(Last Updated On: February 25, 2021)

Your ultimate Nepal bucket list is here. When preparing for your Nepalese vacation, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to visit as there are so many beautiful destinations within this Himalayan country. I’ve assembled a whole bunch of travel bloggers to give you their tips on the best places to visit in Nepal to help you plan your next holiday!

Take a Scenic Flight Around the Himalayas

Nepal offers stunning views, peaceful vibes, and warm people. It also offers epic trekking opportunities in the Himalayas with Mount Everest being the most popular. If you’re not into trekking – don’t worry. It isn’t for everyone and it definitely isn’t for me.

I’ve always wanted to see Mount Everest, but I wanted to see it without strenuous physical activity. A great alternative is to take a scenic flight around the Himalayas and spot Mount Everest in the comforts of an airplane.

You can book your experience through Yeti Airways or Buddha Air. The meeting point is at the domestic terminal at the airport in Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport). Flights depart around 6:00-6:30 am every morning and the flight typically lasts around 45 minutes.

Every passenger is guaranteed a window seat so there is ample opportunity to take beautiful photos of the mountains. You will also receive a map showcasing the various mountains so you can follow along from your seat. As you get closer to Mount Everest, the flight attendants will allow you to enter the cockpit one by one to get a closer and better view of it. The plane then heads back to Kathmandu with more beautiful views along the way.

Contributed by Disha from Disha Discovers

Hike Kathmandu Valley

Nepal is every hiker’s dream destination, but what if you don’t have the time, money or inclination to do the epic treks like Everest Basecamp or the Annapurna Circuit?

Well, a short bus ride out of the capital, you can find a beautiful and peaceful 3 day trek, running through Kathmandu Valley from Sundarijal to Bakhtapur, via Chisapani and Nagarkot where you’ll stay at basic but homely tea houses.

It may not have the heady heights of Mera Peak or Ama Damblam, but this trek still provides a bit of a challenge, with around 1,000m of ascent on day 1. However, overall it is accessible to someone with a good level of fitness, and the best part is that it’s easy to navigate so you won’t need a guide.

The trek takes you through lush forests, up many, many stone steps, down dirt tracks, into the midst of farming communities and through rugged national parks. On day three you can stop at the Buddha Peace Park, a wonderful place of zen to rest your weary feet.

You won’t meet many other hikers along the way, just friendly locals, and businesses that will really benefit from the tourist trade, as the area was hugely affected by the 2015 earthquake.

Finishing in the iconic Bakhtapur, you’ll have a chance to get back to civilisation, explore Durbar Square and try their unique yogurt.

Contributed by Seanna from Seanna’s World

Visit Gokyo Ri and the Gokyo Lakes

Including a trip to Gokyo Ri and the Gokyo lakes in your Nepal visit is a real treat. Not only does visiting this glorious area mean that you’ll go off the main track that everyone takes to Everest Base Camp, but you’ll also get some (more) stunning views and a unique spot in which to see Mount Everest.

Summiting Gokyo Ri at an altitude of 5360 metres is often used as an acclimatization day – as you’ll sleep back in Gokyo at 4,790 metres. It is a tough climb and you’ll need to get up and on the mountain early, as especially if you’ve had snow, the route gets pretty slippery on the way back down and at least one trekking pole will be useful as part of your Nepal trek gear list.

From the summit, there are stunning views of not just Mount Everest but also Gokyo Lakes too. The lodges down at Gokyo Lakes provide excellent accommodation, fabulous food and a stove to keep you warm in the dining area. If you get the chance to visit this somewhat off the beaten track location – then it is well worth the detour to see a little more of the stunning vistas of Nepal.

Contributed by Sarah from A Social Nomad

Poon Hill Trek

Nestled in the lap of the gigantic Himalayans Range, Nepal is well known for its captivating and picturesque scenery. I strongly believe that trekking is the best way to admire the beauty of this country. You may assume that trekking in Nepal is only for rugged types who enjoy challenging trails.

However, it’s completely possible to get a taste of the Himalayan mountain range within one week. Specifically, Poon Hill Trek is the best introductory trek for those who have limited time in the country. It’s manageable for anyone with moderate physical fitness.

From Pokhara (204km from Kathmandu), Poon Hill trek starts from Nayapul. Before reaching the summit at 3210m (10,210ft), hikers get to enjoy the view of snow-capped mountains and visit the beautiful local villages. Along the trek, there are plenty of tea houses and lodges for you to chill.

