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Ultimate Tibet Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend

Written by Mike HoUpdated Jun. 6, 2023

Tibet is on many travelers' bucket list and is one of those dreamed-of destinations. Regarded as "the roof of the world", Tibet has countless snow-capped peaks, topped by awesome Mt. Everest, and more than 1,000 lakes, which dot the vast highland plateau like blue or green jewels. So where should you start your planning your Tibet trip? How many days are needed to explore Tibet's beauty? This article will help you plan a perfect trip to Tibet.

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How Many Days to Spend in Tibet

The number of days to spend in Tibet depends on places you want to see and experience. Generally speaking, we recommend spending at least a week to explore Tibet for a deeper experience. if you want to go on a more adventurous trip such as trekking or mountain biking, consider spending 10–14 days in Tibet.

If you have limited time, a 4–5 days trip to Lhasa would allow you to visit some of the major cultural and historical sites, such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street.

Many people combine Tibet with a trip to Nepal, which would take you 10–12 days. If you want to connect with more neighboring countries, like Bhutan or India, it would need 2 to 3 weeks. The following are some of the tour options from Tibet.

  • Nepal: Spend 4 days to explore Kathmandu's historical and cultural sites. See more on How to Plan a Trip to China and Nepal
  • Bhutan: Take 5 days to explore the top destinations in Bhutan, including Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro.
  • India: Spend 7 days to visit top destinations, including Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Varanasi.

1. A Classic 8-Day Tibet Tour Itinerary with Everest Base Camp (Most Chosen)

In this classic itinerary, we have included cultural heritage sites, a holy lake, a glacier, and awesome snow-capped mountains on your way to Everest Base Camp. By joining our special village tour, you can interact with local people, which would enrich your knowledge of Tibetan life and culture.

Days 1–3: Lhasa


In Lhasa (after a day of acclimatization), our guide would take you to visit the top attractions, including the Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery, and Sera Monastery. To help you get a better understanding of Buddhist culture and find the best angles to take photos, our guides choose the best ways to explore the Potala Palace.

On day 3, have a walking tour in Barkhor Street, including its local market, where you can admire traditional Tibetan architecture, see pilgrims doing their prostrating obeisance and Buddhists making a kora (sacred circuit) by turning the prayer wheels. Then, not far away, have afternoon tea in peaceful Ani Tsangkung Nunnery.

Days 4–6: Shigatse

Lake Yamdrok

On the way to Shigatse via Gyantse, you would visit Lake Yamdrok, where you could enjoy a lakeside picnic if the weather is good. If you are interested in local farmers' life, we would arrange a short visit to a local Tibetan's house and a chance to help them with their farm work. You could try their daily food, like yak butter tea, momos (Tibetan dumplings), and tsampa (roasted barley flour).

If you visit Shigatse in July or August, you could experience their traditional festivals — Shoton Festival and Horse Racing Festival, which are celebrated with traditional music, food, and dancing as well as horse races and other contests.

Days 7–8: Tingri


Once in Tingri, visiting Mt. Everest Base Camp is the usual travel goal. You can get stunning views of the world's highest peak from there. Explore the highest monastery in the world: Rongbuk Monastery, which is located a few kilometers from Everest Base Camp.

The monastery is renowned for its austerely-Tibetan architectural style. If you have more time, then pay a visit to Tingri County Town, which is the main hub of the area and has a rich history, ancient temples, and some of the best Tibetan cuisine.

Our service is personalized to your needs, interests, travel length, and other requirements. Here are more Tibet itinerary ideas:

2. A 4-Day Tibet Essence Tour Itinerary

If you only have 3–4 days in Tibet, you could still cover the highlights of Lhasa and visit a nearby village.

Days 1–2: Lhasa

Discover the unique construction technology of the Potala Palace with our local guide, who would lead you through the white palace and red palace introducing their exquisite murals, decorated statues, and antiques. With the assistance of our guide, you would view and (photo) the palace from four selected angles, which will allow you to fully enjoy the Potala's beauties.

