You must have read other blogs stating top places to visit in Nepal, giving you an idea of the places perhaps with insights and tips. While we do not deny any facts or posts you have read, we being in the Adventure Travel Industry with a wealth of experiences and having been to the far-flung corner to the Himalayan nation have also listed the best places to visit in Nepal as from our own experiences and reviews. Our list of best places to visit in Nepal combines both a particular place and an entire region.
Nepal holds a magic that dwells every traveller into her charm. A small Himalayan nation known to many as the land of Mt. Everest, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and home to famous Gurkhas and Sherpas, Nepal is a diverse country with much to offer to people of any age group and interests. With just a total area of 147181 sq km, Nepal possesses rich diversity in terms of geographically and culturally. The northern part of the country is covered with the Himalayan range, where 8th of the world’s top 10 highest mountains are located.
Each place listed below has its own unique identity and there are still many places which we have not covered are worth visiting in Nepal. We have listed these places in terms of their popularity, ease of access, mode of accommodation etc.
Best places to visit in Nepal (In no particular order): 20 places to visit for a lifetime experience.
1. Kathmandu Valley
The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is the place every tourist needs to visit during Nepal. Nepal only has one International airport at the moment which is in Kathmandu. It’s the arrival and departure point for your Nepal trip. However, Kathmandu still has several places which make this city an interesting place to visit. Kathmandu Valley is the perfect place to get introduced to Nepali culture. The valley has remained the centre of social, cultural and economic power since bygone days. There are 8 Cultural sites and 2 Natural sites enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal and 7 of them lie inside Kathmandu Valley alone. So, walk through the cobbled street of Kathmandu Valley and enjoy sightseeing some of the finest oriental architecture masterpieces.
2. Everest Base Camp / Sagarmatha National Park
Nepal is also considered as the land of Mt. Everest and every year thousands of trekkers and climbers flock into this region to tick off their bucket list of trekking to the base camp of world’s highest mountain or climb to the summit of Mt. Everest. While the Mt. Everest is the centre of attraction when travelling to Everest base camp, this region is also a proud home of several other mountains, Sherpa villages, glaciers and lakes. You will also get to visit Tengboche Monastery, Namche Bazar and Lukla (Gateway to Everest) on this trek.
3. Bouddhanath Stupa
One of the UNESCO heritage sites in Kathmandu is the famous Bouddhanath Stupa. It’s a bit out of the tourist centre of Thamel, but with a local taxi, you should be able to get there for around 600-700 rupees. Rarely you will get to be involved in a religious ritual and not feel out of place. The Stupa is a magnificent sight and joining the many that walk around the stupa is quite relaxing and therapeutic. Visit one of the many rooftop bars, grab a drink and behold the sight. The ancient colossal stupa was built in the 6th century A.D. by King Man Deb. It rests on a series of three terraces and from the bird’s eye view it takes the relevant shape or of a lotus flower which indeed remains a very holy object for all the devout Buddhists of the world
4. Annapurna Circuit/Thorung La Pass
Thorung La Pass is the main reaching point of the Annapurna circuit trek. The 2 weeks long if taken flight from Jomsom to Pokhara is considered as one of the best trekking trails in the world due to its diverse landscapes and cultures. You start your trek from 800m/2,625ft above the sea level and cross one of the highest pass, Thorung La at 5,416m/17,770ft.
5. The city of Lake, Pokhara
Pokhara or aka the city of Lakes is an ideal place to chill and relax. It’s the second biggest city in Nepal in terms of economy. Pokhara is much cleaner and organized as compared to the chaotic Kathmandu. It’s also the starting and ending point of many trekking routes such as Annapurna Sanctuary, Annapurna Poonhill etc. The city is also a home of adventure sports as you can do Paragliding, Bungy, Zipline, Rafting, Day Hikes etc. here.
A tourist hub in the centre of Kathmandu boosting a wide range of hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and many more. Over 80% of the tourists who visit Nepal stay in Thamel and nearly every tourist visits Thamel be it for meals, shopping, drinks or for sightseeing. Thamel also has many bars and clubs which are open till late so it’s a place to live it up.
7. Langtang National Park
Langtang National Park is the nearest national park from Kathmandu and is the third most popular trekking region in Nepal after Everest and Annapurna. There are several treks and climbs in this national park such as Langtang Valley Trek, Helambu Trek, Langtang Gosaikunda Trek, Ganja La Pass, Yala Peak etc. You can reach the entry point of National Park (Syabrubesi/Dhunche) in about 6 hours drive from the centre of Kathmandu.
