Explore Kathmandu - 6 Days
Visit medieval palaces, sacred Hindu and Buddhist shrines, a medieval town (Pharping) steeped in Newari culture and Nagarkot in this explore Kathmandu tour.
- Discover the tales of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.
- Explore and learn the traditional lifestyle and customs of Pharping village.
- Panoramic views of the Himalayas from Nagarkot with sunrise.
- Step back in time and discover the oldest temple of Nepal.
Explore Kathmandu Overview
Kathmandu, the mystical and magical city, is famous for its bustling streets, vibrant culture, rich historical heritage, exquisite temples, and religious sites. The sightseeing explores Kathmandu tour will give you an insight into the lifestyle of the people of this ancient city.
Though the city is a valley, the views of many Himalayan gems like Langtang and Ganesh Himal can be clearly seen from here. This explores Kathmandu trip takes you to the major cultural heritage sites of the city. Visit medieval palaces, sacred Hindu and Buddhist shrines, a medieval town(Pharping) steeped in Newari culture, and the windy hills of Nagarkot.
Nagarkot has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range from the Kathmandu valley. With an elevation of 2,195 m, Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the valley, the sunset, and the sunrise. The colorful flowers and the serene backdrop of the mountains make the hill station ever-popular among tourists.
During the course of this trip, you will have a professional guide at your disposal and travel in a comfortable private tourist vehicle or a coach. All accommodation during the tour will be at 2 or 3-star hotels and lodges available in the area.
You will have ample opportunity to purchase authentic souvenirs, including carpets, handicrafts, carvings, and Thankas (traditional painting) on this trip.
Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (1,400 m) and explore the local market. Overnight at a Hotel.
Guided Sightseeing around the Kathmandu valley. Overnight at a Hotel.
Guided Sightseeing in Pharping (Daksinkali/Gorakhnath cave) and Patan Durbar Square. Overnight at a Hotel.
Guided sightseeing at Boudhanath Stupa, Changunarayan Temple, and an evening drive to the Nagarkot hill station. Overnight at a Hotel.
Witness the spectacular sunrise from Nagarkot, Guided Sightseeing at Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and then return to Kathmandu Overnight at a Hotel.
Transfer to the airport for your final departure.
Our standard itinerary might differ slightly due to unpredictable happenings and events out of our control. Factors such as flight cancellation/delay, unfavorable weather, natural calamities, newly implemented government rules, political affairs, transport, etc., are possible. Evaluating the situation’s possible solutions allow the tour to resume as much as possible based on the best alternatives. In these times, we look for your cooperation and flexibility.
It is advised you arrive one day before the trip starts date so you can rest and it also gives you time to buy some local wear for the tour. Moreover, Ace the Himalaya is one of the prime supporters of the social organization Sambhav Nepal. There are several ongoing projects in a village called Arupokhari (Gorkha district) which you are more than welcome to visit or even volunteer at. You will be able to gain a different insight into the lives of the people in the hills and also make a difference!
Departures & Availability
Our groups are small with maximum 14 people. We create groups of independent travelers, friends and families which maintains close interpersonal connection, engage more and get into depth of the journey. Choose a date from the calendar to reserve your spot.
Looking for personalized experience? We organize privately guided journey which is mainly designed to fit your taste and interest. Please fill out the form below to get started.
- All (international and domestic) airport transfers on a tourist vehicle
Twin-sharing/double accommodation in a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu and Nagarkot for 4 nights and 1 night including breakfast. (Private room accommodation can be organized at an extra cost)
All ground transportation by private tourist vehicle
Guided city tour in Kathmandu
- Ace the Himalaya’s licensed English-speaking guide
- The required number of ground staff during the tour like Driver, Helpers etc.
- Wages, accommodation, meals, gear, insurance, and medications for all staff
- Entry permits and fees for all temples, parks, monasteries, and cultural and historical sites.
1 Ace the Himalaya’s duffle/kit bag & sun hat
- A farewell dinner on the last night in Nepal
- All administrative expenses and government taxes
- International flight fare and airport departure tax
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Nagarkot – about USD 15 to USD 20 per person per day.
- Any beverages including bottled and boiled water
- Tips for hostess and driver. (Tipping is expected).
- Nepal Entry Visa (Visa can be acquired easily after your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu with a fee of USD 50 for 30 days visa and USD 125 for 90 days visa)
- Your travel insurance.
