Durbar Square Tours

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The heart of Kathmandu, this vibrant public square was once the Kathmandu Kingdom royal residence. It has one of the world’s highest concentrations of well-preserved ancient buildings, making for a stunning open-air museum. Although the square was damaged during the 2015 earthquakes, there is still an array of architectural gems to see.
 
The Basics
Durbar means “Palace” in Nepal, and the vibrant square is most known for its royal lineage, from hand-carved temples to the 16th-century Malla palace. Multiple royal dynasties in Nepal have all left their mark. Standout sights include Kalbhairav—a fierce, dagger-wielding Shiva statue—and Taleju Temple, a spectacular, multitiered pagoda. There are also multiple courtyards to explore and the Kumari Ghar, home of Kathmandu’s pint-sized living goddess.
 
It is recommended to allot as much time as you can to strolling around and soaking up the ambiance. Guided tours are also indispensable to getting much-needed context on the historic buildings, including the city’s ongoing renovations. Visit during the day on an excursion that also explores Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath Temple, and Boudhanath Temple, or enjoy an evening tour by rickshaw.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Durbar Square, or palace square, is the UNESCO-listed heart of Kathmandu’s Old City.
  • Keep an eye out for the Kumari (living goddess); she appears periodically from her 18th-century palace home.
  • Shoulders covered: Remember to dress modestly when entering religious sites.
  • Ask permission before photographing locals, especially the holy men known as sadhus.
  • Admission tickets are required for entering the square, which has multiple entrance points.

How to Get There
Durbar Square is a short, scenic stroll from Thamel, where most of Kathmandu’s hotels and guesthouses are located. Guided tours often arrange private hotel pickup and street taxis can also be hired, although you may need to bargain.
 
When to Get There
Durbar Square is a year-round destination, although be prepared for warm summers and chilly winters. One of the city’s largest festivals—Indra Jatra—kicks off with a lively procession of chariots through the square. Masked performers, known as Lakheys, stage traditional dances in honor of Nepal’s rain god. The resident child goddess, or Kumari, also makes an appearance—one of the rare times she leaves the palace.
 
Supporting the City’s Renovations
Many quake-damaged historical buildings in Kathmandu—like Taleju Temple—have already been reconstructed, but others remain in critical condition. Learn about the painstaking reconstruction process and the many talented artisans that have joined rebuilding efforts. The country has made great progress since the 2015 earthquakes and tourists can show their support for the multiyear plan by visiting Durbar Square.
Location
Address: Kathmandu, Nepal
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64 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Private Half-Day Tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Temple

Combine two of Kathmandu's most famous attractions—the UNESCO-listed Durbar Square and the Swayambhunath Temple—on this half-day private tour. Benefit from personalized attention and the ability to travel at your own pace as you climb to the top of the temple's hill, which offers photo-worthy views of the Kathmandu Valley. Learn about the architectural style of Newar artists at Durbar and the multi-religion harmony at the temple through your guide's insightful commentary.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD32.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD32.00

Private Day Tour: Patan and Bhaktapur from Kathmandu

See the treasures of the ancient medieval cities of Patan and Bhaktapur on a private 6-hour tour from Kathmandu. View Newari architectural gems in Patan Durbar Square, and visit a Tibetan handicraft center. Then continue to Bhaktapur Durbar Square where you see highlights like the 55-Window Palace, Golden Gate, and Potter's Square. Your guide shares the history of the Kathmandu Valley and the impact of the 2015 earthquake in the region.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD80.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD80.00

Kathmandu Evening Tour by Rickshaw Including Durbar Square

Immerse yourself in the daily rhythms and colorful atmosphere of Kathmandu during this 2- to 3-hour 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.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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USD46.00
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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USD46.00

Private Full Day Tour of Pashupatinath Boudhanath Swayambhunath and Kathmandu Darbar Square

Discover Buddhist and Hindu sites around Kathmandu during a 6-hour tour with your own private guide. Visit temples such as Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, and Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), and explore important sites in Kathmandu Durbar Square, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD63.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD63.00

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

Immerse yourself in the daily rhythms of life in Kathmandu during this 5- to 6-hour small-group guided walking tour, ending with a cooking lesson and lunch at a local family home. Explore Kathmandu on foot, checking out landmarks including the country’s oldest Buddhist stupa, Swayambhunath, and historic Durbar Square, wandering through the area’s bazaars and passing ancient temples and courtyards. Then buy vegetables with your guide (at your own expense) and bring them to the residence of a local family, where you’ll learn to cook a typical Nepalese lunch. Enjoy your tasty meal while chatting with the family about life in the city.
  • Duration: 5 hours
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USD66.00
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  • Duration: 5 hours
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USD66.00

