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Potala Palace

Lhasa Highlights

Example 4 Day Tour
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Explore the Roof of the World with this 4 day Lhasa Highlights tour in Tibet. Enjoy leisurely paced walking tours of the main sites such as Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery and Norbulingka. Interact with the monks and pilgrims who come to Lhasa for religious experience and connect with the locals. This introductory tour of Tibet may easily be added to any China tour visiting Chengdu or Xi'an.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Lhasa, Tibet
Day 2 : Norbulingka & Sera Monastery
Day 3 : Potala Palace & Drepung Monastery
Day 4 : Return Chengdu


  • Stroll through the World Heritage Site of Norbulingka, "Treasure Park"
  • Tour the 17th century Potala Palace & Drepung Monastery
  • Witness monks engaging in their daily practice of religious debate

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • China
  • Tibet
  • Cang-Gyan Lhasa Hotel
  • Drepung Monastery
  • Jokhang Temple
  • Lhasa
  • Norbulingka
  • Potala Palace
  • Sera Monastery


Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Potala Palace Prayer flags on Nachan La-Pass, Lhasa Monk with prayer beads Jokhang monastery Highland barley field, Tibet Tibetan Prayer/Mani Wheel Tibetan momo Tibetan Yak at Namtso Lake near Lhasa

Day 1 Arrive Lhasa, Tibet

  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning you are picked up at your hotel in Chengdu and drive to the airport for your flight on to Tibet, the Roof of the World at 12,000ft (3700m). No where else on the planet can you witness such a dramatic change in geography climate, elevation and culture in such a short flight time. After checking in to your hotel and meeting your guide, start out with a walking tour through the heart of the ancient city of Lhasa. Walk through the lively Barkhor Bazaar surrounding the venerated Jokhang Temple.Here you mix with nomads and religious pilgrims who have converged from all over Tibet creating a unique atmosphere and experience.

Day 2 Norbulingka & Sera Monastery

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning set out on a leisurely stroll through the World heritage Site of Norbulingka, or "Treasure Park". The walk helps you acclimatize to the thinner air at this elevation. This 89 acre park and gardens holds the Norbulingka Palace, the former summer residence for generations of Dalai Lamas. Walk around the grounds before enjoying lunch nearby. This afternoon you take a short drive in the foothills to the north and the site of Sera Monastery. Here you can witness the monks engaging in their daily practice of religious debate. After your visit here, return to Lhasa for an afternoon rest and late dinner accompanied with traditional Tibetan music and dance.

Day 3 Potala Palace & Drepung Monastery

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start this full day out with a visit to the 17th century Potala Palace. This palace was used as the former residence of the Dalai Lama for generations until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959.Now a museum and a World Heritage Site, this historic engineering wonder is an impressive structure that has narrowly escaped destruction on a few momentous occasions. Its walls are as thick as 5 meters in some places and the palace contains over 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and 200,000 statues. Tour the palace all morning before taking a rest for lunch. This afternoon visit Drepung Monastery, historically the most significant monastery in Tibetan Buddhism. Once the seat of political and religious power in Tibet, the monastery used to house over 15,000 monks and one of the most prestigious Buddhist institutions in Tibet. Depending on your preference, you may have time to visit one of Tibetan's rug factories before dinner for an introduction to this unique trade.

Day 4 Return Chengdu

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning enjoy an optional early morning walk with the pilgrims around Jokhang Temple before breakfast. After breakfast take the shuttle to the airport for your flight back to Chengdu.
Per person starting at


Rate based on 2 travelers
Groups of 3: $1,440 per person.
Groups of 4 or more: $1,395 per person.

Upgrades available.


  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 3 Nights Accommodations
    • 3 Nights Hotel
  • 4 Days Private Guide Service
  • Tibet Travel Permit
    • Must be obtained after receipt of China Visa and 30 days prior to travel


  • Internal Flights
    • $610 Chengdu - Lhasa - Chengdu
    • Flight cost is subject to change
  • International Flights
  • China Visa Fee
    • US citizens must obtain visa prior to arrival

Recommended Budgeting

  • $40 Meals not Included
  • $30 Optional Excursions
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When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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