Dalhousie or Dharamshala – Which one will you prefer for vacations?

Himachal Pradesh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The state has many towns and cities that are worth exploring. However, the two most preferred and visited towns are Dalhousie and Dharamshala. People who plan a trip to Himachal, always find it difficult to choose Dalhousie or Dharamshala.

So, if you are also facing the same conflict, then here is a detail about both the places so that you can clearly make your choice.

Brief about the place


Dalhousie was established in 1854 as a summer retreat for the British. This is reflected in the culture and architecture of Dalhousie which is reminiscent of the British era. Various places including St. Francis and St. John’s churches reflect this old-world charm. The people in Dalhousie are welcoming and friendly which is also because the town is relatively untouched by commercial activity and retains its essence of a small and sustainable community.

Popularly known as ‘Little Lhasa of India’, Dharamshala lies on the scenic stretch of land of Kangra Valley. The town was the holy residence of the exiled Tibetan monk Dalai Lama, which is reflected in its tranquillity. Thick deodar cedar trees, snow-capped peaks, quaint old monasteries, and natural beauty has made Dharamshala one of the popular tourist destinations in India. The town is divided into two parts- Lower Dharamshala consisting of Kotwali Bazaar and the skirting markets and upper Dharamshala consisting of McLeod Ganj.


Dalhousie and Dharamshala both have rich cultural backgrounds.



Dalhousie can be reached via road or train. The nearest station and airport are at Pathankot. There are flights from Delhi that fly to Pathankot

Dharamshala can be reached via road from Delhi. For those traveling by air, the nearest airport is Kangra airport in Gaggal



Connectivity-wise, Dalhousie has more access.

Places to visit


Khajjiar, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Daiuknd peak, Pir Pinjalm Pancha pula.

Dal Lake, Bhagsu Falls, McLeod Ganj, Triund Hill.



If you have to choose Dalhousie or Dharamshala based on tourist attractions, then Dalhousie has more tourist attractions suitable for all age groups. Whereas, Dharamshala has lesser tourist spots.

Stay options


Dalhousie offers luxury and budget-friendly hotels. From Elgin Hall, Brij Villa to homestays and hostels, Dalhousie has it all

Dharamshala has luxury hotels and budget hotels as the crow it experiences is someone who would look for budget-friendly option

Stay options


If you are looking for unique stay options, Dalhousie offers more and better stay options.


Horse riding, paragliding, trekking, hiking, boatingTrekking and biking


Dalhousie has many tourist attractions that make Dalhousie a place wherein you can indulge in a variety of activities. Thus, based on activities if you have to choose Dalhousie or Dharamshala, Dalhousie is the clear winner.

Glimpse of cuisine


Dalhousie has many good restaurants and cafes that offer different cuisines and also local food.

Dharamshala has many good restaurants and cafes that offer different cuisines and also local food.



Food-wise, You can be sure that both the places would offer you lip-smacking and tasty food anytime.

Best suitable season


Located at an altitude of 1970 meters above sea level, Dalhousie has pleasant weather all year long. However, the best time to visit Dalhousie is in the winters when the town is glistening with snow and the sightseeing reaches its peak.

Located at an altitude of 1475 meters above sea level, Dharamshala is relatively warmer than Dalhousie. The best time to visit Dharamshala is in the winters but for a great winter experience, you should head to the Upper Dharamshala region consisting of McLeod Ganj.


Climate wise, Dalhousie is outrightly the winner. It is a destination that you can visit all through the year. Especially in winters, the town turns magical with snowfall

Best suitable for

Couples, families, friends, solo travellersFriends, couples, solo travellers
Suitable for


Considering that Dalhousie has more tourist attractions, is easily accessible and has diverse stay options, it is loud and clear that Dalhousie is a destination that surely everyone can visit at any time.

Thus, it is loud and clear that, Dalhousie or Dharamshala, both are unique in their own ways. However, Dalhousie proves to be a better option for all age groups compared to Dharamshala.

Read More: 7 Hidden Places In Dalhousie Very Less People Know


Dalhousie and Dharamshala, two appealing hill towns in Himachal Pradesh, are breathtaking locations providing visitors with unique experiences. However, when it comes to choosing between the two, it ultimately depends on your preferences. 

Suppose you are looking for a quaint hill station with more tourist attractions suitable for all age groups. In that case, Dalhousie is the clear winner. On the other hand, if you want to experience tranquillity and a touch of Tibetan culture, then Dharamshala is the place for you.  

Regarding accessibility, Dalhousie has better connectivity, more unique stay options, and a wider range of indulging activities.  

Ultimately, both places offer lip-smacking local food, natural beauty, and pleasant weather, making them ideal destinations to visit throughout the year.   

So, what are you waiting for, before the summers rise, plan your trip to Dalhousie