The 12 BEST Places to Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal [2024]

There are so many amazing places to visit in Kathmandu, and after multiple trips to Nepal’s fascinating capital, I’ve put together this epic list to help you plan your travels!

Boudha Stupa Places To Visit In Kathmandu

Kathmandu, the remarkable capital of Nepal, has a rich history dating back to the 12th century.

It’s a hectic, busy and loud city, and there’s a good chance you will either fall in love with Kathmandu, or you’ll just want to escape to the Garden of Dreams.

With so many incredible tourist places in Kathmandu you could never be bored here, and when you travel to Nepal you should ensure you spend at least a few days here.

Table of Contents

1) Boudhanath Stupa

2) durbar square, 3) swayambhunath, souvenirs to check out in thamel, best restaurants on freak street, 6) asan tole, 7) pashupatinath, 8) garden of dreams, 9) kopan monastery, 10) kumari bahal, 11) bhojan griha, 12) chabahil stupa, nepali ghar hotel, crowne soaltee plaza, kathmandu guest house, traditional comfort boutique hotel, the best places to visit in kathmandu.

Kathmandu boosts everything from ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples to spice markets bound to have you sneezing or buying exotic products by the kilo.

Kathmandu might seem ‘crazy’ at first glance, but behind the curtain peace can be found by visiting Swayambhunath ‘Monkey’ Temple or Kopan Monastery where you are bound to find a little piece of Nirvana.

If food is your thing, after trying momos or garlic soup (which there are endless supplies of), there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be left salivating for more.

Kathmandu is crazy busy all year round so I have put together this article to help find the best places to visit in Kathmandu .

”My best tip for exploring Kathmandu is to start from the middle and work your way out”.

Love hiking? Check out our brand new, complete guide to  trekking in Nepal!

Tamang Monastery Tourist Places In Kathmandu

Situated 7 kilometres from the centre of Thamel, Boudhnath (or Boudha) is possibly the top of the list of the most stunning tourist places in Kathmandu.

Boudha is one of the largest stupas in Asia (a Stupa is a place of worship where Buddhist generally visit for worship).

Boudha is seriously impressive and can be seen from kilometres away, but when you are up close joining the thousands of pilgrims and tourists; it’s truly an amazing site to see.

Boudha was said to be built around 600AD, around the same time the Tibetan King decided to convert to Buddhism, which makes Boudha a very sacred place for Buddhists.

Amazingly, Boudha survived the horrendous 2015 earthquake with very little damage.

Boudha can get very busy, and a few tips from an insider informed me that the best time to visit is just on dark when locals come out to light butter lamps and burn incense.

When thinking about what to see in Kathmandu, don’t miss here!

Slightly north of Boudhanath is Ka-Nying Sheldrup Ling Gompa, which is also Tibetan in nature and like Boudhanath is white. Ka-Nying Sheldrup Ling Gompa is a place for learning Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Address: Buddha Stupa, Boudhanath Sadak
  • Opening hours: 24h/7
  • Price: 400 rupees

Boudhanath Kathmandu

South of Thamel lays Durbar Square, which unfortunately was severely damaged in the 2015 earthquake.

The Durbar Square of Kathmandu is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, and sometimes is confused with the village of Bhaktupur.

Durbar Square is collection of temples, stupas and the odd Sadhu or two. Durbar Square is quite easily accessed from Thamel, some 700 metres away, and once you are there you can explore some of the larger temples or just sit back and watch people feed pigeons.

It can be quite overwhelming with all of the different structures, so to help you out these are a few sites to check out in Durbar Square:

Seto (White) Bhairab – a large carving of a strange looking creature said to be made in 1794 which is popular among pilgrims during the Indra Jatra festival in September.

Jagannath Temple – One of the oldest structures in Durbar Square with strange, erotic carvings situated on the struts of the roof with 3 doors that appear to gain you access to the temple with only one that opens.

Taleju Temple – is described as the most magnificent temple in Durbar but is not easily accessed by Hindus or tourists. Taleju is 35 metres high which holds 12 smaller temples inside surrounded by 4 gates.

Indrapur Temple – No one really knows which God this temple was built for. Some say it’s for Shiva while others say it’s for Vishnu which to this day we just don’t know.

Mahendreshwar Temple – Topped with a golden umbrella, this temple is dedicated to the God Shiva. Mahendreshwar Temple is constantly buzzing with pilgrims despite its strange appearance.

If you wish to explore more then book this full-day tour , where you will have an opportunity to visit three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur!

Durbar Square is considered one of the most well known Kathmandu attractions and as such, is completely unmissable!

  • Price: 1,000 rupees

Sadhu Durbar Square

Perched above the city of Kathmandu is one of its most spectacular stupas, known to most as  Monkey Temple.

