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An update from Evaneos

Bhaktapur (Nepal)

Practical information about Bhaktapur

  • Family
  • Encounters with locals
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  • Unesco World Heritage
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4 / 5 - 5 reviews
How to get there
15km by taxi from Kathmandu
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Bhaktapur

David Debrincat Travel writer
459 travel articles

At only 13km from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur is considered by many visitors to be the prettiest town in the Kathmandu Valley.

My suggestion:
Bear in mind you need to pay to enter Bhaktapur. Make sure your ticket's stamped and valid for a week.

Out of all the towns in the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur is, without a doubt, the one that's best preserved its charm. More and more people are coming here and many prefer to stay in this town rather than in Kathmandu. This former royal city, with its paved brick streets, is beautiful. There's a wonderful Medieval ambience.

As I strolled around Bhaktapur during my trip to Nepal, I felt like I was in an open air museum. Its Durbar Square, smaller and more intimate than the one in Kathmandu, is the town's historic centre. It's great place to explore. After visiting the Palace of 55 Windows, the Royal Palace and temples including the Pashupatinath Temple, I suggest you have a wander around the streets, which are lively and full of interesting nooks and crannies. Simple pleasures count at Bhaktapur.

After having had my cultural fill, I decided to have my culinary fill with a favourite local recipe. Dahl, a traditional yoghurt dish served in terracotta bowls. As near to home cooked food that you can get!

*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events occurred.

Travel writer
193 travel articles

As the former capital of the Newar Kingdom, Bhaktapur is one of Nepal's most important historical towns. The town boasts a wealth of temples that are scattered around its squares.

My suggestion:
To really get a good feel for Bhaktapur, take the time to wander around its little lanes; the town centre is entirely pedestrianised and a great place for some lovely walks.

The town of Bhaktapur has a truly incredible atmosphere. To be surrounded by so many temples nestled in a pedestrian area will throw you back in time; it's easy to imagine you're living in days gone by, when monarchs ruled Nepal. A trip to Nepal and a tour of Bhaktapur will plunge you into the fascinating past this country has to offer.
The town centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It's home to numerous Hindu and Buddhist temples that managed to survive the 1934 earthquake and which have since been restored. Durbar Square is where you'll find the magnificent Palace of 55 Windows with its Golden Gate and collection of religious edifices. Other must-sees include Taumadhi Square with the Nyatapola Temple, the tallest pagoda in Nepal, as well as Dattatreya Square.

*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events occurred.

Low relief on a door in Bhaktapur
Marc Sigala Travel writer
67 travel articles

During the period of three kingdoms (14th-16th century), it was Bhaktapur which had the greatest influence in the Kathmandu valley. Its Nepalese name means "place of devotees".

My suggestion:
Spend the most part of a day there to have the time do a full tour and to immerse yourself in the different spots. The atmosphere changes quickly, depending on if it's the middle of the day, dusk or dawn, and seeing these variations can be interesting.

It is easy to reach here in a taxi from Kathmandu then continue the visit on foot, since Bhaktapur is mostly a pedestrian city. The main square is quite spacious, despite the numerous temples located there. The most impressive temple is indisputably the Nyatapola Temple, dedicated to Siddhi Lakshmi and dating from 1700. With its five levels, it's the highest temple that I was able to see during my trip to Nepal.

Also a must see, Sun Dhoka, a magnificient golden gate, 250 years old, a testament to the delicacy of Newa architecture. I found roaming through Bhaktapur very enjoyable, although it has 60,000 inhabitants it feels more like a big village. The sites have kept their medieval charm and the absence of traffic heightens this feeling of timelessness. Must do.

*Afterthe powerful earthquakes which struck Nepal in April and May 2015, the country is being rebuilt little by little. This article was written before the disaster.

The Siddhi Lakshmi Temple
Clemence Zisswiller Travel writer
34 travel articles

Former political and economic capital, Bhaktapur is full of temples which are witness to the richness of the Newar Empire.

My suggestion:
Ask a taxi to take you directly to Bhaktapur and spend the day there.

A medieval city which has kept all of its charm, Bhaktapur is included on the list of necessary stops during your trip to Nepal. Founded in the 12th century to become the capital of the Malla Rajahs, the city is unique due to its multitude of Hindu and Buddhist temples. 30 metres tall, Nyatapola Temple is dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi and is also the most imposing temple in the country.

I liked walking on the paved streets and observing authentic cultural scenes. During summer the inhabitants busy themselves hulling little red chillis that they then put out to dry in the sun. The atmosphere in these places is unique.

Once your eyes are full of all of this beauty, it's time to think of your tastebuds! Try juju-dhau, a slightly textured traditional yoghurt. Fresh and delicious!

Do you want a typical souvenir? You'll no doubt appreciate the hand made pottery made right in front of you outside and cooked in a straw fire. For less useful presents you can find all sorts of little paper mâché masks of deities made in Bhaktapur.

I must add that I visited Nepal before the 2015 earthquake so it's possible that places have changed a lot since then.

Street scene in Bhaktapur
Travel writer
29 travel articles

Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Bhaktapur is one of the prettiest cities in the Kathmandu Valley.

My suggestion:
I recommend that you have a meal on the terrace of a restaurant in one of the city's squares; the view is gorgeous!

With its historic centre made of stone, its many temples, its medieval alleys paved with red bricks, and its traditional houses in the Newar style, Bhaktapur was my firm favourite in the Kathmandu Valley.

I took pleasure in strolling through its squares and alleys. I especially enjoyed Kumalé Tole, the quarter dedicated to the potters, where the ground was covered with freshly moulded pottery that was in the process of drying.

I recommend that you go there in November, in the middle of the rice harvest, when the streets of this farming city are covered with rice drying in the sun. After the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, I found a bit of peace and serenity here.

For me, Bhaktapur was a must-see stop in my stay in Nepal. Learning that the recent earthquakes destroyed all or part of the city saddens me greatly. The loss of this rich heritage is inestimable.

Kumalé Tole, Bhaktapur