Lonavala Chalein? Make The Most Of Your Day Trip With Your Gang Here

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A little less than two hours away from main Pune and Mumbai city (by road), and just over an hour away by train, Lonavala is often the easiest go-to option for weekend getaways. In case you can’t make it an overnight stay, we’ve also put together a 12-hour itinerary for you to make the most of you day-trip to Lonavala.

Shopping at Lonavala Market

A short distance away is the Lonavala Municipal Market, where you can bargain your heart out to buy knick-knacks and souvenirs like wood carvings, jewelry and clothing. The best souvenirs are of course, food. So on the way to the market, be sure to make two stops- one at Maganlal Chikki, and the other at Cooper’s Fudge and Chikkis (both legendary in their own right). You simply cannot leave Lonavala without a couple boxes of Maganlal’s peanut chikki and jelly sweets, and Cooper’s choco walnut fudge and coffee almond fudge. 

Shell Out: INR 400-500 for a pack of 4 chikkis (approximately) and INR 250 for the fudge

Lunch at Hotel Lonavala's Restaurant & Bar

Serving the usual mix of North Indian, Chinese and Mughlai food, the Lonavala Restaurant & Bar is an old-school favourite, popular among locals and tourists alike. You can’t go wrong with their tandoori fare, butter chicken, and mutton biryani. It’s reasonably priced, and we hear the service is quick. Save space for dessert, and ask for their seasonal specialties. They also serve alcohol here, but if you're driving later, avoiding drinks is a better idea. 

Shell Out: INR 1,100 for two 

Visit Sunil's Celebrity Wax Museum

With a tagline such as ‘Why go to London?’, you’ve gotta give Sunil’s Celebrity Wax Museum points for originality. Started by Mr. Sunil Kandalloor with the intent of bringing the excitement of a wax museum to India for those who could not afford to travel to London to visit Madame Tussauds, the museum has grown really popular among tourists who visit Lonavala. We won't compare it to Madame T’s, however. From freedom fighters to Hollywood celebrities, sports personalities and even Indian politicians – there are around 84 wax statues here. Pop in just for kicks, if you like, at least you’ll get some fun photos for your Instagram. 

Shell Out: INR 200 as entry fee 

Check Out Lion's Point For A View

There are several scenic vantage points in and around Lonavala, but we hear Lion’s Point is one of the best. Make your way here for some amazing panoramic views of the surrounding valley; and if you can, stay until the sun sets. There are a couple of small food stalls nearby serving piping hot chai and corn pakodas (popularly known as corn bhajjis), which you can munch on immediately, or take back with you on the journey home. Obviously, the views here are best in the monsoon season (because of the waterfalls and lush greenery), but you won’t be disappointed.

Picnic At Raywood Garden/Park

Pack your picnic baskets and enjoy a classic picnic at Ryewood Park. This lush green park is a quintessential garden with benches and a botanical garden where you can nerd out on different flora. It is located in the main market, so you can stock up your basket with snacks quite easily before you head here. The park does not have much to do but if you have your gang with you, you can enjoy the vibe, go down a walking path, perhaps jam or play a few games.

Timings: The park is open all days from 8 am to 5 pm.

P.S: Alcohol is prohibited. And while you're here, please don't litter.

Book A Hot Air Balloon Ride

One hour of this ride promises 360-degree views of the Sahyadris while flying 4000 feet high in the air. The flights are usually conducted in the morning, and promise views of a spectacular sunrise too. At the end of the flight you also get a flight certificate signed by your pilot. A little pricey so we'll leave it on you (and your budget) to opt or not opt for it.

Shell Out: INR 11,000 per person onward (different groups charge different prices) 

P.S: Check out Lonavala Hot Air Balloon Club for the best experience. 

Snack Time At Mapro Garden

One cannot miss out on Mapro Garden before leaving Lonavala. Yes, we know you've probably been to the bigger and the OG garden in Mahabaleshwar but Lonavala has a mini one too, that serves delish club sandwiches, chocolate shakes and the lip-smacking strawberry with cream. Mapro also serves yummy wood-fired pizzas. You can spend a good one hour exploring the garden, shopping for jams, chocolates, syrups, and taking endless images. 

Shell Out: INR 1,000 for two 


full time food geek @blehlovesfood; on a mission to travel the world and absorb as much culture as possible.