You can spend days participating in many activities in Kathmandu and its surroundings. But what to do when you have only one day and you want the most amazing experiences?
This guide to a great day in Kathmandu is right for you. 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 get awed by Kathmandu’s art & architecture, and finally ending the day with a Nepali dinner and cultural performances.
|Activities||Tentative Time Periods|
|Everest Mountain Flight||5:30 AM to 8:30 AM|
|Mountain Biking in Mudkhu and Tokha||9 AM to 12 PM|
|Cultural Sightseeing||1 PM to 6 PM|
|Nepali Dinner with Cultural Performances||6 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 Mt Everest from the comfort of a plane.
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.
Kathmandu offers an amazing selection of biking trails for all levels of riders. It can be for a couple of hours to a full multi-day biking adventure. Since we are focusing on activities that can be done within a single day, the Mudkhu-Tokha Trail is highly recommended.
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 also takes only a couple of hours to do it and can be done in all months of a year. The trail from Mudkhu to Tokha takes you away from the comings and goings of busy Kathmandu city and through picturesque Newari settlements and quite 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. You can skip biking in the city roads and head directly to the trail head in Mudkhu in a support vehicle to start biking. And end your pedaling trip in Tokha and head back to your hotel. The three hours from 9 AM to 12 PM including vehicle rides there and back should be enough. Until your sightseeing trip starts at around 1 PM, you can rest your feet and enjoy your lunch at your hotel.
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 wonder at the Stupa.
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 seat 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 quite rooms, you can check the traditional art pieces, iconography of Buddhism and Hinduism, that cover a long interval of Nepal’s history.
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 a Nepali dinner. At the end of a day, please go to a Nepali restaurant and have dal, bhat and tarkari along with 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.