18 Fun Things to Do in Pokhara, Nepal

Pokhara is Nepal’s gateway to the Annapurna Circuit and so it’s popular with the trekkers. BUT WAIT, it’s not only for the hikers, and even if you are trekking, it’s totally worth a few days. There are so many things to do in Pokhara I’d recommend staying for at least three days.

View of Pokhara

Pokhara is encased by the stunning Himalayas mountains, unfortunately not Everest as I may have thought on my Instagram (oops). You’ll have to go to Nagarkot for that delightful experience I’m afraid. But, there are 8 of the 13 biggies of the Himalayan range.

Pokhara tourism is booming. The city has positioned itself as the adventure capital of Nepal with its paragliding, helicopter rides, watersports and hiking.

There are so many activities to do in Pokhara beyond trekking, let’s take a look at how I spent my three days there.

What to do in Pokhara

Pokhara things to do

1. Get up high at the World Peace Pagoda

The views from the World Peace Pagoda are some of the best I’ve ever seen in my life. Ever. Climbing up and looking out to the Annapurna range was an experience I hope I never forget.

The Shanti Stupa, as it’s also know, is a symbol of peace for Nepal, and for Hinduism. The huge white pagoda can be seen from Pokhara Lakeside but obviously it’s up close that it’s the most impressive. It’s silence all round so you can enjoy the quiet and admire the views.

There’s a whole little village up here so head up for sunrise and enjoy a breakfast with a view.

It’s free to visit the World Peace Pagoda, but there is a donation box so pop a few rupees in to keep your karma in check.

2. Visit Davis Waterfall

Waterfall in Pokhara

The Davis Waterfall definitely isn’t the most impressive waterfall I’ve ever seen, but for 30 rupees it’s worth a little look see. Also, it’s just opposite the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave so you might as well.

3. Go down the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave

Cave in Pokhara

The entrance to the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave is impressive. As you traverse the steps down to the cave you can feel the cold sweatiness of the underground hit you.

Make sure to check out the ‘cow shed’ where a sacred cow is waiting for your offerings – you can light an incense stick underneath, if you like. Carry on down the cave and you’ll pass the construction (watch your head) and out to the small opening with a little waterfall.

Cow in the cave Pokhara

It’s amazing that the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave exists, but I was ready to get out pretty much as soon as I got in TBH. It’s kinda cramped and caves freak me out anyway.

There are a lot of locals here, well there were on the Tuesday I visited. Especially children. These young ladies asked me to take their photos, and each thanked me when I showed them.

Cave in Pokhara

Davis Falls feed into the cave and you can see it flowing through.

For us foreigners it’s 100 rupees to get into the cave in Pokhara.

4. Go paragliding in the Himalayas

Oh how I wish I’d gone paragliding in Pokhara, like everyone else. Seriously, look up to the skies on a sunny day in Pokhara and the paragliders look like a flock of birds there are so many of them.

Paragliding is one of the most popular things to do in Pokhara, for good reason.

Paragliding in Pakhora

I didn’t go paragliding in Pokhara because of the budget constraints. Now, with hindsight, I think $90 is pretty good. You get a free lift up to Sarangkot – one of the most popular view points in Pokhara – and you get to go paragliding in/near the Himalayas. How cool is that?!

On my last day in Pokhara I was chatting to a lady in a bar who said it was the best thing she’d ever done. Don’t be like me and miss out!

The Pokhara views will just make this worth it, never mind the Himalayas.

5. Do a helicopter landing at Everest basecamp

Views of Pokhara

Another thing I really wanted to do but just didn’t have the funds. For anyone not into hiking, the helicopter right up to the Annapurna is kinda the only option.

For $289 if you’re a solo traveller you’ll have a one-hour ride up there, with some time landed to get out and have a look around for a photo.


Where is Pokhara?


5. Have a massage

One of the most relaxing things to do in Pokhara is to go to one of the spas and have a massage. Not all Pokhara spas were created equally though, of course. I’d strongly recommend doing some research into Pokhara spas, or at least, taking my advice.

Things to do in Pokhara

I went into one ‘spa’ that instantly halved the price of the massage without me asking, so I agreed, and then we went into what could only be described as a ‘back room’. I saw the colour of the sheets, the state of the toilet out the back, and pretty much ran away saying “I’m sorrrrry, I changed my mind”.

Felt bad, but not for me.

Massage in Pokhara

Instead, I went to the Jiva Spa which was twice the price but about 5 times as nice. It’s a lovely spa and cafe on the lakefront with a few specially scented and sounded rooms especially for massage. I paid 3000 rupees for a 90-minute Nepalese oil massage and would totally recommend.