- Any expenses other than the Price Include section
Explore Kathmandu ItineraryExpand All
Day 01: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and explore the local market
Our airport representative will be receiving you at Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu and s/he will be displaying an Ace the Himalaya signboard outside the airport terminal. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private tourist vehicle.
Note: If you arrive after 4 pm, there will be a briefing about the trip with our guide. It will be a short pre-trip meeting. Make sure to confirm your queries about the trip. If you arrive before 4 pm, a pre-trip meeting will be organized at our office on the same day. Meet and greet with our trip guide.
Be sure to bring the following documents to the meeting; two copies of passport-sized photos and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy.
Day 02: Guided Sightseeing around the Kathmandu valley
The sightseeing places we visit will include:
Kathmandu Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)
This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. An intriguing piece here is the 17th- century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. The Durbar Square is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. There are also three museums inside the palace building.
Swoyambhunath Stupa – The Monkey Temple (World Heritage Site)
Watches over the valley from the top of a hillock on its western side. The huge stupa is one of the holiest Buddhists sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu Valley out of a primordial lake. Swayambhu is also known as Samhengu and the Monkey temple because of the countless monkeys living at the premises.
Pashupatinath Temple (World Heritage Site)
Pashupatinath is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world and lies 5 kms east of the city center. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred Linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva. Chronicles indicate the temple’s existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River flowing beside the temple.
Day 03: Guided Sightseeing in Pharping (Dakshikali/Goraknath Cave) and Patan Durbar Square
We’ll drive around the valley to visit some important religious, natural and historical sites. We’ll visit the following places:
Located about 19 kms away from the main city, Pharping is a Newari heritage town. During medieval times it was a thriving city known by the name of “Shikharapuri Mahanagari (Metropolitan City)”. Now a sleepy old town, Pharping has several religious and historical sites and monuments. Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, who introduced Buddhism in Tibet, meditated at a cave located on the outskirts of this ancient town.
Dakshinkali Temple, one of the main temples of Nepal, is dedicated to Kali, the fearful form of Lord Siva’s consort, Parvati. The main deity in the temple is the black stone, six-armed form of Kali, standing on a prostrated figure. Dakshinkali is located 22 km outside Kathmandu, and about 1 km outside the village of Pharping at the south end of the valley between two hills and at the confluence of two rivers. Sacrifices – the main way that the goddess is worshiped – are made two times a week at this temple, on Saturdays and on Tuesdays.
Patan Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)
Patan Durbar Square is an enchanting combination of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. The former royal palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. One remarkable monument here is a 17th-century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone.
A trip to the Tibetan Refugee Camp and the Handicraft Center will also be covered while visiting Patan, where one witnesses the hand weaving of Tibetan carpets and moulding of metal statues.
Day 04: Guided sightseeing at Boudhanath Stupa, Changunarayan Temple and an evening drive to the Nagarkot hill station
We’ll spend this day on a guided sightseeing tour in the valley, and in the evening, we’ll head to Nagarkot (an hour drive from Kathmandu). The places we visit are:
Bouddhanath Stupa (World Heritage Site)
Lies about 6 kms to the east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the valley. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design. Buddhanath is also known as Khasti, or dew drops, after an account that builders had to use dew to mix the mortar as Kathmandu was suffering from a severe drought during the construction of Bouddhanath.
Changunarayan Temple (World Heritage Site)
Situated on a ridge overlooking the Kathmandu valley, about 12 km to the east of the city. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. It is one of the finest and oldest specimens of pagoda architecture built in 323 AD by King Haridutta Verma. The temple is richly decorated with sculptures and carvings, and its position above the Kathmandu valley affords a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.
Nagarkot is one of the most scenic spots situated about 35 km east of Kathmandu from where an excellent view of snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan Ranges in eastern Nepal can be seen (weather permitting). The place is also renowned for spectacular sunrises. There are also some great hiking trails in Nagarkot.
Day 05: Witness the spectacular sunrise from nagarkot, Guided Sightseeing at Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and then return to Kathmandu
Bhaktapur Durbar Square (Bhadgaon)
We’ll wake up very early in the morning to watch the stunning sunrise from Nagarkot, which the place is most renowned for. We will return to Kathmandu around noon and do some sightseeing in Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a collection of pagoda and shikhara-style temples grouped around a 55-window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate, the 55-window palace, art galleries and the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla.
In the evening, we host a farewell dinner in a fine restaurant. (Your guide(s) and an office staff will accompany you).
