Top things to do

Top Choice Palace in Leh

Leh Palace

Bearing a passing similarity to the Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet), this nine-storey dun-coloured edifice is Leh's dominant structure and architectural icon. It took shape under 17th-century king Singge Namgyal but …
Top Choice Cafe in Leh

Lala’s Art Cafe

Entered beside a 2000-year-old Buddha stela, this tiny, mudbrick house with a historic ground-floor shrine was saved from demolition and brilliantly restored in 2006. Stone steps lead to a cafe with floor seating an…
Top Choice Multicuisine in Leh

Bon Appetit

Hidden down unlikely footpaths south of Changspa Rd, Bon Appetit maintains a cuisine that has far more finesse than anything else in Leh, so consider booking. Much on the eclectic menu has an Italian feel, but you'l…
Top Choice Cafe in Leh

Ja Khang

Excellent coffee from a Faema machine served in an interior that brilliantly captures the Ladakhi spirit, while simultaneously feeling airy, bright and up to date. Low-key music plays some evenings. It's upstairs ab…
Top Choice Multicuisine in Leh

Food Planet

A Russian–Indian couple has created a menu that really covers the globe. Although some of the more untraditional items were unavailable when we visited (guacamole, Uzbek shurpa soup, stuffed mushrooms), they still h…
Top Choice Food & Drinks in Leh

Dzomsa

Fill up drinking-water bottles here (₹7 per litre). Dzomsa also offers an environmentally friendly laundry service (₹95 per kg), fresh apricot and buckthorn juices (₹20/80 per glass/litre), and a range of local prod…
Area in Leh

Leh Old Town

Behind Leh’s fanciful Sunni men’s mosque, Jamia Masjid, winding alleys and stairways burrow between and beneath a series of old mudbrick Ladakhi houses and eroded chortens. The alleys themselves are a large part of …
Buddhist Monastery in Leh

Spituk Gompa

Founded in the late 14th century as See-Thub (‘Exemplary’) Monastery, impressive Spituk Gompa surveys the Indus Valley with multiple mudbrick buildings tumbling merrily down a steep hillock towards Spituk village. F…
Notable Building in Leh

LAMO

This arts–media trust occupies an adjoining pair of 17th-century Ladakhi mansions, one of which was the home of the munshi (king's secretary) and thus one of the greatest homes of its era. Beautifully restored from …
Buddhist Monument in Leh

Tisseru Stupa

Ladakh's largest stupa is unlike anything else in the region – a giant, bulky mudbrick structure that looks like a half-built ziggurat (stepped pyramid). Were its interior staircases accessible rather than locked be…