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THE MOST POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN TIBET

popular tourist destinations in Tibet

Tibet is a huge landmass in central Asia, rising to the elevation of 5000m and bordered by a chain of Himalayan peaks in the south. Referred to as the lost Shangri La, it has remained a center for Tibetan Buddhism for centuries. From iconic palaces and sacred monasteries to beautiful lakes, rivers and snow-capped mountains, there are many popular tourist attractions in Tibet.

Visiting Tibet is a dream for many. Tibet can be easily accessed either from Kathmandu, Nepal or all major cities of China via direct air flights or overland drive. Please find below some of the most popular attractions in Tibet:

POTALA PALACE

Located in Lhasa, Potala Palace is one of the oldest and most iconic landmarks of Tibet dating from 7th century AD. The palace was built by King Srongtsan Gampo and named after bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Since 17th century the palace was used as a winter residence by Dalai Lamas.

4 DAYS LHASA TOUR

The palace has incredible 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, 100,000 volumes of scriptures and about 200,000 statues of several Buddhas and bodhisattvas. The palace now is a world heritage site.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT POTALA PALACE

Location2km west of Jokhang Temple. 35 Beijing Middle Rd, Chengguan District, Lhasa.
Altitude3,750 m (12,300 ft)
Ticket PriceRMB100/Pax | From Nov 01 to April 30 RMB 200/Pax | From May 1 to Oct 31 Children below 1.2m free
Opening Hours09:30 – 15:00
Travel time1 hour (Suggested)
BuilderSongtsen Gampo in 637 AD | 5th Dalai Lama in 7th century
Famous forUNESCO world heritage Site; landmark of Tibet; winter palace of Dalai Lama
NotePhotography in the Potala Palace is strictly prohibited

SERA MONASTERY

Sera monastery Lhasa Tibet

The highly sacred Sera Monastery was built in 1419 and serves as a center of Gelugpa Buddhist sect. Here travelers can observe hundreds of monks chanting Buddhist scriptures or engaging in religious debates. The monastery has hermitages, nunneries, assembly halls, library, impressive painting and statues of Buddhas along with a large horticultural garden.

The monastery is situated in Lhasa near Pubuchok Mountains and draws thousands of visitors and pilgrims. Sera Bengqin Festival is one of the most important annual events of the monastery.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT SERA MONASTERY

Location6 km north of Jokhang Temple, 20 minutes’ drive from Lhasa center.
Altitude3,700 m (12,139 ft.)
Founded byJamchen Chöjé Shakya Yeshe (1354-1435)
Opening Hours09:00—16:00 | All year round
Ticket PriceUSD 50/Pax | From April to October | High season USD 25/Pax | From October to April | Low season
Travel time2 hours (Suggested)
Famous forMonks debating, Thanga unveiling and Bengqin festival. One of Lhasa’s Great Three Gelugpa Monasteries

BARKHOR STREET

Barkhor street Tibet

Barkhor street is the oldest street market in Lhasa, lying adjacent to Jokhang Temple.  The sight, smell and sound of the Barkhor street can make you nostalgic about the mystical history of Tibet. It is visited by hundreds of Tibetans spinning prayer wheels in their hands and chanting Buddhist mantras. You will find restaurants, memorial hall, handicraft shops, antique stores and peddlers along Barkhor street

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT BARKHOR STREET

LocationChengguan District, Lhasa. 35 backstreets around Jokhang Temple
Altitude3,650 m (11,975 ft)
Opening HoursAll day
Ticket PriceFree
Travel timeN/A
FounderSongtsen Gampo (from 639 to 647 AD)
Famous forHoly place, oldest street in Lhasa and the most famous bazaar and souvenir paradise in Tibet

JOKHANG TEMPLE | POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN TIBET

Jokhang temple Lhasa Tibet

Jokhang Temple has been in existence in Lhasa since the 7th century.  Located in front of Barkhor street, the temple is believed to be constructed by Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo for his Nepali and Chinese brides. The temple uniquely features the amalgamation of Chinese, Indian and Nepalese architecture. Jokhang Temple preserves the statute of Jowo Shakyamuni Buddha, hundreds of thangkas and sutras.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT JOKHANG TEMPLE

LocationBarkhor Street, Chengguan District, Lhasa
Altitude3,650 m (11,975 ft)
Opening Hours09:00—18:00 | All year round 07.00-11.00 For pilgrimage
Ticket PriceRMB 85/Pax
Travel time2 hours (Suggested)
FounderSongtsen Gampo (from 639 to 647 AD)
Famous forSpiritual heart Tibetan Buddhism. The holiest Buddhist site of Tibet. An UNESCO heritage site
AttractionMarvel architecture, Buddha statues and carvings and murals

