Nepal is still one of my favorite countries to visit. It was the very first destination of my five-month backpacking adventure in Asia and it’s just a beautiful place to explore. It’s like entering a completely different world, with such nice people, gorgeous views and some must-explore UNESCO World Heritage sites.
I’m generally a slow traveler, since I always prefer to familiarize myself with the places I visit and the people I meet. Because of this, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Kathmandu and Pokhara. For me this wasn’t a problem, because I stayed in Nepal for 3,5 weeks. However, the question I get quite a lot is: Can you travel in Nepal for two weeks? The answer: yes you can.
So the following 2 week Nepal itinerary might not exactly be how I did it. But if I would have to give you the perfect 2-week route, this would be it:
The ultimate Nepal itinerary for 2 weeks
Kathmandu (day 1)
Welcome to Nepal. You’ll start off in Kathmandu, the capital. When arriving in a new country from home, I always arrange a pick-up service through the hostel. This means you don’t have to worry about getting a taxi or local bus from the airport.
It depends on how well you acclimatize, but I’d say: stay just one night. No worries, you’ll be back at the end of this 2 week Nepal itinerary and then there’s time to explore this gorgeous city and experience the top things to see in Kathmandu.
Chitwan National Park (day 2 to 4)
Chitwan Park is the oldest national park in Nepal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site which is definitely worth a visit! It’s one of the few places left in the world where you can spot wildlife. So prepare to see rhinos, bears, elephants and tigers (if you’re lucky).
Take a local bus from Kathmandu to Sauraha, a little town that is located just outside the national park. To enter the park, there is a 1500 rupee (+ tax) fee, but if you will book a tour with a local guide / tour operator, this fee is usually included in the price. Make sure to check if this is the case.
There are two ways to explore Chitwan National Park: a jungle trek (by boat & by foot) and a jeep safari (by car). They both have their pros and cons.
Pokhara (day 5 & 6)
After trekking through the Chitwan National Park, it’s time to go to Pokhara. This city is located next to Phewa Lake. If you are in Nepal, a trekking in the Himalayas is an absolute must do, and Pokhara is the perfect starting point. Take a local bus from Sauraha to Pokhara and opt for one of the nice guesthouses or hostels. Pokhara has lots of them!
When in Pokhara, enjoy the gorgeous views over Thewa Lake. Also don’t forget to visit the World Peace Pagoda, which is located on a mountain. So prepare for a nice hike or pushbike ride :). Don’t overdo it, because there’s lots of hiking still to come: the Poon Hill Trek.
Poon Hill trek (day 7 to 10)
Poon Hill is probably the best know short trek in the Annapurna Massif. If you have two weeks to explore Nepal, the Poon Hill Trek is definitely the one to choose. This is a 4 day trek which leads you up Poon Hill, a beautiful viewpoint where you can see the sunrise with the Annapurna Massif in the background.
Pokhara (day 11)
After the trek you will probably need a day or so to relax. You can walk around Pokhara a bit and arrange a ride back to Kathmandu. I am a huge fan of local transport, so also in this case I would say: get a local bus. They are perfectly fine.
Kathmandu, Bhaktapur & Patan (day 12 to 14)
Back in Kathmandu! Now it’s time to explore Kathmandu a bit. Go visit the Monkey Temple (Swayambunath) and Boudha (Boudhanath). And if you are up for it: Pashupatinath. This is a hindu temple where rituals & cremations take place.
Also, go wander around the city of Kathmandu and just get lost. Seriously: Kathmandu is the best city to “get lost”. You can also do some souvenir shopping. You’ll find the most beautiful paintings, nice stationary (lokta paper) and many yak-wool products like scarfs.
Then there is Durbar Square. There are three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley which are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur & Patan. It’s perfectly doable to visit Bhaktapur & Patan in one day, so if you have the opportunity (and enough energy left), then go for it.
So here you go: this is the perfect 2 week Nepal itinerary. I’m a low budget traveler, so I always opt for local transportation. But if you want to spend the money, it is also possible to fly from one place to another. Or to take private taxis or minivans. This might save you a little time. (But don’t take my word for it: I haven’t tried it.)