The list of places to visit in Pokhara is endless. Walk in any direction, and you’re surrounded by beauty. It’s a haven for trekking and adventure sports, but for those who don’t fancy themselves “thrill seekers” there’s tons of places to sit back and relax as well. Take in some culture at the museums, visit a temple, relax at the spa, or enjoy a night out on the town. There’s something for everyone. The best part is it’s not expensive. Below is a list of all the places to visit in Pokhara that I really enjoyed.
- Map of Places to Visit in Pokhara
- Adventure Sports in Pokhara
- Religious Sites in Pokhara
- Museums in Pokhara
- Food Related Activities in Pokhara
- Relaxing in Pokhara
- Night Life in Pokhara
- Day Hikes Around Pokhara
- Day Trips from Pokhara
- Treks Near Pokhara
- My Top Picks for Hotels in Pokhara
- Transportation to Pokhara
Map of Places to Visit in Pokhara
Download my offline map through GPSmyCity for an easy way to locate the best places to visit in Pokhara that are mentioned in this article.
Adventure Sports in Pokhara
Cost: Peak season will cost up to 12000 rupee (about $100 USD), while off season will only be 5000 rupee (about $40 USD)
See Lake Phewa and the Annapurna range from above. You’ll take off from Sarangkot and land in North Lakeside. Depending on the conditions, your ride could last from 15 minutes to a half hour. You get to soar through the sky like a bird while your guide takes you in circles up above. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can ask them to do tricks on the way down. For those who don’t want to run off a mountain, you can watch from the take off location which is interesting to see. Read more about my paragliding experience.
Cost: 5000 rupees (about $40 USD) per person for one zip-line
Zip-lining has been on my bucket list for a long time. For some reason, I’ve just never gotten around to crossing it off, but Nepal was the place to do it. A quick 30 minute drive outside of the city is one of the world’s longest, fastest, and highest zip-lines. Dropping out of the gate was terrifying, but after that it was fun, and dare I say, relaxing. It only lasts less than two minutes, so it’s a tad on the expensive side, but I’m glad I did it regardless. Read more about my zip-line experience. Update: they recently lowered the price from $68 to $40, so it’s not as expensive anymore.
Cost: 7000 rupees at The Cliff (about $58 USD)
There are three options for bungy jumping near Pokhara. They include HighGround Adventures, Go Bungy Nepal, or The Cliff which is the highest bungy jump in Nepal. I went to the Last Resort in Nepal which is on the other side of the country, so I can’t recommend a place in Pokhara. I’ve been told The Cliff is great because it’s so high, but I can’t speak from experience. If you want a short but intense adrenaline rush, then bungy jumping is the right choice for you.
Cost: 12000 rupees per couple (about $100 USD)
If bungy jumping isn’t your thing, you can consider a tandem swing with a friend or your partner. I haven’t tried the swing as I was looking forward to being disoriented and upside down in the bungy jump. To me, the swing looks scarier. You can try a tandem swing at The Cliff in Kusma, just outside of Pokhara.
Cost: 9500 rupees (about $80 USD)
One of the newest activities being brought to Nepal by HighGround Adventures is an ATV tour. Honestly, why did no one think of this sooner? Nepal is the perfect place to off-road in an all terrain vehicle! Now, you can take a two hour off roading tour to Sarangkot where you get to enjoy a lovely lunch.
WISH – West Indoor Sport Hub
WISH is a sports hub and climbing wall located near Lakeside in Pokhara. They offer an awesome rock climbing wall that’s great for everyone from beginners to experts. You have the option to do bouldering or be roped into a belay to climb higher. The floor has mats to protect you if you fall. This is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon doing something different.
Go Kart Pokhara
Go Kart Pokhara is a great adrenaline rush for the entire family. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the morning with kids, then this is it. It’s located on the north side of Lake Phewa and could be combined with a trip to Pame Beach (it’s not actually a beach) which has lots of restaurants to choose from on the water. The only downfall is that you’ll need to hire a car to take you there.
Kayaking on Lake Phewa
Cost: 200 rupee per hour or 1,000 rupee a day (about $2 USD or $10 USD)
I’m a huge fan of kayaking, but it always seems too expensive to rent one. Luckily, here it’s fairly cheap. I grabbed one for an hour right before dinner when the sun was setting. It’s way too hot to be on the lake in the middle of the day, so 4:30pm was perfect. The only downfall was trying to carry the kayak from the store to the water and back by myself. If you have a group, you can rent a row boat which is already in the water and easier to get to.
