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How to Spend 1 Day in Kathmandu

How to Spend 1 Day in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is home to Nepal’s only international airport, so it’s a natural jumping-off point for exploring the rest of the country. With many cultural attractions, delicious food, shops selling Nepali handicrafts, and Himalayan views, there’s plenty to do in Kathmandu. Here’s how to fill an action-packed day in the Nepali capital.

Morning: Sacred Sites

Get up early to experience Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple, at its most atmospheric. Many Nepali people come here to die or be cremated, and there’s a somber but celebratory feel to the temple complex. The mixture of Nepali architecture and traditional culture makes this a must-visit site. Pashupatinath is close to the Boudha neighborhood, the center of Kathmandu’s Tibetan community and site of the Boudhanath Stupa, with its huge white dome, golden spire, and colorful prayer flags. Have a relaxed lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the stupa.

Afternoon: The Medieval Kingdom of Patan

After lunch, head south of the Bagmati River to Patan. Now part of Kathmandu’s urban sprawl, this neighborhood was once a separate kingdom and maintains a unique atmosphere. The focal point is Patan Durbar Square, a collection of redbrick palaces and temples that represent Nepali carving and metalsmithing at its finest. Visit the Patan Museum here for an informative overview of Buddhist and Hindu culture in the Kathmandu Valley, then dip into the lanes around the square—they’re among the best places in Kathmandu to shop for handicrafts, including paper products, metal statuettes, and Buddhist thangka paintings.

Night: Sample Nepali Cuisine

Many visitors stay in the Thamel area of central Kathmandu, which has a plethora of restaurants and bars and is the center of the city’s nightlife. Most venues are not open much past midnight, so a good night out in Kathmandu means enjoying a hearty dinner and a few relaxed drinks at a bar. You can’t leave Kathmandu without a full dal bhat experience. At its simplest, the Nepali national dish is lentil curry and rice, but at many higher-end restaurants you’ll get a huge platter with several vegetable and meat curries, pickles, a salad, and, of course, rice. It’s a great way to end the day.

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5 Tours and Activities

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Seven World Heritage Day Tour of Kathmandu Valley

Seven World Heritage Day Tour of Kathmandu Valley

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19
Kathmandu’s top sights are spread throughout the sprawling capital, meaning most visitors end up missing key attractions. On this action-packed day tour, you’ll cover all of the region’s UNESCO-listed highlights. Travel in a comfortable private car between locations in the city, with a private guide on-hand to supply information and background. You’ll also enjoy lunch in stunning Bhaktapur and venture to Changu Narayan, the oldest temple in the Kathmandu Valley.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$175.00
Price varies by group size
From
$175.00
Price varies by group size

Private Half-Day Chandragiri Cable Car Tour in Kathmandu

Private Half-Day Chandragiri Cable Car Tour in Kathmandu

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24
Opened in 2016, the Chandragiri Cable Car is the easiest way of ascending a mountain in Nepal. From the top you will see panoramic views of Kathmandu and the snow-capped Himalaya beyond, and the ride itself is exciting, too. On this hassle-free tour you will be picked up from your hotel so you don’t need to worry about hailing taxis or catching buses. Enjoy lunch with a view at the top.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size

Private Full-Day Tour of Kathmandu Valley's UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Private Full-Day Tour of Kathmandu Valley's UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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23
Take in Nepal's rich heritage on a private full-day tour of several UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley. Your private guide takes you to the Durbar Squares, Swayambhunath Temple (Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath Temple and more. Learn about the history and significance of each place as you explore the Buddhist and Hindu sacred sites with your guide. Includes private guide and vehicle, and hotel pickup and drop-off from Kathmandu. Entrance fees are at your expense.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.00
Price varies by group size
From
$55.00
Price varies by group size

Pashupatinath Temple and Bodhnath Stupa Tour from Kathmandu

Pashupatinath Temple and Bodhnath Stupa Tour from Kathmandu

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32
Explore the religious traditions of Kathmandu during this half-day visit to two UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Pashupatinath, a renowned Hindu temple, and the Tibetan Buddhist site at Boudhanath Stupa. Join your knowledgeable guide at these two iconic spiritual centers, witnessing the hum of daily activity and learning about Buddhism and Hinduism along the way. Want to earn some extra karma? Visit a local palm-reader for an optional reading. This small group visit, limited to just 12 guests, also includes site entrance fees.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.94
From
$59.94

Kathmandu Evening Tour by Rickshaw Including Durbar Square

Kathmandu Evening Tour by Rickshaw Including Durbar Square

star-4.5
23
Immerse yourself in the daily rhythms and colorful atmosphere of Kathmandu during this guided rickshaw ride. Begin your trip in the tourist district of Thamel as your guide pedals past the area’s busy market place and bustling squares, heading towards Durbar Square. Then hop off your rickshaw to wander on foot, observing the gorgeous early-evening light as it silhouettes the city’s temples and the nocturnal glow of Kathmandu’s lively nightlife begins to stir. Your rickshaw ride also includes the entrance fee at Durbar Square.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$47.54
From
$47.54


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