15 Best Short Road Trips From Kathmandu

15 Best Short Road Trips From Kathmandu

  • 05/09/2021

The city’s life is full of hustle and bustle. People don’t get enough time to enjoy themselves. Those who love traveling can’t go trekking and hiking due to their busy schedules. One of the only ways to escape the busy life in Kathmandu is to go on short road trips to nearest destinations.

Road trips can be completed with much less effort if you choose the right destination at the right time. It is also the best way to spend a day tour by visiting a new place at a quick time.

So, here are the 15 best short road trips destinations from Kathmandu. You can choose one and travel when you think you need a refreshment. These small trips might look like a small deal to you right now. But these small day tours give you the feeling of independence, new experiences and are also an opportunity to clear your thoughts.

Short Road Trips Destinations From Kathmandu

  1. Shivapuri - Tare Bhir and Nagi Gumba
  2. Dakshinkali
  3. Chandragiri Hills
  4. Kakani
  5. Nagarkot
  6. Phulchowki
  7. Chisapani
  8. Dhulikhel
  9. Panauti
  10. Namo Buddha
  11. Markhu Village
  12. Trishuli
  13. Daman
  14. Balthali
  15. Tatopani

Less than 30 km short road trips from Kathmandu

Shivapuri - Tare Bhir and Nagi Gumba

Distance: around 17 km altogether
When to visit: avoid rainy days

Beautiful Shivapuri is one of the nearest national parks in Kathmandu. Just a 15 kilometers drive, you will get to the beautiful Tamang village at Tarebhir. The place is famous for the Panoramic Kathmandu view, colorful hills, and beautiful windy surroundings. Though there’s a good driving lane, the road isn’t black tarred so it's a little slippery in the rainy season.

After you explore Tarebhir, you can visit Nagi Gumba which is around 1.5 km from Tarebhir. It is home to hundreds of nuns and has multiple monasteries. There you can spend some time in a peaceful environment.

Stops: Budhanilkantha Temple - see the large reclining statue of Lord Mahavishnu.


Distance: about 20 km
When to travel: all year round

Dakshinkali is a municipality famous for the Kali temple. Accessible via black tarred road, Dakshinkali is a four-season short road trip for anyone willing to visit religious places. This destination is well-known for its history, cultural, and ethnic tourism destinations. 

You can access Dakshinkali via Balkhu road. The journey will take you to parallel with the only water exit of Kathmandu valley.

Stops: Pharphing - first hydropower of Nepal

Chandragiri Hills

Distance: 20.9 km
When to visit: all year round

After a temple was built, Chandragiri hills became one of the best tourist destinations in Kathmandu valley. The second largest hill of Kathmandu valley is located in the Southern end. Many people travel to visit temples as well as to enjoy the views of valleys and mountains.

It's inside a valley so it became one of the shortest road trips from Kathmandu. From the base of the hill, the off-road adventure starts. Make sure to ask about the road condition after you reach the base. After you reach the top, you can worship at the Shiva temple and landscapes. If the weather is good enough, you can even view mountain ranges. The highest resort of the Kathmandu valley is also located there. If you don't like to drive/ride off-road, you can reach the top via cable car.

Stops: Chandragiri Cable Car Base Station - Explore


Distance: 24.4 km
When to travel: Avoid monsoon season

Kakani, a renowned tourist destination, is located at an elevation of 1982 meters. While the place sprouts with Lush Green vegetation in Summer as well. But the frequent rain and damp weather obstruct the mountain view in summer. The hotels offer a good meal and cozy beds if you wish to spend a night after a day tour.

You can even enjoy a picnic there. The place has a small zip line, various organic farms, trout farms along with numerous flower gardens that will refresh you while you travel to this small hill station. That's why it's one of the best road trips from Kathmandu.

Stops: It's only 24 km road trip - You can have some meal after you reach Kakani Bazaar


Distance: 27.6 km
When to visit Nagarkot: when the weather is fine

Nagarkot is a popular tourist destination near Kathmandu. The place is well-known for sightseeing, bird viewing, and photography. Since it's a hill station, the environment is best to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city.

After you reach there, you can get the most out of activities like sightseeing and paragliding. It provides a spectacular 180-degree panorama of the Mahalangur, Langtang, and Sagarmatha massif. Cycling on the trails of Nagarkot is much more fun after a road trip.

Stops: Non-stop


Distance: 29.5 km
When to travel: when weather is fine

It's the best scenic escape from Kathmandu for a day where you get to see various rhododendrons, Mongolia, and numerous other flowers in Spring. The hill is the highest point (2762 m) of Kathmandu valley. You can see the views of mountains from northwest to far east. The hill is also famous among snow lovers in winter.

The road trip up to the hills covers both on-road and off-road experiences. You can even enjoy the landscape from the way after you cross half of the hill. The hilltop is also the army base that protects the radio tower.

Stops: Godawari - have some food and explore the botanical garden

30 - 60 km short road trips from Kathmandu


Distance: 30 km
When to visit: Avoid monsoon season

Situated at 2165 m altitude, Chisapani offers a beautiful view of mountains and lush green forest in Autumn. You can get a good view of Gaurishankar, Langtang, Dorje Lakpa, and even Mt Everest. 

