Kathmandu Culture & history

Our most recommended Kathmandu Culture & history

From Kathmandu: 8-Day Tibetan Excursion Fly-In Drive-Out

1. From Kathmandu: 8-Day Tibetan Excursion Fly-In Drive-Out

Tibet Tour with Everest Base Camp is the most demanding and popular tour to Tibet, where you’ll be embarking on a journey on a 920 kilometers stretch of road, known as the Friendship Highway between Lhasa to Kathmandu. Tibet with Everest Base Camp Tour allows you on several detours to the highlights of the Tsang Province and natural exploration of the central part of the Tibetan Plateau surrounded by mountains of 5,500 meters of a forgotten world. Explore various settlements along the way towards the Tibet Everest Base Camp which offers a spectacular view of Mt. Everest from the southern side with other endless rows of mountains, get insight into the life and culture of the friendly Tibetan people, discover ancient monasteries, observe the sacred chanting of the monks, hiking along the tranquil shores of the Turquoise Lake Yamdrok Tso. This Tibet Tour with Everest Base Camp is designed as an opportunity to learn about various traditions and cultures of people along with natural wonders. Day 1: Kathmandu to Lhasa (3,650m) Get picked up from your hotel in Kathmandu and taken to the airport. Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa and arrive at the Gonngar Airport. Transfer one hour to Lhasa and enjoy a full night's rest for acclimatization at a hotel. Day 2-3: Two days of sightseeing in Lhasa Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar, Drepung Monastery, and the Sera Monastery with a guide. Stay overnight at a hotel. Day 4: Lhasa - Gyantse (3,950m) - Shigatse Drive to Gyantse via Yamadroke Lake and the high passes, Kora LA (5,010m) and Kamba La (4,794m). After breakfast, enjoy some sightseeing in Gyantse with visits to Pholkor and Kumbum Monastery. In the evening, take a 1.5-hour scenic drive to Xigatse through the typical Tibetan countryside. Stay overnight at a hotel. Day 5: Shigatse - Xegar (4,200m) Wake up and head off to visit Panchen Lama’s Tashilhumpu Monastery. Then drive to Xegar, crossing over Gyatchula, a pass of 5,200m. Settle in for an overnight at a hotel. Day 6: Xegar to Ronbuk (4,980m), 90 kilometers  Embark on a scenic drive to Ronbuk through the beautiful Tibetan countryside. Explore Ronbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the world, and enjoy an overnight at a guest house.   Day 7: Ronbuk - Everest Base Camp - Kerong Hike up to Everest Base Camp and explore the surrounding area. Travel back to Ronbuk and then drive to Kerong for overnight at a hotel. Day 8: Kerong to Kathmandu Head toward the Rasuwagadi border and, after necessary border formalities, drive to Kathmandu on the magical Friendship Highway to conclude the tour with hotel drop-off.

