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How to Spend 3 Days in Lhasa

How to Spend 3 Days in Lhasa

With three days in Lhasa, you can see top attractions like the iconic Potala Palace at a leisurely pace—which is a good thing, as the fascinating city is perched high at 11,990 feet (3,655 meters). Listen to your body and give yourself time to get used to the conditions. Here are some ideas for your itinerary. 

Day 1: Tour the monasteries

Take it easy on your first day in Lhasa, and visit a couple of monasteries on the outskirts of the city. In the morning, head to the Drepung Monastery, the largest in Tibet and once home to up to 10,000 monks. Look for the colorful paintings on the cliffs above the monastery. In the afternoon, make your way to the Sera Monastery to watch young monks debate Buddhist philosophy in the courtyard—they shout and clap dramatically when their opponent gets something wrong.

Day 2: Visit the Jhokang and explore the old town

In the heart of Lhasa’s old town area, the golden-roofed Jhokang is the holiest temple in Tibet. You’ll likely see crowds of Tibetans prostrating themselves in prayer in Barkhor Square, in front of the temple. Inside, marvel at the beautiful statues and mandalas, then go up to the rooftop and take in sweeping views of the city. In the afternoon, browse the old-town markets for souvenirs and handicrafts.

Day 3: Check out the Potala Palace

Learn about the history and culture of Tibet at one of the most important places in the region—the former home of the Dalai Lamas. Many travelers to Lhasa are in a hurry to see the Potala Palace; however, it’s best to visit after you’ve been in town for a couple of days and your body has begun adjusting to the altitude. Getting into the palace requires climbing a lot of steps, but the exertion is worth it for the views from the top. Inside, the prayer halls, monks’ chambers, and meditation rooms are dark, atmospheric, and extensive. If you have time, return to the palace at night, when it’s lit up.

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6 Tours and Activities

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3-Night Lhasa City Small Group Tour

3-Night Lhasa City Small Group Tour

star-4.5
17
Check off the spiritual and historic highlights of Lhasa in just three nights on this classic Tibet discovery tour. Spend your first day exploring the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street, then get to know your small group and guide over a welcome dinner. Then travel a little further to two of Tibet’s greatest monasteries: Sera and Drepung. Choose between 3-star or 4-star accommodation, which includes breakfast.
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  • 4 days
From
$480.00
Price varies by group size
From
$480.00
Price varies by group size

Half- Day Potala Palace Tour from Lhasa

Half- Day Potala Palace Tour from Lhasa

star-2
1
Discover one of Tibet’s most important landmarks one this half-day tour of the Potala Palace. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Potala Palace was home to the Dalai Lama until 1959. Today, the enormous structure—which has more than 1,000 rooms—is one of Tibet’s top attractions. Meet your guide directly in your hotel lobby, and transfer via taxi to the palace. You’ll have several hours to explore before returning via taxi to your hotel.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$277.64
From
$277.64

2-Day Gyantse and Shigatse Tour from Lhasa

2-Day Gyantse and Shigatse Tour from Lhasa

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1
This two-day tour to Gyantse and Shigatse from Lhasa is the easy way to visit these must-see Tibetan cities. Your English-speaking local guide will tell you all about the history of these two important places, which are full of cultural sites such as temples and monasteries. On the comfortable overland journey, you’ll get the chance to see the beautiful Tibetan plains and mountains. Tour starts from and returns to Lhasa, for your convenience.
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  • 2 days
From
$368.43
Price varies by group size
From
$368.43
Price varies by group size

2-Day Lake Namtso Experience Small-Group Tour from Lhasa

2-Day Lake Namtso Experience Small-Group Tour from Lhasa

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1
See the wealth of natural and cultural riches in Tibet on this two-day trip to Lake Namtso. It’s an ideal excursion for travelers short on time in Tibet. See some of the most scenic spots in the region, such as lakes, hot springs, and meditation caves. Plus, experience life in the countryside at a traditional guesthouse. Receive personalized attention on a small-group tour with an English-speaking local guide.
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  • 2 days
From
$357.90
Price varies by group size
From
$357.90
Price varies by group size

Day Tour: Tibet Ganden Monastery

Day Tour: Tibet Ganden Monastery

star-5
1
In this full-day tour from Lhasa you’ll visit cultural treasures at the Ganden Monastery, and experience amazing mountain scenery on the drive there. The 15th-century monastery is located at almost 12,500 feet (3800 metres) on Wangpori Mountain, so visiting is a good way to experience the Tibetan mountains without the strain of trekking in them!
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$177.60
Price varies by group size
From
$177.60
Price varies by group size

Day Tour: Tibet Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple

Day Tour: Tibet Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple

star-5
11
Travel with ease between two of Tibet’s top attractions on an 8-hour tour of Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple from Lhasa. Head first to Potala Palace  — World Heritage site and the highest palace in the world — and take a guided tour of the ornate Red and White palaces. See, too, the UNESCO-listed Jokhang Temple, a 7th-century structure that exemplifies Tibetan Buddhist architecture. Small-group tour limited to 12 people.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$236.80
Price varies by group size
From
$236.80
Price varies by group size