Discover the Ancient Charm of Kathmandu
Arts & Culture
Kathmandu is the cultural heart of Nepal. I love the different festivals Kathmandu celebrates throughout the year. It's dotted with colorful shops, markets, stupas and cafes, and on clear days, you may be able to catch distant views of the Himalayan range.
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Where to stay In Kathmandu, Nepal
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Luxe property on 15 hectares with grand rooms and suites.
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Arushi Boutique Hotel
A charming getaway blending local tradition and modern comfort, creating an intimate and unique hospitality experience.
Aloft Kathmandu Thamel
A vibrant, contemporary hotel experience offering a unique blend of high-tech convenience and urban style in the heart of Kathmandu's lively Thamel district.
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Things to do In Kathmandu, Nepal
Take a walk around Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. It's a great place for people watching and just taking in the peaceful atmosphere.
Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its palaces, temples, and historical architecture. Kumari Chowk (home of the Living Goddess) is a courtyard within Durbar Square that is worth visiting for its beautiful traditional Newari style.
Don't miss Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple. Climb the steps to reach the hilltop stupa and enjoy panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley. Observe the monkeys and explore the surrounding shrines.
Visit the Garden of Dreams, a serene oasis in the heart of Kathmandu. Relax in the beautifully landscaped gardens and enjoy a cup of Nepali tea.
Explore the streets of Thamel - A popular tourist district that has everything from bars and nightclubs to boutiques and markets where you can do souvenir shopping.
If you enjoy architecture like me, visit Hanuman Dhoka, which is a historic complex located within Kathmandu Durbar Square. I love the beautifully carved wooden windows, doors and pillars.
If you are in Kathmandu during the Maha Shivaratri Festival (around February or March), visit Pashupatinath Temple. It is the oldest temple in Nepal and holds great cultural significance to Nepalis. You will witness a parade with traditional music, dance performances and the chanting of religious hymns.
These are just a few highlights of what Kathmandu has to offer. The city is rich in history, culture and spirituality, so take your time to explore and immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere.
Take a 30-minute bus ride from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur, a nearby city known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. The main reason I love it is for its Pottery Square, where you can watch the traditional pottery-making process. Explore Bhaktapur Durbar Square, visit Nyatapola Temple and admire the intricate woodwork and artwork in this lovely city.
Bhaktapur offers a glimpse into Nepal's rich cultural heritage and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through the narrow streets, explore the local markets and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Don't forget to try some authentic Newari cuisine while you're there. Bhaktapur is truly a gem that shouldn't be missed during your visit to Nepal.
Places to eat & drink In Kathmandu, Nepal
Heading to Thamel neighborhood for food is a must. There is a wide variety of cuisines including Nepali, Tibetan, Indian, Chinese, Italian and more. Some places to try are, Thamel House Restaurant, Mo:Mo La Palpasa and Himalayan Java Coffee if you are a coffee enthusiast.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, try OR2K. They have very good options and a variety of international dishes as well. The seating is comfortable and the restaurant is very cozy.
Ason Bazaar and Indra Chowk are great places to try street food.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Asia & Southeast Asia.