How Many Days Should I Spend in Tibet?
Covering an area of more than 1.2 million square kilometers, the Tibet Autonomous Region makes up for around 12.5 percent of the total land area of the People’s Republic of China. With such a huge area to cover, you may be wondering how many days you need to travel in Tibet to manage to see what you want.
Effectively, the amount of time you need for a trip to Tibet depends on a number of factors, including the places you want to visit, what your interests are, and the amount of time you have available for travel. Please read the following suggestions from our travel experts and make a feasible plan for your Tibet journey.
The Shortest Journey: Spend 4 Days in Lhasa for the Classic Tibet Tour
Who are recommended to enjoy such a short tour?
The amazing 4-day tour of Lhasa is a classic tour that gives you the best of the Tibetan capital, and allows you to experience the heart of the Tibetan culture and religion. An awesome tour that covers the major tourist attractions in the capital, including the famous Potala Palace and the sacred Jokhang Temple, this short trip to Tibet is the ideal introduction to traveling at altitudes higher than anywhere else on the planet.
The famous Potala Palace is your first destination in Tibet.
For the first-time visitor to Tibet, this short tour allows you to experience the best that Lhasa has to offer, and gives you the chance to get used to traveling at high altitudes over 3,500 meters, but does not expect you to go higher, as most of the tours that head out of the city will. Lhasa is also an ideal destination for those that are traveling with kids or for the elderly, as the altitude is high, but not too high that it may cause a problem. And the city has everything you need to make your visit pleasant and comfortable.
As the shortest tour to Tibet, the 4-day Lhasa tour is also the cheapest, which makes it a great option for travelers that are short on time, or short on budget. With just a few days to spare in your travels, you can head to Lhasa by flight from Nepal or mainland China in a few hours. For those on a budget, the 4-day trip is a Group Tour, which means you will be traveling with other tourists, and will share many of the costs of the tour, which can make the trip much more affordable.
Top Things to Do for the 4-Day Tour in Lhasa
This awesome tour of Tibet gives you an amazing opportunity to see into the lives of the Tibetan people in a way that can help you understand the culture and religion of the Tibetan plateau. The trip includes a visit to the major tourist attractions of the city, which includes some of the most historic and culturally important sites in Tibet. The Potala Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and sits above the city of Lhasa on the famous Red Hill. You can also visit the most sacred temple in China, the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa Old Quarter. Built more than 1,300 years ago by the 33rd king of Tibet, this unique temple is the destination of pilgrims from all across the region.
Watching the furious monk debate in Sera Monastery
Outside the city lie two of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism, Sera and Drepung Monasteries. Built as university monasteries of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism (one of five sects of Buddhism in Tibet), both Sera and Drepung are two of the Great Three monasteries of the Gelug School, and are important in both the history of Tibet and the education of the Tibetan Buddhist monks.
Enjoy Tibetan Monasteries and Serene Lakes, Spend 6 Days for Lhasa and Namtso Tour
Who are recommended to enjoy such tour?
If you are interested in the unique culture and landscapes of Tibet, then the 6-day tour of Lhasa and Lake Namtso is an ideal opportunity to see how the landscapes and climates of the plateau have influenced the unique Tibetan culture. Lhasa is the center of Tibetan culture, though much of the culture has been influenced by religion and the unique landscapes on the roof of the world. Lake Namtso lies to the north of the Tibetan capital, and is classed as one of the most amazing lakes on the plateau.
Top Things to Do for the 6-Day Tour in Lhasa
Giving you a little more time in Tibet, the 6-day trip to the plateau gives you all the city experiences of the four-day tour, and so much more on top. In the city, you will get to experience visiting the iconic Potala Palace, the former seat of Tibetan governance and winter palace of the Dalai Lama.
Visit one of the most sacred temples in the world - Jokhang Temple
You will also visit one of the most sacred temples in the world, the Jokhang Temple in the Old City. Housing the famous Jowo Rinpoche, a statue of Buddha at the age of twelve that is believed to have been blessed by Gautama Buddha himself, the Jokhang Temple is the true beating heart of Tibetan Buddhism and the most important pilgrimage destination in central Tibet. You will also get to visit the monasteries of Drepung and Sera, and tour around Barkhor Street, the kora path for pilgrims to the temple and the best market and shopping streets in Lhasa.
Enjoy the breathtaking scenery around the holy Namtso Lake
Outside the city, you will take the long drive to the north to visit Lake Namtso. Known as the Heavenly Lake, because of its extreme altitude at 4,718 meters above sea level, Namtso is one of the Great Three Sacred Lakes of Tibet, along with Lake Yamdrok and Lake Manasarovar. Lake Namtso is the ultimate experience of Tibetan nature, sitting between two of the most amazing sights one can find on the plateau. - Check the expert’s guide to visiting Lake Namtso
And the lake is just as amazing as the surrounding landscape, shimmering in the bright sunshine. And on the way back to Lhasa, after spending the night at the lakeside, you get to visit the Yangpachen Hot Springs, one of the most popular and famous natural hot springs in Tibet.
