Nagarkot is a village in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. It is 32 km north east of Kathmandu on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu Valley. Nagarkot is famous for its Himalayan views, the Himalayan peaks at sunrise being particularly magnificent.
Besides scenic views and outdoor hiking, the town itself doesn't offer much, but this laid-back vibe (and not a tout in sight) makes Nagarkot a good place for long-term backpackers to spend two or three nights and plan the next leg of their trip.
You have several options if you decide to travel to Nagarkot by road.
- Hiring a taxi for a one-way trip to the village will cost NPR2,000-3,000 and nearly double that for a return trip with a short time to admire the views. Leaving Nagarkot on foot is a recommended option as it's downhill (see trekking options below).
- Tourist minibuses will cost NPR300-400, leaving from the Hotel Malla in Lainchhaur and taking about two hours to reach Nagarkot.
- Public buses travel to Nagarkot via Bhaktapur and will cost less than NPR100 for the two-hour trip.
If you have more time, trekking is a good way to get to Nagarkot. The village is on the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail. The trail starts in Sundarijal, a short bus or taxi ride from Kathmandu, and continues on to Chisapani (2,150 m), 5.5h and then to Nagarkot (2,163 m), 5-7.5 h.
From Nagarkot, you can continue on the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail to Dhulikhel in about 6 h. As you leave Nagarkot, the trail climbs up to the tower of Nagarkot. From the tower there are excellent views of mountains including views of Mt Everest and Kathmandu Valley. The trail descends through rhododendron forests and small villages before arriving in Dhulikhel.
From Dhulikhel, there are several options, one being through Namobuddha and back to Kathmandu. Namobuddha has some interesting Tibetan monasteries.
Another way to approach Nagarkot is by mountain bike from Bhaktapur. The route is steep and somewhat tortuous and you may decide instead to leave Nagarkot (i.e. downhill) using this method.
Everything is within walking distance in Nagarkot.
Nagarkot is a somewhat rustic resort village high on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu valley. Situated on a ridge at the edge of the Valley, it offers great views of Himalayas, attractive mountain scenery and impressive views of those mountains at sunrise and sunset. From Nagarkot, one should have views of the major Himalayan peaks such as Manaslu, Ganesh, Langtang, Dorje Lakpa (6,975 m), Shisha Pangma (8,012 m), Choyu, and Gauri Shankar (7,146 m). On a clear day, one can even see the tip of Mt Everest (8,848 m) from here. Arriving here in the afternoon and staying at one of the local hotels will give you the opportunity to see both sunset and the early morning sunrise over the mountains. Be aware that the view may be obscured by cloud, even in autumn, when the air is usually clear.
- Lookout Tower (4km from the village.). At 2,164m on a ridge with great 360 degree views.
- Panoramic Hiking Trail (The trail is not well-marked on the ground but can be GIS guided with your smartphone (offline mode ok) by following instructions here). Nagarkot is surrounded by thickly forested hills of pine trees. If you are spending more than one night in Nagarkot, there is a 3-4 hour (12km) hiking loop around Nagarkot that goes through Rohini Bhanjyang, past terraced hillsides and rustic farmhouses. Free.
- Some commercial guidebooks still list a Paneer Cheese Factory. However this was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake.
From a visitor's perspective, the main raison d'être for Nagarkot is the views of the Himalayas. Other than numerous places to stay and a few places to eat, there is little else for sale.
There is one ATM, but it's only open during the day, and it only reads Visa and Visa Election cards.
Eat & Drink
Many of the hotels and lodges have restaurants; many travellers will choose to eat there. A few other establishments are available.
- Berg House Café (On the highway at the main intersection in town). International dishes. dishes from NPR100-400.
- Food Republic. International and Indian dishes. Wi-Fi available. Dishes from NPR180.
Hotels and guesthouses abound, both in Nagarkot and in the surrounding hills and valleys. Since Nagarkot's charm is in the natural environment, central location to town need not play a role in your choice of hotel.
- Peaceful Cottage & Café du Mont, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. One of the less expensive places in Nagarkot with just 10 rooms. The octagonal shaped tower provides a panorama of the Himalayas and the Kathmandu valley. Wi-Fi available. Rooms start at USD15 (communal toilet) to USD35 (en suite).
- Club Himalaya Resort (Uphill from the bus stop.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps the best views in the area; heated pool and Jacuzzi, even a private helipad. Rooms from US$65.
- Hotel Green Valley, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Some of the least expensive rooms in town; good views. Wi-Fi available. Rooms from NPR 700 to 2500.
- Hotel at the End of the Universe, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Rooms with and without bathrooms, cottages and large suites. Includes a restaurant and good views to the mountains. Wi-Fi available. NPR600-4,500.