First Time in Kathmandu! How to Prepare & What To Expect in Your First Time Visit

  1. Backpacking by Kathmandu 3-day itinerary

With 3 days in Kathmandu you can really cover a lot. While Kathmandu is a great chaos of a city, most backpackers attractions are very close to each other. Now that you’ve read the most important things to do in Kathmandu, take a look at my three-day itinerary to Kathmandu to find out how to organize your time in Kathmandu for three days.

  • Kathmandu Itinerary: Day 1

After your arrival in Kathmandu and a good night’s sleep, you can explore the city. Move around Kathmandu. It is recommended to start the day exploring the Thamel. Thamel is really a strange alternative reality. Shops, restaurants, people, rickshaws, motorcycles, food and more people are bombarding the senses. It is the Nepalese version of the wonderland for backpackers.

Thamel is a good introduction to Kathmandu, as it allows an easy landing in an increasingly hectic city. People speak English Food is everywhere. You can move on foot. I would like to remind you to wait until your last day in Kathmandu, or after your return from trekking, to collect memories if you are heading to the mountains.

Find a position outside the Thamel and feel comfortable with Daal Bhat. This is your first experience with a meal that you are likely to consume every day. Be comfortable. Keep up with Thamel, head to Durbar Square and enjoy the views.

The itinerary for this day in Kathmandu may seem moderate, but I can guarantee that you will not be in the city all day, especially when it is hot. Relax with a cold beer on the terrace of your hostel and wait for the next few days.                                            

  • Kathmandu Itinerary: Day 2

Start your morning with a rich breakfast in one of the many cafes. Not surprisingly, you can find an excellent western breakfast for a few dollars. Normally, I would tell you to stay away from Western food when you visit an exotic country like Nepal, but if you don’t want rice and dairy products three times a day, you have to go in search of treasure from time to time.

The first stop of the day is the old town of Kathmandu. You need to take a taxi to get here. The trip should not be more than 300 rs from Thamel. Here you can stroll through the narrow streets and visit some bazaars on the way to attractions such as the Itum Bahal courtyard.


Take a look at the Asan Tole Bazaar to let your senses be overwhelmed by the action. Great fact: This market has been around for centuries! Immerse yourself in history and the beautiful chaos. It is easy to find something tasty and cheap. Most likely, lunch is Daal Bhat or Momos.

When the day turns into the afternoon, drive to Swayambhnath / The Monkey Temple. The Temple of the Monkeys is one of the most important sanctuaries of Buddhism. As for the views at sunset, it can’t be better than on the hill where the monkey is.

  • Kathmandu Itinerary: Day 3

At this point you should already have a lot of dust in your hair and in your clothes. They integrate well in Kathmandu. After breakfast, you have several options: Go to Boudnath Stupa or Pashupatinath Temple Complex. If it were me, I would go to Boudnath first.

Boudnath is another Buddhist stupa, and the area has become home to the Tibetan exile population of Nepal. The Stupa area is a pleasant and circular market with restaurants, cafes and small souvenir shops where sellers do not bother you as much as in Thamel. There is much to do in and around Boudnath to keep it busy for hours.

After Boudnath and lunch, head to Swapna Bagaicha (Garden of Dreams) to stroll through one of the few “quiet” places in Kathmandu. The beautiful outdoor area was inspired by the English Garden in the United Kingdom. During the last decade, the Garden of Dreams has experienced a real boom. Kathmandu is not known for its many green spaces.

So enjoy the hell of this piece of heaven! In the late afternoon we will drive to Pashupatinath. In Pashupatinath, there are a number of important temples and ashrams, as well as funeral ceremonies on the banks of the river. Here the Hindu families, who have enough money to pay for the wood, burn their dead.

I saw a funeral pyre ceremony, but to be honest, I felt very strange. The atmosphere was almost like a sporting event where people sold loudly water and soft drinks. Seeing a burned corpse was certainly very powerful. The impressive Boudhanath Stupa at sunset.

  • More things to do in Kathmandu.

* Seto Machhendranath Temple (Jan Bahal): a very attractive temple area that attracts Buddhists and Hindus.


Hanuman Dhoka: the royal palace of Kathmandu, where parts of the fourth century come from.

* Three Buddha Park: huge golden Buddha statues, 20 meters high, near the Temple of the Monkeys (at the foot of the hill).

* Indoor climbing: if you want to do some exercise or are just looking for a morning to climb, visit one of the climbing gyms in Kathmandu. You can rent all the equipment you need.

* Go to a cricket match: cricket teams in Nepal may not have the same reputation and legacy as teams in India, but Nepalese are still crazy about the sport. Going to a cricket game is always a good time, even if you don’t understand the rules.

  1. Kathmandu off the beaten track

Kathmandu has many places where backpackers go. In any other place in the city, you can experience an unusual adventure … to some extent. In Kathmandu, the nature of urban exploration is limited. We better not venture into the slums of the suburbs, especially after dark.

Perhaps nothing happens to you, but there really is nothing to do, and the inhabitants of these neighborhoods simply struggle to survive every day. If you go out with your smart pants camera and your stomach full, you may not feel so well.

However, there are many lesser-known monasteries, temples and shrines throughout the city, which have no traffic with the places mentioned above. If you are looking out of the ordinary in Kathmandu, it is very easy, as backpackers destinations are quite concentrated. In Kathmandu there are many great hidden (and quiet) treasures to discover …

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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