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3.9 /5 40 votes


Best Time: September -November Read More

Ideal duration: 3 days

Nearest Airport: Pokhara Check Flights

"Gateway to the Himalayas"

Pokhara Tourism

Pokhara, the 'Tourist Capital of Nepal,' is the second-largest city in Nepal, after Kathmandu. At an altitude of more than 900m, it is one of the highest as well.

The city is divided into two parts - Lakeside Pokhara and Old City. Phewa Lake (or Phewa Tal), a spectacular lake borders Lakeside Pokhara while Old City is the commercial hub. Phewa Lake flawlessly reflects the mountains that border it, making it a breathtaking photo-op and a boating paradise. Charming shops, dreamy caf├ęs, restaurants and pubs that line Lakeside Pokhara compliments the postcard-perfect scenery. The old city houses shops where you can buy famous handicrafts, woodwork and woolwork. Visit the Tibetan Mini Market for one-of-a-kind souvenirs!

Pokhara is cut by the Seti Gandaki River and her many tributaries, which contributes to the unique geography - many gorges and caves even within city limits!

Trekkers throng Pokhara as it is a popular starting point for many treks in the Annapurna Range. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a challenging trek that is rewarded with striking views of Pokhara valley atop Mt. Machhapuchhre. The Sarangkot trail is a much shorter one, which is perfect for novices. 

Pokhara offers paragliding and river rafting to all thrill-seekers. You can take solo or tandem rides, depending on your expertise. River rafting and white water rafting are offered on Seti Gandaki and her tributaries.

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History of Pokhara

Pokhara was an important point on the trade route between India and China. Until the late 1960s, the valley was only accessible by foot. With the construction of Siddhartha Highway, which connects the city to Southern Nepal, tourism boomed in the city. The area along the Phewa lake, called Lake Side, has developed into one of the major tourism hubs of Nepal.

Nightlife in Pokhara

There are few options available on the lakeside including All the jazz, Club Amsterdam, Busy Bee and much more. The clubs close before midnight because of the local rules.

Shopping in Pokhara

Shopping in Pokhara can be a bit disappointing. There isn't much to buy as souvenir and things which are available are mostly overpriced. Nevertheless, the traditional Tibetian jewellery and trinkets are the things you must look out for.

Exchanging Money in Pokhara

ATMs are easily available in the city and cash is dispensed in NPR only. Major currencies such as GBP, USD, Euro, Yen or INR can be changed at the money changers'. ATMs of most banks levy a fee of NPR 750 per transaction, and limit withdrawals to NPR 25000, so it's better to withdraw a fair bit of cash in one transaction. Be careful of pickpockets and also be careful while using your cards.

Daily Budget for Pokhara

The daily budget can be from NPR 1500 if you are travelling on mid budget while it can go upto NPR 3000 if you prefer luxurious comfort. Being a popular tourist destination in Nepal, Pokhara offers something in every budget.

Religion of Pokhara

Hinduism and Buddhism are the main religions followed in the region

Pokhara Customs

Dressing in Nepal doesn't confine to strict or absolute norms for tourists. However, it is preferred that one does not dress scantily since it is not very fondly looked upon by the locals. The locals, in general, are very welcoming to foreigners, but like any city, one must be careful of touts and cheats. Saying Namaste as a form of greeting is a common practice. Shaking of hands as a greeting is practiced too, however, a man should not offer his hand to a woman unless he is offered it first. Tips are often given in Nepal. In restaurants and hotels, 5 - 10% of the bill is sufficient. You can tip your guide anywhere between NPR 300 - 500 per day.

Language of Pokhara

Nepali is the official language of the land and is spoken everywhere in the country. However, there is a significant population which can understand a fair bit of Hindi. Those dealing with tourists often have picked up a few English words as well. You can use words such as 'Namaste' for hello and 'Dhanyavaad' for thank you.

Currency in Pokhara

Visas and mastercards are accepted in Pokhara, however not every place has the option of paying via card so it's imperative that you always carry cash in NPR with yourself. No other currency is formally accepted, however guides may sometimes accept tips in USD to exchange for NPR, usually resulting in getting higher tips.

Restaurants and Local Food in Pokhara

Undoubtedly the most famous food you'll find here is the momo, a local dumpling. It can be steamed or fried, stuffed with chicken, buff or veggies. The cuisines on offer are a mix of Tibetan and Indian, with a decent amount of variety available for both. Thamel hosts several restaurants of many different cuisines, ranging from local to Indian to oriental to even European. Some of these are local and some are for tourists, the latter being comparitively expensive.
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How To Reach Pokhara

You can take tourist bus or taxis if you are coming from Kathmandu. The journey is usually 6-7 hours long. Taxis are also available from nearby cities and from India also. Alternatively, you can take a flight from Kathmandu which will land on Pokhara Airport.

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