Home to the revered Golden Temple and other prominent attractions like Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year. While some tourists prefer to explore the city, others wish to experience something new with a visit to the destinations located away from the hubbub. If you also want to get away from the city of Amritsar during the weekend, you’re in luck! There are myriad destinations near the city which can be easily reached in a few hours and are perfect for a short excursion over the weekend.
Here are some of the best weekend getaways from Amritsar:
Weekend Getaways from Amritsar:
A serene town with abundant natural beauty and vintage charm, Dalhousie is nestled in the lap of Dhauladhar ranges. Named after the British Governor Lord Dalhousie, this hill station has managed to keep its colonial flavor intact over time, which means you will see a number of beautiful cottages and churches here. Be it a nature lover, adventure seeker, or someone looking for a quiet place to spend the weekend, this town promises a great time for all.
- Distance from Amritsar: 202 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Panchpula, Dainkund Peak, Chamera Lake
- Best Time to Visit: April – June; November – February
2. Dharamsala-McLeod Ganj
Beautiful vistas and ancient monasteries are two things that come to a traveler’s mind upon mentioning Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj. A quaint hill station overlooking the Dhauladhar ranges, Dharamsala is the residence of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. McLeod Ganj, which is 10 km from Dharamsala, is known as ‘Little Lhasa’ for its large population of Tibetans. If you are a Tibetan food lover, we bet that you would want to visit these two again and again.
- Distance from Amritsar: 205 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Namgyal Monastery, Triund, Tsuglagkhang Complex
- Best Time to Visit: March – June; November – February
Kangra is a spiritual abode, often referred to as the ‘Land of Gods’ or ‘Devbhumi’. The valley attracts devotees as well as nature lovers, who are on the lookout for an offbeat weekend getaway. It is also a heaven for trekking lovers. Lush green pine forests, white ranges, tea gardens, fruit orchards, terraced fields, little streams and rural houses: all paint a picture so sublime that it is hard not to feel blessed to have seen such panoramic beauty.
- Distance from Amritsar: 203 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Kangra Fort, Kangra Art Museum, Chamunda Devi Temple
- Best Time to Visit: May – June; September – November
With the snow-capped Himalayas in the backdrop and thick deodar and pine trees covering the surrounding areas, Khajjiar is a perfect retreat for a laidback vacation. Also known as the ‘Gulmarg of Himachal’, this little town is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. It is the starting point for Dalhousie, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary and Chamba treks.
- Distance from Amritsar: 212 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Khajjiar Lake, Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary, Khajji Nag Temple
- Best Time to Visit: April – June
The winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu is famous for its ancient temples and the shrine of Vaishno Devi. Situated on the foothills of the Himalayas and along the banks of the Tawi River, this city has an enchanting landscape. From lush green valleys and grand palaces to majestic mountains and revered temples, you will find them all in this mesmerizing city.
- Distance from Amritsar: 214 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Vaishno Devi Temple, Amar Mahal Palace, Bagh-e-Bahu
- Best Time to Visit: March – early May
Designed by the Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier, Chandigarh is one of the most vibrant cities in India. It is a perfect example of how modernization can co-exist with nature. If your idea of a weekend break means relaxing in the hotel, exploring nearby attractions, shopping and trying delectable North Indian food, Chandigarh is an ideal pick. The city has a myriad of interesting places, where you can spend good time with friends and family.
- Distance from Amritsar: 226 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Chattbir Zoo
- Best Time to Visit: August – November
Set against the Dhauladhar ranges, Palampur is a quiet town famous for tea plantations. The tea produced in Palampur is famous across the world, yet the region is relatively unexplored and this is what makes it a favorite among people looking for a peaceful escape. Though the list of attractions in Palampur is not long, it’s enough to keep you occupied on a weekend.
- Distance from Amritsar: 229 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Nevgal Khad, Baijnath Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple
- Best Time to Visit: March – June; Mid-September – November
The unspoiled beauty and serene environment of Chamba attract several tourists round the year. Located on the banks of Ravi River, this small city has a rich history dating back to the 2nd century BC. It is home to ancient temples and forts, pristine lakes and verdant forests set in the backdrop of snow-clad mountains, which add to the exclusivity of the place.
- Distance from Amritsar: 239 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Champavati Temple, Bhuri Singh Museum, Lakshmi Narayan Temple
- Best Time to Visit: March – October
The ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, Shimla doesn’t need an introduction. The enchanting beauty of this hill station made it the summer capital of the British once and today attracts travellers from different parts of the world. Its pleasant climate, snow-clad mountains and captivating greenery never cease to amaze tourists. If you are an adventure seeker, a visit to Kufri must be on your itinerary for the skiing and tobogganing opportunities that it offers.
- Distance from Amritsar: 296 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Mall Road, Jakhoo Temple, Christ Church
- Best Time to Visit: March – June; November – February
Looking for a weekend getaway with a serene environment to soothe your nerves? Kasauli might be the perfect hideout for you. This colonial town located amidst woody pine forests is known as the little jewel of the Great Himachal necklace. Away from the maddening rush of cities, Kasauli is a must-visit for adventure seekers, wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers for its beautiful orchards, colonial-era houses and diverse fauna.
- Distance from Amritsar: 309 km (approx.)
- What Not to Miss: Monkey Point, Sunset Point, Gilbert Trail
- Best Time to Visit: July – August; November – February
So, what are you waiting for? Stop procrastinating and head out from Amritsar this weekend to explore some of the most beautiful and serene destinations, just a few hours away.