Here’s a trip plan that gives you a taste of what Nepal has to offer within a week: a short trek with great views of the Himalaya combined with a visit to the ancient cities of Bhaktapur and Patan. You'll stay within striking distance of Kathmandu.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Settle in

Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel to get settled in. Afterward, take a short walk around Thamel to enjoy the new sights and sounds before heading to a traditional Nepali restaurant to take in your first meal.

Day 2: Kathmandu to Nagarkot (short hike)

View from Nagarkot
The view from your guest house on the evening of Day 2 from Nagarkot. Photo by Neil Young

Drive from Kathmandu to Sankhu for the start of your hike to Nagarkot. Sankhu is a traditional village and the hike from here to Nagarkot takes about 3-4 hours, depending on your speed (there’s a bit of uphill). Nagarkot is perched atop one of the eastern hills outside of Kathmandu, and on a clear day affords some of the best views of the Himalaya that you can find from the Kathmandu Valley. There are a number of hotels with great views that we can choose from for tonight.

Day 3: Overnight in Nagarkot

After breakfast on a balcony overlooking the valley and hill stations below, continue your hike to Dhulikhel following the ridgeline with continued views of the mountains. Later, after lunch, you’ll head to the heritage city of Bhaktapur for an overnight at Peacock Guest House, a 700-year-old building that was restored in the 70s and has luckily survived last year's earthquake.

Bhaktapur is one of three cities in the Kathmandu Valley, founded in the 12th century and known for its well-preserved heritage sites and architecture. It's easy to get lost amongst its alleys, local markets and temple grounds as you wander around before your evening meal.

Day 4: Bhaktapur & Patan

Bhaktapur Durbar square
Enjoy lunch at one of the rooftop restaurants surrounding Bhaktapur's Durbar Square. Photo by Jean-Marie Hullot

Dawn at Bhaktapur. This is the perfect time to tour this heritage site and the only time in the day when the locals are going about their daily duties as they did hundreds of years ago. Later, go to meet the Humans of Bhaktapur - a yogurt maker or a paper maker - to hear stories of resilience and strength through the disaster that struck Nepal.

Pashupatinath, Kathmamdu
The main temple complex of Pashupatinath, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

After lunch, we'll make our way to Patan, one of the other ancient cities in Valley, famous for its arts and crafts. Our first stop will be to grab a cup of organic coffee at Karma Coffee, a boutique coffee shop that recycles and upcycles everything around coffee - the perfect start to an afternoon of touring Patan's local markets. In the evening, you’ll head back to Kathmandu where you’ll overnight.

Day 5: Your choice of local activities

Vespa Valley tours, Kathmandu
A new way to see Kathmandu: tour the city on a Vespa. Photo © Alex Treadway

Use this day to partake in one of the local activities that Kathmandu has to offer, such as learning how to cook Nepali food in a Cook like a Local course, having a Buddhist monk or Hindu priest leads you around the ancient sites of Boudha, Swayambhu, or Pashupatinath, or touring Kathmandu by Vespa with Vespa Valley.

Later in the day, take some time to wander on your own and catch the sights and sounds of the local markets, the evening ceremonies, and watch the world go by while sipping a chai from the steps of Kathmandu's Durbar Square.

Day 6: Last-minute shopping, time to relax

Your final day. You’ve had a busy week, so take the time now to relax, do some last-minute shopping, and soak in the atmosphere of Kathmandu before heading to the airport. Hopefully, before long, you'll be planning your next trip back.

Map

Map of A Week in Kathmandu Valley
Map of A Week in Kathmandu Valley