Luang Prabang is a city in the north-central Laos. The district comprises 58 villages, among these 33 are included among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The best things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos include exploring regional history, culture, and natural wonders. The city is blessed with each of these in abundance.
Luang Prabang literally means “Royal Buddha Image”. It is named after a 2,000 years old gold statue of Buddha called Phra Bang. You can see this statue in the Royal Palace, which is one of the best places to visit in Luang Prabang. Including the palace, many places in the city feature a blend of French Colonial and Buddhist architecture. You can see many historical Luang Prabang tourist attractions in the old quarter area. This area is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Another major aspect of Luang Prabang sightseeing includes cultural sites. The city also has 33 temples with beautiful architecture, intricate carvings, and elaborate artwork. These temples are also known for being Luang Prabang attractions to see important traditions and religious ceremonies.
You can witness some of these during Luang Prabang travel, the most well-known among these is the Alms giving ceremony which takes place every morning. There are also several museums and cultural centres where you can enjoy history, traditional art forms, performances, storytelling, handicrafts, and more.
Alongside history and culture, you can also enjoy nature in beautiful forms when you visit Luang Prabang. The city is surrounded by rivers on 3 sides forming a peninsula. This peninsula is flanked by lush green hills. Perhaps the most beautiful things to see in Luang Prabang are the waterfalls that form turquoise pools in limestone rocks.
You will need to hike for a while to see these natural tourist attractions in Luang Prabang. Other fun activities to do in Luang Prabang include cycling and boat rides. The boat rides and cycling trails will take you on a journey to see villages, hills, caves, forests, and cultural sites.
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Top 25 Tourist Places to Visit in Luang Prabang, Laos
1. Old Quarter (Old Town)
The old town of Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is surrounded on three sides by rivers forming a peninsula. It is renowned for its Buddhist and French Colonial architecture.
Many of the restaurants, shops, and buildings in this area are among the historical Luang Prabang attractions. You will need about an hour or so to tour this area.
2. Wat Xieng Thong Temple
There are 33 temples among Luang Prabang tourist attractions and Wat Xieng Thong is among the most popular one among them. The temple was built during the reign of King Lao King Setthathirath in 1560.
From then till 1975, this was the site of the coronation of all kings. Aside from its historical significance, the temple is renowned for its architecture, interior decor, and artwork.
You will see gilded wooden doors that tell the story of Lord Buddha’s life and glass mosaics depicting scenes from the everyday life of people. You will need about an hour to explore this temple when you visit Luang Prabang.
I suggest you should go for a Half Day City Tour of Luang Prabang to see major attractions in Luang Prabang.
3. Morning Market
The morning market is one of the best places to visit in Luang Prabang, Laos to enjoy some local street food and fresh produce. You will also see locals beginning their day with grocery shopping at this market.
This farmer’s market sells tropical fruits, vegetables, fishes, and street food. You will need 30 to 45 minutes to explore the market and mingle with the locals during Luang Prabang travel.
I suggest you should book a Tour to Morning Market with a half day Bamboo Weaving and Cooking Class.
4. Wat Wisunarat (Wat Visoun) Temple
This temple dates back to 1513 and is the oldest temple in the city. The temple is also home to the Museum of Religious Arts. You will see a variety of artworks and historical artifacts depicting scenes from Buddhism and the royal family. These are some of the most interesting things to see in Luang Prabang.
You will see gilded Buddha statues, ancient stones, images made from jade and gold, paintings, carved artworks, and more. You will need an hour and a half to tour the temple and the museum.
5. Alms Giving Ceremony
The Alms Giving Ceremony is a longstanding tradition of the city. It is one of the best things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos if you want to experience the regional Buddhist culture. The ceremony takes place on the main street of the city when the sun rises.
People come bearing a variety of food items such as rice, fruits, and snacks to give alms to Buddhist monks in the morning. You can join the locals in this ceremony, but you need to purchase the before the ceremony begins.
It is considered offensive if you do it while the ceremony is going on. Once you have the alms just follow what locals are doing to be a part of the ceremony. You only need a few minutes to experience this tradition.
I suggest you should book a Morning Tour of Alms Giving Ceremony with a Market Visit.
