Known as the “City of Temples”, Kathmandu offers a bustling undertow of lively streets set against a backdrop of timeless temples and gritty heritage. A deep cultural and artistic vibe attracts tourists to the capital of Nepal searching for a sense of deeper connection with the world.
Things to do in Kathmandu
The Boudha Stupa is a must-see, one of the most sacred sites for Tibetan Buddhism, and one of the largest in the world. The Monkey Temple is an additional attraction not to be missed, alive with its population of curious monkeys happy to mingle with social travellers.
Walk down the halls of the Narayanhiti Palace Museum for a taste of traditional culture and admire the bamboo trees that circle the building in the light of sunset. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a great place to explore a number of temples in one location, with the Shiva Temple, Taleju Temple and the Kumari Palace all located here, amongst a variety of others.
Basantapur Darbar Kshetra is the site of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex and home to many of the city’s traditional festivals. For a true immersion into Nepalese life, visit during the Festival of Lights in October or the Indra Jatra held for eight days in September.
The Thamel district is a great place to indulge in traditional cuisine. Sample a steamed momo or sit down with a plate of rice, daal and curry. To catch a glimpse of the city’s hippie past, take a stroll along Freak Street to find the area bustling with handicraft shops, tattoo parlours and local restaurants.
Getting around Kathmandu
The most exciting and efficient way of getting around is by rickshaw or taxi, where haggling can guarantee you a lowered rate. For longer journeys across the valley, local buses are also available. The Tribhuvan International Airport is the arrival point for most visitors entering the country, located about six kilometres from the city centre.