The third of the medieval city-states in the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur was always described as the best preserved. Tragically, however, the 2015 earthquake caused terrible devastation and loss of life. Nevertheless, only a few temples were destroyed, there is still much to see here and tourism is vital to the community.
Many Nepalis use the old name of Bhadgaon (pronounced bud-gown) or the Newari name Khwopa, which means City of Devotees. The name fits – Bhaktapur has three major squares full of towering temples that comprise some of the finest religious architecture in the country.
Cultural life is also proudly on display. Along narrow alleys, artisans weave cloth and chisel timber, squares are filled with drying pots, and locals gather in courtyards to bathe, collect water, play cards and socialise. To view this tapestry of Nepali life, visitors must pay a town entry fee, which helps fund temple repair and maintenance.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Bhaktapur.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Bhaktapur.