6. The Royal Palace (Haw Kham)
The palace was built in 1904. It was built on the site of another palace which dated back to 1887 and was destroyed by Chinese mercenaries. It is one of the most opulent tourist attractions in Luang Prabang, Laos.
The palace exhibits a blend of regional and French architectural styles. You will see a variety of artifacts and relics that shed light on the monarchy of the region. The palace is home to the 2,000 years old statue of Buddha made from gold.
It is called Phra Bang and is considered the holiest statue of Lord Buddha in Laos. The city is named after this statue. You will need at least 2 hours from Luang Prabang sightseeing to tour this palace and its museum.
7. Mount Phousi
This hill is considered sacred by the locals and is home to several small temples and pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. It is also one of the top spot for outdoor activities to do in Luang Prabang. You can hike up the hill or take the 300-step pilgrimage path to reach the top.
At the summit, you will see Wat Chom Si temple and a cave temple with a statue of Buddha. You will also get a breathtaking view of the city, the rivers, and the peninsula. The best time to visit Phousi Hill would be sunrise or sunset as you get to see the rivers turn golden. You will need 3 to 4 hours to experience this place.
8. Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center
This museum sheds light on the various ethnic groups of Laos. It is one of the best places to visit in Luang Prabang to learn about the cultures, traditions, and arts of the 49 ethnic groups of the country.
You will see clothing items, jewelry, costumes of ceremonies, handicraft items, household tools, religious artifacts, artworks, and more. You will need about an hour to tour this museum when you visit Luang Prabang, Laos.
9. Kuang Si Falls
The waterfall is a 29 km hike away, but the sight is definitely worth the effort. The stream falls 50 meters into limestone rock pools forming puddles of brilliant turquoise water. It is one of the most beautiful things to see in Luang Prabang, Laos.
You can also swim in the pools, so take your swim-wears with you. But do not violate the local dress code. This is one of the best things to do in Luang Prabang for nature lovers and you will need about 4 to 5 hours for the hike and to enjoy the waterfalls.
I suggest you should book your Tour of Kung Si Falls along with other destinations in advance. and If you are looking for some adventure then I suggest you should go for a Full Day Trek to Kung Si Waterfall with a Village Visit.
10. Wat Long Khoun
This temple has great historical and cultural significance. The temple dates back to the 18th century and is also known as the Monastery of the Happy. Every king lived in this temple for 3 days for meditation and spiritual cleansing.
It is also one of the most beautiful Luang Prabang tourist attractions in terms of design and architecture. The Jataka murals of the temple tell tales of 547 lives of Lord Buddha. You will need about an hour to explore this temple.
11. Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre
This complex is a workshop of local handicraft items. It is the best Luang Prabang attraction to see authentic textile and fabric art. All the materials used are organic, including paints and dyes. You can also purchase authentic handicraft creations from this centre. You will need 30 to 45 minutes from Luang Prabang travel to tour this place.
12. Living Land Rice Farm (The Living Land Company)
Experience the pastoral life at this farm. You will get to tour the 13 stages of harvesting rice. These fields produce the local sticky rice. If you are looking for interesting activities to do in Luang Prabang, Laos this is the place to be.
You will sort rice, feed livestock, plough the field with buffaloes, work the irrigation system, and more. The best time to visit Luang Prabang to experience farming is the harvest season. You will also get to participate in the local harvest festivals at this time. You will need 2 to 3 hours to enjoy the living farm experience.
I suggest you should book a Tour of Living Land Rice Farming Experience in advance.
13. Bamboo Bridge
This bridge stands over the Nam Khan River and stretches for 100 meters. The fee you pay to walk over this bridge goes to Mr. Bounmee and his family. This family rebuilds the bridge every dry season.
The bridge falls every rainy season as the water currents become too strong. You will need about 20 to 30 minutes from Luang Prabang sightseeing to see this bridge.
14. Tiger Trail Cycling
The countryside has beautiful landscapes, farms, temples, villages, and more. There are several cycling trails you can explore in the countryside. The tiger trail is the most popular among them.
You will see lush green hills, river sides, farmlands, and so on while enjoying a leisurely bicycle ride. You will also come across many tourist attractions in Luang Prabang, Laos. You will need about 3 to 4 hours for this trail.
