The place is famous for gorgeous lake views and chilled out vibes. From the lake, and possibly even from your hotel bed, you can enjoy a clear view of the snow-capped mountains, just 20 or so km away.
There’s much more to Pokhara than its laid-back charm. It also boasts a booming adventure-sports industry: it is arguably the best paragliding venue on the globe and is surrounded by white-water rivers. There’s a fascinating museum dedicated to the world-famous Gurkha soldier. And last but not least, it’s the gateway to the world-famous treks in and around the Annapurna range and beyond.
You can travel to Pokhara via flight from Kathmandu (~30 mins, Rs.1600) or bus from Kathmandu (~9 Hours, Rs.700-1000)
Below is my list of top things to do in Pokhara:
stroll around stunning lakes
Phewa Lake Towards the lake’s centre, admire the incredible views ; the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna range on one side, densely forested slopes of Anadu Hill on the other. The views from Phewa Lake are out of this world.
You can book an affordable one hour, two hour or whole day guided paddle boat from one of the many lakeside stalls, or hire a boat and paddle the lake yourself for any agreed time.
Cost | NPR 560 for one hour guided, plus NPR 20 per compulsory life jacket
Opening hours | 7am – 5pm (may be extended depending on season)
trek to viewpoints
Sarangkot | Enjoy uninterrupted, panoramic views across a number of the most striking Himalayan peaks, including the imposing Dhaulagiri (8167m), the triangle peak of Machhapuchhare, Annapurna II and Lamjung. The light show here is incredible, as the peaks turn from bright pink, to orange, and finally white.
There are a number of chai stalls and tea houses just near the viewpoint. To get to Sarangkot viewpoint, you can hire a taxi to take you to the lookout point (NPR 500+), or hire a scooter in Pokhara and follow the signs to Sarangkot.
World Peace Pagoda | Built in 1973 by Japanese monks as a gift to Nepal and a symbol of peace, the Peace Pagoda is an interesting cultural site to visit, and provides some of the best views of the Annapurna Range, Pokhara and Phewa Lake.
Although extremely popular with local and foreign tourists, tranquility is important here, so please dress appropriately, respect the rules and enjoy the surrounds quietly. As there isn’t much shade to be found on the trail, we’d recommend visiting in the morning to avoid the heat. This is also when the skies are at their clearest and the best views over the Annapurna Range can be seen.
Safety note | solo travellers (female, particularly), do be careful if you decide to walk up by yourselves as cases of sexual harassment have been reported in the last few years.
try adventure activities
- White Water Rafting at Upper Seti river
- Where | Paddle Nepal, Pokhara
- Cost | USD $51 per person, half day trip
- Further information | Bring adequate footwear for the rafting – either reef shoes or any closed toe shoe you don’t mind getting wet
- Best time to visit | October to November is the best time to raft, when the rivers are full and clear blue
- Paragliding at Sarangkot
- Who | Check out Sunrise Paragliding
- Cost | Standard flight (30mins): NPR 7,500
Cross country flight (40-60mins): NPR 11,000
GoPro footage: NPR 1,700
- Additional Information | For safety reasons, you can’t take your own camera/GoPro on your flight
If you want footage, you’ll need to purchase it
- Reviews | See what other travellers thought of paragliding in Pokhara here
savour delicacies at Top Restaurants
- Breakfast/Cafe | Beans and Cream, The Juicery, Perky Beans
- Lunch | Fresh Elements, Krishna’s Kitchen
- Dinner | El Bocaito Espanol, Moondance, Krazy Gecko Bar & Rest
Best Places to Stay:
- Luxurious Stays:
- Mid-Low Budget Stays:
If trekking is your major goal then following are the other treks you can consider:
Most Popular Trekking in Nepal to Experience these 8 Highest Mountain of the Himalayas
- Mohare Danda Trekking – To Experience Dhaulagiri
- Annapurna Circuit Trek – To Experience Annapurna and Manaslu
- Pikey Peak Trek – To Experience Everest, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu and Makalu
- Annapurna Short Trek – To Experience Mt. Annapurna
Mt Everest – Top of The World and The Most Popular Base Camp Trek
Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world measuring 8848m (29029feet) in height. It was first climbed on May 29 2-53 by a New Zealanders sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norway of Nepal.
