Capital City: Kathmandu
Currency: Nepalese Rupee
Official Language: Nepali is the official language, with English being spoken in the touristic and business environments
Welcome to the highest country on earth!
Also known as “the roof of the earth”, this Himalayan nation is home to the world famous Mount Everest. Alas, Nepal has much more on offer than just the renowned mountain…Nepal is also an important pilgrimage site for millions of Buddhist, seeing as it is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, and the pilgrims travel from across the globe to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lumbini where Buddha used to live.On offer here are also the sites of abundant Hindu temples, soaring mountain ranges, the jungle of Chitwan National Park with its renowned Bengali Tigers, the Phewa Lake and the stunning hiking trails found in the Himalayas.With such amazing attractions and the warm and hospitable Nepalese people, Nepal that sits on top of the world is about as close to heaven as we’ll get on earth.
Must see places in Nepal
Chitwan National Park
If you’re keen on viewing the renowned Bengali tigers, a visit to Nepal’s oldest national park is just what you need. You’ll also be able to spot the one-horned rhinos and mugger crocodiles among the abundant birdlife. If you’re a thrill seeker, exploring the park on the back of an elephant might be right up your alley, otherwise you can just stick to the safari vehicles.
This city isn’t called the Jewel of Himalaya for no reason. The backdrop of the snow-capped Annapurna Mountain Range, the temples, bazaars and off course Phewa Lake that runs alongside the city, all come together to form a place of exquisite beauty.
Discover the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas with its abundance of fluttering prayer flags, yak caravans and epic adventure opportunities. Some of the best hiking treks to embark on include the Dolpa Circuit, the Jomsom to Mustang trail, the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Community Trail, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek and the Numbur Cheese Circuit Trail.
Although a lot of the religious buildings in Nepal were destroyed during the 2015 earthquakes, there’s still a lot worth seeing here. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Hindu Temple of Pashupatinath is still relatively untouched and the Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple) with its panoramas and plentiful primates are two sites that are bound to mesmerize travelers.
Located in Kathmandu, Thamel is well known for its lively atmosphere, bars, clubs and restaurants. It’s a great place to stop by for some local brews after a long day of sightseeing, plus you can also pick up some great local cuisine and lots of loud music to set the mood.
Although the birthplace of Gautama Buddha is a massive pilgrimage site for Buddhists, it’s a sight well worth seeing for the average tourist as well. You’ll be left breathless by the stunning shimmering golden temples and the beautifully landscaped temple grounds here.
Best known for its beautifully crafted artisanal goods, the city of Patan is an artsy destination well worth visiting. It also boasts a few UNESCO listed landmarks among the art galleries. Some of the best places to go see here include Patan Durbar Square, Krishna Mandir, the Royal Bath, Kumbheshwor Temple and the Golden Temple.
The largest cave in Nepal lies 437 meters underground and will leave you breathless with the spectacular stalactites and stalagmites among the weird and wonderful rock formations.
Things to do in Nepal
See Mount Everest
While not all of us are hikers at heart, and not all of us will make it to the summit, we’d all love to see the impressive Mount Everest. The great things is that you don’t even have to put on your hiking boots to see the sight, it’s as easy as booking a scenic flight with one of the domestic airlines that offer the sightseeing route!
If you’re a whitewater rafting enthusiast, a good boat trip down the Marsyangdi River is just what the doctor ordered. If you’re not that keen on the roughness of whitewaters, the more tranquil waters of Trisuli River offers a more scenic and slow-paced adventure ride.
Shop at Boudhanath stupa
This center of Tibetan exile culture can be found just outside Kathmandu and it’s where you’ll be able to get your hands on the best handicrafts and artifacts to take back home as souvenirs.
Destress with Yoga
Since it’s the birthplace of the peaceful religion, it’s only natural that Nepal has some of the best yoga retreats the world has ever seen. The best centers are situated in Kathmandu, Lumbini and Pokhara and will help you get back in sync with yourself with classes in yoga, meditation and other traditional treatments that help heal the soul.
Drift away on Phewa Lake
The limpid waters of Phewa Tal in Pokhara are great for just chilling out for a day. You can choose to paddle a boat yourself or hop onboard a manned vessel, but the main attraction here is not to be missed. Barahi Mandir is the pretty little island in the middle of the lake with its own temple just waiting to be explored at a leisurely pace.
Best time to visit Nepal
Tourists visit Nepal in Spring and Autumn
Nepal has its monsoon season from the end of June until the middle of September. Spring and Autumn are the best seasons for traveling here as winter temperatures drop well below freezing with the summer months turning scorching hot.
Did you know?
Namaste is the general Nepali greeting phrase
Nepal is famous for being the home of the tallest mountain in the world, Everest
- Dal bhat is a dish that consists of lentils and rice
- Tarkari is spiced vegetables
- Thukpha is a Tibetan stew of noodles and meat
- Rotis are flat, pancake-like bread made from wheat or rice flour
- Choyla is a dish of diced and roasted water buffalo that has been spiced and is served with rice
- Cel roti is the Nepalese donut
- Pani puri are round pastries that are filled with spices, potatoes and water
- Respect local customs such as never stepping over the feet of a person, but rather walking around it; never offer or accept anything with the left hand, rather use the right or both hands; and never point to a person or a statue with a finger.
- Always remove your shoes whenever you enter houses, kitchens and shrines
- Overt public displays of affection are frowned upon, especially near religious places
- Always ask for permission before taking photographs as to not insult the locals