Pokhara Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 3 days

Best Time: September to November Read More

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"Gateway to the Himalayas"

Pokhara Tourism

Pokhara, the 'Tourist Capital of Nepal,' is the second-largest city in this Himalayan country, after Kathmandu. At an altitude of more than 900m, it is one of the highest cities, making it the base for many world-famous treks. The highlight of the town is its Lakeside, which is a boating paradise flanked with charming shops, dreamy caf├ęs, restaurants and pubs that make up this postcard-perfect town.

For adventure enthusiasts, Pokhara is a popular starting point for many treks in the Annapurna Range as well as many paragliding and river rafting opportunities. 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.

The city is a beautiful contrast of the bustling Lakeside Pokhara and Old Pokhara, which is home to many beautiful historical temples and is also the city's commercial hub. Phewa Lake (or Phewa Tal), a spectacular lake that borders Lakeside Pokhara and Old Pokhara, it flawlessly reflects the mountains that border it, making it a breathtaking photo-op. The old city houses shops where you can buy famous handicrafts, woodwork and woolwork. Don't forget to visit the Tibetan Mini Market for one-of-a-kind souvenirs!

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Shopping in Pokhara

Nepal’s second-largest city, Pokhara, boasts terrific places to stop and shop for handicrafts, jewellery, traditional and modern clothing, trekking equipment and eclectic souvenirs. Learn about the best ways to enjoy shopping in Pokhara -

  • Pick up Jhari textiles, Tibetan rugs, Nepali handkerchieves and souvenirs from Silver Oaks Handicraft, Tibetan Gift Shop and Yak Wool Handicraft. 
  • Buy the famous singing water bowls, kukri knives, antiques, varieties of clothing, trinkets and books from Tashiling Handicraft Centre, Pokhara Mini Night Market and Nepal Mandala Shop.
  • Fairmount Trekking Shop offers world-class mountaineering gear.
  • Catch up with fashion trends at malls like RK Shopping Complex, Pokhara Mall, Ratna Emporium and Midtown Galleria.
  • Foodies can buy street food and organic produce at farmers’ markets like Prithvi Chowk and Old Pokhara Bazaar.

Pro tips: -

  • The import tariff on most products ranges between 10-80%.
  • It is common to bargain for a reasonable 10-30% discount.
  • Always carry cash while shopping in Pokhara.
  • Support the No-Plastic initiative.

Nightlife in Pokhara

Combining Himalayan mountain views soaked in the moonlight with energetic crowds and neon-lit landscapes, nightlife in Pokhara, Nepal centres around vivacious bars, nightclubs, dining lounges, booming live music scenes, traditional night markets and open-air cinemas. From groovy Bollywood and international beats at Busy Bee Cafe, elaborate thalis and liquor menus at Star Lounge Bar and Ozone Premium, to popcorn plus cocktails at Movie Garden, Pokhara comes alive after sundown for night owls to have unforgettable experiences. Pokhara’s top nightlife destinations include: -

  • Paradiso Sports Bar and Grill
  • All That Jazz
  • Club Nasha
  • Old Blues Bar
  • Old Pokhara Night Bazaar
  • Caffe Concerto
  • Club Gravity Lounge and Bar
  • Irish Pub
  • OR2K
  • Bullet Basecamp

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.

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.

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.

Religion of Pokhara

Hinduism and Buddhism are the main religions followed in the region

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.

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.

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.

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Pokhara Photos

Pokhara, Nepal
Pokhara Valley - Second Largest Valley in Nepal
Phewa Lake - Fresh Water Lake
Tal Barahi Temple - Lake Temple in Kaski District

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FAQs on Pokhara

What is the best way 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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What are the places near Pokhara?

The top places near to Pokhara are Lumbini which is 78 km from Pokhara, Kathmandu which is located 142 km from Pokhara, Nagarkot which is located 159 km from Pokhara, Janakpur which is located 255 km from Pokhara, Mustang nepal which is located 85 km from Pokhara

What are the things to do in Pokhara?

The top things to do in Pokhara are Annapurna Circuit, Phewa Lake, Sarangkot, Shanti Stupa, Pokhara, Tibetan Refugee Camp, International Mountain Museum. You can see all the places to visit in Pokhara here

What are the top hotels in Pokhara?

There are 488 in Pokhara which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Pokhara are Hotel Snow Leopard, Hotel Noble Inn, Hotel Beijing Lu, Bamboo garden, AirBnB Bijay, Om Gaura Hotel. You can see all the hotels in Pokhara here

How much does a package cost for Pokhara?

The packages for Pokhara start at INR 5000 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What is the 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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What is the best time to visit Pokhara?

September to November is the best time to visit Pokhara; it is also considered as the peak tourist season. December to February are the coldest months in Pokhara. The winter continues till March since Pokhara is at proximity to the Himalayas, the peak months are when tourists indulge in trekking and hiking. Apart from that, there are adventure activities like bungee jumping, zip flying and paragliding during the Winter and Spring months (April - May). This is the time when the city is warmer and looks mesmerising. The end of May experiences a dip in tourism as Summer sets in which is the offseason in Pokhara. The summers also bring in a little rain and humidity. Summer generally lasts between May to August, by September, the weather gets better welcoming the Autumn season. This is, again, a great time to visit Pokhara for budget travellers.
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Who should visit Pokhara?

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