Things to do in Nepal
Unquestionably one of the world’s most alluring countries for the adventure traveler, Nepal contains some of the most exciting and unique tours on the planet.
Whether you’re looking for tranquil lakes set around unrivaled landscape scenery, ancient architecture sprawled around quaint, cobbled streets or exhilarating trekking trails, Nepal offers all of this in abundance and at its very best, completely unique to any other country.
All this and then more. Your tours to Nepal will be matched with the overwhelming friendliness of the locals. The Nepalese are renowned for their hospitality and I have to say, I agree. In my eyes they are arguably the warmest, most welcoming nation in the world, making for a very pleasant experience for the traveler.
I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed Nepal but I would love to highlight some of the top things to do there. Alas, here are the top 10 things to do in Nepal:
Chitwan National Park
Ride an elephant and look out for extraordinary animals in the dense marshlands of Chitwan National Park.
Chitwan means ‘Heart of the jungle’ and penetrating this heart propels you into a world of dense marshland, crocodile infested waters and thick forests containing a diverse selection of wildlife and animals. Safaris in Chitwan certainly shouldn’t be missed.
Located in the south of Nepal, the boiling hot weather is usually a welcome surprise to those who think Nepal is all about snow-capped mountains. Rare reptiles, birds and mammals thrive in Chitwan’s majestic marshlands and indeed lure thousands of tourists each year.
Expect to see monkeys, rhinos, deer, a huge selection of bird-life and if you’re lucky, a royal Bengal tiger. Leopards and sloth-bears aren’t an uncommon encounter, either.
Buddhist pilgrims head to this birth-place of one of history’s most revered figures: The Buddha.
The peaceful atmosphere in Lumbini is testament to the amount of reverence shown to the legend of Siddhartha, aka the Buddha.
Born in Lumbini in approximately 563 BC, the Buddha has created a legend that is manifested by the vast amounts of Buddhist pilgrims that trek to Lumbini each year.
Most people make a brief stopover in Lumbini but it would take you 1 or 2 days to properly explore and absorb all the majestic temples and beautiful scenery and tranquility.
With remarkably serene lakes and outstanding views of Mt Everest, treks of the Gokyo Lakes are truly memorable.
At the head of the Dudh Kosi Valley, the Gokyo Lakes region offers a seductive alternative to the more iconic trails of Mt Everest.
With more time to acclimatize and a more tranquil, off-the-beaten-path trail, the Gokyo Lakes hike is arguably one of the most appealing options for the adventure trekker.
Absorb the breath-taking views of Mt Everest and trail around dazzling lakes, overlooked from the spectacular panoramas atop beautiful alpine campsites. This trek through the Sherpa heartland is not to be missed.
Bhaktapur, with its medieval alleys and famous wood carvings, is an essential visit on your tours to Nepal.
Stroll through the charming medieval alleys of Bhaktapur and you will feel like you have traveled back in time in this well preserved city.
Located in the east corner of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur showcases the very best of Nepal’s ancient charms, in particular the culture and work of the Newari people (the indigenous people of the Kathmandu valley).
Our Nepal destination expert, Krishna, loves Bhaktapur for its beautiful wood carvings, the attractive traditional alleyways and the peace of having no traffic.
Bhaktapur’s rich culture, ancient temples, and fine, intricate carvings are just a few reasons why you too should be caught by its majestic lure. Not to mention the fantastic backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
The Langtang Trek in Nepal is the alternative trekking masterpiece, showcasing Nepal’s greenery and budding wildlife.
Although relatively unheard of and less iconic than the other world-famous trekking trails in Nepal, the Langtang trek offers superb nature treks that follow the gushing Langtang river through splendid verdant mountains and forests.
Tours for this trek are sold in Kathmandu and consist of an 8 hour bus ride to the start of the trail and can entail anywhere between 6-16 days of trekking, depending on your time preferences and allowances.
The views throughout the whole trek, the therapeutic river sounds, the delightful food along the way, the people we met, the awe-inspiring backdrops and the challenge of the trek all culminated in the Langtang trek being a truly remarkable experience. For more unique tours other than those famous Everest tours, check out our India tours and see what hidden treks you can find there.
From the Tourist center of Thamel to the majestic temples of Durbar Square, capital Kathmandu packs a hard punch for the traveler.
Arriving in Kathmandu is a pleasant shock for those travelling to Nepal straight from home. The old-world streets, intense, bustling markets and crumbling architecture is a beautiful and captivating embrace on first arrival.
