Must-see attractions in Nepal

  • Nepal, Kathmandu Valley, Bodhnath Stupa, the Buddha's eyes and prayer flags viewed at twilight with decorative lights

    Boudhanath Stupa


    The first stupa at Boudhanath was built sometime after AD 600, when the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, converted to Buddhism. In terms of grace and purity…

  • Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal. It is the birthplace of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama.; Shutterstock ID 600057641; your: Sloane Tucker; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI

    Maya Devi Temple


    The spiritual heart of Lumbini, Maya Devi Temple marks the spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in around 563BC. In the adjoining…

  • Swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu

    Swayambhunath Stupa


    The Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the crowning glories of Kathmandu Valley architecture. This perfectly proportioned monument rises through a whitewashed…

  • Frontal View of the World Peace Pagoda in Lumbini

    World Peace Pagoda


    Located outside the main compound, but easily accessible by bike, the impressive gleaming-white World Peace Pagoda, one of the world's greatest stupas,…

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    Cambodian Monastery


    With strong touches of Angkor Wat, this colourful fantasy due for completion in 2018 is already one of the most fascinating temples in Lumbini. The temple…

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    Royal Thai Buddhist Monastery


    Close to the north end of the pond, this stunning and imposing wat (Thai-style monastery) is built from gleaming white marble. The blue-roofed meditation…

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    Zhong Hua Chinese Buddhist Monastery


    This elegant monastery is one of the most impressive structures at Lumbini. Reached through a gateway flanked by dogs of Fo, the elegant pagoda-style…

  • Nepal, Kathmandu, View of Hanuman dhoka temple. (Photo by: JTB/UIG via Getty Images) (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)

    Hanuman Dhoka


    Kathmandu's royal palace, known as the Hanuman Dhoka, was originally founded during the Licchavi period (4th to 8th centuries AD), but the compound was…

  • Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (The Golden Temple) buildings exterior in a sunny day in Lalitpur city, Nepal.

    Golden Temple (Kwa Bahal)


    This unique Buddhist monastery is just north of Durbar Sq. It was allegedly founded in the 12th century, and it has existed in its current form since 1409…

  • Golden gate at Durbar Square in Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.

    Golden Gate


    The magnificent Golden Gate is a visual highlight of Durbar Sq. Set into a bright red gatehouse surrounded by white palace walls, the fabulous golden…

  • Itum Bahal.

    Itum Bahal


    The long, rectangular courtyard of the Itum Bahal is the largest bahal (Buddhist monastery courtyard) in the old town and remains a haven of tranquillity…

  • Nyatapola Temple, the tallest monument within the city and the tallest temple of Nepal.

    Nyatapola Temple


    You should be able to see the sky-high rooftop of the Nyatapola Temple long before you reach Taumadhi Tole. With five storeys towering 30m above the…

  • Kathmandu,Nepal, 04.12.2018 - Garden of Dreams.; Shutterstock ID 1147311047; your: Bridget Brown; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI Image Update

    Garden of Dreams


    The beautifully restored Swapna Bagaicha (Garden of Dreams) remains one of the most serene and beautiful enclaves in Kathmandu. It's two minutes' walk and…

  • Courtyard of Mul Chowk, in the Patan Royal Palace Complex in Patan Durbar Square.

    Mul Chowk


    South of the Patan Museum, a gateway opens onto the stately Mul Chowk, the largest and oldest of the Royal Palace’s three main chowk (squares). The…

  • Group of bronze Buddha and Hindu Gods figurines in a showcase of the Patan Museum.

    Patan Museum


    Formerly the residence of the Malla kings, the section of the Royal Palace surrounding Keshav Narayan Chowk now houses one of the finest collections of…

  • People crowd the street in the Asan Tole market region of Kathmandu.

    Asan Tole


    From dawn until dusk the six-spoked junction of Asan Tole is jammed with vegetable and spice vendors selling everything from yak tails to dried fish. It’s…

  • Krishna Mandir Temple.

    Krishna Mandir


    Heading into Durbar Sq, you can’t miss the splendid Krishna Mandir built by King Siddhinarsingh Malla in 1637. Constructed from carved stone – in…

  • Tusha Hiti sunken water tank in Sundari Chowk.

    Sundari Chowk


    South of Mul Chowk is the smaller Sundari Chowk, arranged around a superbly carved sunken water tank known as the Tusha Hiti. The chowk was restored in…

  • Pilgrims walking on the plaza of the Janaki Mandir in Janakpur, Nepal.

    Janaki Mandir

    The Terai & Mahabharat Range

    At the heart of Janakpur lies the marble Janaki Mandir, one of the grander pieces of architecture in Nepal, and the city's must-see sight. Built in…

  • Hindu temple of Shashwat Dham.

