Nepal is a country that has been on the travel radar for many years now. It’s not just because of the Himalayan Mountains, but also because it has an ancient culture and rich history which are hard to find in most other countries. What makes Nepal so interesting is that there are monasteries perched high up on mountainsides, along with villages where people have lived for centuries without electricity or running water.
The Nepali people are friendly and welcoming, making this one of the best places to visit in Asia (if not the world). This article will explore some Best Places to visit in Nepal as well as give you advice about what you should do while you’re there!
Let’s get started.
The Pashupatinath temple, I must confess, has a distinct ambiance to any other tourist attraction in Kathmandu. Perhaps the temple grounds were formerly a Hindu cremation ground.
The Pashupatinath temple is one of Nepal’s most important sacred sites (dates from 400 A.D.). Shiva, a significant figure for Hindus, is worshipped at the main temple, which is located on the bank of the Bagmati river. The temple complex is surrounded by numerous little temples, each dedicated to a different God or Goddess. The temple grounds are filled with intricate architecture, designs, and paintings.
The main temple is off-limits to non-Hindus. However, if you go outside of the temple, there are still several fascinating things to see and do. I recommend seeing the cremation area, where funerals are held and bodies are burned on ghats along the Bagmati River. It provides an interesting perspective on Hindu customs. (Just don’t inhale the smoke!)
It’s incredible and stressful to watch how people wish for good health for their loved ones while also grieving for the one who has died at the same time in the same place. It’s like seeing two sides of coins, two sides of a human faith – life & death.
The Sadhus are another well-known feature of the temple. They may charge a few dollars for you to take their picture since they rely on these contributions.
The evening aarti (prayer) is pretty famous. You can see many locals relishing peacefulness in chaos.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
My favorite spot is the Kathmandu Durbar Square. You can stroll around the palace, see historical temples and shrines, go through open courtyards, buy antiques, and dine at a rooftop restaurant. This area is also known as Basantapur. It’s part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of Kathmandu’s three durbar squares.
The king then divided the kingdom of Kathmandu into three parts for his three sons (as per legend) – Bhaktapur, Patan, and Kathmandu Durbar Squares. Because three of them wanted to rule, and thus three durbar squares were erected.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square is a magnificent palace. It has an intriguing history and a gorgeous presentation of Nepalese culture. However, after the 2015 catastrophic earthquake, many structures in the complex were destroyed. The good news is that most of them have been rebuilt and preserved.
Make time to see Jagannath Temple, Hanuman Dhoka, the Kumari Ghar, and Kal Bhairav Temple in the durbar square. The surrounding of the durbar square is chaotic and dusty due to its proximity to the bustling tourist destination of Kathmandu’s Thamel as well as one of Nepal’s busiest local markets. If you are sensitive to fine dust, I recommend that you get a mask.
The Swayambhunath Temple is also known as the Monkey Temple. It is a key Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage site. The temple was built in the 5th century. To get to the top of the temple, you must climb 365 steps. The temple’s peak provides an incredible view of Kathmandu Valley.
Walk around the stupa, wander about the souvenir shops. Monkeys may be found all around the site. Nonetheless, I would advise against interfering with them and maintaining a safe distance. Monkeys are holy to us in this region.
The scent of incense and butter candles rises up to your nostrils at the top. “Om Mani Padme Hum,” the sacred mantra, floats in the air all the time. The best time to visit Swayambhunath Stupa is in the late afternoon and in the morning. Visit during the day if you want to get away from the hectic bustle of this bustling metropolis.
Boudhnath Stupa, located near the ancient trading route, is from the 6th century. It is Nepal’s biggest stupas and is also one of Tibet’s most holy temples outside of Tibet.
Buddha’s amazing eyes may be seen on each side of the dome. It is said to overlook the city and defend it, according to legend. Around the main white dome, additional monasteries and shrines may be found.
Boudhanath Stupa is full of energy, and the monks’ chants and fragrant smoke fill the air. This is an excellent way to learn about Tibetan Buddhist traditions. To fully appreciate the stupa’s scale, I recommend circling it. You may also turn the prayer wheels while doing so.
Take a seat on top of one of the stupa’s eateries to get the greatest views. If you can, spend the evening there appreciating the magnificent sunset and relaxing ambiance.
You might be interested in Kathmandu Day Tour
Nagarkot is one of the most famous hill stations near Kathmandu. Located at 2,175 meters, this place offers a quick vacation alternative. If you cannot go on the long trek to enjoy the captivating beauty of the Himalayas, visit Nagarkot. Many local and foreign tourists visit this place every year. The surroundings are pretty calm and soothing.
The sunrise viewpoint offers a stretching image of Everest to Kanchenjunga in the east and the Dhaulagiri range in the west. Imagine mornings relishing the Himalayas from your balcony while sipping freshly brewed coffee.
