I went to Nepal for a week, and totally fell in love with the country. After the craziness and intensity of India, where I’d been the week before, I just felt myself relax physically and mentally as soon as I arrived.
Even the visa guy had a laugh and joke with me about me being the last person he was letting in tonight so he could go back to his family. Nepalese people are so friendly.
If you’re looking for a chilled week-long Nepal itinerary, with a bit of wellness thrown in, this is the one for you. I go to Kathmandu, to Pokhara, and to Nagarkot.
Here’s how to spend one week in Nepal, with a bit of a wellness twist (rather than hiking).
– Nothing in this post has been sponsored and I paid for it all.
Arriving in Nepal, at Kathmandu Airport
I arrived at around midnight and so had booked a taxi transfer through Booking.com to my hotel. I knew that I wouldn’t fancy public transport at that time and I’d hoped it would mean they knew exactly where the hotel was. They didn’t. I had a driver and his assistant in the car though, and they were very helpful in finding it for me. You’ll soon see, Thamel in Kathmandu is a maze!
My taxi transfer from Kathmandu Airport to Thamel was £19, which I now know is pretty expensive. You could try hailing one at the airport instead, I just wanted the assurance of having one waiting for me.
By the time I got to my hotel it was so late, I just went to sleep.
Where I stayed: Kathmandu Village House £11 private double
It was a cool hotel, but I can’t recommend it in winter. There was no central heating, and no heaters – it was freezing! In the summer it’d be a good place for the price as it was right in the centre.
Right, let’s get into it – your weeklong Nepal itinerary
Day one: sightseeing in Kathmandu
– My Kathmandu breakfast tour leader
Breakfast in Kathmandu
I booked the Breakfast Tour with GetYourGuide, not quite registering how early it was. I regretted it at the time but once I’d done it I was happy to have the reason to get out of bed. I paid £15, which took me round about 5 different traditional breakfast stops in Kathmandu. The tour was good because it was all places I would’ve been too intimidated to explore on my own.
My guide was brilliant. He was such good fun and a great introduction to Nepal. It was only me and he on the tour and I left feeling more like I’d had breakfast with a friend rather than a booked tour. It was also a great introduction to the main points of Thamel, the temples and the vibe. I’d definitely recommend the Breakfast Tour for your first morning in Nepal.
Breakfast Tour – 7am till 10am – check out the latest prices here.
I actually got back in bed once it was over – as I was so tired from my flight.
Exploring Thamel in Kathmandu
After a quick morning siesta I went to explore Thamel. There’s so much to see from temples to the shops to just people watching on the streets. This was a great place to pick up some unusual Nepal souvenirs.
I had lunch at Cafe Mitra and Lounge Bar. I wasn’t really into the traditional Nepalese Sadeko chicken, but the frappucino was spectacular. It was great to just sit and chill outside, as in February it was still chilly, but lovely and fresh too.
Spiritual tour in Kathmandu
I booked a spiritual tour for the afternoon, after it came highly recommended. I went to the Pashupatinah Temple and the Boudhanath Stupa – the largest in Nepal. The tour was pretty expensive at £45, but did include all the taxis, some food, and a guide who told me all about everything. It stopped me making cultural faux pas like the other white people at the temple, who strolled in on a funeral with cameras at the ready. It was cringe to watch.
He explained the whole funeral process to me, as we could see one happening on the riverbank. He explained how they wrapped the dead body, paraded it and then burnt it on different steps on the side of the Bagmati River. This river led to the Ganges.
I had my palm read here, which was super interesting. I’m going to write a post about what he told me, so keep an eye out for that!
At the Stupa he told me all about the religious significances of the building, and then I walked around for a while to get my own pictures. Then we went into a Thangka shop. The Thangka paintings are done by Buddhist monks, on cotton, and it’s quite the art. It was fascinating to hear all about them and no pressure to buy.
The spiritual tour lasted from 3-7pm – check out the latest prices here.
Evening in Kathmandu
For dinner I wanted to try the momos Nepal is so famous for, and so my spiritual tour guide recommended Momo Hut. This was not the place for me. I ordered a selection, as he’d recommended, and halfway through didn’t feel right. But, carried on, trooper that I am.
That night, around 4am. The tummy troubles started.