Kathmandu Valley Private 6-Hour Tour

2. Kathmandu Valley Private 6-Hour Tour

See the sights of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal on a 6-hour tour of an area that covers 218 square miles (350 kilometers). Kathmandu Valley contains 3 fabulous cities of great historic, religious, and cultural interest: Kathmandu (Kantipur), Patan (Lalitpur), and Bhadgaon (Bhaktapur). The Kathmandu Valley has often been described as an open-air art gallery with thousands of sacred shrines in brick, stone, metal, and wood scattered throughout it. On your tour, you will not be able to see the entire valley, but you will be taken to some of the most important and monumental sites. Many of these are squares or temples that are also designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu Durbar Square This square is home to a house full of woodcarvings of different gods and goddesses. In this 3-story palace you will also find the living Goddess Kumari. Both Hindus and Buddhists venerate her, and she serves as an illustration of the harmony between the Hindu and Buddhist people. One of the popular temples of Kathmandu Durbar Square is Kashamandap, locally known as Maru Sattal. It is believed that the name of Kathmandu City is derived from the name of this temple, and it is said that this temple is built by one single Sal (sorea robusta) tree. At the center of this temple, one can see the statue of a Hindu god Gorakhnath and in the 4 corners of the temple one can see Ganesh statues. The most visited temple of Kathmandu is Maru Ganesh. The people of Kathmandu Valley believe that the 4 Ganesh statues in the 4 corners of Kathmandu Valley protect the people living in Kathmandu. Every day people go to worship this temple, and especially on Tuesdays, you can see a long line of people waiting for hours to worship. Other interesting things to see here are Mahadev Temple, Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old Palace, Saraswoti Temple, Krishna Octangular Temple, Big Drums, Kal Bhairav, Jagannath Temple, and Tal. Swayambhunath/Monkey Temple Swayambhunath / Monkey Temple is a 2,500-year-old Stupa situated overlooking Kathmandu Valley. Its name comes from the holy monkey living in part of the complex. The painted eyes on 4 sides symbolize the all-seeing eyes of Buddha, and the site is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Pashupatinath Temple Pashupatinath is a temple of Lord Shiva and the most sacred of the 275 Shiva temples worldwide. It is also the oldest temple in Kathmandu. The Bagmati River runs alongside the temple, and is the site not only of pilgrims who bathe in the river, but also contains a special area where members of the royal family are cremated. Boudhanath Stupa Boudhanath Stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also one of the biggest in the world. It is the most important pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists, who come here by the thousands during the winter festival to pay their respect. Patan Durbar Square Patan Durbar Square is home to the former Patan Royal Family. The most photographed of Kathmandu’s 3 Durbar Squares, it features a remarkable display of Newari architecture. Its main attractions include the Krishna Temple, with its 21 golden pinnacles, Rudra Varna Mahavihar, a Buddhist Monastery that houses local treasures, and the central courtyard of Mul Chowk.

Spiritual Nepal: Expert insight into Hinduism and Buddhism

3. Spiritual Nepal: Expert insight into Hinduism and Buddhism

Meet up with your guide and fellow travelers at the meeting point and hop in for a ride in a cab (local taxi for up to 2 people, private cab for more than 2 people) to the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal: the Boudhanath Stupa. Rotate the prayer wheels along with the locals as you circumnavigate the magnificent white spherical dome and offer prayers to Lord Buddha by lighting a traditional butter lamp. After this spiritual experience, walk for around 15 minutes to Pashupatinath Temple, the largest Hindu pilgrimage site of Nepal. At Pashupatinath, go on an insightful spiritual journey of Hindu beliefs, the cycle of birth and death, and the stories of Sadhus - Hindu Holy Men, who renounce their hedonistic social life to devote their life to Shiva (Hindu God of Destruction). You can also get your future read by a local palm-reader! Witness one of many cremations along the banks of Bagmati River, and interact with soot-smeared, saffron-clad, dreadlocked Sadhus. As the sun goes down, brace yourself to be overwhelmed by throngs of locals as they gather around on the banks of Bagmati River on the eastern side of Pashupatinath Temple. Watch along with them the mesmerizing everyday ritual called “Aarati,” which is an offering of lights to Lord Pashupatinath. Make sure you keep near your guide and your group lest you get lost in the crowd of locals! Return a transformed person after this divine (and truly local) experience!

From Kathmandu: 12-Day Everest Base Camp Trek

4. From Kathmandu: 12-Day Everest Base Camp Trek

Day 1 Flight to Lukla and trek to Phakding Drive about 15 minutes early in the morning to Tribhuwan International Airport. After a 30-minute scenic flight to Lukla (2804 meters), begin your trek to Phakding (2610 meters) for 3 hours of easy walking. Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 2 Trek to Namche Bazaar (3535 meters). Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 3 Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar. Take a walk around the valley to adjust to the thin air. Namche Bazaar is known as the gateway of Everest. Opt to go to a museum on the same day. There, discover the traditional customs of the Sherpa people. Take in a fine view of Everest and other mountains from this place. Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 4 Trek to Tengboche (3850 meters) In reaching Tengboche, you will visit a monastery known as Tengboche monastery, where your guide will take you to observe the prayer ceremony, whether in the evening or morning. Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 5 Trek to Dingboche (4350 meters). Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 6 Enjoy another day for acclimatization. First, take a trip to Chhukung valley, then return to Dingboche in the evening. Afterward, go to Chhukung Ri (5546 meters) from there, and observe the 5th highest mountain, Mt. Makalu. Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 7 Trek to Lobuche (4950 meters). Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 8 Trek to Everest Base camp (5400 meters) and return to Gorakshep (5160 meters). Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 9 The day starts with a hike up to Kalapathar (5545 meters), an excellent viewpoint to enjoy views of Mount Everest and other spectacular mountain landscapes. Then trek back to Pheriche (4280 meters). Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 10 Trek back to Namche Bazar. Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 11 Trek to Lukla. Overnight at guesthouse, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Day 12 After breakfast, fly back to Kathmandu. Pick up service and transfer to your hotel.

