Boudha Stupa and Boudhanath

Boudha Stupa is one of the biggest stupas in the world, and has been a World Heritage Site since 1979. It is one of the most popular locations for visitors in Kathmandu and dominates the skyline of Kathmandu with a height of 36m. It is located on the ancient trade route from Tibet entering the Kathmandu valley. It is particularly spectacular at night when lit up by hundreds if not thousands of butter lamps. Remember to walk in a clockwise direction around the Stupa!

Distance from the ROKPA Guest House: 3 minutes' walk

Price to access the Stupa: 4USD (400NRs); guests staying at the ROKPA Guest House should keep their tickets so as to not be requested to pay several times.

More information here.

Boudhanath Stupa decorated with lotus petals made of saffron water.
 

 

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Located in the heart of old Kathmandu city in Basantapur, Kathmandu Durbar Square never fails to impress first time visitors with its intricate wood carvings and rich history. It used to be the residence of Nepal’s Royal Family, and all coronation ceremonies were held there. The palace is made up of additions by Shah and Rana over the centuries. Most parts of the Palace are open to the public and some floors have been converted to a museum dedicated to the Shah kings. The Durbar Square is also home to the Kumari, the living Goddess of Kathmandu. If you are lucky, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the Kumari.

Distance from ROKPA Guest House: 30 minutes by car

Price to access the Durbar Square: 10USD (1000NRs)

More information here.

View inside the complex of the Kathmandu Durbar Square.
 

 

Trekking

For the nature lovers, Nepal offers countless trekking routes. Whether for half a day or for 2 weeks, you will find one that will suit you. Popular routes include Bardiya National Park, Sagarmatha National Park, Chitwan National Park, Shey Phoksundo National Park, Nuwakot District, Langtang National Park, Annapurna Conservation Area, Khaptad National Park, Mustang National Park and many more. There are interesting 1-day walks starting from Kathmandu as well and all offer a unique selection of endemic fauna and flora to gaze upon!

More information here.

A group of trekkers exploring the Nepali mountain ranges.
 

 

Swayambhunath

Swayambhunath is among the oldest religious sites in Nepal. Although the site is considered Buddhist, the place is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. The Stupa was completely renovated in May 2010 and took 2 years to complete. It was the 15th renovation in the 1500 years since its construction. The dome was regilded using 20kg of gold.

Distance from ROKPA Guest House: 40 minutes by car

Price to access the Stupa: 2USD (200NRs)

More information here.

Swayambunath Stupa, also known as the monkey temple.
 

 

Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath Temple complex is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu, dating from 400 B.C. It is located in the north-east area of the city. It encompasses 518 temples, shrines and statues over an area of 264 hectares (2.64 km²). Visitors will be greeted by a Nandi bull bronze statue at the western gate. The complex is divided in to two courtyards, the inner and the outer courtyard.

*The main temple is only open to Hindus*

Distance from ROKPA Guest House: 25 minutes by walk

Price to access the complex: 10USD (1000NRs)

More information here.

2 Sadhu Baba sitting together in their colourful tunics and with painted faces.
 

 

Kopan Gumpa

This monastery is a popular destination for those who have an interest in Buddhism and meditation. It is possible to stay among the Monks for a retreat and maybe attain enlightenment!

Distance from ROKPA Guest House: 40 minutes' walk

More information here.

A small Stupa inside Kopan Gumpa's premises.
 

 

Patan Durbar Square

Patan, also known as Lalitpur, is the oldest of the three cities of the Kathmandu Valley. It is renowned for its artistic heritage and is one of the oldest Buddhist cities in the world. It is surrounded by 4 Stupas, one for each cardinal point. Patan Durbar Square is situated at the centre of the city of Lalitpur. One of its attractions is the ancient royal palace where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided.

Distance from ROKPA Guest House: 40 minutes by car

Price to access the Durbar Square: 10 USD (1000NRs)

More information here.

A temple on the Patan Durbar Square.
 

