Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal is the gateway to the Himalayas. Aside from being the capital, Kathmandu is a warm and diverse city where people from different religions and backgrounds are living in harmony. Kathmandu city, actually the whole Kathmandu Valley that houses three medieval cities such as Kathmandu, Patan (the city of fine arts), and Bhaktapur (the city of devotees) is called an open museum and displays centuries of history and rich culture.
Being the first and the last stop during your Nepal journey, you can’t miss the exploration around the Kathmandu Valley. And when talking about the must-do activities, cultural Heritage Tours are at the top of the list of things to do in Kathmandu Valley. However, this quaint city has a lot to offer and caters to tourists of all kinds. You can do anything from a few hours of heritage tours to day/days/week-long hiking. While the cultural and historical tours let to discover the different story, culture, and religion of Kathmandu, the hiking options are the chance for those who aren't avid trekkers or are running out of time to devote to trekking.
The one-day tour trips in and around Kathmandu are most popular among tourists. These day tours cover specific areas of Kathmandu in one day, giving people enough time to roam around and feel what the places have to offer. Not just that, these trips also include visits to cultural heritage sites, hill stations, sunset points in the Himalayan backdrop, historical monuments, etc. present in Kathmandu.
Therefore, if you are one who is willing to explore the beauty of Kathmandu but have only one day and are confused about what to do and where to go, you can select one from the below list or combine any of them together. The best part is that you will get to learn about Nepal’s different cultures, experience Nepal’s trekking route, and learn about the urban as well as rural lifestyle in a single day without breaking the bank.
Best One-Day Trips in/around/from Kathmandu
1. One day tour of Kathmandu Heritage Sites
The grandest and most satisfying tour of the Kathmandu valley has to be the Seven World Heritage Site tour. Out of 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal, Kathmandu Valley houses 7 out of them within a few kilometers which makes the visits possible in a day. Those seven sites are Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and Changunarayan temple. This list comprises cultural places, architectural temples, and museums. Therefore, this is an all-inclusive tour that allows people to enjoy every element of Kathmandu in one day! But, for a laid-back exploration of those cultural sites, two/three days would be more perfect and fruitful.
2. One-day Patan Durbar Square Tour
Patan Durbar Square is located at the center of the city of Lalitpur and is one of the seven World Heritage sites. It was ruled by the Malla dynasty and contains its impressions even to date. The major attractions of this place include the Patan Museum and the Patan Golden Temple. Tourists can get evidence of the intricate architectural skills of the Newari people in this Durbar square. The square is itself built in the Newari style. There are several idols, houses, monuments, and temples around this square which also represent the Newari art style.
The Patan museum located in Patan Durbar square preserves old paintings, artifacts, coins, statues, carvings, and manuscripts of the Malla period.
If you are planning to opt for the Patan Durbar square tour in a day, your day would be filled with interesting activities. Firstly, your tour will start at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Patan Durbar Square. Roam around and see various temples, museums of arts, artistic courtyards, and whatnot.
3. One-day Nagarkot Trip from Kathmandu
Another day tour worth considering is a tour to Nagarkot, a hill station in the Bhaktapur district known for its glorious sunrise and sunset views. A day tour to Nagarkot would be a perfect blend of nature and culture as it traverses via Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changunarayan Temple. Nagarkot Tour is not only limited to tours but also offers diverse options such as 1 Day Hike to/from Nagarkot, and a Mountain Biking trip to/from Nagarkot. Whichever day package you choose, you get the golden opportunity to feel the serenity of the place.
One can hike up to the viewpoint and behold the view of the sun rising/sun setting over the Langtang, Jugal, and Ganesh ranges. If you are lucky enough and the weather is perfect, you might get to see all the 8 Himalayas seen from here including Mount Everest!
Once you are in Nagarkot, you can also opt. for the stay there. From cheap lodges to luxurious 5-star and heritage hotels, Nagarkot offers diverse accommodation services. It is also one of the best camping spots in Kathmandu Valley. So, if you decide to experience camping, you can think of this place.