Private Tour: Kathmandu Temples from Thamel

Visit top religious sites around Kathmandu with your own private guide on this full-day tour. Venture just outside of Kathmandu to explore Bhaktapur Durbar Square—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the nearby Temple of Taleju. Continue to two more World Heritage sites, Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambhunath Temple (aka Monkey Temple), then wrap up your sightseeing tour at Pashupatinath Temple. Learn about Buddhist and Hindu traditions in Nepal on a tour that includes private climate-controlled transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD55.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD55.00

Full Day Sightseeing Tour of Kathmandu including Swayambunath Stupa

This full-day Sightseeing Tour of Kathmandu will take you to the captivating Kathmandu City, Swayambunath Stupa and the Patan City. Through this tour, you will explore these landmarks accompanied with a personal guide who will be well-versed with the religious, historical and cultural significance of each location.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD35.04
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD35.04

Kathmandu Full Day Tour

This full-day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu includes several prominent religious monuments. Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, a World Heritage site located in front of the old royal palace, and learn about the former Kathmandu Kingdom from your professional guide. Continue on to see the Tibetan Buddhist stupa of Swayambhunath and visit Pashupatinath Temple — a shrine that honors Lord Shiva — both sacred sites designated by UNESCO. Finish at the imposing Bouddhanath stupa, the largest in Kathmandu Valley.
  • Duration: 1 day
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USD74.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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USD74.00

2-Night Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour

Travel through the Kathmandu Valley on a 2-night private tour of five UNESCO World Heritage sites: Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath stupa (Monkey Temple). This sightseeing itinerary is designed for first-time visitors wishing to cover the major highlights of Kathmandu. You’ll step back in history with a personal guide who shares insightful commentary about each Hindu or Buddhist architectural masterpiece. Stay overnight at Hotel Bliss International in the Thamel neighborhood. Includes daily breakfast and round-trip airport transfer by private vehicle.
  • Duration: 3 days
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USD185.00
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  • Duration: 3 days
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USD185.00

Private Kathmandu Full-Day Tour including Pashupatinath Temple and Swayambhunath Stupa

See four of Kathmandu’s must-see sites on a convenient, private full-day tour. You’ll learn all about the history and culture of Nepal from your local guide as you visit the UNESCO-listed heritage sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa, and Boudhanath Stupa. This is an ideal tour for travelers who want an overview of the city, or who are short on time in Kathmandu.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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USD120.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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USD120.00

Private Full-Day Tour of Three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley

Explore three UNESCO World Heritage Sites near Kathamndu on a private full-day tour with your own personal guide. Learn about Nepal's culture, religions, and architecure as you visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Take in stunning temples, palaces, and carvings in wood and stone that were crafted by Newar artisans several centuries ago, and hear how the 2015 earthquake affected the region. Includes private guide and vehicle, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off in Kathmandu Valley.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD60.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD60.00

Private Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour

Visit four of Kathmandu's top attractions on a private 6-hour tour. Start by traveling in your comfortable private vehicle from your hotel to the traditional heart of the medieval town, Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Watch the monkeys frolic around another heritage site, Swayambhunath Temple, and take in the sacred prayer wheels and incense. Pashupatinath Temple comes next, followed by Bodhnath Stupa, which has roots going back to 600 AD. Hear informative commentary from your guide throughout the day on this comprehensive tour.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD90.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD90.00

Kathmandu World Heritage Full Day Culture Tour

On this private tour of the Kathmandu Valley you’ll discover four UNESCO World Heritage sites in one day: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupati Temple. Explore these landmarks with your own personal guide who describes the religious, historical and cultural significance of each location. A perfect introduction for first-time visitors to Nepal, this full-day trip offers a fantastic overview including round-trip hotel transport in the comfort of a private vehicle.
  • Duration: 7 to 8 hours
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USD95.00
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  • Duration: 7 to 8 hours
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USD95.00

Private 6-Hour Kathmandu City Tour

Discover the UNESCO World Heritages sites of Kathmandu on a 6-hour tour with a guide. Explore the temples of Kathmandu's Durbar Square, then take in Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), Boudhanath Stupa, and Pashupatinath Temple to learn about the Buddhist and Hindu traditions of Nepal. Hear about the history and craftsmanship of the temples, royalty in Nepal, and recovery from the 2015 earthquake. Includes private guide and vehicle, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD100.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD100.00

Luxurious Nepal Golden Triangle Tour - Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara

Spare yourself the hassle of juggling itineraries, guides, and drivers, and experience three of Nepal’s most iconic locations in 5-star luxury on this action-packed 7-night tour. Start in Kathmandu, with a private tour of Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Durbar Square, and Swayambhunath. Look for tigers, rhinos, and more on safari in Chitwan National Park, then see the Himalayas reflected in Pokhara’s lake and tour the city’s sights.
  • Duration: 8 days
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USD849.00
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  • Duration: 8 days
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USD849.00

