Things to do in Pokhara: Best itineraries for Pokhara Tour:...Read More
Things to do in Pokhara:
Best itineraries for Pokhara Tour: 2 days and 3 days itineraries for Pokhara
Before delving into the top things to do in Pokhara, I assume that you have already read my ‘Pokhara Travel Guide’. I have mentioned possible ways of getting around and activities to do in that post.
You can tour Pokhara in different ways. It is quite intimidating when it comes to choosing the best things to do in Pokhara and the best itinerary for exploring Pokhara. Relieving you from this confusion, I am presenting you this Pokhara tour itinerary to follow so that you can save both time and money. You can even skip some places that offer a similar experience and some places that are not worth visiting at all.
Since I am a native of Pokhara, I can provide you the best deal and help you choose the best itinerary for visiting Pokhara without missing top places to see and top things to do here (I live in Pokhara).
Here go my favorite things to do (which I recommend) in Pokhara through which you can experience nearly everything Pokhara has to offer in just a few days.
After getting to Pokhara, you probably had already knew how to reach the main center point of Pokhara’s attraction i.e. Lakeside (Phewa Lake, also spelled as Fewa Lake; In Nepali, lake is called ‘Taal’, hence Phewa Taal. You should thank me for teaching some Nepali words…. Just kidding!).
Ok! I will start from ‘Where to start’ again
Where to start
If you take a flight from Kathmandu, you will arrive at Pokhara domestic airport. Head straight to the Lakeside (Fewa/Phewa Lake) which is a 10-minute drive west/30-minute walk distance.
If you take a tourist bus, you will arrive at the tourist bus park, near Rastra Bank Chowk. From here you can either take a taxi (if you have got a lot of luggage) or walk instead (just 10 minutes away).
Whatever transport medium you take, make sure to stay overnight at Lakeside.
Day 1: Phewa/Fewa Lake (sightseeing, relaxing, boating, swimming)
Phewa Lake is the best part of the Pokhara trip, and boating in this lake is one of the top things to do in Pokhara.
Put your luggage in a hotel room. Refresh yourself (maybe you want to take a brief nap or maybe take a bath or maybe some snacks/lunch). Depending on your arrival time, you may have time to start your Pokhara tour on the same day.
You are most likely to be hungry so far. Grab some food. Sample a plate of momo if you are up for it. Otherwise, order your favorite as the restaurants/café over there serve a variety of culinary delights.
After your hunger got satiated….
Set out on foot towards Barahi Chowk (Chowk is a Nepali term for junction) while catching the glimpse of shops and restaurants along the way. Once there, head to the Barahi Ghat (west of the chowk), the place from where boats depart and arrive (It’s similar to a small harbor). After reaching over there, admire the beauty of the lake. Set your eyes on island temple, known as Taal Barahi Mandir, a Hindu temple (Mandir means temple–you don’t have to thank me again). Get a glimpse of World Peace pagoda over the lake atop a green hill. Brace yourself! You are going over there the next day.
Set out on foot again (west from the harbor) to explore some walking tracks around the lake. Save boating and swimming for the next day. Sit down for coffee or beer in some decent cafe/restaurant and enjoy the atmosphere and ambience of Lakeside. Shop the souvenir if you like. In the evening, hang out in some live music bar. Stroll through the lakeside at night, and before it’s too late, get some sound sleep reaching your hotel room.
Note: If you are interested in paragliding, don’t forget to book it in advance. You will enjoy the bird’s eye view of the valley that depicts the emerald lakes and rolling hills beside the majestic view of Annapurna mountain range in the North.
Day 2: Sarangkot View Point (sightseeing, watching the sunrise, paragliding), Bindyabasini Temple, International Mountain Museum; Davis Fall; Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave; World Peace Pagoda: (On the same day)
If you have booked for paragliding: You are likely to enjoy paragliding from Sarangkot hill, another best activities to do in Pokhara. Actually, paragliding company receives its guests from the hotel/lodge where they have stayed. But if you wait for them you will miss the sunrise from Sarangkot. So, it’s better to make an arrangement with the company beforehand.
On this day, start early (hire a motorbike or make arrangement of taxi/car). Because you have to reach Sarangkot to catch the mesmerizing view of sunrise over the Annapurna Mountain range (if weather favored you). Read my travel guide for Pokhara to know how to reach there. You should walk a short distance to reach the main tower after getting off the cab.
Grab a coffee and breakfast reaching there. Enjoy the sunrise over Annapurna range in the north if weather permits you.
Be aware of your flight schedule, wait for the paragliding crew to come to take-off site which is a few meters down the main road. Keep in touch with them via phone. Wait for them at take-off site.
Note: The schedules are subject to change with or without prior notice. If changed head downwards to continue your tour.
