Best places to visit in NEPAL
Planning a trip to Nepal and wondering what are the best places to visit in Nepal?
Nepal is a wonderfully beautiful, mountainous country in South Asia. Many of the world’s highest mountains are located in Nepal — 8 of the 14 eight-thousanders. And trekking in Nepal’s mountains is what draws tourists from all around the world. Besides hiking, there are other wonderful things you can experience in Nepal, National parks, ancient towns, numerous cultural landmarks and impressive religious buildings.
All of this awaits you in Nepal!
So, check out our article to find out what are the best things to do in Nepal!
6 best places to visit in Nepal
With almost a million inhabitants, Kathmandu is the most populous city in the country.
Kathmandu is the country’s capital as well as the gateway to Nepal. It is home to the only international airport in Nepal.
The city is known for its religious monuments. Wander around Kathmandu and explore its temples, monasteries, and stupas. The most popular temple in Kathmandu is Pashupatinath Temple. It is a Hindu temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This temple complex is situated on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river. The ghats that open to the river is where cremations take place. You can witness the cremation, as cremation ceremonies are public.
Marvel at the Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple). It is a complex consisting of a stupa and a variety of shrines and temples. The main stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on it. The temple complex offers a nice view of the city.
Do not miss Kathmandu Durbar Square. It’s a historic city centre of Kathmandu. Durbar Square is home to many temples and statues that are centuries old. Unfortunately, much of it has been damaged and destroyed during the earthquake in 2015, but it’s still an impressive place to visit.
Definitely visit Boudhanath Stupa. It is one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal and in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The stupa is 36 m high and has painted Buddha eyes looking in all four directions.
Bhaktapur (also known as Khwopa) is a city some 15 kilometres from Kathmandu.
It served as the capital of Nepal until the 15th century. Now its historic buildings and squares attract tourists from all around the world. Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the royal palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom, is the main attraction in the city. Due to its importance and historical value, it was listed in the World Heritage List.
Nagarkot is a village in central Nepal.
It is known for its extensive views of the Himalayas. If the weather is good, and the sky is clear, you can see a number of different Himalayas ranges, including Everest, Annapurna and Manaslu. The views are especially impressive at sunrise and sunset.
Located just some 28 km from the capital (Kathmandu), Nagarkot is a very popular place to visit for locals and tourists alike. The village also offers a number of trekking options.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan is a national park and one of the best places to visit in Nepal.
Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. Thanks to its rich flora and fauna and the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros, Chitwan National Park was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1984.
Apart from the single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros, Chitwan National Park is home to more than 60 other mammal species. Bengal tiger, Chital stag, Sloth bears, Bengal foxes can be spotted in the national park. Many species of reptiles can be seen too, including the Basking mugger crocodile, king cobra and rock python.
There are a number of guesthouses and hotels in the national park. You can hire a guide from the guesthouse/hotel you are staying at.
Pokhara is Nepal’s largest metropolitan city in terms of area.
It is also a very popular destination for tourists.
Even though Pokhara is the country’s largest city by area, it is still rather small and can be easily explored on foot. In fact, the best thing to do in Pokhara is to wander around the city and enjoy its relaxed atmosphere.
Enjoy a boat ride on Lake Phewa. It is the second-largest lake in Nepal. It is also the most popular and most visited lake in the country. The eastern shore of Phewa Lake, known as the Pokhara Lakeside, is very popular among tourists. It is filled with countless hotels, guesthouses, shops and restaurants.
Watch the sunrise at Sarangkot Viewpoint. It is famous for its breathtaking sunrise views of Annapurna and Machhapuchhare.
Visit the World Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa). Located on a hill across Lake Phewa, the Pagoda is one of the best places to visit in Pokhara. The views from the pagoda over Lake Phewa and the Annapurna mountain range are simply breathtaking.
Pokhara is often referred to as “Nepal’s adventure capital”. Paragliding, bungee jumping, white water rafting, skydiving and other thrilling adventure sports can be enjoyed in Nepal’s adventure capital.
Nepal is known for its long-distance hiking trails.
The Annapurna Mountain Range and Mount Everest offer some of the best hiking routes in Nepal and are among the best places to visit in Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek are the three most popular long-distance trails in Nepal. It takes about 2 weeks (give or take) to complete each of these treks.
4320 m —Annapurna Base Camp;
5416 m — Thorong La Pass (Annapurna Circuit Trek);
5600 m — Kala Patthar (Everest Base Camp Trek).
Trekking Difficulty: Medium. Possible to trek unguided. It’s possible to hire a porter.
These three trails are not remote. You’ll see a number of guesthouses and little cafes on your way, even high up in the mountains. The trails go through villages and little towns. In almost all of them, you can find shops that sell snacks. They’re expensive though because it is difficult to supply these little stores high in the mountains.
If you are looking for an easier (and shorter) trek, Poon Hill may be a good option for you. It is one of the easiest routes in the Annapurna region, and it takes about 4-5 days to complete it. It’s not the only short hike in Nepal, though. There are tons of other routes both in the Annapurna and Everest range.
Nepal travel tips
- You don’t need to apply for a Nepalese visa in advance. Nationals of most countries can get a visa on arrival. There are 15-day, 30-day and 90-day visas.
- If you plan to go on a long-distance trek in Nepal, you’ll need a trekking permit. It’s a rather easy and straightforward process. Just register at Nepal Tourism Board Office. You’ll need to provide passport copies and passport size photos.
- The best months for trekking in Nepal are September to November, and February to April.
- The most popular modes of transportation for tourists in Nepal are shared and private jeeps, local and tourist buses.
- Flying is also an option. There are a number of domestic airports in Nepal. The most popular routes are Pokhara – Kathmandu, Jomsom – Pokhara and Kathmandu – Lukla.
- If you plan to hike, pack some important things, for example, sturdy hiking shoes, a good rain-and-wind-proof jacket, comfy hiking pants, good hiking socks, mid-layer and base-layer. Do not forget about a quality hiking backpack, but if you don’t have something of the above mentioned, do not stress over it. You can get all of that and more in Nepal.
- Familiarise yourself with the trail you’ve chosen to hike. Take note of other intersecting trails, to prevent making a wrong turn.
- Hiking can be challenging, so you have to be in good shape if you plan to go on a serious hike. That’s why it is important to exercise regularly to increase your stamina.