You have the option to extend your trip to continue onto Chitwan jungle safari, rafting adventure, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, scenic Everest flight, mountain biking and other activities.
Day 06: Transfer to the airport for your final departure
The trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
Gears and Equipment
All you need to bring for this tour is simply some comfortable clothes. There is no requirement for special equipment on the tour. However, for your ease, the following gives you a general idea about the personal items you need to manage for the trip. The personal items referred to here are optional and depend upon your choice. The most important factor to be considered while choosing the equipment and your backpack is the time of the year you are traveling.
We will supply complimentary water and a windproof duffel bag, which you can use on the tour for your shopping purpose. The duffel bag is yours to keep.
Therefore, this list is only a guide. You can use the list as a reference. There are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of clothing and equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you. Some of the above equipment can be easily found in stores in Kathmandu.
(please note that winter wears are only necessary if in case you’re traveling in the month of Nov – Dec)
- Rucksack bag or suitcase
- Day pack Warm wool or synthetic hat that covers your ears
- A pair of pair warm gloves
- T-shirts, cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis), shorts, and a waterproof shell jacket (preferable if you are traveling in the rainy season from June to September)
- Lightweight long underwear/thermals
- Light camping shoes or sneakers
- Sandals/flip-flops (Optional)
- Neck gaiter
- Daypack (35-45 liters recommended) with rain cover
- Wool or technical fabric liner gloves
- Liner socks (optional such as silk)
Medicines And First Aid Kits
(Please note our guide will also carry the first-aid bag during the tour. However, we still recommend you bring your personal first-aid kit as well.)
- Ibuprofen for general aches and pains
- Immodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea
- One small-sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc
- Extra copies of passport-sized photos
- Reusable water bottle
- Toiletry kits
- Lip balm
- Waterproof/dry bags for carrying important documents and money
- Airline tickets (Please leave a copy at our office in Kathmandu. This can be useful if there is a change in the date of the flight.)
Once in Nepal, if you have the time, you can purchase supplies and gear for hiking. Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist hub, is home to many shops where you can get a variety of reasonably priced touring equipment.
- Power bank or extra batteries
- Cameras and mobile phone
- We give you a free duffel bag and baseball cap during your pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu. The duffel bag will be used to pack your touring supplies.
- This list is only a guide. You can use the list as a reference.
- There are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of clothing and equipment.
- Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you.
- Some of the above equipment can be easily found in stores in Kathmandu.
Note: Some clothing, especially form-fitting, figure-hugging items made of elastic material (like yoga pants), may offend locals. Therefore, if you choose to wear these clothes for comfort, please make sure to wear something over them.
Trip Map / ElevationDownload
FAQs for Explore Kathmandu
Why travel with Ace the Himalaya?
Ace has a reputation for successfully leading treks with knowledgeable leaders and staff taking care of all your travel needs. We are a certified sustainable travel company that also endorses the idea of giving back to the community by participating in various philanthropic activities. Here are 17 reasons to hike with Ace the Himalaya.
Is Nepal open to travelers following the Covid-19 pandemic?
Indeed, Nepal is entirely open. Travelers are welcome in Nepal without any restrictions. Arriving travelers can obtain a visa on arrival at the Kathmandu airport as well.
What are the conditions to travel to Nepal post Covid-19?
Traveling to Nepal is now hassle-free. You don’t need a vaccination certificate or negative PCR test, but check with your airlines and transit countries for any specific requirements.
We suggest you look at the Nepal immigration site https://www.immigration.gov.np for the most up-to-date information.
What additional documents do I need?
- Two passport-sized photos (2×2 inch) to give to our office staff
- A copy of your international flight ticket to give to our office staff
- A copy of travel insurance to give to our office staff
Do we book our own international flights to and from Nepal?
Yes, you need to book your own international flights. We are a local agent and it would cost you significantly higher to book through us. Please find more information in the International Flight page.
Can the guide speak English?
Our guides are fluent in English. All the guides that we assign speak and understand English. They’ll share with you the fascinating stories, traditions, and folklore of the mountains. The guides will also help you communicate with the locals since many shopkeepers and hosts of teahouses don’t speak English.
Is hiring a guide necessary?
You can tour without a guide. A guide is available to help you with your sightseeing by providing knowledge and insights about the locations you visit. Our tour leaders are qualified experts.
When talking about their trip, our guests frequently remark on how much fun they had and how crucial their guide was to making it successful.
Weather and Temperature
What is the best season for this trip?
The best season for this tour is anytime between January to June and September to December.
