Pokhara, nestled amidst the stunning Annapurna mountain range in Nepal, is a city known for its breathtaking natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere. For those pondering things to do in Pokhara, boating on the serene Phewa Lake, surrounded by lush hills and with a view of the Annapurna range, and visiting the Peace Pagoda, a massive Buddhist stupa on a hilltop offering panoramic views of the city, are top activities.
The city’s bustling Lakeside area is filled with cafes, shops, and restaurants, providing a lively atmosphere and a chance to soak in the local culture. Nearby, the Devi’s Fall, a scenic waterfall, and the Gupteshwor Cave, a large limestone cave, offer opportunities for exploration and adventure.
Beyond its natural attractions, Pokhara is also a hub for adventure tourism, with paragliding, trekking, and mountain biking being popular activities. For those seeking the best places to visit in Nepal, Pokhara’s blend of natural splendor, outdoor adventures, and laid-back vibe makes it a captivating destination.
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Attractions & Things to Do in Pokhara, Nepal
1. Phewa Lake
Phewa Lake is Pokhara’s centerpiece, a stunning body of water surrounded by the majesty of the Annapurna range of the Himalayas. Boating and kayaking are popular activities here, and the lake is famous for its reflections of Machhapuchhre and other mountain peaks.
Travel Tip: Rent a boat for a few hours in the early morning when the water is calm, and the reflections are most clear.
2. World Peace Pagoda
Perched atop a hill overlooking Phewa Lake, the World Peace Pagoda is a massive Buddhist stupa that offers a panoramic view of the lake, the city, and the Himalayan peaks.
Travel Tip: Hike up to the pagoda in the early morning to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and the stunning sunrise.
Sarangkot is a popular spot for witnessing the sunrise and sunset over the Himalayas. It’s also renowned for paragliding opportunities that offer thrilling aerial views of the surrounding landscapes.
Travel Tip: For the best experience, head up to Sarangkot early in the morning when the skies are usually clearer.
4. Davis Falls
Also known locally as Devi’s Falls, Davis Falls is a unique waterfall that plunges into a deep, narrow canal which has a significant depth and is not visible from the surface.
Travel Tip: Visit during or just after the monsoon season when the waterfall is at its most powerful.
5. Gupteshwor Cave
Adjacent to Davis Falls, this cave holds special religious significance due to the presence of a Shiva temple inside. The cave features stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
Travel Tip: Bring a flashlight for better visibility as you walk through the darker sections of the cave.
6. International Mountain Museum
Dedicated to the mountains of Nepal, the history of mountaineering, and the people who live in the Himalayas, this museum offers a comprehensive understanding of the geological and cultural significance of the region.
Travel Tip: Allow enough time to explore both the indoor exhibits and the outdoor sculptures and gardens.
7. Begnas Lake
Less crowded than Phewa Lake, Begnas Lake is ideal for those seeking tranquility and a chance to connect with nature. It is excellent for fishing, boating, and bird-watching.
Travel Tip: Rent a paddle boat or canoe to explore the lake at your own pace.
8. Seti River Gorge
Formed by the Seti-Gandaki river, this gorge can be viewed from various points around Pokhara. The sight of the river far below the earth’s surface is both daunting and beautiful.
Travel Tip: Visit the Mahendra Pul viewpoint to see the best of the gorge.
9. Bindhyabasini Temple
This is one of Pokhara’s most important religious sites, dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati. The temple sits on a hill and offers views of the bazaar below and the snowy peaks beyond.
Travel Tip: Visit during a Hindu festival for a more vibrant experience, but be prepared for crowds.
10. Old Pokhara
Old Pokhara gives a glimpse into what the city was like before tourism. Wander through the old bazaar, with its traditional buildings and local shops selling everything from spices to handcrafted items.
Travel Tip: Start your walk early to avoid the heat and the crowds later in the day.
FAQ About Things to Do in Pokhara, Nepal
What are the must-visit places in Pokhara?
Pokhara is known for its stunning natural beauty and offers several must-visit places such as Phewa Lake, the World Peace Pagoda, Sarangkot for panoramic Himalayan views, and the International Mountain Museum.
Can I go paragliding in Pokhara?
Yes, Pokhara is one of the world’s top destinations for paragliding. You can take off from Sarangkot and glide over the majestic Phewa Lake against the backdrop of the Himalayas.
Is there an opportunity for trekking near Pokhara?
Absolutely! Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit, with several trekking routes ranging from day hikes to multi-week adventures such as the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
Are boating activities available on Phewa Lake?
Yes, you can enjoy boating on Phewa Lake. Visitors can rent paddle boats, rowboats, and sailboats to explore the lake and visit the Tal Barahi Temple located on an island in the lake.
What cultural experiences can I have in Pokhara?
Pokhara offers a rich cultural experience with its Tibetan settlements, the Gurkha Museum, and various local festivals. You can also visit the Old Bazaar to experience the local way of life and traditional Newari architecture.
Can I take yoga or meditation classes in Pokhara?
Yes, there are numerous retreats and centers in Pokhara that offer yoga and meditation sessions. These classes cater to all levels and often include views of the serene natural surroundings.
What adventure sports can I try in Pokhara?
Besides paragliding, Pokhara is a hub for adventure sports such as zip-lining, ultra-light flights, bungee jumping, and white-water rafting on the Seti River.
Are there any guided tours to explore Pokhara’s nature and wildlife?
Yes, you can find guided tours that take you into the surrounding hills and jungles. These tours may include bird watching, jungle safaris, and visits to the Annapurna Conservation Area.