6. Walk round the lake

Fewa Lake is huge, and makes for a lovely walk. One of the best free activities in Pokhara is simply to walk around it. I made it from the Tourist Bus Park right round to the other side.

Lake in Pokhara

Fewa Lake is at the centre of the city, and so of course, it’s one of the best places to visit in Pokhara.

7. And cycle to the other two lakes

You can rent bikes in Pokhara for around 100 rupees an hour. If you book more than three hours you can generally get some sort of discount too. I haggled 300 rupees for 4 hours with one lady.

Judging by the look of the bikes I would only recommend them for pootling around Lake Fewa and the vicinity – maybe out to the other lakes?

Other lakes in Pokhara

Begnas Lake and Rupa Lake are equally, if not more, beautiful, and don’t have all the hotels and infrastructure built up around them. If you want a peaceful cycle ride in Pokhara, then visit the other two lakes.

8. Mountain biking

I wouldn’t recommend the bikes for hire off the street for mountain biking – they didn’t look particularly well maintained to be honest. For bike rental in Pokhara I’d recommend the bike shop on the main street, near KFC. They offer bike tours around Pokhara, including hill tours up to the World Peace Pagoda. Just to note: this will not be an easy ride!

Their prices start from around $70 for half day mountain biking trips.

9. Do some yoga at an ashram

Yoga in Pokhara is kind of a big deal. It’s one of the most spiritual places in Nepal for tourists, and yoga retreats and ashrams have popped up all over the city. I’d actually come to Pokhara to do a yoga retreat for three days, but after the stress and craziness of the Kumbh Mela in India, I decided to cancel and do my own thing.

Yoga in Pokhara

There are loads of yoga places in Pokhara to choose from, but I decided to go to the Sadhana Yoga Retreat for their evening programme. It was a 40-minute walk from my hotel, although I took ages as I strolled along Lakeside stopping here and there.

The evening programme cost $22 and meant I could join their tea and popcorn time, the chanting, the yoga class and dinner. One of the best parts of the experience was where the ashram was. There were beautiful views over Fewa Lake, and it gave me an idea of what it would be like to do a yoga course in Pokhara.

You can also find yoga at the Healing Garden, Annapurna Yoga Reteat and Osho Divine. You’ll see signs around town inviting you to classes.


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What to do Pokhara Nepal


10. Go to a singing bowls class

I just happened to notice a sign to a TIbetan bowls singing class at Nirvana in Pokhara. And so, having never done it before, decided to go along. It was a lovely but strange experience. I didn’t really feel anything at the time but after feeling a bit crappy for a few days – cold, stomach problems, low energy – I definitely felt lighter and happier on leaving.

Things to do in Pokhara

Basically, we sat cross legged chanting for a while, as the class leader chanted into the bowls. We were meant to have our eyes closed but I wanted to see what was going on.

And then we all laid down while he bonged the bowls around us. And then we came upto seated, chanted a bit more, and it was over. Definitely one of the more unique things to do in Pokhara!

The class was free, but a donation was recommended.

11. Take a boat out

Taking a boat out on Fewa Lake looked like a really fun activity. You could row out to Barahi Temple. I decided not to do this, basically just because I couldn’t be bothered on my own, but I totally would’ve if I had a friend.

Hiring a boat to go out on Fewa Lake was 500 rupees an hour, if you row yourself.

Things to do in Pokhara

There was also an opportunity to join a sun rise boat tour, which the guy assured me was the best way to see Pokhara in the morning. I was so close to doing it but didn’t quite make it when I realised you had to get up for a 5:45am start. Nahhh.

Sure it would be nice though, and cost 1200 per person.

12. Movie Garden

The Pokhara Movie Garden is a great example of the Nepalese entrepreneurial spirit in action. The Movie Garden has a huge screen and shows classics and new releases every night. For entry you just need to buy drinks and popcorn and then you can sit all night and watch the film. Get there early, it filed up quickly when I was there!

During my three days it was Moonrise Kingdom, Slumdog Millionaire and The Matrix.

If you’re at the other end of town, nearer the Tourist Bus Park, you can try the Blind Tiger for your movie fix.

5 more Pokhara activities for you to think about

I didn’t actually get round to doing these activities it Pokhara during my three days there, but just wanted to give you the fill picture of all the cool things to do there.

Things to do Pokhara

1. Gurkha Memorial Museum – dedicated to the gurkhas who fought in the Indian and British Army. Through photographs, sound and video, the museum tells their story.

2. Traditional Nepal dancing show – if you wander along the main street of Pokhara you’ll see the signs advertising the Nepalese dancing shows. You can have a meal and watch them in action

3. Pokhara Disneyland – I’m not entirely sure Walt, Mickey and the crew would be too happy about Pokhara Disneyland, it’s not quite Paris standard, never mind Orlando. There was a dodgy looking Ferris wheel, and a few other rides, on Pokhara’s Lakeside.

