Are you wondering where the best places to visit in Nepal are? Probably! Since you are reading this and all. Well, you have come to the right place. I have spent a lot of time travelling around Nepal and with so much to offer, it is essential to have a good idea of where to spend your precious time and money.
Nepal has been drawing in tourists from across the world for decades and for a good reason. It may be a small country, but it packs a big punch.
According to the Nepal tourist board, 41,304 tourists visited Nepal in august 2022. Now compare that with august 2019, 94,749 tourists visited.
That means tourism is recovering since the COVID-19 pandemic, but things are not so busy, making for a more authentic and enjoyable experience without the crowds. In short, there has never been a better time to go.
Wedged between the mystical world of Tibet and the steamy jungles of India, Nepal is the land of snow peaks and Sherpas. Yaks and yetis rule the bedtime stories in Nepal. The country is blessed with astonishing wildlife and breathtaking scenery.
I firmly believe there is something here for everyone. Let’s look at the more popular reasons to come, shall we?
Even if you are not a history buff, you can’t help but be blown away by the astonishing architectural achievements that centuries of civilization have left behind. Exploring these places is sure to be a highlight of your trip
Dive into history with a visit to Hanuman Dhoka Square, the city’s UNESCO-listed Durbar Square, and roam its many temples.
Nepal is famously home to eight of the world’s highest peaks and many of us want to challenge ourselves on them. The most popular is the world-famous Annapurna trek or the trek to the base camp of Mount Everest.
These are both incredible routes, but Nepal has no shortage of trekking options. Get a copy of The lonely planet guide to trekking in Nepal to research just some of the other routes and choose what one is right for you.
You don’t have to be trekking to get your adrenalin pumping. The country is fast becoming one of the biggest adventure capitals of the world. Nepal will make your heart skip a beat with its adventure activities offer.
Try white water rafting on the Indus river or hand-feeding vultures paragliding level alongside the snowy peaks of the mountains. Perhaps you want to try spelunking or bungee jumping off a bridge? Well, you can if you wish.
With the extreme elevation changes come many natural habitats and animals that live in them. This is a wildlife lover’s wet dream.
I strongly recommend Chitwan or Bardia national parks for their extraordinary diversity. Trekking on foot in the land of the tigers and elephants will have your heart pumping.
The cultural landscape of Nepal is as diverse as its natural. The people are primarily a mixture of Hindus and Buddhists. The culture of this country is unique and highly prominent. The way it is practised varies incredibly across the country.
Immersing yourself in an almost timeless way of life is always something every visitor vividly remembers.
Siddartha Gautama was born in the village of Lumbini in 623bc. That man was better known as the Buddha. Yes, it was a very real person. His life teachings of peace created a major world religion that will be familiar to many of us.
When to visit Nepal is a tricky and extensive question to answer as it depends on what you are doing. I have been to Nepal in every season, and each has good and bad points. Please check out my post for an in-depth look at what you can expect during your stay and more useful things to know about travel.
There are several points to consider when buying a visa for Nepal but let me keep it brief.
All foreign passengers must fill in the online international arrivals form and print it out. It is a mandatory requirement. Check out this link to the embassy of Nepal in London for the full breakdown of COVID-19 regulations and the link to the arrivals card or the CCMC.
You can follow the link above if you want your visa before you turn up. To me, there is little need as you can quickly get one on arrival, providing you meet the requirements. It is a lot less hassle as you don’t need to go out of your way. You are already there, and it does not take long.
It is as simple as that. Make sure you read the guidelines and follow them. Turn up, fill in a form and make the payment.
As with anywhere, you must make your way through the customs process. This may involve bag searches or long waits as it can be painfully slow.
If you can make your payment in American dollars then I Surgeesd you do as this will give you the best conversion rate. You can pay in just about anything, which is very much a personal choice.
