Perfect for travelers who want to experience the beauty and majesty of the Himalayas without arduous physical activity, Nagarkot is best known for the views it offers of the mountains and the Kathmandu Valley. Perched on a high ridge to the northeast of Bhaktapur, the village of around 4,500 inhabitants commands views of eight Himalayan ranges. There’s a variety of appealing hotels in every price range in Nagarkot, many of which are located within walking distance of the Nagarkot view tower, known as the best place to visit in Nepal to view the sun rising over the Himalayas.
With its tranquil lakes, verdant shorelines and mountain views, Pokhara is a popular resort destination for travelers from around the world. Known as the gateway to the Annapurna region in northwest Nepal, the lakeside city offers respite to weary hikers and provides opportunities for outdoor adventures too, ranging from leisurely paddle-boat rides to white-water rafting. The largest of Pokhara’s three lakes, Phewa Lake is lined with luxury hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. The lake also features an island with a temple dedicated to the goddess Barahi Bhagwati where ceremonies are held nearly every weekend.
One of three ancient capitals in the Kathmandu Valley, beautifully preserved Bhaktapur experienced a fair share of damage during the 2015 earthquakes. Fortunately, most of the city’s temples and shrines, which are the main attractions in this place known as the City of Devotees, escaped unscathed. Less crowded and hectic than bustling Kathmandu, Bhaktapur invites leisurely walks through medieval squares, winding streets and pedestrian-only thoroughfares. The city’s Durbar Square, or “noble court,” features a must-see site known as the 55-Window Palace, a 15th-century structure that is now home to the National Art Gallery.
Situated across the Bagmati River from Kathmandu, Patan is as well known for its artisans as for its stunning display of Newari architecture. Built in the 17th century, the palaces, courtyards and temples of the Patan Durbar are the city’s star attractions. With its multi-columned façade and gilded spires, the recently restored stone Krishna Temple is particularly striking, as is the recently restored Sundari Chowk, a courtyard with an elaborately carved sunken bath as its centerpiece. Patan is one of the best places in Nepal to buy the gorgeous handmade silk saris that once were the garment of choice for the country’s royalty and aristocracy.
Each year, the determination to trek to the summit of Mt. Everest brings thousands of adventurous travelers to Khumbu, the Everest Region located in northeastern Nepal. The journey begins at the Lukla airstrip where a clear two-lane trail eventually leads hikers to Everest Base Camp. Located primarily within the Sagarmatha National Park, Khumbu is home to the Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar where most expeditions to the mountainous peaks are staged. The country’s foremost Buddhist center, the Tengboche Monastery, is located in the Khumbu as well. There’s a variety of comfortable accommodations available at the monastery, many of which offer stunning views of the tallest mountain on the planet.