Nepal might be just a small country, but it has so much to offer to tourists by way of sights, adventure, and culture. Although Nepal has recently gained reputation for being an exemplary hiking destination, the country has so much more to offer than just its beautiful trails and breathtaking – quite literally and figuratively – mountains.
If you intend to stay in Nepal for more than just a few days, then you might want to make the most out of your stay and visit the popular destinations in the country. Here are some places you would not want to miss.
What Are Must-See Places in Nepal?
If you have yet to put together your itinerary, then you might want to start with these destinations:
Nepal’s capital is easily one of the most popular destinations for tourists – and for good reason. This bustling city has so much to offer – from food to activities to breathtaking sites. The busy streets of Kathmandu are lined with numerous restaurants, so you really would not have to worry about getting hungry while exploring the capital. Want to go shopping? Then the Thamel area is worth checking out.
Despite the busy streets, however, the city is not lacking in terms of temples and historical sites. Among the temples worth visiting are the Pashupatinath Temple, the Kopan Monastery, the Boudhanath Stupa (which is also a UNESCO site), and the Swayambhunath Temple.
Not far from Kathmandu is Bhaktapur, formerly among the three Royal Cities in Nepal. Although no longer holding such designation, Bhaktapur remains a sight to behold, making it a top destination for tourists.
The Durbar Square is a good place to start if you are touring the city. From there, you can see the Royal palace, as well as the Nyatapola, Dattatreya, and Bhairavnath temples. Want to bring home something unique from Nepal? Then Bhaktapur is also a great place for shopping for puppets, pottery, and other handicrafts.
Another notable city close to Kathmandu is Panauti, one of the oldest towns in Nepal. Despite Panauti being a mere 40 miles from the busy capital that is Kathmandu, Panauti’s old town charm certainly makes first-time visitors feel as though they have been transported to another time and place.
Should you find yourself in Panauti, make sure to visit notable temples like the Doleshwor Mahadeva and the Kali. To kill time on a lazy day, you can wander the old streets of Panauti and check out the historic street markets.
Speaking of temples, Lumbini is another site in Nepal which you definitely would not want to miss. In fact, Lumbini is hailed as one of the most significant sites in the Buddhist faith, it being the birthplace of Gautama Buddha.
The temples all over Lumbini are open to everyone and, regardless of your beliefs, you can certainly enjoy the peace and quiet that washes over the entire place. If you have the time to wind down and relax, try to make the rounds in the Maya Devi temple, the Royal Thai Monastery, and the Lumbini Monastic site.
Also referred to as Lalitpur (literally, “Beautiful City”), this picturesque city will certainly take your breath away with its art and architecture. All over the city, one can find beautiful feats of architecture, ranging from temples to museums. Among the most noteworthy structures are the Patan Durbar Square, the Krishna Mandir, the Golden Temple, and the Patan Museum.
This historic city also features a lot of unique and beautiful wooden carvings, as well as exquisite religious art. If you want to remain in the city but want to temporarily escape the bustle of business centers, then Patan will certainly offer some relief.
If you want to make the most of your Nepal trip and fully take in the beauty of the Himalayas, then Nagarkot should definitely be on your list of places to visit. This is a quaint hill station which affords a great view of eight mountain ranges in the Himalaya. That said, you are guaranteed to experience spectacular sunrise and sunset during the warmer months.
Given the location, Nagarkot is also a great place for a lot of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, trekking, and even paragliding when the weather permits.
If you want to enjoy the great outdoors but want to see something more than just mountains, then Pokhara might just be the perfect city for you. Situated along the shores of Lake Phewa, one gets a great view of Annapurna range. In addition to the spectacular Himalayan view, Pokhara also feature lush green forests and the popular Valley of Orchids.
For the more adventurous, Pokhara also has numerous underground caves and waterfalls. The Massif Glaciers are also popular among tourists.
Sagarmatha National Park
Of course, no visit to Nepal is complete without going to Sagarmatha National Park, home to none other than Mount Everest. Even if you are not planning to reach the highest peak in the world, you can still enjoy looking at other equally spectacular peaks such as the Lhotse and the Amadablam.
But the Sagarmatha National Park is more than its peaks and glaciers, it is also home to animal species that you will rarely see outside of the region. Here, you can see snow leopards, red pandas, and Himalayan tahrs.
When Nepal is mentioned, a lot of people picture glaciers and snow-capped peaks, but the country is so much more than a just a trekking destination. While there is no denying that the country offers magnificent hiking trails, if you really want to make the most out of your Nepal trip, then you should certainly visit the other popular sites all over the country.
Nepal has a great culture and history, and getting the full Nepal experience means visiting picturesque villages and quaint old cities. They might not be as adrenaline-inducing as going on extreme hikes, but they are certainly worth being excited over. After all, the country is without a doubt breathtaking.