Pokhara Travel Guide

Pokhara Overview

Pokhara, Nepal’s second most popular city, is as picturesque as cities come, encompassed by the spectacular Annapurna mountain range of the Himalayas, all reflecting in the pristine waters of the magical Phew Tal and in the watchful eye of the World Peace Pagoda. Add to this the vibrant bazaars, surrounding Tibetan villages and endless adventure activities, a wonderful blend of mystic charm, peace and adrenalin unfolds before the eyes.

The city’s action spreads out from the eastern shores of the famed lake, Phewa Tal, and the area known as Lakeside (Baidam). Here a collection of budget hotels, bakeries, restaurants and shops come together to create the enchanting city atmosphere. East of the lake is the more traditional side of town, New Bazaar and Old Pokhara. New Bazaar is home to Mahendra Pul, where the locals prefer to shop, and further north, in Old Pokhara, are some ancient houses and temples. The area is best explored on foot or bicycle.
With so much activity, there can never be a dull moment in Pokhara. If relaxation is the order of the day then Phewa Tal is an idyllic place to watch the world go by and admire the fascinating surroundings, whilst floating gently upon the lake waters. For the adventurous, this is an ideal location to start a trek into the Annapurna Range, go rafting, paragliding or on a microlight flight. Upon return, conveniently spread along Lakeside are an abundance of Ayurvedic massage centres to sooth the aching muscles. Lakeside is also a great place to tuck into a feast of steak dinners, following the weeks of daal bhat and rice.
Being such a popular destination there are excellent air and road links to the city. Travelling by air to Kathmandu, with the breathtaking views of the Himalayas, is an unforgettable experience and a worthy investment. A number of private airlines provide frequent services for the 20-minute journey. The city is served by three bus stations, all as chaotic as each other, so it is often best to purchase tickets from hotels or the agents at Lakeside. Services to Kathmandu depart from the main bus stand at Mustang Chowk and take around 8 hours. Frequent departures can also be caught to Sunauli, the closest border crossing to India. This is a gruelling trip that at times tests even the most hardened traveller’s patience. Long distance travel times can vary in Nepal depending on roadblocks, checkpoints and even the condition of the road, so be prepared for delays.

On occasions, words are often not enough to describe the full beauty of Pokhara, which is why it is a place that must be explored and experienced. Whether it is extreme adventure or extreme relaxation, this is a destination to suit all and provides long lasting memories.

Things to do in Pokhara

Phewa Tal - Nepal’s second biggest lake is the spectacular centrepiece of Pokhara and the perfect place to relax in the shadows of the Annapurna Range. When the sun is shining and the sky is blue, the mountains reflect beautifully in the clean waters, providing perfect photo opportunities. The best way to appreciate the lake and surroundings is on one of the colourful rowboats available for hire.

Devi’s Falls - Magnificent waterfall where the Pardi Khola River vanishes into a sinkhole, before reappearing some 200m ahead. Best visited during monsoon season when the sounds of the falling water are near deafening. Located near to the Tashi Ling Tibetan village. Opening times are 6am - 6pm. Entrance Rs10.
Museums in Pokhara - For culture lovers, Pokhara is home to a collection of interesting museums, including: the International Mountain Museum, Natural History Museum, Pokhara Regional Museum and Tamu Kohibo Museum.
World Peace Pagoda - High up on a hill at the southern edge of Phew Tal is this beautiful Bhuddist Stupa, constructed to promote world peace. Apart from being a marvellous sight, the views across the city and mountain range are unsurpassed. The pagoda can be reached via a number of routes. Boatmen ferry visitors across the lake and to the start of a 1 hour hill climb or the 2 hour scenic route, starting south of Phewa dam, takes you uphill through a stunning open forest. Another option, and somewhat easier, is to take a local bus to nearby Kalmati and then walk up through the village.
Trekking Pokhara - One of the biggest draws of the city is to embark on a trek across the spectacular Annapurna Range and a number of treks, ranging from 3 to 18 days. Most hotels offer trekking tours and services and there are a number of tour operators, including Himalayan Encounters, in the Lakeside area.
Adventure Sports - Pokhara is a great place to get an adrenalin rush, with a number of extreme sports of offer. Microlight flights, although expensive are an exciting way to see the Pokhara Valley and Himalayas. From Sarangkot, paragliding jumps are available down to the Lakeside.

Hotels in Pokhara

Budget Hotels Pokhara

Blue Planet Lodge - Pleasant Euro-Nepali run hotel with 16 clean and comfortable bedrooms. Baidam 6, Lakeside. Tel (977) (61) 461472.
Noble Inn - Just off the main drag, this is a good value hotel with a stunning garden. Lakeside 6 (Pallo Patan). Tel (977) (61) 464926.
Banana Garden Lodge - On the north side of the lake, this hotel offers simplistic rooms with solar powered showers. The garden has fantastic views of the lake. Khahare, Lakeside 6. Tel (977) (61) 464901.
Midrange Hotels Pokhara
Hotel Barahi - A charming hotel, resembling a ski resort, with all rooms having balconies overlooking the Annapurnas. Tel (977) (61) 460617.
Tibet Resort - Close to the Phewa Dam with elegant rooms, tranquil garden and excellent mountain views. Lakeside, Pardi (Damside). Tel (977) (61) 460853.
Luxury Hotels Pokhara
Fish Tail Lodge - With the lake to one side and forest to the other, this lodge is the ultimate in luxury, with delightful bungalows spread around a peaceful garden. The lodge is reached via boats from Basundhara Park. Tel (977) (61) 465071.

Pokhara Weather

Pokhara Travel Resources



Baraaza Community

Baraaza Guides are free and a great way to get relevant and up to date information on practically any destination on the planet. Our wiki-style travel guides are created and maintained by our travel community and we hope you will join in and help us keep this guide up to date.

We ask that you do what you can and share your worldly knowledge of destinations you have visited by updating our wiki-style guides, writing destination reviews, sharing destination photos and videos and making yourself available to those who may have questions about destinations you have already visited.

We hope that the information found in this guide helps you travel better, smarter and with more freedom.