Win Your Wishlist ❤️ 🤑 Enter to winWin Your Wishlist ❤️ 🤑 Win $7,000 towards Viator experiences. Enter to win
Recent Searches
Wat Xieng Thong temple in Luang Prabang

Things to do in  Luang Prabang

Monks and the Mekong

Once the capital of Laos, the sleepy riverside city of Luang Prabang offers all the charm you’d expect of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and more. Saffron-robed monks gather alms at sunrise; boats flit along the Mekong; eaves soar; and Buddhas gleam at the cities’ temples and royal palaces. But there are more things to do in Luang Prabang than history and culture alone: cooking courses, craft classes, waterfalls, and the night market all beckon.

Top 10 attractions in Luang Prabang

Kuang Si Falls (Tat Kuang Si)

Tumbling through the jungle about 18 miles (29 kilometers) from Luang Prabang, the Kuang Si Falls (Tat Kuang Si) are among the area’s most attractive waterfalls, combining a dramatic drop and pools. In addition to swimming in the cool water, swinging on ropes, and enjoying snacks from on-site eateries, you can visit a bear-rescue sanctuary and a butterfly park.More

Pak Ou Caves

Set where the Ou River (Nam Ou) meets the Mekong, about 19 miles (30 kilometers) from Luang Prabang, the Pak Ou Caves are one of the most popular sights accessible from the city. A place of worship for over 1,000 years, they are home to thousands of Buddhas left by grateful pilgrims. The lower cave has both more light and more visitors than the upper cave.More

Mekong River

star-4.51 710
The Mekong River, the 12th-longest river in the world at 2,700 miles (4,345 kilometers), is the main artery of Southeast Asia. Its flowing waters are the beating pulse for a region that includes the fertile Mekong Delta around Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, the scenic hills of Laos, and the jungle-lined waterways of Thailand and Cambodia.More

Whisky Village (Ban Xang Hai)

A shot (or several) oflao-lao, the national rice whiskey, is a Laotian rite of passage. The Whiskey Village (Ban Xang Hai), just 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from the Pak Ou Caves on the Mekong River, specializes in churning out this potent stuff. You can watch lao-lao being produced, taste it, and buy it.More

Royal Palace Museum

Also known as the National Museum, the Royal Palace Museum was the home of Lao royalty from the early 20th century until 1975. An attractive combination of classic Lao and beaux arts architecture, it houses collections including state gifts and royal cars. The sacred Pha Bang golden Buddha is preserved in Wat Ho Pha Bang.More

Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)

The UNESCO World Heritage list identifies no fewer than 34 Luang Prabang temples. If you have to pick just one, opt for 16th-century Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong), the largest and best-known Buddhist monastery in all of Laos. Highlights include a tree of life mosaic, a royal funeral chariot, and the stunning ordination hall (sim).More

Mt. Phousi

Mt. Phousi (also written Phu Si or Phou Si) dominates the heart of Luang Prabang, rising around 330 feet (100 meters) above the city. Several temples and shrines adorn the slopes, with That Chomsi stupa at the summit. But the main attractions here are the city and river views, which can extend to the surrounding mountains on a clear day.More

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre

Set in the heart of Luang Prabang, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre is a small museum dedicated to four of Laos’ main ethnic minority groups. Displays include traditional costumes, religious artifacts, and crafts, while exhibits feature signage in French, English, and Lao. The shop is a great source of ethical artisan souvenirs.More

Tad Sae Waterfall

Along with the Kuang Si Falls, the Tad Sae Waterfall is one of Luang Prabang’s best-known falls and a popular attraction to visit during the wet season. A series of jade-bright travertine pools and shallow cascades, Tad Sae sits close to the Nam Khan River outside Luang Prabang. Other attractions include ziplines and an elephant camp.More
Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden

Opened in 2016, Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is Laos’ first botanical garden. Just down the Mekong from Luang Prabang, the 99-acre (40-hectare) site features orchids, palms, bamboos, gingers, ferns, a cave, a permaculture farm, and more. The ethnobotanical garden showcases local herbal medicine traditions.More
Win Your Wishlist!Want to win $7,000 towards your dream getaway? We thought you might. Just make a Viator Wishlist to enter.

Top activities in Luang Prabang

Half Day Luang Prabang city tour

Half Day Luang Prabang city tour

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about Luang Prabang

When to visit

Travel around Laos is easiest during the dry season, which runs from November to April. But the best time to visit Luang Prabang is between November and February when temperatures are cooler, and the March–April rice stubble burning has yet to fill the air with smoke. Photographers will love the Lao New Year (Boun Pi Mai) celebrations on April 14-16 and the Festival of Lights (Boun Lai Heua Fai) in October.

Getting around

Luang Prabang is pocket-sized with little by way of hills, so many travelers do most of their exploring on foot or on rented bicycles. There’s no formal public transit, but tuk-tuks and songthaews, the tuk-tuk’s big brother, run routes around the city and work as taxis too. The Loca ride-hailing app, Laos’ answer to Uber, is a great way to book both four- and two-wheeled taxis.

Traveler tips

British celebrity chef and champion shouter Gordon Ramsay says Laos is one of the world’s top food destinations. Give back while you munch by eating at Khaiphaen restaurant, run by a non-profit that provides training and funding for disadvantaged children. And don’t miss the classes at Tamarind, a restaurant-owned cooking school known for its fresh, creative use of Lao flavors.

People Also Ask

Is Luang Prabang worth a visit?

Yes, Luang Prabang is absolutely worth visiting. Laos’ top tourist destination and a former royal capital, Luang Prabang boasts the country’s best selection of hotels, including Raffles, Aman, and Rosewood. The city’s serene beauty has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status, and the food scene is also Laos’ best.

What is Luang Prabang best known for?

Luang Prabang is best known for monks and temples: it has the highest concentration of working temples in Southeast Asia. But it’s also a center for traditional crafts, including weaving and paper-making. Set where the Nam Khan meets the Mekong, it’s a popular spot for short river cruises.

How many days do you need in Luang Prabang?

You need at least three days in Luang Prabang. Explore the town, hitting the Royal Palace Museum and Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong), with sunset on Mt. Phousi; cruise to the Pak Ou Caves and take a craft or cooking class; visit Kuang Si Falls and the UXO Lao Visitor Centre.

How should I spend a day in Luang Prabang?

Get up early to see the monks line up for almsgiving, then explore the town—don’t miss Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong). After lunch by the Mekong, cruise to the Pak Ou Caves. Scale Mt. Phousi for sunset, then hit the night market and a Lao restaurant.

What do people do in Luang Prabang?

There are more things to do in Luang Prabang than gawk at monks and temples: Mekong cruises, cooking courses, and classes in everything from weaving to pottery. The serene countryside is an excellent location for hiking, while the Kuang Si Falls and Tad Sae Waterfall make beautiful spots to unwind.

What is the best time to visit Luang Prabang?

November is the best month to visit Luang Prabang. The dry season has started, and the weather is not too scorching, but the Christmas, New Year, and Lunar New Year crowds have yet to arrive. The Festival of Lights (Boun Lai Heua Fai) in October can also be magical.


Luang Prabang information

Number of Attractions


Number of Tours


Number of Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in Luang Prabang?
What are the top activities in Luang Prabang?
What are the top things to do near Luang Prabang?
Check out things to do near Luang Prabang:
What do I need to know before visiting Luang Prabang?