Bhaktapur is the third largest city in Nepal, and along with Kathmandu and Patan, makes up the three holy cities in the Kathmandu Valley. The city was founded during the 12th century AD by King Anand Dev Malla and remains well-preserved and free of motor traffic to this day, giving it a sense of timelessness and peace in bustling Kathmandu.

Its distance from Kathmandu, about seven-and-a-half miles (12 kilometers) east, and the small entrance fee to enter the city tends to keep the crowds away from this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once inside the city, you’ll be able to walk the cobbled streets filled with more temples by area than both Kathmandu or Patan. Many of the most interesting structures, including the 55-windowed palace that used to serve as the royal seat of Nepal, are centered on the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

The city has a rich handicrafts tradition and is a great place to purchase pottery, which you’ll see in various stages of completion throughout the town, but particularly in Potters’ Square. Also look for painted black clay masks, metalwork, traditional Buddhist paintings and locally grown teas. When you feel hungry, try the yogurt with locally produced honey, a specialty in Bhaktapur.

Please note that there were significant damages to the ancient town of Bhaktapur in the earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks in Nepal in late April and early May 2015. The town and many of the religious sites are in ruins. Authorities have said they will do all they can to restore historic and cultural sites in Nepal and are assessing the extent of damages.

Tours & Tickets

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City tour of Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Duration: 8 hours

From USD $100.00

Full Day Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour Including Bhaktapur

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Duration: 6 hours

From USD $80.00

Bhaktapur Old City Half-Day Tour

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $75.00
From USD $160.00

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