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Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Basics

The former city-state of Bhaktapur, the most powerful of the three Malla Kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley, retains a medieval ambiance. Unlike Kathmandu and Patan, it is mainly car-free, so the stunning heritage city gives visitors a sense of centuries-ago lifestyles during royal times in Nepal. Durbar Square, now an open-air museum, contains impressive ancient royal landmarks, including the intricately wood-carved Palace of Fifty-Five Windows and the 17th-century Lion Gate.

Independent travelers can soak up the ambiance with a stroll through Bhaktapur’s cobblestoned streets and red-brick lanes, but visitors wanting more in-depth background information on the one-time kingdom’s history and culture should opt for a guided walking tour. Most excursions have morning or afternoon options and cover all the top heritage sites in Durbar Square—plus little-known corners of the city favored by locals.

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Day Trip to Bhaktapur and Panauti from Kathmandu
Day Trip to Bhaktapur and Panauti from Kathmandu
$34.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great
Had alot of fun walking through the really old city and seeing all the great sites, I would definitely recommend this trip.
Ethan_R, Sep 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Kathmandu

star-5
Great day trip!
MiloGretaVentures, Oct 2019
Private Full-Day Tour With Nagarkot Sunrise and Bhaktapur From Kathmandu
We went on the Nagarkot sunrise and Bhaktapur Durbar Square tour and it was excellent. Prakash was very knowledgeable about the history and landscape that we were seeing. We were lucky to see the sunrise and the view of several Himalayan mountain ranges. I recommend this tour and company.
star-4
Great daytrip
Flyer826722, Dec 2019
Day Trip to Bhaktapur and Panauti from Kathmandu
I took this daytrip to escape from the noise of Kathmandu and Thamel, and it was awesome. My guide was very accomodating and he was explaining the different places and buildings as we went. The only cons is that it's more a half day trip and I would have liked to spend more time visting Bhaktapur. I really recommend doing this if you are in kathmandu and want a more quiet experience.
star-5
We had a great time on this tour...
Leni.Hester, Nov 2017
Bhaktapur Sightseeing with Nagarkot Sunset Tour
We had a great time on this tour! Our guide was helpful and fun. I feel like we got a lot packed into one day. Bhaktapur was gorgeous, though it was sad seeing all of the damage done by the earthquake. The view from the tower at Nagarkot was fantastic!
star-5
Excellent tour guide! Though we...
Yang, May 2018
Private Full-Day Tour With Nagarkot Sunrise and Bhaktapur From Kathmandu
Excellent tour guide! Though we didn't see the sunrise at Nagarkot because of the clouds but we had a fun time in Bhaktapur.
star-4
A fascinating city. The only damper...
michael E, Oct 2016
Bhaktapur Old City and Durbar Square Half-Day Tour
A fascinating city. The only damper was the rain. With so many damaged buildings due to the 2015 earthquake, I hope the people of Bhaktapur can rebuild sooner rather than later. Our guide was so welcoming and knowledgable. The ride out of Kathmandu also gave us a view of everyday Nepalese life.
star-5
Lovely tour!
Janina_P, Feb 2020
Day Trip to Bhaktapur and Panauti from Kathmandu
We had such a wonderful time! The guide was so nice and we learned a lot. I recommend this to everyone who wants to see more of the beautiful places in the region.
star-5
Beautiful trip to Bhaktapur and Patan
Companion68143011583, Jun 2019
City tour of Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square
I enjoyed this trip very much. Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square are a "must see". I especially liked Bhaktapur with its ancient little streets and beautiful temples. Taumadhi Square is exceptional as well as the Pottery square (for pottery lovers). Our tour guide was excellent
star-5
City tour of Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square
LaurieScudder, Feb 2020
City tour of Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square
Wonderful day with Shanti, who was a knowledgeable, interesting, charming guide. Took me through the entire area, allowing me to start and stop as I chose. She was terrific and the two sites are stunning.
star-5
Wonderful trip
juergenisenberg71, Feb 2020
Day Trip to Bhaktapur and Panauti from Kathmandu
This trip to two ancient places in the Kathmandu valley is highly recommended. The squares and temples are amazing. Especially when you have Dilip as your guide. It seems that he knows a lot about the Nepali history, can answer any question. Very pleasant, nice guy.
star-5
Fantastic sunset views
albahi, Jan 2020
Bhaktapur Sightseeing with Nagarkot Sunset Tour
Fantastic tour. A very knowleable tour guide. Sunset views are fantastic. Professionalism and puncticulaty are commendables. Prepare yourself to very bad roads. You will have fantastic body massage caused by the car. Also attention to the cold weather although the temperature was around 6 deg. C.
star-5
Bhaktapur & Patan with Shanti Karki!
P3403IUmonicam, Dec 2019
City tour of Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Square
This was a spectacular tour of two magical ancient sacred sites! it is mind boggling to imagine these places still exist and I feel very lucky to have been able to do so. Shanti Karki is an excellent guide with a wealth of information about every aspect of the trip, is very patient with all my questions, not to mention an excellent photographer! An unforgettable tour!
star-5
This was an excellent tour. Our...
jzalen, Dec 2017
Private Full-Day Tour With Nagarkot Sunrise and Bhaktapur From Kathmandu
This was an excellent tour. Our guide was super friendly, spoke English perfectly, and made sure we had the exact right timing to see the sunrise at Nagarkot. She was patient for us to take all the photos we wanted and even had the driver stop additionally for more views. She was well informed for the tour of Bhaktapur, even taking us to some more local type places for the best experience. I would definitely recommend this tour and especially our guide.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square is a must-see for history buffs and heritage enthusiasts.

  • Don’t forget to taste juju dhau, or “king’s yogurt,” a Bhaktapur delicacy.

  • Dress comfortably with proper footwear for cobblestoned streets and uneven surfaces.

  • Be prepared for a lot of walking, since the UNESCO-listed Old City is mainly vehicle-free.

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How to Get There

Taxi rentals are available from Kathmandu and can be arranged through most hotels. But, the majority of sightseeing tours offer round-trip car transfers, usually with private hotel pickup—by far the easiest way to travel to Bhaktapur. Some tours to Nagarkot, including trekking excursions, also cover sightseeing visits to Bhaktapur en route.

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When to Get There

Kathmandu Valley has a mild climate, making Bhaktapur an ideal year-round destination. Time your visit for October to catch Tihar, the Nepali festival of lights, when the city lights up with clay candles to honor the Hindu goddess of wealth, Laxmi. The Nepali New Year every April is celebrated with street processions led by gilded chariots.

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Bhaktapur Hiking

For a complete cultural immersion, take a hike through stone villages and terraced farmlands in the Kathmandu Valley, home to multiple Nepali ethnic groups, but mainly the Newars. Trekking routes that begin in Bhaktapur usually ascend to the hilltop resort of Nagarkot, famous for its sunrise and sunset panoramas over the Himalayan mountain chain (on clear days, this even includes Mount Everest).

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