What kind of weather and temperature can I expect while on the tour?
It depends on the season you’re traveling. During winter (December to February), it is colder at night and relatively warmer during the day, with the temperature ranging from 4°C at night to 22°C. Between March and May, the weather stays perfect as the temperature averages 25°C during the day. From September to December, following the monsoon, the temperature gets cooler and allows for a great time to travel. The average temperature during this season is 20°C. The vehicles and the hotels during the trip will be air-conditioned making your travel very comfortable.
Arrival and Visas
Is it possible to obtain a visa for Nepal upon arrival at the airport?
Yes, you can obtain a Nepal visa upon your arrival at the airport. There are kiosks in the arrival hall that you use to complete the necessary forms. The cost is USD 30 for a 15-day tourist visa, including numerous entries, or USD 50 and USD 125 for a 30-day or 90-day tourist visa including numerous entries respectively. You should carry cash (USD) with you to pay your visa fees quickly and easily, as digital payments are frequently unavailable.
Who will come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?
Our staff will be waiting for you outside the airport terminal with our signboard (Ace the Himalaya). You will be accompanied to a hotel in a private tourist vehicle.
Payments and Extra Costs
How much additional money do I need per day?
Typically, USD 50 to 100 a day will be enough to buy lunch, dinner, chocolates, and a few drinks. Expenses other than this depending on your spending habits.
Is it possible to reserve a trip now and pay a deposit later, or do I have to pay a deposit at booking/reservation?
When you book, you must pay a 30% deposit to secure your itinerary. The remaining balance can be paid upon your arrival at Kathmandu or before arrival. US Dollars cash and credit cards (Visa, Master, and American Express) are accepted once in Nepal. Please note a 4% transaction fee will be added for all credit card transactions.
How do I pay the remainder of my balance upon arrival in Kathmandu? US Dollars cash or credit card?
You can make payments via US Dollars cash or credit card (Visa, Master, and American Express). A 4% transaction fee is added if paying with a credit card. Thus, we encourage you to pay with USD cash if you are planning to pay upon your arrival in Kathmandu.
We prefer you pay with larger bills (USD 50 or 100). Please note that the cash should not be older than 2009 and in good condition, as banks do not accept worn, torn, or crumpled bills.
How are the ATM and money exchange facilities in Kathmandu?
There are ATM and money exchange facilities almost every few meters in Thamel, where you will be staying in Kathmandu. So, you can easily use your cards to cash out limited sum of money to which a minimum charge is deducted by the ATM facility itself. You can easily exchange your foreign currencies in currency exchange centers for an exact rate.
Can I use credit cards in the places I visit?
ATMs are available in Kathmandu. Major credit cards are accepted in all places but you need to pay 4% extra as bank levy, which might make cash more preferable.
How fit do I need to be for this tour? Is this trip for me?
This cultural tour is suitable for any kind of person, no previous experience is required.
How fit do I need to be for this tour? Is this trip for me?
This cultural tour is suitable for any kind of person, no previous experience is required.
Tour Preparation and Packing
What are the procedures after I make my deposit?
After making the deposit, one of our staff will email you for further information. We will require a copy of your passport photo page and your arrival/departure flight details. We will also provide you with additional trip information.
What are the necessary items that I should pack for my trip?
You can find the necessary items to pack for the trip on the equipment tab of the trip.
What about my passport, medications, and belongings?
Bring copies of your passport, insurance papers, and other essential items in your carry-on during your flight. If you need to take medications daily, keep them in your daypack with your other essential possessions. You can store other non-trekking essentials in the office of Ace the Himalaya or at the hotel in Kathmandu.
What kind of lodging is available in this trip?
In Kathmandu, we use three-star hotels including breakfast. We use Hotel Thamel House, Gaju Suite Hotel, Hotel Jampa, or comparable-class lodging in Kathmandu. You can upgrade the accommodation to a five-star hotel for the entire trip for an additional charge.
Is it possible to have private rooms during the trip?
Yes, private rooms can be arranged at an additional cost.
What sort of food can I expect in the tour?
Our package includes breakfast at the hotel. Any other meals/food items including; lunch and dinner, are to be paid for by yourself.
You’ll have varied options for lunch and dinner as many restaurants in Kathmandu provide Continental, Chinese, Mexican, and American-based cuisines with some local influences.
Can I charge my electronic equipment during the trip?
These facilities are available in all the places in your hotel. Remember to bring your adapters!
