Things to do in Lhasa

Lhasa is one of the world’s highest cities

Lhasa, a name which literally means “Land of the Gods”, is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. It sits on the Tibetan Plateau and is home to several impressive temples and monasteries that signify the rich Tibetan and Chinese cultures in the city. When you spend a holiday in Lhasa, you can easily navigate the city center on foot to enjoy the best of your sightseeing tour.


Things to do in Lhasa

Sightseeing and people watching are the two best things to do in Lhasa. As you walk along the city streets and explore the main tourist attractions, you can immerse in the colorful culture of the city.


Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple is one of the prime travel destinations in Lhasa. It houses several Buddha statues, one of which is the original 1300-year-old statue of Jowo Sakyamuni Buddha.


Potala Palace

Perhaps the most notable structure in the city is the Potala Palace, the historical residence of the Dalai Lama before the Tibetan Uprising forced the 14th Dalai Lama to transfer to India. It is a sprawling 14-story architecture that contains rare cultural artifacts and relics.



Two famous monasteries can be found in Lhasa – the Sera Monastery and the Drepung Monastery. Drepung is famous for its administrative role while Sera is popular because of its tantric teachings.


Tibet Museum

If you still have time, visit the Tibet Museum to learn about the extensive history of Tibet.


When to go to Lhasa

Lhasa’s climate is semi-arid. The city has mild summers and frosty winters that are moderated by the surrounding mountains. Because of this, you can visit the city anytime you wish.

The warmest month in the city is June with an average temperature of 16.0 °C (60.8 °F). January is the coldest month, with temperatures averaging at −1.6 °C (29.1 °F). Rain mostly occurs in the months of July through September Lhasa is still sunny during these months because rain usually falls at night.




Things to do in Lhasa

Lhasa Facts

Population559 423
AirportLhasa-Gonggar, China (LXA)

Lhasa average temperatures

7 °C 9 °C 11 °C 16 °C 19 °C 22 °C 22 °C 21 °C 19 °C 17 °C 12 °C 8 °C


UNESCO World Heritage Sites Lhasa - Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa

The ensemble in Lhasa of the Potala Palace, the Norbulingka Palace and the Jokhang Temple Monastery is considered World Heritage according to UNESCO. The Potala Palace has been the Dalai Lama’s winter palace since the 7th century, becoming a symbol of Tibetan Buddhism and of traditional administration of Tibet. Lying on top of Mount Potalaka, the complex consists on two main buildings: the Red Palace, devoted to religious studying and praying, and the White Palace, comprising the living quarters of the Dalai Lama, like a personal room or the throne of the Dalai Lama. As an advice, do some research in advance if you are willing to visit the Potala Palace. Tickets are hard to get and there is a limited number of them every day. Also, climbing up to the palace at such high altitude will require good physical condition. The Norbulingka Palace, placed a short distance to the southwest from the Potala Palace, represents the Dalai Lama’s former summer palace, its name meaning treasure garden. The differences in comparison to Potala Palace are clear, with flourishing gardens and lakes and a more delicate architecture. At the centre of the old town of Lhasa lies the Jokhang Temple Monastery, crowded with pilgrims. It is considered as the most important temple by most Tibetans so you will find many locals among the visitors, making it an amazing experience to learn about daily rituals of the Buddhists.

Read more about UNESCO World Heritage Sites