4. One day trip to Shivapuri Hill with Budhanikantha Tour
This one-day tour is the best for adventurous tourists who wish to witness the majestic views of the mountains surrounding the valley of Kathmandu. On this tour, one has to participate in hiking amidst the rich flora and fauna of the valley, which makes the tour furthermore exciting. This hiking trail is extremely popular among adventure seekers as it leads you to the most amazing, unforgettable views of the Himalayan ranges.
This tour starts from the popular Hindu pilgrim center Budhanilkantha Temple, which comprises a huge statue of the sleeping, Lord Mahavishnu. After paying homage, one proceeds to hike through the forest of Shivapuri hills. While hiking, one can see different species of birds while enjoying the silence and serenity of the forest. There's a Buddhist monastery mid-way, called the Nagi Gumba which is why this trip is also called as Shivapuri Nagi Gumba Day Hike. After reaching the final point of the hike, you would be spellbound to witness the aura of the Langtang range!
5. One-Day Hiking Trips from Kathmandu
If you want to freshen your mind, get a day off from the busy city environment, want nature playing in your day, or want to experience soft adventures, day hiking trips around Kathmandu would be perfect for you. Most of the lush picturesque hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley are likable within a few hours. Those hiking hills give not only hiking experiences but offer some great views of Kathmandu and surrounding landscapes and some of the world’s highest mountain vistas on clear days. Some of the famous one-day hiking journeys are Namobuddha Day Hike, Champadevi Day Hike, & Phulchowki Day Hike.
6. One day trip to old Newari towns of Kathmandu Valley
Newar/Newari People are the indigenous of the Kathmandu Valley who have unique cultures, traditions, customs, and lifestyles different from other ethnic groups of Nepal. And spending a few hours/one day at the ancient Newari tows of Khokana and Bungmati gives you an opportunity to experience the local lifestyle of the Newari people. You can witness their traditional ways of life, and get a hint of their cultural essence, beliefs, and everything else.
The day trip to these Newari towns usually starts with a drive to Bungamati Village which is home to the rain god/protector of the valley, Rato Machindranath. He spends half the year living in the sizable shikhara-style temple in the center of town. And, every year Rato Machindranath Festival is held which includes a chariot parade between Patan and Bungamati. While exploring Bungamati, you will pass by several traditional Newari homes where woodworkers may be seen creating sculptures and masks by hand.
From Bungmati, it is a short transfer to Khokana which is a farming village recognized for the cultivation and manufacture of mustard oil and the neighboring sanctuary.
On top of that, Khokana and Bungamati are considered must-visit places in Kathmandu to see the ancient Newari culture and tradition. Also, Khokana is a nominated destination for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
7. One day tour from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp
Every year thousands of travelers visit Nepal to be at the base camp of the world’s highest mountain in the world and witness the beauty and serenity of the Everest region. And it usually takes a minimum of 10 days to reach the base camp by trekking. However, for those who have the desire to experience the grandeur of the Everest Base Camp but have limited time or can’t trek for days, you can take the one-day Everest Base Camp tour from Kathmandu.
But, is it really possible to reach Everest Base Camp from Kathmandu in one day? Yes, definitely if you opt. for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour. The helicopter tour to Everest is the biggest opportunity to experience Everest Base Camp, explore the surroundings, and enjoy the beauty of the Everest Region in just 4-5 hours. The tour also lets you enjoy a luxury breakfast at the highest-located hotel in the world named Everest View Hotel surrounded by the giant Himalayas.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Kathmandu?
Ideally, the best time to visit Kathmandu is the spring and autumn season. Therefore, the months from March to May and September to November are best suited to explore the beauty of Kathmandu without facing problems. The weather is clear, the skies are blue, and the temperatures are pleasant during these seasons. However, one can also visit Kathmandu and its surroundings in the summer/monsoon and winter seasons.
Read More: Weather & Climate in Kathmandu
For anyone who plans to come to Nepal for a few days or has a few spare days left after your trip, the one-day tours in/around/from Kathmandu are great ways to explore the place and get insight into many things. With these day tours, one can get a hint of the cultural essence of Kathmandu. One can also witness the natural beauty and the historic richness of the place. If you are looking for a short trip to get rid of boredom and your monotonous lifestyle, planning a gateway trip to Kathmandu would be an ideal solution. So, what are you waiting for? Check the above list of one-day tours and contact us to organize a perfect tour for you in Kathmandu.