu Lake: Trek To Witness Mesmerizing Landscape
- Gauri Shankar Temple: Seek Blessings of Lord Shiva
- Manu Market: Shop Your Heart Out
- River Rafting: Time To Indulge In Some Thrill
- Skiing at Solang Nullah: Time To Play In The Snow
- Gulaba Village: To Experience Serenity At Its Best
- Manali Gompa: Admire The Buddhist Architecture
- Mall Road: Take A Stroll & Shop Your Heart Out
- Riverside Camping: For The Utmost Fun
- Mountain Biking: Try Something Different
- Van Vihar Park: For The Lush Greenery
- Apple Orchards: For The Nature Lovers
- Old Manali: Enjoy The Nightlife & Shop Till You Drop
- Riverside Cafe: Sip On The Coffee
- Nature Walk: Stroll Amidst The Cedar Trees
- Shawl Factories: Witness The Production
- Cable Car: Behold The Alluring Views
- Pin Valley National Park: For Exquisite Flora And Fauna
- Bollywood Connection: Explore The Top Filmy Spots!
- Nehru Kund: For Natural Springs
- Malana: The True ‘Pahadi’ Life
- Winter Carnival: Be A Part Of The Festivities!
1. Waterfalls: Listen To The Music
One of the best things to do in Manali in summer is to enjoy the nature. With the most serene cascades that greet you with aromatic air, dense silver birch trees and pristine views, rediscover yourself while you indulge in sweet nothings at Jogini Falls, or Zana Falls. A trip to Manali will be incomplete without a picnic at Rahala Falls. Located at a distance of about 17 km from Manali, nests this romantic fall.
Famous waterfalls to visit in Manali: Jogini Waterfalls, Jana Waterfalls, Rahala Falls, and Rozy Waterfalls.
Famous For: Refreshing experience
2. Temples: Pay A Visit To The Almighty
Wondering what to do in Manali for some spiritual guidance and inner peace? Manali is laden with magnificent monasteries and ancient temples beholding legendary stories. Not only are they sacred but they are a popular attractions amongst tourists. While here, paying a visit to the Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple and mystic monasteries should definitely be on your list of best things to do in Manali.
Best temples to visit in Manali: Gauri Shankar Temple, Hidimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, Vashist Hot Water Spring and Temple, and Raghunath Temple.
Famous For: Paying homage and respects
3. Adventure Sports: Indulge In Exciting Activities
One of the most exciting things to do in Manali in May and June is to indulge in various activities. Whilst in Manali, live up to your adventures alter ego with a plethora of options at Solang Valley. The Beas River presents challenging rapids from Pirdi to Jhiri. Follow this up with some trekking and camping which are the best things to do in Manali. You can also enroll in a fun cycling day tour that unwraps Manali for you. Experiencing snowfall in Manali is perfect because of the new adventures that it brings with itself including skiing and snow boarding!
To mark open the sports trail visit the adventure sports centre’s headquarters at Aleo, 3km south of Manali. They will gladly arrange a host of activities and courses for you.
Best places for trekking in Manali: Beas Kund, Bhrigu Lake, Hampta Pass, Chanderkhani Pass, Deo Tibba Base Camp, and Chandratal Lake trek.
Famous For: Satiating adrenaline rush
Suggested Read: 50 Best Hill Stations In India To Escape The City Heat
4. Museum Of Himachal Culture & Folk Art: Explore The Past
Walk through time as you explore the unique and extraordinary collection of unknown and rare antiques such as religious relics, household objects, instruments, weapons, architectural wood carvings, scale models and more at the Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk art. You’ll find that spending some time amid Manali’s history and heritage is definitely on the most fun things to do in Manali.
