Nagarkot Nepal (Guide and Is It Worth Going?)

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Nagarkot Nepal is a village on the rim of the Kathmandu Valley just under 30 Km from Kathmandu, 14 Km from Bhaktapur. It famously offers stunning Himalayan views and some nice shorter treks. You can get to Nagarkot from Kathmandu by road in under 2 hours, depending on traffic. It is possible to see Mount Everest from here and sunrise and sunset mountain watching is most popular although at certain times of the year the view will be better than others. Its population is just under 4,000 and there are plenty of hotels, some luxury, and small guest houses. Read about our experiences visiting Nagarkot, things to do in Nagarkot, accommodation options, and decide if you’d like to visit while you’re in Nepal. You’ve reached our Nagarkot travel blog section, covering Nagarkot Nepal.

Nagarkot map Nepal
On the Nagarkot map, above, the pale grey circuit is a good half-full day walk with scenic views, perfect to help your acclimatisation before your trek. We only managed the short, 5.5 Km Nature trail and the 8 km hike to the lookout tower and back.

Nagarkot is a funny little town. I would have loved to have seen it 20+ years ago, before mass tourism took hold. Was there anything there back then? We were first in Nepal way back then, but this recent trip to Nagarkot was a first for us. We’re back again in 2024!

Nagarkot Bus Station
The Nagarkot bus station at the crossroads. If you’re booking a hotel in Nagarkot, make sure it’s not too far from here, some are quite a hike.

Today it seems that every building is a hotel. Precarious-looking multi-story guest houses cling to the mountain-sides promising spectacular Everest range views to eager visitors in Nagarkot Nepal.

Nagarkot Nepal

You can watch our short video on Nagarkot, below.

What else is there in Nagarkot? Other than viewpoints and rooftops, there are a few wood and corrugated iron shacks, a handful of shops, military installations, a famous temple dedicated to Vishnu, and a selection of chickens, goats, puppies, schoolkids, and vehicles.

Nagarkot Nepal walking
This end of Nagarkot is much nicer, just keep walking away from the bus station along the left-hand fork. The right-hand fork goes to the lookout and is a proper road.

There are views, for sure, but you need to time your visit right or just be lucky.

There are also some nice walks, short hikes and day treks and a cheese factory. Day hikes include the Changunarayan hike.

Is it worth visiting Nagarkot? We think yes, it is.

Sunset view from near the lookout tower Nagarkot
Sunset view from almost at the lookout tower. Pretty, but cloudy. See why we didn’t make the tower above.

We came to Nagarkot because we could. It was our third visit to Nepal and we’d never been so we went to see what it was like.

Of course, my secondary motive was to get Nagarkot on the blog, the more destinations in Nepal I can cover, the better, right?

I’m fully intent on making our site the most comprehensive in existence on travel in Nepal and places to visit in Nepal.

A few days at 2000m was a good idea for our Everest acclimatisation too, we could immediately feel the benefit in climbing steps with packs when we got back to Kathmandu.

We stopped a few days in Bhaktpur on the way and totally loved that ancient city, then travelled on to Nagarkot by local bus. That was quite the experience, see below.

The hotel we’d booked online (after much research) turned out to be smelly, dirty, dark, dank, and generally unpleasant.

It was near the Nagarkot main crossroads where the local bus stops. We checked in, dropped kids and packs and went for a walk. Just 100 m down the road we found a row of new sparkly guest houses and thought,

“Stuff this, let’s stay somewhere nicer.”

We took a look at the rooms at the spangly-looking Nagarkot Holiday Inn, not only were they cheaper ( $14 each for 2 double rooms) they were far more spacious and this hotel had a view. So we moved.

We headed back up to Smelly Skanky Bed and Breakfast and nicely explained that we were moving because their hotel wasn’t quite what the internet had implied.

It had good reviews, I’d thought that many were fake (something we often find with TripAdvisor), but not all, now I’m convinced they were all equally dubious.

The owners were very nice about it, as was I, and we moved, to Nagarkot Holiday Inn (opens in new tab).

This Nagarkot hotel was nice, not perfect, but nice.

The owner was very friendly and helpful and the food (Indian, Nepali food and Western-style) was good and cheap enough. Give it a go.

That evening we walked the 4 km to the Nagarkot lookout but didn’t quite make it.