But anyway, less said about that the better. Very poorly.
If you fancy an evening out in Kathmandu, Thamel is your place. There’s loads to see and do, and plenty of bars and restaurants to do it in. Sadly, I have no recommendations because I was a bit of a night time hermit during my week in Nepal.
And yeah, those momos kinda ruined it for me too.
Day two: more sightseeing in Kathmandu
After picking at the breakfast at my hotel I went out for a little explore. Unfortunately it was raining, but I made it to the Garden of Dreams and sat and had a lovely apple pie, as is apparently the Nepalese way. It’s a beautiful garden and a great cafe, just a few minutes’ walk from Thamel. Aim for the Fire and Ice Pizzeria and you’ll find it.
Despite it pissing it down I had it in my head that I wanted to see a rooftop pool. And so, I went on a quest to find the Hotel Mulberry. It was lush.
As well as the rooftop pool it also had a rooftop bar, in a room. A deliciously heated room. I stayed for two hours with a coke. I was still feeling fragile and it was cold and raining so I just sat and admired the view. It was great.
This would be a great place to stay on your Nepal trip.
I spent the afternoon walking round the city. I went to Old Freak Street and had a look around Durbar Square.
Massage in Pokhara
That evening I went for a Nepalese massage at Mandala Spa. It was amazing and exactly what I needed. The fact she had a heater and a toasty room just made me so happy. I paid 1400 for an hour (about £10) – absolute dreams. Totally worth it.
I’d recommend spending two days in Kathmandu, like I did. There’s so much more to see in a week in Nepal than its capital city,
Day three: journey to Pokhara and mooching the city
Bus to Pokhara
I woke up at 6am, ready for my 7am bus from Thamel. For some unknown reason all the buses leave at the same time from there.
Of course I couldn’t get out of bed so ended up rushing at 6:30, for the 6:30 check in time. Then I went the wrong way out of my hotel, absent-mindedly. I hopped in a taxi to take me back, for 100 rupees (£1ish), which actually ended up being the best thing. The taxi driver was really nice and found the right bus for me, in a sea of coaches.
I found my seat and the next 7-8 hours passed in amazing views of the Himalayas, a rest stop every two hours and the occasional bouncy road. I paid on board – 800 rupees (£9ish) – which I’d booked by Whatsapp the day before. Here’s the number if you need.
There’s absolutely no need to book the £25 tourist bus. Go local.
We arrived into Pokhara at the Tourist Bus Park, just 20ish minutes walk from my hotel in Lakeside.
Lunch in Pokhara
It was around 3pm and I was ravenous, having just had a manky croissant for breakfast I’d picked up in Kathmandu the night before. I went to the nearest restaurant to my hotel, the Aankhi Jhyal Restaurant & Bar and ordered a Pad Thai. After not eating much the day before in Kathmandu thanks to a dodgy tummy, my hunger was coming back.
I’d totally recommend the place, and the food, along with a masala tea. I sat out on the veranda and admired the view out to Pokhara’s Lakeside.
Seeing as it was about 4pm by the time I’d finished I decided to just go for a long walk through Pokhara town and around Lakeside. There was a lot to see. I mooched, I drank coffee at Java Himalayan Coffee, and planned out my next few days.
Helicopter in Pokhara?
I also spent a lot of time debating whether to do a Annapurna helicopter tour. Unfortunately thanks to the recent tax bill, and then the India visa debacle, I decided against the $289 fee for an hour at Everest Base Camp via a helicopter. If you have the cash though it definitely sounds like one of the most amazing things to do in Pokhara.
I kinda regretted not doing it when I left. If you only have one week in Nepal, and don’t have time for the hiking, it’s a great way to see the Himalayas for yourself.
Treat yourself on your Nepal holiday: do all the things!
Movie Garden in Pokhara
Instead, I went to the Movie Garden to watch Moonrise Kingdom. The Movie Garden is an awesome cinema set up in the heart of Lakeside. There’s no entry fee, you just have to buy a drink and some popcorn and you’re in. It really is an awesome setting, that’s kinda difficult to show in the dark.
After that I went back to my hotel. Tired.
You could totally have a fun night out in Pokhara though. Lots of fun looking bars and restaurants to choose from.