8. Annapurna Sanctuary
The Annapurna Base Camp was first explored by the British explorer Col. James O.M. ‘Jimmy’ Roberts in the year 1956 and was shown to the world as the ‘Sanctuary of Gods’. And so, the Sanctuary was christened as “Annapurna Sanctuary” since then. Annapurna Sanctuary is home to the world’s 10th highest mountain and several other 7000m peaks. Combine Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Poonhill trek if your schedule allows and you are guaranteed to have the best Annapurna experience.
9. Gokyo Lakes
The Gokyo region is the perfect location to spend a couple of nights, with the turquoise Gokyo Lakes to explore or 5,357m/17,575ft Gokyo Ri to climb for yet more unbelievable views of the Himalayan giants. Gokyo lakes comprise of six different lakes locating at an elevation of 4,700m to 5,000m. These lakes are the world’s most astounding freshwater lake framework involving six primary lakes, of which Thonak Lake is the biggest. Gokyo region is also a thrilling alternative to the busy Everest base camp trek.
10. Chitwan National Park
The first image that comes in our mind while thinking about Nepal is Himalaya. But, the introduction of Nepal is not limited to the mountains. Despite being the small nation, Nepal is blessed with a diverse topographical variation. A major part of Terai is covered in tropical forest which provides shelter to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Thus, Nepal is one of the top holiday destinations for jungle safari.
In recent years, Manaslu has quietly gained more popularity and earned the title of best off the beaten path in Nepal. The diverse views along the route, Mt. Manaslu (8th highest mountain in the world 8163m), A dramatic high pass – Larkya La, Tibetan cultures and traditions are key highlights of Manaslu Circuit.
12. Bardia National Park
Another emerging jungle safari region the Bardia National Park. Not easily accessible as Chitwan National Park, this place is not visited by many. Your chances of seeing the wild animals especially Tiger is on much higher probability in Bardia National Park.
13. Upper Mustang
Located in the western locale of Nepal, Upper Mustang Trek has more than what meets the eye. This magnificent spot has its special history all through the many years concerning Asian history. The spot has been an orchestrating ground where shared points of interest were stood up boisterous by the leaders of Tibet and Nepal, hence, bears an important activity in playing its key methodologies. However, Upper Mustang Area falls under the controlled area of Nepal government to protect the place and history/. Thus visiting Upper Mustang is not allowed for individual travellers. You need to go through a registered company with a minimum participation of two (2) person and have to pay a permit fee of USD 500 (For 10 Days) and USD 30 ACAP.
14. Tso Rolpa Lake
This lake is a hidden gem in the Rolwaling valley which is unknown to many people. It’s one of the less trodden areas but there are settlements along the route and one can simply to a teahouse/lodge-based trek. The trek to Tso Rolpa Lake itself is a wonderful experience. The lake is one of the biggest glacial lakes of Nepal lying at an elevation of 4,580m/15,024ft
15. Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath is perhaps the most revered Hindu temples in Kathmandu. One of the holiest temples for Hindu people, it attracts hundreds of tourists every day. The temple is off-limits to non-Hindus, so you will have to be satisfied with a walk around the grounds. Daily cremations are done by the bank of the river, it is a great way to get some insight into the Hindu cremation ritual. Watching is very personal and may be uncomfortable for some, but it is enlightening.
16. Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath
Another bigger stupa which holds strong beliefs of both Hinduism and Buddhism is the Swayambhunath Stupa aka Monkey Temple. The name might be impossible to say, but it’s one of the highlights of Kathmandu. Climb to the top instead of driving and watch Kathmandu from a 180-degree view atop the stupa. Watch your foods and items from the monkeys
17. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
A medieval city, Bhaktapur is only an hour drive away from the centre of Kathmandu. It’s an ancient Newari city in the east corner of Kathmandu. It is a separate district adjoined to Kathmandu and is one of the famous places to visit in a one-day time. A permit fee of USD 10 is charged for every tourist, the place has a lot of landmarks some dating back to 1400 A.D
18. Rara Lake
Rara Lake, due to its distant location from Kathmandu, Nepal is not common to many travellers. It is the deepest and biggest freshwater lake in Nepal. At a surface elevation of 3000m and area of 10 sq km, Rara Lake offers tranquil serenity. You can do boating, hike in the nearby hills or camp by the sparkling waters of the lake
19. Mera Peak (For Climbers)
The highest trekking peak in Nepal standing tall at 6,476m/21,250ft is a prime attraction for people looking for more than just trekking. Due to its less technical difficulty, Mera Peak attracts nearly thousands of climbers. The three weeks journey into the remote and beautiful Hinku valley and climbing the highest trekking peak is a lifetime experience.
20. Imja Tse / Island Peak (For Climbers)
The most popular trekking peak in Nepal, Imja Tse or Island Peak is definitely a place to visit. However, this is a trekking peak and requires more effort, time and experience. It is located in Sagarmatha National Park and named Island peak because of its appearance like an island, between snow when viewed from Dingboche.