Nagarkot is 32 km NE of Kathmandu on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu Valley. Nagarkot is famous for its Himalayan views- the Himalayan peaks at sunrise are a magnificent sight to behold. Many wish upon arrival they would have planned for more than one day to stay. Nagarkot is surrounded by thickly forested hills of pine trees which give you an idyllic scene.
It is a rustic resort high on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu valley. It is an outstanding hilltop that offers great views of Himalayas, breathtaking mountain scenery and the most impressive views of sunrise and sunset.
Nagarkot commands one of the broadest views of the Himalayas in the Kathmandu valley (8 Himalayan ranges of Nepal out of 13 from here). The ranges include Annapurna range, Manaslu range, Ganesh himal range, Langtang range, Jugal range, Rolwaling range, Mahalangur range (Everest range) and Numbur range with views of the Kathmandu valley and Shivapuri National Park.
Nagarkot's municipal government charges non-SAARC tourists a fee of 339 rupees per person simply to enter the town. The fee is levied at any of several roadblocks on roads leading to Nagarkot from Kathmandu. The first roadblock is west of town not far after you pass Talkot, and there are two others as you come up the final hill into the main part of Nagarkot.
The simplest and cheapest way to get here from Kathmandu is to take a bus at the "Bakhtapur Bus Terminal" located east of Ratna Park to Bhaktapur (25 RP in June 2014, 40-50 minutes trip) and from there another Nagarkot (45 RP in June 2014, 1.5 hours, nice trip although buses are very overcrowded).
There is also a tourist bus which goes directly from Kathmandu. Departs Kathmandu at 13:30 from Shorakhutee Tourist Bus Park Nayabazzar. And from Nagarkot at 10:15 (RP 400 per person). But please check first if it still operates, phones for inquiries and reservations: 01-4262602, 4700424 in Kathmandu; 01-6680137, 6680150 in Nagarkot.
For some people, it is best to travel by private-hire cars and taxis to Nagarkot. From the international airport, it should take about 40 mins and from the city center, about an hour. A scenic drive via the ancient city of Bhaktapur and tiny villages along meandering mountain roads is a journey by itself.
Hiking in and around Nagarkot
Nagarkot is a great place for active, energetic and health conscious travelers who live life to discover. It is the place to enjoy the Himalayan vistas, of course weather permitted, with lots of spectacular hiking trails and beautiful nature walks. Nagarkot offers a green escape from bustling capital of Kathmandu and is blissfully calm and laid-back. This is a place to relax after the chaos of Kathmandu and recharge your batteries with fabulous food and leisurely wandering. The hikes around Nagarkot will take you in the lush green countryside of northern Nepal and deliver you stunning mountain views, serene pine forests, peaceful villages.
1. Nagarkot View Tower
Nagarkot view tower is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nagarkot. It is situated around 2100 metres above sea level and can be hiked by physically fit hikers in about one hour. You will have a 360 view of the himalayas one of the broadest views of himalayas along with kathmandu valley, lush greenery of national parks, rolling hills,etc. Lots of people they wake up early and do sunrise hiking to Witness the magnificent sunrise along with the grandeur and magnificence of the himalayas. What makes the sunrise hiking very special is with morning sunrise changing colours of the snow capes himalayas. It’s like fire on ice. Still it is a very scenic walk to the view tower during daytime with the stunning views of the unobstructed landscapes, rolling hills, thick pine forests and charming villages.
2. Nagarkot Panoramic hiking Trail
Nagarkot Panoramic Hiking Trail is a very refreshing walk with stunning views of the majestic Himalayas. This panoramic Hiking Trail is perfect enough for good 3 to 3.5 hours ideal for everyone from young travellers to family with children as it is pretty easy hike. This hike includes Nagarkot Nature Trail + Tamang Village Walk (starting from kartike village) + Panoramic Hiking Trail with 180 degree views of the stunning landscapes with lush greenery. You will enjoy the time in nature and burn some good calories in this trek. Perfect to enjoy the stunning mountain views in quiet and with fresh mountain air. For details
The way from Bhaktapur to Nagarkot is steep and adventurous yet many tourists enjoy mountrain biking and it may be one of the way you can get to Nagarkot.
- Cafe du mont, Peaceful cottage, ☎ 01-6680077, . Wonderful views, good food and friendly staff. 300-600. edit
Nagarkot is plenty of choices of accomodation of any kind. From around 400 RP (May 2013) to 35 USD or more for a double room.
