Top 10 Things to Do in Lalitpur, Nepal

Lalitpur, also known as Patan, is one of the major cities in the Kathmandu Valley and is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, exquisite architecture, and vibrant arts scene. Often referred to as the “City of Beauty,” Lalitpur offers visitors a deep dive into Nepal’s history and traditions. Here are the top things to do in Lalitpur:

1. Visit Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square is the heart of Lalitpur and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic square is home to stunning temples, palaces, and courtyards, showcasing the finest examples of Newari architecture. Key attractions include the Krishna Mandir, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (Golden Temple), and the intricately carved stone and woodwork of the old royal palace.

2. Explore the Patan Museum

Located within the Patan Durbar Square, the Patan Museum is one of the finest museums in South Asia. It houses an extensive collection of traditional Nepali art, particularly bronze and gilt copper sculptures. The museum offers an insightful look into the artistic heritage of the Kathmandu Valley and provides detailed information on Hinduism and Buddhism.

3. Visit the Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihar)

The Golden Temple, also known as Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, is a revered Buddhist monastery adorned with golden decorations and intricate carvings. The temple, located in a narrow alleyway near Durbar Square, is an active place of worship and a center for Newari Buddhism. Its beautiful courtyard and detailed artwork make it a must-visit.

4. Admire the Mahabouddha Temple

The Mahabouddha Temple, also known as the “Temple of a Thousand Buddhas,” is a stunning terracotta temple built in the Shikhara style. Each brick of the temple is meticulously carved with images of Buddha, creating an impressive and unique architectural wonder. It’s a peaceful place to visit and appreciate the craftsmanship.

5. Explore Kumbeshwar Temple

Kumbeshwar Temple is one of the oldest and most important temples in Patan, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple complex includes a large pond believed to be connected to the sacred lake Gosainkunda. During the festival of Janai Purnima, thousands of devotees visit the temple to take a holy dip in the pond.

6. Wander Through the Patan Industrial Estate

The Patan Industrial Estate is a hub for traditional crafts and industries. Here, you can watch artisans at work and purchase handmade products such as metal crafts, wood carvings, and traditional weavings. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs and support local artisans.

7. Visit the Central Zoo

The Central Zoo in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, is the only zoo in Nepal. It houses a diverse range of animals, including endangered species native to Nepal. The zoo also features a boating pond and a picnic area, making it a popular spot for families and those looking to relax.

8. Explore the Ashoka Stupas

According to legend, Emperor Ashoka built four stupas on the outskirts of Patan in the 3rd century BCE. These stupas are located in Pulchowk, Lagankhel, Ibahi, and Teta, and are significant landmarks in Lalitpur. Visiting these ancient stupas provides a fascinating glimpse into the city’s ancient Buddhist heritage.

9. Stroll Through the Streets of Old Patan

The narrow streets and alleys of old Patan are filled with hidden temples, traditional houses, and bustling local markets. Wandering through these streets allows you to experience the daily life of the locals and discover charming courtyards and shrines that are often missed by tourists.

10. Enjoy Local Cuisine

Lalitpur is a great place to savor traditional Newari cuisine. Don’t miss trying dishes such as yomari (sweet dumplings), chatamari (Newari pizza), bara (lentil patties), and various Newari feasts. Numerous local restaurants and street vendors offer these delicacies, giving you a taste of the region’s culinary heritage.


Lalitpur is a city that beautifully blends history, culture, and art. From its magnificent Durbar Square and exquisite temples to its vibrant streets and local cuisine, Lalitpur offers a rich and immersive experience for visitors. Take your time to explore this ancient city and appreciate the craftsmanship, traditions, and beauty that make it a unique destination in Nepal.

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