Best 3 Days Kathmandu Itinerary
If you are wondering how best to spend 3 days in Kathmandu, Nepal, this is the article for you.
As you may know, I was born in Kathmandu and travelled to India and moved to Australia. I have travelled many places in the world however Nepal still remains one of my favorite place to travel if you are looking for cultural experience and adventure.
Kathmandu is a bustling city in Nepal. The capital city of Nepal is a mesmerizing blend of ancient tradition and modern chaos.
The narrow alleys of the old city buzz with energy as vendors sell colorful souvenirs while the scent of incense permeates the air.
The charming architecture, including intricately carved wooden windows and doors, provides a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural history.
The spiritual essence of Kathmandu can be felt through its numerous temples and stupas that dot the landscape.
From the iconic Boudhanath Stupa to the ornate Pashupatinath Temple, visitors are immersed in a profound sense of spirituality.
Beyond its religious significance, Kathmandu offers a vibrant arts scene with countless galleries showcasing contemporary and traditional works by local artists.
As dusk falls, Kathmandu transforms into a culinary paradise with an array of street food stalls offering local delicacies like momos (Nepali dumplings) and chatpate (spicy noodle snack).
The lively atmosphere continues into the night as live music reverberates through Thamel, enticing both locals and tourists to dance their way into unforgettable experiences.
A visit to Kathmandu truly unveils a world where past meets present in an exhilarating collision of culture and adventure.
PS: If you need a private driver in Kathmandu or in Nepal, please contact us.
Best 3 DAYS Kathmandu Itinerary
DAY 01: Kathmandu
You will arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport which is the only International Airport in Kathmandu and in Nepal.
We expect on the first day when you arrive to Kathmandu, you will be tired and may not want to do too many things.
You could go to your hotel, drop your baggage and head out to town for a relaxing dinner.
If you arrive before lunch, you can head to the town ( New Road ) for lunch, go to Asan Bazar for a walk and then go to Thamel for Dinner.
Thamel will be lively at night and there will be plenty of places for you to enjoy food and drinks.
DAY 02: Kathmandu and Patan
Hope you will get a good night sleep and ready for some sightseeing around Kathmandu.
First stop, head to Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a captivating blend of ancient architecture and rich cultural history.
The square serves as the heart of the city, with its stunning array of palaces, temples, courtyards, and statues showcasing centuries of craftsmanship and artistic expression.
As you wander through the maze of intricately carved wooden windows and stone deities, you can’t help but feel transported to a bygone era, where kings ruled with grandeur and religious ceremonies echoed through the streets.
One cannot escape the palpable aura of spiritual significance that permeates every corner of Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Among its prominent structures stands Hanuman Dhoka Palace—a living testament to Nepal’s royal legacy—exuding an air of regal splendor. The Kumari Bahal (Kumari House) is another fascinating highlight, serving as the residence for the living goddess herself.
The constant buzz of devotees mingling with tourists adds a dynamic energy to this ancient space—making it an enthralling experience that lingers long after you’ve left its hallowed grounds.
Tip: Tourists will be asked for cash to enter certain areas in Kathmandu and Durbar square is one of them. So make sure to carry some cash, either US dollar or Nepali Rupees.
You can then head to Swayambhunath.
Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple, is a place of enchanting spirituality and ancient history.
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the bustling city of Kathmandu, its iconic white stupa and mesmerizing eyes of Buddha watch over the valley below.
The complex is not just a religious site but also an architectural marvel that seamlessly blends Hindu and Buddhist elements.
As one meanders through the sacred grounds, it’s impossible not to be entranced by the vibrant prayer flags fluttering in the mountain breeze and the melodious sounds of temple bells echoing through the air.
The panoramic view from Swayambhunath offers visitors a breathtaking snapshot of Nepal’s rich cultural tapestry, where ancient traditions coexist with modern life in perfect harmony.
Beyond its historical significance, Swayambhunath beckons travelers to contemplate their own spiritual journey amidst the serene ambiance that envelops every corner of this timeless sanctuary.
In essence, a visit to Swayambhunath is more than just a sightseeing excursion; it’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in profound introspection while unraveling the mystical allure of this venerable pilgrimage site.
Tip: There are monkeys around, just hold on to your bags.
After you are done visiting Swayambhunath, you can head to Patan.
Patan is not just a repository of history; it is also a hub for contemporary art and craftsmanship.
