Nepal's valleys, beautiful scenery, and vibrant culture are renowned worldwide. Everywhere you go, you'll be greeted with a bit of history and the majesty of nature and many lush forests and mountains. Yet more, the deeply rooted traditional cultures and rituals of Nepal are another aspects most travelers love to see while in Nepal. Keeping people's preference of traveling and interest, peruse our list of 21 best places to visit in Nepal.
Plan your adventure with our list of the best places to visit in Nepal for a luxe vacation.
First, let's start with major attractions in the Kathmandu valley.
Top Attractions of Kathmandu valley - Best places to visit in Kathmandu valley
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is a landmark attraction located in the heart of the capital city of Kathmandu. The palace, which once used to be the abode of Nepal royals, is now a royal museum, and the whole palace is a world heritage site under UNESCO. The heritage site is surrounded by ancient Newari architecture, grand temples, shrines, monuments, statues, and the old royal palace. All the more, the heritage site is lively and vibrant, with domestic and international visitors visiting its corners. Also, the temples are always busy with worshippers performing pujas. The place is constantly reverberating with travelers and shoppers, which is impressive to witness. Thus, because of its rawness and historical affluence, Kathmandu Durbar Square, without any doubt, is Nepal's best place to visit.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Another fantastic world heritage site of Nepal is Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The durbar square, which once used to be home to the Malla dynasty, is one of the attractive and best places to visit in Nepal for its enthralling aesthetic beauty and incredible history. The durbar squares embody the traditional artworks performed by the locals in its significant buildings. These medieval heritage sites allow travelers to gaze at the remarkable architecture, the exquisite wood carvings, and the metal crafts. Along with the incredible artworks of Bhaktapur, the heritage site's archaic look is what most travelers find attractive and prefer visiting Bhaktapur.
Patan Durbar Square
Last on the list of world heritage sites of Kathmandu valley is Patan Durbar Square. Home of the Malla dynasty, the durbar square preserves the artistically designed temples all within the palace area. Also, the museum within the palace has a vast fine collection of metal crafts, wood carving preserved from the precious Malla-era throne. In the Durbar Square is the beautiful Krishna temple built entirely of stone. The temple is esteemed amongst Hindu followers thus is the central Krishna shrine. Overall, Patan Durbar Square is a remarkable terracotta temple that is definitely worth a visit.
Best places to visit around Kathmandu valley:
Sightseeing in Nepal only gets better with a short overnight or multi-day tour to Nagarkot. The hill station is beloved as a hiking destination around Kathmandu and is praised for breathtaking panoramic views of snow-capped peaks of Nepal. Besides enjoying the finesse of Mother Nature and capturing riveting mountain scenery, the place is also excellent for social interaction. Nagarkot is about 28 km away from the central city-Kathmandu, about 2 hours’ drive away. But the demeanor about the place is utterly different despite its proximity to the capital city. Hence, it is one of Nepal's best places to visit to behold the absolute mesh of nature and culture.
For a short yet exciting Himalayan experience, the Langtang region of Nepal is the perfect destination. It is one of the ideal locations for trekking because of its proximity to the capital city. Besides its close relations or accessibility, the region, in general, is the most alluring place on earth to be. The stunning landscape and the intricate indigenous Tamang and Sherpa culture are additional features of the Langtang region. Langtang is an ideal region to seek Himalayan magnificence and to experience cultural generosity. The area offers several trekking routes for people interested in exploring its incredible glacial lakes and mountains.
Best places to visit around the Everest region:
Sagarmatha National Park and Everest Base Camp
Sagarmatha is a remarkable region dominated by Mount Everest, the highest peak globally, with sparkling cliffs, glaciers, and deep valleys (8,848.86 m). Along with being home to the impressive mountains of Nepal, the national park is also home to several rare and endangered species. The national park shelters snow leopards, pandas, and many more rare species. Besides, as much as the national park is home to a wide assortment of flora and fauna, the national park grounds are also home to legendary Sherpas. Their unique culture and traditions add further interest, which gives the park the status of the best place to visit in Nepal. And the Everest Base Camp trek is one of the best treks in Nepal.
