Despite being chaotic, dusty, and crowded, Kathmandu nevertheless has a lot to offer. You won’t get tired of seeing temples, museums, or stores. If you are prepared to look, you will undoubtedly be able to see the charm in this valley city, which shines through the air pollution to reveal the rich history of the nation. Similarly, in this article, we will discuss how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu.
Here is a simple guide on making the most of your time in Kathmandu if you’re looking for a quick break or simply have some time before or after your trek.
Day 1 – Visit Swambhunath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Garden of Dreams, Narayanhiti Palace
You should get going early in the morning with a hearty breakfast because you have so much to do. Next, proceed to Swambhunath Temple (also known as the Monkey Temple). Although it is only a short walk if you are staying in Thamel, there are some steps involved. Over 300 stairs make up the initial entry, which takes you right up to the temple. To make the region accessible by car, another entrance slowly ascends the hill.
This temple, which is significant to both Hindus and Buddhists, also has beautiful views over the neighborhood. All Buddhist temples require visitors to circle the stupa in a clockwise direction while they explore the building.
After taking in the vista and exploring the stupa for a while, descend the stairs to get a taxi to your next location. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu. This is very exciting.
Three Durbar Squares, all recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, originally served as Kathmandu’s palaces. While Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Kathmandu Durbar Square all have comparable architecture, each has its distinctive style. You’re going to Kathmandu Durbar Square today.
Mahendra Mala King constructed the Kathmandu Durbar Square between the years 1560 and 1574. There are numerous temples and courtyards in the neighborhood, which are used for religious events as well as social gatherings. The Kumari Ghar, the residence of the vivacious goddess Kumari, is also located here. You might be able to see the little girl if you’re lucky.
You have plenty of time to explore anytime you like because each of the three squares is open from seven in the morning to seven in the evening. To ensure you won’t go hungry, there is a wide selection of street food and restaurants providing traditional Nepali cuisine.
There will be lots of chances to buy mementos. pottery, paintings, woodcarvings, jewelry, and pashminas, among other things.
You will next proceed to a museum to learn more about the royal family. Those with little knowledge of Nepali history might not be aware that they can go to the Narayanhiti Palace, which was turned into a museum following the 2001 slaughter of the royal family.
The monarch spent many years living and working in the palace, which was constructed in the early 1960s. Observing how the royal family lived and learning about the gloomy past of the palace and its surroundings is fascinating. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu.
Be careful to pass the Garden of Dreams on your way back to Thamel. Built-in 1920, this neo-classical garden is located on the outskirts of Thamel. It has gardens, pavilions, an amphitheater, ponds, pergolas, and urns covering more than 6000 square meters. It’s a lovely spot to relax from Kathmandu’s busy streets, read a book, or have a conversation with other travelers.
You will also have time on this day to stroll through the areas of Ason, Indrachowk, and Makhantole, which are well-known to residents for their shopping. Everything is available, including electronics, clothes, brass decorations, and spices. We strongly advise visiting these streets, even though they can be very congested, as it will offer you a taste of life in Kathmandu.
Around Thamel, you may find restaurants serving a variety of cuisines in the evening. If you want to go out for the night, several bars and clubs are open late.
Day 2: Visit Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Bhaktpur, and Patan
You must see Boudhanath Stupa on your second day in Kathmandu. It is a massive circular stupa that was constructed in the 14th century and is situated on the northeastern edge of the city. You will be taken to another world as you pass through the gates, one that is the complete antithesis of the frantic street you were just in. The stupa’s surrounding structures block out the noises of passing vehicles, and the aroma of burning incense will overpower the smog.
After that serene time, travel a short distance to Pashupatinath Temple. This temple, which has several temples, sacred sites, courtyards, and ancient inscriptions, is among the most revered in Hindu culture. Numerous people choose to be cremated here as well, and this is done in the open, right next to the river. All Hindu adherents place a great deal of importance on this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many make the journey to see it. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the main temple, although they are welcome to stroll around the grounds and view the historical structures. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu.
