Places to Visit in Tibet

2022-12-19 | Published By: Bold Himalaya

At an average height of 3000m and above, Tibet is the "Roof of the World," the highest spot on earth. It is a mysterious, far-off destination that many people from outside of the area aspired for, situated on a plateau north of the Himalayas.
Tibet has held a surreal appeal for many foreigners for many years. Millions of tourists come here each year to take in its unparalleled natural beauty and rich religious heritage. The vast, serene nation has had a powerful pull on tourists since the turn of the 20th century because of its breathtaking beauty and intriguing religious culture.

Since they are the most representative of a real Tibet, you must not miss the top attractions mentioned below if this is your first visit.

Potala Palace

Potala Palace Highlights
Chinese name:  布达拉宫 Bùdálā Gōng

Location:  35 Beijing Middle Rd, Chengguan District, Lhasa, China; or 2 km west of Jokhang Temple.

Altitude:   3,750 m (12,300 ft)

Founder: Songtsen Gampo in 637 AD; 5th Dalai Lama in 17 century

Place description:  UNESCO world heritage Site; Landmark of Tibet; winter palace of Dalai Lama

Opening Hours & Ticket: Price 09:30—15:00; 200CNY/person (May to Oct.),100CNY/Person (Nov to Apr); Children below 1.2 m free entrance

Routes to Get There:  Bus No. 1, 6, 12, 17, 24. Get off at the Labia Station; No. 12, 13, 14. Get off at the Minghang Station

The Potala Palace is one of Tibet's most popular tourist destinations. It is a dzong castle in the city of Lhasa that previously served as the Dalai Lamas' winter residence from 1649 until 1959.

Following that, it was transformed into a museum, and now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A few of the treasures that this mansion has amassed throughout the years have earned it the moniker "heaven of the arts." When you visit this location, the traditional architecture that blends with the breathtaking surroundings will make you fall in love.

Additionally, you will gain a deeper understanding of Tibet's long history and cultural legacy.

Mount Kailash

Mount Kailash Highlights

Chinese name: 冈仁波齐峰, Gang Ren Bo Qi Feng

Location: Burang county, North of Lake Manasarovar

Altitude: 6,656 m (21, 838 ft.)

Place description: The center of the world, or the axis of Earth (Axis Mundi in Latin), is said to be Kailash.

Opening Hours: & Ticket Price 9:00--17:00; CNY 200

Routes to get There: overland from Lhasa to Mount Kailash; overland from Kathmandu to Mount Kailash via Gyirong border; travel from Kashgar to Mount Kailash by road.

A peak called Mount Kailash is situated in China's Tibet Autonomous Region's Ngari Prefecture. It is 6,714 meters above sea level (22,028 ft). It is located in the western region of the Tibetan Plateau, in the Transhimalaya's Kailash Range (Gangdisê Mountains).

The trijunction of the west of China, India, and Nepal's borders is less than 100 km from Mount Kailash in the direction of the north. Mount Kailash was declared a holy peak more than 2,000 years ago. Buddhism in Tibet, Hinduism, the Bon religion, and Jainism still hold it in high regard.

Most pilgrims honor the mountain to the fullest extent by circumnavigating it. Every year, a continuous line of pilgrims will circle the hill, coming from China's Tibetan autonomous territories and India, Nepal, Bhutan, and other countries.

North Everest Base Camp

North Everest Base Camp Highlights
Tibetian name:  Chomolungma ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ

Location:  North Base Camp Tibet, China (28°8′29″N 86°51′5″E)

Altitude:   5,150 meters (16,900 ft.)

Founder Team:  1924, British Everest expedition

Place description:  UNESCO world heritage Site; a landmark of Tibet 

Although the top of Mount Everest is one of the most desirable summits, the Everest Base Camp in Tibet is also a dream destination for trekkers. Everest Base Camp was first used by the British Everest expedition in 1924.

In front of Mount Everest's north face is a flat area known as the Everest Base Camp. Mount Qomolangma, commonly known as Mount Everest, is on the boundary between China and Nepal; its north slope is part of China, while its southern slope is part of Nepal.

You may take a vehicle or walk to get to the Northern Everest Base Camp, which is at a height of 5200m. The village, which is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking Himalayan mountains, is home to several camps and will also offer you a taste of the local Tibetan festivals, culture, and way of life. There are a few permanent buildings on the property, along with a small army base.