We can arrange a walking tour visiting Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, and exploring the local markets. Take afternoon tea in peaceful Ani Tsangkhung Nunnery to learn more about the history of Lhasa and its people's daily life.

Days 3–4: A Remote Tibetan Village

To help you get a better understanding of Tibetan life and culture, we would arrange a hiking tour to a nomad village, where Tibetans winter or have their summer pasture. You would try some rustic Tibetan food and live as a Tibetan nomad in their tents (in the summer). There you could try interesting activities, like horse riding, milking yaks, making butter, and printing prayer flags.

3. A 7-Day Tibet Train Tour Itinerary (Good for Train Tour Lovers)

If you would like to travel to Tibet by train, then this itinerary would be good for you. You would take the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, highest and longest plateau railway in the world, to enter Tibet.

  • Days 1–2: Xining, Qinghai (Explore, Board the Train)
  • Days 3–4: Xining to Lhasa Train
  • Days 5–7: Lhasa

In Xining, you would visit Tibetan-Buddhist Ta'er Monastery, where you could appreciate its splendid architecture and artwork, including murals, butter sculptures, and embroideries.

And then our guide would help you board the train on the world's highest railway to Lhasa, which would take 22 hours.

In Lhasa, the Potala Palace is a must. Our guide would help you discover this architectural marvel and cultural treasure house: view the palace from four expertly-chosen angles to fully enjoy its beauty. Walk the less touristy corners of Barkhor Street to experience Tibetan daily life.

4. A 7-Day Tibet Trekking Tour Itinerary (Good for Trekking or Camping Lovers)

If trekking and camping is your favorite things, then this itinerary would be good for you. Our guide would help you take an adventure into an undeveloped land of nomads and yaks without the usual multi-day trekking toil and a heavy pack (protecting you from over exertion and altitude sickness). It would truly bring you in touch with authentic and quintessential Tibetan life.

  • Days 1–3: Lhasa (as above, visit the Potala Palace, Barkhor Street, and other top attractions)
  • Days 4: Lake Yamdrok
  • Days 5–7: Galie Village (short hike, nomad family visit)

At Lake Yamdrok, you would view the lake from the popular platform, and get down to the lake side to enjoy a picnic there before returning to Lhasa. From Galie village, you would walk around its beautiful valley, say hello to the villagers, and visit a local Tibetan household to discover the real life of Tibetan people.

Then hike about 2 hours up to a hillside pasture and visit the nomadic family there. You would cook and enjoy a dinner with the Tibetan family. Sleep in a tent right by the nomads' tent.

5., 6., 7. Extended-Trip Itineraries from Tibet to Nepal and/or Bhutan and India

If you have a longer holiday, you could expand your Tibet tour to include a nearby country or two, such as the most popular options: Nepal, Bhutan, and India. Below are some of the tour options from Tibet.

5. An 11-Day Tibet and Nepal Itinerary

This itinerary combines Tibet and Nepal to help you explore deeply into these places cultures and the Himalayan Mountain Range in between.

  • Days 1–4: Lhasa (as above, visit the Potala Place, Barkhor Street, and other top attractions)
  • Days 5–6: Shigatse (as above)
  • Days 7–8: Tingri (as above)
  • Days 9–11: Nepal (Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur)

In Kathmandu, walk around Kathmandu Durbar Square and explore old temples and palaces as they come into view one by one. Visit the most sacred Hindu temple in Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple and the Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple).

In Patan (south Kathmandu), you would visit magnificent Durbar Square and the exquisite pool for the king in Sundari Chowk, and discover religious artworks in Patan Museum.

In Bhaktapur, which is another city in the Kathmandu Valley, you would visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Its Golden Gate and Nyatapola Temple are the sights you cannot miss.