SAMYE MONASTERY

SAMYE MONASTERY TIBET

Built in 775AD by King Trisong Detsen, Samye Monastery is the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. The monastery is located on the bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River and is designed to represent Mandala. Buddhist master Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche is said to have laid its foundation and ordained seven descendants here who were responsible in spreading Buddhist in rest of Tibet. Of the original, only 108 buildings have survived the ravages of time.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT SAMYE MONASTERY

Location136 kilometers from Lhasa. North bank of Yarlung Zangbo River, at the foot of Mt.Hepo Ri, Dranang County, Lhoka.
Altitude3,565 m (11,696 ft)
Opening Hours09:00 – 16:00 | All year round
Ticket PriceFree | Wuzi Hall: RMB 40
Travel time2 hours (Suggested)
Built byTrisong Detsen (reigned 742-798)
Famous for1st Buddhist monastery in Tibet renowned for the characteristic art of its buildings and the vivid murals

GANDEN MONASTERY

Ganden monastery Tibet

Ganden Monastery was built by Je Tsongkhapa in 1409 as the first monastery to practice Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is built on Wangbori Mountain overlooking the entire valley of Lhasa. The annual Ganden Thangka Unveiling Festival and Ganden Ngachen Chenmo Festival are celebrated in the monastery.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT GANDEN MONASTERY

LocationDagzê County, Lhasa, China, Around 57 kilometers to the east of Lhasa City
Altitude3,800 m (12,000 ft)
FounderJe Tsongkhapa (1409)
Opening Hours09:00 – 16:00 | All year round
Ticket PriceRMB 50 
Travel time2 hours (Suggested)
Famous forPrimary monastery of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism

DREPUNG MONASTERY

Drepung monastery Tibet

Built in 1416 by Jamyang Choge Tashi Palden, Drepung Monastery is located on Mt. Gambo Utse in Lhasa. Thousands of monks take up residence in the monastery to learn and practice Tibetan Buddhism. Visitors can witness Buddhist monks taking part in religious debates, a unique even in itself. The annual Shoton Festival is held here. The monastery contains Ganden Palace, Coqen Hall, Four Great Dratsangs and a great collection artifacts, scriptures and Thangkas.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT DREPUNG MONASTERY

LocationChengguan District, Lhasa; or five kilometers from the western suburb of Lhasa
Altitude3,800 m (12,000 ft)
FounderJamyang Choge Tashi Palden (1416)
Opening Hours09:00 – 17:00 | All year round
Ticket PriceRMB 60 
Travel time2 hours (Suggested)
Famous forOne of the Great Three Holy Monasteries of Lhasa and the largest Buddhist monastery in Tibet

MT. EVEREST BASE CAMP (NORTH) | POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN TIBET

MT. EVEREST BASE CAMP TIBET

Mt. Everest straddles the border between Nepal and China (Tibet). A road has been built all the way to Everest Base Camp on Tibet side. So, tourists can easily drive to Everest Base Camp (5150m) and enjoy amazing views of north face of Mt. Everest. You also have an option to spend a night at Everest Base Camp and visit Rongbuk Monastery which is the oldest monastery in Tibet.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT MT. EVEREST BASE CAMP (NORTH) | TIBET SITE

LocationTingri, Shigatse
Altitude5200m | 17,056ft
Best timeApril to October
Ticket PriceRMB 90/180/Pax
Travel DocumentsTibet Travel Permit, Alien’s Travel Permit
Famous forPanoramic view of the north ridge and entire summit of Mt. Everest

MOUNT KAILASH | POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN TIBET

Mount Kailash Tibet

Mount Kailash (714m) or Kangri Rimpoche is a holy mountain located in western Tibet that attracts thousands of visitors every year. The devotees of four religions- Hindu, Buddhism, Jain and Bon- regard visiting and observing Kailash the most pious and sacrilegious act of one’s life.

The mountain is so holy that climbing it is not allowed. Tibetan pilgrims spend days circumambulating or doing Kora of the mountain on feet while some even go to the extent of completing the entire ritual prostrating. The mountain remains the main source for four biggest rivers in Asia: Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo) and Karnali.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT MOUNT KAILASH

Location1,200 km from Lhasa. Burang county, North of Lake Manasarovar
Altitude6656m
Best timeJune to September
Ticket PriceRMB 200/Pax
Travel DocumentsChinese visa, Tibet Travel Permit, Alien’s Travel Permit and Military Permit. If you travel with us, we will help you to get them.
Famous forRegarded as the axis of Earth (Axis Mundi in Latin) or the center of the world Note: Climbing it is not permitted due to its sanctity.

