The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is the busiest and ancient city of Nepal where all the travelers who visit Nepal pass through this valley. Kathmandu is the gateway for any kind of trekking, tours, and mountaineering activities. Also, the favorite place to begin your trips to Tibet and Bhutan. People often take 3 country tours across Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal starting from Kathmandu. Kathmandu is the home of only the international airport of Nepal; however, there are two more regional international airports are under construction in Lumbini and Pokhara as Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara International Airport that are expected to be ready by 2022.
As the first-timers, getting informed about the sights and monuments of Kathmandu valley before landing in Kathmandu is a great idea. If you have a short holiday vacation and wanted to explore Kathmandu in 24 hours or 1 night for 2 days; here are the best things to do.
Kathmandu offers several ancient sites and monuments, people can spend hours exploring those stunning historic sites, most of them are listed on UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
After you land in Kathmandu, it is suggested to book your hotel in Thamel. Thamel offers tourist-friendly restaurants, different choices of hotels, and many souvenir shops. However, it is suggested to leave Thamel as soon as your breakfast is done and Keep Thamel for the evening and night activities.
Here is how you can begin your day to spend 24 hours in Kathmandu.
Get up at 7 am: take a good breakfast at the hotel and proceed for the sightseeing.
Start your morning trip from Swoyambhunath Stupa and to Boudhanath Stupa. Hop into the cab or take a guided sightseeing private tour with HimalayanWindows.
Swoyambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu
Swoyambhunath is one of the popular pilgrimage sites of Kathmandu valley which is located on a beautiful hill. Swoyambhunath. Also called as Monkey Temple, is a holy Supa among the ancient Buddhists Mahachaitya of Kathmandu valley. It is located atop a hill that could be observed from almost every part of Kathmandu. This temple was first built in the 5th century during the Lichhavi period by the Kushan community. You will have a panoramic view of Kathmandu valley from the Stupa.
Do not bring food and water during the sightseeing, there are many monkeys around the temple. They can snatch your goods from your hand. But they do not harm you unless you tease them.
The Boudhanath Stupa is one of the important sites for the Buddhists and also the most popular sites among tourists. The Boudhanath Stupa is situated northeast from Kathmandu valley and about 3KM from Tribhuvan International Airport. This stupa is also considered the largest Stupa in Nepal. It is believed that the Boudhanath Stupa existed since the ancient period and that the present form is not the original one but the rest of a series of renovations and constructions over the years. This stupa has recently been renovated due to the damage from the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.
There are many nice rooftop restaurants around the Stupa, you can have your lunch at one of those restaurants and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Boudhanath Stupa. Try the popular Nepalese Dish ‘Dal Bhat‘ for your lunch to have a local taste.
Afternoon visit to Pashupatinath Temple and Patan Durbar Square:
Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu
The Pashupatinath temple is the most important pilgrimage site among Hindus, located at the bank of the holy Bagmati River. According to religious scriptures, lord Pashupatinath is worshipped as the protective deity of the Hindus. Pashupatinath temple is also one of the renowned Hindu sites in the world. Tourists are not allowed to enter inside the main temple; however, tourists can observe the temple and surroundings from the other side of the Bagmati River. Apart from this, you can observe the Hindu cremation site near the temple and meet the holy Sadhus wandering around the temple area.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is the main attraction of the Lalitpur District. Enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this courtyard has earned a distinct place for works in the field of arts and architecture that reflect on each temple, monument, and palace building that were mostly built during the Malla period between the 16th and 17th Centuries. There are several attractions of temples and stupas such as the Krishna Mandir, Patan Museum, Golden temple, Ashoka stupa, and stupa. You can spend several hours exploring this ancient durbar square.
Also, allow some time to experience the best Newari cousins that are available at many restaurants near Patan Durbar Square. And, Patan is the best place for shopping for handicraft things including Thangkas.
In the late afternoon, drive back to Thamel; you can buy some souvenirs before it gets dark, enjoy Thamel’s nightlife. You can go for a massage, try some nice Nepal beers like Gorkha, Everest, etc at one of the restaurants with live music. Try some Mo: Mo, one of the best and popular food in Nepal.
If your flight the next day in the afternoon, you can ride a Riskaw in Thamel. Take a Riskaw ride to Kathmandu Durbar Square; it is located near Thamel, about 15 minute’s Riskaw ride through the old town Ason. You can experience how the local Nepalese markets would be like; also, you can buy some local species for tea and curry.
This is how you can spend your 24 hours in Kathmandu. If you are keener to know about the history and cultural lifestyles of locals in Kathmandu, it is recommended to take 3 nights 4 days Kathmandu package, which offers a wide variety of things to do in Kathmandu.