It’s sunrise in Nepal. I step out onto the balcony as the sky warms to a golden glow, the chirping of birds welcoming a new day. It’s as still as I’ll ever feel this buzzing city, and it’s the perfect start to my 24 hours in Kathmandu.

24 Hours in Kathmandu

24 Hours in Kathmandu

I arrived in Nepal yesterday evening, excited to reach my 104th country and explore a destination everyone speaks so highly of. I’m here to track red pandas in the east, but like most visitors I have a day in Kathmandu before my official trip begins. I’m looking forward to exploring the highlights of the capital.

Kathmandu Rooftops

Dwarika’s Hotel

But back to the sunrise. I’m on the balcony of my room at Dwarika’s Hotel, a peaceful hideaway in the heaving city.

Kathmandu Sunrise

Full of heritage details and traditional Nepalese design, it’s one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Being here is the perfect introduction to Kathmandu.

Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu

Garden of Dreams

As is the next stop on my itinerary, the Garden of Dreams. This walled green space in the city center is bursting with flowers and is a great place to ease into a day of sightseeing.

Garden of Dreams, Kathmandu

Originally built as a private garden in the 1920s, it was restored in recent years for locals and visitors to enjoy. My boyfriend and I luxuriate in the grounds before having a thali lunch at Kaiser Cafe within its walls, soaking up the views as we do the flavors.


Boudhanath Stupa

After lunch we browse the colorful shops outside the garden before meeting a guide from the Red Panda Network, with whom we’ll be traveling to Ilam the following day. He has organized a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu for us, and our first stop is the Boudhanath Stupa.

Boudhanath Stupa

One of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world, it dominates the square around it as its eyes look down upon us. We walk around the stupa and watch the prayer wheels spin, then get a better view from one of the many surrounding rooftop restaurants.

Boudhanath Stupa

Patan Durbar Square

From the Boudhanath Stupa we head to Patan Durbar Square, another of Kathmandu’s cultural highlights. Surrounded by historic palaces and temples, the square gives way to a labyrinth of courtyards with treasures aplenty.

Patan Durbar Square

Despite extensive earthquake damage in 2015, Patan Durbar Square maintains its legendary atmosphere. We’re amazed by the carved wooden details on the buildings and the intricate designs of the temples.

Patan Durbar Square


Back at Dwarika’s Hotel, our 24 hours in Kathmandu wind down with a traditional dinner at the Krishnarpan restaurant. Six courses of regional cuisine fill us with the flavors of Nepal as everything from chickpea curry to spiced pumpkin sets us up for our journey ahead.

Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu

And what a journey it will be. Stay tuned…

Have you been here? How would you spend 24 hours in Kathmandu?

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24 Hours in Kathmandu

12 Comments on Lady’s 24 Hours in Kathmandu

  1. This is perfect timing! I’ve off to Nepal to do some trekking at the end of the month, and like you, I’ll have a little time in Kathmandu before I head out on my adventure. This definitely gives me some ideas of how to spend my time! I love the stupa with the eyes and definitely need a photograph of it!

  2. Kathmandu is on my bucket list. It looks beautiful and very different. I love when you go places I have only dreamed of!

  3. Kathmandu is one of my favorite cities! If you have time on your way back through, have a wander through Basantapur and nearby Freak Street — it’s not as touristy as Thamel and has some great little cafes and restaurants in which to pass the time. And be sure to try some buff momos if you get the chance, they’re delicious!

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