Want to Visit Mt.Everest? Spend 8 Days for the Epic Lhasa to EBC Tour
Who are recommended to enjoy such tour?
Who can deny that taking a trip to Mount Everest is one of the main reasons why people travel to Tibet? With the world’s highest mountain lying half inside the borders of China in Tibet, Everest is the single most popular tourist destination in Tibet, and our 8-day tour out to the far west of Tibet takes you right up to stand in the shadows of this legendary mountain. For those with a desire to stand under the peak of the mountain that has taken lives, inspired adventures, and even been the subject of several movies, this week-long adventure into the wilds of western Tibet is the perfect tour.
Our clients enjoyed a great time at Everest Base Camp in july.
Top Things to Do for the 8-Day EBC Tour from Lhasa
Almost all tours in Tibet start in the Tibetan capital, and spending a few days in Lhasa gives you the opportunity to visit the amazing sites of the city, including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, and the famous Gelug Monasteries. However, it is also necessary to spend a few days in the capital acclimatizing to the increased altitude, before traveling out west for cross the vast Tibetan plateau to its western borders.
Yamdrok Lake, one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet.
Outside Lhasa, you will pass through some of Tibet’s amazing sites, including the famous Kumbum Stupa in Gyantse, as well as the Pelkor Chode Monastery in Gyantse and the Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. And if that is not enough, on the route to Gyantse, you will pass by and stop at Lake Yamdrok, another of the Sacred Lakes of Tibet.
The experience at Everest Base Camp (EBC) is one in a million. Standing tall at 8,848 meters, Mount Everest is an outstanding experience, and one that will live with you forever. And standing at the base camp, at 5,150 meters above sea level, you can feel the rush of excitement that the early explorers and mountaineers must have felt as they gazed on the same peak more than a hundred years ago
For the Pilgrimage in Tibet: Spend 15 Days for Mt.Kailash Kora from Lhasa
Who are recommended to enjoy such tour?
As deeply religious people, pilgrimage is an important part of their religious culture, and is a journey that every Tibetan Buddhist wants to go on. And for someone who wants to experience the pilgrimage of Tibetan Buddhists, there is no better tour of the plateau than the 15-day tour from Lhasa to the sacred Mount Kailash.
Top Things to do for the 15-Day EBC tour from Lhasa
Starting in Lhasa, this awesome 15-day tour of the plateau lets you explore the Tibetan capital, including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and the famous Gelug Monasteries. After departing from Lhasa, you will stop in Gyantse to visit the Kumbum Stupa, in Shigatse to tour the Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama, and visit EBC to gaze in awe upon the highest point of the planet, Mount Everest.
Our clients experienced the sacred Mt.Kailash kora trek in Tibet.
After departing from EBC, your tour takes you further into the hinterlands of western Tibet. After two days of driving, you will finally reach your destination at Mount Kailash, the most sacred mountain in the world. Deemed to be sacred in four religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon - Kailash is the highest peak in the Gangdise range of the Transhimalaya, at 6,638 meters above sea level. Here, you will have the chance to experience what the thousands of religious and devout pilgrims feel as they take the ritual kora hike around this sacred site.
The tour includes a three-day Kailash trek around the mountain, following the route taken by religious pilgrims for thousands of years, and staying at the high monasteries that are found around the mountain. As well as experiencing the kora trek, you will also have the chance to drive south to the sacred Lake Manasarovar, which is said to be able to absolve one of the sins of an entire lifetime with one dip in its fresh clean waters.
Plan to Travel from Tibet to Nepal, Spend 7 Days for the Thrilling Trans-Himalayan Overland tour
Who are recommended to enjoy such tour?
An overland journey from Tibet to Nepal is an awesome experience, enjoying the heights of the plateau and combining it with the exotic city of Kathmandu and the Nepali side of the high Himalayas. The 7-day tour of Tibet and Nepal allows you to experience Tibetan culture and religion, as well as getting some of the best views of the Himalayas, from both sides.
Top Things to do for the 7-Day Lhasa to Kathmandu tour
The ultimate experience in Tibet is the stunning view of Mount Everest from EBC, which is the most popular tourist attraction in Tibet. The trip to EBC from Lhasa takes you through some of the most amazing landscape and scenery on the planet, as well as giving you the chance to visit some of this great land’s amazing monasteries and temples.
Travel from Tibet to Nepal via Gyirong port
After the stop at EBC for the night, and time to take great photos of the mountain at sunrise and sunset, you will head for the beautiful Gyirong Valley, where you will stop for the night in Gyirong Town, with its stunning panoramic view of the mighty Himalayas. Close to the border, Gyirong is the ideal stopping point to allow you to cross the border in the morning and give you time to take the long 6-hour trip from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu, the Nepali capital. The drive down from the Himalayas takes you through the beautiful Langtang National Park, and gives you great views of the high mountains from the southern side.
