Nepal – Home to Mt. Everest, is the birthplace of Adventure Tourism, so it goes without saying that some of the best Things you can do in Nepal, is going on treks like the famous Everest Base Camp Trek, the Annapurna Circuit trek, Poon Hill Trek etc, which are without a doubt some of the Best Treks in the Himalayas. However, there are a plethora of other amazing things to do as well, such as undertaking a Spiritual Journey in Nepal, or going on a Nepali Food Tour, or spending time surrounded by nature in Chitwan National Park or Bardiya National Park, or spending a Weekend in Pokhara – The lakeside backpackers paradise in Nepal, among others and they are shared in detail below.
So keep scrolling, and check out these Best Things To Do in Nepal – As recommended by travel experts themselves.
Everest Base Camp Trek
By Alya & Campbell | Stingy Nomads
Nepal is an amazing place to come for hiking. One of the most famous and iconic routes in Nepal is the trek to Everest Base Camp. The itinerary of the trek is quite demanding. It’s recommended for inexperienced trekkers to do the hike with a guide or a porter. The route starts in a small town, Lukla, located at 2800m and in a week-time it reaches Base Camp, 5340m. The scenery along the route is truly spectacular; snowy peaks, lush green forest, crystal-clear rivers, stunning look-outs, beautiful villages, old monasteries and stupas. The hospitality of the locals adds another dimension to the trek. Staying in teahouses, eating local food and talking to the people enriches the trekking experience. We’ve met Sherpas that have ascended Everest several times as a part of climbing expeditions.
Arriving at Everest Base Camp is a life-time experience for many hikers. We’ve done it twice and both times we were very excited to be there.
Annapurna Circuit Trek
By Dave Chant
The Annapurna Circuit is a beautiful trek around the Annapurna mountains and peaks with an attempt on Thorang La Pass at 5416 metres. Taking into consideration that this is slightly higher than Everest Base Camp.
The trek has been my favourite of all trips to Nepal, and though the route has got busier and roads expanded, it’s still a beautiful 15-20 days to spend in the mountains covering up to 230km. Allow yourself 3.5 weeks with a stay at the beginning and end to give yourself more time.
You can join small group treks, hire a guide or go independently, carrying your stuff or renting porters. Teahouses are the obvious accommodation on route. Best time to go is October/November, though it is busier, with April/May being the second best choice. Other times of the year can bring avalanches or monsoons.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
By Laura Meyers | Laure Wanders
The Annapurna Base Camp trek, not to be confused with the popular Annapurna Circuit trek, is a beautiful trekking that will take you to some of the highest mountain tops in the world. This trek through Nepal’s Himalayan mountain range can be done in 7 to 10 days and there are guesthouses all along the trek, which is very pleasant. Another great thing about the Annapurna Base Camp trek is that it offers a lot of variation, you will trek through little villages, terraces, hillsides and forests before reaching the mountains.
You need an average physical condition to do this trekking and it’s possible to do it either with or without a guide and porter. No matter what you choose, it will be an experience of a lifetime!
Poon Hill Trek
By Marco Sison | Nomadic FIRE
Nepal’s natural beauty, vibrant culture, and adventure treks have been on my bucket list since I retired early to travel the world five years ago. I loved my excursions to Everest (EBC) and Annapurna (ABC) Basecamps. The month I spent trekking in Nepal was epic, but these treks are not leisurely strolls. My EBC experience included: a fatal plane crash, several helicopter evacuations, and one death from altitude sickness. The reality is high altitude multi-week treks are not doable for everyone. Spending twelve days hiking above 17,000 feet isn’t for the faint of heart. An accessible hike available to everyone is why my most recommended trek in Nepal is Poon Hill.
If you only have a few days in Nepal or don’t want to commit to a 12-16 day expedition, then the Poon Hill Trek (Sometimes referred to as the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek) is an essential MUST-DO. The trailhead starts after a 2-hour bus ride outside Pokhara. The well-marked trail wanders slowly through quaint mountain villages, then begins to climb. Poon Hill is a tough, but doable 10,500 feet in 3 days. The trip climaxes on the morning of the 2nd day. Watching a sunrise through some lingering clouds over a panorama of the Himalayan range will make your soul happy.
Mohare Danda Trek
By Inma Gregorio | A World to Travel
I imagine that as much as it seemed challenging to me – especially in its first stage – the Mohare Danda trek / Annapurna Community trek is intended for beginners and people who want to get in shape for other more ambitious trekking in the future.
Five or six days touring the lower mountains (reaching the 3300m Mohare hill) of the Annapurnas is not a bad plan in any case.
If you decide to undertake this adventure, take a look at the post I published about my experience on the Mohare Danda trek. It will help you understand how you must be physically prepared for such a trek and the best time to do it, among other things. Enjoy it!
