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The site of your first glimpse of Everest and an important trekkers’ rest stop in the heart of the Himalaya.

Set in a horseshoe-shaped bowl, its buildings scattered down a hillside, and looking directly out at the sheer face of Kongde, Namche Bazaar is the last major hub before you trek higher and deeper into the Everest region.

You’ll get your first glimpse of the fabled peak from a viewpoint just above the town. You can also walk to the Everest View Hotel to gaze over the mountain from a terrace while nursing a cup of tea. It feels as if you’re deep in the mountains here. We find it’s a good idea to spend a couple of days in Namche Bazaar, getting acquainted with the altitude before you continue your trek.

Things to see and do in Namche Bazaar

The Saturday market

Namche Bazaar’s cobbled streets are crammed with shops catering to trekkers, but this is also Sherpa heartland. For a more authentic glimpse into local life, visit the Saturday market, where traders from Tibet sell their wares (often Chinese goods) in exchange for Nepali and Indian food and goods brought up from Lukla by lowland porters. It’s also a gathering place for people from local villages to chat and catch up.

Soaking up the town’s atmosphere

Namche Bazaar, NepalYou can only reach Namche Bazaar on foot, via a two-day walk from Lukla, which you’ll do as part of a bigger trek arranged by your specialist. Trekking routes diverge past the town, so it has something of a buzz to it, a very real, exciting sense that this is the last outpost before you head into the mountainous wilderness.

On the way to Namche Bazaar, and around the town, you’ll pass yaks, plus porters carrying everything from huge slabs of meat to satellite dishes. Mani stones dot the paths, and a whole series of prayer wheels cascade in a terrace down a slope of the town. The vegetation gets scrubbier the higher you walk, though you’re still just about in the treeline in Namche Bazaar.

You’ll likely spend a couple of days in the town before continuing your trek. It’s a place to relax and enjoy the views from one of the many German-style bakeries or cafes, most of which have rooftop eating areas looking out over the mountains.

It’s also a place to stock up on any items you’ve come to need for your trek (though bear in mind, you’ll have already been hiking for two days before you arrive in Namche Bazaar). You’ll find down jackets and sleeping bags, yak wool hats and gloves, Tibetan necklaces, and shampoo, among the sundry of other items for sale in Namche Bazaar’s narrow streets. There are internet cafes and international phone booths, as well as money-changing facilities (though don't expect a good exchange rate).

Views of Everest

The best viewpoint in Namche Bazaar is about a 20-minute walk above the town, just outside the National Park HQ — when the weather is clear, you get great views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and the path leading toward Base Camp from here. The view at sunset or sunrise is especially good on a clear day.

Day treks

You can do one of a number of day treks from Namche Bazaar. We recommend the half-day trek to Khumjung past the Syangboche airstrip. The trek to Thame, on the trail up to Tibet, is a more strenuous option.

The town’s museums

There’s a small but well-maintained museum containing a small replica Sherpa house filled with the articles that once made up the Sherpas’ daily way of life. In a separate, adjacent building, you’ll find an Everest Summiteer Museum filled with pictures and stories about climbers.

Best time to visit Namche Bazaar

You’ll only visit the town at times when local conditions allow trekking. October to May is the best window, though expect snow in the winter months (November to February). Avoid June to September, when it’s rainy.

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Map of Namche Bazaar

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