Pokhara is one of Nepal’s major tourist cities. Lots of hiking trails are nearby so there’s no shortage of tourists. It also has an amazing view of the Annapurna Mountain Range. In this list, I will enumerate all the budget-friendly activities you can do in Pokhara, good for a 2-3 day visit.
Paragliding with a backdrop of the Annapurnas
Every morning, you would often see hundreds of parachutes spiral down from the peak of Sarangkot. Paragliding seems like an expensive activity but since a lot of tourists do it, it became more accessible for us and cheaper to operate for the companies. Some locals even pursue a career in being a paragliding instructor because of the high demand.
The experience itself was so worth it. Flight time can take more than 30 minutes and it brings you above fields, forests, rivers, and more. We even got to fly in the middle of a group of eagles which was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I don’t think everyone who does this activity gets to have that chance to fly with eagles. It was a surreal moment, making our experience more special.
Prices vary but the cheapest one we found was at Green Wall Paragliding at NPR 5,000.00 per person. That includes all the transfers from your hotel to the jump-off site, and from the landing site back to your hotel. It also includes a photo and video coverage that they will transfer to your smartphone after the activity. Other companies offer a more premium service in ways like the type of car or the length of the flight. Their prices can go up to double the typical rate. It’s really up to your budget and style on which operator to choose. But I highly recommend Green Wall and they’re the cheapest one we found.
Green Wall Paragliding
Ride a boat at Phewa Lake
Enjoy the stunning views of the Annapurnas while on a small boat floating around Phewa Lake. It’s a majestic view but a little bit elusive. On our 4 day stay at Pokhara, the clouds were covering the mountains almost half the time. So make sure to make the most out of the situation!
Visit Tal Barahi Temple in the middle of Phewa Lake
While you’re already at Phewa Lake, why not visit the temple situated at a small island in it? It’s a small place, but great for observing the local culture and people. You can even ride on a raft that goes to and from the temple for a cheaper price than renting a boat. It’s the most authentic, local way of going there which makes the experience more special and unique.
Go on a Food-trip at the Lakeside
Tourism is highly developed at Lakeside so expect a different cuisine at every corner catering to all kinds of travelers. From traditional South Asian dishes to western style breakfast items. Whatever you’re craving for, there is likely to be a restaurant serving it. Just don’t forget to tip, it’s become expected from tourists.
Our Recommended Restaurants:
- Sherpa’s Kitchen (Nepalese Snacks)
- OR2K (Israeli Vegetarian)
- New Stupa View Restaurant (Nepalese/Bangladeshi)
- Samrat Restaurant (Tandoori)
- New Turkish and Nepali kitchen (Turkish/Nepalese)
Watch the sunset at Lakeside
After a good lunch at Sherpa’s Kitchen and a chill boat ride around Phewa Lake, end your day with the stunning sunset at Lakeside. You don’t have to be doing anything to enjoy the scene. You can just sit at a bench or on the grass and bask in the orange hues that blend the lake to the sky.
Enjoy the views of the Annapurna Mountain Range
Pokhara would probably not be as popular as it is today without the Annapurnas. The mountain range is the backdrop of the city. And the best days on our trip were the ones where we could see them. There are lots of viewing spots to enjoy a view of the mountains and one of them is at Sarangkot. It’s the most popular sunrise spot in the city so it wouldn’t be hard to look for a travel agency or a taxi rental to take you there.
An easier and cheaper (literally free) way for this activity is to go to your hotel rooftop! Of course, you have to book a mid to high rise hotel with rooftop access. Good thing they’re everywhere at Lakeside! You can hop around and compare prices, and even go online at OYO or Agoda to see the best fit for you. A free breakfast with a stunning view, now that’s a morning worth waking up to!
But for me, the best spot is at the tourist bus station. It’s unexpected, but the view was unbelievable. Buses that leave for Kathmandu or Chitwan starts early in the morning so seeing the mountains get lit up slowly was an amazing experience. Of course, there’s the smoke of the buses and busyness of the area, but the view makes you forget about those.
Visit the caves within the city
There are 3 caves (Gupteshwor Mahadev, Mahendra, Bat Cave) around the city and most of them are included on a typical city-tour package. The tour is not really the most exciting activity, but since we’re talking about cheap activities, it rightfully belongs to this list. The caves are all tourist friendly, so in a good way you don’t have to physically or mentally prepare, but also they’re highly populated with tourists.
Planning a trip to Nepal soon? Check out our 10-Day Nepal DIY Guide and Itinerary that covers Kathmandu, Bandipur, Pokhara, and more, click here!