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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.


  • 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

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

Swayambhunath Stupa

Feel like a local as you explore the picturesque neighborhoods Kathmandu on foot with a guide, finishing your day with a cooking lesson at the home of a Nepalese family. It’s a great way to step off the tourist track and learn about daily life for the friendly residents of this sprawling city.
Begin your day in the morning, meeting your guide in the courtyard of Himalayan Encounters in the Thamel section of the city. Continue on foot to the holy site of Swayambhunath, the oldest stupa in Nepal and frequent site of devotion for the country’s Hindu and Buddhist adherents. Discover why locals have nicknamed this site the “Monkey Temple,” thanks to its large contingent of primates. The monkeys guard the hills near the site and have been known to entertain visitors with acrobatic tricks on the banisters of the temple’s main staircase.
The hilltop location of Swayambhunath also offers sublime views of Kathmandu and the surrounding valley. Spend a moment taking it all in before entering inside the inner chamber of this mound-like building. Inside you’ll find various Hindu and Buddhist relics, including the ashes of the deceased. Many use the site for meditation, and easy to understand why: a mesmerizing mixture of hypnotic prayer chants, ghostly ringing bells and smoky trails of incense provide just the right atmosphere for spiritual reflection.
After enjoy a divine experience inside the stupa, continue with your guide into the labyrinth of alleys and side streets leading to Durbar Square. Among the many sights you’ll find in this area are picturesque courtyards, ancient temples, markets full of local handicrafts and brilliant-colored produce.
Follow the lead of your guide as you purchase aromatic spices, vegetables and any other ingredients you might want for your cooking lesson (at your own expense). After you’ve gotten what you need, head to the residence of a local family to begin your cooking lesson.
Learn the secrets of Nepalese cooking from this friendly family as you prepare your meal in their inviting kitchen. Once the food is ready, sit down to a lunch of your labors, enjoying shared conversation with the family, with interpreter services provided by your guide. At the end of your meal, head back to the original starting point to finish your trip.

Customer Reviews

Adam T

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.

Suzanne H

3 star rating: Worth doing April 2015

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

Achilleas X

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.

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