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The Best Things to Do in Nepal

By Kirsty Parsons in Nepal , Ask an Expert , The Himalaya - 5th June 2024

Nepal is a place of breathtaking beauty and rich cultural heritage just waiting to be explored. Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, this South Asian country boasts a diverse landscape that ranges from towering peaks to lush valleys and vast glaciers to serene lakes.

But it's not just the natural wonders that make Nepal a must-visit destination. Its vibrant culture, ancient traditions, and warm hospitality continually draw travellers from around the globe. From trekking in the Himalayas to exploring historic temples and immersing yourself in local festivals, there's no shortage of fun things to do in Nepal. Whether you're seeking adventure, spiritual enlightenment, or simply looking to soak in the beauty of this Himalayan paradise, this guide covers all of the best things to do in Nepal for every type of traveller. So, pack your bags and prepare to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in Nepal. You’re guaranteed to leave with a new lease on life and the most incredible memories.

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Things to do in Nepal: Adventure Activities

Looking for some adrenaline-pumping activities in Nepal to spice up your trip? These adventurous activities are guaranteed to increase your heart rate.

Trekking in the Himalayas

If you’re looking to embark on an epic adventure, one of the most famous and rewarding activities in Nepal is trekking in the Himalayas. Picture yourself surrounded by majestic peaks, serene valleys, and breathtaking landscapes. Popular routes like Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, and Langtang Valley allow visitors to experience one of the best things to do in Nepal, amongst some of the world’s most stunning scenery.

Each trek showcases a different side of Nepal, with varying levels of difficulty. The Everest Base Camp Trek, in particular, is world-renowned and rightly so. It passes through picturesque Sherpa villages such as Namche Bazaar, and boasts spectacular views of Mount Everest alongside neighbouring peaks. Taking roughly two weeks to complete (from its start and end point at Lukla), this strenuous graded trek is hard but achievable with high altitude and some long trekking days being the main challenges.

Be sure to plan your trek during the optimal seasons for weather and trail conditions, which are usually springtime (March and April) and autumn (October and November). Trust us, the views along the way are worth every step!

Tackling a trek peak

For those seeking a more challenging adventure then tackling a trekking peak is something to consider - Mera Peak is an excellent option. It’s one of the highest trekking peaks in Nepal at 6,476 meters and requires some basic mountaineering skills such as the use of ice axe and crampons. Along the way, you'll stay in traditional tea houses, which provide basic accommodation and a chance to experience the warmth of local hospitality. This trek is tough and involves crossing high passes, navigating crevasses, and enduring the cold. But the reward is worth it - panoramic views of other extraordinary 8,000-meter peaks: Everest, Lhotse, Nupste, Makalu, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu.

Whitewater Rafting

For those craving more of an adrenaline rush, whitewater rafting is one of the best things to do in Nepal. The country’s rivers are renowned for their thrilling rapids and breathtaking scenery, with the Trishuli, Seti, and Sun Koshi rivers standing out as prime destinations.

Known for its accessibility and variety of rapids, the Trishuli offers an exciting yet manageable rafting experience suitable for beginners and families. As you navigate the river's twists and turns, you'll encounter fast rapids interspersed with calm stretches, providing a perfect balance of excitement and relaxation. The Seti River is less fast-paced than others and treats rafters to breathtaking views of deep gorges, cascading waterfalls, and verdant forests, offering a more tranquil experience. There's even a delightful river camp that you can spend the night in on the banks. We offer rafting on the Seti as two-day extension to our Gentle Trekking & Luxury Lodges trek in the Annapurna Foothills.

For the ultimate whitewater rafting challenge, look no further than the Sun Koshi River, often dubbed the ‘River of Gold’ for its shimmering waters and legendary rapids. This multi-day expedition takes rafters on a thrilling journey through remote valleys, dense jungles, and exhilarating rapids.

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Looking down on Everest Base Camp from Kala Pattar by Miles Cresswell-Turner
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Things to Do in Nepal: Cultural Experiences

Ready to immerse yourself in Nepal's rich cultural offerings? Here's how you can dive deep into the heart of this vibrant country.

Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing

Kathmandu and its surrounding valley is one of the best places to visit in Nepal for an insight into the country’s cultural scene. Embark on a journey through time as you explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Visitors can marvel at the intricate architecture, ornate palaces, and ancient temples home to Nepal's rich history and heritage.