    Shashwat Dham

    The Terai & Mahabharat Range

    Burned out on ancient sites? Here's a contemporary take on the temple compound, and it's very impressive. The centrepiece is a Shiva temple that resembles…

  • A vegetable seller, at Indra Chowk, Kathmandu. Tourism, accounted for 3.8 percent of the GDP in 1995-96, although numbers have fluctuated depending on the political situation in the country. The city's rich history is nearly 2000 years old, with Hinduism being the dominant religion followed by Buddhism. It is known as the land of the ethnic Newar community. (Newar means citizen of Nepal). Kathmandu, Nepal. 2010. (Photo by: Mahmud /Majority World/UIG via Getty Images)

    Indra Chowk


    The busy street of Makhan Tole spills into Indra Chowk, the courtyard named after the ancient Vedic deity, Indra. Locals crowd around the square’s…

  • Durbar Square


    Kathmandu’s Durbar Sq was where the city’s kings were once crowned and legitimised, and from where they ruled (durbar means palace). As such, the square…


    Durbar Square (Patan)


    The ancient royal palace of Patan faces on to magnificent Durbar Sq. This concentrated mass of temples is perhaps the most visually stunning display of…

  • Daman Mountain Resort View Tower

    The Terai & Mahabharat Range

    Some of the best views of the Himalaya in Nepal can be had from the concrete viewing tower inside the Daman Mountain Resort. Unfortunately, the resort has…

  • Landscape around the Swayambhunath temple.

    Stupa Platform


    The great stupa is surrounded on all sides by a veritable sculpture garden of religious monuments. Several buildings were destroyed by the earthquake and…

  • Basantapur Tower in Nasal Chowk courtyard, Kathamandu, Nepal.

    Nasal Chowk


    From the entrance gate of the Hanuman Dhoka palace you immediately enter its most famous chowk. Nasal Chowk was used for coronations, a practice that…

  • Seto Machhendranath Temple in Kathmandu.

    Seto Machhendranath Temple (Jan Bahal)


    Southwest of Asan Tole at the junction known as Kel Tole, this temple attracts both Buddhists and Hindus – Buddhists consider Seto (White) Machhendranath…

  • The Art Gallery building of the National Museum in Nepal.

    National Museum


    Around 800m south of Swayambhunath at Chhauni, this sprawling museum set in a walled compound looks a little moth-eaten and overgrown, but there are some…

  • Royal Patan palace complex in Patan Surbar Square.

    Royal Palace


    Forming the entire eastern side of Durbar Sq, the Royal Palace of Patan was originally built in the 14th century, and expanded during the 17th and 18th…

  • The Budhanilkantha statue of the Hindu god Vishnu, lies in a reclining position inside a recessed tank of water.

    Reclining Statue of Vishnu

    Around the Kathmandu Valley

    Budhanilkantha's focal point for devotions is a large reclining statue of Vishnu as Narayan, the creator of all life. From his navel grew a lotus and from…

  • Platforms for cremations are lined up along the Bagmati River in Pashupatinah, Kathmandu, Nepal.

    Western Cremation Ghats


    Despite being clogged with garbage and black with pollution, the fetid Bagmati River is actually an extremely sacred river; Pashupatinath is the Nepali…

  • The Palace of the living goddess Royal Kumari in Kathmandu, Nepal.

    Kumari Bahal


    At the junction of Durbar and Basantapur squares, this red-brick, three-storey building is home to the Kumari, the girl who is selected to be the town’s…

  • Gorkha Durbar


    Regarded by many as the crowning glory of Newari architecture, the 16th-century Gorkha Durbar is a fort, palace and temple all in one. Miraculously, the…

  • Inside the main temple of Kopan monastery.

    Kopan Monastery


    On a hilltop north of Bodhnath, Kopan is popular among foreigners for its courses in Tibetan Buddhism. Visitors are welcome to explore the monastery and…

  • Market and crowds of people at the walls of ancient Taleju Temple on Durbar Square in Kathmandu.

    Taleju Temple


    Durbar Sq’s most magnificent temple stands at its northeastern extremity but is not open to the public. Even for Hindus, admission is restricted; they can…

  • The Nuwakot Palace.

    Saat Tale Durbar

    Around the Kathmandu Valley

    The centrepiece of the village is the Saat Tale Durbar, a seven-storey fortress built in 1762 by Prithvi Narayan Shah as his family palace after taking…

  • Golden Gate, Patan, Nepal.

    Golden Gate


    The entry to Patan Museum is through the Royal Palace's superb Golden Gate. Installed in 1734, this finely engraved and gilded gateway is topped by a…

  • Views of the Himalayas at dawn from The Thani Mai Temple Viewpoint in Bandipur.

    Thani Mai Temple Viewpoint


    The main reason to climb up to Thani Mai is for the spectacular sunrise views from Gurungche Hill. A clear morning offers some of the most memorable 360…

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    Myanmar Golden Temple


    The Myanmar Golden Temple is one of the oldest structures in the compound. There are three prayer halls – the most impressive is topped by a corncob…

  • The Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery in Nepal.

    Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery

    Around the Kathmandu Valley

    At the top of Namobuddha hill, the magnificent Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery is a sprawling Tibetan Buddhist monastic complex with gleaming golden…

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