Finally, you will leave the main part of Kathmandu and travel to Bhaktapur. There is a lot to see and do in this small city, which is only 13 kilometers from Kathmandu, from the pottery square to eating juju (a sweet curd only made in this ancient city). The four squares that make up this city’s historical district are Taumadhi Square, Durbar Square, Pottery Square, and Dattatreya Square.
Then, you have to make a halt at Patan Durbar Square, which is immediately over the river from Kathmandu and was the home to Lalitpur’s Mala King. The Newari people, who are indigenous to the Kathmandu valley, built numerous residential dwellings, temples, and other buildings.
You might perhaps desire a close-up view of the highest mountains on Earth. There is an amazing alternate method to see this peak if you do not have the time or physical capacity to go to Everest Base Camp or climb the mountain itself. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu. Two domestic airlines provide hour-long flights that fly over the Everest region and provide breathtaking views of the top of the world. As the flights leave before six in the morning and get you back to the valley before most people’s days have begun, this is the ideal supplement to a brief stay in Kathmandu. Although it costs over $190 USD, you won’t find another option to experience Mount Everest like this!
Nagarkot is the ideal location if you have extra time or want to spend the night away from Kathmandu. This region is well-liked by both locals and visitors since it offers some of the best hotel room Himalayan mountain views. It is located about 32 kilometers from Kathmandu and offers stunning hiking or tranquil relaxation time with breathtaking views.
On clear days, the Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, and even Everest may all be seen from this location. People congregate at an observation tower every morning to observe the sunrise over the mountains. The greatest time to see the mountain ranges without any obstructions is typically in the morning.
Last but not least, you could choose to visit Chandragiri Hills if you have an extra day. Due to King Prithivi Narayan Shah’s observation of the Kathmandu valley in the 17th century and subsequent planning of an attack from these hills, this region is significant historically in Nepal.
Additionally, through the same hills, persons on foot transported the first automobile. But the 2.5-kilometer cable car makes it simple to reach the peak, where there is a temple, a kids’ park, horseback riding, hiking, and breathtaking vistas, in addition to convenient access. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu.
Cultures of Kathmandu
Before King Prithivi Shah united the land, Kathmandu was referred to as the “Valley” during the medieval era. The political and cultural center of Nepal is this famous location, which is regarded as being rich in ancient and cultural relics. Sangha Bhajyang in the east, Bad-bhanjyang in the west, Panchmane Bhanjyang in the north, and Pharping in the south define the boundaries of the Kathmandu valley. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu.
Three districts are located in the bowl-shaped valley that is encircled by four mountains. Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, and Kathmandu. It has three municipalities in addition to one metropolitan city and one sub-metropolitan city.
The Kathmandu valley’s primary characteristic is its rich cultural history, which includes several old temples, religious monuments, and artifacts. The surrounding view of the Himalayas and the landscape of the verdant hills contribute to this valley’s allure. Numerous temples, shrines, monasteries, stupas, squares, woodwork handicrafts, and other items may be found across the valley. Additionally, the Kathmandu valley serves as a place of worship for individuals of all religious origins.
For Hindu devotees and Buddhist pilgrims, respectively, the Pashupatinath Temple, Krishna Temple, and Changunarayan Temple are regarded as important sacred sites. The stupas of Swoyambhunath and Boudha are both very significant. The city has numerous churches erected by the Christian community in addition to the well-known Jame Masque for Muslims.
The main tourist draws in the city include the Hanumandhoka palace, which served as the old residence of the Nepalese royal family, and other historic palaces. Kathmandu has become increasingly enticing and attractive as a result of festivals, customs, and other rituals that highlight the distinctiveness of Nepali culture. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu, the nation’s capital, serves as the geographic, cultural, and economic hub of the nation. Outside the city, many people view Kathmandu as the location to pursue further education and realize one’s aspirations. As a result, it is busier, more active, and more congested. People from all different religions, races, and ethnic backgrounds converge in the city, and this is evident in the district’s civilization and cultural trends. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal is Kathmandu.