Tamang Heritage Trail
By Stephen | Asia-Hikes
The Tamang Heritage Trail offers a great alternative to the most popular treks in Nepal like Annapurna and Everest Base Camp. A much shorter route than the most popular options, the 5-day Tamang Heritage Trail is a great choice for trekkers with less time in the country. Abutting the beginning of the Langtang Trek, it also makes a nice warm-up at lower elevations.
Perhaps most of all, though, the relatively-unknown nature of Tamang means far fewer trekkers and so a much better opportunity to connect with local communities along the way. In fact, the best way to experience the trek is to take a little more time – linger an extra few hours or overnight in another village or two along the way, to experience the lifestyle of the Tamang ethnic group and make connections that often aren’t possible in the busy atmosphere of Nepal’s more popular trekking regions.
See Mt Everest from the Skies
By Stefania Guglielmi | Every Steph Travel and Lifestyle
It may sound like a clichè, but taking a mountain flight in Nepal and flying over the Himalayas and Mount Everest is a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. One of those experiences that you’ll regret not having joined if you decide to skip it. Trust me, after 4 years, I still have friends who were in Nepal with me who tell me “I wish I had done it!”. Yes, you need to wake up super early and yes, it’s expensive (around $200 for a one-hour flight), but worth every cent in my opinion.
The flight departs from Kathmandu domestic airport and goes all the way to Mount Everest by following the Himalaya range, and then comes back.
You’ll need to be lucky weather wise. If the sky is covered, the flight will be canceled and reprogrammed for the following morning.
On the plane (a super tiny plane with individual seats, so everyone has a window seat), the flight attendant will go around pointing to the mountains that you’ll see on a map, and you’ll even get a chance to go in the cockpit. The second you’ll see Mount Everest, it’s so big in front of you, time will stop and you’ll feel so tiny. Definitely an experience not to miss.
Yoga in Nepal
By Bistra | The Magic of Travelling
I couldn’t be more excited when I signed up for a month-long yoga teacher training in the birth land of yoga – Nepal. If someone told me I’d go for yoga in Nepal some time ago, I’d have probably laughed quite a bit. I mean, the country is for all those who want to climb Everest or Annapurna, or any range or peak up in the Himalayas, right?
So I should thank yoga for taking me to discover this amazing country. Not only for deepening my practice with some of the greatest gurus ever but also for meeting so many smiling local people over there in Kathmandu valley. When you can spend a month in a place, you get to know its people, habits, culture, and everyday life, you feel a part of it and in this case – share your “Namaste!”.
I can highly recommend a yoga retreat or training in the countryside of Nepal – not only for the spiritual benefits but also for the pristine nature, friendly locals, ancient culture, and divine atmosphere that you’ll experience.
Walk around the Newari hilltown of Bandipur
Perched on top of a hill, a 8 km detour on the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway, lies the small Newari town of Bandipur. Within moments of getting down from the vehicle at the town’s entrance (it’s a pedestrian only town), I knew I was going to love this place.
Most hotels are located in Bandipur market and that’s where you should stay for the best experience. There are several things to do around town- hike up to the hilltop for a brilliant sunset view, walk to the monastery, explore the ancient temples or if you feel adventurous, climb down to the Siddha Gufa (largest cave in the country).
In my opinion, the best thing to do in Bandipur though, is just walking around the market and observing everything– from the beautiful facades of the centuries old buildings and the Victorian lampposts to the locals going around doing their jobs and almost all tourists clicking pictures mesmerised by the town’s beauty.
Bandipur has been ignored for long and that has helped preserve the Newari architecture and culture here. Probably that’s where Bandipur’s charm lies, not to forget that the place isn’t swarming with tourists yet like the more popular places in Nepal.
Visit to a Rural Village in Nepal
By Paula Martinelli | Paula Pins The Planet
It was my first visit to Nepal, and everything about it was so exciting. The smells, the colors, the culture, the people. I spent 30 days exploring it and every day was a different experience, from walking the crowded streets of Kathmandu, to hiking the Himalayas – but the most remarkable experience was to be able to visit and spend some days at a very isolated rural village in the Himalayas. My guide and friend invited me to visit his family in the village where he grew up, and they shared their homes, lives, kindness, and delicious food with me. If you are visiting Nepal, I truly recommend taking an opportunity to get out of the cities and spend some time with the local people in their villages. This is one of the best parts of travel, the people you meet, and the knowledge and experience you gain because you got to know them and their culture. This experience was priceless!
Stay in a traditional homestay in Tansen Village
By Madhurima Chakraborty | Orange Wayfarer
Tansen is a quaint little Nepali village soaked in the splendors of the Newari culture. If you travel to experience indigenous culture, I suggest signing up for at least a few days stay at a homestay at the Tansen village in Palpa district of Nepal.