Timings: 08:00 am to 08:00 pm
Famous For: Getting an insight into cultural past
5. Shri Hari Yoga Ashram: Practice Some Yoga
Add a new skill to your life whilst on a trip to Manali! Register for yoga at the Shri Hari Yoga Ashram. Yoga classes at the orange-roofed ashram are quite popular. In fact, yoga is among the best things to do in old Manali for those who are visiting the hills in search of rejuvenation and peace. This is one of the most serene places to visit on a honeymoon for those couples who seek solitude after the busy wedding events.
Location: Village of Vashisht, Manali, H.P
Famous For: Soul-soothing experience
Suggested Read: Warning: These 6 Places Can Change You! (Literally)
6. Manali Wildlife Sanctuary: Ride A Yak
Number six i.e. riding a Yak is one of the top things to do in Manali. While you are on admiring the wildlife, stop over at the Manali wildlife sanctuary. This terrain hugs lush green forests and snow-capped mountains. This sanctuary greets you with the sights and sounds of colourful birds and exotic flora and fauna – snow leopards, brown bears, musk deer, ibex herds, kokla and kingfisher.
Timings: 09:00 am to 06:00 pm
Entry Fee: INR 10
Famous For: Birdwatching, diverse fauna and flora
Suggested Read: 20 Best Places To Visit In Manali And Its Precincts In 2020
7. Kwality Sher-e-Punjab: Taste Some Yummy Food
Satiate your taste buds with delectable Punjabi and South Indian cuisine at the famed Kwality Sher-e-Punjab restaurant. This bright eatery wears the crown of being Manali’s most loved restaurant. Dining here is considered one of the best things to do near Manali owing to the awesome food, amazing hospitality, and quick service that you get to experience here.
Location: The Mall, Siyal, Manali, H.P
Famous For: Punjabi and South Indian food
Suggested Read: 31 Indian Snacks Which Can Turn You Into a Local From a Tourist!
8. Arjun Gufa: Meditate And Relax
Find your chi at the historic cave where once the Pandava king Arjun meditated. Embrace the silence of this beauty as you explore the exotic view of this region. And the best part – you won’t find this place crowded with throngs of tourists since not many know about, making a visit to this cave one of the most offbeat things to do in Manali.
Best time to visit: March to June
Famous For: Meditation
Suggested Read: Nirmala’s Solo Trip to Manali
9. Vashist Hot Water Springs: Take A Healing Bath
One of the mysterious yet mesmerizing things to do in Manali in May & June is to bathe in the hot water spring and experience its healing powers. Located near the Beas River, Vashisht village is flooded with tourist. The hot spring is believed to possess healing powers natural minerals. Go right ahead a take a dip and know for yourself whether the magic exists.
Entry fee: INR 0
Timings: 07:00 am to 10:00 pm daily
Famous For: Take a dip in the natural springs with healing powers
10. Rohtang Pass: Go On A Bike Ride
Adventure junkies – this has to rank highest on your list of top things to do in Manali. Wear your heart on your sleeves as you ride through the Rohtang Pass with snow on either side and with majestic views of the valley right in front you. Pir Panjal mountain ranges and surreal views of the landscape will mesmerize you like the best travel mates. Riding a bike or ATV over the snow is one experience you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Manali.
Best time to visit: May/June to November
Famous For: Mountain bike riding
11. Beas Kund: Trek To The Top
Beas Kund is an amazing place near Manali for people who love to trek. Hiking and trekking in Manali always ensure that adventure enthusiasts indulge in the Beas Kund trek to get closer to nature and be entertained with magnificent views of the Pir Panjal ranges from the top. And once at the top, you will be blessed with magical views of a melting glacial lake that happens to be the originating point of the Beas Lake. You don’t have to be a hardcore expert trekker to indulge in this one, as it is one of the shortest and easiest treks in Himachal.