You will enjoy the flight very much. Don’t forget to capture photographs and video of this ineffable moment. After soaring high in the sky, you will be landed at Pame, near Lakeside and the company personnel will drop you to your hotel. You will miss Bidhyabasini Temple in this case. If you don’t want it to be missed you should start your day earlier so that you could see the temple first on the way.
You can take a break here. Then continue your excursion from International Mountain Museum (number 2 below):
Note: Depending on the time of your flight, you might get landed before 2 pm. Still, you can complete rest of the major attractions on the same day (provided you have your private vehicle) but you have to rush. So, make sure to book the earliest flight schedule if possible.
If you are not paragliding:
On this day, start early (hire a motorbike or make arrangement of taxi/car). Because you have to reach Sarangkot to catch the mesmerizing view of sunrise over the Annapurna Mountain range (if weather favored you).
You should walk a short distance to reach the main tower after getting off the cab. Grab a coffee and breakfast reaching there. Enjoy the sunrise over Annapurna range in the north if weather permits you. There is not much to do in Sarangkot besides viewing natural scenery (Phewa lake, rolling hills, and mountain range) and cityscape from the top.
After spending some hours, return the same route. On the way back, pay a visit to Bindhyabasini Mandir, a Hindu temple.
Bindhyabasini Temple is a good place to learn Hindu’s religious culture and worship rituals. It lies along the highway just where the Sarangkot route starts to elevate to the west. You don’t have to travel farther since it lies on the way. Morning is the best time to observe devotees flocking to the temple though. If you had stopped here before reaching to Sarangkot, you would have missed the sunrise. From there, head towards Lakeside if you think you must have something to fill your stomach.
After your break, ride/drive straight to the International Museum.
International Mountain Museum
Refer to my Pokhara guide to know how to reach there. The route to the museum is quite confusing. It will be much easier if you download a map. Once there, explore different sections of the museum.
After you finish your tour over there, head southwest to reach Davis Fall. You have to reach Birauta Chowk (junction with roundabout) first, and continue your ride to the south along the Siddhartha Highway.
Davis Fall (Locally known as ‘Patale Chango’) and Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave
View waterfall (from above) and explore the park. Take some photographs with your neck on top of the traditionally dressed dummies placed over there. It will be fun! Shop the souvenir if you wish. After reaching the main entrance gate by the side of the road, cross the road to reach the other side of it. Walking a few meters ahead, you have to pass through the path flanked by souvenir shops to reach the ticket counter of Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave. Explore the cave, statues of Hindu deities. Next, walk further inside the cave to reach a platform from where roaring waterfall (same Davis fall but this time from below!) is seen. Be careful! It gets darker and slippery inside. Watch your steps.
After finishing your exploration at Davis fall and Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, head to the World Peace Pagoda atop the hill.
World Peace Pagoda
From Davis Fall head to the west towards Pumdi Bhumdi along the highway on your rented vehicle. After riding for a few miles, you will meet the junction from where you have to hit the road that is elevated and leads up the hill to the North. From the parking lot at the foot of the stair, you have to climb the steep stairs for about 10 minutes to finally reach the stupa.
Admire the beauty of nature seen from the top. Capture some photographs of pagoda and statues of Buddha (I know you will take a selfie anyway!). Make sure to cast a glance to the Annapurna Range and its reflection on Phewa Lake (if you are lucky enough—the weather should permit). You can also view the cityscape of Pokhara on a clear day. Just relax at some restaurant or cafe sipping drinks, and enjoy the quiet, calm surroundings.
Return to your hotel at Lakeside and grab a meal/dinner. Hang out in some live music bar. Or, stroll in the evening if you wish or have some rest/sleep. It’s up to you.
Day 3: You get five options to choose from:
3.1 Boating and Swimming in Phewa Lake (Relaxing and spending the day there)
Rent a boat for a day. You can rent a boat from different locations. But most preferable one would be from the opposite of Barahi Temple near Barahi Chowk.
Row yourself. Don’t forget to rent a life jacket too. Visit island temple known as Taal Barahi Mandir. Feel the spirituality. Observe the worship rituals. Watch fish around the island and feed some grains to pigeons. They sell grains there but can be a little pricey for the thing of its kind! After spending some good minutes over there, row to the other side of the lake. Row your boat along the shore to the serene area and read a good book having some drinks. Take the heat off your body by swimming.
After you think you have enjoyed a lot, return your boat to the wharf from where you took. Spend your rest of the day trying some tea flavor, coffee, drinks or food, whatever you feel like to. Just chill and relax.
Note: If you were unable to make to the World Peace Pagoda in your first day due to the delay of your paragliding schedule, you can go for a hike from the other side of the lake through the forest. For this, you can either rent a boat for a day or just reach the other side of the lake by renting for one way. Walk to the top, spend some moments around Pagoda and return the same trail to catch a boat again.
