The information in this post might be outdated

Heading To Leh? Here's What To Eat, Shop & See On Your Mountain Holiday

    Have you and your gang been postponing a trip to Leh because it requires a little bit of planning and research? Well, you’re in luck because we’re telling you all the things you can do, the dishes you can eat and the places you can visit.

    Where To Stay

    Zostel Leh

    Bright comfy rooms, a stellar view of the monastery, their beautiful Leh Rooftop Cafe, a library and amenities like free pick and drop facility make Zostel Leh the fancy hostel of every budget traveller’s dreams. Zostel Leh is also in close proximity to the main market and Leh Palace, and if you’re a group of four, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t book this beautiful mountain abode for only INR 599 per person per night! 

    Know more here.

    Mantra Cottage

    A charming rustic cottage with large open windows and surreal mountain views, Mantra Cottage scores points for its great location (close to the Shanti Stupa, the Karzu Pond, Leh bus stop and airport), their hospitable staff and the in-house restaurant that serves Ladakhi cuisine and a kick-ass breakfast. Priced at INR 2,950, this might be a slightly expensive option but have a closer look at their reviews and the facilities offered will probably make you want to book a room ASAP.

    Know more here.

    Hotel Horzay

    Lazing around in Hotel Horzay’s charming little garden and a breakfast of fresh fruits, nutella sandwiches and rich coffee there already seems like a morning well-spent. The tastefully decorated rooms here are spacious, have stunning views of the mountains and amenities like free Wifi, flat screen and more ensure a comfortable stay at the hotel.

    Know more here.

    What To Eat

    Since Leh is a popular tourist spot, this place offers all kinds of cuisine from traditional Tibetan meals to Continental, Chinese and North Indian fare.

    We suggest that you start your day with a breakfast of fresh salads, doughnuts and the traditional Tibetan butter tea at Jeevan Cafe and laze around for a while at their huge terrace library overlooking the Shanti Stupa.

    For lunch, head to The Tibetan Kitchen and gorge on Tibetan Gyako Hotpot or regional dishes like thukpa, skyu and paba. We suggest that you skip the desserts here and instead, stop by the Lala’s Art Cafe for coffee and cakes. Try their aromatic French-press coffee, Khambir (Ladakhi bread), Gur Gur Cha and Apricot Pudding as you lounge through this restored art-themed cafe that locks in the rich heritage of Leh Ladakh.

    Finally, enjoy a light dinner at Gesmo restaurant with their famous Yak Cheese Pizza and delish Apple Crumble Pie that would be the perfect end to your day.

    What To Do

    When in Leh, you have to visit the Leh Palace built in the 17th century, meditate at the Shanti Stupa and witness panoramic sunset/sunrise views at this Buddhist monument. Also, walk through the winding alleys and stairways of the Leh Old Town where one can see ancient mud-houses, restored mansions and the Ladakh Art and Media Organisation.

    Stop by the Thiksey Monastery (the largest monastery in Leh) which might seem like a touristy place but is worth a visit as you can best soak in the Buddhist culture and heritage here. Make sure that you also join in the prayers offered.

    We’d also recommend that you block some more time and take an early morning drive to Pangong Tso Lake. It is this picturesque lake under azure skies that you must’ve seen in movies {3 Idiots} and almost every traveller associates this lake with Leh Ladakh. Pangong Lake is definitely the place for you to go berserk with your camera.

    Where To Shop

    The Bazaar Road in Leh, lined with numerous stalls is any shopper’s paradise where you’ll find everything from handicrafts and jewellery to clothing and food produce. Leh is known for its Pashmina shawls and you can find the most gorgeous good quality shawls in plenty at De Pashmina Emporium.

    The Moti Market (near Leh bus stand) is also a shopping hub that offers handicrafts, pearls and semi-precious stones and jewellery. However, the one place that you must visit in Leh is the Dzomsa store that offers seabuckthorn and apricot juices, organic apricot jams and even apricot oil, all made from locally sourced apricots.