Day 2 - Kathmandu Cultural Tour: Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar SquareAfter breakfast at your hotel, you'll be picked up by an English-speaking guide for a full-day tour of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting three sacred sites: Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square.
This day fits quite a bit in—helpful for maximizing your time in Kathmandu—but doesn't overload you with too many sites. You can spend as much time as you like at each temple (this is a private tour just for you), although most people tend to spend an hour. For lunch, you'll stop at one of our recommended local restaurants.
A few miles from the city center on a scenic hill, this is the best place to observe religious harmony between the Nepalese Buddhists and Hindus, as well as the Kathmandu Valley below. The stupa—a dome-shaped Buddhist structure—is one of the most historic shrines in this part of the world. Along with prayer wheels and fine paintings displayed in the monasteries, Swayambhunath also boasts the largest Buddha statue in the country.
Pashupatinath Temple Complex
Located on the bank of the Bagmati river, this is the site of Nepal's holiest Hindu pilgrimage and has received worshippers for at least 1,500 years. A circuit of the Pashupati area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of Buddha and an eighth-century statue of Brahma, the Creator. Wander past skeletal images guarding temple gates and other magnificent temples dedicated to various deities in the complex.
Patan Durbar Square
This beautiful archaeological site and monastery holds 14th-century statues and ancient scriptures. While here, you will visit the Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple, Mahaboudha Temple in Terracotta, and Oku Bahal.
Return to your hotel in Kathmandu in the late afternoon and meet your trekking guide who will go over details for tomorrow's adventure.
Tour length: 7-8 hours (including transfers)