○ Sitting on the banks of the murky Bagmati river Pashupatinath is one of Nepal’s most important temples. At first glance, you may not feel it is especially holy as it’s within spitting distance from the airport. However, visiting will surely be one of the standout cultural experiences of your trip.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most incredible places I have ever seen in my life. However, visiting here is nothing to take lightly. While this place is insanely atmospheric and well worth the entrance fee it is an active temple. It is also a place where Nepali people go to be cremated so they can obtain moksha. The Hindu right to gain entrance into Nirvana and break the cycle of reincarnation.
○ Boudanath is Asia’s largest stupa and here you can witness devotes make Kora (ritualistic circumnavigation.) The degree of devotion is quite breathtaking as the people make their trips around the base of the stupa come rain or shine as they prostrate over and over again.
Boudanath is the most accessible example of Tibetan culture I can think of as it is just a short bus ride from Kathmandu.
○ Nagarkot is a small village 32 km from Kathmandu that enjoys unfettered views of the high Himalayas. The views of Everest and Kanchenjunga are breathtaking. However, they are only viable for a few months of the year.
The best times are between October and December. The second best is between March and April. Outside those times, the beautiful scenery will be lost behind the clouds.
○ The Pokhara Valley is the second most popular place in Nepal for tourists as it is the staging post for the superb Annapurna circuit. Come here to enjoy incredible views of the high mountain peaks. You can engage in Paragliding, caving, boating, or simply relax with a glass of wine after a long trek.
○ The Mahendra Gufa was not discovered until the 1950s by shepherds despite its enormous size. Today it is one of the most popular tourist sights in the Pokhara Valley. The Mahendra Gufa is a set of caves with dramatic rock formations sure to impress. Just behind that is another colossal cave that contains a vast number of Horseshoe Bats.
○ The still tiny village of Lumbini is a delight to explore. Buddhist governments worldwide have all built their temples in honor of their lord. It appears that no government wants to be outdone by the next so the result is a spectacular collection of buildings for you to marvel at.
It is a deeply relaxing experience to wander the narrow forested paths that connect them. It is also a sanctuary for the rare Sirus Crane. Keep your eyes peeled for these enormous creatures.
○ The Swayambhunath or monkey temple has to be one of the most famous temples in the whole country. This timeless little corner of the universe is visible from much of the city and it is very much iconic to Kathmandu.
It is strikingly spread across a hill and will take you a whole afternoon to explore. It is an active temple that is important to both Hindus and Buddhists. It is very hard not to appreciate the sense of calm that comes with visiting here. However, be prepared for a long hike up some steep steps to access it.
○ Almost every tourist will visit Thamel in Kathmandu. It is the go-to place for tourists as they arrive in Nepal. Come here for dining on good food or shopping till you drop for souvenirs.
○ Bhaktapur is a whole town that is a living museum. It costs quite a bit to gain entrance and yHimalayas’ee all of this in a single day so I recommend staying at least one night here as it just makes sense. Not only does that work out much better value for money it will also give you time to explore the countless alleyways, courtyards, and ponds that make this village so damn moreish.
○ Trek across the tropical jungles of the Terai to find the elusive tiger. You may also catch a glimpse of Leopards, Elephants, Sloth bears, Rhinos, or any other of the many impressive animals this park is home to.
○ This impressive set of rapids is found in the Pokhara district. Davis falls was named after a swiss lady who drowned here in 1961. It is a massive waterfall cascading down the Himalayas’ foothills and has bored a 500-foot tunnel into the rock.
○ Phewa lake is also found in the Pokhara valley and is famous for its breathtaking views framed by the snowy mountains in the background. If you come in the right season the mountains reflect perfectly in the lake.
○ This exciting museum is in central Pokhara and showcases exhibitions of the area’s indigenous cultures. Learning about the people you will trek to is well worth the time.
○ These two extraordinary villages are set in forested green hills full of living and active temples. This is a must for anyone who wants to experience Nepali culture at its most raw but does not want to walk very far.