Where I stayed in Pokhara
I stayed at the OYO Romantica.
It was good for the price and had a really cool roof garden when you had 360 views of the Himalayas which was pretty epic. I had a double bed, private bathroom, and breakfast was included.
I paid $47.51 for three nights, so £36.54.
Day four: fun in Pokhara
Breakfast in Pokhara
I woke up at 8am to the phone in my room, with the receptionist asking if I was coming for breakfast.
Well, guess I might as well now I’m awake. “Thanks”.
Two cold slices of toast, some cold pancakes and some veggies, cold obvs, awaited me. I could only stomach the toast.
Tibetan Singing Bowls in Pokhara
This morning I decided to try out the Tibetan Singing Bowls class I’d seen advertised at Nirvana on the main street, for free. Never done it before, but travelling is all about new things, right?
So, I made my way up there, nervous, to what ended up being a full class. Basically, the leader guy would ‘om’ and ‘arr’ into bowls and we would copy, with our eyes closed. After about 20 minutes of doing that, we had another 20 minutes of lying down while he twanged the bowls around us – realigning our chakras.
I might sound like I’m taking the piss but I actually really liked it.
I didn’t feel like it did much at the time, but honestly, after a few days of low energy and feeling crappy, I walked out of there feeling much lighter and happier. It was weird how it affected me.
I’d love to do it again to see if I felt the same afterwards.
One of the ladies who was in the class said it had cleared up a sinus problem she’d had for years, so there’s that.
After that I was feeling kinda cheated out of breakfast so I went to the Organic Cafe on 8th Street for eggs and a cheesey ham croissant. Food was so good, definitely recommend.
I had lots of ideas for the afternoon, but seeing as the sun was out I took a slow stroll along Pokhara Lakeside front. I people watched for an OTT amount of time, sat in a Lakeside view bar with my first beer of my Nepal trip, an Everest, and just generally looked around. I bought a cashmere scarf for me (1000) and one for mum (more, better quality). I also bought some shoes for me and just generally had a lovely afternoon.
READ MORE: 18 Fun Things to Do in Pokhara
Yoga in Pokhara
I wanted some yoga in my week Nepal itinerary, and Pokhara was the perfect place – so many yoga ashrams and retreats here. I decided to sign up to an afternoon of it, at the Sadhana Retreat.
The Sadhana Retreat was about an hour’s walk from Pokara Lakeside. I didn’t actually realise how far I’d gone until it came to coming back. But anyway, with my phone dead I followed the signs and made my way up into the Pokhara wilderness and to the ashram.
I paid $22 to join the tea time, chanting, yoga class and dinner for the evening. It was actually really lovely. There were two other people there, Tom and Jill, and it was nice to have some company after a few days by myself.
Really enjoyed the yoga – the dinner and the chanting not so much. So good to try these things though. Also, the location was just incredible. I’d definitely recommend doing something like this in Pokhara if you can.
My yoga experience ended at around 8pm so I asked one of the staff to walk me down the steepest part of the hill, and then once I was at the road I was fine.
I walked back through town and back to my hotel.
There are lots of bars and restaurants in Lakeside, so if you fancy a bit of nightlife in Pokhara there are options. Busy Bee seems to be one of the most popular places.
I wasn’t feeling it, and was meant to be having a healthy trip in Nepal, so after that beer and yoga, I just went back to my hotel.
Day five: Hiking round Pokhara
Today you’ll be going to the World Peace Pagoda. Head out early, as in, an hour before sunrise. Gather your camera and get one of the taxis waiting outside the rank by the lake. You could walk but it’s about two hours, and it’ll be dark. I’d recommend getting a taxi up, and then walk back down.
I paid 800 up (£9ish). I definitely think you could get it for less, but I’d knocked him down from 1000. In fact, you can definitely get it for less.
The taxi will take you so far, and then you need to walk up the steps yourself.
When you go up walk the long way round. I thought I’d gone the wrong way but then it ended up bringing me out and up some steps, where the incredible view of the Himalayas was revealed to me.
Once you’ve finished staring open mouthed then off you go up to the Pagoda. You can climb up and admire the view from there. It’s silence all the way so enjoy the moment.
