Namche Bazaar in Nepal | Gateway to Everest region
Nestled high on a hill across from the rugged ridge of Kongde Ri (6187 meters/20,298 feet), there lies Namche Bazaar – the administrative center and commercial hub of the Khumbu region. At 3,440 meters/11,286 feet, Namche Bazaar is the best spot to acclimatize before heading higher into the mountains Gateway to Everest region. Get lost wandering the narrow cobblestone streets, and enjoy the luxuries before or after your memorable Everest region trek. Namche is the spot where excited trekkers gear up for the rest of their journey, taking an extra acclimatization day to prepare. On the way down, it’s a great place to relax and have a beer or fresh coffee with an amazing view. Though it’s completely commercialized and can be a bit crowded, it’s amenities are well-appreciated – not to mention there are some amazing day hikes in the area.
Once you’ve gotten a taste of the bakeries, cafes, and shops in Namche Bazaar, check out some of the surrounding sights. Visit the century-old Namche Gompa, the town’s main monastery. Or about 20 minutes up from Namche, you can visit the Sherpa Cultural Museum, which is run by a local photographer and has dozens of photos and other objects that represent the history and culture of Sherpas. Another highly recommended stop is the Sagarmatha National Park Visitor Centre. In addition to various fascinating exhibits about the park’s flora and fauna, you can actually see Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7861m), Ama Dablam (6856m), and Thamserku (6608m) from just outside the building.
The most popular acclimatization day hike is from Namche Bazaar to Khumjung village. It’s a steep uphill climb, but the views along the way are well worth it. There is a monastery at the edge of the village, where there lies an alleged Yeti scalp. Also, you can see Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam from here. The key to acclimatization is climb high and sleep low, so the hike to Khumjung (3790 meters/12,434 feet) is perfect!
Another perk of staying in Namche Bazaar is that it generally offers the best options in the Khumbu region for accommodation. Most places have wifi, hot showers, and great restaurants. Also, if you happen to be there on a Saturday, the market at the bottom of Namche fills up with traders from the lowlands as well as across the border in Tibet. It usually ends by noon, so get there early! Enjoy your two nights in this legendary Sherpa town.
Explore this Sherpa culture hub and unofficial Khumbu region capital on any of our Everest region treks!