In Nepal, every day is a fresh adventure waiting to happen. Whether you are up for epic treks, soaking in history, or exploring local culture, Nepal has it all. From world-class trekking to ancient traditions, we have compiled a list of the best 25 things to do in Nepal.
Nepal, home to the world’s tallest mountain, is a traveler’s dream come true. It’s a place where you’ll find the perfect blend of nature, culture, and history, offering something extraordinary for every type of traveler.
However, with so much to see and do, planning your trip to Nepal can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we have put together this must-do activity guide to help you discover the beautiful places and experiences Nepal has to offer.
Here are the top 25 things to do in Nepal as a tourist.
1. Visiting Kathmandu is the best thing to do in Nepal
A sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley is one of the top things to do in Nepal. The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, is a treasure trove of cultural and historical wonders, with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Within the valley, you’ll discover the following UNESCO sites:
Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple): This iconic stupa offers panoramic views of the city and is known for its spiritual significance and the playful monkeys that inhabit the area.
Pashupatinath Temple: A sacred Hindu temple complex on the banks of the Bagmati River, where you can witness cremation rituals and learn about Hindu traditions. This is the most iconic place to visit in Kathmandu.
Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in Asia and a hub of Tibetan Buddhism. You can walk around its imposing mandala and experience the tranquil ambiance.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is the heart of the city. This square is a historic and cultural center with impressive palaces and temples.
While sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley, you’ll experience Nepal’s rich cultural heritage, have a chance to interact with friendly locals, and savor traditional cuisine. This Kathmandu day tour stands out as one of the top things to do in Nepal, offering an immersive journey through the country’s culture and history.
2. Thrilling Adventures in Nepal: Bungee Jumping, Paragliding, and Ultralight Flights
Nepal has some super thrilling stuff to do, like bungee jumping, paragliding, and ultralight flights. Travelers seeking an action-packed day can enjoy thrilling adventure activities like bungee jumping, paragliding, and ultralight flights.
Bungee jumping is an adrenaline rush you can experience in just one day. The Last Resort, near Kathmandu, offers one of the world’s highest jumps, jaw-dropping 160 meters into a tropical gorge. Alternatively, in Hemja, close to Pokhara, you can take an 80-meter jump into a 20-meter-deep pond, even touching the water.
Paragliding is another popular thing to do in Nepal, with picturesque locations like Pokhara, Sirkot, and Bandipur. Soar over breathtaking valleys, shimmering lakes, and winding rivers, all while enjoying the majestic views of iconic mountains like Mt. Everest and Annapurna.
For an up-close view of the Himalayas, try an ultralight flight in Pokhara. Witness the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs in all their glory, surrounded by breathtaking vistas.
3. Explore Pokhara, “City of Lakes.”
Pokhara is a fantastic place to explore. It’s often called the “City of Lakes” and is well known for its stunning natural beauty. Snow-covered mountains, lakes, important temples, mysterious caves, and beautiful waterfalls surround this city. This charming city is the starting point for trekking tours in the Annapurna. Some exciting treks you can do from here are Ghorepani Poonhill, Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek, and the Mardi Himal Trek.
But if you’re into adventure, there’s more to do, like bungee jumping, ultralight flight, paragliding, canoeing, and zip-lining. Also, make sure not to miss the splendid sunrise over the mountains of Sarangkot Hill.
There are some must-visit places in Pokhara, like the Bindabasini Temple, Mahendra Cave, International Mountain Museum, David Fall, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, and many others.
4. Wildlife Safaris in Chitwan National Park
Wildlife Safari is another exciting adventure in Nepal not to be missed. One of the best places to experience this thrill is Chitwan National Park. Wildlife safaris are a must for every tourist exploring Nepal.
This park is a sanctuary for an incredible variety of animals, including Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinoceroses, Asian elephants, and a multitude of bird species. The park’s rich biodiversity and the chance to encounter elusive species make Chitwan a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise.
Here are some of the exciting activities you can enjoy in Chitwan National Park:
- Explore the Narayani River by boat.
- Watch crocodiles along the banks of the Rapti River
- Witness the stunning sunset on the bank of the Rapti River
- Take a thrilling jeep safari through the park
- Visit the elephant breeding center
- Adventurous jungle walks within Chitwan National Park
- Stay in a treehouse for a chance to spot nocturnal animals.
5. Bird-Watching Adventures in Nepal
Nepal is a haven for birdwatchers with its diverse national parks and varied landscapes that range from subtropical to alpine. With over 850 bird species, Nepal is a bird-watching paradise.
