One of the most visually stunning countries on earth, Nepal has been a traveller’s mecca for decades. From the world’s highest mountain to the chaotic cities, Nepal has everything for the curious explorer. Although the country suffered through a devastating earthquake in 2015, Nepal is back on its feet again and there’s never been a better time to go. This best of Nepal guide shows you the essential stop-offs.
Travelling into Nepal, you will more than likely be flying into Kathmandu. A beguiling mix of old meets new, where livestock lumbers alongside traffic, the capital of Nepal might startle you at first but its best to just go with the flow. Must-dos in this city always include visiting some of Kathmandu’s best temples – start with Swayambhunath, a Buddhist stupa on a hill from which you can look out over the city. Also head to Pashupatinath, one of the most important Hindu temples in the world.
If you want a good neighbourhood to wander around, head to Thamel. Many travellers come here so there’s always a lot going on and it’s a good place to get your bearings. This is also a great place to visit in the evenings if you want a lively scene.
Perhaps the number one reason why people choose to travel to Nepal, the Himalaya mountain range offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. This is, of course, home to Mount Everest, the highest in the world, but also dozens of other big-hitters on the mountaineering scene.
A trek to Everest base camp is worth it if you have the time, as is the well-heeled Annapurna Circuit. Many people also head to Langtang Valley to go hiking, a slightly more under-the-radar destination for trekking just north of Kathmandu.
There really are an endless number of hikes you can complete in Nepal, no matter what skill level you’re at. The best thing for you to do when planning a trekking trip to Nepal is to so a little research beforehand, then talk to people in Kathmandu once you’ve arrived. Local guides will be able to recommend something that suits you perfectly.
A little more laid-back than Kathmandu, Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest city. Set on a lakeside with mountain views from almost everywhere, Pokhara is a good place to visit if you need to rest for a few days after lots of hiking, or just want to chill out for a while regardless. If you do feel like pumping up the adrenaline here, take on some paragliding, parasailing, or white water rafting. There’s never a dull moment in Pokhara!