You can visit nearby villages and play with goats (if you like). Or go mountain biking if you are feeling like a daredevil.
Bandipur is located on a hilltop at 1,030 meters. This place is known for its rich culture, row-houses, ancient temples, caves, verdant forests, hiking, and breathtaking mountain views. You can see excellent views of Himalaya mountains like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal (on a clear day).
It is a great place for a short getaway. Less crowded, perfect to spend some quality with loved ones in nature. There are many budget-friendly to luxurious hotels/resorts around the town.
Some famous places around the town are Siddha Cave, Khadga Devi Temple, Padma Library, Tundikhel, Bindabasini Temple, Silkworm Farm, and Thani Mai Temple.
Back in the day, the king ruled the Kathmandu valley from Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Bhaktapur still lets you have a glimpse of the traditional living style of the locals. It is a beautiful ancient Newari city. There are many temples, pagodas, palaces, and narrow laneways around the palace.
The city was founded in the 9th century. This place is also known for its artistry and crafts. I must say, it is the best place to buy high-quality souvenirs like pottery, wood carvings, and thangka paintings directly from the crafters. You can even join them and make one by yourself (under the guidance of professionals).
Many streets are vehicle-free, so you can take your time and enjoy the surroundings. Do visit 55 window Palace, Golden Gate, Nyatapola temple, the Dattatreya temple, Taleju temple, and Bhairavnath temple in durbar square.
And, don’t forget about the delicious Juju Dhau. It is a Newari yogurt made from buffalo milk. The creamy texture and sweet taste of the yogurt have won countless hearts.
Patan is one of the medieval towns that bring back exquisite architecture, precise craftsmanship, and opulent art from the Malla period (14th-18th centuries). Also known as Lalitpur, it is one of the best places in Kathmandu to have a walking tour.
Inside Patan Durbar Square, there are different temples, museums, courtyards, and palaces. Some of the places I would suggest visiting are the Patan Museum, Krishna Mandir, Mul Chowk, Golden Temple, and Kumbeshwar Temple.
Everyone loves Pokhara, and why not? The city has gorgeous lakes to chill around. Thrilling outdoor activities (like paragliding, bungee jumping, ultra-light flight ride, and many others) to do whenever you miss the adventure. And short/long treks around the city.
Besides that, there are many underground caves, beautiful waterfalls, and museums to explore. By the way, Pokhara comes under the top five destinations for commercial tandem paragliding. The city has a perfect landing zone, remarkable views, and stable thermal currents.
The views, words will not be enough to explain it. The unparalleled views of Annapurna Range and Mt. Machhapuchhre are seen from many parts of the city (even on the street!).
Don’t forget to enjoy the sunset at the famous Lakeside and sunrise from Sarnagkot!
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is the wilderness capital of Nepal. The unique geographical establishment of Nepal has created some of the world’s beautiful national parks. It might be tough to perceive how one country has so many things to do and explore, and that’s the beauty of Nepal.
Located southwest of Kathmandu, you can go on an epic safari in Chitwan National Park. You can see animals like one-horn rhinos, royal Bengal tigers, deers, elephants, boars, and many others during the safari. Likewise, the park is also famous for bird watching and jungle tours. If you love birds, then go on bird-watching, or make it more adventurous by combining canoeing.
After a hot day of exploring the wilds, you can rest in one of the resorts, or I would say luxury resorts. October to February is the best time to visit Chitwan.
The birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Lumbini, is one of the sacred holy sites in Nepal. It is the principal pilgrimage site for Buddhists all around the world. Lumbini is one of those places where you can see a part of different cultures from all around the world in one place.
The art and architecture of monasteries around the city are mind-boggling. Maya Devi Temple is the site where Buddha was born. It is a very famous and significant structure in Lumbini. Besides that, visit Ashoka Pillar, the Secret Garden, World Peace Pagoda, and other monasteries.
*Don’t forget to take off your shoes before entering any monastery
Ilam is the tea district of Nepal. If you love tea, then this place is going to be heaven for you. For your information, the tea grown here is exported globally and considered one of the highest quality. Ilam is relatively untouched by tourists. The trail around the villages is quite offbeat, and the views are fantastic.
Explore beautiful tea gardens overlooking quaint towns and mesmerizing scenery. Of course, taste different teas and buy some if you like. Likewise, you will also see various birds during the tea tour.
You can go on a short hike and take a break enjoying tea and savoring views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. April to November is the best time of the year to explore Ilam. You can see tea pickers doing their things.
Trekking to see Mount Everest
Some places can never get overrated, no matter how many people explored it and how many times. The home of the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest (8,848 m), the Khumbu region sees hundreds of thousands of travelers from all around the world. Trekking in the Khumbu region hits different.