Religious Sites in Pokhara
Pema Dechenling Monastery
I couldn’t find much information about the Pema Dechenling Monastery other than it’s a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery overlooking Phewa Lake. You have to climb some stairs to get to the top, but it’s worth the walk. There’a a large golden Buddha statue overlooking the lake with lovely views of the water below. Although the Buddha is huge, I’ve noticed this is one of the lesser known places to visit in Pokhara.
Boat to Tal Barahi Temple
While you’re out boating, check out the Tal Barahi Temple located on a small island near Dam Side on the lake. My friends and I rented a boat for an hour, and it took us longer to get there than we anticipated so we didn’t have time to go inside. The temple is sometimes used for weddings and you can see masses of locals visiting it daily. The Tal Barahi Temple is a popular destination for local tourism as it’s one of the holiest places to visit in Pokhara.
Attempt to See Devi Falls
Cost: 30 rupee entrance fee (about $0.30 USD)
I say attempt because it’s almost impossible to see the actual falls. For some reason, there is a tall fence that feels like a prison surrounding it. No matter where you stand, the view is only meh. We had a good laugh at how bad of a view it was, and I got mad at websites who recommended seeing it. If you are in the area, you can check it out, but don’t go out of your way to see Devi Falls.
Explore Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave
Cost: 100 rupee entrance fee (about $1 USD)
Right across from Devi Falls is Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave. Unlike the falls, this is pretty cool. As you descend the large stairs, you almost feel like you are in ancient Greece. Once underground, you’ll duck through man made tunnels until you can see the Devi Falls from below. This is a good place to stop on route to the World Peace Pagoda.
Museums in Pokhara
Visit the International Mountain Museum
Cost: 400 rupees for foreigners (about $4 USD)
I’m not usually big on visiting museums in other countries because I’m always so busy trying to see the culture first hand. That being said, the International Mountain Museum was interesting. It showed what village life is like in the mountains including traditional clothing from each caste. My favorite part was seeing all of the equipment used to summit some of the highest mountains in the world and reading about the first people to make it to the top. Some of the equipment looked so archaic that I honestly have no idea how people survived their treks. It was amazing to see in person.
Gurkha Memorial Museum
The Gurkha Memorial Museum focuses on showing the history of Gurkha soldiers who worked in the British Army and India Army and those impacts on Nepal. The exhibit has photographs, uniforms, and medals on display and would be interesting for those fascinated with history and the military.
Annapurna Museum (Annapurna Natural History Museum)
The Annapurna Museum is located in the Prithvi Narayan Campus in Pokhara. It was established in 1965, and the exhibits were meant to entertain children and educate them about the area. The museum focuses on natural history including how the area was formed with tectonic plates, fossils found in the area, as well as some of the flora and fauna found in the area.
Food Related Activities in Pokhara
Eat Tibetan Momos at a Refugee Camp
I know this is the third time I’ve mentioned momos in this post, but after asking several locals which were their favorite, they all seemed to agree that the Tibetan’s make them the best. I got to visit two refugee camps (one on the way to Kusma and another near Devi Falls). Both were the best momos I had in my entire stay. You can tell they are going to be amazing because there’s usually a wait for a table and everyone eating there is a local. They also tend to sell out so get there early.
Elevated Dining at Sky Cafe
The Sky Cafe is located outside of Pokhara at The Cliff in Kusma. It’s not a meal for the faint of heart because your table is pretty much floating in the air. Those who want to dine with a little bit of a rush would enjoy this daring meal. This is also the kind of activity that could be enjoyed by all ages as it doesn’t require jumping off of a bridge and is a low key rush compared to other activities at The Cliff.
Enjoy the Lake Walk
There’s a gorgeous little pathway that runs along the water in Lakeside that everyone has to walk down at least once. The first time I came to Nepal, it was just a dusty dirt path, but over time it has evolved into a cute park-like area on the water with grass, pathways, and benches. I like to walk here at night when all the restaurants turn on their neon signs. This is by far one of the most popular places to visit in Pokhara for locals and tourists.
Learn to Make Momos
Cost: 1250 rupee per person (about $12 USD)
Try your hand at dumpling making. While most of the class is spent learning how to seal a dumpling in different styles, it certainly brings out your artistic flare. A bit of cooking class, and a bit of arts and crafts (think playdough), it’s a lot of fun to learn this art form. Read more about my cooking class experience.
Drink Chai in a Local Village
You can hike to a few small villages around Pokhara. One of my favorite things is sitting down to have some tea in someone’s home. Sometimes locals will offer it to you free of charge, especially if you know a little Nepali. Sometimes, they’ll charge for it. Regardless, it’s always fun to take a break from a hike to enjoy the spectacular views. You can grab chai on the way to Sarangkot, the Peace Pagoda, or any little village you stumble upon even if it’s in the middle of nowhere.
