One Day Activity That You Can Do In Kathmandu

  • Jun 8, 2022
  • Rajesh Thapaliya

Are you in Kathmandu for a short leave?Do you have an extra free day in Kathmandu before or after going on a long mountain trip? So, you must be looking for something that can be done within a day which provides one extra experience that you might not get from other trips. Here are some one-day exploration tours that you can do near Kathmandu which will help to spend your day. Not only killing your free time with these trips, you surely will get unforgettable memories with them.Kathmandu day tour
Kathmandu Valley

Table of Contents

Nepal is a country with a richness of natural and cultural attractions. This is a Himalayan country so there are lots of adventure travellers visiting this country every year. Of course, the mighty Himalayas are the main attraction for people from all around the world but there are lots of other things to explore in Nepal.

Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal having only an international airport. All the travellers must visit Kathmandu because there are not any other options except some land borders through India and Tibet. There are many sights such as UNESCO world heritage and non-heritage but worth visiting. You can do some day trips in Kathmandu in a short holiday or before and after doing a Himalayan trek. If you are going on a trek, you need to be acclimatized so resting at least one day before going towards the mountain, you can do a one-day exploration tour, hike or scenic mountain flight in Kathmandu.

Day Tours In Kathmandu - History, Cultural, Religion and Art Activities

day tours in Kathmandu
Bouddhanath Stupa

There are numerous day tour sights in Kathmandu. There are 7 UNESCO cultural world heritage sites in the valley so you can visit those sites during one day tour. Visiting these 7 heritage sites has been divided into different day tours as the Kathmandu day tour of Bhaktapur and the Patan day tour. Also, there are many heritage sites in Kathmandu to visit but they are not listed as world heritage sites. It doesn’t mean that normal heritage sites are not worth visiting. They are nice sites to see even though, they are not world heritage sites.

Kathmandu Day Tour 

Kathmandu day tour is about a 7-8 hours tour visiting 4 UNESCO world heritage sites. You can start this tour after breakfast with private transport. You can visit Kathmandu Durbar square, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath on this day tour. Kathmandu Durbar square is an ancient royal palace with lots of temples, living goddesses and much more. You can learn history, religion and culture from this place by viewing historical and religious monuments.

Swayambhunath is situated on a hill station. It is a Buddhist site so you can see lots of monuments here according to Tibetan Buddhism. This place is also known as a monkey temple because there are lots of monkeys. The monkeys from this place are cool so they do nothing to the people if you don’t tease them. You can see a nice view of the Kathmandu valley from the hilltop.

Pashupatinath is one of the most popular Hindu temples among the Hindu community from all over the world. This temple is very old with long religious history so thousands of Hindu pilgrimages are visiting this temple as an offering to the god Shiva. Also, there are a lot of tourists visiting this place and seeing an open cremation.

Another beautiful site to visit during this Kathmandu day tour is Bouddhanath. It was established in the 4th/5th century with a relic of the 3rd Buddha (Kasyapa). Bouddhanath Stupa is the highest Stupa in Nepal and the second in the world. This Stupa has made with Mandala architecture so Mandala is a meditational device. You will visit these 4 sites on your Kathmandu day tour and return to your hotel.

Bhaktapur And Patan Day Tour

Bhaktapur and Patan day tour covers these two different ancient royal places. Not only have the palaces to see in these places, but there are also lots of other things to explore.

Bhaktapur is the oldest city in Kathmandu valley. This place was the ancient capital of the valley until the 15th century. Then the valley was divided into 3 kingdoms and 3 different kings were ruled Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. Lots of people are still doing farming in this city.

There are 4 different squares main Durbar square, pottery square, Taumadhi Square and Dattatraya square. 55 windows palace, the tallest temple- Nyatapola and much more attractions can be seen on the Bhaktapur city tour.

Patan means a flat land though, this place is known as Lalitpur. Lalit means the fine arts and Pura means place so we can say this is the city of fine arts. Patan durbar square is one of the smallest ancient royal palaces in the valley. You can see lots of attractive temples with different architecture. One of the most beautiful temples in this place is the Krishna temple with 21 pinnacles and all made out of stone. You can see a lot of metal carvings works around this place.

Dakshinkali Pharping Day Tour 

Dakshinkali Pharping day tour is a nice and quiet day tour that takes you a few kilometres out from the crowded city. You will feel fresh and at peace during this tour. You will visit two different sites Dakshinkali and Pharping.

Dakshinkali is a Hindu site so this is a temple of the goddess Kali where you can see offerings by many Hindu pilgrims. It is located at a junction of three different small rivers surrounding dense forest. After this, you will visit Pharping which is a Buddhist site. Here, you can see lots of colourful Buddhist prayer flags, and a cave where Padmasambhava had meditated. You also can visit a beautiful monastery and Sheshnarayan temple in this place and drive back to your hotel after the tour.

Besides these day tours, you can do Bungmati Khokana typical Newar village tour, Chandragiri hill tour with cable car, Dhulikhel Panauti tour and many more.

Day Hikes Around Kathmandu - Nature Activities

Nature hiking
National park hike

Day tours are driving from one site to the next and exploring the area. If you are looking a bit more adventurous than the day tours, you can do one-day hiking trips around Kathmandu. There are numerous hiking trails that offer scenic mountain views, landscapes, valleys, nature, local experiences and much more.

Nagarkot Changunarayan Hike

The most popular hiking by many hikers near Kathmandu is the Nagarkot Changunarayan hiking route. There are many domestic and international hikers every day on this trail. You can start this hike starting the early morning drive from Kathmandu to Nagarkot hill station for sunrise and start the hike, just go for a hike or spend one night in Nagarkot and hike downwards to Changunarayan.