The biggest highlight of Poon Hill trek is the sunrise at the summit, typically after a solid two-day trek. The sunrise view is said to be one of the best in Nepal if the weather permits. So, make sure you hit the road between September to November, when the sky is clearer and the temperature tolerable. 

Contributed by Ming from Flyerism

Trek the Annapurna Circuit

Out of many treks we’ve done in Nepal the Annapurna Circuit is one of our favorites. The route has a great combination of nature experience, mountain adventure, and Nepalese culture. The trek offers an incredible bio and landscape diversity, it starts at 800m and goes up to 5400m (Thorong La Pass), in less than two weeks trekkers get from a hot and humid area to the icy peaks and back. The scenery on the Circuit is truly breathtaking; mountain ranges, snowy peaks, pine tree forest, waterfalls, jungle, rivers, and small picturesque villages.

The total distance of the circuit is 260km, it’s possible to shorten the trek by taking a jeep, many hikers do it. The trek starts at the town of Besi Sahar, about 180km from Kathmandu, it’s easy to get there from the capital using local buses. As most of the trekking routes in Nepal, the Circuit is a tea house trek. The route goes past local villages where hikers can stop for the night, buy food and water – no need to carry heavy camping gear with.

The trek is quite challenging due to constant elevation gain, high altitude, and low temperatures but the experience is well worth the effort. The Annapurna Circuit should definitely be in the Nepal bucket list of every adventure lover and hiking enthusiast.

Contributed by Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads

Mohare Danda Trek

Nepal has no shortage of hiking options, but if you’re looking for a trail that is well off the beaten path, the Mohare Danda Trek may be just what you’re looking for.

This 5-day hike through a remote section of the Annapurna Mountain range brings you through small villages, farming communities, rhododendron forests, fruit orchards and to sweeping mountain viewpoints. Along the way, you’ll see few other hikers (we saw none!), and you’ll get to enjoy solitude that has become rare on treks in Nepal. 

You’ll meet locals along the way and have the opportunity to support them by staying in their basic yet comfortable teahouses. Satisfy your cravings after a long day of hiking with hearty home-cooked momos, dal bhat, fried rice and, of course, hot tea.

The Mohare Danda hike gives you the opportunity to experience a side of Nepal that few tourists see while providing meaningful work for the people who call this region home.

Contributed by Katie from Two Wandering Souls

Bandipur

Bandipur is a beautiful village whose streets are lined with Newari-style architecture from the 18th century. Distinctive features of these Newari houses include richly carved balconies and slate roofs jutting out over the street below. All motorized vehicles are banned inside the village, making it a quiet and peaceful escape.

Although if you have some energy to burn, there’s plenty of good hiking in the nearby hills. The village of Ramkot, about five kilometers away, makes a good destination for a short day hike. Along the way, you’ll have gorgeous views of rice paddies and the snow-capped Himalayan peaks in the distance. There are no restaurants in Ramkot, so be sure to bring a packed lunch. You can ask one of the cafés in Bandipur to make you a lunch of simple South Asian staple dishes to take with you.

About a 30-minute walk outside the village is Gurunche Dada, a hilltop with a temple at its peak, called Thani Mai, which is a great place to watch the sunset. Or if you’re an early riser and prefer to see the sunrise, head to Tundikhel, a man-made plateau where traders use to haggle with each other for goods. It’s now a cricket and football and pitch for the local kids.

Contributed by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

Everest Three Passes Trek

The Everest Three Passes Trek is one of the best tea-house treks in Nepal, and is also one of the most challenging treks which covers the Everest region on a circular route. The trek takes you to over three 5,000m passes with a spectacular view of all the major giants as you cross the Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La peak.

Leaving the crowds behind and far from the beaten route of EBC, new trails like the Everest Three Passes trek mirrors the same satisfaction of climbing far-ranging peaks to catch a glimpse of the Everest region and learn about the Sherpa culture.

The majority of the people in the Everest region are Sherpa people, and along the trek, you will come in close proximity to the cultures and customs of the Sherpa people. When trekking in Nepal, think of it as a trek that comes with unforgettable scenery, a chance for you to scale the best mountains in the world, occasional encounters with other like-minded souls, a great sense of personal achievement.

By Pashmina from The Gone Goat

Paragliding in Pokhara

Pokhara is one of the best places to visit in Nepal for adventure seekers. Set in the foothills of the Annapurna mountain range, Pokhara is the gateway to some of the region’s best treks. But one of my favorite activities that I did in all of Nepal was going paragliding in Pokhara.

