How to Spend 1 Week in Nepal
With one week in Nepal, you’ll have enough time to enjoy the cultural treasures of Kathmandu, get out into the surrounding hills and villages, and even take a scenic flight along the Himalayas. Here’s how to get the most out of a week in Nepal.
Days 1–3: Kathmandu’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The Kathmandu Valley contains several UNESCO World Heritage sites, which should be a top priority when visiting the Nepalese capital. On your first day, visit the sites closest to the central Thamel neighborhood: Pashupatinath, a Hindu temple and cremation ground; the Boudhanath Stupa, a Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage site; and the hilltop temple of Swayambhunath Stupa. Continue the cultural exploration on days two and three by traveling to Patan and Bhaktapur, once separate kingdoms but now on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Home to the Kathmandu Valley’s indigenous Newar people, Patan and Bhaktapur are each full of temples, palaces, shops selling local handicrafts, and plenty of atmosphere.
Days 4–6: Day Trips Outside the Kathmandu Valley
For a glimpse into rural Nepali life, strike out to nearby towns such as Nagarkot, Namo Buddha, Panauti, and Dhulikhel. Nagarkot is especially famous for its sunrise views of the Himalaya; Namo Buddha has equally good mountain views and a Buddhist pilgrimage site; Panauti is one of the best-preserved Newari towns in Nepal; and Dhulikhel also has good views and many trekking trails. You can hike or mountain bike through the steep terraced farmland and forest, or just experience local village life, clear mountain views, delicious food, and Nepal’s diverse cultures. Visit all four towns or chill out in one or two, either staying at small guesthouses or homestays or returning to your Kathmandu accommodation each night.
Day 7: Scenic Flight and Himalayan Views
Get up early to take a flight along the mighty Himalaya, including the highest mountain in the world, Everest. Travelers on a more generous budget can take a helicopter flight to Everest Base Camp, a truly memorable experience. Alternatively, check out the cable car at Chandragiri Hills in the southwest of the Kathmandu Valley, with sweeping views of the capital and, when the weather is clear, the Himalayas beyond. Take the cable car up and down, or hike one way. End the day—and your week in Nepal—at one of Kathmandu’s finest Nepali restaurants. There are many options in Thamel, as well as at some of the smarter hotels in other parts of Kathmandu.