Settle in and you will discover the beauty of laid-back Kathmandu, the breath-taking historic capital of Nepal. Located at a dizzying 4,600 ft, Kathmandu is the gateway to all of Nepal’s main attractions, with all treks and hiking trails available to book here.
For me, the buzz around Kathmandu was electrifying, swathing with excited trekkers, fun-loving locals and ceaselessly providing its visitors with a rugged city that has by no means lost any of its historic charm.
It is simply stunning to kick back and relax on one of many of Kathmandu’s roof-top terraces, where either some therapeutic Tibetan music or the omnipresent Bob Marley tunes reverberate around the relaxed, sun-drenched rooftops.
Aditya, author of Nepal blog ‘Gorgeous Nepal’ thinks Kathmandu is the perfect place for the tourist to discover Nepal’s wonderful cuisine, from the sumptuous snack of steamed momos (accompanied by a great chili sauce) to the dreamy traditional dish – Dal Baht (two of my favorite foods in the world too). Check out Gorgeous Nepal’s ‘Top 7 must-try foods in Nepal‘.
Trek one of Nepal’s most celebrated circuits and absorb the ridiculously beautiful scenery from Poon Hill.
The popular trail in the Annapurna region, known as the Annapurna Circuit, winds through patchwork valleys, dense mossy forests and past icy waterfalls (great for a refreshing stop-off to cool your face).
Around every corner is a tantalizing glimpse of the high mountains and stunning whole horizons of which will be revealed to you as you reach the high points of your trek.
The Ghorepani Poon Hill Panorama trek is a colorful short foray into the Annapurna region.The trek, through the Annapurna foothills to the view point on Poon Hill, offers all the best of trekking in Nepal.
Across the Bagmati River from Kathmandu, Patan displays some of the finest collections of temples in the world.
An hour outside of Kathmandu, and just the other side of the Bagmati River, you’ll find the beautiful temple-saturated city of Patan, an ancient city containing a myriad of old brick lanes leading to unimaginably pretty squares and courtyards.
I went to Patan in August and caught the atmospheric celebrations of Krishna, where packed Patan squares (pictured) were filled with people watching holy rituals and traditional reenactments take place. Like Kathmandu, the rooftop cafe’s offered the perfect vantage point to survey the electrifying scene, after, of course, meandering through the crowds of people and mixing in with the vibrant colors on display.
Everest Base Camp
The most iconic attraction in Nepal and one of the world’s most daring feats, climbing Mt Everest is a remarkable achievement.
Not everyone can climb all the way to the top of the almighty Everest, a feat that a) takes years of preparing for and b) isn’t feasible for the majority of us (costs around $11,000, and that’s excluding airfare prices to Lukla and other factors), so the next best achievement is climbing to Everest Base Camp.
Get a glimpse of the beauty of your upcoming experience on your exhilarating flight to Lukla, before commencing on your trek of a lifetime. Through the 16 days of trekking to Base Camp and back you will experience different challenges and diverse scenery.
From lush rhododendron forests and stone walled traditional villages at the bottom, to the Sherpa Land of Namche and all the way to the village of Phortse Gaon where you can witness magical peaks of Everest and Nuptse and various other mountain ranges.
Need it be said that climbing to the Everest Base Camp requires a lot of training to reach a very high level of fitness. The camp lies at an altitude of 5,364 meters and is more of a rest point for Climbers looking to climb the rest of Mt Everest.
Whether exploring the surrounding mountains or fishing on Lake Phewa, days in Pokhara are filled with delightful activities and explorations.
Everyone that travels to Nepal will agree that Pokhara is one of those gems that you feel you must revisit a number of times in your lifetime, and it’s almost always included in their ‘favorite cities’ list. It’s certainly in mine.
This charming lakeside town offers a whole array of activities, from the famous paragliding cliff to hiring pedalos and fishing gear and having a relaxed day out on the lake. Pokhara’s attractions are endless. Rows of cafe’s align the beautiful Lake Phewa and are a nice spot to laze in the sun and absorb the romantic scenery on offer.
Pokhara also provides the perfect opportunity to hire a bike and zoom off into the sunset up any of the surrounding mountains to get a scintillating panoramic aerial view of the lake. I recommend driving up the mountain to Sarangkot, a nearby village that is also nice to get lost in and meet the friendly locals.