For a small country, Nepal has a wide geographic diversity from the mountainous Himalayas to the Terai Plains. The country is full of cultural assortment as well, with various ethnic, tribal and social groups like Hindus and Buddhists. The main centre of tourism in Nepal is Kathmandu, offering ample scope for sightseeing, shopping as well as adventure and recreation.
Nepal is widely known for Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, located in the Himalayas on the Nepal-China border. Rich in wildlife, the Chitwan National Park in Nepal is also one of the most popular tourist sites of the country. Among other top attractions of Nepal are the Stupas of Swayambhu and Boudhanath. Hindu temples of Pashupatinath and Changu Narayan add to the list of major sites in Nepal.
Durbar Square of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur housing a huge complex of palaces, courtyards and temples are also popular tourist spots. Tourists can also pay a visit to the ancient town of Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and one of the four Buddhist pilgrimages. Other popular tourist activities in Nepal include a trip to Pokhara, Chitwan, Dhulikhel and Biratnagar, among other cities.
Tourists visiting Nepal can also plan a multi-day excursion either within the country or to nearby destinations like Tibet, Bhutan and Northern India. Adventure seekers can opt for activities like mountaineering, trekking and rafting. Paragliding, bungee jumping and other aerial activities are also prevalent here.
Shopping in Kathmandu, followed by Patan, Bhaktapur and Pokhara, is another favourite pastime of tourists. Among the most popular choices for shopping items are Nepalese handicrafts, pashmina shawls, pottery, jewellery, antiques, khukuri knife and brassware. The regional cuisine and other staple foods of Nepal like dal bhat tarkari, momos and street foods, along with snacks and beverages also attract people.