Visit Boudhanath Stupa
The best time to visit Boudhanath is in the late afternoon when pilgrims come to circumambulate the stupa. Buddhist holidays are a great time to check out Boudhanath, otherwise a full moon is also good. Finally, if you can’t make it on a holiday or full moon, then try to go late afternoon on Sunday when you’ll see circumambulating pilgrims and pilgrims lighting butter lamps in the courtyard around the stupa.
Wander the markets and backstreets between Thamel and Durbar Square
Head south from Thamel and follow your own curiosity, with no particular route in mind. Put away your map and smart phone and just get lost for a bit and see what you discover.
People watch in Durbar Square
Sit on the steps of one the many temples and watch the tourists, pilgrims, vendors, and locals go about their business.
Climb the steps to Swayambhunath (aka “The Monkey Temple”)
Visit Swayambhunath temple, a temple complex and stupa atop hill overlooking Kathmandu, the fearless monkey who inhabit the area around the temple give the Swayambhunath it’s more colloquial name “The Monkey Temple.” Try to visit in the early morning or the late afternoon for the best light and views.
Contemplate life and death at Pashupatinath
Walk around the compound along the perimeter wall. From the main gate on the left, follow the road running south till you come to a footbridge that takes you across the Bagmati River. You will approach the Eastern Ghats from the south where you will see sadhus lounging in the Shiva shrines. Walk through the footpath along the western edge of Deer Park, and you will come to a terrace with benches overlooking Pashputinath Temple and the Cremation Ghats. Rest and marvel at the sight.