NEPAL: KATHMANDU IN ONE DAY
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
There are plenty of things to do in Kathmandu during a day , if you are on a tight schedule and you only have one day. Otherwise i would definitely suggest for at least 3-4 days , including day trips in Bhaktapur and Lalitpur cities. I've been to Kathmandu for some days so i will try to summarize the ''must'' places (in my opinion) that you must visit if you have limited time.
The touristy , souvenir , night life , restaurant area. In bussy Thamel you can expect to find everything regarding tourism in Nepal. Walk through the streets of Thamel , grab a some souvenirs along the way if you like that , or book your tours / day trips (if you haven't pre-booked already).
Most taxi drivers in Thamel speak good English , and they can take you on a sightseeing ride , playing also the role of the guide. If choose to actually do this , you can make a deal with the taxi driver before and make a stop to some of the destinations i recommend bellow. (Don't hesitate to bargain with the taxi driver). Lastly Thamel is the easiest solution regarding food and drinks. You can find anything to eat , cheap eats , fancy restaurant etc.
For drinks , Reggae Bar Thamel , Shisha Lounge and Bar , Sam's Bar , Pagoda bar & Cafe (Beautiful atmosphere. Also for Food)
For Food: Roadhouse Cafe , Yala Cafe , OR2K (amazing vegetarian food) , Electric Pagoda bar & Cafe and for Coffee Himalayan Java.
Swayambhu Mahachaitya (Monkey Temple). You can go by Taxi , or if you are up to , just walk there , if you are staying around Thamel str. , it is about 2.5 km distance. Beautiful Buddha temple , with a stunning view of the city , because the temple is build on a small hill (Be prepared to climb some steps). The population of the monkeys there is crazy. They are friendly but don't get to close holding food , camera or an item that might look as a danger to them. Is a popular place for monks as i noticed. They go there for praying , so you will also see some monks praying.
Sacred Hindu temple along both sides of the riverbank. Build from Hindu people to worship God Shiva. You definitely do not wanna miss (ask your hotel , or locals for info) , the cremation ceremony that often takes place on the riverbank cremation site.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
(Do not confuse with other Patan or Bhaktapur Durbar Squares near Kathmandu).
Kathmandu Durbar Square , is a complex of various ancient palaces and templates including a museum). Entrance fee in the complex is less than €10. Make sure to walk around the area. Personally , i walked there from Thamel.
Kumari Ghar is the Historical palace of the living goddess Kumari who is worshipped by Hindus & Buddhists. (located in Kathmandu Durbar Square)
All the above suggestions , are a result of my own personal research , my experience during my staying there and off course my own likes and preferences and i hope that they will come up useful. The place i mention are more than enough for one day. It might even be to much. If you have more time you might want to also visit Boudha Stupa , which is an important Buddha worship temple. I chose not to , because i thought Monkey Temple (i mention above) and also some other Buddha temples in cities near Kathmandu was enough!
My advice for you , when you are in Kathmandu , is walk as much as you can. I generally do that in every big city i travel , but in Kathmandu i enjoyed it greatly. Even the very crowd and dusty part of it. The wandering and discovering part in Kathmandu is very interesting. I mean the colors , the food smells , the old buildings , the outdoor markets , the small shops ( i can still smell and taste the experience). I should warn you though , some times it can be very crowded and smelly. I didn't mind that , but if you are not into that and you wanna skip the walking part , just use a taxi or rickshaw.
Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur
Two ancient cities part of Kathmandu valley (not Kathmandu city). You can squeeze both of them in one day trip (i recommend you don't) , either do two separate day trips as i chose to do , one for each city driving from Kathmandu and back. More about those two cities coming soon . .