The sheer number of temples located in Kathmandu and the surrounding valley has earned it the nickname City of Temples. You could easily spend your entire Kathmandu trip hopping from one temple to the next. To help narrow it down, here are five you definitely shouldn’t miss.
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Located just 20 miles (32 kilometers) from central Kathmandu, Nagarkot is a popular day trip for its clear mountain views. On a high ridge at 7,136 feet (2,175 meters), the town is surrounded by thick pine forests, which allow for day hikes or longer treks to surrounding towns. Guided tours often arrive for sunrise and may include a hike. Others visit as part of a longer tour or stay overnight for sunset and sunrise.
Things to Know Before You Go
Although Nagarkot is not far from Kathmandu, poor roads mean it can take three hours to reach.
Some accommodations in Nagarkot have mountain views—request them if that’s your preference.
The viewing tower is a great place from which to snap a photo. Arrive well in advance of sunrise or sunset to get a good spot.
How to Get There
Nagarkot is accessible by public bus, but from Kathmandu it requires a change in Bhaktapur. The most direct way is to take a tour that includes transport, hire a taxi from Kathmandu for the day, or arrange for drop-off and next-day pickup with a driver.
When to Get There
The mountain views are clearest in winter (December-February), although it can get cold at the high altitude. November is slightly warmer, and has a high chance of clear views. Avoid Nagarkot during the monsoon (June-August), as views are generally poor and the road condition are particularly bad.
Hike to Changu Narayan
A good day hike from Nagarkot is to Changu Narayan, home to the oldest temple in Nepal. The approximately 4-hour hike is mostly downhill from Nagarkot, through forested hills, terraced farmland, and small villages. For the best experience, join a guided tour with all transportation included, or arrange to stay in Nagarkot overnight and set out for Changu Narayan in the morning. From Changu Narayan, take a bus or taxi back to Bhaktapur or Kathmandu.
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