Best time for Beas Kund trek: Any time of the year, except the rainy season
Famous For: Trekking
Suggested Read: Trekking In Manali: A Tryst With The Best Of Himalayan Trails
12. Manikaran Gurudwara: Take A Sulphur Water Bath
One of the most prominent religious centers in the town of Manali, the Manikaran Sahib is a must-visit for everyone who visits these hills. Located just 45 km away from Kullu, it is easily accessible via a bus or taxi ride from the city center. Other than the tranquilizing aura and peaceful vibes, the highlight of this place are the sulfur hot springs. One can bathe in this healing and soothing water in the designation stone basins and caves here and it’ll surely be an experience to remember for a lifetime!
Cost: Taking a sulfur bath here is free of cost.
Famous For: Sulfur hot springs
13. Tibetan Monastery: Pay A Visit For Peace and Pleasure
There are two famous monasteries in Manali which attracts tourists in large number. These Tibetan monasteries truly define the Buddhist culture and gives immense peace and pleasure to the visitors. Local people sell various colorful handicrafts and other artistic items right outside these monasteries at very reasonable prices.
Famous for: Tranquil environment, Nearby handicrafts shops
Suggested Read: 5 Amazing Experiences To Be Explored In Manali In Winter 2020
14. Zorbing: For Some Fun and Adventure
One of the famous adventures to undertake in the hills of Manali is zorbing. It is a great adventure children as well as adults. In zorbing, a person is placed inside an orb and then pushed down the hill. There are various places in Manali where zorbing can be enjoyed but the most famous among all is Solang Valley.
Cost per person: INR 500 approximately (Depends from season to season and place to place)
Famous For: Fun-filled experience
15. Naggar Castle: For The Love Of Art
It is a heaven for all the art lovers. This place will please anyone who loves art and paintings. This castle is also a heritage hotel and a great place for someone who loves art and artistic pieces. Located in the Naggar Town, the castle can be visited all seven days of the week from 7 am to 10 pm.
Location: Naggar Castle Road, Naggar Town
Famous For: Artworks and paintings
16. Bhrigu Lake: Trek To Witness Mesmerizing Landscape
This is one of the most bewitching treks to go for in Manali. Besides being famous for its stunning landscape, Bhrigu Lake has spiritual importance as well. It is said that Rishi Bhrigu used to meditate at this site and also wrote Bhrigu Samhita here. One must definitely visit this place to admire the untouched beauty of nature and to feel tranquility at its best.
Best time for Bhrigu Lake trek: May to October
Famous For: Trekking
Suggested Read: 15 Best Restaurants In Manali That Serve Extraordinary Treats
17. Gauri Shankar Temple: Seek Blessings of Lord Shiva
One of the oldest temples in Manali which is around 800 years old is Gauri Shankar Temple. The main deity here is of Lord Shiva and the temple has various religious beliefs. It is also famous for its Shikara style architecture. The temple is situated at the famous Naggar Castle road, so you can cover this temple on your excursion to Naggar Castle.
Timings: 05:00 am to 12:00 pm and 04:00 pm to 09:00 pm
Famous For: Being the oldest temple of Gauri Shankar
18. Manu Market: Shop Your Heart Out
This market is quite popular for shopping among the local people. The small lanes lined up with quirky indian wear and hippie style shops attract a lot of tourists for shopping. Bargaining is possible in this market, so make sure to get the items not on the quoted prices. There are also many small cafes and restaurants in this lane where tourists can grab a munchie after the shopping excursion.
Things to buy: Tibetan jewelry, clothes, books, accessories, handloom products
Famous For: Shopping for quirky products
19: River Rafting: Time To Indulge In Some Thrill
Not just Rishikesh, Manali is equally a good destination for the adventure of river rafting. Beas river is the major spot for river rafting in Manali. Various private companies offer this adventure to tourists with great security and equipments. Rafters also get to witness amazing views of the landscape while enjoying rafting.
Best time for rafting: April to June
Famous For: Thrill and adventure
20. Skiing at Solang Nullah: Time To Play In The Snow
Manali is a paradise for all the adventure lovers. For people who are not so faint-hearted and are keen to enjoy thrilling adventure of skiing, then Solang Nullah is your go to place. With a thick layer of snow, Solang Valley is a great place to enjoy skiing. Security and safe equipments are provided by the tour companies, so you do not have to worry about anything.
