I was sick that day (diarrhoea from earlier meals in Chitwan) and spent almost all morning in the hotel in Kathmandu. Feeling a little better in the afternoon, I insisted on seeing Bhaktapur, although it was getting really late.
So we rented a cab to take us from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur, wait 2 hours and then back to Kathmandu. The whole thing was 600 rupees, after a little bargain and jokes on the continuous rises in taxi fares around the valley.
We caught the rush hour traffic back to Kathmandu, so the 30 minutes ride to Bhaktapur transformed into an agonising hour on the way back (with me being still sick :-))))
If you simply want to visit Bhakthapur, then the best way is to take a pubblic bus form Kathmandu, where you will have no difficulties to caught it.
Anyway, I won’t reccomend you to spend a compelte day here, as it is enough to stay here an half a day, you could then set a day with the visit of Patan and Bhaktapur.
In that case you could, take the bus from Kathmandu to Patan and then form Patan to Bhaktaphur or take a privat care, in that case you could add some interesting place outside the touristic circuit that are on the way (for details check my other tip).
My first plan once I was in India, was to reach Nepal and relax there for a week or so.
It was a good plan, but unfortunately I got extremely sick in Varanasi and I had to stay in that amazing city four more days.
So, I got just three days left, and with that time I had to visit as more as possible.
Once you will run in the same situation, short with time, then, it might be a great idea to rent a privat car for one day, from 03.30 am to 08.30 pm.
During the day, you will be able to visit, in a quiet chilling way the most amazing, interesting and important place, and keep other two days to visit again the paklce you did like more, or simply relax one day in the monastery.
It could work like this: every GH or agancy (better the GH for the price), is able and would love to rent you a private car with driver and guide for something like 40-60USD (it depends how good you are to reduce the rate).
The easiest itinerary would be:
Monkey Temple- Bodhanath – Pashupatinath – Patan – Bhaktaphur and Nagarkot (Nagarkot only if you are going in the right season otherwise is sensless as you will never see anything).
Such itinerary will fullfilled your day but won’t be toop stressy.
In this case, you can see quiet easily all the main places and then on day two and three visit more in detail Patan, Kathmandu Valley, Kopan and some of the temple you saw in day one.
This is a very good oprtion for those that have not so many days...
Actually it was not our choice. Under the 3 day Maoist Strike call, people were so afraid that no vehicle dared to run on the road. We had no choice but to rent a bicycle there. Surprisingly, there are not as many bicycle renting shops as I thought it should be. Some are only for organized tour for mountain biking.
Finally, we found one just outside of Thamel. And took the last two bikes left there.
It was a more than 2 hour suffering trip. Bike not comfort at all, road bumping, too many slopes on the way... especially on the way back. If you ever consider going there by bike, at least choose a comfortable bike for the 20km distance.