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Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) Tours

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Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)
The oldest shrine complex in the Kathmandu Valley, Swayambhunath Temple (sometimes called the Monkey Temple) was said to have been built over 2,000 years ago. Situated at the top of a winding staircase, Swayambhunath has one of the city’s best panoramic views. The complex, containing multiple shrines and a stupa, is considered holy to both Buddhists and Hindus.
 
The Basics
According to legend, UNESCO-listed Swayambhunath sprang up spontaneously from a lotus, a sacred water flower revered both in Hinduism and Buddhism. The iconic stupa—a gold, gilded spire jutting up from a prayer wheel-surrounded white base—is one of the site’s most popular attractions, but also not to be missed are the ornate temple interiors, filled with icons of Buddhist and Hindu deities. Many guided tours offer combination packages with other must-see sites—like Boudhanath or Pashupatinath—making it an ideal option for first-time visitors.
 
It takes only a minute to realize how “Monkey Temple” earned its popular nickname. Playful and high-energy, the temple’s furry residents have become one of the site’s additional attractions (although watch your food).
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, Swayambhunath is one of the city’s top attractions.
  • Knees and shoulders covered: make sure to dress modestly when entering shrines.
  • Prepare for a tough climb and factor in breaks if needed: there are almost 400 steps to the top.
  • Be careful when carrying food or personal belongings—monkeys have been known to snatch.
 
How to Get There
Swayambhunath is easily reached by most parts of Kathmandu by foot or taxi. However, you’ll have to climb up 365 steps to reach the hilltop temple complex. Many guided tours offer private pickup from your hotel, but vehicles can only park at the base of the staircase.
 
When to Get There
During the full moon in either April or May, Buddha’s birthday is celebrated at Swayambhunath and other Buddhist sites in Nepal. Losar, or the Tibetan New Year, takes place in February and March, and is a popular time for pilgrims to visit. Spring and fall are the mildest times temperature-wise, although Kathmandu is a year-round destination.
 
Rebuilding Swayambhunath
Swayambhunath temple complex was damaged during the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, but reconstruction efforts are underway. Fear not, there is still much to see. The rebuilding effort has engaged a fleet of traditional artisans, and visitors can support local renovations by touring the site and showing interest in ongoing projects.
Address: Kathmandu 44620, Nepal
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264 Tours and Activities to Experience Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)

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Seven World Heritage Day Tour of Kathmandu Valley

Seven World Heritage Day Tour of Kathmandu Valley

star-5
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$175.00
Price varies by group size
From
$175.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Seven World Heritage Day Tour in Kathmandu Nepal

Seven World Heritage Day Tour in Kathmandu Nepal

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Visit all seven of the Kathmandu Valley’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 12 hours on this action-packed tour. But, you won’t feel rushed as you’ll travel between each site in a comfortable private vehicle with a knowledgeable local guide. This convenient tour includes popular central sites—such as the Kathmandu Durbar Square and Pashupatinath Temple—as well as lesser-known ones, like Changu Narayan, on the green rural edge of the city.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$180.00
Price varies by group size
From
$180.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour - UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Private Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour - UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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Visit four of Kathmandu's top attractions on a private half-day tour. Start by traveling in your comfortable private vehicle from your hotel to the traditional heart of the medieval town. Visit Patan 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. Explore Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa, which has roots going back to 600 AD. Hear informative commentary from your guide throughout the day on this comprehensive tour.
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  • 5 to 7 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Sightseeing Day Tour of Kathmandu's Four UNESCO Heritage Sites

Sightseeing Day Tour of Kathmandu's Four UNESCO Heritage Sites

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Immerse yourself in the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Kathmandu Valley on this private tour. You'll enjoy dedicated attention from your guide and the ability to move at your own pace through the area's top attractions. Stops include UNESCO-listed sites such as Pashupati, Bouddha, Patan Durbar Square, Swoyambhu, and others.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size