Best time for skiing: December to February
Famous For: Thrill and adventure
21. Gulaba Village: To Experience Serenity At Its Best
Gulaba Village is an offbeat destination to visit in Manali. This place is not very well known among the tourists hence it is not crowded and remains tranquil and serene. It is a prefect place for someone who is seeking seclusion amidst nature. The lush green valleys with enthralling landscape will give you utmost tranquility.
Best time to visit: December to February
Famous For: Serene surroundings
22. Manali Gompa: Admire The Buddhist Architecture
Manali Gompa is a great place to learn about the Buddhist culture. Famous for its wall paintings, architecture and Chortens, this place is a must-visit if you are looking for some religious and spiritual atmosphere. The landscape around this Gompa is also stunning. It is also famous for its pagoda-style architecture.
Timings: 07:00 am to 07:00 pm
Famous For: The Buddhist architecture
23. Mall Road: Take A Stroll & Shop Your Heart Out
Just like all the other hill stations, Manali’s Mall Road too is quite popular and is as amazing as it gets. If you are wondering about what to do in Manali then don’t! If nothing, you can just take a stroll at the Mall Road and shop for some local delights. Not just that, you can also treat yourself at some really amazing cafes here which you might come across while you are on your shopping spree. Some of the best things to shop for at the Mall Road in Manali are Tibetan artifacts, artificial jewelry, and woolen items.
Location: Mall Road, Manali, Manali Tehsil 175131 India
Famous For: Shopping
Suggested Read: 10 Best Hotels In Manali For Honeymoon
24. Riverside Camping: For The Utmost Fun
One of the most exciting activities that one can try out when in Manali is camping and so is the case with Manali. The river in Manali accompanies you throughout your trip. Manali is one of those places where you can try out riverside camping and conquer your fears. Imagine sleeping next to a roaring river! The thrill and the adventure of it is exciting and scary at once which makes it even more worth it. Also, this happens to be one of the most exciting things to do in Manali, so you must not miss it out!
Famous For: Thrill and adventure
25. Mountain Biking: Try Something Different
Craving something different and unique? Well, try Mountain Biking then and get to know the real meaning of thrill. Although mountain biking is not as popular as it should be in India, it is an exciting sport to try. So, if you are wondering about what to do in Manali, then just go ahead and add this to your list. We promise you won’t be disappointed. The only bad news is that the trail is difficult but what is life if you don’t take risks?
Route: A trail starts from Solang ski pass and ends in Old Manali
Famous For: Thrill and adventure
26. Van Vihar Park: For The Lush Greenery
Manali offers so much that you might tire yourself out but you won’t ever run out of the exciting things to do in Manali. Visiting the Van Vihar Park is another one of those interesting things that you must try. With sky-high Deodar trees and offering a boating experience, this park offers a fun experience. Located on the Mall Road, this park is situated on the banks of River Beas and offers views that will leave you spellbound.
Location: Mall Road, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, 175131
Timings: 8 AM – 7 PM (In Summer); 8 AM – 5 PM (In Winter)
Famous For: Strolling around nature
27. Apple Orchards: For The Nature Lovers
Calling out all those who visit the hills for scenic views and for being the closest to nature. Wait, that is all of us, isn’t it? Well, there is good news for you all. You will come by many Apple Orchards in Manali. The kaleidoscopic scenes of the orchards against the beautiful backdrop of mountains are what await you. The best part is that at some of these orchards you can even pluck out apples and taste them right there in the orchards. Now if this is not exciting enough we don’t know what is!
