The Ultimate Kathmandu Itinerary | How to Explore Nepal’s Capital

Do most people know Kathmandu as a city prone to earthquakes? Yes! 

Do tourists flock to Nepal to witness the culture, and is Kathmandu the first place to visit? Yes, again! 

As you step into Kathmandu, you will be welcomed with the aroma of burning incense from ancient temples and ‘chiya, the Nepalese tea. Kathmandu’s energy is lively and inviting.

If you are ready to embark on this adventure, below is the ultimate Kathmandu itinerary, allowing you to explore the Kathmandu valley and its gems like Nagarkot, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and, of course, Kathmandu. 

Are you ready to explore the beautiful temples, stupas, durbar squares, and culture while experiencing the hospitality of the locals here? Then, continue for the ultimate Kathmandu itinerary.  


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Why visit Kathmandu? 5 reasons!

Wondering why people visit a city with too many earthquakes? Well, here are five reasons you should visit Kathmandu.  


To witness the festivals  

Nepal has many important festivals happening, and Kathmandu usually hosts them. From harvest celebrations to pilgrimages to the festival of lights, all events take place here.  

Known for adventures 

Kathmandu has a unique location as it is surrounded by mountains like Nagarjun, Chandragiri, Phulchoki, and Shivapuri. Therefore, anyone who loves trekking should come here once. Kathmandu valley trek, bungee jumping, local village trips—there are so many things to do here full of thrills. 


A vibrant history 

Kathmandu is 2000 years old, so the history here is super interesting and vibrant, as most of Nepal’s historical and religious sites are here. Do visit the Narayanhiti Palace Museum for more information about its history. 

Visit the incredible Durbar Square. 

People from around the globe come here to see Durbar Square, known for its beautiful temples and Kasthamandap. An earthquake in 2015 damaged the site pretty badly, yet people flock here to witness the ruins. 


The culture  

Nepalese culture is incredible and rich. If you want to experience it, you should visit Kathmandu once. 


How do I reach Kathmandu?

  • By air: The nearest airport is the Tribhuvan International Airport, connecting Kathmandu to many Asian countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, and more. 
  • By car: From nearby cities, you can rent a car and drive to Kathmandu to explore the beautiful city.
  • By bus: From India, you can ride to Nepal via a bus. Also, the local bus system connects Kathmandu to many parts of Nepal, but the bus condition is poor. 


How to make the ultimate Kathmandu 3 day itinerary?

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu and explore the beautiful temples here

Reach Kathmandu. Complete your immigration process and head to the hotel. After you take a quick rest, head to the popular destinations today:  

  • Pashupatinath temple: an essential temple for Hindus honoring Lord Shiva. The entrance fee is INR 1000, and once you step inside, you will see monkeys, human cremation, and incense burning. Just remember to be respectful and explore the temple.
  • Boudhanath Stupa: a sacred site for Tibetan Buddhism. If you want to experience it in the best way, arrive an hour before sunset, be part of the procession of pilgrims walking near the stupa, and head for a beautiful sunset dinner. 


Day 2: Kathmandu Valley Trek to Bhaktapur and Nagarkot day trip

Kathmandu Valley Trek should be part of your itinerary, and day 2 is perfect for it. If you want to see a beautiful sunrise with a view of the stunning Himalayan peak, take a trek to Nagarkot after driving to the starting point of the trek. 

From there, hike to the oldest temple, Changu Narayan, in Nepal and also witness a sunrise. Time it perfectly, and you can also stay here overnight if you have time.

If not, continue your Kathmandu valley trek to Bhaktapur, a UNESCO world heritage site. Along the route, you will see paddy fields, pine forests, and villages. Try the famous yogurt dish here and enjoy the culture at Durbar Square. Come back to Kathmandu and rest. 


Day 3: See the most famous sights in Kathmandu

On your last day, it is time for more sightseeing as you visit some of the best and most popular sights in Kathmandu.

  • First, head to Patan to explore another UNESCO world heritage site—Patan Durbar Square. Visit the temples, palaces, statues, and museums to familiarize yourself with the culture of Kathmandu.
  • Next, head to Swayambhunath Temple to witness the marvelous art and roof here. From here, you head to Kathmandu Durbar Square, another UNESCO world heritage site. It is pretty damaged due to an earthquake, but visiting it is essential.
  • The last stop on your Kathmandu trip is walking to Thamel, a backpacker area to buy fake trekking gear or enjoy bar hopping or vegetarian food. After you are done, head to the garden of your dreams for coffee and cakes.


This is the ultimate itinerary for Kathmandu. It is time to leave the beautiful city and head back home. Surely, you will come back again to enjoy more of the hidden gems and culture that Kathmandu has to offer. 


When is the best time to visit Nepal?

Planning a trip to Nepal? Then, visit Kathmandu during the months of October to November and between March and April. It is peak tourist season, so you will find prices for everything high. 

From December to February, you will find extreme cold here, but hiking is still comfortable, so if you want budget travel, choose the winter months.  


What foods should I try in Kathmandu?

You cannot come to Kathmandu and not enjoy its cuisine. The first thing to try here is momo-a type of dumpling with a variety of fillings like vegetables, chicken and buffalo. Another thing to try is the milky tea- chiya. 

Be cautious of going to tourist places for food as they will charge tourists a lot more than locals. 



Hopefully, the ultimate three-day Kathmandu itinerary will help you enjoy your trip here. 

Kathmandu is a beautiful city, holding the culture and history of Nepal close to its heart. From the culture to the food to the beautiful temple, everything about Kathmandu appeals to people from all over the globe. 

Ensure you plan the trip in the right months to ensure you have a beautiful and memorable stay here. 


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