Lhasa (ལྷ་ས་) is the capital and most important city in Tibet (བོད་). It is home to Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery which are three of the most important Gelugpa Sect (དགེ་ལུགས་པ) monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism. In the heart of the old town of Lhasa is Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Square (pictured above). Each day thousands of Tibetan pilgrims walk the kora around the temple while chanting their prayers and spinning their prayer wheels. Though Lhasa is actually becoming quite a large and modern city, the best place to spend your time is walking around the endless circuit of the Barkhor. The Barkhor area is lined with excellent Tibetan restaurants and markets selling everything from the latest Tibetan pop music to yak butter. You can walk for hours around the Barkhor and never get bored. Pilgrims from all corners of Tibet arrive in Lhasa each day. The winter time brings the most pilgrims to Lhasa.
Lhasa sits at 3550m/11,645 feet above sea level, but sits at the same latitude as Cairo, Egypt and northern Florida. Lhasa is actually one of the mildest regions of Tibet with winter night time temperatures averaging around -4C/25F and rarely getting colder than -10C/14F. During the summer Lhasa is quite comfortable with an average day time temperature of around 21C/70F. Lhasa averages over 285 sunny days per year so even during the winter it can feel quite comfortable outside. Lhasa is relatively dry and receives very little snowfall. July and August are considered to be the rainy months, but even then the rain really isn't a problem.
The much anticipated train to Lhasa began operating in July 2006. It is now easier than ever to reach Lhasa. There are many hotel options in Lhasa. Everything from 5 star hotels to small Tibetan owned guesthouses are available. The best places to stay are around the Jokhang in the old town of Lhasa. The airport is located about 35kms outside of the city, but there are plenty of buses and taxis that will take you into town. The train station is about 8kms from town and also has adequate transportation into town.