5-Day Pokhara Tour from Kathmandu

This 5 day tour gives you full insight of the Nepalese culture and tradition, and visiting the religious, historical landmarks and natural wonders of Nepal. During the tour you will explore around Kathmandu city, the city of temples and the Pokhara Valley, one of the most beautiful lake side towns of Nepal. At the same time enjoying spectacular Himalayan panorama of some of world’s great mountain series.
  • Duration: 5 days
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USD590.00
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  • Duration: 5 days
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USD590.00

Kathmandu 5-Night Tour with 3-Day Trek to Chisopani, Nagarkot and Changu Narayan

Enjoy this multi-day tour and explore Nepal's beautiful scenery and heritage sites. This tour is designed for those who wish to explore Kathmandu valley with its religious and cultural sites as well as have a short trekking experience nearby Kathmandu. The highlights of this tour include: Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, famous for its art and architecture. You will be able to explore Hindu temples and Buddhist Stupa as well as old palaces and beautiful Himalayan scenery.
  • Duration: 6 days
From
USD455.00
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  • Duration: 6 days
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USD455.00

8 Day-Kathmandu Pokhara and Chitwan Tour

Cover the highlights of Nepal, from misty, wildlife-filled jungles to the snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range, during this all-inclusive, cross-country tour. Traveling comfortably in a VIP tourist bus, you'll tick off UNESCO-listed heritage attractions in the capital, drift in a boat along the glasslike surface of Fewa Lake, and try your luck spotting tigers and rhinos in Chitwan. Meals and overnights are all arranged.
  • Duration: 8 days
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USD845.00
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  • Duration: 8 days
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USD845.00

Private Sightseeing Tour of Kathmandu with Swayambunath and Bhaktapur

Most Kathmandu sightseeing tours only include locations in the capital, but you’ll also head to nearby Bhaktapur—Nepal’s best-preserved medieval city—during this in-depth sightseeing excursion. Get a peek at two UNESCO-listed Durbar Squares, and marvel at centuries-old pagodas—plus the palace of Kathmandu’s Living Goddess. Hotel pickup is included, and you’ll also learn how the hilltop Buddhist shrine nicknamed “Monkey Temple” got its name.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD60.24
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD60.24

Experience Kathmandu: 5-Hour City Tour

Step back in time on a historical sightseeing tour of Kathmandu’s sacred landmarks, led by a knowledgeable guide. Visit the UNESCO-listed Swayambhunath stupa (aka Monkey Temple) and see the royal palace at Kathmandu Durbar Square, another World Heritage site. Visit Taleju Temple, Lord Krishna Temple, the 12th-century Kastamandap, and the courtyard of Kumari Ghar — the 18th-century 'Living Goddess Temple.' Lunch and transport included.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
USD90.00
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  • Duration: 5 hours
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USD90.00

Full Day Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour including Kirtipur the City of Glory

This full day tour of Kathmandu goes beyond the standard itineraries by including Kirtipur, a charming town on a hilltop with sweeping city and mountain views. Visit select UNESCO World Heritage Site temples and palaces in Kathmandu City on a walking tour around the ancient streets. Then, travel out to Kirtipur, with its own distinct culture, where you will enjoy a local lunch.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
USD95.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD95.00

Private Full-Day Tour of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu

Visit several UNESCO World Heritages sites in and around Kathmandu on a full-day guided tour. Start in Kathmandu Durbar Square where your guide shares commentary on the historical buildings, and the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake. Continue to observe both Hindu and Buddhist traditions in Nepal as you visit Swayambhunath Temple (aka Monkey Temple), Boudhanath Stupa, and Pashupatinath Temple. Your tour includes private guide and vehicle, entrance fees, and pickup and drop-off from a central meeting point in Kathmandu.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
USD115.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
USD115.00

Full Day Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour Including Bhaktapur

Take in the major attractions of Kathmandu Valley with a private guide on a 6-hour tour from Kathmandu. Travel in a comfortable private vehicle to UNESCO World Heritage sites, Swayambhunath Temple, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Gain insight into the history and culture of Nepal, and hear about the impact of the 2015 earthquake during this comprehensive private tour.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD125.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD125.00

Private Sightseeing Tour of Kathmandu Top Attractions

Cover the top attractions of Nepal’s bustling capital during this in-depth tour of Kathmandu. Beat the crowds and travel comfortably between locations in your own private, climate-controlled vehicle, with hotel pickup. You’ll see the sprawling, Hindu temple complex of Pashupati, the palace of the Living Goddess in Durbar Square, the hilltop shrine nicknamed “Monkey Temple,” and the largest Buddhist stupa in the world.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
USD51.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD51.00


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