Be Flexible to Properly Arrange Your Time for the Different Themed Tours in Tibet
Enjoy the Various Treks in Tibet: 5 to 16 Days Are Needed.
If you are planning to trek in Tibet, then you have a variety of options, from five to sixteen days for the amazing high-altitude treks on the plateau. Tibet has a huge number of amazing treks that are suitable for all ranges of experience, from novice to almost-mountaineer.
Enjoying a short trekking from Shalu Monastery to Nartang Monastery in Tibet
Easier treks are available for those with little to no experience, such as the treks around the outskirts of Lhasa, which can take as little as a single day, to a more exciting mild and leisurely trek such as the 2-day trek from Shalu Monastery to Nartang Monastery in Shigatse Prefecture.
For those with a little more experience, the 4-day trek from Tsurphu Monastery to Yangpachen or the 4-day hike from Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery in the cradle of Tibetan civilization in Lhoka.
For the very experienced trekker, who wants something more of a challenge, you can try the 4-day hike from Old Tingri to EBC, which takes you over very high passes and is all across country. Alternatively, you can decide to tackle the 3-day Kailash Kora Trek, which takes you around the pilgrimage route around the sacred Mount Kailash, in the farthest west of Tibet.
For the Cycling in Tibet: 6-22 Days Are Needed.
Cycling across the Tibetan plateau is not a tour for the faint-hearted, as you will be riding on the world’s highest plateau, at altitudes above 4,500 meters, and crossing high steep passes along the way. This is a very challenging tour, and requires a longer time than most tours of Tibet, as cycling is not as fast as riding in a car someone else is driving. Our amazing cycling tours range from 19 days to 22 days, and are well-planned to ensure your trip runs smoothly and perfectly. Our professional support teams travel with you, giving you the support you need, and catering to your requirements on the trip.
Our client enjoyed the amazing cycling tour from Lhasa to EBC.
The most exhilarating trip in Tibet is the cycling tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu, joining two Himalayan capitals in one tour, While driving takes just 8 days, cycling can take around 22 days to complete the trip, but you get the chance to cycle all the way to Mount Everest from Lhasa, a distance of 670km. And from there, you will continue on through the beautiful Gyirong Valley and across the Himalayas at Gyirong Port and down into Nepal to finish at the exotic city of Kathmandu.
Enjoy Tibetan Festivals: 2-3 Days Are Needed.
Tibet has a huge number of festivals every year, and these religious events make a great time to travel to Tibet to experience the unique Tibetan Buddhist culture in a more vibrant setting. Some of the most popular and largest festivals in Tibet include the Losar Festival, the Tibetan New Year, which lasts for around two weeks, and the amazing Shoton Festival, where the main feature of the festival is yogurt, one of Tibet’s most popular snacks. - Check the calendar of Tibetan festivals around the year.
Saga Dawa Festival held at the foot of Mount Kailash
For the ultimate in religious festival experiences, the Saga Dawa Festival held at the foot of Mount Kailash is the most outstanding experience in the world. Held in reverence of the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha, this amazing festival is filled with devout religious ceremonies and rituals that will show you the devotion of Tibetan Buddhists. For any festival tour, you need to allow at least 2-3 days on top of the time for your normal tour, to ensure you can get the best of the festivities.
For Birding Tour in Tibet, 4 to 13 Days Are Needed
Birdwatching may not sound like much of an experience in Tibet, but for those with an interest in rare, endangered, and amazing birds, there are few places like the plateau that can give you the right experience. Tibet is the home of several species of rare or endangered birds, such as the Black-Necked Cranes and the Ruddy Shellduck. - Check the popular Tibet birding tours in winter and early spring.
Our guests taking photos of birds in Norbulingka, Tibet.
Not only are these birds classed as endangered and protected in Tibet, but many of the birds you will see are held as sacred in Tibetan Buddhism. Tibet has some of the best places in the world to view these stunning birds, including the Lhasa River, the Lalu Wetlands, or lakes Namtso and Yamdrok, as well as many other places along the famous Yarlung Tsangpo River.
Knowing how long to stay in Tibet depends on what you want to see and do, and the more you want to see or the further you want to go from the Tibetan capital, the longer it will take. You should bear in mind that the vast Tibetan plateau takes some time to cross, and travel between cities can take days. So work out where you want to go, and then see how long it will take. And remember, we can match a tour to your requirements, or even customize one just for you. And, if you are still in a quandary on how long you should spend in Tibet, just get in touch with one of our friendly and professional tour advisors who will be happy to help you decide where to go and how long to stay. But beware, you may find you never want to go back home!