Experiences > Religious Monuments > Asia > Lhasa

Lhasa is the religious, cultural and economic centre of Tibet. Its most imposing feature is the Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century and the symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. Built between the 7th and 17th centuries, the palace resides atop Red Mountain and comprises over 1,000 rooms across its 13 stories, though only 15 are accessible to tourists. The complex includes the White Palace, which includes the throne of the Dalai Lama and his personal apartments, and the Red Palace, which contains chapels and stupa tombs of previous Dalai Lamas. Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama's summer palace, is located on the bank of the river 2km from the Potala Palace. The 18th century garden palace is a masterpiece of Tibetan art. The Jokhang Temple Monastery in the centre of Lhasa's old town is the most sacred temple in Tibet, attracting pilgrims from all across the country. It includes the Jowo Rimpoche, a gilded statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, and is surrounded by the Barkhor, an 800m flagstone pathway which is walked by pilgrims and houses Lhasa's main bazaar. Other sites of interest in the city include Drepung and Sera Monasteries, the latter renowned for the daily philosophical debates by the resident monks.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Location: China


Travel to Lhasa

Organised group tours: Click here to see 7 tours to Tibet which may include Lhasa.

Further Exploration for Lhasa

Footprint Tibet


Jun 2009 (4th ed.), 984 pages


Lonely_Planet Tibet


Mar 2015 (9th ed.), 352 pages


Bradt Tibet


Jan 2012 (3rd ed.), 336 pages