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Guide to Patan city

The "Beautiful City" with buildings to match!
Updated: September 16th 2016 | Nepal travel guides


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

About Patan


Patan is one of Nepal's larger cities and it lies to the south of Kathmandu. For tourists Patan is renown for it's ancient Durbar Square, surrounding streets, the Patan Kumari, along with a host of stone and metal workings.

Reaching Patan is extremely easy from Kathmandu with either a short bus ride or taxi ride you can be there in under 30 minutes. While some people do stay in Patan, it's relative proximity to Kathmandu makes it a more popular day trip option.

While Patan was badly hit during the April 25th earthquake in Nepal and it did lose some temple the vast majority of the city is open to visitors.

Did you know?

Patan is also known as Lalitpur. Both names derive from the Sanskrit word "Lalitapattan". Locally many people still call it Lalitpur while tourists sectors refer to it as Patan.

If you plan on returning to Patan more than once, bring your passport (visa) with you and ask for an extended ticket to avoid paying a daily entrance fee into Patan.


Must see highlights around Patan


Patan has several festivals throughout the year that are largely Newari based. It can get very crowded due to narrow streets. A good choice would be to have lunch on a balcony on one of the restaurants around Patan Durbar Square. This way you avoid the crowds but get to look over everything.


Entrance fee for Patan


Technically there is no fee to enter "Patan". But there is to enter into Patan Durbar Square.

The current fee for foreigners is 500rps or USD$5 (due to increase on the 17th of September to 1000 rupees which will include the museum price) while SAARC members pay 250rps/ Nepalese free. Do note this fee is for Patan Durbar Square only. The only other fee inside is for the Patan Museum which is 400 rps.

Outside the square there are additional charges: the Golden temple 50 rps, Rudravarna Mahavihar and Rudravarna Mahavihar are 50 rps combined.

If you are planning to stay in Patan or revisit Patan Durbar Square then when purchasing your ticket show your passport and you can get the same ticket extended for one week at no extra cost.

Ticket booths are located at all the main entrance streets into the old city and there are frequent random "ticket inspections."


Suggested half-day walking tour of Patan


There's enough to see and do in Patan for full day if you are a Nepalese history buff or really enjoy old streets, temples and getting lost in them. However if you have been in Kathmandu city or Bhaktapur then you might not get too excited at spending a full day in Patan seeing more of the "same".

In this case a half day is perfect for Patan. Otherwise try to break up your visit to these old cities with some trekking or outdoor activities rather than viewing them over a few days.

Start your day in Kathmandu with a hearty breakfast. Avoid rush hour traffic and set off via taxi (400+ rupees) at 9am or by bus from Ratna Park at 9am. Pay for your Patan entrance fee as you enter one of the main gates (ticket comes with a map of durbar square). Don't worry someone will come up to you and ask if you have a ticket if you don't spot the booths.

Start your walking tour in Patan Durbar Square. Walk along The Bhimsen temple with marble carvings. The Vishwanath temple with stone elephants and riders. Krishna's stone temple. Yognarendra and Vishnu temples. Shankar Narayan temple, which has two kneeling stone elephants. The Patan Durbar Square bell.

To the North head to the Golden temple for 50 rupees entrance to admire the gold, silver and bronze work before going to the Kumbheshwar Temple.

To the South visiting the Rudravarna Mahavihar temple which is one of the oldest in Nepal. Then the Mahaboudha Temple and the sadly vandalized Machchhendranath temple.

By now you may be indeed of lunch so stop off at one of the high restaurants surrounding Patan Durbar square to enjoy the surrounding views.

After lunch pay a visit to the Kumari's residence. It's a small courtyard and if you are lucky you might be allowed to visit the living goddess.

If you do wish to visit the Kumari do have a read about the Kumari and understand the protocols and history of the Kumari.


Map of Patan


Use this map of Patan for both the highlights mentioned in this guide, suggesting walking tour, ticket office locations and bus stop/ taxi locations.
Locations on map are subject to change.

Directions to Patan


By bus: There are many buses going to Patan from Kathmandu City. The easiest and most central bus leaves from Ratna Park bus stop. The cost of this bus to Patan is 20 Rupees. Simply show up at the park and head to any of the buses and start asking for where the Patan or Lalitpur bus is. Board the bus and pay when ticket collector comes up to you. It takes about an 30 mins depending on traffic. The bus will drop you out side the main gate where you can get a return later.

By taxi: Taking a taxi to Patan is very easy from anywhere in Kathmandu city. However you will be paying upwards of 400 rupees. Bargain hard. If you are stuck for time, you could arrange for the taxi to wait for you. There's not a huge difference in the fare if they are only waiting 2 hours.


Accommodation & hotels near Patan


Unless you really want to stay in Patan, my advice is to simply take a day trip out from Kathmandu rather than change hotels. Check out Kathmandu accommodation here.

However if you are doing research or really like Patan here are several hotels very close to the center of Patan.

High-end:

Summit Hotel - Excellent long standing hotel with a lovely garden and pavilion. Rooms are trim & proper. It's not in walking distance to Durbar Square though. (USD$145+)

Mid-range:

Hotel Clarion Patan - well decorated and serviced hotel. Clean with a nice restaurant. Wifi works (USD$45+)

Traditional Homes Swotha - Very well maintained, clean hotel decorated in traditional Newari Style (USD$55+)

Hotel Goodwill - Pool, sauna WiFi, laundry service, LCD televisions (cable). Restaurant on site and very peaceful. Some excellent room rates. (30+)

Budget:

Durbar Guest House - One of the few remaining budget guest houses in Patan. Simple rooms that are clean but not wall maintained. (USD$8+)

Looking for more accommodation in Patan? Try my hotel search below for the best rates.

 


Download my guidebook to Patan


Liked this page? You'll love my book! It's a guidebook that's better than the rest. Yes, really! In it I cover all of Patan's attractions (including Durbar Square) with well researched information, photographs and travel tested walking tours.

It's an interactive & printable guidebook like no other.

Patan travel guidebook
Find out more!

 


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Rooftops over Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square Rooftops
Click photo to see a larger photograph of Patan Durbar Square!
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Patan

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!

Bhaktapur

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
Lumbini

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

Get the most out of your trip:
» Download my Guidebook to Lumbini!

 
 

Kumari House Courtyard Patan

Kumari House Courtyard Patan
Click to see a larger photograph of the Kumari House Courtyard Patan

 
From the travel blog
In search of the Kumari - a living goddess
A stunning three part series documenting the Nepalese living goddess known as the Kumari. A prepubescent girl is selected as the host for a hindu deity. Read more here ... Old lady lighting candles at night in Boudhanath
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