Things to do in Pokhara

4. International Mountaineering Museum – this is your opportunity to find out about the Himalayan explorers that managed to peak the mountains here. The equipment and the tools used are all highlighted here.

5. Ultralight flight – fly by the Annapurna range in a teeny tiny ultralight plane. Apparently you’ll feel like a bird, so light in the sky.

6. White water rafting – the Upper Seti River provides the perfect opportunity for you to get the helmet out and get exploring on the river. Ask at the tourist information centres for the best price, especially if there are a few of you.

Pokhara temples

What to do Pokhara

There are an amazing array of temples in Pokhara, ranging in beauty and significance. I didn’t actually make it to see any of these with my limited time, but if temples are your thing, here are a few to check out.

– Tal Barahi Temple

– Bindhabasini Temple

– Sitaladevi Temple

– Bhadrakali Temple

– Bhimsen Temple

– Jangchub Choeling Monastery.

Top tips for Pokhara in Nepal

Pokhara things to do

– Make sure you set aside some time to just chill by the Lakeside. There are some great little bars lining the lake, making the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset from.

– Go shopping. I bought a scarf for myself. The cashmere is zagged one you’ll see everywhere, for 1000. And a much better quality one for my mum for more. I also bought some little leather shoes, an Annapurna t-shirt and a little present for my boyfriend. There are so many shops, kinda selling the same thing, it’s down to you to get the best deal you can find.

– Challenge yourself. Whether it’s paragliding or yoga that’s just not your usual thing, while you’re in Pakhora try something new. There are so many cool things to do in Pakhora that this is your big opportunity to get out of your comfort zone.

– Don’t just go to the Western style restaurants in Pokhara, but have a look round and go into some more traditional places too. Not only will the prices be better, but you’ll also be supporting a local business, and get to try the real deal when it comes to Nepalese cuisine.

How to get to Pokhara

Pokhara views

By bus…

I got the bus to Pokhara from Kathmandu, from Thamel. It left from S bus station just a few minutes walk from the main Thamel area. I paid 800 for the locals bus which took around 8 hours. There are ‘tourist buses’ available, for around $25, but I really don’t see the benefit. I got there, it was as comfortable as the roads allowed, and they even gave two free bottles of water too. They stopped every two hours-ish for food, drinks and the toilet, and for the cost, I had no qualms!

You will arrive into the Tourist Bus Park in Lakeside and from here it was a 15-minute walk to my hotel on 8th Street.

Flying from Pokhara to Kathmandu

Flying…

To get from Pokhara to Kathmandu I decided to get a flight, just because I only had a week in Nepal and time was ticking. Pokhara Airport was an easy 25-minute walk from my hotel on 8th street, or you could just jump in a taxi.

I just looked on Skyscanner and went for the cheapest option, which ended up being SimKirk Airlines. I paid £74 for the 25-minute flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu.

Top tip for you: if you’re flying Pokhara to Kathmandu, sit on the A side for the best views. If you’re flying Kathmandu to Pokhara sit on the C side.

The flight went by quickly, they handed out sweets and water, and we arrived safely and on time in to Kathmandu Airport Domestic terminal.

Where to stay in Pokhara

Lakeside is the main area of Pokhara, which is great because it has everything you need, and if you want to be in the midst of the action stay around 8th Street. While the further you go away the more peaceful it becomes.

Things to do in Pokhara

I stayed at the OYO Romantica, which was good for the price but I wasn’t the best. I paid $11 for a private double room with breakfast included. I only had the breakfast on one of the three days though, it was grim. The hotel was high which was good – I had views of the Annapurna Himalayan range from my window. Also, it was just out of the craziness of Lakeside but close enough for an easy walk. There was no heating and the towels were dirty, even after I asked for more they were dirty too.

I’d recommend staying in the same area as I did though.

Things to do in Pokhara

I loved my time in Pokhara and would totally recommend visiting to anyone. Pokhara was a real highlight to my trip to Nepal. If you think I’ve missed any fun Pokhara activities out, or you have any comments, just let me know in the comments box below.

More on Nepal

(coming soon!)

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Things to do in Nagarkot

Simple Guide to the Kumbh Mela in India
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2 Comments

  1. by Eric Wilson on February 18, 2019  10:12 am Reply

    Every country has it's own charm but the Pokhara holiday spot is looking awesome as you mentioned there are lot of things to d during visit. Thanks for sharing thoughts!

    • by VickyFlipFlop on February 20, 2019  11:12 am Reply

      No worries. Genuinely thought Pokhara was one of the most incredible places I've ever seen!

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