Top 10 Cities to Visit in Nepal

Nepal is a small country with a plethora of variation in landscape, nature and topography. While nature has been extremely blessed here in Nepal, the cities are exceptional in their own ways. With the right balance of religious contribution, mythology, picturesque nature, mystical background, and rugged terrains leading way up to Mt Everest, the cities to visit in Nepal are many. If you are making a checklist of places to explore in this nature’s favourite land, make sure to include these 10 cities to visit in Nepal.

1. Pokhara

Visit for: the most beautiful form of nature
Best time to travel: September-November
Nearest airport: Pokhara
Ideal duration: 2 days

Pokhara

Pokhara is the “Tourist Capital of Nepal” and the second largest city after Kathmandu. Nestled at an altitude of more than 900m (2,953ft), the city is also the highest in Nepal. Divided into two parts, Pokhara can be visited to Lakeside Pokhara and the Old City. While the former is bordered by the famous Phewa Lake, the old city is a commercial hub. Pokhara is also the starting point of many treks in the Annapurna Range. Offering paragliding and river rafting to the thrill-seekers, Pokhara makes an excellent choice in the list of favourite cities to visit in Nepal.


2. Kathmandu

Visit for: traditional, religious, and cultural face of the country
Nearest airport: Kathmandu
Idea duration: 2-3 days

Kathmandu

If you are looking for peace, solace and spirituality, Kathmandu must be one of your planning cities to visit in Nepal. Despite being among the most active and busiest city of Nepal, it offers you charm, serene, liveliness and different hues of culture and traditions all across. The capital city is accessible internationally and has immense connectivity with domestic airports. The city has much to offer – from trekking points to religious monuments to places like Durbar Squares, there is something for everyone that the city is equipped with.


3. Patan

Visit for: ancient cultural heritage
Best time to travel: November-January
Nearest airport: Kathmandu
Idea duration: 1-2 days

Patan

Also known as the handicraft city of Nepal, Patan is the third-largest city in Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara that is one of cities to visit in Nepal must be on your checklist. The famous spot, Durbar Square in Patan, is full of statues, temples, and palaces which contribute to the cultural and heritage front of the city. The major attraction is the Patan Museum which is a traditional centre of handicrafts and a shopping hub for traditional jewellery, Buddha statues and masks. Patan is for those who are interested in the medieval arts and architecture of Nepal that are still prominent and evident in its original state.


4. Nagarkot

Visit for: panoramic views of the Himalayas
Best time to travel: October-March
Nearest airport: Kathmandu
Idea duration: 2 days

Nagarkot

Nagarkot can easily be termed as the Himalayan postcard town. Perched at the edge of Kathmandu Valley at an altitude of 7, 000 feet, the city offers one of the best panoramic views of the Himalayan range which make it one of cities to visit in Nepal. As a matter of fact, 8 of 13 Himalayan ranges can be spotted from the comfort of your hotel room, and those include Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Jugal, Everest, Numbur, Ganesh Himal and the Rolwaling ranges.


5. Bhaktapur

Visit for: medieval city face
Best time to travel: October- November, March-April
Nearest airport: Kathmandu
Idea duration: 1-2 days

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur is among the three medieval cities of Nepal. Located around 12km (7.5mi) from Kathmandu. The city is divided into three squares – each filled with temples and other religious structures. The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations where Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the major attraction.


6. Janakpur

Visit for: spirituality and historical magnetism
Best time to travel: September-March
Nearest airport: Janakpur
Idea duration: 2 days

As per Indian mythology, the city of Janakpur is believed to be the birthplace of Goddess Sita. With more than 70 ponds to dot the verdant landscape, Janakpur is rightly called the City of Ponds. Fans of Indian mythology must visit the actual sites as mentioned in the Ramayana to experience the cultural fascinating and spiritually invigorating enigma of the place.


7. Lumbini

Visit for: birthplace of Lord Buddha
Best time to travel: October-November
Nearest airport: Bhairahawa
Idea duration: 1 day

Lumbini

As the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in the Himalayas near the Indian border, making it one of the great cities to visit in Nepal. The city has a wide number of ancient stupas that date back to 2,000 years and monasteries that were built by the past dynasties. The entire site near the stupas is ornamented with prayer flags with blessings and incantations upon them. Among the most visited places are the Mayadevi Temple, Bodhi Tree, the Lumbini Garden and the Ashoka Stupa.


8. Panauti

Visit for: historical background
Best time to travel: September-December
Nearest airport: Kathmandu
Idea duration: 2 days

Panauti

Panauti is a leftover reminiscence of a time and era that’s gone long. At first glance, Panauti gives you a melancholic picture of wooden houses, public halls, temples and shops, all nestled together with the backdrop of Himalayan greenery. Places like Indreshwar Temple and festivals like Panauti Jatra, Makar Mela and Namobuddha festival are what make Panauti among the top cities to visit in Nepal.


9. Lukla

Visit for: the outstanding flight experience
Best time to travel: March-May and September-October
Nearest airport: Lukla
Idea duration: 1 day

Talk about world’s most dangerous airport and flight, Lukla is the name that fits apt. The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is a 40-minutes affair, after which the flight lands in the incredibly tiny (1729 feet long) airport of Lukla. A thrilling experience of mountain dodging, which reminds you of roller coaster, and ending in a runway with a 2,000 feet drop cliff on one side and a solid stone wall on the another, you are left with either to land, or to drop off the cliff. Plainly not for the weak hearts, Lukla is for those looking for some adrenalin rush.


10. Kirtipur

Visit for: impressive historical background
Best time to travel: September-December
Nearest airport: Kathmandu
Idea duration: 2 days

Kirtipur

Quite different from other cities of Nepal, Kirtipur is like a fresh puff of air – thanks to the stunning heritage temples scattered along its backstreets and authentic experience of Newari culture that rules here. Lapped upon a rocky hill, Kirtipur is an excellent place to explore, especially for someone stepping out of Kathmandu for few hours and looking for an interesting halt.


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