Start off the day with a walking tour south from Thamel to Durbar Sq. Grab lunch overlooking Basantapur Sq or in nearby Freak St and then spend the afternoon soaking up the architectural grandeur of Durbar Square. Finish the day with a cold beer and dinner in the Thamel area.
Next day head out to Swayambhunath Stupa in the morning and spend the afternoon shopping in Thamel. For your final meal, splurge at one of the blowout Newari restaurants such as Bhojan Griha or Thamel House.
If you have an extra couple of days, take a short taxi ride out to Patan for a full day exploring its Durbar Sq and Patan Museum (the best in the country); take a fascinating backstreet walking tour. For dinner, dine in one of Jhamsikhel’s excellent restaurants.
With a week up your sleeve, you can spend a day (and preferably a night) at Bhaktapur. When stress levels build, fit in some quiet time at the delightful Garden of Dreams.