Once you’re ready have a look round and find the best cafe for you, for your breakfast. I’d assumed there’d be nothing there and picked up some banana bread from The Organic Cafe in town, but turns out there’s loads to choose from.
When you’re ready you can easily walk back down. Although, I say that and because I’d already asked the taxi driver to wait – at his suggestion – I felt I had to use him. So, he gave me a lift to the Davis Falls, and down the mountain. For another 800 (£9). Yes, that taxi driver had a good day that day.
Instead, I’d recommend you walk down yourself, if you can. It means you can spend as long as you like up there and don’t have the pressure of a taxi man waiting for you. I would’ve liked about four hours up at the World Peace Pagoda in total – so you can really enjoy the views. And to breakfast in one of the restaurants too.
Davis Falls or Devi’s Falls
Davis Falls is a bit of an anti climax TBH. But, while you’re in the area you might as well check it out. The water forms an underground tunnel after reaching the bottom. This tunnel is approximately 500 feet long and runs 100 feet below ground level.
You won’t need long here on your Nepal itinerary!
Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave
Just over the road is the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave. Go past all the market stalls (bought a tshirt bargain for 350 INR / £4ish) and you won’t be able to miss the fancy entrance. It is decadent.
Go down the steps and you’ll see the cowshed entrance. Personally, I didn’t know what to expect and thought nothing of it. Until I was greeted with a spiritual cow, with ladies firing up some incense underneath. Loved it.
Carry on down the cave and you’ll probably feel like I did: worried. The cave seemed to be held up by scaffolding, or at least, supported. Now that’s down to you whether that makes you feel safer, or more worried.
Carry on down the sweaty cavern and you’ll come out to a gap in the cave, and an interesting look up, and that’s about it. Totally worth it, although I was happy to get out.
Walk back to town
Now comes one of the unexpected highlights of my trip to Pokhara during my week in Nepal. I walked back to Pokhara town from here, which took about 45 minutes. Loved seeing everyone go about their business.
It was a fascinating insight into Pokhara life. Bit of a low at the chicken farm, but then a high at the bridge. I saw people washing their clothes in the river, families eating, children playing and men battling with their bikes over the cobbles.
Absolute highlight of my walk back – actually I have two – were two schoolgirls who stopped to give me two boiled sweets. No biggie. Just casually, as if they knew me.
The other highlight was just looking around and seeing the impressive Everest mountain range beyond the shops, parks and lake. Honestly, Pokhara is an incredible place. You absolutely definitely have to include it in your week in Nepal.
Lunch in Pokhara
I went for lunch at Harbour, just because it’s near my hotel and I’d kept seeing it. I had a veggie burrito which tbh didn’t thrill me. And a lassi, which did. I woudn’t say don’t go, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to go either.
Let’s call it an ‘acceptable’ lunch spot in Pokhara.
Afternoon at Pokhara Lakeside
I spent the afternoon chilling at the bars and on the benches at the lakeside.
This could be the perfect time for a paraglide through the mountain range though.
I was so torn about whether to go paragliding or not. Eventually what made my decision not to was the money. I know it was a once in a lifetime experience but I’m pretty skint right now, and I really want to buy a car when I get home. Shit excuse I know. Also, the fact I had a flight booked out of there meant I knew I was going to see the Himalayas from above anyway.
I definitely think you should do it though. I spoke to one girl who had, and she said it was amazing. Although she said she did freak out when it came to stepping off the earth, which I can totally relate to.
You can check out the latest prices for paragliding in Pokhara here.
Or, you could take one of the boats out to the Tal Barahi Temple in the middle of the lake. Boats are 500 rupees an hour (£5ish) if you row, and the prices go up if you want someone to row you. Bargain!
You could also see about hiring a bike. The average price seemed to be 100 rupees an hour and you could cycle out to the other lakes nearby.
Me? I just drank masala tea, and Everest beers along the lake side, popping in to various cafes and people watching, and using the WiFi.
Of course there’s always the yoga, that Pokhara is so well known for. There are a few places in town offering yoga at 4/5/6 o’clock, depending what suits you. Just keep an eye out for the signs and blackboards to find the most up to date information.
