The world is no stranger to Nepal’s natural beauty. Yet beyond stunning mountaintops and sweeping landscapes, Nepal’s urban centers bustle with markets, restaurants, music, and more. Perfect for idyllic photos and film backdrops.
Once a quiet trekking town, Pokhara is now full of luxury hotels and trendy nightspots. Beyond the usual tourist “must sees” — the Shanti Stupa, Lakeside, Sarangkot — the city provides endless feasts for the camera lenses of amateurs and professionals alike.
I’ve compiled some of my favorite locations for Instagram-worthy shots, places that are sure to fill friends near and far with envy and delight.
This lesser-visited viewpoint offers stunning views over the Pokhara Valley. Unlike the road winding to Sarangkot, you won’t have to wait in a line of buses and taxis during the peak season for panoramic shots.
On your way back from Kahun Dada, op drinto the monastery on the neighboring hill. Intricate details on bright red pillars and a manicured garden provide ample opportunity for snap-worthy moments. On clear days, the fin of Fishtail Mountain rises behind this freshly painted gumba.
Markets in Nepal offer a variety of trinkets, clothes, fabrics, and electronics displayed in a way that usually only makes sense to shopkeepers and frequent buyers. The tangle of wires hanging from street poles will add to the uniqueness of your portraits.
Mandi Fruit and Vegetable Market
Capture a colorful assortment of bulk spices, seasonal vegetables, and fresh fruits. Smiling shopkeepers and curious locals may even agree to take selfies with you.
With a bit of city planning and landscaping, this street could be one of the world’s most beautiful. Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for motorbikes and buses zooming up the street. Grab your friends for a group shot.
This location may take some navigating to find. Pass over the small bridge from Naya Bazaar and walk to the park overlooking the Seti Gorge. With shady trees and blowing grasses, this place is made for picnics, leisure afternoons, and photo sessions.
Red soil contrasts with the distant cityscape and provides a nice destination for early morning or dusk shots. A viewpoint that lives up to its name!
The rooftop of this boutique hotel places you in the lap of the Annapurna Mountain Range (without requiring days of trekking). It’s worth waiting for clear skies to fully appreciate this setting.
Couple emerald land with statuesque monasteries and you can easily spend a day here snapping pictures. Monkeys may enter your frame at the Pema Ts’al Monastery, and if the timing is right, you can snap good shots of farmers hauling in loads of potatoes to sell at an annual festival.
This Lakeside café has an inspirational wall backdrop made for Instagram posts. Place a crepe and a latte on one of the stained wood-top tables, and your friends will be jealous.
Walk around the lake to this spot on the shores of Fewa Tal. Generous bowls of acai, chia seeds, and chopped fruit are set beautifully into pottery bowls: social-media-share-worthy.
Rock Garden Resort
On top of a hill overlooking Fewa Tal, this resort places visitors between the lake and the Himalayas. A picturesque spot for sunsets.
If your budget allows, splurge on a day or two at this luxury hotel. It’s set into rice fields on the other side of the White Stupa. The infinity pool is the perfect backdrop for happy hour drinks. You won’t need much more than your camera phone to look like a star.
Kick back in a lounge chair and watch boaters glide across tranquil waters. Here you can practice your landscape photography or take portraits. This restaurant is a quieter Lakeside experience than the bars along the main strip.
A Lakeside hotspot with a nautical theme. Even if you have “one too many” and can’t seem to capture the right angle, their team of photographers will save the day. With low lighting and neutral colors, even the average trekker can look like a movie star.
From this distance, the lights of Lakeside’s bars and pubs shimmer at night. Golden hours are ideal here, and the establishment now offers a bed and breakfast if you want to extend your visit for morning shots.
Top image: Matt Zimmerman/Flickr