One of the iconic success stories of community hospitality, the village of Tansen is now open to receiving guests from across the globe, taking them for guided heritage walks, show them the lesser-known worship places and intricate traditional architecture of their village homes. In that brief stay, you will know about the aspiration and life struggles of Nepali people, understand the core values of Newari community and discover serendipitous finds of the woods at the foothill of Himalaya.
The homestays of Tansen are love and care personified. Large brass plates bring you home-cooked meals. Some sides of potato fries. A fiery red spicy Mutton curry. Some soft bread. All these followed by a clean room with a bed sheet. The window at your head opens to verdant Himalayan valleys. Life is peaceful and content at Tansen.
The village of Tansen is densely populated. A museum tells the stories of valour and struggles of Gorkha warriors. A few Khajaghors, a movie theater with multiple screening of Bollywood blockbusters, old Hindu temples with pagoda style roof top and a vibrant local market complete Tansen.
If people tire you, take the winding roads of the Tansen village and hike the hill. Dense woods occupy those hiking trails. On a bright sunny day, you can see the peaks of Sagarmatha, including THE Mount Everest at a distance from Tansen.
Undertaking a Spiritual Journey
By Debjani | The Vagabong
Nepal is often referred as the meditation and yoga capital of the World. So, whether you are at the mountain top doing meditation or visiting one of the several temples, stupas or pagoda, Spirituality will always be an integral part of this only Hindu Nation. Nepal has more than 125 caste and ethnic groups, and 123 spoken dialects, and is characterized as pure, tranquil and culturally unique.
I have witnessed the best amalgamation of Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal. For travelers who aim for a self-transformation on the spiritual path, they can choose to visit the various Hindu temples or meditate in the birthplace of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha in Lumbini. In the mystic land of Buddhism and several deities/ demons, the traveler or the pilgrims (should you choose to become one) can experience the spiritual upliftment through the practice of yoga and meditation as well in places like Pokhara.
Mostly all the spiritual places in Nepal have a peace pagoda which is also considered a symbol of welcoming peace. This grand pristine monument surrounded by lotus pond which signifies purity and prosperity, was built by Japanese Buddhist organizations. The area often witnesses locals, who flock in here to secure their quest for peace and also the monks who come to offer their prayers in the nearby Buddhist temples.
Kathmandu, the capital city, also has several popular temples and pagodas which should be there on your Nepal Travel Bucket List. Hence, it can be very well summarised, that Nepal places itself as an important destination in promoting spirituality all around the world.
By Noel Morata
Lumbini is a significant place to visit in Nepal as the birthplace of the Buddha in the Southwest section of the country and bordering India. The UNESCO region is a very important pilgrimage site with the main temple and grounds filled with significant artifacts, shrines, gardens and other monuments around the holy site. Also, monasteries from around the world create their own holy spaces to commemorate the birthplace of the Buddha with their own versions and tributes to the teachings and historic significance of the Buddha to their countries and how it impacts the many followers who visit there. Visiting each of the many colorful monasteries is a visual delight with unusual and intricate local architecture from each country, beautiful gardens, artwork and craftsmanship that exemplifies the teachings and sayings from the Buddha that impact each place of tribute.
Although the monastery zone is large with many significant temples and buildings from different countries, there is one wonderful area that you can walk through with a large man made lake in the middle and surrounded with different monasteries that are accessible and open for visitors to enter and see the many shrines and monuments located in their compounds.
Check out these travel postcards from Lumbini – The Birthplace of Lord Buddha, and virtually travel to Lumbini, from the comforts of your home.
Visit Pashupatinath Temple
By Raksha Nagraj | Solo Passport
A major attraction in Kathmandu, and a must do activity in Nepal is to visit the Pashupatinath Temple. The Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred and important religious sites for Hindus. Dedicated to the Lord Pashupatinath (Shiva, the destroyer), this temple is the largest and oldest temple in Nepal. It has been discovered that the existence dates back to 400 B.C.
There are several legends associated with the temple. However, one famous legend is that the wish-fulfilling cow Kamadhenu poured her milk every day on one spot. After a few thousands of years, some people became curious and dug the soil, where Kamadhenu gave her milk, only to find the beautiful Shivalinga.
It is ideal to visit the temple during the times of aarti, which happens in the morning at 6 AM and evening at 6 PM. The aarti is along the River Bagmati and it is a delight to watch the aarti with the music and the chanting.
Note: Beware of the saints in the temple complex. It is common for them to ask for money in the name of God.
Patan Durbar Square : Surprise at every corner!