6. A 3-Week Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan Itinerary (Good for Adventurers)

This is an ideal tour itinerary for adventurers who would like to travel from the roof of the world, to Nepal's jungle national parks, and to Bhutan's hidden-away world to experience Himalayan cultural and Tibetan Buddhist culture.

  • Days 1–4: Lhasa (as above, visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street, and explore local markets)
  • Days 5–6: Shigatse (as above, visit Lake Yamdrok and a local farmer's house)
  • Days 7–8: Tingri (as above, visit Mt. Everest Base Camp and Rongbuk Monastery)
  • Days 9–11: Kathmandu, Nepal (as above)
  • Days 12–13: Chitwan National Park, Nepal
  • Days 14–15: Pokara, Nepal
  • Days 16–17: Paro, Bhutan
  • Days 18–19: Punakha, Bhutan
  • Days 20–21: Thimphu, Bhutan

On the way to the Chitwan National Park, you would visit Tharu Village and see the ethnic people of this area or enjoy Tharu Cultural Dances. Then ride a jeep through the wilderness to discover the local wildlife. You would observe flowers and wildlife, like the one-horned rhinoceros, countless species of deer, and if lucky, even the royal Bengal tiger.

In Pokara, visit Davis Falls, where you would see meltwater from the mountains plunge into its underground plunge pool and have a delightful boat ride on Phewa Lake.

In Paro, Bhutan, you would visit its top attractions including, Ta Dzong, Paro Dzong, the Buddha Dordenma, and the Memorial Chorten. Both of these large Tibetan-style chortens are places where local people perform their daily worship.

On the way to Punakha, you would have a chance to enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain range at Dochula Pass on a clear day. Then explore the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan — Punakha Dzong.

In Thimphu, the heart of Bhutan, you would visit Bhutan's most important dzong, Tashichho Dzong, and the Folk Heritage Museum to discover Bhutanese folk heritage and its rural history.

Lastly, make some stamps with your own photos and put them on postcards for your family and friends in Bhutan Post Office Headquarters.

7. An 18-Day Tibet, Nepal, and India Itinerary

If India is on your bucket list for a Himalayan region trip, then this itinerary would be good for you. You would experience the highlights of Tibet, Nepal, and India comfortably, while encountering lifestyles and faiths seen nowhere else!

  • Days 1–3: Lhasa (as above, visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street, and explore local markets)
  • Days 4–5: Shigatse (as above, visit Lake Yamdrok, see a local farmer's house and daily life)
  • Days 6–7: Tingri (as above, visit Mt. Everest Base Camp and Rongbuk Monastery)
  • Days 8–10: Kathmandu, Nepal (as above)
  • Days 11–12: Delhi, India
  • Days 13–14: Agra, India
  • Days 15–16: Jaipur, India
  • Days 17–18: Varanasi, India

In Delhi, you would visit Jama Masjid, a historical and large mosque, and walk down sandstone steps into Old Delhi's bustling streets, where you would take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk Market.

In Agra, a visit to the Taj Mahal is a must. Then head for Agra Fort, a red sandstone rampart situated on the west bank of the Yamuna River. We would arrange a sunset afternoon tea/coffee with cookies at a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Taj Mahal.

In Jaipur, your tour would start with Amber Fort, 11 km from the city center on a hilltop. Then explore the central area of "the Pink City", taking in Hawa Mahal ('Winds Palace'). Visit nearby Jantar Mantar Observatory. Marvel at the wisdom of medieval Indian astronomy. In the City Palace, you would learn about India's rich history through local art.

In Varanasi, you would take a Ganges boat ride to explore Varanasi Old City, where you would see local people going about their daily activities — washing clothes, performing yoga, and giving offerings of flowers. Also visit the Sarnath, an impressive pillar stupa.

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All our tours are customized to your needs, interests, travel length, and other requirements. Our private tours are designed to be the most convenient and fulfilling option for your trip to Tibet. We would create an itinerary according to your flight times, interests, and anything else you might need.

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