Popular bird-watching areas in the hills around Kathmandu Valley include Nagarjun, Godavari, and Phulchowki. For those interested in observing migratory water birds during the winter, Taudaha on the way to Dakshinkali Mandir is an ideal place.
In the higher Himalayan regions, you can encounter an array of birds, including Nepal’s national bird, the Lophophorus, locally called Danphe.
Some famous bird-watching spots in Nepal include Koshi Tappu National Park, Shivapuri National Park, Chitwan National Park, Pokhara, Bardia National Park, and the Annapurna Conservation Area.
If you are interested in the wild, bird watching is one of the best things to do in Nepal for you.
6. Helicopter Tours in Nepal
If you’re in Nepal and want to get close to the breathtaking mountains quickly, consider taking a helicopter tour. These helicopter tours in Nepal provide an amazing view of the Himalayas, including iconic peaks like Mount Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang Range, within a short time.
One of the most popular helicopter tours in Nepal is the Everest Base Camp trek with a helicopter return. This heli ride takes you soaring over the stunning landscape of the Everest region, giving you a close-up look at the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest. These helicopter tours typically last around 3 to 4 hours, while trekking lasts for a week.
So, if you’re looking for unobstructed, up-close views of the mighty Himalayas in Nepal, you don’t want to miss out on these helicopter tours.
7. Discover Bhaktapur: Nepal’s Enchanting Newari City
Exploring the authentic Newari city of Bhaktapur is a captivating experience not to be missed in Nepal. Bhaktapur, often referred to as Bhadgaon, immerses you in a rich cultural journey where you can discover Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bhaktapur day tour allows you to admire the breathtaking Newari architecture, intricate woodwork, and grand palaces that tell the stories of a bygone era. Visit ancient temples like Nyatapola, Dattatreya, and Bhairav Nath, which all have their own interesting history and architectural significance.
You can observe the age-old art of pottery-making in the pottery square, where local artisans craft traditional pottery using time-honored techniques. In addition, you can indulge yourself in Newari cuisine like yomari, chatamari, momo, and Juju Dhau (special yogurt).
8. Photography Tour in Nepal
The photography tour in Nepal is one of the top things to do in this captivating land. It’s a remarkable opportunity to immerse yourself in the Himalayas’ beauty, including the world-renowned Mount Everest.
Nepal offers endless photographic possibilities, whether you’re capturing ancient temples, bustling markets, colorful festivals, or welcoming locals.
The nation’s wildlife adds another layer to your visual journey, with chances to photograph rare and endangered species in their natural habitats. Nepal’s landscapes are equally diverse, featuring lush forests, serene lakes, rugged terrains, and serene monasteries, providing ample creative inspiration.
Adventure enthusiasts can seize thrilling moments like trekking and paragliding from Nepal’s popular hill stations to see signature sunrises and sunsets over the Himalayas.
This photography tour promises to be an enriching visual experience, whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting your photographic journey.
9. Lumbini Tour
A journey to Lumbini is one of the top must-do experiences in Nepal. Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds great religious importance as the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Thus, visiting this sacred site is a deeply moving and enlightening experience.
The notable landmarks include the Maya Devi Temple, marking the spot where Siddhartha Gautam was born. The ancient Ashok Pillar, an inscribed stone column by Emperor Ashoka, provides invaluable historical insights.
Lumbini’s peaceful gardens are adorned with monasteries and stupas constructed by diverse countries and Buddhist communities. All these Buddhist monuments showcase unique architectural styles and cultural expressions. This tour not only connects you to the roots of Buddhism but also offers a serene and reflective journey through Nepal’s spiritual heritage.
10. Mountain Biking Adventure Beyond Kathmandu Valley
If you love biking, there are plenty of exciting mountain biking trails outside Kathmandu. For an easier ride, you can explore places like Bungamati, Chapagaun, Godavari, and Khokana, just a bit outside the city. These trails are known for their beautiful scenery and not-too-difficult biking paths.
But if you’re up for a real biking challenge, head to Shivapuri National Park. The journey starts at Budhanilkantha, and while it’s not a super popular biking route, it’s an exciting one. The trail takes you through rough terrain and untouched nature, making it a thrilling and lesser-known biking adventure in Nepal. It’s a chance to test your biking skills and uncover the hidden natural beauty of Nepal.
11. White-River Rafting in Nepal
Nepal is an exceptional destination for white-water rafting enthusiasts. The country hosts numerous rivers with remarkable high-intensity rapids, making it a haven for adventure junkies. Among the renowned options for white-water rafting are Trishuli, Bhotekoshi, Kali Gandaki, Seti River, and Sun Koshi.
