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7 Best Things to do in Nagarkot (and how to get there)

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Nagarkot travel guide

The peaceful hill town of Nagarkot lies around 30km east of Kathmandu and makes a lovely break from the intensity of Nepal’s capital. It’s best known for it’s relaxing atmosphere and incredible mountain views – if you get a clear day then you can even see Everest peeking out in the distance.

It’s a relatively small place and whilst you wouldn’t spend an entire holiday here, there’s plenty to do for a couple of days or even just visiting on a day trip.

How to get to Nagarkot from Kathmandu

From Kathmandu, the road leads east and into the hills. Once you’ve made it out of the city traffic, the journey should take around 1.5hrs along winding roads of varying quality.

By Local bus: If you’re on a budget or just like the experience of local travel, then you can head to Bhaktapur Bus Stop in Kathmandu, a little east of Ratna Park. The public bus doesn’t run directly to Nagarkot so you’ll need to jump off in Bhaktapur and catch a bus from there. 

The journey should take around 3hrs in total, and the bus driver and locals can help you out if you get confused!

By Car: Slightly more expensive but much easier, your other option is to take a taxi or private transfer. If you need a taxi then you can ask your hotel to call one for you, or head to the Thamel area and try your luck at haggling. You should expect to pay between 2000 and 3000 NPR for a one way journey.

Alternatively, you can arrange a private transfer and accommodation with a reputable travel company like our partners at Royal Mountain Travel.

7 Great things to do in Nagarkot

Nagarkot is a serene and relaxing place so you may choose to just, well, relax! If so then there are views to enjoy and plenty of nice little restaurants to visit. If you’re looking to explore some more, then here are our favourite things to do in Nagarkot.

1. Hike to the Nagarkot View tower (and maybe see everest...)

The view tower sits just outside of town and is a relatively easy hike up the main road, achievable for most people. Once you reach the tower you’ll have a panoramic view of your surroundings, including famous mountains such as Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung and Dorje Lakpa. You can also get a distant view of Mount Everest, but only on a cloudless day.

Make sure you take enough cash with you, as there’s a 350NPR fee for non-Nepali visitors.

2. Hike the panoramic trail

There are a variety of longer hikes possible around Nagarkot, with the most popular being the Panoramic Trail – a scenic 12km loop around the area which includes the Nagarkot Nature Trail and the Tamang Village Walk.

You can either enlist a local guide or hike independently. Information about the route is available locally.

view of the Nagarkot valley covered in cloud
Looking over the clouds in Nagarkot (photo cr. Sudeep Timalsina)

3. Plant a tree at the Buddha Peace Park

A pleasant walk of around an hour from Nagarkot brings you to the Buddha Peace Park – a large golden Buddha stature surrounded by an open park.

It looks over the valley and is a lovely spot to enjoy some peace a quiet.

For a small fee (around 350NPR) they will help you plant a tree to commemorate a lost loved one, bringing a meaningful moment to your time in Nagarkot.

4. Catch the sunrise

Even if you’re not a morning person, it’s worth getting up early to watch a fantastic sunrise – the surroundings will doubtless make it one of the more memorable ones you’ll have seen!

You’ll need to find a good spot to get the best view, and if you’re on the wrong side of the hill then you’ll see very little. During high-season many hotels will offer organised trips, but otherwise you can ask locally and it’ll often just be a short walk.

Country Villa is known to be a good spot, and they’re usually fine with sunrise visitors so long as you buy a coffee or snack.

5. Go mountain Biking

The area around Nagarkot looks like it was created specifically for biking, with rocky trails winding through the spectacular countryside. In particular, the route known as “the loop” is very popular. During high season, mountain bikes will be available to rent locally, although this may be more difficult out of season. 

6. Try Paragliding

On a clear day, there’s really no better way to see this area than from the sky. There are a few local providers who run paragliding experiences during the high season, if you’re brave enough!

7. Enjoy local life at Nagarkot Community Homestay

If you want to see a truly authentic side of Nagarkot then spending a night or two at the Community Homestay is the perfect solution. Located just outside town, this small and welcoming community gives you the chance to stay with a local family, enjoying home cooking and experiencing village life. You can even get involved in daily chores and organise trips to the nearby waterfall or hikes through the countryside.

the dining area at Nagarkot Community Homestay
The dining area at Nagarkot Community Homestay.

All in all, a day or two in Nagarkot is well worth planning into your itinerary. It’s a lovely little respite from the busy city where you can truly relax and enjoy your surroundings.

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