We were just a hundred yards or so away when we stopped to take the photo below. Shortly after taking this I slipped in the mud falling heavily on my right buttock and took D’s knees out in the process.

He fell on top of me giving my ear and head a good bashing.

We thought it best we go home at that point. It was cloudy anyway.

The next day dawn was spectacular but still no mountain views. Our very enthusiastic guest house owner took me up to his roof where we could just make out a few peaks of the Langtang range if I stood on a chair. At least I saw the snows briefly.

Unless I blow the picture up to grainy and pixellated you probably won’t be able to see them, it was much better with the naked eye.

On a clear day, the views of the mountains must be spectacular.

Dawn view from Nagarkot
Dawn view from our hotel’s dining room balcony in Nagarkot Nepal. Everest would be there if it wasn’t cloudy.

Chef and D both felt a bit rough so we skipped the long trek we’d planned for today in favour of a short 5Km “Nature Trail” through thick forest on narrow paths.

The kids whined and whinged but also laughed and joked. That is the nature of travel with kids.

Walking around Nagarkot with kids
When hiking with kids, baby goats help a lot. As do puppies. There was a lot of soil erosion near here due to goats and deforestation. Steps were being taken to replant and prevent further damage. One of those cool worldschooling opportunities.

A quick solar-powered shower, yet another dal with rice, a Gorkha beer and bed, before hopping on the bus back to Kathmandu to get ready for our Everest Base Camp trek.

Can You See Everest From Nagarkot?

Mount Everest visible from Nagarkot
Mount Everest, back right. Photo not from Nagarkot, taken near the Everest View hotel.

Yes you should be able to see Mount Everest on a clear day from Nagarkot. Mount Everest is 141 Km from Nagarkot and lies to the northeast of the town in the the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. Nagarkot can offer views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Manaslu, and Everest Ranges if weather is good.

We could not make out any mountains clearly from Nagarkot on our visit due to cloud. Our hosts assured us that Everest should be visible if we stood on the roof on a chair.

Mountains You Can See From Nagarkot

On a clear day you can see multiple Himalayan ranges from Nagarkot. This means you can see multiple mountains over 8000m, these include Mt Everest (at 8850m), Cho Oyu (8188m), Mount Shishapangma, (8027m) Manaslu (at 8156m), Mount Annapurna (8010m), and Dhaulagiri (8176m), can be seen from Nagarkot. Thousands of smaller mountains can also be seen.

We couldn’t see any because of cloud, but this was the information we were given at the time.

Book a Trip to Nagarkot from Kathmandu, With Views and Light Trekking

This is a great way to see the Himalayas, stretch your legs and see a little more of Nepal’s countryside if your time is short. Take a look at this very affordable tour here, with guide, which includes the Nagarkot lookout and the Changunarayan hike.

Is Nagarkot Nepal Worth Visiting?

Yes, we thought Nagarkot was worth visiting. Particularly if you have plenty of time in Nepal and won’t be trekking, but want to glimpse the mountains. It’s also handy for acclimatisation.

Just remember that the road up to Nagarkot, once past Bhaktapur, is unbelievably bad. If you’re going to brave the potholes, mud, switchbacks and alarming drops, you’d better make it worth your while by staying a bit longer.

Maybe they’ve repaired it now, who knows?

Taxis and private vehicles are pretty expensive (approximately 2000 Rs, $15 US). The bus to Nagarkot is 50-70 Rs each for the 2-part trip, depending on how much they want to charge you.

It is also possible to walk to Nagarkot from Kathmandu, readers have told me they’ve done this. The walk is only about 4 hours so you could walk to Nagarkot and back from Kathmandu in one day.

Nagarkot Admission Fee

There was a booth near the bus stop where they would like to charge you 300 Rs for the honour of visiting Nagarkot.

This kind of defies belief but at least it’s not $15 each (15,000 Rs) as we paid in Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is a historic (UNESCO listed) city in much need of repair post-earthquake, so that charge is understandable (if steep).

If you think $15 is cheap, remember we have to pay that x4 for a family.

300 Rs to enter Nagarkot, what exactly for? There is nothing historic here just guest houses, we’re not sure if it’s a scam or not.

Luckily, the guard was busy on his phone when we strolled past from the bus and we didn’t even ask us to pay. but we do know of other travellers who have been charged.

