10 best places to visit in Nepal (with photos and map)

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Whether it’s climbing the slopes of Mount Everest or paying homage to the birthplace of the Buddha, a trip to Nepal is the best destination for many travelers. Located along the Himalayas between China and India in South Asia, the country has some of the most diverse landscapes on the planet, from snow-capped mountains to subtropical forests. Nepalese culture is equally diverse, filled with centuries-old temples and shrines, a profusion of colorful festivals, and tons of exotic items to browse and buy.

From adrenaline-pumping activities like mountaineering, kayaking, and paragliding to serene walks among medieval temples and hidden palaces, this country offers more memorable travel experiences that can be brought together in one visit. An overview of the best places to visit in Nepal:

Nepal map

1. Kathmandu

Kathmandu
Kathmandu

The country’s cultural capital, Kathmandu, is where most Nepal adventures begin, as all flights from overseas take place at the city’s airport. Kathmandu, an overcrowded metropolis of over a million people, is a chaotic mix of tourist shops, trekking agencies, hotels, restaurants, religious sites, and craft workshops. The city’s famous Durbar Square is still being restored after the recent earthquakes, but there are many unspoiled sites worth exploring. Perched on a wooded hill, the ancient Buddhist complex of Swayambhunath is a must-see attraction with stunning views of the Kathmandu Valley.

2. Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur

One of the three beautifully preserved ancient capitals of the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur suffered extensive damage in the 2015 earthquakes. Fortunately, most of the city’s temples and shrines, which are the main attractions of this place known as the City of Devotees, escaped unscathed. Less crowded and bustling than the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur invites you to take a leisurely stroll through medieval squares, winding streets and pedestrianized streets. The city’s Durbar Square, or “Noble Court,” is home to a must-see known as the Palace of 55 Windows, a 15th-century structure that now houses the National Gallery of Art.

3. Annapurna circuit

Annapurna circuit
Annapurna circuit

The Annapurna Circuit in northwest Nepal offers hikers an outdoor experience like no other. Showcasing the varied landscapes of the Annapurna region, the classic trek takes travelers high into the Himalayas, through gorges, desert plateaus, and through lush subtropical valleys dotted with terraced farmhouses. The walk also passes by many religious sites and picturesque villages. Starting just east of Pokhara, the trip takes around three weeks, although many hikers fly half of it by plane to Jomsom Airport. There is also a shorter but no less beautiful hike to the Annapurna Sanctuary, which takes between 8 and 12 days. This is one of the most popular treks in Nepal with accommodation and tea breaks at hourly intervals or less, up to the highest sections at least.

4. Pokhara

Pokhara
Pokhara

With its tranquil lakes, verdant shores, and mountain views, Pokhara is a popular tourist destination for travelers from all over the world. Known as the gateway to the Annapurna region in northwest Nepal, the lakeside town offers respite for weary hikers and also offers opportunities for outdoor adventures, ranging from pedal boat rides to rafting. The largest of Pokhara’s three lakes, Phewa Lake, is full of luxury hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. The lake also has an island with a temple dedicated to the goddess Barahi Bhagwati where ceremonies are held almost every weekend.

5. Patane

Thug
Thug

Located across the Bagmati River from Kathmandu, Patan is as well known for its artisans as it is for its impressive display of Newari architecture. Built in the 17th century, the palaces, courtyards and temples of Patan Durbar are the city’s main attractions. With its multi-column facade and golden spiers, the recently restored Krishna Temple is particularly eye-catching, as is the recently restored Sundari Chowk, a courtyard with an elaborate sunken bath as a centerpiece. Patan is one of the best places in Nepal to shop for the beautiful, handmade silk sarees that were once the garment of choice for the country’s royalty and aristocracy.

6. Khumbu

Khumbu
Khumbu

Each year, the determination to climb to the top of Mount Everest attracts thousands of adventurous travelers to Khumbu, the Everest region located in northeastern Nepal. The trip begins at the Lukla airstrip, where a clear two-lane trail leads hikers to Everest base camp. Located mainly in Sagarmatha National Park, Khumbu is home to the Sherpa people of Namche Bazaar, where most of the expeditions to the mountain peaks take place. The country’s main Buddhist center, Tengboche Monastery, is also located in Khumbu. There are a variety of comfortable accommodations available at the monastery, many of which offer stunning views of the highest mountain on the planet.

7. Nagarkot

Nagarkot
Nagarkot

Perfect for travelers who wish to experience the beauty and majesty of the Himalayas without strenuous physical activity, Nagarkot is best known for the views it offers of the mountains and the Kathmandu Valley. Perched on a high ridge northeast of Bhaktapur, the town of about 4,500 residents offers views of eight Himalayan mountain ranges. There are a variety of attractive hotels in all price ranges in Nagarkot, many of which are located within walking distance of the Nagarkot Observation Tower, known as the best place to visit in Nepal to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas.

8. Janakpur

Janakpur
Janakpur

Located in south-central Nepal on the Terai plains, Janakpur was once the capital of a millennial Indian kingdom known as Mithila, and the Maithili culture still thrives there. Hindus believe Janakpur is where Lord Ram marries Sita, also known as Janaki, and thousands of Hindus from all over the world flock to Janaki Mandir Temple every year to celebrate their wedding anniversary. With its three-story, 60-room construction, the massive 19th-century marble structure is the largest temple in Nepal. Janakpur is known for the more than 100 sacred pools and ponds dotted around this peaceful town.

9. Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park, one of Asia’s top wildlife viewing destinations in south-central Nepal, provides the necessary sanctuary for rare and endangered species such as the Bengal tiger and hornbeam. rhinoceros. The chance to get up close and personal with exotic wildlife, including elephants, leopards, Indian bison, rhinos, and sloths, is the park’s biggest attraction. In addition to jeep tours, visitors can experience the park through jungle treks, elephant rides, and canoe rides. Luxury accommodation is available on the edge of the park and the nearby town of Sauraha offers affordable accommodation.

10. Lumbini

Lumbini
Lumbini

Crowds of Buddhist pilgrims are a daily sight in Lumbini, the traditional birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, Lord Buddha. With archaeological finds dating back to around 550 BC, the legendary site attracts scholars, scientists and curious visitors. It was here that Buddha’s mother, Maya Devi, gave birth near a tree in the garden, which is now a temple named after her. Located in the center of a small park designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, the resort also has several monasteries, sacred ponds, meditation centers and cultural facilities.

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