4 Days Holy City Lhasa Group Tour from $409
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Lhasa Travel Guide - Attractions, Hotels, Transfer

A glimpse of the holy city Lhasa

Lhasa, literally means the Place of the Gods, is hidden deep in the spectacular Himalayan Mountains (altitude: 3,700 meters). It is a treasure trove of brilliant palaces, monasteries and temples. The symbol of Tibet, the dominating red and white Potala Palace is the first sight you will see when you enter the holy city Lhasa. For Tibetan people, Lhasa is the holiest city in the world. Every day, travelers and locals rub shoulders on the exotic Barkhor Street to walk the scared “kora”. Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet, keeps the most important treasure of Tibet - Jowo Rinpoche, the life-sized (5 foot/1.5m) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12 which was said to be created according to the description of the wet nurse of Shakyamuni. Lhasa also has several the most infuluential monasteries in Tibet - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery, Tsurphu Monastery, etc.

Lhasa, the tourist distributing center of Tibet

Today Lhasa has become the Must-visit destination for travelers because it is the essence of Tibet, the perfect place to experience the best culture of Tibet. Travelers usually stay a couple of days in the city for a short Tibet trip, or start their longer Tibet adventures from Lhasa to Gyantse, Shigatse, Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, etc.

Top Lhasa Attractions and Activities

The holy city Lhasa is famous for its beautiful landscapes, thousand-years-old history, unique Tibeatan culture, sunshine & blue sky and friendly local people. The most outstanding highlight is its magnificent palace and temples, such as the famous Polata Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, and Norbulingka. The miraculous and beautiful Namtso Lake is about half-day driving from the city. Besides the diverse cultural and scenic sights, you will also have chance to explore authentic Tibetan culture, such as Tibet food cooking, Princess Wenchen Show, etc. Basically you can spend about 2~3 days to visiti all thse famous attractions in Lhasa. Check all Lhasa attractions and all Lhasa activities.

Potala Palace

Type: Architecture, Religion

Altitude: 3,700 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Only the given words cannot form the real Potala Palace. It's not only the center of Lhasa, the house of treasure, or the winter palace of Dalai Lama, but also the start of your Tibet Travel, an essential part of your life journey.

Namtso Lake

Type: Hiking & Photograph

Altitude: 4,718 meters

Best time to visit: June to September

Literally meaning Heavenly Lake, Namtso Lake is really worthy of its name. With shimmering turquoise-like blue water and flying colorful prayer flags, Namtso Lake attracts plentiful photographers...

Jokhang Temple

Type: Religious Sites, Historical Sites

Altitude: 3,650 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

The 1,300-year-old Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Lhasa permeated with intense incense. The life-sized statue of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12 is worshiped in the main hall.

Barkhor Street

Type: Religious Sites, Historical Sites

Altitude: 3,650 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Known as a popular circumambulation and souvenir shopping site, Barkhor Street is busy with pilgrims and tourists. In this saint road, you can feel the strong Buddhist belief.

Ganden Monastery

Type: Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings

Altitude: 3800 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

In the meaning of happiness and contentedness in Tibetan, Ganden Monastery is one of the three greatest monasteries featured in cultural relics, orderly architectures, Butter Lamp Festival etc.

Princess Wencheng Drama

Type: Live Stage Night Show

Altitude: 3800 meters

Best time to visit: Late April to early October

Princess Wencheng Drama is a huge outdoor live performance. It is a widely circulated legendary epic, revivifying an original look of Tang Dynasty and Ancient Tibet by integration of drama, music, dance and modern choreography.


Type: Architecture & Culture

Altitude: 3,650 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

The pleasant Norbulingka Park contains several palaces, chapels as well as colorful flowers. It is the former summer residence of Dalai Lamas. Many festival will be celebrated here, including Losar Festival, Lantern Festival, Shoton Festival etc.

Drepung Monastery

Type: Architecture & Culture

Altitude: 3,800 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Listed in the three greatest monasteries, it once was the residence for Dalai Lamas before Potala Palace and now is a famous Buddhist school. In Shoton Festival, a huge Thangka Buddha painting will be shown on in Drepung Monastery.

Sera Monastery

Type: Architecture & Culture

Altitude: 3,700 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Also one of the three greatest monasteries, Sera Monastery is mostly famous for Buddhism debating which a spectacular way of discussing the Buddhist knowledge, which makes it as a must-see in Tibet. The Buddhist halls are amazing as well.

Nyemo Tunba

Type: Tibetan Village, Cultural Site

Altitude: 3,809 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Featuring the origin of Tibetan Incense, Nyemo Tunba, a small village siting aside of 318 National highway, offers you a typical experience to discover the handcrafted procedure of fragrance incense making.

Reting Monastery

Type: Religious Temple, Historical Site

Altitude: 4,150 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Reting Monastery is a historically important Buddhist monastery. It has a ruined dzong which is overlooked by a mountain of near-perfect conical proportions. During special festivals, kinds of activities are taken place lively.

Tibet Cooking Experience

Type: Cooking Experience

Altitude: 3650 meters

Best time to visit: All year around

Tasting delicious Tibetan food is not enough, and taking part in the cooking class will leave you a more unforgettable experience. Tibetan Family Kitchen offers a cooking class, also a food culture trip. It begins at 16:30pm and ends at 18:30pm usually.

Useful Lhasa Travel Notes

  • 1. How to Plan Lhasa Travel
    1) choose a gateway city to take a flight or train to Lhasa. Chengdu, Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Xining are most popular gateway cities with tourists; 2) decide your travel length in Lhasa. Usually, the classic Lhasa city tour needs at least 4 days - two full days visit to the most famous sites, such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery.. and two days for arrival, departure and free-time activities. If you have more days, you can go to add a local family visit (1 day), or go to explore Namtso Lake (1 or 2 days). If you want to travel to Mount Everest, you have to add 3 or 4 days.
  • 2. Tibet Permits for Lhasa Travel
    To visit Lhasa, including nearby towns and attractions, such as Namtso Lake, Ganden Monastery, you only need to obtain Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit). Other permits, like Alien Travel Permit, Border Permit and Military Permit are not required. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency).
  • 3. Acclimatize Yourself to High Altitudes of Lhasa.
    The average altitude of Lhasa city is around 3700 meters. You may suffer slightly from high altitude sickness in the first two days, but don't worry you can acclimatize yourself gradually - 1) go for some leisure walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival; 2) you’d better not have bath, in case of catching a cold; 3) drink more water, and have some fruit; 4) have a good rest.
  • 4. Packing and Wearing Ideas for Lhasa Travel
    Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended.
    As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.

Most Recommended Lhasa Tour Packages

Following are some other recommended Lhasa tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.

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