Nepal is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. It is mainly known for Mount Everest, which is the highest peak of the world. It also equally popular for being the birthplace of Lord Buddha. A trip to Nepal is on the bucket list of every traveler in the world. But which would be the top 10 places to visit in Nepal?
Even though Nepal is a small country situated between China and India, it does not fall short in its cultural and natural diversities. So, there are a lot of places to choose from.
Nepal is suitable for all types of travelers. You can have both adventurous tourism and calm and peaceful travel experiences. Nepal will guarantee that you will have more memorable travel entries. Nepal is like no other country in the world.
There are tons of tourist places in Nepal. Some of the most beautiful places in Nepal are the cheapest ones as well. If you are all about trekking and touring then October and November are the best months to visit Nepal. The dry days of these months particularly offer good visibility for traveling.
The natural beauty of Nepal will leave you breathless. There are many places in Nepal worth mentioning. But, this is my take on 10 best places to visit for anyone who is traveling to Nepal for the first time.
It is very easy to stumble upon some of the best-hidden places in Nepal if you visit these places. The natural beauty of these places will make your stay here very exciting.
Visiting Nepal will guarantee memories of a lifetime. So, here is my list on the 10 best places to check out while you are in Nepal.
Lumbini is the historic birthplace of Lord Buddha-founder of Buddhism. It is also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It lies in a town called Kapilavastu in Rupandehi district near the Indian border.
Lumbini comprises of many Buddhist temples and shrines from different nations. Maya Devi Temple is the main attraction here. It idolizes the traditional site of the Buddha’s birth.
There is also a Pillar that the Indian Emperor Ashoka had made built when he visited Lumbini. The inscriptions in it refer to Lumbini as Buddha’s birthplace.
Lumbini is usually known for being a holy sanctum for Buddhist pilgrimage. But, it also a top destination for tourists to visit in Nepal. You can visit the Panditarama Vipassana Center to get some yoga and meditation experiences. You can also interact with the monks living in the surrounding monasteries.
Janakpur Dham is a very famous city that lies in the Terai plains in the south-central part of Nepal. This was once known as Mithila-the capital of the millennia-old Indian kingdom.
It is also famous for having accommodated the marriage of Lord Ram and Sita, from Ramayana. A captivating place to be here is Ram Janaki Temple. Every year thousands of Hindus from all over the world come together. They celebrate the anniversary of this holy couple.
Janaki Temple is the biggest temple in Nepal. It also serves as a holy route of Parikrama (holy circle) carried out by Hindus.
Many tourists visit this place because of its major influence in Hindu history. The most suitable time to travel here is during Dushera festival. During this time there will be many musicians performing bhajans in groups.
8. Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is a completely different experience away from the busy environment of the cities. The park covers 360 square miles with extra buffer zones surrounding it.
It opened in 1973 AD as the first national park in Nepal as rhinos and tigers were nearly extinct. This used to be a hunting ground for the kings of Nepal and their guests.
This national park is home to several endangered species of wildlife. Many tourists visit this place in high hopes of experiencing these wild animals in their natural habitat.
Apart from Chitwan Jungle safari, there are many other adventurous things we can do here. There is an elephant breeding center nearby. We can observe how elephants are breeding here. The Narayani river safari is yet another peaceful and relaxing experience.
7. Ghorepani Poon Hill
Poon Hill is usually famous in Nepal for hosting one of the best fun-filled treks. The viewpoint of this place is breathtaking. Poon Hill lies in the foothills of Mount Annapurna in the Himalayas.
It lies to the south-west of the Annapurna massif and across a large river valley. It also beholds a magnificent view of all Annapurnas, Machapuchare, Nilgiri South and Dhaulagiri. The most enjoyable moment In Poon Hill is experiencing the wonderful sunrise.
The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is a 4 to 5-day hike which is fairly easy to complete. The maximum elevation is only 3,210 meters which reduces the chances of altitude sickness. The trek begins from a city called Pokhara. Poon Hill is suitable for most people including children.
A guide along the tour will be very helpful as he/she will know which guest house and restaurants are best to stop in. Also, the trek becomes more comfortable with the company of a guide. A local tour company can arrange everything related to this trek as well.
6. Manang, Thorung-La & Upper Mustang
A lot of cultural nuances resides in Manang, Thorung-La and Upper Mustang. The lush vegetation, cascading falls and blooming farms are magnificent to wonder upon. The parched lands and grim climes are traits of Upper Mustang.
Mustang was once an isolated and independent Tibetan Kingdom. But, it is also famous among Hindu pilgrims who visit and worship in the Muktinath Temple.
