General

The Drepung and Sera Monastery Lhasa Day Tour is a great way to spend one meaningful day in Lhasa and learn about Tibetan Buddhism. They are the two of the most important Gelugpa university monasteries in Tibet and popular among travelers from all over the world. This day trip takes about 9 hours. We begin our day by visiting Drepung Monastery in the morning, where we will explore the caves, temples, and pagodas there. In the afternoon, we will visit Sera Monastery where we will observe the famous monk debate session. In a word, the Drepung and Sera Monastery Lhasa Day Tour gives you a wonderful opportunity to witness the splendid religious life and customs of the pious Tibetan people.

Drepung Monastery

A quiet and intimate attraction outside Lhasa, Drepung monastery was founded in 1416. It sits at the foot of Mount Gephel on the western outskirts of Lhasa. Once Tibet’s largest and most influential monastery, it houses around 700 monks in the monastery today and receives thousands of visitors from around the world.

The monastery is famous for its large white pagodas and typical Tibetan monastic architecture. It also hosts a prominent annual celebration of Tibetan Shoton Festival. During the holiday, you will see a giant Thangka painting on the hillside opposite to the Monastery. Thousands of worshippers come to gather at the event every year. In addition, the views from the monastery are also very stunning. Travelers can see local people walk up and down the narrow alleys between the picturesque Tibetan villages.

Sera Monastery

Founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey of Sakya Yeshe, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, Sera Monastery sits at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa. The monastery consists of the Great Assembly Hall, dwellings, and three monastic colleges. It is especially famous for the unique Buddhist activity “Monk Debate” that takes place in the afternoon. Between 3pm and 5pm from Monday to Saturday, the monks gather together and challenge each other on matters of philosophy. It is one of the most extraordinary sights you can expect among all your Tibetan monastery visits.

You will especially enjoy the company of our local Tibetan English guide on this tour. Book now and receive more great services that we offer.

What you can expect

Our English speaking local Tibetan tour guide will meet you at House of Shambhala hotel lobby or Lhasa Ganggyan Hotel lobby around 9:00 AM.  If you have a special request for meetup location we can happily accommodate that as well.

  • Morning Lhasa day tour activity

We arrive at Drepung Monastery and begin our tour. We will walk up the mountain to have a great view of the entire monastery as well as Lhasa city in the valley. We then explore the different chambers inside the monastery. With the guide of our travel expert, you will see beautiful Tibetan artifacts, statues and burning butter. Once we reach the highest point, we will find monks praying in the grand assembly hall, or observe monks using large kettles to prepare food in the kitchen beside. If we have more time left, we will continue to visit many more decorated rooms as well as residences of monks in the small alleys.

  • Afternoon Lhasa day tour activity

After lunch we will go to visit Sera Monastery. The highlights of our visit include touring the main architectural structures of the monastery and watching a monk debate session in the main courtyard. Inside the halls, you can find delicate religious objects and decorations such as scriptures in gold powder, colorful statues, and narrative murals. Our guide will tell you about the history of the monastery and everything you want to learn about Tibetan Buddhism. During the debate session, you will see hundreds of red-robed monks assemble in small groups striking different poses as a way to engage in religious topics. It is a spectacle you can't observe anywhere else.

After a full day of sightseeing, we will return to downtown Lhasa. We wish you the best on your further journey. If you had a great time with us, we welcome you to check out more Tibetan culture tours that we offer.

Available departures

This Lhasa highlight day tour is available every day from Monday to Saturday (Sera Monastery is not available on Sunday).

Select your tour date using the calendar below to book this tour.

This tour is repeated every week on multiple days.

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Service Details

Price includes:

  • Local Tibetan English speaking tour guide
  • Pickup and drop-off in downtown Lhasa, transportation to and from destination
  • Entrance fees for two monasteries

Price excludes: 

  • All other personal expenses incurred on your tour, including food and drinks, gratuities, etc.

Additional Information:

  • For group of 4 or less travelers, we will arrange to use public transportation or taxi or bus to reach our destination; for group of 5 or more travelers, we will arrange a suitable van or tour bus.
  • Please always contact us if you have any requests or concerns.

Important Info

  • Sera Monastery is not available on Sunday
  • Tibet travel permit is not included, so upon booking, please add the extra item in your shopping cart (per person basis)
  • You can book this day tour even after arrival in Lhasa, however Tibet travel permits should and must be arranged at least 15 working days before your arrival date.