Given Pokhara’s location, the scenery while paragliding is absolutely unreal. Flying next to eagles with the Annapurna mountains in the backdrop is a moment I will never forget! Not to mention the beautiful lake below.

Pokhara is one of the top five commercial tandem paragliding locations in the world, making it a great place for newbie paragliders. The price is affordable in comparison to other parts of the world, and you can feel safe knowing operators have been paragliding in Pokhara for over 18 years. If you’re visiting Pokhara, paragliding should definitely be on your bucket list!

 

Contributed by Lora from Explore With Lora

Nagarkot

Nagarkot is a small town in Nepal and it’s 30 km from the capital Kathmandu. Despite its proximity to the capital of Nepal, it is still a nice laidback place to spend some time in the lap of nature. Nagarkot is well connected with Kathmandu through buses and shared cabs if on budget. Even if you rent a cab it will not cost too much.

Nagarkot is the place to visit if you like to spend some time in solitude and middle of nature. There are several small treks and nature trails, which are you can easily explore on your own. You can also hire a guide and visit nearby villages to see the life of people living in rural Nepal.

One of my other favorite things to do in Nagarkot is watching the sunrise. If the weather is clear then you can see a beautiful sunrise behind the Himalayan range. The valley of Nagarkot comes alive as sunrises behind mountains. If you are looking for some adventure then do paragliding in Nagarkot valley.

For heritage lovers, a visit to Bhaktapur is a must when on the way to Nagarkot. Bhaktapur is a beautiful UNESCO world heritage site and the intricate architecture of it makes it worth visiting.

Contributed by Sapna from My Simple Sojourn

Bandipur, Nepal

If you’re looking for a place to chill after week-long trekking, I’ve got a perfect answer for you!

Located in the middle of Kathmandu and Pokhara city, lies a small hilltop Newari town called Bandipur. To get there, you’ll have to take the bus to Dumre and catch a jeep to the town itself, which is around 20 minutes’ drive away.

What amazed me the most about Bandipur town is that the shop owners never approach the visitors to buy their things. I think it’s part of the town’s policy, which is great because I could walk slowly around the main street, or bazaar as they called it, without having to say “No, thank you,” all the time.

The weather is also pleasant all year round even in summer and monsoon season. The pace of life is just perfect for those who just want to relax.

While Bandipur is more of a town for chilling, there are not many thrilling things to do there. But if you’re there, be sure to try out the restaurants in the bazaar, pay a visit to Thani Mai Temple, Khadga Devi Temple and have a picnic in Memorial Park.

Contributed by Yen from Wandering Journal

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the most magnificent places to visit in Nepal. Bhaktapur was once one of the three major kingdoms of the Newari of Nepal. The place is also known as Bhadgaon or Khowpa Bhaktapur.  It is believed that Bhakktapur was set up by King Ananda Malla in the 12th century.

The most important and attractive monuments of Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the Nyatapola Temple, Basantapur Chowk, Taleju Temple, Palace of 55 windows, Golden gate and Peacock window. Nyatapola Temple is the biggest and highest pagoda in Nepal and stands tall in the middle of Durbar Square. Nyatapola in Newari means ‘five stories’, which symbolizes the 5 basic elements. Architecturally, the Nyatapola Temple is one of the most beautiful ones in entire Nepal.

Bhaktapur is actually a big city, but what you might see is the Bhaktapur Durbar Square where most of the iconic monuments are found. But if you roam around the place, you will see examples of the beautiful Newari architecture as well the intricate woodwork in the buildings. Bhaktapur has a number of hotels and homestays nowadays for accommodation. Bhaktapur is also the place that you should visit to buy Nepali souvenirs. The place is famous for its pottery, puppets, masks and other handicrafts.

Entry Fees for Bhaktapur Durbar Square

  • For Foreign Nationals: $15
  • For SAARC and Chinese Nations: NRs.500

Contributed by Amrita & Agni from Tale of 2 Backpackers

Nepal truly has something for every traveller. Hikers will delight in the incredible unique scenery of the Himalayas, spiritual people will adore the many temples in the country and tourists everywhere will appreciate how friendly the Nepalese are. There are so many places that need to be on your Nepal bucket list that you’ll want to visit over and over again. 

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The Ultimate Nepal Bucket List - Emma Jane Explores
The Ultimate Nepal Bucket List - Emma Jane Explores

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