○ Sagarmatha is the Nepali word for Everest and views of the biggest peak on the planet dominate the park. It is home to both the common leopard and the snow leopard. You can also find musk deer or any of the 208 species of birds with a bit of luck.
○ Despite Langtang National Park being badly hit by the country’s earthquake. However, the people of this valley have returned back to their lives and the park is as beautiful as ever. Its close proximity to Kathmandu makes Langtang incredibly popular. The scenery is stunning and you can be there in a day from the capital.
Rupa Tal Lake is a beautiful body of water in the Pokhara valley. Its forested shores are alluring to the best of us. Come here for boating, fishing, or simply walking in the lush forests.
○ Tucked into the far bottom left of the country, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve receives few visitors, which is a crying shame.
Despite jeep-only safaris, it is a fantastic place to see a little of the country’s incredible biodiversity. It is famous for the vast numbers of swamp deer but there are many rewards for those who make an effort.
○ Khaptad National Park is located in the Far-western region of Nepal. It is another of the country’s hidden gems. The park stretches across the heavily forested Mahabharat range and is a good choice for nature lovers.
It is also a pilgrimage site for many Nepalis. Its remote location puts many people off but I strongly recommend visiting if your itinerary allows it.
○ Dhulikhel is one of my favorite destinations in The Kathmandu valley. Tourists come here for the views but there is so much more. Dhulikhel is an authentic Newari Town with the opportunity for countless short walks in the Katmandus’s hills. This tiny little town gives tourists a chance to get into the Nepali countryside in just a quick bus journey.
○ Jomsom is an essential stop during the Annapurna trek. It is an important starting or finishing point for treks along the Kaligandaki or surrounding areas. Jomsom is the Mustang district’s capital, so plenty of welcomed amenities exist. It is also linked by road and not many places in the area are.
○ Kathesimbhu Stupa is an essential place for heritage And Spirituality in Kathmandu. It is located between Thamel and Durbar Square. It makes for an interesting detour as you watch the local people go about their daily lives.
○ Katmandus’s garden of dreams has been described as a Neoclassical Marvel. It does not look like much from the outside but once you are through those gates you will be greeted by an immaculately landscaped garden in the middle of the city.
One minute you are in the capital’s bustling streets and then in a quiet, beautiful space. A garden of ponds, pavilions, and pagodas. Well worth the short detour.
○ Taudha lake is on the outskirts of Kathmandu and is easily reached by bus or taxi. The lake is fringed by tiny Hindu shrines. It is a great place to simply observe Nepali culture or watch the vibrant birds in the trees.
Here are the answers to the most common questions about Nepal.
There are 123 recorded languages spoken in Nepal but the most common are Nepali and Maithali.
Nepal was born about 40 to 50 million years ago when the Indian subcontinent crashed into Asia. The land was pushed upwards, which is why you can find many sea shells in the high mountains.
The Nepali people are some of the most friendly and hospitable people you could hope to meet. However, this volatile country has an ever-present danger of natural disasters. Please check your government website for the latest advice.
That all depends on the purpose of your trip. Please remember things do not work like a well-oiled machine. Refer to the section above for when to use each kind of visa that suits your needs.
That all depends on where you are. Nepal may be a small country but the temperature fluctuates wildly due to elevation. Here is the average temperature of the Kathmandu valley. Remember that this will be notably different than elsewhere in the country.
|Month – Kathmandu||Temperature|
|January||18° / 3°|
21° / 5°
|March||25° / 9°|
|April||28° / 13°|
|May||29° / 16°|
|June||29° / 20°|
|July||28° / 20°|
|August||29° / 20°|
|September||28° / 19°|
|October||26° / 14°|
|November||23° / 8°|
|December||20° / 4°|
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Also, it has answered some of your questions about the best places to visit in Nepal and where it is best for you to spend your time. Please do not hesitate to ask if you can think of anything else.
As you can probably see at this stage, Nepal has a lot to experience. In fact, there is a whole world of adventure just waiting for you to discover, so why wait? Start planning your dream today.