Location: Naggar Tehsil, Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh
Famous For: Scenic and picturesque views
Suggested Read: 8 Intoxicating Things To Do During Snowfall In Manali
28. Old Manali: Enjoy The Nightlife & Shop Till You Drop
If the Mall Road was mainstream and Manu Market wasn’t enough then here is another place where you can shop in Manali and that is Old Manali. If you don’t want to visit the place for shopping then visit it for experiencing the nightlife and you won’t regret it. Still not convinced? Then visit the place for its cafes. Home to some of the best cafes in Manali, Old Manali is a foodie’s paradise. Visit Cafe 1947 for the ultimate pizzas and pancakes.
Location: Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh
Famous For: Nightlife, shopping, cafes
29. Riverside Cafe: Sip On The Coffee
One of the must do things in Manali is definitely sitting and sipping on tea or coffee when sitting right in the middle of a river! The most enchanting experiences one has ever encountered, Beas river has cafes sitting in the middle with chairs and tables screwed to the rocks. For those who wish to engage in a memorable gastronomical experience, do not resist yourself from ordering a bowl of noodles and a cup of piping hot chai! Dip your feet in cold water, lose yourself in the story of your favorite novel, listen to the sounds of waves, and just enjoy the delicious meal while you’re at it!
Location: Beas River, Manali
Famous For: Offbeat gastronomical experience
30. Nature Walk: Stroll Amidst The Cedar Trees
Another one of the must do things in Manali is strolling under the shade of the towering cedar trees that cover the floors of the land next to the famous Hadimba temple. Taking a walk in the woods is not only refreshing, it also gives one a chance to embrace the natural wonders that mother earth has laid down for us all. The lush green vegetation does not fail to offer an umbrella under the heat. This would surely be a ‘walk to remember’!
Location: Hadimba Temple Rd, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131
Famous For: Cedar Trees
31. Shawl Factories: Witness The Production
Wonder where you get those cozy shawls that make it bearable to face the chilly winds when temperatures are on the all time low? If you are one of those who appreciate any form of art and craft, then paying a visit to the Shawl factory is definitely one of the most amazing things to do around Manali. Watching the artisans working on the machinery and creating all sorts of masterpieces with various patterns and colors is truly a sight to behold!
Location: Kullu-Manali Highway
Famous For: Shawl manufacturing
32. Cable Car: Behold The Alluring Views
One of the most memorable things to do around Manali is taking the cable car ride and witnessing the stunning miniatures of the views of Manali from high above in the sky. Available in Solang Valley, this cable car is a new addition to the tourist activities in Manali. Just imagine soaking in the beauty of one of the most stunning destinations at a glance! The cable car is a perfect experience for families and couples both.
Location: Solang Valley, 14 Kms from Manali
Famous For: Views from up high in the sky
33. Pin Valley National Park: For Exquisite Flora And Fauna
With buffer zone spread over 1,150 sq km and core zone spread over 675 sq km, paying a visit to witness the exotic flora and fauna in Pin Valley National Park is definitely one of the most exciting things to do around Manali. Attracting animal lovers and nature admirers from all around the world, this National Park has plenty to offer. Pin Valley National Park is home to snow leopards, red fox, weasel, ravens, pika, Himalayan snow cock, marten, chough, and many more fauna. One can also witness around 400 varied species of flora.
Location: Kaza, Valley, Himachal Pradesh, 172117
Famous For: Diverse species of flora and fauna
34. Bollywood Connection: Explore The Top Filmy Spots!
If you are a Bollywood fanatic, then some of the spots would make you feel like a part of your favorite blockbuster. One of the best things to do in Kullu Manali is simply strolling around the locations that have been a part of some of the superhit Bollywood films. Krrish, Jab We Met, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Bang Bang, Black, and many more. One can head to the location, reenact their favorite scene, and get the pictures in the favorite pose!
Famous For: Bollywood locations
35. Nehru Kund: For Natural Springs
Another of the relaxing and peaceful things to do in Kullu Manali is paying a visit to the Nehru Kund. This spot was given the name after the First Prime Minister of India, Dr Jawahar Lal Nehru as this spring was used as the drinking water by him during his stay in Manali. The Nehru Kund receives its water from the famous Bhrigu Lake and is all about the wonders of mother nature. Imagine sitting on a rock in the middle while your feet are dipped in the chilly waters. The refreshing and rejuvenating feeling offered by this is totally unmatchable!