The high pass of Thorung-La might be a little bit more challenging to people who are not used to trekking. The upper Mustang is a barren landscape with bright colored fields. The main attraction is the culture that the people living here portray.
The deepest gorge of the world-Kali Gandaki lies here. Horse riding is also an adventurous option here. You can take a small tour at the Kagbeni village. Exploring the Himalayan ranges and even visiting the Tilicho Lake is very refreshing. The local food here is unique to its taste and the cultural festivals are also a sight to behold.
5. Rara Lake
Rara lake is the biggest lake of Nepal. It is also the deepest freshwater lake. It covers an area of 10.8 square kilometers. Rara National Park surrounds this lake on all sides which opened up in 1976. This preserves the lake’s beauty and the unique flora and fauna around this lake.
There are different types of flowers and many species of birds and mammals. Various endangered species such as red panda regard this park as their home.
The easiest way to reach Rara is to take a flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla. Then walking to the destination takes about 2-3 days. Jumla is famous for its apple orchards as well.
Many tourists visit this lake to camp next to its sparkling water. The ambiance set by the green hills on all sides is very enjoyable. Boating in the lake and hiking the nearby hills are the two most rewarding things to do here.
Moreover, meeting charming locals and walking around the lake equally entertaining.
Patan is one of the main Newari cities in Nepal. It rests just across the Bagmati River from Kathmandu. Patan is also known as Lalitpur. Being a traditional center of handicrafts, it is also a good place to buy jewelry, statues, and even masks.
The main attraction of Patan is Patan Durbar Square. It is full of temples, statues, and a palace. There is also a museum where the history of Patan is in a preserved state.
It is very easy for a tourist to get here. Taxis are usually available but are more expensive than the local microbus and buses.
There are many Buddhist and Hindu temples in this place. The pilgrims of both religions visit here to worship in their respective temples. There are many local restaurants that provide mouth-watering local food and dishes.
Bhaktapur is one of the ancient cities of Nepal. It is also known as the City of Devotees and Khwopa in the Newari Language. It is an ancient Newari city in the east side of the Kathmandu valley.
Bhaktapur has the best-preserved palace, courtyards and old city center of Nepal. However, this city faced significant damage during the 2015 earthquake. As it is less crowded, it is very suitable for walking through the winding streets.
This city is very famous for its special yogurt called “JuJu Dhau”, which translates into the king of yogurts. The taste of this yogurt is only available here in Nepal.
Bhaktapur is very rich in its traditional art and architecture. It is an outstanding tourist destination because of the historical monuments and rich local customs and culture.
The culture and religious festivals of this place make it even more appealing to tourists.
Pokhara is the tourism capital of Nepal. It is a very famous destination for visitors from all over the world. Pokhara is the gateway for many people to travel to the Annapurna range and Muktinath Temple.
The north shore of the Phewa lake is the main tourist district. But, the most upscaled and starred hotels are on the southern shore of the lake. The tourists visiting Pokhara trek to Annapurna Base Camp and Mustang.
Pokhara is very famous for its adventure tourism. Various recreational activities comprise of Paragliding, Zip Flying, Mountain Biking, Ultralight flight, etc.
Pokhara is also famous for its majestic lake and an incredible view of the mountains. The Peace Temple of Pokhara is a must visit a site for all the tourists and travelers.
The morning sunrise at the top of Sarangkot is an amazing experience for everyone here. There are many other places to visit such as David’s Fall and the infamous Bat Cave.
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and this is the very place where all the adventure begins. Kathmandu is home to more than 1 million inhabitants so you can expect it to be a bit crowded.
Kathmandu has various tourist shops, trekking agencies, hotels, restaurants, and religious sites. Thamel is the main tourist area of this city. It has everything to amuse and accommodate every tourist who visits Nepal.
The 2015 earthquake did cause some damage to the Durbar Square area of this city. The restoration process is still undergoing, but there are other sites worth exploring.
Swayambhunath Stupa and Boudhanath Stupa are the two main attractions for tourists. Pashupatinath Temple is a holy sanctum for Hindu devotees. It is also one of the most visited sites there in Nepal.
There are other religious places in and around Kathmandu as well. The food and cultural variations that you can experience in this city are mesmerizing.
Kathmandu city has also flourished in inviting new cultures. This is making tourists from all around the world feel more comfortable and at home.
These are just my picks of the top 10 places in Nepal that you should not miss out on. However, as I have said before, this was a very difficult pick for me. This is because there are tons of other places in Nepal that you should check out. I promise you that you will get lost in the peace and tranquility of Nepal if you come to this awesome country.