By Abhinav Singh | A Soul Window
Not many know about the offbeat Patan near Kathmandu. Fewer visit this gem of a place despite the UNESCO world heritage tag that it has earned. It is a little far from Thamel but is easily accessed via various modes of public transports and private cabs. There are a total of 3 Durbar Squares in Kathmandu valley. The one in Patan is quite similar to the Thamel Durbar square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square in character and Newari architectural style and yet different. It is a lot more chaotic, busy and unorganized when compared to the other two. And therein lies its charm.
There are many temples, museums, interesting statues and public spaces like Mul Chowk and Sundari Chowk tucked away in every nook and cranny. Ideally, a day trip from Thamel is sufficient to explore the beauty of Patan. Most of the construction of the complex was done in the 17th century by Malla Kings on an already existing site. It has been a prosperous city ever since and is still a bustling city with a thriving economy.
Do not forget to visit the important places such as the Krishna temple, Taleju Bhawani Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Bhimsen temple etc. Patan museum is also a must visit place. Despite being heavily damaged due to the devastating earthquake of 2015, most of the structures have been restored and are in good condition.
Nepali Food Tour in Kathmandu
By Roxanne Bamboat | The Tiny Taster
One of the highlights from our trip to Kathmandu was taking a local Nepali food tour. Nepal is known for the Himalayas and all sorts of adventure sports but for some reason it’s epic local cuisine tends to get overshadowed. Beyond Momos and perhaps Chowmein, a lot of the cuisine is ignored and there are beautiful meals like a Thakali Thali or a Newari Thali, a full meal from two different communities, Yak Cheese which might just be my favourite kind or even Sel roti a type of bread.
Eating out in Nepal is cheap and you can wander the streets of Kathmandu sampling treats on your own or opt for a more guided Food Tour like I did. It’s the cheapest tour I have ever been on ( 16 USD ) and included 5 glorious food stops and a local telling you about trendy hotspots and where you get the very best momos Kathmandu has to offer.
Pro Tip – Opt for the backstreet academy tours, they’re fab & really pocket friendly!
Rafting in Bardiya National Park
By Ellis | Backpack Adventures
One of the best things to do in Nepal is rafting in Bardiya National Park. This national park in the farwestern corner of Nepal is home to lush jungles with tigers, monkeys and rhinos. It’s remote location means that there are few visitors, but it is well worth the effort to get there.
Rafting in Bardiya National Park is not about adrenaline, but about nature. The karnali river, that runs through the area, is calm, with just some minor rapids. However it takes you floating deep into the jungle.
You have a good chance of spotting crocodiles and if you are lucky a wild elephant, rhinoceros or even a tiger. Bardiya is one of the best places in Nepal to see wild cats. So rafting in Bardiya is at the same time a wildlife safari and a great way to enjoy Nepal’s nature. Therefore bring both a bathing suit and binoculars if you can.
Royal Chitwan National Park
By Wendy Werneth | The Nomadic Vegan
This large national park encompasses grasslands, forests and riverine landscapes and is home to many different species of birds and mammals. These include leopards, elephants, tigers and – most famously – the one-horned rhino. Most package tour companies base their tourists in Sauraha on the eastern side of the park. However, you can have a much more authentic experience by heading instead to Meghauli, a small Tharu village on the western side, where you can stay at a homestay with a local family.
Many companies still encourage tourists to ride elephants in the park, claiming this is your best chance of seeing a rhino. But if you care about the elephants of Nepal, please refrain from riding them, as they undergo cruel abuse in order to be tamed to the point where they will allow tourists to ride them. When I visited, I managed to see a mother and baby rhino very close up without the use of elephants.
Spending A Weekend in Pokhara
By Arnav Mathur | The Eat Travel Live Repeat blog
Pokhara, a Backpacker’s paradise, nestled along the massive Lake Phewa, and surrounded by the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges, is Nepal’s most popular adventure and leisure destination, with activities suitable for all age groups.
And one of the best things you can do during your Trip to Nepal is spending a weekend in Pokhara. And guess what, your time is going to fly if you decide to catch the sunrise from Sarangkot followed by visiting the World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara and further going boating in Lake Phewa or going cafe hopping or on a shopping spree, or even attending an authentic Nepali cooking class.
Pro Tip – If you really want to experience the beauty of Pokhara on your own pace, Go Cycling. And with trails starting from 5 KM – 50 KM, and cycles being available from almost everywhere, for just around 200 – 500 NPR/ day, this is something which you should definitely experience.
Souvenir Shopping in Kathmandu
No trip to Nepal is complete without going on a shopping spree, buying all kinds of souvenirs. Be prepared to haggle, and you might end up with some amazing souvenirs such as masks, prayer flags, dream catchers, small artefacts, tiny buddhas, the Nepali khukri, sky lanterns among other amazing things.
Thank you for reading this travel blog about the Best Things To Do in Nepal. I hope you found this helpful for adding some awesome experiences to your future Nepal Travel Bucket List.
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