Don't miss the chance to visit iconic temples like Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), and the sacred Hanuman Dhoka. For those looking to immerse themselves in the country’s religious sites, one of the best things to do in Nepal is to learn about Tibetan Buddhism at the Boudhanath Stupa. Wherever you go, each site is a treasure trove of cultural and religious significance, offering a glimpse into Nepal's spiritual legacy. Our Definitive Cultural Tour of Nepal includes in-depth exploration of all of these important sights, plus plenty more besides.

Religious Festivals

One of the top activities in Nepal to authentically experience the country’s religion and culture is to celebrate the traditional festivals of Dashain and Tihar. Taking part in these celebrations allows visitors to feel the vibrant energy and witness the streets come alive with music, dance, and colourful festivities that showcase Nepal's rich cultural heritage.


Dashain is the most celebrated festival in Nepal, and a time of joy, family gatherings, and cultural revelry. Lasting for 15 days, Dashain symbolises the victory of good over evil and is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. The streets are adorned with festive decorations, and the air is filled with the sounds of drums, bells, and traditional music.

Mani Rimdu

Mani Rimdu is another significant festival, offering a unique cultural experience and insight into the Sherpa community. Celebrated primarily in the monasteries of the Everest region, especially Thyangboche Monastery, this festival features days of meditation, ceremonial dances, and prayers. Monks in vibrant costumes and masks perform sacred dances to the rhythm of drums and cymbals, creating a mesmerising atmosphere. Our autumn treks in the Everest region are often timed to coincide with the Mani Rimdu Festival.


Also known as Deepawali or the Festival of Lights, Tihar is a five-day festival that celebrates the bond between humans and animals, as well as the triumph of light over darkness. The highlight of Tihar is the celebration of Laxmi Puja on the third day, where homes and streets are illuminated with oil lamps, candles, and colourful lights to welcome the goddess of wealth and prosperity. At Mountain Kingdoms, one departure of our Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is in Pokhara and Kathmandudu at the time of the Tihar festival, offering a unique opportunity to witness and participate in these enchanting festivities.

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The medieval buildings of Bhaktapur
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Things to Do in Nepal: Wildlife and Nature Exploration

Ready to embark on a wild adventure in Nepal? Get ready to explore the country's rich biodiversity and stunning natural landscapes in these incredible national parks.

Chitwan National Park

Step into the heart of the jungle with a wildlife safari in Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its incredible biodiversity. One of the best things to do in Nepal to see the animals that call it home is to hop aboard a jeep safari or embark on a thrilling nature walk led by experienced guides.

In doing this, you can venture deep into the wilderness in search of Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos, and a myriad of exotic bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of sloth bears, wild elephants, and rare Gangetic dolphins as you make your way through lush forests, grasslands, and meandering rivers.

Bardia National Park

For those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures in one of the most beautiful places in Nepal, Bardia National Park offers an equally rewarding wildlife experience. Located in the remote western lowlands of Nepal, Bardia is a hidden gem renowned for its pristine wilderness and diverse ecosystems.

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a thrilling tiger tracking expedition, where expert trackers lead you through dense jungle habitats to find the elusive Bengal tiger. Alternatively, explore the park's lush forests and grasslands on a rafting excursion down the Karnali River, home to rare bird species and other exotic wildlife.

We can add an extension to either Chitwan or Bardia to any of our Nepal holidays.

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Things to Do in Nepal: Spiritual Retreats and Yoga

If you’re seeking inner peace and spiritual rejuvenation, Nepal offers a sanctuary for the soul with its serene landscapes and profound spiritual heritage.

Meditation and Yoga Retreats

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of Nepal's scenic retreat centres. If you’re wondering where to go in Nepal to experience the best destinations for yoga and meditation, look no further than Pokhara. Situated amongst the breathtaking views of the Himalayas or overlooking the serene waters of Phewa Lake in Pokhara, you’ll find retreat centres offering the perfect sanctuary for yoga and meditation practice.

At Mountain Kingdoms, several of the hotels we use during our tours and trekking holidays offer yoga sessions and ayurvedic spas. The best examples of these beautiful accommodations are Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Resort, The Pavillions Himalayas, and Tiger Mountain Pohara Lodge. If you’re looking at your dream trekking destination but the itinerary doesn’t include the yoga retreat or hotel you desire, consider enquiring about one of our tailor-made trekking holidays; we could add an extension to one of our treks, tours or walking holidays or create a bespoke itinerary to incorporate these.

