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What You Can Do in One Day in Kathmandu

This is a simple guide to things to do in Kathmandu in one day. Follow this to have an exhilarating day & create unforgettable memories.

What You Can Do in One Day in Kathmandu

You can spend days participating in many activities in Kathmandu and its surroundings. But what to do when you have only one day and want the most amazing experiences?

This guide is the key to a great day in Kathmandu. It will be a pretty busy and memorable day, starting from a brief flight to the Himalayan giants, then moving on to biking in the outskirts of Kathmandu, then going for a cultural sightseeing and awing at Kathmandu’s art & architecture, and finally ending the day with a Nepali dinner and cultural performances.

ActivitiesTentative Time Periods
Everest Mountain Flight5:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Mountain Biking in Mudkhu and Tokha9 AM to 12 PM
Cultural Sightseeing1 PM to 6 PM
Nepali Dinner with Cultural Performances6 PM to 8 PM

Everest Mountain Flight

Start your day with an exhilarating flight to the Himalayas. High above the clouds, among the snow-capped giants, you will be rewarded with the most breath-taking views of an endless chain of Himalayan mountains from your private individual window.

The flight also offers stunning spectacle of green Himalayan foothills, rivers, falls and a wide expanse of the Tibetan Plateau. However, the major attraction of the flight is an up-close bird’s eye view of the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest from the comfort of a plane.

Mountain Flight
View of the mountains during mountain flight

The mountain flights last between 50 to 60 minutes and they start leaving Kathmandu from 6:30 AM. From picking you up from the hotel to the boarding process and the return back from the airport, it is expected to take 3 hours from 5:30 AM to 8:30 AM.

The half-an-hour window before the biking segment starts is enough for you to take a brief rest and enjoy your breakfast.

Mountain Biking

Kathmandu is home to an amazing selection of biking trails riders of all levels. It can last for a couple of hours upto multiple days of biking adventure. Since we are focusing on activities that can be done within a single day, the Mudkhu-Tokha Trail is highly recommended.

Cycling around kathmandu valley
Cycling around Kathmandu valley

Mudkhu-Tokha Trail is a beginner-friendly biking trail which is fit for almost all travelers that are interested in biking and exploring a pocket of Kathmandu. It only takes a couple of hours to do it and can be done in any time of the year.

The trail from Mudkhu to Tokha takes you away from the hustle of the busy Kathmandu city and through picturesque Newari settlements and quiet farmlands. Small but quite old Hindu temples will greet you here and there. You can stop at various Newari eateries and taste authentic Newari foods.

Many start biking from the hotel they are staying at. If you want to skip biking through the busy roads of Kathmandu, a support vehicle can be provided. Your pedaling trip can be ended in Tokha and you can head back to your hotel.

The three hours from 9 AM to 12 PM including the vehicle rides should be enough. Before your sightseeing trip, which starts at around 1 PM, you can rest your feet and enjoy your lunch at your hotel.

Cultural Sightseeing

Kathmandu is full of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and places & monuments of religious, cultural and artistic importance. You can spend days exploring each one closely but for a single day tour, you can have a marvelous time and get a better view of the art and culture of Nepal by visiting Boudhanath Stupa and Patan Durbar Square.

Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest Buddhist stupas in Nepal and in the world. Over 2,500 years old, built in the ancient trade route of the valley kingdoms, it’s an amazing experience to behold it and join the circling crowd, composed of locals, Tibetans and tourists, engaged in Kora, a meditative practice of circling around a sacred Buddhist shrine.

There are buildings around the shrine with rooftop cafes & restaurants where you can visit, eat or drink and wander at the Stupa.

Boudhanath Stupa
Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu

Patan Durbar Square is the other site on the list to observe. It’s one of the 3 Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu valley (Durbar means palace in Nepali). The square is a paragon of Nepali architecture. It’s composed of a royal palace (used to be the house of Malla kings in the medieval period), temples and Newari residential houses.

The entire square has 136 courtyards and 55 major temples. Krishna Mandir, built entirely of stones, is the most important temple. And there is Patan Museum, one of the finest religious art collections in Asia. In its quiet rooms, you can check the traditional art pieces, iconography of Buddhism and Hinduism, that cover a long interval of Nepal’s history.

Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square

You will be back at your hotel by 6 PM and then you can go for a Nepali dinner to end the memorable day.

Nepali Dinner with Cultural Performances

Your time in Nepal isn’t complete without tasting Nepali cuisine. At the end of the day, please go to a Nepali restaurant and have dal, bhat and tarkari(rice served with curry and various side dishes).

The Nepali restaurants in Thamel will also put cultural performances, mainly dances from different ethnic groups. Admire their performances while downing delicious Nepali dishes.

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