Location: Leh National Highway
Famous For: Cold natural spring water
36. Malana: The True ‘Pahadi’ Life
A destination for making the spirits high, visiting Malana is can surely turn out to be one of the best things to do. For those seeking fun activities to do in Manali, Malana which is sitting just a few kilometers away has plenty to offer. This spot is known for its never ending solitude, cultural richness, and the deeply rooted religious beliefs. Malana appeals to those who are on a lookout for spiritual guidance. Apart from this, Malana is also known for trekking and the extremely picturesque views that it has to offer. There are also numerous temples that attract pilgrims from various corners of the city.
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Famous For: Trekking, cultures, temples
37. Winter Carnival: Be A Part Of The Festivities!
For those who seek to get an insight into the culture and traditions of Manali, attending the winter carnivals is definitely one of the fun activities to do in Manali. The winter carnival in Manali is the festival in which the pahadis welcome the new year. Taking place in January when the grounds are full of slushy snow, the festivals include scrumptious food, band performances, street plays, numerous adventure sports, local performances, and much more!
Famous For: New year celebration
Best Time To Visit Manali
Though Manali invites tourists all the year round, however, April to June are ideal months to explore the beautiful destination. Those who wish to enjoy the snow should visit from December to February.
How To Reach Manali
By Air: The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, located approximately 50 kilometres away
By Road: Manali is very well-connected to important tourist destinations like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and New Delhi by means of a network of state-run buses.
Further Read: 10 Best Hotels in Manali For Honeymoon
We bet you didn’t know there were so many things to do in Manali to suit your fancy. Plan your summer escapade to Himachal now and take along this list of exciting and unique activities in Manali so that you don’t have to miss out on any experience that this hip hamlet has to offer! And if you are aware of any more things to do here, let us know in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Manali
A. There are many interesting things to do in Manali that are entertaining and exciting at the same time. Some of the best things to do in Manali are camping, river rafting, shopping at Manu Market, and paragliding.
A. The best time to visit Manali is from October to June. October to February is the winter season for Manali and if you plan to visit the destination in January, you are most likely to experience snowfall. Whereas, March to June is the summer season and the weather is great.
A. There are many interesting adventure sports that you can try in Manali which will give you an adrenaline rush. Some of those activities are zorbing, paragliding, mountain biking, trekking, and Jeep Safari.
A. Yes, absolutely! Manali is quite a safe place to visit and explore. In fact, Manali is safe for solo female travelers too. The only thing needed is for you to be a bit cautious.
A. Some of the best things to shop for in Manali are Tibetan handicrafts, woolen clothes, Thangkas, Kullu and Kinnauri shawls, praying wheels, and Dorjes. The shopping experience in Manali is unique and unmatched.
A. Manali is a foodies paradise and there are many great cafes that one can explore here. Some of the best cafes in Manali are Cafe 1947, Drifter’s Cafe, Casa Bella Vista, and Cafe Meraki. The ambiance and the settings of these cafes are warm and cozy and the food is great too!
A. Manali is famous for many things and not just one. As for my per Hindu mythology, the place is said to have a great origin. The place is also known for being home to many Tibetan monasteries. It is also known for the multiple tourist attractions it’s home to.
A. Manali is a great place to enjoy thrilling nightlife. From camping under the star-lit sky to dancing in the pubs, Manali has it all. Some of the best things to do in Manali at night include exploring the famous Mall Road, camping at Solang Valley under the star-lit sky, visit clubs like Khyber, Chelsea Club, and Cafe 1947.
A. The official language of Manali is Hindi while Pahari is the most common language spoken here by the local people.
A. Manali is located 2050 meters above the sea level.