Nepal is undoubtedly is listed among the most beautiful countries that you should visit once in your lifetime. The beautiful landlocked country is rich with natural beauty surrounded by green hills, snowy peaks, and beautiful landscapes, making it seem almost like a piece of paradise left behind in this world.

The country is also quite renowned for its different adventurous sports activities and has a lot to offer to its visitors, from its rich culture and traditions to the amazing history and a genuine friendly populace. Although there are endless things to explore and boundless activities that you can do, here we have listed the 15 destinations you must see and definitely not miss in your trip to this beautiful country.

1. Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square

The heartthrob of Lalitpur district which is located at 5km Southeast of Kathmandu valley is one of the oldest cities in the Kathmandu valley. It was founded in the 3rd century built by Emperor Ashoka.

This world heritage site is divided by the Bagmati River from Kathmandu city. The historic site is embedded with rich Newari culture and exquisite architecture. Further, to explore the depth of Newari culture, you can explore the Patan Museum which showcases the beauty of Newar arts and crafts including photos, statues, and wood carvings. This museum has also been voted as one of the finest museums in South Asia, the displaying of informative pieces of art covering the history of Buddhism and Hinduism is certainly a not to miss spot in your exploration.

The other featured places in Patan Durbar Square are Krishna Mandir, Golden Temple, Baglamukhi Temple, Rato Machhendranath Temple, Jagat Narayan Temple, Kumbeshwar Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Harisankar Temple, pillar of Yoga Narendra Malla, big bell and beautiful museums.

2. Kathmandu Durbar Square

The Basantapur Tower
The Basantapur Tower, image by / CC BY-SA

The ancient royal courtyard located at the center of the capital is engraved with rich culture and history. The Kathmandu Durbar Square is also known as Hanuman Dhoka Palace which is frequently used to address the palace among the natives.

The latter name is considered of high value as it is named after the Hindu deity “Hanuman” who is believed to be the protector of the palace.

The buildings in this rich heritage site were constructed from the 15th to 18th centuries. The statue of Hanuman at the entrance was built in the 17th century and you will also find the fascinating sculpture of Lord Narasimha in the palace. This Kathmandu Durbar Square was the royal palace in the Malla regime and was later passed to the Shah dynasty; the Shah royal family resided in the Hanuman Dhoka till 1886 after which they shifted to Naraynhiti palace. You can further explore the history of the royal family, their custom and traditions, culture, and skilled architecture works in the museums inside the palace.

The vicinity of Kathmandu Durbar Square surrounds places like Kal Bhairav, King Mahendra Memorial Museum, Hanuman Dhoka, Taleju Mandir, PanchMukhi Hanuman Temple, Nine Storeyed Basantapur Tower, Degutale Temple, Taleju Temple, Tribhuvan Museum, and so on.

3. Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square

This is another historic site inside Kathmandu valley which is located in Bhaktapur; at the distance of 12km from Kathmandu city. Bhaktapur which is also known as Bhadgaon and Khwopa showcases a lot of Newari culture and craftsmanship.

The four squares--Durbar Square, Dattatreya Square, Pottery Square, and Taumadhi Square form a complete Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Similarly, other famous attractions in this historic site are Golden Gate, Lion Gate, Nyatapola Temple, Fifty-Five Windowed Palace, the statue of King Bhupatindra and several art galleries giving an inner view of beautiful Newari culture, tradition, and amazing artifacts.

4. Swayambhunath

Swayambhunath, image by Prashant Koirala / CC BY-SA

The historic place representing Buddhism is located 3km Northwest from Kathmandu; this is one of the oldest religious sites in Nepal. The inscriptions and historical records trace back the establishment of this holy monument to 1years ago. The myths and legends also inscribe that Swaymbhu was born out of lotus that bloomed in the middle of the lake that filled the entire Kathmandu valley.  It is also believed that the Lichavi King Man Deva built the stupa back in 460 A.D.

The stupa on the top of the hill has Lord Buddha’s eyes on all four sides of the base of the sphere. Also, you will find the Hindu shrines surrounding the boundaries of the stupa, giving you the taste of beautiful Hindu and Buddhist religion, their history, and amazing architecture. Further, the holy place for Buddhists also gives an amazing paranormal view of Kathmandu city from the top.

5. Boudhanath

Boudhanath Stupa

The holy place embodying the Tibetian Buddhism is located 8km to the East from the Kathmandu city. The stupas built in the Mandla shape replicate the Gyangtse of the Tibetian religion in this world heritage site.