Trishuli, in particular, enjoys immense popularity because of its convenient proximity to both Kathmandu and Pokhara. It is also an ideal choice for beginners looking to embark on a rafting adventure. However, if you are a seasoned adventurer seeking a more challenging experience, Seti River offers a more intense adventure.
Are you ready to feel the exhilarating rush of these high-intensity rapids?
12. Hiking and Trekking in Nepal
Nepal has countless trekking destinations, from remote lowland trails to high-altitude hikes in the glaciers and mountain passes. Among all things, trekking to Mount Everest base camp is the most popular one. This extraordinary adventure takes you through a range of breathtaking landscapes, from lush forests and charming Sherpa villages to rugged alpine terrain.
The EBC trek leads you to base camp, where mountaineers launch their expeditions to conquer the world’s highest peak. Standing there, towering mountains and immense glaciers surround you.
This trek also offers the chance to explore picturesque mountain towns like Namche Bazaar. You can hike up to Kala Patthar, a viewpoint that provides one of the most incredible panoramic views of Mount Everest.
13. Take a Mountain Flight in Nepal
Nepal has some of the best trekking routes with stunning mountain views. If you can’t trek but still want to enjoy the mighty Himalayas, consider taking a mountain flight. Some of the famous mountain flights in Nepal are the Everest Helicopter Ride and the Annapurna Mountain Flight.
Mountain flights offer a great opportunity to witness mountains up close. These flights go up to about 7,000 meters, and in just an hour, you’ll be near the towering, snowy peaks. It feels like you’re floating above the clouds, surrounded by these massive mountains.
During a mountain flight in Nepal, you can admire famous towering peaks such as Everest, Ganesh Himal, Nuptse, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna, Macchapucchre, Langtang, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Lhotse, Manaslu, and many more.
14. Rock Climbing in Nepal
Rock climbing, an enthralling adventure sport, involves climbing natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The objective is to reach the top of the rock using hands and ropes, following a predefined route.
Rock climbing in Nepal is a demanding and challenging sport that tests climbers’ physical and mental strength. To participate in this activity, individuals need proper climbing skills and know how to use all the necessary equipment. For a comprehensive adventure, you can combine rock climbing with bird-watching or hiking.
Some of the famous rock climbing destinations in Nepal are Balaju Rock Climbing, Hattiban Rock Climbing, Pasang Lhamu Sports Climbing Centre, Thame Rock Climbing, Bimal Nagar Rock Climbing, Astrek Climbing Wall, Kathmandu Sport Climbing Center, and Initiative Outdoor Bouldering Wall.
15. Participate in Local Nepali Festivals
Nepal is famous for its culture and festivals celebrated throughout the year. These festivals bring people of different cultures, religions, and backgrounds together in the spirit of peace and togetherness.
Participate in these local festivals to experience the local culture and traditions. Celebrating these festivals provides enjoyment and creates lasting memories of Nepal.
Some major festivals in Nepal include:
|Name of Festival
|New Year’s Day
|Krishnashtami and Janai Purnima
|Holi: Festivals of Colors
16. Try River Fishing in Nepal
Nepal is home to over 4,000 rivers and thousands of lakes, making it an ideal place for sport fishing. Within the rivers that run through the Himalayas, you can find various fish species, including snow trout, freshwater eel, catfish, mahseer, and more.
You have the option to pick any river, such as Kali Gandaki, Trishuli, Indrawati, Sunkoshi, Koshi, and Karnali, for your fishing escapades. Additionally, there is a chance to collaborate with local communities like Bote, Majhi, Tharu, and Macchuwar. Many people who enjoy fishing also like to participate in activities such as rafting, kayaking, and canoeing to have a more complete adventure.
17. Practice Yoga and Meditation
Nepal is a calm and beautiful country with old traditions and lovely natural scenes. While you visit, you can find many quiet places, monasteries, and yoga centers for all levels of practitioners.
No matter if you are just starting or are good at yoga and meditation, Nepal has the perfect atmosphere and experienced teachers to help you improve and find your inner peace. The serene backdrop of snow-capped peaks, lush forests, and tranquil lakes creates the perfect environment to practice and feel connected with yourself.
In Nepal, you can learn ancient ways of finding calm and being surrounded by nature’s beauty. It’s a special experience and one of the best things to do in Nepal as a tourist.
18. Exploring Nature at Godawari Botanical Garden
Godavari Botanical Garden, situated in Godavari, Nepal, is a true natural haven for families visiting the country. Here, amidst the lush greenery and diverse plant life, you can spend a serene and educational day with your loved ones.
