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Pokhara (Nepal)

Practical information about Pokhara

  • Relaxation
  • Encounters with locals
  • Viewpoint
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Extreme Sports
  • Countryside
  • Mountain
  • River
  • Lake
  • Waterfall
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
200km by bus from Kathmandu
When to go
From October to May
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Pokhara

David Debrincat Travel writer
459 travel articles

Located 200 km from Kathmandu, the town of Pokhara is attracting tourists in increasingly large numbers. As well as being quieter and greener than the capital, it is especially important as a base from which to hike into the Annapurna Mountains.

My suggestion:
If you decide to fly here from Kathmandu, I recommend sitting on the right hand side of the plane: the views you get over the Himalayas are simply unforgettable.

Since it was made easier to reach, Pokhara has become one of Nepal's major tourist stops.

I particular liked the calm, peaceful atmosphere here when I visited. This is a very pretty town located in a quite superb setting. The reflections of the mountains in the waters of the lake in the morning are quite wonderful to see. And the views of the Annapurnas themselves, providing a backdrop to the lake, are also quite superb. These jagged, sharply defined, snow-capped summits attract hikers here in large numbers. Pokhara is the ideal base from which to organise a trip into the mountains, and there's something available for all levels of experience and ability. From the seasoned mountain climber to the basic hiker, everyone will be able to find something to enjoy here. For example, I particularly recommend the very easy walk leading from the far side of the lake to the summit of the hill. The views of the mountains and over the lake from the top are wonderful. Instead of returning via the same route, it's actually possible to sail back across the lake by boat.

There are many sporting activities available in and around Pokhara. As well as the classic hikes and mountain biking, how about a flight in a microlight or paragliding? It's even possible to fly alongside birds of prey with the latter option. Though it's quite expensive, it is a simply unforgettable experience.

*Following the powerful earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May of 2015, the country is gradually being rebuilt. This article was written before the natural disaster occurred.

The lake at Pokhara
Travel writer
193 travel articles

Pokhara is Nepal's second largest town. It's in the central part of the country, 200km from the capital, Kathmandu.

My suggestion:
If you want a quiet place to stay, I recommend you go to the north of Lakeside, the neighbourhood that sits on the banks of Phewa Lake.

Pokhara is a town of around 250,000 inhabitants, situated on the eastern bank of Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in Nepal. The tourist part of town sits on the bank, on which a dyke has recently been built to guard against flooding. You'll find shops of all sorts, restaurants, bars and guest houses, which line the main street that forms the tourist area of town. It has a pleasant, laid back atmosphere.

Pokhara's surroundings are full of interesting sites, so it's worth spending a few days in the area. To the north of town, the Sarangkot hill has stunning views of the Annapurnas range. On the southern bank, you'll find a trail that leads to the peace pagoda, once again boasting magnificent views. If you fancy doing a short hike, you can head to Panchasee - an easy way to stretch your legs! Pokhara is a must-see during a trip to Nepal.

*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015 the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events occurred.

The town of Pokhara and Phewa Lake
Lorette Vinet Travel writer
61 travel articles

Pokhara, which could have been a haven of peace after 3 weeks spent in the mountains, turned out to be an unpleasant culture shock, a real tourist town where the behaviour of the foreigners was a real contrast to the culture of the country.

My suggestion:
Don't spend too long in Pokhara, especially if you love the solitude of the high open spaces. There's not a lot to do or to enjoy and the Kathmandu valley merits better than spending your time there.

Perhaps it was also the welcome that we received in the town that left me with a disagreeable impression. When you are touring the Annapurnas, even if it's on a motorway, you spend a lot of time alone, or nearly so, thinking, meditating, observing, being quiet and admiring... We had hardly arrived in Pokhara, and for the first time in our trip to Nepal, we were told that for reasons of security the town would be closed for three days, beginning the next day. 

So we went off on our bikes to try and find out what was the attraction of this so-called oasis, without success, feeling hassled by the need to be quick, completely the opposite of the normal tourists who come here to relax, or just to enjoy being near this big lake right in the middle of the Himalayas. So we left it without any regret, with the memory of the the mountains we had made the effort to surmount still fresh in our minds.

*Afterthe powerful earthquakes that hit Nepal in April and May 2015, the country is rebuilding itself little by little. This article was written before the disaster.

View of Pokhara Lake