I’ve seen reports of an official government letter stating that such charges are illegal. It’s only a few bucks, but if you feel strongly there is a letter in Nepali you can show that states this illegality.

I have no idea if this will work or not.

Where to Stay in Nagarkot?

Nagarkot Holiday Inn
We stayed at Nagarkot Holiday Inn and liked it. It was cheap ($14 / room) and the rooms were big, had a private bathroom, and double and single beds. The owner and his wife are great to talk to, the view is amazing and the food was good. It was so much better than the Bed and Breakfast we’d booked online that we could overlook any faults. Other than budget hotels, there are some really fancy resorts and hotels with pools in Nagarkot. Take a look below.

Nagarkot Holiday Inn

 Nagarkot Holiday Inn. (opens in new tab) rooms from $12, decent wi-fi, doesn’t include breakfast but a full breakfast will cost you around $2 and it’s good. Not luxury, but does the job.

The Hotel at The End of The Universe

Nagarkot Best Places to stay

Worth a mention for its interesting name (taken from the Douglas Adams novel), The Hotel at The End of the Universe is a reasonably priced hotel/hostel with unique and interesting room styles. It offers guests Himalayan views and rooms with up to 5 beds for groups of friends or larger parties..The hotel is 5 km from the Look Out Tower. You really should take a look at this one, it’s a unique, quirky and interesting place to stay.

Hotel Club Himalaya Nagarkot

Nagarkot Hotels to stay at

This modern hotel is arguably the best in Nagarkot and comes with an expensive price tag. This hotel is certainly on the luxury end of places to stay in Nagarkot. Rooftop views here also give you one of the very best views of the Himalayas. This is a lovely hotel, with spa and indoor pool, perfect for a romantic stay. For families the hotel states that there is play equipment on site, plus rooms suited to family groups. You can take a look here. Expect to pay $200 to $700 per night depending on party size and room type.

Other Hotels in Nagarkot Nepal

The Himalayan Resort Nagarkot, and Himalayan Villa Nagarkot are both popular choices along with the Nagarkot Farmhouse Resort.

More Hotels in Nagarkot, see here (also opens in a new tab)

Nepal Nagarkot. Places to Visit in Nepal. Nagarkot is famous for views of the Himalayas

Best Times of Year to Visit Nagarkot for Himalayan Views

We were there in September, this is not a good time and we could only faintly make out a few snow-capped peaks through breaks in the clouds.

The monsoon is generally considered to be June to September, this in not a good time for views.

The best time to visit Nagarkot is from October to April. We experienced stunning clear skies in Nepal last October, November, and December, in the Everest region and from Pokhara.

In Kathmandu itself, pollution hinders this.

For more on weather in Nagarkot see here.

Tours to, Around, or Including Nagarkot Nepal

Yes, you can book various tours to Nagarkot, guided treks, and Nepal tours that include a visit to Nagarkot. This is a company we’ve used ourselves and trust internationally.

Nagarkot to Changunarayan Hike

This walk, from Nagarkot to Changunarayan is a short day hike or trek departing from Nagarkot. The trails pass through pine forests and Brahmin, Newari and Tamang villages before arrival in Changunarayan, home to a magnificent temple to Narayan.

How to Get to Nagarkot from Kathmandu

You can take the public bus, this will likely be your slowest option, or you can arrange for a taxi or private vehicle to Nagarkot (jeep or 4 by 4 ). 

To arrange a car or jeep to Bhaktapur it’s probably easiest to ask your hotel or travel agent in Kathmandu to make arrangements. Shop around for the best price and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Tours also exist from Kathmandu to Nagarkot. Be aware that you have to climb a very steep mountain and the roads are less than ideal. It’s also possible to walk to Nagarkot from Kathmandu.

Nagarkot to Kathmandu Distance

Nagarkot is 21.5 km (13.4 miles) from Kathmandu on foot and 27.3 km (17 miles) from Kathmandu by road. You can walk to Nagarkot from Kathmandu in about 4.5 hours. The journey by road should take you just under an hour depending on traffic and road conditions, you need to take the Araniko Highway.

