6-day trip destinations from Kathmandu. Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, has divided fans, some love the city’s centuries-old and exquisite culture and history and warmth of the people, while others like to get out of Kathmandu’s, pollution, noise, and traffic as fast as possible, they love to spend their time on the Himalaya just beyond the valley’s edge.
You don’t really need to choose either one when you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You can use the city as a base to explore small towns and villages on the outskirts of the city. Here are some of the most visited places around Kathmandu valley that you would absolutely fall in love with.
Highlights: Nagarkot is a popular place to witness the amazing beauty of watching the sunrise and set over the Himalayas. It is one of the easiest and most comfortable places within the reach of Kathmandu valley. You will find some absolutely comfortable places for accommodation if you prefer to spend a night or two over here.
Things to see: Apart from the breathtaking sunrise and sunset are seen from the lookout tower on autumn or winter’s day, there are other attractions which would keep you busy for a day or two, like hiking to small waterfalls, and don’t forget to check out the golden Buddha Statue in the Peace Garden.
How to get there: Located just over the eastern edge of Kathmandu, Nagarkot is the rally easy to get to. You can get there by bus, but it requires changing at Bhaktapur. The best option would be to get a private transfer in time to catch the sunrise and spend the rest of the day in Nagarkot.
Highlights: Second only to Boudhanath, Namobuddha is one of the holiest pilgrims for Tibetan Buddhists. It is said that, in his incarnation as a prince, Buddha gave his life to feed a hungry tiger and her cubs here. A white Stupa with gob-smacking views of mountains is for offer.
Things to see: On a clear winter day, you will be treated to the view of a vast swathe of the Himalayan chain. There a simple guesthouse for overnight stays, but you can even drop in for a day visit. With a restaurant serving organic, vegetarian lunch on the patios, you get to enjoy the view with some amazing food. Don’t miss out on the large Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery.
How to get there: About two hours’ drive away from Kathmandu, over another side of the valley rim, you will need to go through the town of Banepa and the hills of Dhulikhel, to get to Namobuddha. It’s a bit easier if you get a taxi.
Highlights. Pharping and the nearby Dakshinkali Temple are located on the southern edge of the valley. These two places offer two completely different experiences. Dakshinkali temple attracts a lot of Hindu pilgrims, on the other hand, the meditating caves of Pharping are famous among Buddhist visitors. On top of that, the new monasteries built around the town are added bonus.
Things to see: During the famous Dashain festival, a huge sacrifice of animals, mainly male goats and roosters take place in the Dakshinkali temple to please Mata Kali, the blood-thirsty goddess. One of the most recognized Buddhist figures, Guru Rinpoche, is believed to have meditated in a cave in Pharping called Yanglesho cave. Newar Vajrayogini Buddhist temple is famous.
How to get there: a trip of about 90 mins on a local bus from either Patan or Kathmandu will get you to Pharping. A taxi ride would be quicker and easier.
Highlights: Panauti, a small trading and agriculture town, located near Namobuddha and Dhulikhel, is one of the best newar civilizations in Kathmandu. Temples near the river and some fine mansions are some points of attraction. Sitting upon a single large rock, Panauti is impervious to earthquake, the fact being proved time and again.
Things to see: The oldest surviving pagoda temple in Nepal, the multi-tiered Indreshwar Mahadev pagoda, is the grandest temple in Panauti. The daily puja ceremony takes place in the early mornings every day.
How to get there: Situated towards the southeast of Kathmandu, Panauti is about two hours drive from Kathmandu. You can even choose to hike to Panauti. The best hiking trail is the Panauti community hiking trail starting from Sanga. Starting near the Shiva statue this route is one of the best ways to reach Panauti.
5.) Changu Narayan
Highlights: Closet from Bhaktapur, this little place is located high amongst the hills, which means some pretty spectacular views of the city. The temple here dates back to the 5th century which makes it the oldest temple in Nepal. And let’s not forget that it is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites, and shockingly has very few tourists.
Things to see: Apart from the temple, there is a museum named Living Tradition Museum, which is worth some time. After being critically damaged in the earthquake of 2015, it has now been reopened for the public. You can learn about some of Nepal’s ethnic groups.
How to get there: If you are visiting Bhaktapur, it is only 20 mins taxi ride away. If you choose to go there directly from Kathmandu, it might take you about 1 hour to reach Changu Narayan. You can also choose to hike here.
6.) Shivapuri National Park:
Highlights: The easiest way to get yourself amongst nature would be this park, which covers forests, a hiking trail,s, and some cultural attractions. On a clear day, you will be seeing some great views of the city.
The thing to see: A hike from Budhanilkantha to Baghdwar, is one of the most sought-after activities. The hike takes you through Nagi Gompa Monastery, which is a great place to stop and admire the breathtaking views of the city. You can choose to smash the hike to the summit of Mt. Shivapuri or just stop at Baghdwar, from where the holy river of Baghmati originates.
How to get there: You can take a direct local bus from Kathmandu which will take you to Budhanilkantha, where the hike starts.