15 Things to do in Pokhara
1. Visit Phewa Lake
Phewa Lake is the heart of Pokhara. The north shore is heavily populated with bars, cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops and is very popular with tourists. Phewa lake is the largest lake in the Pokhara valley, the second largest lake in Nepal and is a freshwater lake. It is famous for its’ stunning views of sacred Machapuchhre (Fishtail) Mountain and also the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges which show their reflections in the lakes’ crystal clear waters.
One of the major tourist attractions is to take a boat ride on the lake. You can choose either a canoe-shaped boat or a paddle boat out onto the lake and just enjoy the peace. For adventure seekers, you can even try stand-up paddle boarding on the lake. Another attraction on Phewa Lake is the Barahi temple, which is located in the middle of the lake and can be only accessed by boat. The lake is also famous for its’ wide variety of fishes which are often served in the surrounding hotels and restaurants.
2. Explore cafes’ and restaurants and enjoy perfect accommodation.
Pokhara is very popular among tourists, where people from different corners of the globe visit here to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the mountains. One of the major attractions in lakeside Pokhara is the huge variety of food that it offers. Pokhara is a hub for international cuisine, and you can find anything from authentic world class pizza, sweet & spicy Chinese dishes, tasty Indian curries and authentic Nepali Thali (food) in a wide variety of spiciness to suit your palate. Indulging in the many different cultural foods is one reason to relax and enjoy all that Pokhara has to offer. There are cozy coffee shops where you can read a book or do your work while sipping coffee or cocktail (remember though, you’re on vacation!). In the evenings, there are many world-class bars along the lakeside where you can enjoy the view of the lake and the mountains at dusk. There are many rooftop cafes and restaurants offering an enormous array of local and international delicacies.
Whatever type of accommodation you are seeking, Pokhara has something to suit everyone. From friendly hostels and lodges through to luxury 5-star hotels with swimming pools, bars and 24-hour service to attend to your every need. Everybody will find something to suit their budget and requirements in Pokhara. Service is always provided with a smile and a warm Nepali welcome.
3. See the Mesmerizing Sunrise from Sarankot
Sarangkot mountain is 1500m high and one of the most prominent in the Pokhara valley. It is well known for activities like zip-lining and paragliding. But it also offers some of the most stunning views of both sunrise and sunset, being the tallest mountain in the valley. You can get up early in the morning and hike to Sarangkot for lovely sunrise or hike in the afternoon to view the remarkable. There are many trails along Sarangkot mountain that lead to charming local villages, terraced farming, and amazing viewpoints. A short day hike can be done to Naudanda which is about 3 hours from Sarangkot. If you wish to indulge in a whole day hike, you can walk up to Australian camp at 2060m and stay overnight, before returning the following day. Another excellent trail for hiking from Sarangkot is to Dhampus which lies in the lap of Annapurna base camp.
4. Enlighten yourself at the World peace pagoda
Located at height of 1100 meters on top of Ananda hill in Pokhara, the Shanti (peace) pagoda provides a panoramic 360-degree view of Pokhara. The hilltop is a famous tourist destination and is ranked in 2nd place by TripAdvisor in “Sacred & Religious Sites to Visit in Pokhara”. The stupa was built as a symbol of peace.
The peace pagoda can be reached through various ways. There are hiking trails, cycling routes and even motorway. You can take a boat across Phewa Lake and then take a one hour hike through small villages. If you take a private vehicle, it takes about 25 minutes to reach the Pagoda. The hilltop offers a breath-taking view of the mountains, Phewa Lake and Lakeside Pokhara.
5. Visit a Tibetan settlement
Many Tibetans came to Nepal after the invasion of Tibet by China. There are 4 Tibetan settlements around Pokhara. The Tibetan settlement is the epitome of Tibetan culture and being able to visit these settlements helps many to understand their culture and beliefs.
There are two major Tibetan settlements in Pokhara. One is on the Southern side called Tashi Ling settlement. Another one is the northern & the western side of Pokhara called Tashi Palkhiel settlement. These places provide an interesting understanding of their cultures and history. You can also buy handmade goods and souvenirs at both settlements.
