Top Tibet Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Tibet Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

27 Tibet trips. Compare tour itineraries from 13 tour companies. 909 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

Small Group Tibet Tours

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Top Tibet Attractions

    • First setting eyes on the stunning Potala Palace, the former home of the exiled Dalai Lama, perched on a hilltop in the capital, Lhasa
    • Viewing the famed golden Buddha statue in Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple
    • Watching the Buddhist monk debates at Sera Monastery outside Lhasa
    • Trekking or riding to Everest Base Camp for close-up views of the world’s highest peak
    • Staying overnight in small villages to encounter traditional Tibetan life
    • Taking a series of high mountain roads or trails for incredible Himalayan vistas
    • Watching the endless expanse of prairie on the Tibetan plateau as you ride the Qinghai-Tibet Railway

Tibet Tours & Travel Guide

Tibet Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Legendary Tibet tops a lot of bucket lists. An autonomous region of China situated in the Himalayas, it’s known as the Roof of the World and is home to many majestic peaks. The Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital -- once the residence of the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama -- is a stunning piece of architecture.

Dubbed the “Roof of the World” for its high altitude, is a storied Shangri-La that’s the home of Tibetan Buddhism and a land of mysticism and incredible beauty. Tibet is known for its exceptional trekking, including journeys to the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest, which it shares with Nepal.

Tours to Tibet start in Lhasa, the capital, which is a wonderland of temples, monasteries, and palaces set in a river valley high in the Himalayas. At 11,000 feet above sea level, it’s a good place to get acclimated to the high altitude if you’re planning to visit Mt. Everest and other peaks.

You’ll find traditional culture, magnificent trekking, and many other outdoor adventure opportunities in this secluded -- and politically controversial -- mountain nation.

What to Do in Lhasa

The capital of Tibet is Lhasa, a vibrant city in the heart of the Himalayas. Lhasa is home to the nicest tourist accomodations in Tibet, and as a result most luxury tours in Tibet are based in this city. Lhasa’s number one attraction is the jaw-dropping Potala Palace. This palace was the former winter home of the exiled Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism.

The ancient red and white palace, one of the architectural wonders of the world, is perched on a hilltop overlooking Lhasa, and contains more than 1,000 rooms.

The other heritage site in the city is the Dalai Lama’s summer palace, Norbulingka. This palace is, in comparison, a measly 374 rooms, and is best known for its expansive man made gardens. During the Cultural Revolution, this site was renamed the People’s Garden, although it was left relatively untouched, and the gorgeous old Tibetan architecture remains in place.

Today, it is a cultural center focused on teaching visitors more about Tibetan Buddhism, and is a must-see on your trip to Tibet. Any cultural tour of Tibet will certainly make a stop here.

Another can’t miss sight is the Jokhang Temple, considered the holiest spot in Tibetan Buddhism, which attracts throngs of pilgrims. The renowned golden statue of the young Buddha lies within, and outside the circular pilgrimage route called the Barkhor is a colorful street to shop at market stalls for prayer wheels or handicrafts.

The 15th-century Sera Monastery, which lies a few miles outside Lhasa at 13,000 feet, is the place to watch Tibetan monks debating Buddhist scriptures in an open courtyard. And there are a variety of other monasteries and temples, along with a museum of Tibetan history and culture and the Dalai Lama’s former summer palace to explore. The old city’s active street life, tea shops, craft stores and backstreet alleyways are always fascinating as well.

Tibet Trekking & Mt. Everest

One of the most popular things to do in Tibet, which possesses one of the harshest and most beautiful landscapes on earth, is to go trekking. Even if you do not plan to attempt summit Mount Everest, there are still many trekking options available.

Whether you want to simply hike for a couple days in Everest National Park, reach Everest Base Camp, or spend a day on Advanced Base Camp, there are guided trekking tours that cater to your interests and abilities.

Everest National Park can be reached either by trekking or by road. Trekking through the park typically takes about 6-10 days, due to the high altitudes, difficult terrain, and the potential obstacles, such as inclement weather.

Traveling the entire distance by road takes two to three days, including overnights in Tibetan villages. Total drive time from Lhasa in a tour van is about 20 hours, but along the way you’ll enjoy spectacular scenery: mountain passes, clear blue lakes, and Himalayan peaks topped with glaciers.

Trekking to Everest Base Camp

Once within the park, you’ll need to hike about two and a half miles to reach Everest Base Camp and its incredible views of the North Face of Mt. Everest.

If you are trekking to Everest Base Camp, you’ll hike for about 44 miles along the world’s highest trail. After visiting Lhasa, you’ll drive to Lotingri and set off from there, for an incredible journey to the top of the world. Tibet’s Everest Base Camp sits at more than 17,000 feet; you may then continue to the Advanced Base Camp at more than 21,000 feet.

Whether trekking or riding, or both, one of the best things about hiking in the Tibetan wilderness if that your tour will include overnight stays at small Tibetan villages. These will not only provide a nice reprieve from harsh camping conditions, but also a great way to get a feel for traditional Tibetan village life.