Kathmandu world heritage site- Private Day tour

Kathmandu world heritage site- Private Day tour

The ideal introduction for first-time visitors, this private day trip covers four of Kathmandu’s most significant World Heritage attractions. Learn more about Hindu and Buddhist faiths at the sprawling Hindu complex of Pashupatinath, one of the largest stupas in the world in Boddhanath, and the hilltop temple of Swayambhunath. You’ll also enjoy time to explore Patan’s Durbar Square, one of the region’s most stunning heritage districts.
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  • 5 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$47.00
Price varies by group size
From
$47.00
Price varies by group size

Kathmandu Full Day Tour

Kathmandu Full Day Tour

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This small-group sightseeing tour of Kathmandu includes several prominent religious monuments. Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO 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.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
From
$80.00

Kathmandu Valley Private Tour - Full day

Kathmandu Valley Private Tour - Full day

Kathmandu Valley Day Tour offers an interesting world heritage sightseeing tour of the historical and cultural architecture, religion and local lifestyle tour with pleasant scenery of the valley in private luxury Car/ Jeep.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
per group
From
$80.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Kathmandu Pokhara Nagarkot Tour 6 nights 7 days

Kathmandu Pokhara Nagarkot Tour 6 nights 7 days

Explore the UNESCO Heritage site in Kathmandu and blend in with the fresh air and dramatic mountain ranges in Pokhara. While experience how it feels like to be above the sky while enjoying beautiful sunrise and sunset in Nagarkot.
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  • 7 days
From
$805.00
Price varies by group size
From
$805.00
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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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

Cultural highlights round trip Nepal in 10 days

Cultural highlights round trip Nepal in 10 days

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Save yourself days of advance planning by opting for a 10-day tour of Nepal, during which your guide takes care of transfers, accommodation, and all activities. Ideal for first-time visitors, this tour allows you to overcome the language barrier and reveals a local side of Nepal that most first-time visitors miss.
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  • 10 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,002.95
Price varies by group size
From
$1,002.95
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Annapurna Poon Hill Trek Package in Nepal Himalayas

Annapurna Poon Hill Trek Package in Nepal Himalayas

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Embark on one of Nepal’s most iconic expeditions—without the hassle of planning your own trek—during this multi-day, guided hike to Poon Hill. Venture deep into remote and stunning locations, from mountaintop stone villages to lush rhododendron forests, ending with a sunrise panorama over the famous Annapurna chain. Tours include round-trip transportation from Kathmandu, three tasty meals a day, and comfortable overnights.
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  • 6 days
From
$599.00
Price varies by group size
From
$599.00
Price varies by group size

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

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

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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.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$47.00
Price varies by group size
From
$47.00
Price varies by group size

Kathmandu World Heritage Full Day Culture Tour

Kathmandu World Heritage Full Day Culture Tour

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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.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$120.00
Price varies by group size
From
$120.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

5-Day Sunrise Tour in Kathmandu Near Everest

5-Day Sunrise Tour in Kathmandu Near Everest

star-5
Make the most of a short trip to Nepal on this guided five-day tour around the Kathmandu Valley. It combines the cultural highlights of the city and the natural, more rural outskirts. Tour this busy, often congested city without the stress of walking or hailing taxis on your own. Even on a short trip you can enjoy spectacular sunrise views of the Himalaya, on this tour. Accommodation, breakfast, and airport transfers are included.
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  • 5 days
From
$350.00
Price varies by group size
From
$350.00
Price varies by group size

Private Kathmandu Temples and Palace Day Tour

Private Kathmandu Temples and Palace Day Tour

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See the temples of Kathmandu on a private tour of Nepal's bustling capital. Immerse in the rich architecture of Patan Durbar Square and Swayambhunath stupa (aka Monkey Temple), both UNESCO World Heritage sites. View the old royal palace and hear about the former Kathmandu Kingdom from your personal guide. Visit highlights such as Boudhanath stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. Lunch and round-trip transport by private vehicle are included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.00
Price varies by group size
From
$90.00
Price varies by group size

