Every trekker who goes to Nepal has heard of Pokhara, whether you’re planning on doing the Annapurna circuit, Poon Hill trek or you’re relaxing after EBC, you have to go to Pokhara.
This town is located in the west of Nepal, about an 8-hour bus ride from Kathmandu. Don’t worry if busses aren’t your thing, it’s also accessible by local flight!
I chose to go to Pokhara after my trek to Everest Base Camp and again after my 2020 Annapurna trek and was the best decision I ever made! More often than not, people find the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu overwhelming and choose to head to Pokhara because it’s pretty much the exact opposite. Although you can’t completely avoid the dust this charming lakeside city is just the place to relax, do some easy hikes, see some sights and do some shopping. The nightlife is pretty busy for a city of this size, especially in the Lakeside district (the touristy area).
In Pokhara, the world is your oyster! You can:
Trek: Many treks begin or end in Pokhara including the Annapurna circuit, ABC, Upper Mustang and Poon Hill. You can book all these treks right in the city, or even from the hotel! But I would recommend booking beforehand. As far as trekking companies go they are a dime a dozen but I personally recommend Scenic Nepal treks. If you are looking to hire a guide outright and go without the “tour” I have the phone number for my amazing guide Nara who helped my friend through EBC and made sure we both made it back from the Annapurna circuit safe and sound. Shoot me an email for contact details.
Hike/Walk: Even if trekking is not your thing there are still some stunning hikes around the Pokhara area. You can visit Sarangkot for sunrise to get the perfect view of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu. You can also hike around the long way to The World Peace Pagoda, or take a boat across and hike up!. Walking along the lakeside from east to west is also a great evening stroll.
Paragliding: I didn’t personally choose this activity but you can go paragliding from Sarangkot over the lake and the city. It’s a beautiful view if you’re brave enough!
Rent a boat: You can hire or rent a boat and paddle around lake Phewa! You can also rent a kayak by the hour or by the day. It’s a good morning or afternoon activity when the sun is not as strong.
The World Peace Pagoda: This is a must-see in Pokhara this white pagoda at the top of the mountain across lake Phewa glimmers and shines! You can spot it from anywhere in lakeside. The long hike up the mountain (either way) is worth it. When visiting you need to keep silent and take off your shoes. It also offers the best view of Pokhara (next to Sarangkot).
Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave: These caves can be a bit tricky to find (they are diagonal across the road from Davis Falls) but it’s worth it to visit. The entry fee is relatively cheap, you descend down the most beautifully decorated and ornate staircase I’ve ever seen before you enter the cave. You can pay some money in the “cowshed” to make the cow give you “milk” don’t drink it, it’s to put over your head. The caves are a religious site and many make the trip here solely for that reason so be respectful, don’t take photos of the shrines or temples. From the end of the caves, you can peek outside through a crack at Davis falls!
Davis Falls: This one is more of a touristy trap, the falls aren’t much to look at but it has a wishing well, pay the people nearby for some coins and try and get yours to land on the statue if you do your wish comes true! They also have cute cut-outs of traditional Nepalese clothing you can pose behind.
The Movie Garden: This place can be a bit tricky to find so some before dark, it’s an amazing little outdoor movie theatre showing films 7 days a week. You can order pizza, have a beer and relax. The best way to end the day.
Busy Bee Cafe: This “cafe” gets wild into the night as it turns into a restaurant/bar/nightclub hybrid. Always guaranteed a good time!
There is much more to see in Pokhara than I can compile into a list, I would say your best bet would be to walk around and discover what the town has to offer! There are a lot of amazing bars, restaurants and fun things to do hidden among the streets and shops of lakeside.