Relaxing in Pokhara
Get a Massage
I recommend the spa at Middle Path Hotel & Spa. I’ve had a lot of massages in Nepal, and the ones I’ve had there are some of my favorites. The price varies depending on the type of massage and how long it is, but they range from $25 – $50. You can get a massage somewhere cheaper, but the quality and facilities are not as good.
Take a Yoga Class
Yoga classes and retreats are popular around Pokhara, especially in the Lakeside area. Some restaurants and hotels offer classes for free, but most places charge around 500 rupees (about $5 USD) per class. I’m told Purna Yoga Retreat Center is nice, but it’s been a few years since I took a yoga class in Pokhara, so it’s hard for me to recommend a specific place.
You can also try your hand at meditation while you’re in town. There’s an Osho Divine Zone near lakeside which offers an array of interesting types of meditation to try including kundalini and dynamic meditation which can sometimes involve screaming. If you’re looking for one of the more interesting places to visit in Pokhara, this is it. You can read about my experience with the Osho Divine Zone in Kathmandu.
Rent a Bicycle
Cost: 100 rupees an hour (about $1 USD)
One of the things I found most relaxing was hiring a couple of bicycles and just wandering around town on them. There isn’t too much traffic in Lakeside and you can ride your bike to Pame Beach (towards the north of Lake Phewa) for lunch if you want a bit more of a challenge. If you keep going past Pame, you’ll end up riding along the rice fields outside of town. It’s fairly flat, but you’ll want to rent a mountain bike with gears as there are some hills.
Night Life in Pokhara
Catch a Live Band at The Office Bar
Cost: Varies based on food and drink
The Office Bar, a local hang on North Lakeside, is the perfect place to grab a beer and enjoy some live music. My friends happened to know the owner, and I was invited over on numerous occasions. If you want to relax in a laid back bar with the locals, this is the place to do it. You’ll find people just chilling, playing cards, and catching up after work. I’d recommend the veggie burger or veg pakora if you’re looking for food or just grab a drink. Some nights they even have a famous local jazz band playing.
Kick Back at the Movie Garden
Cost: $3.50 for the movie plus you can order food and drinks
The Movie Garden is an outdoor cinema located in Lakeside. It’s a little hard to find since it’s tucked away up a hill off the main street, but once you’re there, you’ll feel like you’re in another world. The small pathway is illuminated by candle light, and the seating area is under a giant canopy. It’s probably one of the cutest places to visit in Pokhara, if not all of Nepal. They play a different movie every night. We caught Life of Brian when we visited.
Day Hikes Around Pokhara
Sunrise Hike to Sarangkot
Cost: 50 rupee entrance fee (about $0.50 USD)
My friends and I attempted to hike up Sarangkot almost every day for a week. Every morning at 4:00am we’d wake up to find a sky full of clouds and zero visibility. We’d all roll back into bed and try again the next day. Eventually the clouds cleared up, and we made the two hour hike to see the sunrise. It was well worth the wait and the short but steep trek. If you aren’t into hiking, you can also take a taxi up most of the way. Sarangkot is one of my favorite places to visit in Pokhara.
The World Peace Pagoda
The World Peace Pagoda boasts beautiful views of the city, the lake, and Annapurna on a clear day. There are two routes to hike. One is over an hour while the other is only 20 minutes. I found the views on the hour trek to be very pretty. Most of the time you’re on an unpaved road so it wasn’t too difficult to navigate or climb. I’ve been told it’s also a beautiful place to watch the sunset. The World Peace Pagoda is one of the most popular places to visit in Nepal.
Lord Shiva Statue
Past the World Peace Pagoda and on the way to Pumdikot is the 51 foot tall Lord Shiva Statue which was recently constructed and finished in 2021. It’s a strenuous hike to get here, but it’s one of the few day hikes in the area and it doesn’t require a conservation area permit. This is also one of the days of the Panchase Hiking Route which I’ll mention in this article as well. That route takes 2-3 days and goes around the southwest side of Lake Phewa.
Day Trips from Pokhara
Annapurna Cable Car
Cost: About $9 USD
The Annapurna Cable Car opened in 2022 and takes you for a ride up to Sarangkot. You can make this a half day or overnight trip by riding the car up in the morning (for half day) or afternoon (for overnight), enjoying breakfast or lunch with a view from the top, watching the paragliders take off, and then coming back down on the cable car later.