With an extensive collection of plants and trees from across Nepal, the garden offers an opportunity to connect with nature and discover the country’s rich botanical diversity.
Visiting this botanical garden is not only a tranquil experience but also an excellent way to engage with your family while exploring Nepal. You can enjoy a leisurely picnic, take nature walks along well-maintained trails, watch for various bird species, and learn more about the region’s horticultural practices.
Thus, Godavari Botanical Garden is one of the top things to do with your family, offering a blend of relaxation and educational enjoyment in a pristine setting.
19. Explore Sacred Buddhist Sites in Nepal
Nepal is home to several sacred Buddhist sites that offer a glimpse into the rich spiritual heritage of the region.
Within the Kathmandu valley, you can visit Swayambhunath Temple, also known as Monkey Temple, perched on a hill with breathtaking views. The temple complex houses various shrines and temples, including Shantipur, Harati Devi Temple, Pratapur, Mahavihar, and Shree Karma Raj.
Another significant Buddhist pilgrimage site is the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the world’s largest spherical stupas. Devotees often circumambulate it, and the area is bustling with street vendors, rooftop restaurants, and Buddhist monasteries.
Namo Buddha, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, offers a tranquil retreat with a scenic hiking trail. The Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery and the Cave of the Tigress are its major attractions. These sites provide a glimpse into Nepal’s rich spiritual heritage.
20. Short Hikes Around Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu Valley, known for its cultural richness, also offers a delightful array of short hikes that provide a perfect blend of adventure and nature.
For a quick escape into nature, a short hike from Kathmandu leads you to Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. Here, you’ll wander through lush forests and reach picturesque viewpoints, making it a refreshing day.
Another rewarding adventure is the Champadevi hike, which offers awe-inspiring vistas of the Kathmandu Valley and the majestic Himalayan peaks. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a half-day adventure.
The Namo Buddha hike is also a great option that leads you to a sacred Buddhist site amidst serene surroundings.
For a two-day escape, consider the Chisapani Nagarkot hike, which takes you through charming villages and treats you to mesmerizing sunrise views over the Himalayas.
21. Rural Community Homestays in Nepal
Doing a homestay is one of the local things to do in Nepal. With this, you gain a close insight into the culture and lifestyle of the local Nepalese.
During your homestay, you’ll become a part of a Nepali family, learn how to cook Nepali food, practice their language, and immerse yourself in the daily life of your host family.
Some of the popular homestays in Nepal are Bandipur Homestay in Bandipur, Sirubari Homestay in Sangha, Panauti Community Homestay in Panauti, Ghale Gaun Homestay in Lamjung, Balthali Village Homestay in Balthali, Dhulikhel Homestay in Dhulikhel, Nagarkot Homestay in Nagarkot, and many more.
Each of these homestays provides a unique window into the warmth and authenticity of Nepali culture.
22. Experiencing Nightlife in Thamel
If you are looking for something to do in Nepal at night, you must check out Thamel, a famous tourist hub.
Thamel’s nightlife offers a diverse range of experiences, making it one of the most enjoyable things to do in Nepal. This lively neighborhood comes alive after dark, offering a captivating mix of entertainment and cultural experiences.
You can enjoy the live music at various bars and clubs. Plus, you can watch traditional Nepali shows and meet fellow travelers.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Thamel include enjoying live music, bar hopping, and clubbing. It’s a fun experience that adds a lot of excitement to your Nepal trip. Although Nepal is not so popular for nightlife, tourist centers like Thamel and Pokhara always glow at night. Thus, no wonder it is on the list of top things to do in Nepal.
23. Indulge in Local Nepalese Food
Amidst the array of fantastic things to do in Nepal, don’t miss the chance to indulge in the local cuisine.
Kathmandu is your hub for tasting traditional Nepalese dishes that have been passed down through generations, some for centuries. It would help if you simply tried dishes like Dal Bhat, sel roti, momos, dhido, and gundhruk.
As you wander the streets of Kathmandu, you’ll come across several Nepalese eateries, but for an authentic experience, venture into Newari cuisine.
Newari foods are renowned for their organic ingredients and a rich blend of spices. Don’t leave without savoring Chatamari, Kwati, Newari Khaja Set, Yomari, Bara Wo, and more. It doesn’t make sense if tasting local foods doesn’t make it to the list of best things to do in Nepal.
If you are passionate about Nepalese cuisine, consider joining a cooking class. There, you can master the art of recreating these delectable dishes to enjoy back home.
