1. Potala Palace: The beautiful Potala Palace in the city of Lhasa in Tibet is one of the main attractions on your Tibet tour because of its spiritual and historical significance. The palace was initially the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas between the years 1649 to 1959. After that, it was converted into a museum, which is what it remains to this day.
It has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. The palace plays a vital role in the spiritual and traditional administration of Buddhism in Tibet. You can also catch a stunning, panoramic view of the surrounding snow-capped landscape.
Location: 35 Central Beijing Road, Lhasa, Tibet, China, 850000
2. Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon: Fringed around the beautiful Mount Namcha Barwa, the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon is one of the places that you must visit during your Tibet tour. The U-shaped canyon, located on the Brahmaputra River, is 500 metres long and 6009 metres deep, making it the largest canyon in the world.
Along the length of the canyon, you can see several waterfalls, exotic plant and animal species, gardens that stretch for several kilometres and other natural wonders that will make your trip to Tibet exceptionally memorable.
Location: Between Mt. Kailash and the northern section of the Himalayas, Tibet
3. The Sakya Monastery: The Sakya Monastery, or the Pel Sakya, located on the banks of the Zhong Qu River, is one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in the region. The monastery was established in 1073 AD by the first Sakya Trizin – Konchok Gyelpo.
The architecture of the monastery has heavy Mongolian influences and when you are visiting, you see the tall, black walls that make up the exterior of the structure, flanked by four watchtowers. It is a cultural highlight on your Tibet tour due to the sheer number of historical artefacts including murals, scrolls, paintings and other exhibits that you can see inside the monastery.
Location: Sa'gya County, Shigatse, China
4. Tashilhunpo Monastery: The seat of the second most important spiritual leader in Tibet - the Panchen Lama – is in Tashilhunpo monastery. A comprehensive Tibet tour is incomplete without a stop at the Tashilhunpo Monastery, which was established by the first Dalai Lama in 1447.
It gives visitors a comprehensive insight into the spiritual and cultural heritage of Tibet, including educating visitors about the most profound tenets of Buddhism. Architecturally, this monastery is one of the grandest in the country, with towering pillars and ancient murals on the wall.
Location: 7 Jijilangka Road, Sangzhuzi Qu, Shigatse, Tibet, China
5. Lulang Forest: A mandatory stop on your Tibet tour is the picturesque Lulang Forest, which is an alpine paradise in this mountainous country. Located at an elevation of 3,700 metres above sea level, the forest plateau region is flanked with glaciers and snow-capped mountain peaks that overlook a vast expanse of alpine trees, flowering plants, green valleys and mountain streams.
Summer and autumn is the best time to visit this forest when the trees are lush green and the skies are cloudless, where you can stand at a vantage point and look out at the entire forest and the surrounding natural beauty.
Location: Lulang Town, Nyingchi County, Tibet.
6. Norbulingka: An exceptional highlight on your Tibet tour is a stop at Norbulingka – a magnificent, sprawling palace that used to serve as the summer residence of the Dalai Lama from the 1780s to 1959. Today, the palace serves as an arts and culture centre, honing artists to create traditional Tibetan artwork paintings, accessories, woodwork, etc.
The primary attraction of the palace is the beautiful garden that houses hundreds of colourful flowers and trees. The architecture is also grand and breathtaking, and gives you incredible insight into the life and culture of Tibetans.
Location: Luobulinka Road, Lhasa, Tibet, China, 850000
7. Barkhor Street: Located in the heart of the bustling city of Lhasa is Barkhor Street, also known as Pilgrim’s Circuit. The ground is made with flagstones and all four streets are flanked by ancient and traditional Tibetan houses that you can explore as part of your Tibet tour packages.
The most remarkable highlights on Barkhor Street include the Canggu Monastery, several shops selling Tibetan souvenirs such as prayer wheels, prayer beads, thangkas, etc. There are also several shops selling street food and local delicacies for you to sample.
Location: Jokhang Temple, Pargor Subdistrict, Lhasa, Tibet
8.Yangbajing Hot Springs: Visiting the Yangbajing Hot Springs in the quaint town of Yangbajain is one of the most exciting inclusions in your Tibet tour package. It is the highest altitude hot springs in China, located at an elevation of 4,290 metres to 4,500 metres.
The place is characterized by lush green valleys that stretch endlessly on all sides, and are used by sheep and yaks for grazing. It is a massive source of geothermal energy for the country and also a natural haven for those looking for a relaxing soak in the pure waters of the spring.
Location: Yangbajain, 87 km northwest of Lhasa, Tibet
9. Yamdrok Lake: Yamdrok Lake is one of the three sacred Tibetan Lakes that is a highlight on your Tibet tour packages due to its sheer natural beauty and expansive panoramic views. It stretches for over 70 km and turns various shades of blue like turquoise and azure, depending on the position of the sun and time of the day when you are visiting.
You can also visit the beautiful Samding Monastery, which gives you an unparalleled view of Yamdrok Lake. It is also ideal for photographers, trekkers and bird-watchers since the lake is considered a natural and spiritual paradise.
Location: Nangartse County, Shannan Prefecture
10. Jokhang Temple: As part of comprehensive Tibet packages, you can visit the Jokhang Temple – a much-revered Buddhist temple located in the capital city of Lhasa. It is the ultimate spiritual destination for all Tibetans and is considered the spiritual centre of the country.
Even if you are not visiting for spiritual reasons, the sheer grandeur of the artwork and architecture in the temple makes it worth visiting. You can attend prayer meetings, learn about the tenets of Buddhism and take in the rich and colourful culture of the people right from this temple that lies at the centre of the city.
Location: Barkhor Square, Lhasa, Tibet, China, 850000