Artisan workshops dot the streets, showcasing exquisite metalwork, woodcarving, and intricate Thangka paintings.
Visitors have the opportunity to witness master craftsmen at work, infusing life into timeless traditions with their skillful hands.
Furthermore, hidden behind unassuming facades are cozy cafes and artisan boutiques catering to both locals and international travelers alike.
Venturing beyond its well-preserved architecture reveals Patan’s dynamic essence as a thriving urban center where tradition seamlessly blends with modernity.
The city pulsates with bustling markets offering an array of handcrafted goods, from colorful textiles to locally sourced spices that reflect Nepal’s diverse cultural tapestry.
Despite its storied past, Patan remains firmly rooted in the present while looking towards the future—a captivating amalgamation that continues to draw curious souls from around the globe.
Pro tip: Have dinner in Patan near the temples. The lights are amazing at night.
That is a quite busy day but you would have seen a few of the best places in and around Kathmandu on this day.
DAY 03: KATHMANDU – BHAKTAPUR
Whether you are into gods and goddess or not, you should head to Pashupatinath temple.
Pashupatinath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal.
It is not just a temple; it’s an embodiment of ancient traditions and spiritual fervor.
The temple is located on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, this renowned Hindu pilgrimage site holds an air of mystery and mystique that captivates visitors from all over the world.
The intricate architecture and elaborate rituals at Pashupatinath provide a window into Nepal’s rich cultural tapestry, offering a glimpse into the profound devotion and religious practices that have endured for centuries.
Beyond its religious significance, Pashupatinath also serves as a reflection of Nepali society, acting as a gathering place for people from diverse backgrounds to come together in reverence.
One of the things you should know about the temple is that in this temple, after someone dies, they burn the dead body here.
As a tourist, if you are not Hindu, you may not be able to see the place however if you are a Hindu, you may get to go to the place where you may see dead bodies covered by white clothes.
After the visit of Pashupatinath temple, you should head to Boudhanath.
Boudhanath is one of my favourite temples in Kathmandu.
Boudhanath is a majestic stupa, located in Kathmandu. It stands as a symbol of peace and spirituality, attracting visitors from all over the world.
The stupa’s massive dome is adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind, creating a mesmerizing sight that captivates the soul.
As you walk around the stupa’s base, you will be immersed in a serene atmosphere filled with the sound of chanting monks and the scent of burning incense.
This sacred place serves as a hub for Buddhist pilgrims and practitioners, offering an opportunity to witness ancient rituals and traditions that have been preserved for centuries.
The intricate architecture of Boudhanath embodies profound spiritual significance, with its captivating eyes gazing out in all directions to symbolize wisdom and compassion.
Surrounding the stupa are numerous monasteries and small stupas that contribute to the serene ambiance of this cultural gem.
In recent years, Boudhanath has become a center for meditation and yoga retreats, drawing people seeking inner peace and enlightenment.
Whether you are an avid traveler or a spiritual seeker, Boudhanath invites you to experience its timeless beauty and immerse yourself in its rich tapestry of tradition and tranquility.
Tip: if you decide to buy anything around the stupa, make sure not to pay the full price. This is a tourist place hence they will ask for a higher price for things then the places where local buy their things.
After the visit of Stupa, next stop can be Bhaktapur.
Every time I go to Kathmandu, I make sure that I visit Bhaktapur.
Bhaktapur, an ancient city in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, is a treasure trove of rich cultural heritage and breathtaking architectural marvels.
As you wander through its narrow lanes, you’re transported back in time to the medieval era, with its well-preserved palaces, temples, and intricately carved wooden windows adorning every building.
The city’s unique atmosphere is permeated with a sense of tranquility and spiritualism, making it a haven for those seeking solace and introspection amidst its serene surroundings.
The town’s vibrant tradition of pottery-making stands out as a testament to the skill and creativity of its artisans.
Watching them deftly mold clay into exquisite pots and vessels using age-old techniques is truly mesmerizing.
Adding to the allure are the traditional Newari delicacies that tantalize your taste buds at every turn, offering a culinary journey that complements the visual feast provided by Bhaktapur’s stunning architecture.
And if you’re fortunate enough to witness one of the city’s lively festivals or ceremonial processions, you’ll find yourself immersed in a captivating display of colorful rituals that underscore Bhaktapur’s cultural significance.
This is my best 3 days Kathmandu itinerary.
Did you know that we can provide a private driver and you can do private tour of these places or customise your tours as required.