– sunrise view from my window in Pokhara
Massage in Pokhara
I tried the Momos again, at Gravity Bar (still don’t like them) and then went for a 90-minute massage at Jiva Cafe and Spa. It was lush. Such a nice place and I could’ve totally spent a few hours there trying treatments and eating at the cafe. It’s just off the Lakeside too.
And then I went home and crawled into bed. No partying for me on my Nepal trip. I’ve changed haven’t I?!
Check out my post for more things to do in Pokhara
Day six: Pokhara and journey to Nagarkot
I went for breakfast at the German Bakery after giving up on the offering at my hotel. I went for an eggy feast. All enjoyed by the open fire while looking out to the lake. It was lush.
Flight from Pokhara to Nagarkot
I’d come in on the bus but decided to leave via a plane – just for time and it sounded fun.
You can walk to Pokhara Airport from Lakeside, as I did. Although it was about 25 minutes on bad pavements so you might be more comfortable in a taxi if your suitcase is heavy.
You need to be at the airport an hour before the flight and it’s free seating. I got there two hours early just to make sure, and so managed to get the side I wanted on the plane. If you want to see the best of the Himalayas, you need to be on the A side if you’re leaving Pokhara, and C side if you’re coming in. I had that hot tip off Jill, who I met at the yoga ashram.
Kathmandu Airport to Nagarkot
Oh god it was a bit of a mission to get from Kathmandu Airport to Nagarkot to be honest.
I’d read that you could get a bus, so tried to do it as it was the much cheaper option. All you had to do was walk 1o minutes to the bus station and hail one to Bhatapar. And then you go from there to Nagarkot. Could I find one going to Bhatapar? NOPE. Even had three different people trying to help me and didn’t manage it.
In the end, an hour later, I walked back up to the airport and got a taxi.
The taxi from Kathmandu Airport to Nagarkot was 3200 (£22). I debated just sacking it off and staying near the airport another night but I’m so glad I didn’t take the easy way out.
It was a rocky, windy and kinda scary ride up to Nagarkot. It’s right in the mountains, and the roads weren’t exactly the best. Made it though, in about an hour.
There’s a tourist tax to get into Nagarkot, so make sure you have money for that. Although, there are ATMs up there. Which, not to be patronising, amazed me. This whole fully functioning town, so high up in the mountains, was incredible.
Chilling in Nagarkot
I went down into town to explore, and to find food. It was around 3pm and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I looked around the town a bit – didn’t take long – and then settled on the Berg House. The view from there looked the best and I could see two people eating out the back.
Turns out I made a very good choice. I had a huge plate of vegetable fried rice and prawn crackers. And both were delicious. I actually amazed myself that I managed to eat both plates full. Probably shouldn’t be proud of that.
I lay in the sun there, in a food coma, for about an hour. At 5ish I wandered back up the hill to find a cool spot to watch the sunset. After a bit of exploration, and even a look at the official sunset point, I decided that my hotel would be the best place.
Nagarkot is actually famous for its sunsets and sunrises, so I wanted to make sure I had a good one for my one sunset in Nagarkot.
The Hotel at the End of the Universe, where I was staying, is a good walk up. A walk that almost felt vertical. And so once I was up there for the sunset there was no way I wanted to come back down to have to go up again.
Instead I sat in the hotel restaurant, ordered a tomato soup which ended up being absolutely delicious, and just relaxing by the fire.
Then I went to bed, in all my clothes.
My hotel in Nagarkot
The Hotel at the End of the Universe where I was staying, really was at the end of the universe.
It was really high up in the mountains, making it perfect for the views. I had a private room with a private bathroom for xx per night. Again, it was freezing. Even colder in fact than the other nights. February. My room was so cold I didn’t brave the shower once for the 36 hours I was there.
Great place though and really, really good restaurant.
Day seven: Nagarkot and back to Kathmandu Airport
After an early night it was easy to get up early for the 6amish sunrise. I went to the Country Villa Hotel up the road to watch it in all its glory. They didn’t seem to mind that I wasn’t a guest. I enquired about the buffet breakfast but it was about $20 so that was a no.
After the beautiful sunset I walked back, and up, to my hotel and had a cheese toasty and egg breakfast. Again, yum. Definitely recommend the food at The Hotel at the End of the Universe.
After breakfast I decided it would be a great idea to get out and do the ‘easy’ panoramic walk.