Boudhanath is also considered one of the holiest places in the Buddhist religion, the 36-meter high stupa is the largest stupa in the Kathmandu valley that you can see as you land in the Tribhuvan International Airport.  The temple was built by the Lichavi King Man Dev in the 5th century; the giant ancient stupa is also one of the biggest stupas in the world built with the octagonal design on the base and which is surrounded by several gompas. The peaceful environment, the chanting of the monks and the incense’s fragrance that covers up the whole surrounding gives the peaceful sensation of heart and mind.

6. Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple

As the name suggests, Pashupatinath is the Temple of Lord Shiva and is of high importance among the Hindu worshippers. Located at the distance of 5km from Kathmandu city, this divine temple resides at the bank of the holy river Bagmati. The temple with a two-tiered roof has four silver doors and is considered one of the most sacred places in the Hindu religion, so the place is almost crowded every day with the devotees from all around the world.

The millennia-old temple is surrounded by several smaller temples, sculptures of holy deities, and ashrams. This is a very strict Hindu only temple; the non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the main temple, however, they can observe the view and visit other religious sites on the premises of this enormous holy site.

7. Changunarayan

Changu Narayan Temple
Changunarayan Temple image by Dambar

This two-tiered temple is located at a distance of 15km from Kathmandu city, as the Hindu God ‘Vishnu’ resides in the temple who is also known as ‘Narayan’ and located at the place Changu, this holy shrine was named ‘Changunarayan’. The architectural works of wonders, historic stone inscription tracing its root back to 464 A.D and the sculpture of Lord Vishnu’s ten incarnations are the significant figures of this sacred temple.

Resting amidst the forest of Champak trees, this vicinity is also surrounded by other holy figures like Kileswar Shiva, Chinnamasta Devi, and several other gods and goddesses.

8. Lumbini

Maya Devi Temple Lumbini
Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini

Lumbini which is the birthplace of Lord Buddha is certainly a not to miss destination in your adventure in Nepal. This historic landmark is located 300km southwest from the Kathmandu valley. Gautam Buddha who is also known, Shakyamuni Buddha was born in the sacred garden of Lumbini in 623 B.C. which is encrypted in the Ashoka Pillar.

This religious place is also famous for sites like Maya Devi Temple, the World Peace Stupa, Burmese Temple, Thai Monastery, Dharmaswami Buddhist monastery and the Eternal Flame that never runs out, etc. You can also explore the museum that gives some inner views of the Buddhist religion, history, and principles of life that every Buddhist embraces. In addition to that, Lumbini is also considered one of the first-rated places for bird sighting, Lumbini premises houses several rare species of birdlife.

9. Asan Market

Asan Bazar (Market)

Asan Market which is also known as ‘Ason’ is a shopping hub in the center of Kathmandu city. The ancient part of the country has a lot to offer from its famed bazaars from vegetables, spice to different types of linens.

The shopping site of capital Asan is also famous for its beautiful traditional building, old temples, and beautiful Newari culture and artifacts. The area is crowded with people even in normal days, back in the old days; this market was also quite a popular landmark for the India-Tibet trade route. So, if you decide to make back some souvenir make sure to give this famous market area a visit, you might find the perfect item as a remembrance of your visit.

10. Mustang

Lo Manthang, Nepal
Lo Manthang, image by Samrat Khadka

The historical place rich with natural beauty and cultural heritage is located in the Dhaulagiri Zone. The exploration in this region can be divided into two regions Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang. The lower mustang is quite famous for exploration and its natural beauty whereas the upper part is for the adventurous souls who like trekking on the high grounds.

The lower part of Mustang is easily accessible for tourists of all nationalities not costing too much on the permit. The major attractions in the Lower Mustang are Kagbeni, Muktinath Temple, Marpha, beautiful landscapes, etc. The upper part of Mustang is also quite special, in fact, it was closed to outsiders till 1950 and had its own royal kingdom; its authentic untampered beauty and ancient culture are certainly rare gems to explore. The beautiful deserted landscapes, ancient Kingdom of Lo Manthang which is at the altitude of 3820m, mesmerizing mountain views, expedition of thousands of years old monasteries, and caves will certainly fill your heart with excitements.

