Bhaktapur is a beautiful and quiet Newar town that you can visit at your leisure. It is full of interesting places and not usually overcrowded with tourists, but it is still early in the morning or in the evening that it has a special atmosphere, as groups do not stay overnight, which we recommend. The Newar tradition is very strong here, so it is not uncommon to find small religious events, usually at dawn or late in the day.
It used to be a royal city and is the best-preserved of them all, with its temples, palaces, the golden gate, … All of it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the monumental site must be paid for, so don’t forget to bring your entrance ticket with you. But Bhaktapur is not only an impressive monumental complex, it is also a normal village, where people live and work. There is little traffic, so it is a unique and ideal place for a carefree stroll. It is a good place to buy small pottery, as the whole area is famous for its pottery work, which you will find especially in one of its squares where there is pottery drying all over the place and the handmade kilns for firing it. Beyond the monumental enclosure, there are also interesting spaces without tourists, such as the Hanuman Ghat on the river, orchards where the locals work, some “pokhari” (large open wells), and in short, the more “real” life of a Nepalese population.
If you like yoghurt, you can’t miss the “yo-yo-dao” (or King Kurd). Yoghurt in the whole Bhaktapur area is famous, very good and safe to eat. You will find small establishments beyond the main entrance, where it is served in ceramic pots, either individual or up to 1kg. You will become addicted.
Bhaktapur is close to Kathmandu and can be reached by road in a journey that should take no more than 45 minutes from Thamel, but can take a long time if the traffic is backed up, which is not uncommon.