I suggest you should book a Full Day Countryside Mountain Biking Tour in advance.
15. Tat Sae Waterfall
This is yet another beautiful waterfall of cascading streams and turquoise pools formed in limestone rocks. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Luang Prabang. There is a wooden boardwalk with chairs where you can relax while watching this natural wonder. You will need 2 to 3 hours to make a trip to this waterfall and relax for a while.
I suggest you should go for a Full Day Trek to Tat Sae Waterfall and a Village Visit.
16. Mekong River Boat Ride
This slow boat ride across the Mekong River is one of the memorable things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos. The longest ride lasts for two days and takes you to Huay Xai. You can also take a day-trip boat ride to see beautiful natural landscapes, riverside forests, and green hills. There are also short trips that last an hour or so.
I suggest you should try to get an Experience of Dine and Cruise on the Mekong River.
17. Pak Ou Caves
A boat ride through the Mekong River can take you to the Pak Ou Caves. This is a historical Buddhist religious site. It is one of the most interesting Luang Prabang tourist attractions. The caves are filled with statues of Lord Buddha. This is a site of worship so make sure you are dressed appropriately. You will need about 2 hours to tour these caves.
I suggest you should go for a Full Day / Half Day Kayaking Tour to Pak Ou Caves.
18. Luang Prabang Night Market
This market is held between 5 pm and 11 pm on the street across the royal palace. You will see shops selling a variety of things including clothes, textiles, jewelry, glassware, handicrafts, and more. It is one of the best Luang Prabang attractions to buy souvenirs and try local street food. You can easily spend an hour exploring the market.
19. Buffet Street
This is yet another night market selling street food and handicraft items. The street is especially known for its vegetarian and vegan dishes. This market is held in an alley on Sisavangvong Road. You can dedicate an evening’s dinner to exploring the delicacies on this street when you visit Luang Prabang.
20. Garavek Theatre (Garavek Storytelling)
If you want to hear local folklore and enjoy traditional music and dance performance, there are no better tourist attractions in Luang Prabang than Garavek Theatre. The storyteller shares stories of the city, royalty, Buddhism, folklore, and so on. You will also hear stories and legends behind Nam Khan River, Mount Phousi, and Kuang Si Falls. You will need about 2 hours from Luang Prabang travel to enjoy a performance in this theatre.
21. Whiskey Village (Ban Xang Hai Village)
The whiskey made in this place is unique as it is made from rice. You can see how the alcoholic beverage is made. You can even sample this local whiskey called Lao Lao. You will need an hour to tour this village.
22. Authentic Lao Massage
The traditional Lao massage is quite different from the ones you experience in the surrounding countries. If you are looking for relaxing activities to do in Luang Prabang, you should go for this massage. It is a therapeutic experience that focuses on key pressure points to release tension. You need at least an hour for this experience.
23. UXO Lao Visitor Centre
This museum focuses on the devastation caused during the wars of the 1960s and 70s. During this period more than 270 million bombs were dropped on Laos. This makes Laos the most bombed per capita country in the world. It is one of the most tragic things to see in Luang Prabang. You need 30 to 45 minutes to tour this place.
24. Green Jungle Park
If you are looking for some adventurous activities to do in Luang Prabang, you should come here. This adventure park has zip lines, rope courses, monkey bridges, nature trails, and more. You can easily spend an hour from Luang Prabang sightseeing and exploring this place.
25. Ban Phanom Village
This artisan village practices traditional methods of textile making that dates back many decades. You can buy authentic woven cotton and silk items. You can also see how these items are made. You will need about 2 hours to explore this village.
If you are looking for more places to visit in Luang Prabang, then check out the sections below. We have put together an exhaustive list of attractions and activities to do in and around Luang Prabang.
