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These days it's hard to tell where Kathmandu ends and Patan begins. As the population in the Kathmandu Valley has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, Kathmandu and Patan seem to have merged. Technically the divide between the two is the Bagmati River. It's surprising just how many people overlook Patan and don't bother visiting. It's the second largest city in the valley, but doesn't seem to be quite as frenetic as Kathmandu.
Certainly the proximity with Kathmandu means you don't really need to overnight in Patan. We would certainly recommend you consider at least a half day visit to Patan. We can arrange a guided tour, but as the main attraction in Patan is its Durbar Square, it's entirely practical to explore this area by yourself too. We can arrange a driver to take you to Patan and then meet you at a pre-determined time and drive you back into Kathmandu.
Patan's Durbar Square is without doubt amongst the finest display of Newari architecture in Nepal. It's a concentrated area (in theory pedestrianised too) and very easy to get around on foot. There are a mass of temples both pagoda and more typically Hindu style, pleasant cafes and several Buddhist monasteries to discover. The Jawalkhel Tibetan area is the place for for Tibetan crafts, particularly carpets. Patan is the main centre for bronze casting and other metal work objects too in.
Highly recommended is a visit to the Patan Museum. We think it is the best museum in Nepal and houses a wonderful collection of both Buddhist and Hindu art.
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