Just a short day trip from Nepal’s capital and you could find yourself in medieval cities, traditional villages and vibrant craft cities where you can buy some of the country’s best handicrafts. Here we take you though 3 of our favourites. When you are ready to explore, Brightsun Travel can arrange cheap flights to Kathmandu from a range of UK airports.
Even though the medieval city-state of Bhaktapur was hit hard by the 2015 earthquake, the remains of this, one of Nepal’s most well preserved of cities, still offers a mesmerising day trip, and the town entry fee goes towards protecting and maintaining the temples. Explore the city’s 3 major squares and you will stumble past some of the most beautiful temples in the country. Alternatively, head to the back streets and wind your way through almost traffic-free laneways, past traditional houses. Here you could meet artisans selling traditional tapestries and wooden carvings, and watch locals gather in hidden courtyards, and witness a very different way of life to that in the capital.
Just 32 kilometres east of Kathmandu is the traditional village of Nagarkot, well known for offering spectacular views of the Himalayas. The village is set on an elevation of over 2000 metres and is one of the most scenic spots in the Kathmandu Valley, offering some of the best views of the Himalayas in Nepal. The best time to go is October through to March, just after the monsoon rains stop and the air is clear. Go at sunrise and watch the sun rising over the mountains, before taking a scenic trek along popular hiking routes that make the most of the village’s incredible position. This is a great day trip if you can’t make it on a trek.
After stopping off at the Kopan Monastery and Nunnery, drive into Bungamati, a traditional village in the Kathmandu Valley. Then onto Patan, just across the river, known as the city of arts and architecture in Nepal, and stroll thousands of monuments around Durbar Square and witness extensive rebuilding work after the earthquake of 2015. Patan’s Golden Temple and Krishna Mandir are still very much intact, and well worth a visit. In Patan you will also find some of the best fair-trade shops in the city, and extraordinarily beautiful handicrafts made by local communities. Finish your tour at the incredible Patan Museum, which explores Nepal’s cultural history.