Chisapani is also a  trekking and hiking destination from Kathmandu. So, why not go on a road trip? After you reach there, you get to experience various ethnic Tamang villages flaunting their Buddhist culture. The picturesque valley in between mountains, snow-capped mountains and is one of the most popular tourist sites in Nepal.

Stops: Sundarijal - it's a water catchment area and famous for the waterfall


Distance: 31.7 km
When to travel: when the weather is fine

Dhulikhel is one of the most beautiful cultural destinations around Kathmandu. Just 31 Kilometers away from Kathmandu, Dhulikhel offers beautiful Newari Culture, good food, old buildings, and architecture along with a beautiful 180- degree view of Panoramic mountains including Ganesh Himal. 

It is one of the four-season road trips from Kathmandu. The destination is famous as a picnic spot too. You also get to experience the zipline in Dhulikhel which can spice up your day tour with a touch of adventure.

Stops: Non-stop


Distance: 34.1 km
When to travel: when the weather is fine

Situated at 1504 meters elevation, beautiful Panauti offers you a great Newari cultural tour, beautiful religious temples, historical buildings, two rivers, lush green forest, chippings birds, and terraced hills. There you’d see various crops lurking in various seasons.

Panauti is especially famous for temples such as the Unmatta Bhairav temple, and Tola Narayan temple. So, it is one of the best road trips to go on to know about ancient temples and villages.

Stops: Non-stop

Namo Buddha

Distance: 44 km
When to visit: It's at its best on a sunny day

Located at 1750 meters in height, Namo Buddha is a beautiful Monastery situated at one of the hilltops in Dhulikhel. The place is famous for its monastery. It is one of the most sacred places and tells an inspiring legend about the Buddha. The paddy fields, lush green forest, and subtropical pine forest will make your road trip more interesting.

Stops: Panauti - Explore ancient temples and villages

Markhu Village

Distance: 44 km
When to travel: all year round

Markhu is a beautiful location attracting various fun-seekers from Kathmandu valley. This village has a water reservoir "Indra Sarovar". The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power generation but it is now a Ramsar site as well. The reservoir allows cage fishing and many locals cultivate fresh fish there. The natural beauty and a one-of-a-kind scenario of Markhu attracts a huge number of visitors from Kathmandu as well as Hetauda.

There is an ample number of hotels and eateries in Markhu. After the road trip, you should also take a boat in the beautiful Kulekhani and try the locally farmed fish. The roads up to the destination are off-road. So, it's one of the best off-road trips destinations near Kathmandu.

Pharphing - have some foods
Kulekhani - see the water reservoir dam

Above 60 km short road trips from Kathmandu


Distance: 77.3 km
When to travel: autumn and spring seasons

Trishuli is a famous cultural hub to know Nepal's beautiful village life. It is Nepal’s most popular rafting river accessible from Kathmandu. People usually visit the Trishuli river formed by the melting snow from Mt. Ganesh and Langtang Himal for rafting.

Though Trishuli can be a refreshing trip all year round; Autumn and Spring is the best time to visit the Trishuli River. In these seasons the river receives ample rain and forms perfect waves for rafting and other water sports. The place has numerous hotels and eateries along with river resorts providing beach fun. So you should include Trishuli in your road trips destination list.

Stops: Naubise - have some foods


Distance: 80 km
When to Visit: Winter Season

Daman is a common refreshment trip for people from Kathmandu Valley. It is located at an elevation of 2400 meters above sea level. The place receives heavy snowfall in the winter season, especially in early January. So, people often travel there to see the fresh snow.

The road is black tarred and isn’t very bumpy. So it's an easy ride even on a two-wheeler. It is one of the short road trips to go with your friends and family. The silent roads on the hill will surely refresh you.

Stops: Naubise - have some food and drinks


Distance: 90.7 km
When to visit Balthali: Spring

Balthali is a photogenic village in Kavrepalanchok District of Bagmati Province. It is also a cultural and natural destination located just beyond Panauti town. The Tamang village is famous for heritage tours and Nepali food. Visitors can visit Lapsibot's big community fields and they can learn about orange farming.

The destination is accessible all year round. If you take a route from Araniko highway, you will have zero problems accessing the place. Balthali is also a popular destination for short hikes from Namo Buddha and Panauti. 

Stops: Panauti - Explore ancient temples and villages


Distance: 114 km
When to visit: autumn and spring seasons

The 114 km road trip leads you to the highest bungee jump in Nepal. You can experience bungee jumping there. It is also famous for multiple hot water springs. You can take a bath at a natural hot water spring, engage in adventure sports. In the spring season, you can even enjoy rafting in the Bhotekoshi River.

After the adventure, you can have some food and rest in The Last Resort.

Stops: Dolalghat - Explore and enjoy a picnic

After going on any one of these road trips, you will completely feel good with a new experience. You might be thinking, “Where to go if I have a week or long vacation” right? Stay with Gundri blogs for long road trips from Kathmandu to go for a vacation.

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