One town en route from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp, Gyantse, is an excellent example of a picturesque market town, complete with fortress, monastery, and an outstanding stupa (Buddhist shrine).

Lodging in small towns and villages will be very basic, whether staying in tents or in modest guest houses. Near Everest Base Camp, you may have a chance to stay at Rongbuk Monastery, the world’s highest, set against an Everest backdrop.

If your tour includes a stop in Shigatse, Tibet's second-largest city, you can visit the huge and well-preserved Tashilhunpo Monastery (it survived the Cultural Revolution intact), a revered Buddhist pilgrimage spot. Temples and monasteries dot the countryside throughout, and, on market days, you’ll have chances to visit local bazaars.

Festivals in Tibet

The summer months in Tibet are famous for the festivals that occur during them. These festivals are unlike the traditions in any part of the world, and for this reason they are an incredible privilege to observe, if you have the opportunity. To make sure you get to see a Tibetan festival, go on a Tibetan festival tour.

Here are some of the main festivals in Tibet:

Shoton Festival

This festival means the “yogurt banquet” and was organically created in the villages of Tibet. When the monks came out of their six month meditation period, local villagers and pilgrims would bring them fresh yogurt to thank them for their love and protection. This tradition of eating fresh yogurt, singing, and dancing is still continued until today.

The Shoton Festival also includes an unveiling of a giant painting of the Buddha (called the Thangka), and the entire area gathers to worship at the massive drapery.

In Lhasa, Shoton is also the time of the Tibetan Opera Festival, which performs publicly.

Nagqu Horse Racing Festival

This festival takes place in the hottest time of the year. In the month before this festival, nomadic Tibetan families begin to arrive and set up temporary tents in the valley. The large crowds lead to many social events, including large Guoxie dances, and then, on the opening day, a series of equestrian events, horse races, and wrestling matches begin. This massive event can be viewed from stadium stands.

Saga Dawa Festival

This festival celebrates the entire 4th lunar month on the Tibetan calendar, and honors Sakyamuni’s life, enlightenment, and death. During this festival, no meat is served, and many Buddhists aim to achieve “merit” by performing good deeds, such as donating money or rescuing animals meant for slaughter.

Monks and pilgrims also burn dozens of butter lamps, creating a dazzling display in monasteries. Originally made of clarified yak butter, the lamps today are sometimes made with vegetable oil bases.

Tibetan Food

On a day to day basis, Tibetans mainly eat meat, milk and other protein rich food. This helps them keep warm in very cold temperatures and keep up their strength during arduous physical activity. Tibetans often eat a lot of yak meat and mutton, however, they do not eat dog, horse, donkey. Their lack of access to any large rivers or lakes means they also do not eat fish.

Tsampa and Meat

Tsampa is a barley flour that is included in many dishes, and even eaten plan. It can be made into porridge, biscuits, and even mixed into tea. 
Except for holidays where the eating of meat is discouraged or forbidden, Tibetans rely on eating meat to keep warm and get enough protein in the cold weather.

Yak meat (beef) and lamb is often a significant part of Tibetan noodle dishes, stews, and porridges. Tibetans are also very proud of their sausages -- blood sausage and white sausage are the most common types.

Finally, meat is usually a part of momos (Tibetan dumplings), though they can also be vegetarian. These small dumplings can be steamed or fried, and are usually dipped in a chili sauce.

Dairy Products

Tibetans love their dairy products, and from raising yak and sheep they depend on the animals’ milk to make butter, ghee, milk curds, and yogurt. They even put ghee in their tea!

Yogurt is a must-eat in Tibet. Fermented from yak milk, Tibetan Yogurt is mild and sweet, even without sugar. Yogurt is a necessary source of fat for Tibetans, and is even an integral part of certain festivals, such as the Shoton Festival.

Tibet Desserts

Tibetan sweet tea, different from butter tea, is incredibly popular among tourist and Tibetans alike. Even if you are on a budget, you can enjoy this tea -- many tea houses offer unlimited refills for a low price. A popular Tibetan dessert is Ginseng Fruit Rice, which is typically served during weddings or festivals.

Tibet Reviews & Ratings

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Anonymous

Aug 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Annapurna Circuit

This trip was excellent-the first Himalayan experience, a highly thought-of trek through brilliant mountain and remote scenery in mostly ideal weather conditions ...

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Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Annapyrnna Circuit

A great holiday. Excellent leader, good group, great weather, excellent views, lovely locals. Getting to the top of the Thorong la Pass and the high mountains all a...

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Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Annapurna circuit group winter trek

A trek that shows Nepal from the city to the mountains. Watch the landscape, people, villages, food and animals change as you climb from the city, to subalpine, to...

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Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Annapurna Circuit

Fantastic trip. Great people, scenery, culture and views. Very well organised and was very well looked after by trip leader and whole exodus team. Visiting poon hil...

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Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Beyond Expectations

An absolutely amazing trip. Nepal is such a beautiful country with very beautiful, kind and open people, and this trips opens a door into this culture. I have been...

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