NAMTSO LAKE

Namtso lake Tibet

Formed around 43 million years ago, Namtso Lake is a saltwater body situated in Tibet at an elevation of 4718m. Namtso in Tibetan language means ‘Heaven Lake’ and is yet another holy lake worthy of pilgrimage. The lake is surrounded by Nyainqêntanglha mountain range on one side, a high Laken pass (5186m), temples and mysterious cave hermitages.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT NAMTSO LAKE

LocationNorthwest of Damxung County, Lhasa Prefecture, Tibet
Altitude4,718 meters (15,479 feet)
Best timeJune to September
Ticket PriceRMB 120(May to Oct) | RMB 60(Nov to April)
Visiting TimeHalf day (Suggested)
Famous forOne of top three holy lakes in Tibet and second biggest saline lake in China after Qinghai Lake

YAMDROK LAKE

popular tourist destinations in Tibet

Yamdrok Lake (Yamdrok Yumtso) is a one of the biggest freshwater lakes in Tibet, located at an elevation of 4441m. Surrounded by snowy peaks, the lake experiences tundra climate and freezes entirely in winter. Tibetans believe the lake is guarded by goddess Dorje Gegkyi Tso and is associated with Padmasambhava. The lake also hosts the Samding Monastery which is headed by a female monk.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT YAMDROK LAKE

LocationNagarze County, Shannan, Tibet, China. 114 kilometers to the southwest of Lhasa.
Altitude4,441 meters (14,570 ft)
Best timeJune to September
Ticket PriceRMB 40
Opening hours:09:00 – 17.00 | All year around
Visiting Time2 hrs. (Suggested)
Famous forOne of top three holy lakes in Tibet and second biggest saline lake in China after Qinghai Lake
 Note: Please respect the local customs and tradition when are visit Yamdrok lake. Tibetans don’t fish, bathe or swim in the holy lake.

MANSOROVAR LAKE | POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN TIBET

MANSOROVAR LAKE TIBET

Lake Manasarovar is one of largest freshwaters in Tibet situated 20Km southeast of Mt. Kailash. Originally called ‘Machui Co’, the lake is 4,583m above sea level and is accessible by road transport.

Buddhist devotees believe that visiting and circumambulating the lake is a pious activity driving away avaricious desires and sins. According to Hindu poet Kalidasa, drinking and bathing in Lake Manasarovar are erases the “sins of a hundred lifetimes”. The lake supports rich biodiversity attracting many wild animals like fish, swans etc.

FACT AND TOURIST INFO ABOUT MANSOROVAR LAKE

LocationBurang County | West Tibet, near India/Nepal, 1,200 km (745 mi) by road from Lhasa | 20 km southeast of the Mt. Kailash
Altitude4,556 meters
Best timeSpring and Autumn
Ticket PriceRMB 150
Opening hours09:00 – 17:00 | All day long
Visiting Time2 hrs. (Suggested)
Things to doWorship and walk around. Hiking and photography are highly suggested.

LIST OF ENTRANCE FEES IN TIBET DURING SIGHTSEEING TOUR

Tibet is a vast region with many different tourist attractions, so entrance fees will vary depending on the specific location. However, here are some examples of current entrance fees for popular tourist attractions in Tibet:

ATTRACTIONSENTRANCE FEE
Everest Base Camp180 CNY (approximately $28 USD) per person.
Yamdrok Lake40 CNY (approximately $6 USD) per person.
Tashilhunpo Monastery100 CNY (approximately $15 USD) per person.
Namtso Lake120 CNY (approximately $19 USD) per person.
Sakya Monastery80 CNY (approximately $12 USD) per person.
Ganden Monastery40 CNY (approximately $6 USD) per person.
Mount KailashNo entrance fee, but visitors need to pay for a permit and be part of an organized tour.
Potala Palace200 CNY (approximately $31 USD) during peak season (May 1 to Oct 31) and 100 CNY (approximately $15 USD) during low season (Nov 1 to April 30).
Jokhang Temple85 CNY (approximately $13 USD) during peak season and 60 CNY (approximately $9 USD) during low season.
Norbulingka Palace60 CNY (approximately $9 USD) during peak season and 40 CNY (approximately $6 USD) during low season.
Sera Monastery60 CNY (approximately $9 USD) during peak season and 40 CNY (approximately $6 USD) during low season.
Drepung Monastery60 CNY (approximately $9 USD) during peak season and 40 CNY (approximately $6 USD) during low season.
Tibet MuseumFree admission.
Barkhor StreetFree admission, but some shops and vendors may require payment for their goods.

Please note that entrance fees and permit requirements can change, so it’s best to check with each attraction or email us for the most up-to-date information.

Interested to read about Lhasa?

THE MOST POLULAR TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN LHASA


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