Ganden Monastery

Golden Monastery Highlights
Chinese name:  甘丹寺 Gāndān Sì

Location:  Dagzê County, Lhasa, China; or Wangbori Mountain, around 57 kilometers to the east of Lhasa City

Altitude:  3,800 m (12,000 ft)

Founder: Je Tsongkhapa (1409)

Place description: The 1st and primary monastery of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism; one of the Great Three Holy Monasteries of Lhasa

Opening Season: All year round


Ganden Monastery is located atop Wangbur Mountain in Dagzê County. Ganden Namgyal Ling (dga' ldan rmam rgyal gling) is its full name. Ganden is situated 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Lhasa. Hills surround the monastery in a natural amphitheater.

The kora route around the monastery offers dramatic views of the neighboring valleys. In Tibet, every monastery has a shadowy history and a bright future; Ganden Monastery is no different.

Ganden Namgyal Ling is its full name; "Ganden" means "joyful," and "Namgyal Ling" means "victorious temple." Virtually every adjective would do to characterize this monastery, but "joyful" sums up its illustrious past the best.

Manasarovar Lake

Manosarvor Lake Highlights
Chinese name:  瑪旁雍錯

Location:  Burang county, 20 km southeast of the Mount Kailash Altitude 4,583 m (15, 036 ft.)

Place description:  Holy and sacred lake

Routes to Get There:  overland from Lhasa to Manasarovar; overland from Kathmandu to Manasarovar via Gyirong border; travel from Kashgar to Manasarovar by road

Lake Manasarovar is among the highest freshwater lakes in the world. The lake is 412 square kilometers and 4,583 meters above sea level. The lake is almost 70 meters deep, with the northern portion being more comprehensive than the southern end.

A sapphire's purity may be seen in the lake, which is so clear that one can see hundreds of meters down into it. Twenty kilometers to the southeast of Mount Kailash is where the lake is situated in Burang County.

In Tibetan Buddhism, it is said that drinking Manasarovar water will keep one well and free from sickness, bathing in it will purge one of the insatiable cravings, disturbing thoughts, and previous misdeeds, and circumambulating the lake will bestow pilgrims with unlimited good fortune.

The waters of Lake Manasarovar are "like pearls," according to the Hindi poet Kalidasa, and drinking them cleanses the soul of the "sins of a hundred lifetimes."

Barkhor Street/Kora 

Barkhor Street/Kora  Highlights

Chinese name:  八廓街 Bākuò Jiē or 八角街 Bājiǎo Jiē

Location:  Chengguan District, Lhasa, Tibet, China; or an area of a public square and 35 backstreets around Jokhang Temple

Altitude:   3,650 m (11,975 ft)

Founder:  Songtsen Gampo (from 639 to 647 AD)

Place description: The holiest pilgrimage circuit and oldest street in Lhasa; the most famous bazaar and souvenir paradise in Tibet

The busiest market and most well-known pilgrimage route in Lhasa are located on Barkhor Street or Baker Street, located in the city's Old Town and known as the "heart of Lhasa." Barkhor Street, which has a radius of around 1000 meters, comprises 35 side lanes and alleyways that preserve ancient Lhasa's historical aspect and way of life.

In this area, you can travel through time and see what life must have been like hundreds or even millennia ago. Originally, Barkhor Street was the only route surrounding Jokhang Monastery, and the local Tibetans referred to it as the "Holy Road." But as of late, it has slowly expanded into the sizable historic communities that make up Barkhor East Street, Barkhor West Street, Barkhor South Street, and Barkhor North Street, all of which are located around the Jokhang Temple.

Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple Highlights

Chinese name: 大昭寺 Dàzhāo Sì

Location: Barkhor Street, Chengguan District, Lhasa; Surrounded by Barkhor Street

Altitude: 3,650 m (11,975 ft)

Founder: Songtsen Gampo (from 639 to 647 AD)

Place description: UNESCO heritage site; the spiritual heart of Tibet; the holiest Buddhist site in Tibet

Visiting Season: All year round

Buddhist temple Jokhang Temple is located in Barkhor Square in Lhasa, the administrative center of China's Tibet Autonomous Region. This temple is considered the most revered and significant temple in Tibet by Tibetans. The Jowo Shakyamuni, the most frightening statue of Buddha, is a must-see for everyone visiting Jokhang Temple.

Every day, a never-ending stream of worshippers prostrate before it in the main hall on the ground level. The statue is the center of attention since it is the only one who has received the blessing of Shakyamuni.