3.2 Visiting Begnas Lake and Rupa Lake (Spending the day in serenity, just relaxing, it’s a day trip)
Having your private means of transportation is convenient for traveling to these attractions. These lakes are located in the same place called Lekhanath. The distance between Begnas and Rupa Lake is about 10 km (30 mins drive).
Once you reach the Begnas Lake, watch it from the western side first. You don’t have to stay there for long. To experience the serenity offered by this lake, drive around the lake anti-clockwise to reach the northeast side of the lake. Go boating or relax in the environment having some drinks.
There are only a handful of options for good restaurants/cafe. Don’t expect them to be as in Phewa Lake.
After spending some moments there, you can now head south to reach Rupa Lake. Download a map for this, since the routes to this lake can be confusing. You will see an emerald lake almost untouched by human civilization. You will not see too many people here. Just do boating/swimming/relaxing.
Explore these lakes as your day trip from Pokhara. Return to your hotel/residential place at Lakeside. Enjoy the evening/Rest/Sleep.
3.3 Begnas Lake, K.I. Singh Bridge, Gorkha Memorial Museum, Mahendra Cave and Bat Cave (Chamero Gufa): (Covering rest of the highlights)
After finishing your Begnas tour (3.2 above), return to Pokhara (skip Rupa Lake). Drive through the city via Mahendra Pool (Pool means bridge), Bagar and stop at the K.I. Singh Bridge, a Seti river bridge, to view the deep Seti river gorge where the river rushes with a roaring sound and turbulent flow. Nearby this location lies the Gorkha Memorial Museum. K.I. Singh Bridge and British Gorkha Museum lie on the way to Bat Cave. So, it’s convenient to explore the Museum.
Once you are done with the museum, move towards Mahendra Cave at Batulechaur.
I have described these caves and the various ways to reach there in my travel guide.
Pay an admission fee and walk through the park as you enter the cave descending a stair. Turn on your torchlight (cellphone torch works too). You don’t get to walk a long distance here. Surprisingly, it’s too short and you may not feel this place worth a visit. Bat Cave offers you a unique experience since you will see the hundreds of bats hanging along the roof inside the cave. You have to carry a torchlight. There is a narrow exit point from where visitors often try to come out. But, Be aware! It’s really tough and you may get stuck over there and your clothes getting dirty.
Return to Lakeside or your residential place.
3.4 Ziplining, Tower Bungee, Upper Seti River Rafting (If you are an adventure sports lover.)
3.4.1 Ziplining and Tower Bungee
Book a combo package where you can do zip flyer and bungee on the same day and save up to 15%. Book for the earlier schedule so that you have enough time to go Upper Seti River rafting. Ziplining and tower bungee lie on the way to rafting. You can make an arrangement accordingly with your rafting company so that they receive you from Hemja. During that period, you can visit the Tibetan Camp nearby.
You will be received from your hotel/residential place by your company. You just have to go with them. Zip flyer starts at Sarangkot station (30 minutes from Lakeside) and ends at Hemja, a place outside the Pokhara Valley (20 minutes from Lakeside). Enjoy the scenery from above. Bungee is done in Hemja (same place where the zip line flyer lands). Enjoy your bungee. After you finish your adventure, be prepared for your next adventure i.e. Upper Seti River rafting. If you have enough time during that period, visit the Tibetan Camp that is located nearby. Remain in touch via phone with the rafting crew.
Upper Seti River Rafting
If you are planning to do rafting only, the company provides hotel pick up and drop off services. But if you have just done bungee too, you will be picked by the rafting company from Hemja. You have to wait for them alongside the highway.
Ultralight Flight and Boating and Swimming in Phewa Lake
Book your package of interest (detail in my guide). You will be received from your hotel/residential place by your company. For boating and swimming in Phewa Lake, read section 3.1.
If you have more time, there is nothing exhilarating than going for a short/medium/long trekking outside the valley besides various activities within Pokhara.
Read my ‘Top trekking from Pokhara’
This is the top things to do in Pokhara and the perfect itinerary you can follow to get most out of your Pokhara tour.
If you have queries arising through you, feel free to ask about things to do in Pokhara and how to travel in Pokhara in the comments below.
If you want to go trekking from Pokhara, there are various mind-bogglingly impressive options to choose from.
Trekking around Nepal
Pokhara is a primary travel hub from where the Annapurna based treks start as well as end (Annapurna Circuit trek end in Pokhara if done anti-clockwise, the preferred one).
The trekking/hiking trails that start from Pokhara include: Long and short trek
- Annapurna Base Camp Trek
- Mardi Himal Trek
- Jomsom Muktinath
- Upper Mustang
- Ghorepani Poonhill Trek
- Australian Camp (Dhampus Village)
- Khopra Danda Trek