Will it be possible to get any clothes washed/laundry?
Laundry service is easily available at your hotel and there are many laundry stores in Kathmandu.
Please note that laundry service is not included in the package price.
Will it be possible to get aIs the water fine to drink? Do I need to bring purifying tablets/filter?ny clothes washed/laundry?
Bottled water is available in all places. If you wish to drink normal water, you are suggested to use purifying aid, which you need to bring with you.
Health and Safety
Do your guides have Tour guide certificates from the Hotel Management and Tourism Center?
Is Ace the Himalaya's staff insured?
Our company insures all our trekking staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpa, and porters. Please browse through our legal docment page to view insurance details.
What vaccinations will I need?
- COVID-19 vaccination (Negative PCR report in case of unvaccinated travelers.)
- Typhoid vaccination is recommended but not required
We suggest you have a dental checkup before your trip and know your blood type. It is helpful if you inform us of any medical condition that is relevant so we may convey this information in the event of an emergency. Ace the Himalaya keeps your medical condition confidential unless treatment is necessary.
How fit do I need to be for this tour? Is this trip for me?
This cultural tour is suitable for any kind of person.
What is your cancellation policy?
Notice should be provided 20 days before the trip start date in case of cancellation. The trip can be canceled for justifiable reasons. Once the trip is canceled, a fee of 30% of the trip cost is retained for administrative costs.
However, the trip amount is entirely non-refundable if the cancellation is not made before the 20 days as per our terms and conditions. For submitting a claim to your insurance company after the cancellation, we can assist with documentation such as a receipt of monies paid. Refund will not be provided for unused accommodation in case of trip cancellation caused by personal reasons/sickness/weather.
More information about our cancellation policy can be found here in Terms and Conditions page.
Are there any volunteer projects that we could visit after the tour?
Ace the Himalaya is one of the prime supporters of the social organization Sambhav Nepal. There are several on-going projects in a village called Arupokhari (Gorkha district) which you are more than welcome to visit or even volunteer at. You will be able to gain a different insight into the lives of the people in the hills and also make a difference!
Click here to learn more about our volunteer programs
Is there any communication while we are on tour?
There are telephones and internet facilities available so you can always stay in contact with your family.
Do I need to tip my guide and driver? How much would that be?
Tipping is expected and appreciated. You can tip your trekking guides and driver based on your satisfaction and enjoyment. It is a small gesture of thanks to the field staff towards the end of the tour USD 20 per guide and USD 10 per driver per day is recommended per group, but it is entirely up to your wishes.
Does it cost an extra amount if I am a solo traveler?
If you are a solo traveler and book one of our published dates, there is no additional fee. If you sign up for a private trip or change the trip date from one of our published trip dates, you will be charged an additional fee.
Can I add extra days to my trip?
Sure, you can add days as per your convenience only you might be charged a little extra for a day’s extension.
I want to extend my holiday, any recommendations?
Yes, you can extend your holiday. Ace the Himalaya offers many options and alternatives for your holiday extension. For more information, you can visit our Day trips pages.
Transportation and Flights
Do I need to book my international flights for the travel to Nepal?
Yes, you must book your international flights. We are a local agency and do not make international flight arrangements. You can easily browse through flight tickets in airlines sites to book ones most feasible for you.
What form of transportation do you utilize?
We utilize private tourist vehicles for touring, city visits, and airport pickups. Based on the group size, we use cars, minibuses, or vans. We use 4WD when necessary.
These full and frank reviews are from travelers who have traveled with Ace the Himalaya previously. The reviews and experiences shown here are from reputable travel websites like TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, and Trust Pilot, etc.
What makes this trip different ?
Our CSR with Sambhav Nepal
- Ace the Himalaya believes in giving back to the communities that surround and support tourism in Nepal. Ace provides logistical support and, if needed, cash donations to the projects of Sambhav Nepal (a local NGO).
- Sambhav Nepal and Ace work together to plan volunteer programs that will bring in foreign volunteers and make use of their enthusiasm, time, and talents in a variety of projects.
Sustainability and Responsible Tourism
- Of the few Travelife Partners in Nepal, Ace the Himalaya is one. We respect the procedures for sustainable tourism. Our excursions are socially and environmentally conscious, leaving the lowest possible impact in the Himalayas.
- About 80% of Ace the Himalaya’s staff members are natives of the regions where our trips are organized. It is one of our sustainable and responsible efforts to help local communities, support small businesses, and promote regional culture and way of life.