 

Bhaktapur and its Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the two World Heritage Sites located in Bhaktapur. While the complex consists of at least four distinct squares (Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and Pottery Square), the whole area is informally known as the Durbar Square. ("Durbar Square" means "Royal Squares" in English; it is the city center of the old original towns of the Kathmandu valley; as such there are several Durbar Squares in Kathmandu). The name Bhaktapur literally translates to “the city of devotees”, it is also famous in Nepal for the quality of its craftsmen whose skills include pottery, traditional fabrics, thangka and mask crafting.

Distance from ROKPA Guesthouse: 45 minutes by car

Price to access the Durbar Square: 15 USD (1'500 NRs)

More information here.

View of the main courtyard of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
 

 

Thamel

One of the landmarks of Kathmandu, where you will be able to satisfy all of your shopping needs for souvenirs. There are numerous restaurants and cafes offering all styles of cuisine. We suggest you brush up on your bargaining skills before going!

Distance from ROKPA Guest House: 30 minutes by car

View inside the Garden of Dreams, a popular attraction and park in Thamel.
 

 

Chandragiri Hills

At 2'551m above sea level, the Hills offer the highest view point in the Kathmandu area. It is even possible to see Mount Everest on a clear day. The top of the hill is accessible from Thankot via a 2.5 km long cable car, which opened in 2016. It offers an unforgettable view and experience of the Kathmandu Valley. As the weather may be unpredictable, it is advised to carry an umbrella and a jacket.

Distance from ROKPA Guest House: 1 hour 15 minutes by car

Price for the cable car: 13 USD for 1 way, 22 USD for 2-way ticket

More information here.

A cable car ascending to the Chandragiri temple, with the Kathmandu Valley in the background.
 

 

Narayanhity Palace

This Palace served as the residence and principal workplace of the reigning monarchs of the Kingdom of Nepal. Located in the heart of Kathmandu next to Thamel, the Palace was converted to a museum after the 2006 revolution. The crown jewels are considered to be among the most precious and valuable objects in Nepal.

Distance from ROKPA Guest House: 25 minutes by car

Price: 5USD (500NRs)

More information here.

 

 

Pokhara

Pokhara is the second largest city of Nepal both in population and in size. The city reaches part of the Annapurna range and is the starting point of many trekkers undertaking the Annapurna circuit. Three of the ten highest mountains in Nepal are found on the Annapurna range: Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. The warm and humid subtropical climate is ideal for the luxurious flora growing in this area. The Pokhara valley is rich in rivers, attracting many rafting and canoeing enthusiasts.

Distance from Kathmandu: 6 hours by bus

More information here.

Pokhara and the Fewa lake, with the Annapurna range in the background.
 

 

Lumbini

The tradition says that Lumbini is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 563 BCE. Gautama, who achieved Enlightenment around 528 BCE, became the first Buddha and founded Buddhism. It was made a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1997. Lumbini has a number of temples and shrines, including the Mayadevi Temple built on the spot of the where Queen Mayadevi gave birth. There are over 25 Buddhist Monasteries built by different Buddhist countries in the garden.

Distance from Kathmandu: 7 hours 30 minutes by bus

More information here.

Lumbini's World Peace Pagoda.
 

 

Mountain flight and helicopter charter

If you have a time constraint and your budget allows for it, booking a flight to view Everest is a popular option. The best seasons for such flights are spring and autumn.

Prices vary depending on the destination of the flight.

More information here.

 

 

Apps: Pathao / Tootle

Two Apps were recently introduced in Nepal called "Pathao" and "Tootle"; they are the Nepali equivalent to "Uber". To make use of this service, we suggest that you purchase a prepaid Nepali sim card when arriving at Tribhuvan airport as a Nepali phone number is required to use these Apps. Both bikes and cars are available. Bikes are ideal for the single traveller as they are nimbler than cars and therefore quicker. Booking a car through these Apps will avoid any hassle of bargaining with taxi drivers as the prices are fair and set.