Capital of 🇳🇵Nepal


A city of temples 1,400 metres above sea level.

Discover Kathmandu: Nepal's cultural heart, rich with history, temples, and access to the Himalayas, it's a vibrant base for trekkers.

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Photo of Thamel in Nepal

Bustling Tourist Hub

Explore Kathmandu's Thamel for diverse shopping, local eats, cultural sites, and a lively night scene, all set in a dynamic, historic neighborhood.

Kathmandu, Nepal's bustling capital, is set in the shadow of the majestic Himalayas and serves as the cultural and economic heart of the nation. Visitors are drawn to the historic Durbar Square, with its array of temples and palaces, and the sacred Swayambhunath Stupa, known as the Monkey Temple for its resident primates. Thamel, a lively district, offers a range of shops and eateries catering to both locals and tourists. The city is also a gateway for trekkers venturing into the Himalayan mountain ranges.

Historical Landmarks and Architecture

Kathmandu is steeped in history, evidenced by its numerous historical landmarks. Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a central point where you can explore palaces and temples that date back to the 15th century. Key attractions here include the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex and Taleju Temple. Walking east from Durbar Square, you'll find yourself at the exquisite Kumari Ghar, home to the living goddess, Kumari. Another must-visit is the Swayambhunath Stupa, sitting atop a hill west of Kathmandu, which offers panoramic city views.

Up for a short trip just outside the city? Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur boasts equally impressive architectural splendors like the Krishna Mandir and Patan Museum. Likewise, Bhaktapur, another nearby city, has its own Durbar Square featuring the Nyatapola Temple and the 55 Window Palace.

Traditional Nepalese Cuisine

Sampling local food is essential for understanding Nepalese culture. The city teems with eateries that serve traditional dishes such as "dal bhat" (lentils and rice), "momo" (dumplings), and "newari khaja set" - an assortment of Newari community foods. One of the best places to try these is at OR2K in Thamel, which offers a comfortable setting with floor seating. Krisha Kathmandu Café, near Durbar Square, provides authentic Nepalese flavors with a view of historical sites.

Cultural and Religious Festivals

Kathmandu's calendar is dotted with festivals. Witness the spectacle of Indra Jatra and Dashain, which see the city erupt in celebrations with traditional music, dances, and processions. The festivities provide unique insights into Hindu and Buddhist traditions that are infused in daily life here.

Museums and Art Galleries

For a dose of culture, visit The National Museum of Nepal, which provides a comprehensive overview of the country’s history and artifacts. Similarly, the Patan Museum in Lalitpur focuses on religious art and history with an impressive collection of metalwork and statues. Art enthusiasts should also check out the Siddhartha Art Gallery for contemporary Nepalese art.

Shopping at Local Markets

For shoppers, Kathmandu offers vibrant markets like Ason Market and the streets of Thamel. Here you can find handcrafted goods, jewelry, pashmina shawls, and more. It's also a good chance to interact with local vendors and observe the day-to-day commerce that fuels Kathmandu's economy.

Outdoor Activities

The Kathmandu Valley offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking to Nagarkot for sunrise views or cycling through Shivapuri National Park. Also, consider a visit to the Garden of Dreams for a leisurely afternoon amid Edwardian-era landscaped gardens.

Daily Life and Atmosphere

To get a sense of the daily life in Kathmandu, take a walk through the backstreets of residential areas or spend some time at local tea shops engaging with residents. The city’s vibrant yet chaotic streets reflect a blend of traditional practices and modernization efforts.

Public Transportation and Walking Routes

While navigating Kathmandu, you can use public buses or microbuses for longer distances or simply walk to discover hidden gems around every corner. For specific routes not well-served by public transport, consider hiring a taxi or a rickshaw.

Accommodation Options and Cost of Living

Accommodations range from budget hostels in Thamel to luxury hotels in more secluded areas. Generally speaking, Kathmandu offers affordable lodging options that fit various budgets. Daily expenses are relatively low compared to many other cities worldwide, making it accessible for travelers mindful of their finances.

Safety Tips for Travelers

Exercise standard caution when traveling around Kathmandu. Keep personal belongings secure as pickpocketing can occur in crowded areas. Additionally, traffic can be chaotic, so be vigilant when crossing streets. For health safety, drink bottled or purified water and ensure that street food is cooked thoroughly before consumption.

Average temperatures during the day in Kathmandu.

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