Spiritual Journeys

If you’re looking for places to visit in Nepal to tune into its spiritual side, then a visit to the sacred site of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, is a must. Here, amidst tranquil gardens and ancient monuments, you can honour Buddha and reflect on his teachings of compassion and mindfulness. Lumbini holds deep significance for both Buddhist and Hindu traditions, attracting people from around the world who seek peace and wisdom.

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Morning yoga session at Dwarika's Hotel, Dhulikhel
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Things to Do in Nepal: Culinary Experiences

Are you ready to tantalise your taste buds with the flavours of Nepal? Dive into the country's vibrant culinary scene for a mouthwatering adventure.

Nepali Cuisine

If you’re a foodie, one of the top things to do in Nepal is to sample the culinary scene. Prepare your palate for a delightful selection of traditional Nepali dishes, from the beloved momo (dumplings) to the hearty dal bhat (lentil soup with rice) and the sweet and savoury sel roti (rice flour doughnuts).

Explore bustling areas in major cities like Kathmandu and Ilam, where you'll find a variety of restaurants and street food stalls offering authentic Nepali fare. The Krishnarpan Restaurant at Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu offers a true gastronomic experience serving up to 22 courses of Nepalese dishes, and is also our hotel of choice for several of our group holidays. Whether you're trying spicy street snacks or a fragrant bowl of thukpa (Nepali noodle soup), each bite is a taste into the heart of Nepali culture and culinary tradition.

Cooking Classes

How many times have you wanted to recreate something you’ve eaten abroad at home, but just couldn't get it right? Join a cooking class and equip yourself to bring the flavours of Nepal into your own kitchen, learning the secrets of Nepali cuisine from expert chefs.

During our Definitive Cultural Tour of Nepal, you have the opportunity to get stuck into a Newari cooking class in Bhaktapur. From mastering the art of making momos to perfecting the balance of spices in dal bhat, these classes offer a hands-on experience that's as educational as it is delicious.

Gain insight into the cultural significance of food in Nepali society as you explore the diverse ingredients and cooking techniques that make Nepali cuisine so unique. It’s without a doubt one of the most rewarding activities in Nepal you can do.

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Momo dumplings - a Nepalese favourite
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There you have it! These are just some of the best things to do in Nepal. From heart-pounding adventures like trekking in the Himalayas and white water rafting to soul-enriching cultural immersions and spiritual retreats, Nepal truly captures the heart and ignites a sense of wonder in every traveller who visits.

But the adventure doesn't end here. The possibilities of things to do in Nepal are truly endless. There's always another peak to climb, another temple to explore, and another story to unravel. So, whether you're drawn to the call of the mountains or the serenity of ancient temples, Nepal beckons you to return and uncover its hidden treasures time and time again.

If your idea of an adventure is tackling one of Nepal’s peaks, Mountain Kingdoms offers a variety of incredible walking and trekking holidays in the Himalayas. Led by our expert guides, our treks promise unforgettable experiences amongst some of the world's most spectacular landscapes.

Whether you're a seasoned mountaineer or a novice trekker, we have plenty of options for you to choose from with varying difficulty levels. Contact our friendly team to find out more!

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This blog was written by Kirsty Parsons who is a long-serving member of the Mountain Kingdoms Marketing team. Kirsty has travelled extensively in Europe, Asia and the Americas creating exciting holidays for Mountain Kingdoms as well as on her own adventures. A lover of walking and trekking she has completed the trek to Everest Base Camp, hiked into the Grand Canyon, walked beneath the peaks of the Dolomites, camped on the Great Wall of China and reached Machu Pichhu at the end of the Inca Trail. Along with her passion for the great trails of the world, Kirsty often travels in search of wildlife. She has had many amazing encounters with creatures in the wild but amongst her most memorable are watching a wolf pack track a bull elk in Yellowstone National Park, getting up close to a sloth in Costa Rica and sharing a dining room with an elephant in Zambia. And although she likes nothing more than discovering new places and experiencing different cultures, she is equally at home in her campervan touring the beautiful mountains and coastline of Britain.

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