This hike is about a 4-5 hrs hike through traditional villages and forests enjoying the lifestyle of the villagers, scenic mountain views, valleys, landscape and much more. You will finish the hike by reaching Changunarayan which is a cultural UNESCO world heritage site. You can drive back to Kathmandu after visiting Changunarayan or visit Bhaktapur on the way to Kathmandu.

Shivapuri Nature Hike

Shivapuri hill is the highest elevated hill around Kathmandu valley. This is a full nature hike that you will hike the whole trail inside the forest through Shivapuri national park. Though, you will visit a beautiful monastery, the house of Sadhus (Kuti) along the trail. You will see the starting point of the Bagmati river on this hike which is Baghdwar. It is a bit steep day hike and you can enjoy nature, a view of the valley, wildlife, birds and much more from this hike. After reaching the top of Shivapuri hill, you will hike back to Narayanthan and drive back to your hotel.

Champadevi Hike

Champadevi hike is the easiest and most beautiful day hike near Kathmandu. It is a short day hike that is recommended for families and people who don’t have any hiking experiences. You will drive a few kilometres south of the city centre which takes about an hour drive to Pharping and start the hike towards Hattiban resort and Chanpadevi hill.

You will see an amazing view of Kathmandu valley, Pharping valley, and the high Himalayas on a clear day and enjoy nature with this hike. There are colourful prayer flags, Stupa and Hindu shrines on the top of Champadevi hill. After reaching the top of Chapadevi hill, you can hike back to the same place from where you start your hike or hike to Kritipur or Taudaha and drive back to the city.

Kakani Suryachaur Hike

Kakani Suryachaur hike is also a nature hike near Kathmandu. You will drive from the city to a hill station Kakani which takes around 2 hrs. You will see scenic mountain views of Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and Langtang ranges from here and hikes through Shivapuri national park for about 3 hours to reach Suryachaur. Suryachaur is in an open area so again you will see mountains views with amazing landscapes. Then you will hike another hour to Jhon and drive back to the hotel.

You can even stay overnight in this place and do paragliding if you would like to. This is a new hiking trail so there should be fewer people on the trail.

Jamacho Nagarjun Hike

The nearest hiking trail from the city centre is Jamacho Nagarjun day hike. You will drive around half an hour to the starting point and then hike to the hill. This hike offers one of the best views of Kathmandu valley with scenic panoramic mountain views. You can see nice birds along the hike and visit the beautiful Nagarjun monastery on the top. This hiking trail also goes through the Shivapuri Najarun national park.

Seeing Scenic Mountains From Kathmandu - Flight Tour Activity

Everest base camp helicopter tour
Everest base camp helicopter flight

Besides visiting cultural, and historical heritage sites and doing some hikes from Kathmandu, you can do scenic mountain tours also within a day. You can see and explore magnificent mountains in Kathmandu. You need to do some mountain flight tours for this which won’t physically stress.

You can do two kinds of mountain flights tour from Kathmandu using a plane flight and a helicopter flight. Both of them are sharing flight tours but you can do a private flight tour with a helicopter if you would like.

Everest Scenic Flight

Everest scenic flight is a popular flight tour that takes you to the high Himalayas within a couple of hours. This kind of flight operates in the morning with clear weather from Kathmandu airport. Hundreds of people are doing this scenic flight tour every morning.

The plane will have single sitting seats on both sides and fly around both directions so all the people will be able to see the mountains well. You will land back at the same airport after this scenic flight. You can see Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Gauri Shankar, Manaslu and more massifs from the flight.

Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

Everest base camp helicopter tour is the best option to reach the base camp of the world’s highest mountain within a few hours. This tour is also known as Everest base camp helicopter with the landings. There are several landings such as at Lukla, Everest view hotel and Kala Patthar. You can see one of the best and nearest views of Mt. Everest and its range from Kala Patthar.

Flying over traditional villages, glaciers, base camps, and landscapes with landing on those vantage viewpoints, you will enjoy a lot with this tour. Though it is an expensive day tour compared to the other day trips it can be one of the best experiences ever.

Except for these day tours, day hikes, and mountain flight trips, you can do a one-day rafting trip to Trishuli River and Bhotekoshi River and a bungee trip. Also, you can do cycling tours, biking tours, rickshaw tours and visit some local markets on one day trip in Kathmandu.


There are lots of historical ancient sites to visit in Kathmandu on your free day. Visiting these sites not only to see so you can learn a lot about history, culture and religion. Hiking trips to different trails take you out of the noise and make your mind fresh. These day tours and day hikes around Kathmandu can be done with low budgets but the scenic flight tours might be a bit costly compared to other trips. But flight tours may provide one of the best one-day tour experiences from Kathmandu. These one-day exploration trips are good for those people who are for a short visit to Kathmandu.

Rajesh Thapaliya

Rajesh Thapaliya

Namaste! I am Rajesh, a Nepal travel blogger who provides Nepal travel tips to travellers who are planning to visit Nepal and know about Nepal.

I am a tourism service provider in Nepal So far, I have been to the Nepalese Himalayan base camps as a tour leader and collected lots of information about the Nepalese Himalayas. You can find my experiences in my travel blogs, so it may make it a lot easier for you to travel to Nepal.

You may find beautiful photos on Instagram,  Facebook and Twitter. I have worked very hard to be in this stage after high school and dedicated my experiences to the people who would like to know about Nepal and Nepal travel.