24. Shopping in Nepal
Shopping in Nepal is one of the most exciting things to do in Nepal. The colorful markets in Kathmandu and Pokhara offer a variety of interesting products at affordable prices. Most markets are open all day, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Nepal is known for its unique souvenirs, such as pashmina shawls, singing bowls, khukuri (the Gurkha knife), beads and jewelry, handicrafts, Thangka paintings, tea, statues, and rice paper items.
Some of the best places for shopping in Nepal are Thamel, Asan Bazaar, Newroad, Boudha Stupa Market in Kathmandu, and Mahendra Pul Bazar in Pokhara. If you are in Bhaktapur, don’t miss Pottery Square and Durbar Square for a great shopping experience.
25. Visit Janakpur Town
When visiting Nepal, exploring the famous city of Janakpur is an absolute must. This culturally rich town is where you can discover the breathtaking Janaki Mandir, a revered Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Sita.
You can witness the daily recitation of the Ramayana and immerse yourself in the spiritual culture of the town. There are local markets where you can find Mithila artwork and traditional Nepali handicrafts. Further, you can savor the flavors of Mithila cuisine, offering a delicious and authentic taste of Nepal.
Nepal is a paradise for travelers. It’s a place where you’ll discover a vibrant culture, heart-pounding adventures, and wildlife encounters. The food is a delicious adventure for your taste buds, and the people are really friendly. And don’t forget the deep sense of spirituality that makes Nepal a truly special place to explore.
With the list of top things to do in Nepal as your guide, you can now tailor your travel experience to match your style, budget, and time. Whether you seek cultural immersion, exciting adventures, or serene moments of reflection, Nepal has it all to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions for Tourists Visiting Nepal
How do you greet someone in Nepal?
In Nepali culture, people usually greet by saying “Namaste” to their elders instead of “Hello”. When meeting someone they don’t know, they also use “namaste.”. It’s a sign of respect and part of their religion. Learn a few Nepali words here.
Is it rude to tip in Nepal?
Tipping is not as common in Nepal as it is in some other countries, but it is appreciated, especially in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
When trekking in Nepal or on tours, it’s customary to offer tips to guides, porters, drivers, restaurant staff, and other service providers, considering the relatively low wages they earn. It’s a gesture of appreciation for their service.
What is Nepal famous for?
Nepal is famous for its stunning mountain ranges, including Mount Everest. It’s a place where diverse ethnic groups and languages coexist and where vibrant arts and crafts thrive. But Nepal’s fame extends beyond these well-known aspects. This beautiful country is also famous for its colorful festivals, unique cuisine, and rich spiritual traditions.
How can I spend 10 days in Nepal?
For a fulfilling Nepal experience, it’s best to plan for at least 7 to 10 days. During this time, you can visit major places such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, and Lumbini and even embark on a trekking adventure. If your stay is shorter, around 5-7 days, you can still glimpse Nepal’s rich culture and breathtaking natural beauty.
Which is the most visited place in Nepal?
Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is the most-visited destination. This city is full of ancient temples, golden pagodas, natural beauty, and fascinating villages that draw travelers from all over the world.
What are the dos and don’ts in Nepal?
Do’s in Nepal
- Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites like Hindu temples or Buddhist monasteries.
- Use the right hand to receive or give other things.
- Remove shoes and hats before entering someone’s house.
- Seek permission before entering the Hindu temples.
Don’ts in Nepal
- Don’t show any kind of public affection, like holding, kissing, or hugging your partner.
- Don’t touch any sacred objects in shrines or temples.
- Don’t take photos without consent.
- Don’t touch someone’s head, as it is considered sacred in Buddhism.
What is the dress code while visiting Nepal?
There is no specific dress code in Nepal. But it’s advisable to be mindful of the local Nepali culture. Choose clothing that isn’t too revealing, like sleeveless tops or very short shorts. Shorts are acceptable as long as they’re of modest length, not going above the knee. When visiting temples or monasteries, it’s important to dress modestly to show respect.
Here are some travel tips to know before traveling to Nepal:
What is considered disrespectful in Nepal?
In Nepal, it’s crucial to understand and respect the local cultural norms, especially when coming from a Western background. Here are a few points to be mindful of during your visit:
- Using your left hand for gestures or interactions is considered disrespectful.
- While greeting, instead of handshakes, say ‘Namaste’, joining your hands together in a prayer-like gesture.
- Don’t step over or disrespect sacred objects, shrines, or religious symbols.
- Avoid touching people, especially on the head, as it’s considered impolite.
- Don’t show the soles of your feet; touching people with your feet is considered rude.