Kathmandu Day Tour - UNESCO World Heritage Tour

Kathmandu Day Tour - UNESCO World Heritage Tour

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Get a comprehensive tour of Kathmandu, focused on its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in a single day. With a guide in the lead, you'll follow a curated itinerary designed to show you the best of the city, including Swoyambhu, Patan Durbar Square, Bouddha and Pashupati. Your guide will provide primer on Nepali culture and tradition through narration as you travel.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size

Nepal and Bhutan Cultural Tour

Nepal and Bhutan Cultural Tour

star-5
Nepal and Bhutan Cultural Tour is about exploring all the beautiful aspects and experience all the delights of both countries. In this tour activities like traveling by vehicle through the Bhutanese countryside, with optional walks and day hikes to visit temples, monasteries and villages. At the same time it includes other activities like visiting museum, handicraft shops and weekend market where you will be introduce to Bhutanese and Nepalese culture like food and eating habit and basic etiquette of both countries.
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  • 10 days
From
$1,550.00
From
$1,550.00

8-Day Private Tour To Lumbini and Pokhara from Kathmandu

8-Day Private Tour To Lumbini and Pokhara from Kathmandu

star-5
This eight-day tour is the easy way to visit some of Nepal’s most beautiful and important cultural and religious sites. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu and Lumbini (the birthplace of the Buddha), and be amazed by the gorgeous mountain and lake scenery of Pokhara. You’ll cover more ground than you would if traveling independently, and learn a lot from your English-speaking guide. Receive personalized attention, as this is a private tour.
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  • 8 days
From
$550.00
From
$550.00

Explore the beauty of Pokhara- 7 Day Kathmandu Pokhara Tour

Explore the beauty of Pokhara- 7 Day Kathmandu Pokhara Tour

star-5
Soak up two of Nepal’s most stunning locations on this scenic, multi-day tour—without the fuss of planning. Take in the highlights of Nepal, from UNESCO-listed historical attractions in Kathmandu to snow-capped mountains surrounding the lakeside city of Pokhara. Enjoy a relaxing, all-inclusive adventure, capped at only 14 people for a personalized and flexible experience. Upgrade to include domestic flights instead of ground transfers and a thrilling paragliding ride.
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  • 7 days
From
$350.00
Price varies by group size
From
$350.00
Price varies by group size

Private Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour Including Lunch

Private Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour Including Lunch

star-5
Ideal for first-time visitors or travelers short on time, this action-packed VIP tours hits the highlights of Kathmandu, topped off with a savory Nepali lunch. Dig into your meal overlooking the largest Buddhist stupa in the world, and tick off UNESCO-listed heritage sites like the palace-packed Durbar Square and the sprawling Hindu temple complex of Pashupati. Tours include entrance fees and private hotel pickup.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$94.00
From
$94.00

Full Day Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour Including Bhaktapur

Full Day Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour Including Bhaktapur

star-5
Take in the major attractions of Kathmandu Valley with a private guide on a half-day 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.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$160.00
From
$160.00

Experience Kathmandu: 5-Hour City Tour

Experience Kathmandu: 5-Hour City Tour

star-5
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.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.00
From
$90.00

One Day Kathmandu World Heritage Sites Tour

One Day Kathmandu World Heritage Sites Tour

star-5
Discover four of Kathmandu’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites on a private sightseeing tour. Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Swayambhunath stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, and the Boudhanath stupa over the course of the day. Learn about the cultural significance of each place as well as their histories from your tour guide and leave Nepal with a newfound appreciation for Hindu and Buddhist culture.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$83.00
Price varies by group size
From
$83.00
Price varies by group size

Kathmandu Cultural Journey - Day Trip | Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour

Kathmandu Cultural Journey - Day Trip | Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour

star-3
Spend the day exploring the cultural landmarks of the Kathmandu Valley on a private sightseeing tour. Visit a number of Buddhist and Hindu temples as well as the historic Patan Durbar Square and learn about the significance of each location from your tour guide. This tour is ideal for first-time visitors who are short on time.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.00
Price varies by group size
From
$40.00
Price varies by group size

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)?