Kathmandu: 4-Days Wellness Retreat in Osho Tapoban

5. Kathmandu: 4-Days Wellness Retreat in Osho Tapoban

Leave the bustle of Kathmandu behind and take some time to unwind at the thriving spiritual community of Osho Tapoban. The sanctuary lies in the forest of the Nagarjun Hills, giving you the chance to be surrounded by mother nature. Embrace the tranquility of the space, away from hectic everyday life. Take part in workshops for yoga, meditation, and other types of therapy. Attend a Satsang, a group activity where a guru will give a speech on a certain subject. Embrace spiritual fulfillment as you discuss interpretations of the meaning of life and other subjects. Outline Itinerary: Day 1: Drive to Tapoban at around 9:00 AM. Explore the place, take part in meditation, and stay overnight in the spiritual community. Day 2: Join early morning meditation and yoga. During the afternoon, listen to a prabachan (an eloquent reciting of text), visit the library, and browse the books. Enjoy more spiritual activities. Day 3: Join early morning meditation and yoga. During the afternoon, listen to a prabachan (an eloquent reciting of text), visit the library, and browse the books. Enjoy more spiritual activities. Day 4: Start the day with breakfast, then join the first session of meditation and activities. Set off to return to Kathmandu at around 10 AM.

Kathmandu: Kathmandu UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour

6. Kathmandu: Kathmandu UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour

Visit four of Kathmandu's top attractions on a private half-day tour. Start by traveling in your comfortable private vehicle from your hotel to the traditional heart of the medieval town. First, visit Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then watch the monkeys frolic around Swayambhunath temple. Next, take in the sacred prayer wheels and incense as you explore the Pashupatinath Temple and then Boudhanath stupa, one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal with roots going back to 600 AD. All along the way, hear informative commentary from your guide on a comprehensive tour of four unmissable sights in the city.

Everest Base Camp: 12 Day Trek Start/End at Kathmandu

7. Everest Base Camp: 12 Day Trek Start/End at Kathmandu

Trekking in the Everest region is a lifetime dream of many people. This classic Everest trek is the perfect chance to take in this majestic mountain and the splendid beauty of the region’s scenery. This trek winds, climbs, and descends its way through lush lowland and alpine forest, past Buddhist monasteries and authentic Sherpa Villages. You'll have the opportunity to explore the lifestyle of the Himalayan people, their religion, customs and traditions. Marvel at alluring birds like the golden eagle, snow pigeon, and red- and yellow-billed choughs, and discover flora like rhododendron, magnolias, blue pine, chir pine, juniper and hemlock.  Itinerary: Day 01: Flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. Trek to Phadking (2700m) Day 02: Phadking to Namche Bazaar (3420m) Day 03: Acclimatization in Namche (3420m) Day 04: Namche to Tengboche (3850m) Day 05: Tengboche to Pheriche (4240m)/Dingboche (4350m) Day 06: Pheriche/Dingboche to Lobuche (4930m) Day 07: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5160m) Day 08: Site trip to Everest Base Camp (5400m) Day 09: Pheriche to Tengboche Trek back to Tengboche and overnight at Tengboche Day 10: Tengboche to Namche Trek back to Namche and overnight at Namche Day 11: Namche to Lukla Trek back to Lukla and overnight at Lukla Day 12: Fly back to Kathmandu

Kathmandu: Full-Day City Sightseeing Tour

8. Kathmandu: Full-Day City Sightseeing Tour

Immerse yourself in the rich culture and heritage of the Kathmandu Valley on this guided tour. After getting picked up from your hotel, head to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Here, marvel at the architecture of the Royal Palace and admire several other buildings of religious and cultural importance including 3rd-century temples and courtyards. Continue your tour with a visit to Swyambunath Stupa. Here, get up close and personal with the site's resident monkeys and admire a range of shrines and temples before heading to your next stop, Bouddhanath Stupa. At Bouddhanath, pay your respects at the temple, which is considered to be the holiest temple in the world outside of Tibet, and marvel at the architecture at one of the world's largest stupas. Finally, visit Pashupatinath temple, which is one of the biggest Hindus temples in Nepal and believed to be the oldest in the country. Here, immerse yourself in Hindu traditions and learn more about why this temple is frequented by up to 7,000,000 devotees each year on the day of the Mahashivratri Festival. Get dropped off back at your hotel at the end of the day.

