One will be surprised at how much you can see and do in a city in 48 hours. With a plan and a reliable taxi driver you can wiz through the city and at the same time enjoy the sights and linger a bit longer at the ones that tickle your fancy.

Flying from Delhi to Kathmandu these are my tips on what to see

Fly on Indigo Airlines or Nepal Airlines

We flew to Nepal on Indigo and returned on Nepal airlines. If I had to choose I would definitely choose Nepal Airlines. Indigo does not supply any food or drinks they need to be purchased on board, whereas Nepal Airlines supplied a small meal and drinks. The staff where also a lot friendlier on Nepal Airlines.

Stay at Norbulinka boutique hotel

Perfectly located within the Thamel district the main street is within walking distance. The hotel included an airport transfer on arrival. Seeing someone stand with my name written boldly and a big smile at the arrivals entrance immediately put us at ease. The room was spacious and wifi connection great. Breakfast was included, the buffet was ample to get us going for a busy day.

Walk around Swayambhu Stupa

The best time of the day is sunset, with sweeping vistas of the city of Kathmandu below. This ancient religious site sits on top of a hill, the Tibetan name for the site means “ Sublime Trees “ because of the many varieties of trees found on the hill. Visitors have been calling it “ Monkey Temple “ since the 1970’s because the name is such a tongue twister. One of the holiest Buddhist stupas in Nepal , it is said to date back to 460 A.D , legend has it that is was born out of a lotus flower that bloomed in the middle of a lake that once spread across the Kathmandu Valley. Our driver took us almost to the top, I was exceptionally grateful for this when I spotted the other option which is steep stone steps that lead to the top. This peaceful setting is the ideal way to end off a busy day of sight seeing

Explore Bhaktapur

I would rate this as my highlight for my visit in Kathmandu. There was a tragic earthquake in 2015 which caused terrible devastation and many lives where lost. Fortunately only a few temples where destroyed. My first love was the paper ticket we received on entering the town, the making of Lokta paper is an ancient trade , a community development project that was initiated by UNICEF in 1981, this has helped communities improve their quality of life and not allowed a part of their culture to die. Bhaktapur has three major squares with sky – high temples, to get a birds eye view enjoy some hot lemon tea at one of the roof top restaurants , the view is magnificent. The local arts and crafts are found down narrow, cobbled alley ways. Everything from the nava-durga dance dolls, street food, artists painting and a variety of clothes are only some of things available. Bhaktapur is the perfect way to experience the tapestry of Nepali life. A UNESCO Heritage site, it deserves an entire day to explore all the nooks and crannies.

locket paper ticket and lemon tea

Boudhanath Stupa

The massive mandala makes this stupa one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. This imposing landmark is visible as soon you land at the Tribhuvan International Airport. The 36 metre high structure is one of the largest in South Asia, we arrived just after a heavy down pour of rain, so negotiating the pot holed, non existent roads now filled with water took some amazing driving skills. On entering the grounds of the stupa I stood in awe absorbing everything that surrounded me, the perimeter is beautiful shops with different brick facades, one area is the pigeon zone and they mill around your feet looking for food. The atmosphere here is one of electric calmness, if such a contradiction can occur. The friendliness of the monks and the store owners all add to the vibe of this clean and welcoming stupa.

Walk the streets of Thamel district

A bright chaotic tangle of market style shops , bars, restaurants and accommodation , this maze of side streets filled with hidden gems is everything you could want and more. Chaksibari street is one of the two longest streets in the area, I found walking around at night a lot easier, there is less traffic so no need to try and jump onto a type of sidewalk all the time. The bars and clubs come alive at night and the area is said to rival some of the best travel night spots in the world. The yak wool products caught my attention, the difficulty came in when I had to choose, so after much touching, feeling and attempting to justify a purchase I settled on beautiful cup coasters made out of a rainbow of colourful round balls. The area has a lot of walking gear for those people aiming at attempting the hike in Himalayan country, picking up one of the snow hiking boots I wondered how big a persons calves must be to lift a leg and take a step , one after the other. This fun entertainment district is not to be missed and don’t forget bargaining is the order of the day

Eat momos

Namaste ! Asian style dumplings and popular across the Indian subcontinent and himalayan regions these are an absolute must try. The filling can range from spiced meat to cheese and vegetables, and they can be steamed , fried or steamed and then pan fried. Almost every restaurant overs them on their menu, the most popular are the buff ( buffalo ) momos followed by the chicken. I bought some from a street store in Thamel, with my potion came the momo achar also, dipping them into the sauce added to the incredible flavour. Nobody should leave Nepal without trying these edible works of art.

Photograph doorways

Always a fascinating subject for me, but I must admit not always easy. Kathmandu is full of interesting and expressive old doorways. A barrier between two worlds, the outside world where I am standing and the inside world which you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of. If you are fortunate enough to come across such a doorway, you send a powerful message sharing both the inside and outside world. In Kathmandu doorways are used as social spaces where people regularly meet and they are also a physical representation of the building owner’s interests. From bright blue doorways, to one with a Coca Cola sign I was spoilt for choice. so don’t just walk past them, take a moment to stop and think about the many feet that have passed through them and the stories they carry.

Ride in a rickshaw

Explore the streets like a local, an old fashion means of transport but still one of the best, the evening rides are a great way to see the city. Start in the tourist hub of Thamel. The expert driver will weave between the buzzing bazaars and market squares while you sit back and relax. There are many tours available for tourists which generally last about 4 hours, this includes disembarking and walking around markets like Asan, which is one of the busiest. The rickshaw is fondly referred to as the “ street helicopter “ when cycling past the Asan market the aromatic spices will pull you inside. A fun way to see the city its not to be missed.

Once the main trading route between Tibet and India, this vibrant, chaotic spiritual, historic city is unique and different to any place you will visit. A melting pot of Buddhist and Hindu religion the welcoming city will keep you busy