Cultures of Nepal
In different regions of Nepal, there are various traditions and customs. A diverse tapestry of cultures has been woven together in Kathmandu, the nation’s capital, to create a unique national identity. Since Nepal was united in the 18th century, Kathmandu Valley has functioned as the nation’s cultural hub.
The role of religion in Nepali culture is significant. Festivals, which Nepalis celebrate all year round with great fanfare and ceremony, provide color to their life. Food plays a big part in how these holidays are celebrated.
Religion of Nepal
The Parliament of Nepal proclaimed it a secular nation on May 18, 2006. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, Bon, ancestor worship, and animism are among the religions practiced in Nepal. The majority of Nepalis are either Buddhists or Hindus, and they have coexisted peacefully for millennia. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu.
Both Buddhists and Hindus in Nepal revere Buddha to a great extent. Earth, fire, water, air, and ether are the five fundamental elements that are represented by the five Dhyani Buddhas: Vairochana, Akshobhaya, Rathasambhava, Amitabha, and Amoghasiddhi. According to Buddhist doctrine, these deities are thought to be the incarnations of Sunya or the absolute vacuum. Hindus also revere the Buddhist Vajrayana sect deities Mahakala and Bajrayogini.
Hindus in Nepal revere the legendary Vedic deities. The Supreme Hindu Trinity is made up of Bramha the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. In most Shiva temples, people offer prayers to the Shiva Linga, which is Lord Shiva’s phallic emblem. With names like Mahadevi, Mahakali, Bhagabati, and Ishwari, Shakti—the dynamic element in Shiva’s female counterpart—is highly loved and feared. The virgin goddess Kumari also stands in for Shakti. Other well-known gods are Hanuman for defense, Saraswati for wisdom, Lakshmi for prosperity, and Ganesh for good fortune. Also extensively venerated is Krishna, who is thought to be the human incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Bhagawat Gita, Ramayan, and Mahabharat are three of the most read Hindu sacred texts in Nepal. Aware Brahmin Pundits read from the Vedas, Upanishads, and other sacred texts on significant occasions.
Customs of Nepal
Again, Nepal’s ethnic diversity allows for the existence of a variety of cultures. The majority of these traditions have roots in Hindu, Buddhist, or other religious cultures. The laws governing marriage are among them and are very intriguing. Deals are typically negotiated by parents when the boy or girl reaches legal adulthood. This is how to spend 2 days in Kathmandu.
Cow slaughter is prohibited in Nepal. The cow is seen as a Universal Mother and represents maternal love, altruism, and sympathy. Respecting it entails putting into practice the idea of Ahimsa, which translates to “non-violence” in Sanskrit and is a central tenet of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. You will frequently be asked to remove your shoes before entering a temple or a home to prevent your soiled soles from contaminating the interior’s pristine surfaces. Non-Hindus are not allowed at some temples. The right hand is used to eat, pay, give, and receive; it is thought to be pure. Even while agriculture dominates rural Nepal, some areas of city life exhibit the sparkle and glamour of the contemporary day.
Food: Regional eating customs vary, and Indian and Tibetan cooking techniques have had a significant impact on Nepali cuisine. The Newar people do have a distinctive cuisine that is varied and healthy. Although the mainstays are the same daal and bhat that the majority of Nepalis consume, the Thakalis also have a distinctive cuisine. Daal (lentil soup), bhat (boiled rice), and tarkari (curried vegetables) are staple dishes in Nepal. Achar is frequently served as a side dish (pickle). Although curry beef is quite popular, many people only eat it on special occasions. Momos, which can be either steamed or fried, should be mentioned as one of the most well-liked snacks among Nepalis. In some households, dhedo (boiled flour) and rotis (flatbread) also staple foods.
Kathmandu initially appears to be a concrete jungle full of motorbikes, vehicles, buses, and pollution. However, the city is home to a unique combination of rich culture, delectable cuisine, and history.
We are confident that after seeing the Kathmandu valley, you will recognize its appeal and start making plans for your next trip to take advantage of all that the city has to offer.