6. Spend your day in the streets of Lakeside Pokhara
Lakeside is the heart of Pokhara city. It is the most famous and well-known tourist destination in Pokhara with a wide variety of nightlife and 5-star services. Lakeside is located adjacent to Phewa lake and offers numerous activities and relaxation services. Treat yourself to a relaxing spa and massage or indulge in the many shops and markets for beautiful traditional Nepali souvenirs to take home to your family and friends. Alternatively, eat in any of the amazing cafes and restaurants or book an adventure like zip-lining, paragliding or mountain biking. You can also hire a scooter or bike for a few hours or the whole day and ride around Pokhara and visit different heritage sites and enjoy the magnificent scenery.
7. Fly high with the Ultralight flight
The shortest ultra flight takes you over Pokhara and Phewa Lake, and also gives you spectacular views of Sarangkot mountain and the Buddhist monastery and the south side of the city. This flight gives you just a taste of freedom, leaving you wanting more! The speed of this flight ranges from 50 km/hr to 90 km/hr and gives you a panoramic view of the whole Annapurna Range with views of another 8,000-meter peak – Dhaulagiri, in the distance. The maximum altitude attained is 5,000 feet.
8. Go Bungee jumping
Nepal’s first and only tower bungee, High Ground Bungee & Swing has something for everyone. Located at a convenient 20 minutes from Pokhara Lakeside, the jump site offers a spellbinding view of the Himalayas, the hills and the rivers that will take your breath away with 70-meter vertical fall.
9. Try Zip-lining
Considered to be one of the extreme zip-lines, it covers a total distance of 1.80 km (1.12mi) with the vertical height of 610 m (2000ft) and speed of 120 km/hr (75mph). The altitude and speed of this zip lines make it an incredible adrenaline-pumping ride. The zip-lining starts atop Sarangkot mountain which is located at 45 minutes’ drive from Pokhara. The views from the top of the mountains and on the way down are amazing.
10. Why not Paragliding
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Pokhara is paragliding. It is one of the common “must-do” experiences available in Pokhara. There are many different operators who offer paragliding in Pokhara. Check out all the options and find out which suits you best.
11. Don’t miss visiting Devi’s fall
Also known as Patale Chhango, Devi falls is a spectacular waterfall where the Pardi Khola stream plunges underground into a tunnel at the bottom of the falls. The tunnel is 500 feet (150 m) long and runs 100 feet below ground level. After that, the water passes through a cave called Gupteshwor Mahadev. Pardi Khola stream runs underground
The legend has it that a Swiss tourist named Davi was swept into the tunnel and lost her life. It is a very popular tourist site and the best time to visit is during the monsoon season when there is a high rainfall. During this period, the water runs and plunges over rocks and through gorges, giving visitors a breathtaking view. People try their luck by throwing coins into the water as well.
12. Visit a Batcave
As the name suggests, Chamero Gupha is a cave filled with thousands of bats and is a major tourist attraction. Different species of bats hang from the ceilings and walls, and the limestone cave is also adorned with ancient carvings. Chamero Gupha is near the Mahendra cave, so you can visit both caves if you wish. Handheld lights and a guide can be provided. Daring adventurers can exit the cave through the smaller tunnel.
13. Reboot your mind & body with Yoga and Pilates
Pokhara has become a hub for yoga enthusiasts and nature lovers. Pokhara has become a perfect blend of nature with fitness and healthy lifestyle. There are many yoga centers in Pokhara located in secluded areas and offer different varieties of yoga programs in different seasons. The programs can be customized for you or you can join a group. The yoga sessions are mindful and invigorating. There are residential yoga retreats as well offering week-long yoga retreats and healthy eating.
14. Enjoy an outdoor hiking adventure
In Pokhara, one of the most touristic activities is an outdoor adventure. There are some extreme hardcore adventures like bungee, parasailing but there are some other relaxing outdoor activities like hiking, cycling which are the perfect way to get in touch with nature.
15. Take a ride to Pame and try the fish!
You can hire a bike or scooter for half a day and take a ride to Pame, which is on the other side of Lakeside and provides an uninterrupted view of the Phewa lake. The road is bit rugged but offers uninterrupted views of the lake and the mountains. There are many restaurants in this area offering a delicious selection of local fish, which Pame is famous for. Pame is a perfect place to spend the day relaxing beautiful food and a local beer.