Things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos
Monuments, Museums & Historical Places to Visit in Luang Prabang, Laos
- Wat Xiengthong
- Royal Palace
- Wat Winsunarat
- Wat May Souvannapoumaram
- Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre
- Haw Pha Bang
- Uxo Lao Visitor Centre
- Wat Sensoukharam
- Wat Manorom
- Wat Pa Phon Phao
- Heuan Chan Heritage House
- Wat Aham
- Wat Chom Si
- Wat Xieng Mouane
- Wat Mahathat
- Wat That Luang
- Wat Hosian Voravihane
- Wat Nong Sikhounmuang
- Wat Pa Huak
- Wat Pa Pai Temple
- Chao Anouvong Monument
- Wat Siphoutthabath
- Wat Sop Sickharam
- Wat Khili
- Wat Pak Khan Khammunghun
- Wat Chomphet
- Kaysone Phomvihane Monument
- Wat Aphay
- Wat Tham Sakkalin
- Pak Ou Caves
Nature & Wildlife Tourist Spots in Luang Prabang, Laos
- Phousi Hill
- Kuang Si Waterfall
- Tat Sae Waterfall
- Elephant Village Sanctuary & Resort
- Nahm Dong Park
- Tad Thong Waterfall
Entertainment & Leisure Tourist Spots in Luang Prabang, Laos
- Khopfa Mekong Boat Cruise
- The Living Rice Farm
- Luang Prabang Bowling Alley
- Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden
Shopping in Luang Prabang, Laos
- Luang Prabang Morning Market
- Night Market
- Phosy Market
- Dara Market
- Handicraft Night Market
- Ock Pop Tok
Offbeat Places, Tours, & Adventures in Luang Prabang, Laos
- Boat Cruise
Sightseeing in Luang Prabang, Laos
- Old French Bridge
- Old Quarter
- Bamboo Bridge
- Alms Giving Ceremony
- Phu Si
- Monument to President Souphanouvong
Food, Dining, Restaurants, & Street Food in Luang Prabang, Laos
- Paste at the Apsara
- Changkham Bakery
- 3 Nagas
- Joma bakery
- The Belle Rive Terrace
- Le Banneton Cafe
- Tamnak Lao
- Indigo Cafe
- Blue Lagoon
- Dyen Sabai
- Coconut Garden
- Amigo’s Luang Prabang
- Dyen Sabai
- La Silapa Italian & Lao Kitche
- Secret Pizza
- Le Cafe
- Cafe Des Laos
- Saffron Coffee Expresso
Where to Stay in Luang Prabang?
Here we have listed Top Rated Luxurious, Mid-Range, and Budget Hotels in Luang Prabang. You can check the below listed hotels for your perfect stay in Luang Prabang.
- La Résidence Phou Vao A Belmond Hotel Luang Prabang
- Rosewood Luang Prabang
- Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel
- Le Sen Boutique Hotel
- The Luang Say Residence
- Pullman Luang Prabang
- Avani+ Luang Prabang Hotel
- Satri House
- 3 Nagas Luang Prabang – MGallery
- The Belle Rive Boutique Hotel
- Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel
- Mekong Riverview Hotel
- Maison Dalabua Hotel
- Burasari Heritage Luang Prabang
- Souphattra Hotel
- Villa Maly Boutique Hotel
- Luang Prabang View Hotel
- The Grand Luang Prabang Hotel & Resort
- Kiridara Luang Prabang
- Thongbay Guesthouse
- View Khem Khoung Guest House
- Lao Spirit Resort
- Sanctuary Luang Prabang Hotel
- Chateau Orientale
- Le Palais Juliana
- Hotel Villa Deux Rivieres
- MyLaoHome Hotel & Spa
- My Dream Boutique Resort
- Villa Chitdara
Custom Tours Package in Luang Prabang
How to Reach Luang Prabang, Laos?
The city is served by Luang Prabang International Airport. It sits about 4 km outside the city centre. You can get flights to visit Luang Prabang from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Vientiane, Xieng Khouang, Kunming, Singapore, and Siam Reap. You can get buses and cabs to get to the city from the airport.
You can get direct trains to reach Luang Prabang from cities on the Boten Vientiane Railway. This train route connects Luang Prabang to cities in Laos and China. These include Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Muang Xai, Na Mor, and Kunming.
You can also get buses for Luang Prabang travel from several cities in Laos, China, and Vietnam. These include Chiang Mai, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Muang Xay, Luang Namtha, Nong Khiaw, Hanoi, Loei, Phonsavan, and more.
If you want to reach Luang Prabang by road, you should head for Highway Routes 1 or 13.
You can get slow boats and speedboats to visit Luang Prabang from Huay Xai and Pakbeng.