Cost: Varies depending on type of transportation and time of year
If getting off the beaten path is your main goal, hire a bike to take you to Kusma. It’s about two to three hours outside of Pokhara. I was fortunate enough to have a friend take me to this adorable little city. There were no other tourists in sight, and the locals were thrilled to see us visiting. Kusma is known for having the longest and highest suspension bridge in Nepal. You can test your fear of heights by crossing it. Despite being terrified, the views from the middle are spectacular. There is also a beautiful cave in the area. Unfortunately, we went after the monsoon season, so the water was too deep for us to enter.
Update: Kusma is now a hot spot destination because The Cliff established a mecca of adventure sports facilities.
Cost: Varies depending on type of transportation and time of year
While Pokhara is beautiful, the surrounding areas offer so much as well. About an hour drive outside of the city is a less touristed lake. On a clear day, you can see the Himalayas towering over the water. While most tourists visit the west side of the lake, the east side has a beautiful viewpoint with barely anyone around. There’s a small restaurant right on the water that makes some of the best fish I’ve ever had. Just look for “Begnas Lake Viewpoint” on Google Maps to find it. From here you can rent a boat to take out on the water.
For more info: Check out my Begnas Lake: City Guide
Dovilla is about a 20 minute ride outside of Lakeside, Pokhara. The area became famous after several Nepali tiktokers posted videos of the gorgeous swimming hole there. Unfortunately, we went in September after the monsoon and the beautiful watering hole had turned into a raging river. Therefore, you’ll need to ask if it’s worth visiting before hiring a car to take you there. We were told October and November were better times to visit.
Treks Near Pokhara
The Panchase Trek is a 2 to 3 day trek at low altitudes surrounding the southwest side of Lake Phewa. This is an easier trek which is perfect for beginners and families. It’s a great warm up for harder treks and doesn’t require a conservation permit, however you may want to take a guide as the path isn’t as well worn.
Poon Hill Trek
The Poon Hill Trek is a 4 to 5 day trek inside the Annapurna Conservation Area. Although it’s a shorter trek which doesn’t go too high in altitude, it is extremely difficult due to the amount of stairs you need to climb to get there.
You can read more about my experience in these Poon Hill Blogs.
Mardi Himal Trek
The Mardi Himal Trek is a 5 day trek that gets you up close with the Annapurna Mountain Range. This is one of the newer and more popular treks within the Annapurna Conservation Area because of its short time frame and epic views.
You can read more about my experience in these Mardi Himal Blogs.
Khopra Danda Trek
Khopra Danda is an off-the-beaten-path trek within the Annapurna Conservation Area. We went during monsoon and didn’t get many views, but I’m told it’s epic on a clear day. This trip takes between 5 and 8 days depending on your itinerary.
You can read more about my experience in these Khopra Danda Blogs
The Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek takes between 7 and 8 days and is rather difficult. This trek involves a lot of steep uphill climbs despite never reaching 5,000 meters but the views are worth it. This is one of the first trekking routes in Nepal!
You can read more about my experience in these ABC Trek Blogs
Tilicho Lake Trek
The Tilicho Lake Trek is usually combined with the Annapurna Circuit and takes an additional 3 days from that route. This was my favorite part of the circuit and is worth walking out of the way for.
You can read more about my experience in this post about Tilicho Lake.
Annapurna Circuit Trek
The Annapurna Circuit was one of the first treks I ever did in Nepal, and it was the first one where I carried my own bag, so it holds a special place for me. This trek takes most people 12 days, but I did a longer version and spent several days in villages I liked. It took me 30 days to complete, but it was an incredible month in the mountains.
You can read more about my experience in these Annapurna Circuit Blogs
My Top Picks for Hotels in Pokhara
Forest Lake Backpacker
$12 a night – Located on the quiet northern side of Lakeside, this hostel has everything you need including lockers, outlets near the bed, privacy curtains, individual reading lights and more. I stayed here for an entire month and loved it!
Hotel Middle Path
$50 a night – This is my go to hotel when I visit Pokhara. There’s an on site pool, large clean rooms, a beautiful garden, a spa, and friendly staff. It’s located in the heart of Lakeside close to all my favorite restaurants. I can’t recommend it enough!
Transportation to Pokhara
You can save time by booking your tickets to Pokhara online. Often if you book a bus ticket in person, you aren’t able to choose the company you go with. Online, you can pick which bus you want including VIP buses. You can also book a car, SUV, or flight to Pokhara.
Have any questions about the best places to visit in Pokhara? Feel free to reach out to me in the comments!
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Michelle Della Giovanna
Writer at Full Time Explorer
I’m just your average New Yorker who quit her job in the fashion industry to explore the world. Come find out what it’s like to trade in five-inch heels for squat toilets.