11. Nagarkot

Himalayas view from Nagarkot
Himalayas view from NagarkotShareInfo, Photo by Ghana Shyam Khadka

Located just 28 km away from the Kathmandu city, the Nagarkot hill provides one of the best paranormal views of the Kathmandu valley. The Nagarkot hill is located at the altitude of 2000m from where you can enjoy the mesmerizing view of Himalayan ranges like Mt. Everest,

Makalu, Annapurna, Langtang, Jugal, Ganesh Himal, and Rolwaling range. This hill station in ancient times was a popular location to monitor the activities of other kingdoms and later was adapted as a vacation spot for the royal families.

The easily accessible tourist attraction has a view tower at the top of the hill which gives 360° view of mountain ranges and Kathmandu valley, also Nagarkot hill station is well known for the dazzling view of sunrise and sunset. The dreamy setting also offers you opportunities to pump the adrenaline rush inside you with daring sports like mountain biking and paragliding, and one of the most  favorable place for one-day hiking within the Kathmandu valley.

12. Janakpur

Janaki Temple, Janakpur
Janaki Temple, image by Abhishek Dutta / CC BY-SA

The birthplace of ‘Sita’, the companion of Lord Rama is a site of high importance in the Hindu religion. According to Hindu legends, Lord Rama and Sita who is also known as ‘Janaki’ tied the knot in this beautiful destination giving birth to the famous mythology Ramayana.

In the birthplace of the Hindu deity you can also explore the arts, beauty, and history of the rich Maithili culture; Janakpur is also the ancient capital of Videah dynasty who ruled the Mithila region. Besides Janaki mandir, other major attractions of this holy site are Ram Mandir, Ram Sita Vivah Mandap, Jaleshwarnath Mahadev temple, Dhanus Sagar, Ganga Sagar, and Dolakha Bhimsen Mandir.

13. Tilicho Lake

Tilicho lake
Tilicho lake

Tilicho lake trekking is also one of the most attractive and thrilling treks the country has to offer; this trekking route attaches to the Annapurna Circuit route which is one of the world’s best trekking trails. This lake is located in the Manang district of Nepal situated at the altitude of 4,920 Meters.

The route can be a bit challenging, but the gracefully resting between the snowy mountains and bare hills, this trip will be worth it for nature lovers who are seeking to explore the magic of the Himalayan territory.

The highest lake in the world is full of unrivaled beauty, breathtaking views, and cold fresh breeze. This lake is nourished by the slopes of the Annapurna range and Thorong peak; the famous river Marsyangdi also takes shape from this beautiful lake. The main attractions of this trek are closer views of massifs like Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Mansalum, Tilicho, Pisang, and Dhaulagiri. The best season to set out on exploration in this region is from March to May and September to November when the favorable weather will aid your exploration.

14.  Chandragiri

Chandragiri Hills Visitor Park
Chandragiri Hills Visitor Park

Chandragiri hill which is located 7km to the Southwest from Kathmandu city is one of the country’s most loved destinations for a refreshing day trip experience. The Chandragiri hill which is at the altitude of 2552m provides you with the exploration of nature close to the capital and is also quite easily accessible via road. You can enjoy the cable car ride which lasts approximately about 12 minutes covering 2.5 km distance where you will witness the beautiful landscapes and hills.

Further, you can enjoy the panoramic view of mountain ranges like Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang which are clearly visible from the top of the Chandragiri hill. There is also Bhaleshore Mahadev temple at the top of the hill; it is believed that King Prithvi Narayan Shah worshipped this temple before conquering the valley.

15. Pokhara

Phewa Lake, Pokhara
Phewa Lake, Pokhara

The beautiful city of lakes is located 200 km from the capital, located at the elevation 900m, this city of lakes is one of the highest cities in the world. The beautiful city is surrounded by mountain ranges like Annapurna, Manaslu, and Dhaulagiri.

Pokhara is the second-largest city in Nepal in population, the city with green forest, beautiful waterfalls and underground caves definitely fill the void of every level of exploration of your adventurous hearts. Further, you can enjoy different types of adventure activities like paragliding, rafting in Seti River, zip flyer, mountain biking, ultralight flight, trekking, hand gliding, canyoning, kayaking, skydiving, and paramotor flying.

The other major tourist attraction of this beautiful city are Davi’s falls, Sarangkot, Pokhara Shanti Stupa, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, International Mountain Museum, Jangchub Choeling Gompa, Barahi temple, Ghorepani hill, Phewa lake, Begnas lake, and so on.