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Guide to Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Nepal's former Royal Capital!
Updated: June 18th 2016 | Nepal travel guides

My Rating:  
must see highlights - entrance fee - directions - accommodation
Download my guidebook to Bhaktapur (great for tablets, phones, laptops or print)

About Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the city of Bhaktapur's best known attraction. It was once one of three royal capitals with the Royal Palace at the center during the 15th century. Today Durbar Square is one of four main attractions within the old city.

It was during the reign of the Malla's that Durbar Square acquired most of its beautiful buildings and prominence as a great city in The Kathmandu Valley.

Did you know?

King Ananda Malla Bhaktapur lived in Bhaktapur Durbar Square and helped to create a place renown for culture and art.

Durbar Square is completely traffic free making it a pleasant change from the rest of Nepal! (post earthquake this was stopped but in May 2016 traffic into the square was stopped again).

Bhaktapur Durbar square was one of the least affected historical areas during the April 25th earthquake in Nepal

Sunsets in Durbar Square are best seen from eastern end where there just happens to be a restaurant! Although you can also just perch yourself on a temple like the locals and watch the sun go down.

Must see highlights around Bhaktapur Durbar Square

If you are visiting Bhaktapur Durbar Square I highly recommend you download my guidebook. It includes a fantastic walking tour of the square and photographs of every temple so you'll never be confused as to what's what again!

Bhaktapur Durbar Square contains a lot of temples and places of interest as you can see. There are local guides who can be hired from as little as 500 rupees. Do be aware that they don't always know as much as they claim!

If you get my downloadable guide to Bhaktapur it contains every temple in the square and beyond: all laid out in a great walking tour. Get my Bhaktapur guidebook here.

Is Bhaktapur Durbar Square traffic free?

Yes, but it's only the immediate Durbar Square area. So from the entrance gates to the Siddhi Laxmi Temple no traffic is allowed.

After the 2015 earthquake Durbar Square was opened up to traffic to help with aid. But in May 2016 traffic was once again stopped from entering the square. Contrary to some guidebooks this traffic-free area is only applied to durbar square and not the other squares.

To learn more on who and why this happened do read about the history of Chyasalin Mandap or better yet get an up to date premium guidebook to Bhaktpur!

Entrance fee for Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The current fee for foreigners into Durbar Square is 1500rps aprox or USD$15 while SAARC members pay 100rps. Do note that paying in USD means you'll be paying more than in Nepalese rupees.

This ticket covers all of Bhaktapur including Pottery Square, Taumadhi Square and Dyattraya Tole.

If you are planning to stay in Bhaktapur show your passport at the ticket office and you can get the same ticket extended for one week with no extra cost.

Ticket booths are located at all the main entrance streets into the old city of Bhaktapur and there are random "ticket inspections" so do hold on to your ticket!

Accommodation & hotels near Bhaktapur Durbar Square

There are only a few hotels very near Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Most of the hotels are scattered across all of Bhaktapur. Do get my guidebook to Bhaktapur for full reviews and recommended places to stay.

High-end hotels in Bhaktapur Durbar Square

There are none! Most hotels in the square are of a mid-level quality so don't let anyone tell you differently.

Mid-range: USD $20-80 per night

Khwapa Chhen Restaurant and Guest House Khwapa Chhen Restaurant and Guest House - Located just outside the main gates of Durbar Square in a big Newari style house. It caters mainly to Chinese guests but worth the effort for one of those balcony views!Book here ★★★☆☆

+ Location

+ Views

Vajra Guest House Vajra Guest House -Close to Durbar Square this guest house is clean and modern. Again they are tour group oriented but staff are good. Book here ★★★★☆

+ Service

Shiva Guest House Shiva Guest House - Probably offering the best sunset views this guest house is located in Durbar Square at the eastern end. The ground floor restaurant is one of the better places to eat too! Book here ★★★★☆

+ Best Choice!

+ Location

+ Price

Golden Gate Guest House Golden Gate Guest House - Offering 22 rooms in a secluded courtyard off Durbar Square rooms here have both shared and private bathrooms. Sticking with privates over shared is a good idea. Book here ★★★☆☆

+ Clean

+ Service

Budget hotels in Bhaktapur Durbar Square: USD $5-20 per night

Mountain View Guest House Bhaktapur Mountain View Guest House - This budget guest house is quite new and very clean. With only 4 rooms it can get booked out though. Located off the north east corner of Durbar Square the rooftop views are great. With a nice owner to match budget travelers can do well here. Tel: +977-1-6617371

+ Location

+ Service

Looking for more accommodation in Bhaktapur Durbar Square? Try my hotel search below for the best rates.

Download my full guide to Bhaktapur!

Looking for more? Save time and discover more by downloading my complete guide to Bhaktapur! Includes every temple, hotel / restaurant reviews, transport, shopping and more ...

Bhaktapur travel guidebook
Get it now!

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Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square
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Full guide:
» Guide to Patan    
Central Patan
  - Patan Durbar Square
 South Patan
  - Mahaboudha Temple
  - Uku Bahal
  - Machchhendranath temple
North Patan
  - The Golden Temple
  - Kumbeshwar Temple Complex
West Patan
  - The Kumari Living Goddess
East Patan
  - The Balkumari Temple

Make the most out of your journey:
» Get my full guidebook to Patan!


Full guide:
» Guide to Bhaktapur
Durbar Square
» Guide to Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  - Erotic Elephants Temple (Shiva Parvati)
  - Basantapur Chowk (Sculptures)
  - National Art Gallery / Museum
  - The Golden Gate (Sundhoka)
  - Taleju Temple (Mul Chowk)
  - Naga Pokari 
55 Window Palace
  - Siddhi Lakshmi
  - Stone Lions
  - Pashupatinath Temple (Bhaktapur)
  - Vatsala Durga Temple & Taleju Bell
  - Chyasalin Mandap
Near Durbar Square
» Taumadhi Square
Just outside Bhaktapur
» Kailashnath Mahadev (Tallest Shiva statue)
» Nagarkot

Like to know more?
» Get my full guidebook to Bhaktapur!

Bardia National Park

Full guide:
» Guide to Lumbini
» History of Lumbini
» Ashokan Pillar in Lumbini

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Vatsala Durga Temple & Taleju Bell

Vatsala Durga Temple & Taleju Bell
Click to see a larger photograph of the Vatsala Durga Temple & Taleju Bell

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