After about an hour of wandering I totally got lost. I’d just been following whatever I saw that looked fun and interesting, not really paying any attention whatsoever to where I was going. Absolute amateur. Excitement gave way to panic gave way to reality, and it was probably only about 30 minutes later that I found my way.
It was a pretty stupid thing to do though, especially when you’re travelling solo.
Make sure to go and see the tower while you’re in Nagarkot, and some of the stupas and temples too.
After my three-hour hike I went back to my hotel, had a tea, paid up and left to try again at getting the bus back. Really didn’t want to fork out all that cash again for transport.
Bus from Nagarkot to Kathmandu
The bus back to Kathmandu from Nagarkot ended up being a lot more straight forward than the other way round. I asked around at the (tiny) bus station, found the right bus, sat waiting for 20 minutes for it to leave, and then just enjoyed the journey back down to the city. It felt a lot easier and less dramatic on the bus. It was pretty quick to Bhatapur.
I got off the bus at the end of the line, asked around, and found the one to the airport was leaving right then. This bus took aaaaaaages. It stopped every minute or two to pick people up and drop them off, and there was a lot of shouting about where they were actually going.
Anyway, got to the airport. Paid the equivalent of about a pound, and went to find my hotel.
Hotel near Kathmandu Airport
Found it. And realised it hadn’t even been built yet. FFS!
One of the guys there helped me find another one. I’ll admit I was losing patience at this point. Even more so when they wouldn’t accept card. Cue the next 30 minutes trying to find a cash point.
It was only about 4pm by the time I was done but I decided to give up and just shower, work and sleep until my flight the next day. The hotel was the nicest I’d stayed at, had a comfy bed, was WARM and had a hot shower so I was sold.
This could be a good opportunity to go to the Patan area of Kathmandu though, if you didn’t make it at the start. It’s a really historical and important part of the city. You can easily get a taxi in for the evening as there’s really not much entertainment around the airport.
Day eight: leave Nepal for London
The hotel manager locked me in – seriously. Massive lock on the shutters at the front of the hotel when I tried to leave at 6am. I managed to wake him up by shouting ‘LET ME OUT’ in the lobby, and just crossed the road, over to the airport.
And that was that, my week in Nepal was over.
Costs of one week in Nepal
I spent around £300 in 1 week in Nepal. If you want to see the full breakdown, check out my post How Much Will I Spend in Nepal? (on its way).
I’ve listed what I spent on food and drink, accommodation, shopping, transport and any other expenses so you know how much to budget for your Nepal holidays.
Getting your visa for Nepal
Kathmandu airport is great. There’s a lovely welcoming sign to welcome you after your long journey.
It was easy to get the visa although I totally muffed up the queuing system. Every good traveller knows you should grab a form and fill it in in the queue. For some reason I diligently filled every box before I joined the visa queue and then of course, I was at the back. It took me about 45 mins to go through the process.
You entered all your details on a kiosk, which also took your photo, and then joined the queue with all your receipts and landing cards and paid the $25. Seemed to be best if you had it in dollars, which I didn’t, so paid on card.
How to book this week holiday in Nepal
Kathmandu: Kathmandu Village House
Pokhara: OYO Romantica
Nagarkot: The Hotel at the End of the Universe
Everest helicopter flight
Top tips for Nepal in one week
Geographically Nepal is quite a small country, but don’t underestimate how long it will take you to get around. If you only have a week in Nepal I’d recommend you pick three places, like I have, so you’re not spending all your time on transport. The poor roads and mountainous terrain mean it’ll take you longer to get around than you expect.
If you’re travelling between June and August it’ll be monsoon season so you should stick to the cities and cultural sites. If you want to spend your Nepal holiday doing trekking and watersports then visit in the spring, between March and May, and the autumn, between September and November.
I went to Nepal for a week in February. It was cold when the sun went down (around 7C) and rained two days out of the seven, but the days were fresh and bright. Make sure your hotel has heating if you’re booking your Nepal holiday at this time. I was cold most of the time!
I LOVED my week in Nepal. It was fun, adventurous, I felt safe, and I totally want to go back again in the future. One day. I hope this Nepal Travel Guide has given you some inspiration.
Just let me know below if you have any questions.
Always happy to help!