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How to Spend 3 Days in Kathmandu

How to Spend 3 Days in Kathmandu

Three days in Kathmandu is enough time to get a feel for the city and its culture, watch the sun rise over the highest mountains in the world, and hike through rolling, forested hills. Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, including sacred Hindu and Buddhist temples. Here are some great things to do in Kathmandu.

Day 1: Temples and Palaces

There are seven UNESCO World Heritage sites within the Kathmandu Valley, many near the center of the city. First head to Pashupatinath; it's the most sacred Hindu temple in Nepal. Next, visit nearby Boudhanath Stupa, the most important Tibetan Buddhist site in Nepal and the center of Kathmandu’s Tibetan community. After lunch overlooking the stupa, head to the hilltop stupa of Swayambhunath, which has been nicknamed Monkey Temple for the monkeys that live nearby. Be sure to take in the great views of the Kathmandu Valley from Swayambhunath. In the evening, have dinner in Thamel or Durbar Marg.

Day 2: Sunrise and Village Life

While Kathmandu is a big congested city, you don’t have to travel far to find rural village life and nature. Get up early to reach Nagarkot in time for sunrise. This town is famous for its sweeping Himalayan views, which are especially notable when bathed in a golden early morning glow. After breakfast, take a day hike or a sightseeing tour to nearby villages. Active travelers can hike to Namo Buddha, Panauti, Dhulikhel, or Changu Narayan. Travelers who want a more relaxed pace can reach these places by car to check out the ancient temples, farmland, and views.

Day 3: Visit an Ancient Kingdom

On your third day, visit either Patan to the south or Bhaktapur to the east. Both are outlying areas of Kathmandu that were once independent kingdoms and still retain their own distinct atmospheres and traditions. The old cities are culturally Newar, with the architectural styles and handicraft traditions reflecting this. The focal points of both are the Durbar Squares, collections of temples and old palace buildings around a plaza. Patan also has the excellent Patan Museum, and Bhaktapur the five-storied Nayatapola Pagoda. In the lanes around the squares, find hidden temples and courtyards, handicraft workshops, and relaxed cafes and restaurants.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Kathmandu Tours

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Nagarkot Sunrise View and Day Hiking from Kathmandu

Nagarkot Sunrise View and Day Hiking from Kathmandu

star-5
Discover Nepal's scenery and culture during a leisurely hiking tour that includes an early morning arrival in Nagarkot for the sunrise. Watch the distant Himalayas catch the morning light, then take a hike to reach Changu Narayan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass through Brahmin, Tamang, and Newari villages along the way, and stop to purchase breakfast and lunch at small restaurants for an authentic local experience. Includes round-trip transport in a private vehicle from Kathmandu.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
Price varies by group size
From
$60.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full Day Nagarkot and Changunarayan Hiking Tour from Kathmandu

Full Day Nagarkot and Changunarayan Hiking Tour from Kathmandu

star-4.5
See the majestic Himalayas, including Mt. Everest, on a full-day tour from Kathmandu to Nagarkot. Hike for four hours downhill among the mountain scenery, visiting villages and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed temple Changu Narayan along the way. If the skies are clear, you can view the Himalayan mountains. Includes guide, lunch, and round-trip transportation from Kathmandu.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$95.00
From
$95.00

Day Trip to Bhaktapur and Panauti from Kathmandu

Day Trip to Bhaktapur and Panauti from Kathmandu

star-5
Many visitors to Kathmandu miss nearby Bhaktapur, a well-preserved medieval city-state and UNESCO-World Heritage site. Discover one of Nepal’s prettiest attractions during this behinds the scenes peek at the Newari city, famous for its intricate pagodas and delicate handicrafts. The in-depth tour also includes a visit to Panauti, where you’ll have a chance to meet with local entrepreneurs.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$34.00
From
$34.00
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

Day Trip to Chandragiri Hill from Kathmandu with Hotel Pickup

Day Trip to Chandragiri Hill from Kathmandu with Hotel Pickup

star-4
Kathmandu is a fascinating city, but many travelers miss out on the natural splendor of the surrounding valley. Enjoy pine-covered hills and sweeping, snow-capped views of the Himalayan range during this relaxing day trip to Chandragiri Hill. Hike up shady trails, grab lunch at a nearby restaurant, or lounge in the park. The tour includes tickets to a brand-new cable car for a scenic ride up the mountain.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.00
Price varies by group size
From
$60.00
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

star-4.5
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

star-5
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.94
From
$59.94
Taking safety measures

Private Day Tour: Patan and Bhaktapur from Kathmandu

Private Day Tour: Patan and Bhaktapur from Kathmandu

star-4.5
See the treasures of the ancient medieval cities of Patan and Bhaktapur on a private 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.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$88.00
Price varies by group size
From
$88.00
Price varies by group size

Lonely Planet Experiences: Kathmandu Cultural Walking Tour with Cooking Lesson

Lonely Planet Experiences: Kathmandu Cultural Walking Tour with Cooking Lesson

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the daily rhythms of life in Kathmandu during this 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.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$68.20
From
$68.20
Taking safety measures