Imagine the winding trails through remote mountain villages and verdant forests. Fluttering prayer flags, stunning views of several snow-capped mountains, beautiful sceneries, and the warm welcome of locals, isn’t it tempting?
You certainly don’t have to go on EBC Trek to witness the best views of Everest (unless you want to stand at the lap of the highest mountain in the world). Many alternative trails offer some of the most amazing views of Everest. For instance, Everest Panorama Trek, Gokyo Valley Trek, Three High Passes Trek, and Everest Heli Tour.
Spend time with locals of different mountain communities like Sherpa, Rai, Limbu, and others. Get to see their tradition and have close encounters with them. And, how can I forget about the diverse flora and fauna you may come across during the trek. No wonder why the Khumbu region will always be one of the best places to visit in Nepal.
Trekking in Annapurna Region
Annapurna region is one of the best places for trekking/hiking in the Himalayas. The region offers huge arrays of trekking trails, either you are a novice trekker or an experienced trekker. The Annapurna region boasts diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and gorgeous Annapurna Himalayas.
Annapurna Circuit Trek, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, and Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek are a few famous treks of the region. The trail goes through Annapurna Conservation Area. You can see several exotic flora and fauna along the way.
The shortest trek takes around three days, and you will reach Poon Hill (3,210 m). It is a very famous viewpoint that offers gorgeous sunrises and great views of mountains.
Likewise, Annapurna Circuit Trek is the most adventurous venture in the Annapurna region. You will cross challenging Thorong La Pass (5,416 m), explore verdant meadows and get a blessing at sacred Muktinath Temple (3,800 m).
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek explores the Annapurna Conservative Area, enriched in diverse flora and fauna. It is a popular trek that takes to the base of the 9th highest mountain in the world, Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m). The trek pass through beautiful forests of rhododendron (national flower of Nepal) and quaint mountain villages. Have delicious apple pie and sip your tea, enjoying soothing views of Mt. Annapurna.
Trekking in the Langtang Region
Langtang region is one of the underrated, yet one of the promising parts of the Himalayas. This place is also known as the Valley of Glaciers. The experience and views the trails offer are surreal. The routes are less crowded, even in the peak season. Packed with stunning glaciers, snow-clustered mountains, beautiful mountain valleys, gorgeous lakes, and ancient monasteries, trekking in the Langtang region is more like exploring a scene from those classic storybooks.
And, guess the best part, you can access the trail easily, unlike any other trekking trail in the Himalayas. The tourist infrastructure is less developed than other trekking regions of Nepal. Thus, you will have a raw trekking experience. Moreover, Langtang region trekking means overnight in guesthouses. It allows close interaction with the locals.
Tamangs and Sherpas are the residents of this region. Tamangs here is the descendants of Tibetans. Their culture, language, and practices are like Tibetans. The 2015 earthquake affected the region severely, but things are coming together. Everything about trekking in the Langtang region is perfect, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Nepal.
Trekking in Mustang Region
Mustang is a restricted area in Nepal. Trekking here costs an expensive permit followed by strict rules. First of all, Mustang is one of the favorite destinations to traverse among locals.
You might be thinking, what makes trekking here so expensive and different?
Everything is completely different here from the rest of Nepal. The geography is more on the arid and dry side. The region falls under the rain shadow of the Himalayas, which makes trekking in the upper part possible in the monsoon too. The culture and lifestyle of the locals date back hundreds of years. Upper Mustang has an open border with Tibet. This has influenced a lot of the traditions and beliefs of the locals. You can see the cultural similarities.
The upper part of the region, Lo-Manthang, was closed to foreign visitors until 1992. Only a handful of permits get approved each year, which makes the region exclusive.
Upper Mustang is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom. The Nepal government is doing everything to preserve it.
Let me tell you, Nepal is more beyond the tall mountains, and rafting is one of them. As per professional rafters, Nepal is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the true thrill of white water rafting. If you are up for some crazy adventure, then go rafting. You can choose from single-day rafting to 12 days rafting trip, and guess what, you do not have to be a pro at all.
Floating down the rushing waves of rivers, enjoy the tranquility and charming sceneries. You can camp on white river beaches far away from the bustle of the city. There is nothing to worry about because a professional team of rafters will assist you during rafting.
Trishuli river is famous for day trips. Whereas you can go rafting on Kali Gandaki and Bhote Koshi river for a longer trip. Tamur river is the jewel in the east, and the views are sensational.
I hope this little guide will help you pick up the best places to visit in Nepal.
You might be wondering now what? Check out our site, where you can see our different packages that might interest you. Or, contact us for one on one consolation, and we will help you organize the perfect trip to Nepal.
Read this blog to know the best time to visit Nepal.