Gokyo Lakes is one of Nepal's most famous lakes. These Gokyo Lakes are located in the west of the most renowned Himalayan Khumbu region. The sparkling turquoise lakes of Gokyo are just stunning. After walking to the Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Lakes can be visited by adding five more days to the route. The lakes are surrounded by outstanding views of mountains in the Everest region. People mostly trek to Gokyo Lake for its unmatched scenery of Cho Oyu, Everest, and Lhotse to Makalu from Gokyo Ri is simply breathtaking. Also, another perk of visiting Gokyo Lake is the Ngozumpa glacier, the largest glacier in the country. Overall, it is a magnificent journey; thus is one of Nepal's best places to visit.
Arun Valley in the Makalu region
Off-beaten trails in Nepal are perfect for those who seek to enjoy the calmness and serenity of nature. Arun Valley is one such place. As part of the Makalu trek, Arun valley is a beautiful country with unspoiled nature and culture. It shares very close proximity with the Everest region but is different from the commercial area. Trekking in this region allows you to meander through traffic less but densely forested paths, tasting refined Sherpa culture. Arun valley of Makalu is best for the daredevil who loves traversing nature and mountains in solitude.
Best places to visit in West Nepal
The Annapurna region is Nepal's most diverse and popular trekking destination. It is the focal point for the area of Annapurna, the mountain range comprising Annapurna I, the first of the 8,000 m high peaks to be scaled. Dhaulagiri, another 8,000-meter giant massif Annapurna I, also lies in the area. This majestic region offers views of green, rich fields and undisturbed natural forests, snow-capped mountains, and encounters with a diverse ethnic group combine to make the Annapurna trek one of the most rewarding treks in Nepal. There are many trekking routes available for interested trekkers to embark on a trekking journey in Nepal. Among many treks, the Annapurna Base Camp trek is one of the best hikes in Nepal.
Picturesque Pokhara sits on the edge of tranquil Fewa Lake with towering Annapurna standing tall in the backdrop. A visit to Pokhara promises a quiet and peaceful time. Thus many prefer to visit this charming little town in the west of Nepal. A vacation here includes spending time admiring Lakes, exploring trendy bars and restaurants, meandering through bustling cities, and partaking in adventurous sports such as paragliding, bungee jumping, etc. Travelers can easily spend three days to one week in Pokhara exploring its beautiful places before going on long and vigorous trekking trails surrounding Pokhara.
When life feels too hectic, for a quick refreshing break, Nepalese head to Poon Hill. This is why Poon Hill is the most popular trekking destination in Nepal for short treks and quick gateways. Besides offering majestic mountain spectacle, this journey is socially engaging as well. The trail is suitably aligned with plenty of houses providing services to travelers. Overall, the 360-degree view of Annapurna massif during golden sunrise and sunset is the best part of the place for which people keep on visiting this place.
Tilicho Lake, at an altitude of (4,949m) is a well-known place for incredible trekking journeys in Nepal. A trip to Tilicho Lake is exhilarating, thrilling, and rewarding. Tilicho Lake trek displays a scenic view of much of the eastern side of the epic world-famous Annapurna circuit with sublime natural beauty, cultural and traditional values, stunning waterfalls and running clean water streams, and attractive floras and faunas. The rocky trails, barren hills, and hiking through narrow ways make the journey more or less challenging. But the rewarding landscapes give meaningful joy to accept the geographical hindrances.
Upper Mustang presents an exceptionally particular and novel condition contrasted with the remainder of Nepal. While a large portion of the trekking destination in Nepal offers a verdant forest, Mustang parades eroded slopes and excellent stone arrangements, which is different from the other trekking regions of Nepal. It is additionally ideal for explorers who are searching for a segregated trekking experience. Antiquated Buddhist religious communities and terrific perspectives on the Annapurna Range are the significant attractions of this trek.
Samaguan in Manaslu Region
Samagaun is a medieval Himalayan village settled on mountains such as Manaslu and Mount Himalchuli. This picturesque settlement with just 200 households is a remote village but a hub for trekkers embarking on an adventurous Manaslu circuit trek. The culture and the natural elegance of the towns are incredible and inspiring. The culture, rituals, and traditions of Samagaun are unique from the typical Nepalese culture. A visit to Samagaun is exploring different sides of Nepal hidden in the majestic Manaslu Himal.
