3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

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  • Location:Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Duration:5-6 hours

Best Cultural Walking Tour of Kathmandu: Swayambhunath and Durbar Square with Nepalese Cooking Lesson

Experience Kathmandu like a local on this small-group cultural walking tour. Visit the oldest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Swayambhunath, and explore one of the oldest parts of the city, Durbar Square, where you’ll browse local markets and centuries-old temples and courtyards. Purchase your own choice of vegetables (own expense) and head to a local family’s home to prepare a traditional Nepalese lunch. You'll learn all about local life in Kathmandu as you chat with the family with the help of your knowledgeable guide.

Please note: Due to the tragic events in Nepal this activity is temporarily unavailable.


  • Cultural tour in Kathmandu
  • Walk through the local markets, temples and courtyards of Durbar Square
  • Discover Buddhist and Hindu traditions at Swayambhunath, the oldest Buddhist stupa in Nepal
  • Learn about the culture, history and religion of Nepal from your knowledgeable guide
  • Shop for fresh vegetables and enjoy a hands-on cooking experience in a local family’s home
  • Chat with the locals over your Nepalese lunch
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 people ensures a more personalized experience

What You Can Expect

Best Cultural Walking Tour of Kathmandu: Swayambhunath and Durbar Square with Nepalese Cooking Lesson

Swayambhunath Stupa

Begin your Kathmandu cultural experience in Thamel, where you’ll meet your knowledgeable local guide and walk to Swayambhunath. Follow in the footsteps of Hindu and Buddhist devotees as you approach this holy stupa, the oldest in Nepal.

You’ll learn how this place is affectionately called ‘Monkey Temple’ by the locals, as there is a large troupe of monkeys guarding the hills and amusing visitors with tricks, such as sliding down the banisters of the main stairway to the temple.

From the hilltop setting, enjoy a beautiful bird’s-eye view of Kathmandu and the valley below before entering this mound-like structure.

Containing Buddhist and Hindu relics, typically the ashes of deceased, this temple is used as a place of meditation. As you explore the interior, you’ll be mesmerized by the wafts of incense, hypnotic chants of prayers and surreal sounds of ringing bells.

After being spiritually awakened, follow your guide on a stroll through the maze of backstreets to Durbar Square, where you’ll find numerous centuries-old temples, courtyards and markets selling crafts and fresh produce.

With some assistance from your guide, purchase your choice of vegetables, aromatic spices and any other ingredients you like (own expense), which you’ll use as ingredients for your home-cooked lunch. Once you’ve gathered everything, you’ll head to a local family’s home.

Your host family will reveal the secrets of Nepalese cooking as you enjoy a hands-on culinary experience in their kitchen. Then, relax and enjoy your meal while conversing with the locals with the help of your guide. After your meal, you’ll say goodbye and head back to your original departure point to conclude your tour.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

One of the best tours we did. Did not expect this tour to be that good. Kathmandu is an awesome city and you get to see it when everything is quiet in the morning and when its pumping during the day.

3 star rating: Worth doing April 2015

Our guide was excellent. Very knowledgeable and delightful. interesting architecture and history.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better October 2013

I did a very nice walking tour around KTM Durbar square, got in the palace and was explained the history and the rituals of Hinduism Buddhism. Then got on Swayambunath. Local home was not open due to national festival days (Dassa), so I went with my guide to a local restaurant for some bhat dhal n meat. The best of your services was my guide an amazing person. Overall I think your tour was overpriced. I had a great tour with a great guide but I don't think the cost for you setting it up and arranging local ties would have been so high to require such a high price. Given especially that I didnt go to a local home to cook, but I went to a restaurant as the home was not available due to holiday.

From USD $ 80.00

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Tour code: 5076NPUB


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