Kathmandu Valley Tour - 1 Day

Things to Know
  • Duration1 Day
  • Difficulty Level Easy
  • Altitude 1400 m
  • Trip Type City Tour
  • Start and End Kathmandu - Kathmandu
  • Best Time Mar-May & Sep-Dec
What You’ll Do
  • Discover the vibrant art and culture of Kathmandu Valley.
  • Explore the serene ambience of Boudhanath and Swayambhunath Stupa.
  • Pay respects at the revered Pashupatinath Temple.
  • Stroll through the ancient alleys of the old town, with highlights including Hanuman Dhoka Palace.
  • Marvel at the architectural wonders of Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
  • Experience the rich spiritual traditions at Buddhist and Hindu temples, connecting with Nepal's cultural heritage.

Legends say Kathmandu Valley used to be a large pond and it became habitable only after Manjushree cut a hill to drain the water out. The Valley is a treasure trove in terms of art and architecture, culture and tradition. An old saying says: ‘There are more temples than houses and more idols than people in Kathmandu.’ You can find numerous temples dedicated to different gods and goddesses in every nook and corner of the Valley. Most of these temples are built in pagoda style – often multi-storied with slanting roofs but each successive roof is smaller. The three cities in the Valley – Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur – used to be three independent kingdoms about 300 years ago. They used to be ruled by the Malla kings. They built many temples and palaces which are standing tall even today. This special tour package takes you to the Kathmandu Valley architectural grandeurs.

Kathmandu Valley has seven archaeological and historical sites inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage list spread within a radius of 25km which include Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swyambhunath, Boudha Nath, Pashupatinath and Chagunarayan.

Note: For a one-day Kathmandu Valley Tour, you can explore only four out of these iconic sites: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Each site offers a glimpse into the valley's rich cultural and historical heritage.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square used to be the palace of the Shah kings after the unification of Nepal about 270 years ago. This is the place where Nepali kings used to be crowned and legitimized until 2007 when the country adopted a republican setup. The area, which is also known as Basantapur or the Hanumandhoka Durbar, because of the idol of Hanuman at the entrance, has many pagoda temples like Maju Deval, Jagannath, Shiva Parbati, Kasthamandap and Taleju, among others. These temples are rich in wooden architecture dating back to centuries. Another attraction here is the Kumari Ghar or the house of Kumari – the living goddess. It is also the place where the famous Indra Jatra festival is organized. The area suffered major damages in the 2015 earthquakes with most of the tall monuments floored. But reconstruction work is going on to rebuild the temples in the previous shape and style.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon, translates into city of devotees. It is an old city founded in the ninth century. It used to be one of the three Malla kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley before the unification of Nepal. Located east of Kathmandu, the core areas of the city are inhabited by Newars who still follow age-old customs and traditions. Houses here are the best examples of Nepali stone and wooden craft. The 55-window Palace built in 1697, the five-storied Nyatapola Temple, the Kashi Biswanath Temple, and the Dattatreya Temple, among others, are the major attractions in Bhaktapur. Considered a living museum, one can witness ancient traditions carried out even today as they were centuries ago in many areas of the city such as in Potters Square where the local potters use age-old techniques to make clay pots. You can catch them in action at Taumadhi Square.

Patan Durbar Square

Patan is one of the cities of the Kathmandu Valley. It used to be an independent state before Nepal was unified. The city is best known for its artistic heritage. The city is surrounded by four Ashokan stupas built in four corners. The city is full of temples and monuments, bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings, among others. The main palace has three courtyards -- Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. Patan Museum and the golden temple of Hiranaya Varna Mahavihar are the other attractions in and around Durbar Square.


Seated on a hilltop in the southwestern part of Kathmandu Valley, Swoyambhunath Stupa is an important pilgrimage for Buddhists and a must-visit site for tourists. The nearly 2,000-year-old stupa is a whitewashed dome -- 20 meters in diameter and 32 meters in height. A conical spire sits on the top of the dome capped by a golden pinnacle. At the base of the spire are four pairs of eyes looking in the four directions. There are many temples dedicated to Buddhism and Hinduism in the Hindu premises – the perfect example of religious harmony existing in Nepal. The hill is surrounded by dense forests – a habitat for monkeys, giving it the nickname ‘Monkey Temple’. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers a sweeping view of the Kathmandu Valley. On sunny days, you will be rewarded with the view of the Himalayas glittering on the northern horizon.


Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia and a focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The 36-meter-high whitewashed dome sits on a big mandala. A spire is erected on the top of the dome and capped by a glittering pinnacle. At the base of the spiral lies four pairs of eyes looking at the four directions. The stupa, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is believed to have been built in the 5th century. It is believed to entomb the remains of a sage Kasyap who is venerated by both Buddhists and Hindus. The environment in the stupa complex is always vibrant. Walk along devotees as they circumambulate the stupa, rotating prayer wheels. You can see monks and lama wearing maroon robes circumambulating the stupa and chanting mantras. The area is also the best place to buy Tibetan souvenirs – ranging from colourful thankas to trinkets and rugs.  Eateries with rooftop patios serve you good food, offering fantastic views of the stupa and the surroundings.


Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath is the holiest shrine in Nepal and one of the four important shrines for Hindus all over the world. Believed to have been built in the 5th century and later renovated during the reign of the Malla kings, the site is believed to have existed from the beginning of the millennium when a Shiva lingam was discovered here by cow herders. This largest temple complex in Nepal sits on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. The main pagoda temple is two-storied with a golden pinnacle and has four silver doors and intricate wood carvings. There are temples and idols of several Hindu and Buddhist deities on the temple premises. Located just 3 kilometers from the city center, the Pashupatinath Temple premises is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is also a cremation site on the banks of the Bagmati River where the last rites of Hindus are performed. In the evening, a special aarti is offered to Lord Shiva amidst chanting of sacred mantras and the performance of the Tandava dance by young priests.

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  • Altitude1400 m
  • Time6-7 hours

Our Kathmandu Valley sightseeing tour is flexible with start times, but we suggest beginning early after breakfast to beat the city's traffic. Starting early ensures a smoother journey, allowing more time for exploration. We can arrange a pick-up from your hotel upon your request. Our Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour encompasses a visit to several exceptional destinations, which include:

  • Patan Durbar Square
  • Swayambhunath Stupa also referred to as the Monkey Temple
  • Pashupatinath Temple
  • Boudhanath Stupa

"Your satisfaction matters to us, which is why we offer flexibility in choosing your desired destinations. We're committed to ensuring your tour experience is tailored to your preferences and enjoyable every step of the way."

Trip Cost Details
  • All transportation by private Car / Jeep depending upon the group size
  • All official expenses
  • All entry fees to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Food, beverages, and water bottles during sightseeing.
  • Tips for guide & driver (Tipping is expected).
Useful Info

Best time for the Kathmandu Valley Tour

The optimal time for a Kathmandu City Tour depends on personal preferences and weather conditions. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are widely regarded as the best seasons for visiting. During spring, the weather is mild, and the city is adorned with blooming flowers, creating a picturesque backdrop for exploration. Autumn brings clear skies, comfortable temperatures, and vibrant cultural festivals like Dashain and Tihar. These seasons offer ideal conditions for sightseeing and immersing in the local culture.

For an extra special Kathmandu Valley Tour, consider visiting during the festive season in autumn (September to November), which includes major celebrations like Dashain, Tihar, Holi, and Indra Jatra. Dashain and Tihar bring families together for traditional rituals and vibrant displays of lights and decorations. Holi, the festival of colours, adds an exciting splash of joy and camaraderie as people playfully drench each other in colourful powders. Indra Jatra showcases elaborate processions and cultural performances in honour of the Hindu deity Indra. Exploring Kathmandu during these festive months offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Nepalese culture, witness lively celebrations, and create lasting memories amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the city.

February/March: Holi - The Festival of Colours or Festival of Love, is held in Kathmandu each February or March.
April: Bisket Jatra -A chariot being prepared for the Bisket Jatra Locals carrying a chariot. Biska Jatra celebration by the locals of Bhaktapur. Bisket Jatra is Nepali New Year, celebrated most raucously in Bhaktapur.
September: Indra Jatra - Great mask of Sweta Bhairava A masked man representing the goddess Dagin Raising the Yosin pole at Kathmandu Durbar Square September sees the end of the monsoon season, warm temperatures and lush green everywhere.
October: Dasain - The festival celebrates the goddess Durga. Durga, meaning the invincible, is the Goddess of Victory of Good over Evil. October is peak tourist season, with the skies clear and temperatures comfortable for trekking.
October / November: Diwali - Diwali (The Festival of Lights) is the second most important Hindu festival in Nepal.

Enhance Your Kathmandu Visit: Diverse Outdoor Adventures Await Beyond the Cityscape

"Discover a variety of outdoor adventures beyond Kathmandu city. Begin by hiking from Chandragiri to Champadevi, enjoying panoramic views along the way. Then, trek from Shivapuri to Sundarijal for a serene natural experience. Alternatively, take a day tour to Nagarkot and Bhaktapur, offering breathtaking vistas and cultural exploration. Each option guarantees a unique and unforgettable journey, unveiling the diverse wonders surrounding Kathmandu."



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