Usually 12 Days are required for Everest Base Camp Trek which begins with a 30-35 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. During the flight you can enjoy the spectacular views of Mt. Everest along with Mt. Mahalangur, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Ama Dablam, etc. and the amazing Himalayan terrain.
Normal Itinerary that you can follow with or without guides/package tours:
- Day 01: Arrival at the Kathmandu Airport and Transfer to the Hotel.
- Day 02: Fly to Lukla Airport and trek down to Phakding 2,652 m Duration: 3-4 hours
- Day 03: Phakding 8699ft to Namche Bazaar 3443, Trekking duration is about 7 hours
- Day 04: Rest day at Namche Bazaar. Hiking Around Namche Bazaar, Everest View Hotel
- Day 05: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche, 3860 m or Debuche 3,790 m.
- Day 06: Tengboche Monastery 12660ft to Dingboche Valley 4410 m.
- Day 07: Acclimatization hike to Nangkartseng Hill 4900 m and back to Dingboche 14464ft.
- Day 08: Dingboche valley to Lobuche 4910 m crossing Thukla Pass.
- Day 09: Exploring Everest Base Camp and back to Gorekshep 5181 m.
- Day 10: Sunrise hike to Kala Pathar 5545 m/18188ft and trek down to Pheriche.
- Day 11: Trek down to Namche Bazar from Pheriche
- Day 12: Namche to Lukla 9184ft, trekking down following same trekking trail.
- Day 13: Early flight from Lukla to Kathmandu, End of Everest Base Camp Trek with Trekking Trail Nepal.
- Day 14: End of Everest Base Camp Trek. Departure or extend your trip with Trekking Trail Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit (Long Circuit) The periods for hiking the Annapurna Circuit are October – early December, and late Feb – April. Most trekkers have followed an Annapurna Circuit itinerary that begins in Besishahar and heads in an anti-clockwise direction over the Thorong-La Pass and down into the Jomsom Valley.The main reason for this is acclimatisation. When following the trail anti-clockwise, you have almost 2 whole weeks of acclimatisation (and leg-training!) before you begin the leg-and-lung-breaking final ascent up and over Thorong La (5416m).
Here are a few quick facts about the trek !
- Trek length | Generally 16-20 days
- Distance | this varies depending on route and whether you take optional side treks, but generally between 170km – 230km
- Highest point of the trek | Thorong La Pass – 5416m (17,769ft)
- Trekking Permit is required | The APC Permit is USD $30 / NPR 3,000 per person + the TIMS Permit is USD $20 / NPR 2,000 per person.
- Guesthouses and teahouses are dotted along the whole trek, starting from Besisahar all the way to Jomsom
- Altitude Sickness is real!
Typical itinerary looks like this:
- Day 1 | Kathmandu to Bandipur (by car)
- Day 2 | Bandipur to Bahundanda via Besishahar (car to Besishahar, then hike to Bahundanda)
- Day 3 | Bahundandah to Jagat Lamjung (1290m)
- Day 4 | Jagat Lamjung to Dharapani (1920m)
- Day 5 | Dharapani to Chame (2630m)
- Day 6 | Chame to Lower Pisang (3190m)
- Day 7 | Lower Pisang to Manang (3540m)
- Day 8 | Acclimatisation day in Manang, including a short hike to higher altitudes – and a movie night at the town’s ‘cinema’!
- Day 9 | Manang to Yak Kharka (4018m)
- Day 10 | Yak Kharka to Phedi (4450m)
- Day 11 | Phedi to Muktinath (3800m) via Thorong La Pass summit (5410m)!
- Day 12 | Muktinath to Jomsom (2800m)
- Day 13 | Jomsom to Pokhara (by plane)