Kathmandu to Nagarkot Public Bus

The public bus to Nagarkot departs Kathmandu at Bhaktapur Bus Stop to the east of Ratna Park. This is the cheapest way of reaching Nagarkot, but will likely be the slowest way. A bus ticket to Bhaktapur should cost around 25 NRP. At Bhaktapur change buses and catch the bus to Nagarkot at Kamalbinayak Pokhari. This second bus journey should cost 45 NRP. So the total cost of getting the bus to Nagarkot from Kathmandu is 70 rupees or less than $1 US or Au. These prices may change and conversion rates do fluctuate of course.

Kathmandu to Nagarkot Tourist Bus

The tourist bus to Nagarkot is a more comfortable ride. This bus is direct and departs the tourist bus park in Kathmandu. The ticket cost is 400 rupees per person, about $3 Us, $4 Au. The tourist bus station in Kathmandu is on Swayambhu Marg on the northeastern corner of Thamel, the tourist district of Kathmandu. Departure times are normally every 10-15 minutes daily. However, this tourist bus has not been running in recent years. It may be running again now, you need to check locally. Most (maybe all) of the tourist buses from Kathmandu depart from this street, walk over and see which buses are running.

Nagarkot is closer to Bhaktapur than Kathmandu. Kathmandu being almost due west of Nagarkot, Bhaktapur is to the southeast. Bhaktapur is not on the way to Nagarkot from Kathmandu.

How to Get to Nagarkot from Bhaktapur

Bus to Nagarkot
This is the bus to Nagarkot, and this is the bus stop.

The same options exist as from Kathmandu. We opted to take the public bus from Bhaktapur to Nagarkot. Get there early and claim a seat, it will be a tight squeeze once the bus fills up. It’s a bumpy ride on bad roads. At Bhaktapur catch the bus to Nagarkot at Kamalbinayak Pokhari. This bus ticket should cost 45 NRP, about $0.30 US. These prices may change and conversion rates do fluctuate of course.

Nagarkot to Bhaktapur Distance

Bhaktapur is 11.2 km (7 miles) southwest of Nagarkot, on foot. The road distance between Bhaktapur and Nagarkot is 12.4 km (7.7 miles) and this road is very steep and winding. The drive time is allegedly 32 minutes, it may be in a good 4×4 vehicle, the bus took much longer than this.

Hotels Near Nagarkot?

There are a lot of hotels in Nagarkot, not so many near Nagarkot, as it’s in the mountains. If you’d like to stay near, not in Nagarkot, take a look at Bhaktapur or Kathmandu.

Both cities are much bigger than Nagarkot, with more historic architecture and more to see and do.

Nagarkot Elevation

Nagarkot Nepal is at an altitude of 2, 175 m. ( Kathmandu is 1,400 m).

You can certainly start your acclimatisation process by spending a few days hiking and staying in Nagarkot. It’s not high enough to cause altitude sickness issues generally.

So all up, yes, Nagarkot for the win. I enjoyed the walking, the food, the views and this quirky little town. We hope you enjoyed our pics of Nagarkot. The bus ride up the Nagarkot hill is an experience. I’ll post about that when we’re back from Everest and indeed, fully finish this post. Just a couple more days before we fly to Lukla. Game on! We think our time in Nagarkot Nepal was a good thing to do to start the acclimatisation process and see another cool and interesting place in Nepal.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

6 thoughts on “Nagarkot Nepal (Guide and Is It Worth Going?)”

  1. I doubt you have actually visited nagarakot as much of your info is fake …wether distances and you certainly do not pay and entrance fee to enter nagarakot … what a joke article to look to other sources of info about the Kathmandu valley
    I write whilst this having spent a week in nagarakot ….

    • Unfortunately Mike, for you, you are completely wrong. And all of my followers and readers know that you are completely wrong too, as we always post live to them. You sound rather like the lady who accused me of photoshopping all of my photos from the Himalayas.

  2. There is no doubt that Nagarkot is worth seeing. Nepal is not only mountain hiking, it is also an opportunity to skydiving. Skydiving in the Himalaya is a unique challenge but the risk is mitigated with team of expert jump masters, tandem instructors, DZ safety officers, pilots, medic and ground crew. It is a real adventure which you should try as soon as possible!

  3. I’ve been thinking about going to Nepal with my family, and now I will put Nagarkot on our itinerary, It sounds very interesting and different. Thanks for the tip!


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