- Himalayan Guesthouse, (Nagarkot Naldun-8, Kavre Chowk), ☎ 981.865.2137 ([email protected]). It is a nice and clean place. Toilet/Bathroom outside the room. The owner (Raju) used to work in Cruise Ships, so he knows about "other standards". Simple but very decent, only 6 rooms. Good view from the terrace and also from some of the rooms. They also serve good and cheap food. From 400 RP for Doube Room [May 2013]. edit
- Madhuban Hotel, Nagarkot, ☎ 9841-232017. checkout: 12:00. 8 basic detached houses for rent. It has some good views. Serve good food for moderate prices. Try their delicious specialty - Cheese tomato Rosti with mushroom souce. Rs600 for house without bathroom, Rs1000 - with attached bathroom [Aug 2013]. edit
- Hotel Elephant Head, Nagarkot. Some basic rooms. Although they have spectacular views over the mountains. Free WiFi connection. There is also a restaurant. Rs1200 for double room [Aug 2013]. edit
- Lost Horizon Hotel, Nagarkot. Some 5 minutes from the main road located this isolated hotel run by local family. They have power generator used in case of power cut offs, and also there is street lighting all the way to the hotel. 5 rooms only. Views from its rooms are simply stunning, perhaps one of the best in Nagarkot. Rs1100 for double room, Rs1500 for small 2-store house [Aug 2013]. edit
- Hotel at the End of the Universe, ☎ 9771-6680011, 016226500 ([email protected]), . While viewing Kathmandu valley from above, you just turn your head for the great views over the Himalayas- from sunrise to sunset. You have your own room with attached bathroom (with hot shower). Though the type of the rooms vary (suites, cottages and standard rooms), the style can be summarized by ‘cozy’. Most of the rooms have splendid views over the Himalayas and attached bathrooms with hot shower.The restaurant is a comfortable place to eat, drink, relax, discuss, read. A Nepali- Western style pervades the whole hotel, including the kitchen. The tariff ranges from $ 24- 60 $ per night. The suite is beautiful but the glass (not double glazed) means it can get quite cold so is perhaps not a good idea in winter. edit
- Peaceful cottage & café du Mont, ☎ 9771-6680077 ([email protected]), . is a simple but well-run place with just 10 rooms. It is a mountain resort located at the heart of Nagarkot Hill station. Surrounded by thick pine trees around and far away from the noise and pollution, you can savour your holiday in nature in peace. The octangular tower of the resort commands 360 degree Killer panorama of himalayas and the kathmandu valley. The rooms are simple but neat, clean and very acceptable. The tariff ranges from $ 30- 45 $ per night. edit
- Club Himalaya, ☎ 9771-4410432 ([email protected]), . 2175 mtrs or 7200 ft. above sea level (ideal for acclimatization before trekking in high altitudes or going to Tibet). Atop Windy Hills with 360o unrestricted view of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Sankhu, Changu Narayan in the West; Mt. Annapurna in the North West; Mt. Everest in the North-East; Indrawati Valley in the East; and the Nagarkot Hill on the South. edit
- Nagarkot Naldum Village Resort, Nagarkot (At the end of the north road), ☎ 6215715 ([email protected]). It has outstanding views from the rooms. Some rooms are quite nice. Free Wifi. There is also a restaurant. 15$ simple house, 20-30$ double rooms [Aug 2013]. edit
- The Fort Resort. The Fort Resort has great views, well-kept rooms (ask for a room in the cottages) and the grounds are lovely. edit
- Club Himalaya Resort, . Also, The Club Himalaya, has a great viewing point however the last 5 kilometres is VERY narrow, with lots of curves. Car-sickness is a distinct possibility. 68-195$ [Aug 2013]. edit
- Country Villa. Good-looking rooms with air-con and views. WiFi. Somehow overpriced as it's possible to find the same quality accommodation for 1/3 of a price. At the time of our visit there was 2 major construction sites nearby [Aug 2013] (Please, remove this note once it's over). 80$ [Aug 2013]. edit
There were at least 2 cases when tourists were robbed in Nagarkot area. Furthermore, some locals behave slightly aggressive after consuming alcohol. However, in vast majority of hotels work nice people.
- Nagarkot to Changunarayan Hike - small village and home to the ancient temple of Changu Narayan which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kathmandu Valley. This hiking route is one of the most popular hiking route around the kathmandu valley. It is a very beautiful walk where we explore local tamang culture with their local settlements for the half way whereas the half way is through the lush pine forests before reaching the temple of Changu narayan temple. It is a 15 kms walk with an altitude drop of around 450 metres and we arrive in a Changu Narayan temple premises, one of the seven World Heritage sites in the kathmandu valley. This temple is a very artistic temple with excellent wood carving and stone carving of lord vishnu, the god of preservation in hinduism and the temple is well known for artistic beauty rather than religious importance. Changu Narayan temple is located around 6 km from bhaktapur and this hike is ideal for those going back to bhaktapur with a very scenic views of the village, mountain views, valley views with fresh mountain air on the way. It is an easy trek which can be done with family travellers with children and older travellers as well. After reaching, trekkers have a decent lunch in one of the restaurants though they offer a limited choice of menu. The entrance fee to the temple is 100 Rs. and the return fare back to Bhaktapur from Bus stop of Changu narayan takes around 30 minutes with around Rs. 30 fee.
- Nagarkot to Dhulikhel Hike Is a village about 40 km from Kathmandu, nice place for lunch and a view of the mountains. The village offers a nice quiet setting to wander the streets and see the 'non-tourist' side of Nepali life. Nagarkot to Dhulikhel hiking is an excellent choice for those planning to be in close with nature with a fresh mountain air inside a pine forests and villages before reaching the hillstation of dhulikhel. It is a good 18 km walk with an altitude drop of more than 800 meters and will take around good 5 hours to complete this trekking with ever changing landscapes. The first part of the hike will go through the pine forests for around 10 km with sounds of birds chirping inside and the second part will be pass through terraced farmlands and villages of local people cultivating different vegetables for the remaining 8 km before reaching the hillstation of dhulikhel. It is a part of kathmandu valley cultural trekking trail and is one of the best hiking routes within kathmandu valley. It is an ideal choice for trekkers who have limited time in nepal however want to have a taste of trekking and also an ideal hiking to do acclimitazition before heading up to the himalayas. This hike can be done with family with children. There are no restaurants on the way so, it is highly recommended to carry enough water and packed lunches to eat on the way. As it passes through thick pine forests, we can get easily lost inside the forests, so, it is highly advisable to hire a guide to accompany for safety and security of the guests.