10 things to do in Kathmandu

  •   2017-03-10  |  nepaltraveller.com

How to make the most of your time in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a very historical city with a lot of tourist attractions. But most tourists spend only a day or two here before leaving the valley to discover the true beauty of Nepal.

Here is a list of some things you can do/ places you can visit while you’re in Kathmandu.


The Durbar Squares

_77A3688.jpgThere are durbar squares in Basantapur, Patan and Bhaktapur which were inhabited by old kings of the valley. All are distinctive in their own way as they showcase the culture of yesteryears.

If you’re an admirer of good architecture you’ve come to the right place. Although many were damaged during the devastating earthquake in 2015, there are still several structures whose structural design will leave you in awe.

All three palaces have been turned into museums and displays rare photographs, paintings and various royal artifacts of the past rulers.

Narayanhiti Palace Museum

This palace turned museum is famous for the royal massacre that took place in 2001. The palace long served as the residence of the Shah dynasty. It was turned into a museum in 2009 after the king was overthrown and monarchy was abolished.

The palace’s architecture is unique in its own way and has several things to see inside like the throne room and the reception hall. The interior of the palace is based on the Victorian style which makes it different from the other palaces in the country.

Visit the Living Goddess


Not many countries can boast about a having a living goddess. But located near the Basantapur durbar square is the Kumari Ghar, where a young girl is housed and worshiped by many Nepalis. The girl is chosen from one of two specific casts – Shakyas and Bajracharyas and has to have excellent health, never have shed blood or been afflicted by any diseases, be without blemish and must not have yet lost any teeth. Girls who pass these basic eligibility requirements are further examined for the 32 perfections of a goddess. 



Hike around the valley

If you want to get away from the busy city, there are a lot interesting hiking options. Places like Nagarkot, Chisapani, Champadevi, Nagarjuna are easy hikes and aren’t bad for the first time hikers. These hikes offers opportunity to visit some Buddhist monasteries, spectacular mountain view and a walk through dense forest. You will notice how life gradually changes as you move away from the valley. Definitely one of the most interesting things to do in Kathmandu.

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Mountain Flights

It’s safe to say most tourist come to Nepal to see the mountains. And an interesting option available in Kathmandu is to take a scenic mountain flight. If you don’t want to do a long trek there is an option to take these mountain flights offered by many flight companies. Airplanes and helicopters take you around the Everest, Annapurna and Kanchenjunga regions. It’s a pretty awesome way to observe the highest peaks if you’re short of time as these flight don’t take more than an hour.

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Visit the Monkey Temple


Swayambunath Stupa, which is also known as the monkey temple is another popular tourist destination in Kathmandu. It’s a Buddhist stupa located a short drive from the center of Kathmandu. As it’s on top of a small hill you’ll get a great view panoramic view of the city. You can also get a lot of Buddhism related memorabilia here. The earthquake had damaged some sections but it’s always open for visitors from all across the world.


Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhnath, popularly known as Boudha, is another Buddhist stupa in Kathmandu. Located a bit away from the busy city area, this UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site will give you a sense of calm. The area is pleasant, and the circular marketplace now populated by restaurants, cafes and shops offer you a wide range of Tibetan food and other souvenirs to take back.  Here the retailers don’t hassle you quite as much as they do back in main city areas. Having been damaged by the earthquake, it’s recently been renovated and looks even better now. A perfect place to enjoy a quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.



On the banks of the holy river Bagmati lies the grandest of Hindu temples - Pashupatinath. The main temple houses Lord Shiva who is also known as the destroyer. Although the temple premises does include many other smaller temples. Hindus in the millions come to seek blessing from Lord Shiva.

Apart from that there are lot of interesting thing you can observe here. You can witness the outdoor cremations placed on the bank of Bagmati River. There are some stone slabs for funerals. Though it might seems gloomy from a western standpoint, it’s the tradition of Hindu people and you’ll realise that death is a part of life. It’s really an incredible place to visit in Kathmandu and it will provide you a different perspective on the Nepali culture.

Try the food


One thing that every traveler likes is the food that they get to try out while they’re travelling. And in Kathmandu you will get all sorts of food ranging from Indian, Chinese and continental.if you believe that when in Rome do as Romans do, while you’re in Kathmandu you have got to try all the different Nepali food. One of them is Momo (dumplings) which is the unofficial food of Kathmandu. Then there is dal bhat (rice and lentils) which also comes with season vegetables and meat (optional). There is also Newari and Tibetan food you can try like Thukpa (noodles), Laping and Sha Phaale. The food comes with a buzz, and may even have spices that you have never tasted, but many dishes off the menu will have you going for seconds.


Roam the streets on foot

Kathmandu is a very busy city. You’ll find the sound of horns almost everywhere you go. So the best way to get to know the place is to travel on foot. There are many streets that you give you the true vibe of the city along with its culture.

One of such streets is the main tourist area called Thamel where it’s quite impossible to get around in a vehicle. Here you get to buy almost anything from trekking gear, maps, Thankas, Tiger Balm and more.

Another place you can go visit is the Old Freak Street. Once labeled as a place to find enlightenment, a lot of things have transformed since the deportation of the hippies in the early 1970s. You can find cheap guest houses, souvenir shops and trekking agencies who offer a variety of services for different prices.