When travelers talk of staying in Dharamsala, McLeod Ganj is usually where they actually mean. A couple of miles north of Dharamsala proper (or six miles via the looping bus route), McLeod Ganj is the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and home to a large Tibetan population, including many maroon-robed monks and nuns. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based in between at Gangchen Kyishong. McLeod attracts thousands of international visitors, many of them volunteering with the Tibetan community, taking courses in Buddhism, meditation or yoga, trekking in the Dhauladhar mountains, shopping for Tibetan crafts, or just hanging out enjoying the spiritual vibe and the plethora of good cafes where you're never far from an interesting conversation.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Mcleod Ganj.