Namtso Lake

Namtso Lake Highlights
Chinese name: 纳木错 Nàmù Cuò

Location: Northwest of Damxung County, Lhasa Prefecture, Tibet

Altitude: 4,718m (15,479 feet); the world’s highest saline lake

Formation: Around 3 million years ago, the Earth's crust was slowly rising due to tectonic and glacial activity.

Place description: Second biggest Saline Lake in China; one of the top three holy lakes in Tibet


Namtso lake is a mountain lake located at 112 kilometers (70 miles) of NNW optical beauty. You walk along Namtso's limitless coastline while birds circle over the blue lake, taking in the distant, snow-covered mountains as you do so.

You'll sometimes cross a group of kneeling Tibetan pilgrims. You become more conscious that you are moving through earthly heaven as a result of the mantras being chanted, the soft sound of a lake lapping close, the cave retreats in five peninsulas, etc.

Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery Highlights
Chinese name:  色拉寺 Sèlā Sì

Location:  Approximately 5 km north of central Lhasa

Altitude:   3,700 m (12,139 ft.)

Founder:  Sakya Yeshe (From 1354 A.D. to 1439 A.D), also known as Jamchen Choje, the disciple of Tsongkhapa

Place description:  One of Lhasa’s Great Three Gelugpa Monasteries

Opening Time: all year round

Sera Monastery is only a few minute's talks from the station Sera Monastery is one of Tibet's "big three" Gelug university monasteries, it is situated around 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) north of the Jokhang and 1.25 miles (2.01 km) north of Lhasa.

Sera Monastery has taken on the additional obligation of nurturing distinguished monks by acting as a place of religious instruction. Jamchen Chojey Sakya Yeshe of Zel Gungtang (1355–1435), a student of Je Tsongkhapa, first constructed it in 1419.

A tangible sensation of holiness permeates the entire body as lamas recite Buddhist scriptures continuously in Tsochin Hall and Buddhist debates are conducted as usual in the spacious debating courtyard

Yamdrok Lake

Yamdrok Lake Highlights
Chinese name: 羊卓雍错Yángzhuō Yōngcuò

Location: Nagarze County, Shannan, Tibet, China; or the southern edge of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains, around 114 kilometers to the southwest of Lhasa City

Altitude: 4,441 m (14,570 ft)

Place description: one of the Great Three Holy Lakes in Tibet; the largest inland lake at the northern foothills of the Himalayas

Opening Time: all year round)

Routes to Get There: hire a private car. It often takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive 114km from Lhasa to Yamdrok Lake.

Yamdrok Lake is one of Tibet's three biggest holy lakes and a freshwater lake. It is longer than 72 kilometers (45 mi). Many snow-capped mountains and countless tiny streams feed into the lake, which they border.

The lake's discharge stream is located at the extreme western end, and its turquoise tint gives it the English name. The majestic Mt. Nojin Kangsang is visible in the background behind Yamdroktso.

While strolling along the lakeshore, you might see devoted Tibetan pilgrims kneeling in prayer, notice the stunning turquoise-blue water changing color with the sunlight, get a closer look at the fish swimming freely in the sacred lake, take stunning photos with Tibetan Mastiffs wearing their colorful ruffs, etc.

In addition, remember to bring your camera and wide-angle lenses to catch the migrating birds on the islands and the starry night sky.

Tashilhunpo Monastery

Tashilhunpo Monastery Highlights
Chinese name: 扎什伦布寺Zhāshí Lúnbù Sì

Location: Southern slope of Nyiseri Mountain in the west of Shigatse City; or 5 minutes drive from central Shigatse

Altitude: 3,800 m (12,000 ft)

Founder: Gedun Drupa (1447) Place description of the largest Buddhist monastery in Shigatse; one of the Great Four Holy Monasteries of Tibet

Opening Time: May to Oct. and Nov. to Apr.)


Tashilhunpo Monastery was established in 1447 by the First Dalai Lama and served as the Panchen Lama's traditional monastic seat. Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet, is home to this monastery, which is significant both historically and culturally.

The highlights of visiting Tashilhunpo Monastery include exploring distinctive buildings and historic sites, such as Coqen Hall, Chapel of Jampa, 4 Great Dratsangs, 56 Sutra Halls, and 64 Kamcuns, etc.; strolling the scenic kora around the monastery with sincere pilgrims to take in the breathtaking views of Shigatse City and the monastery itself, as well as Shigatse Dzong (small Potala Palace) in the distance.