Bandipur, a Newar town with its ancient history still intact, is a hilltop village. Travel the historical path of Dumre Bazar to a city that has barely changed across its verdant forests. Well preserved Bandipur welcomes visitors to its unique offer: rich mountain history, mountain views, and several walking spots. In contrast to most traded posts in the Nepal hills, Bandipur has held its age-old qualities of culture - temples, shrines, holy grottoes, countless festivals, and a Newari architecture that goes back to ancient Kathmandu Valley.
Tansen's old hill town in this area provides a calmer environment where time steadily passes, and the restorative lifestyle is contagious. Walkthrough the streets to see an entirely different life from the urban cities surrounding this typical town. Exploring the Shreenagar Hills or hiking for the Rani Mahal on the Kali Gandaki River for a day, Tansen displays ancient Newari culture. Centuries earlier, Newar's art and design merchants from Kathmandu returned to Tansen and later became the locals. Tansen's picturesque town is the local's favorite destination to spend some quality time away from busy city life.
Lumbini is the Buddha's birthplace, one of the world's most important spiritual sites, and attracts Buddhist pilgrims worldwide. Today you can visit over twenty-five Buddhist monasteries built by diverse countries from Vietnam to France, study Buddhism, meditate and visit the birthplace within the sacred Mayadevi Gardens. It is a great place to spend time and to seek inner peace.
Best National Parks of Nepal for Jungle Safari
Chitwan National park
Nepal's first national park: Chitwan national park is located in the Terai Plains of Chitwan, at the foot of the Mahabharata Scale. In the jungles of the Chitwan, tourists can enjoy the natural wilderness via a Jeep safari, a quiet canoe ride, or by going on a nature walk. Going on a jungle walk or safari to witness wildlife roaming freely is a truly remarkable experience. At the end of the day, add to the essence of the ultimate jungle experience by unwinding next to a large campfire, watching the mesmerizing Tharu stick dance, and listening to their soothing folk songs. Chitwan National Park is full of incredible experiences and perfect for a relaxing break. And for that very reason, many travel to Chitwan national park.
Bardia National Park
Navigate the silent jungles of Bardia and experience pristine conservation areas in the Terai region. Housing diverse species of flora and fauna of the national park, nature lovers are attracted to its wilderness. One-horned rhino, royal Bengal tiger are some of the endangered animals that freely roam around its ground. Some of the other species are buffalo, swamps, blackbucks, and gharials. All the more, for nature's beguiling beauty, people traverse the jungle of Bardia national park. Waking up early in one of the huts of the resort to witness herds of deer roaming in the wilderness is something you get to experience here. Hence, for the surreal encounter, most consider Bardia as one of the best places in Nepal.
Best Places to visit in East Nepal
Walkthrough historic Mithila to learn about Southern Nepal's Terai culture and visit the grand temple of Ram Janaki in the center of the district, where the iconic Hindu Ramaya style is alluded to. The temple is the city's principal attraction and attracts many tourists as well as pilgrims. With being sacred sites of Nepal, Janakpur flaunts the vibrant Mithila arts in the walls of Janakpur Dham. Also, the place is worth a visit because Janakpur is so different from most cities in the mid-hills of Nepal. On the whole, for its fascinating culture and artistic background, Janakpur is one of the best places to visit in Nepal.
Famous for its vast tea garden, Ilam is the excellent gateway from the bustling city. This touristic town thrives with different flavors of tea and a pristine landscape made up of sloping tea gardens. Besides, Ilam is one of the wealthier in cultural diversity, natural landscape than any other district of Nepal. Similarly, people love walking amidst the tea garden of Ilam as it allows them to reconnect with Mother Nature. Altogether Ilam is the favorite destination for locals to unwind from their hectic life amidst the lush tea gardens and tea estates.
The above list introduces you to the places you should not miss while visiting Nepal. These places are much more beautiful and incredible than the justification that this short overview gave here. Once you find yourself in these locations, you will understand why these destinations are the best places to visit in Nepal.