Kathmandu Walking Tour

9. Kathmandu Walking Tour

Start your tour by walking from your hotel to the nearby busy Ason, the oldest market place in Kathmandu, where you can witness the daily lives of the locals. As you walk, pass along busy streets, shops, squares, and ancient temples. Next, head to Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historical and religious location where many temples, palaces, shrines are located. Take a trip to the nearby famous Freak Street, the most popular junction during the Hippy era. Afterward continue to the Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at the top of a hill that will give you the most spectacular panoramic view of the entire Kathmandu Valley. Then, walk back to Thamel or alternatively, you can take a taxi from Swayambhunath to Thamel.

Kathmandu: 1-Day Private UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour

10. Kathmandu: 1-Day Private UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour

Discover 4 different UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu Valley including the Pashupathinath Temple, Bouddhanath Stupa, Swyambhunath Stupa, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. Learn the history from an English-speaking guide and embark on a 6-hour sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu Durbar Square Begin the tour at Kathmandu Durbar Square, one of the royal palaces and known as one of the cultural and political hubs of Nepal. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kathmandu Durbar Square is also one of three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley. Though a few buildings collapsed after the devastating earthquake on April 25th, 2015, you can observe the spectacular art and architecture of the ancient Malla and Shah dynasties. Swayambhunath Temple Continue the tour and head to the Swayambhunath Temple, also known as the “Monkey temple”. Situated on a small hillock on the west of Kathmandu city, it is a sacred place for Buddhist pilgrimages from all over the world. The painted eyes on the 4 sides of the main stupa represent wisdom and compassion. One can still observe the art and architecture at Swayambhunath which is believed to date back to the beginning of the 5th century. Boudhanath Stupa Boudhanath Stupa is one of the biggest UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world and a sacred site for Buddhist pilgrimages. Boudhanath is located on the ancient trade route between Nepal and Tibet. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of the Kassapa Buddha. Pashupatinath Temple On the last stop of the tour, you will visit the Pashupatinath Temple. The sacred Hindu shrine Pashupatinath is located on the bank of the Bagmati River on the eastern side of Kathmandu. The main temple of Pashupatinath was built using Pagoda-style architecture with four main doors. Though some of the buildings in the Pashupati area were damaged, the main building remained intact during the 2015 earthquake.

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What people are saying about Kathmandu

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 49 reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this very informative tour. The professional and friendly tour guide spoke good English and shared a wealth of knowledge about the objects of visit, and the overall culture and history of Nepal, and also answered any questions that I had. Just as described in the activity description I also had time to explore on my own which made the tour also relaxed. Hotel pick up and drop off happened timely and car was comfortable. As a solo traveller I found that this tour gave me the opportunity to see important landmarks comfortably and gain of insight about Kathmandu and Nepal. Highly recommended.

we enjoyed our first sightseeing in Nepal. we were promptly picked up by two very polite men, Rajan and Krishna. We went to all the places and our guide explained everything. very pleased, we have used Get your Guide in several country's and will continue to. If you want a intro into Kathmandu valley, this is a good tour. We tweeked it a bit because we don't want to walk up and down stairs. There was no problems.

We had a great day tour of Kathmandu with Kapil as our guide. We were promptly picked up from our hotel in a comfortable car with a/c. We spent 6 hours exploring Kathmandu’s main attractions, and loved seeing everything! Kapil has a great amount of knowledge, and is very personable and friendly - we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the tour company and in particular Kapil.

I highly recommend this trip especially with the best guide Kapil. We had a wonderful time and it was knowledgeable and the guide was so flexible with us especially with our 3 years daughter where he adjusted the plan so she can enjoy it too.

I learned so much from my guide, Madan Sakota. The city’s history. The cultures. Shrines. I now have a better understanding of Kathmandu and Nepal. Madan was such a pleasant and knowledgeable person. The perfect guide. Great experience!