Swayambhunath is a listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and rightly so, as its a gorgeous historical site, and provides some of the best accessible views of Kathmandu with basically 360 degree views.

To me, Swayambhunath given its location, is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. It’s truly a Kathmandu must see.

The Swayambhunath stupa is decorated with prayer flags that are placed amongst an array of temples, stupas and statues.

It makes everything so close in proximity and when you add people it can get quite packed, but don’t let that put you off your visit.

The best time to visit Swayambhunath is early morning around 730am, when the skies are calm and there are drastically less people at the stupa.

Walking around Swayambhunath is best done in accordance to local custom by walking around in a clockwise direction (kora); this also stops you from running into people coming the other way.

Swayambhunath, like Boudhanath, can be slightly confusing as there is so much happening. so here’s a few quick tips to guide you to the right spots:

Great Thunderbolt – The thunderbolt of Dorje is a gigantic brass made thunderbolt which is a symbol of enlightenment. This can be found at the eastern stairway.

Eastern Stairway – If you are feeling fit, why not take the stairs? The eastern stairway was constructed in the 17 th century which leads directly to the great thunderbolt and the stupa itself. But be careful when ascending or descending these stairs as macaques will try to bite you or steal your food.

Western Stupa – From the main entrance take a left and meander the stone cobbled path until you come across a Gompa perched overlooking the mountains surrounding Kathmandu.

Buddha Amideva Park – One of the lesser visited places at Swayambhunath is the Buddha Amideva Park where 3 enormous statues made from gold are erected dedicated to Guru Rinpoche.

While you’re here it might be worth visiting the Natural History Museum which is a rather strange attempt at a museum you would see in Trafalgar Square.

Entrance to the museum is 50 rupees, and apparently 50 rupees for your camera.

Book this full-day private tour which takes you to four of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu Valley, among which Swayambhunath is included.

  • Address: atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley
  • Price: 200 rupees

Swayambhunath Kathmandu

Thamel is Kathmandu’s tourist hotspot, complete with international restaurants, souvenir shops, hiking stores and street vendors selling delicious cuisines.

Thamel is probably the most popular of all Kathmandu tourist attractions so be prepared for street vendors trying to sell you flutes and a whole lot of exotic souvenirs.

Thamel central is the ultimate place to chill out in the city, and is usually the top thing people from abroad are keen on when thinking of what to see in Kathmandu.

Thamel Marg – Thamel Marg is the main street in the suburb and it’s pretty cool to explore with draping prayer flags strung from building to building while the sound of singing bowls buzz throughout the air mixed with a hint of incense (or the wafting smell of momo’s). Lots of the shops in Thamel Marg are the same and prices of souvenirs will be the same from shop to shop.

Mandala Street –  This super chilled out street feels as if you are in the back streets of Melbourne complete with fairy lights, book stores and cafes. For a great coffee, head upstairs to Himalayan Java Coffee, order a Honey Latte where you can sit above Mandala Street and watch the world go by.

Pashminas – a pashmina is a scarf made from goat hair which usually comes from the higher Himalaya. The higher the percentage of goat hair the more expensive the pashmina will be. Expect to pay about $50 USD but do haggle for a better price as haggling is acceptable in Kathmandu.

Singing bowls – are a type of bell generally made from copper and tin which when tapped softly, a small wooden stick is used to vibrate the sound to create a soothing low frequency sound. If you buy a singing bowl, make sure you go for the handmade ones not the machine made bowls as handmade bowls create a higher quality sound.

Prayer Flags – When buying prayer flags, make sure you buy flags that will breakdown after a period of time because the last thing you want is a mess of flags covering the landscape. You will be able to buy prayer flags in almost every shop you go to.

Buildings Thamel Kathmandu

5) Freak Street

Freak Street (today known as Jochne Marg)  was the Thamel of the 1960s and 1960s. with awesome restaurants, strange characters and those seeking enlightenment on visiting Nepal or those who live within the country.

With Kathmandu so rapidly growing and Thamel becoming the new tourist hotspot, Freak Street isn’t quite as it used to be, but don’t let that put you off going; it’s still worth a visit!

It plays an important part of the Kathmandu sightseeing experience!

Kumari Restaurant – somewhat remaining relevant to its older days, Kumari Restaurant is cheap and provides an assortment of local and international cuisines.

Snowman – one of the more strange places to relax is Snowman Restaurant. Grab a cake and coffee and be immersed into what Freak Street used to be like.

This is the place to go to get your serving of fresh fruit and vegetables. Asan Tole is a bit like an outside supermarket with everything from exotic spices, marigolds, and yak off-cuts to bottles of homebrew (Rakshi) by the litre.

Asan Tole is so popular for growers and sellers that produce from the far reaches of the Kathmandu Valley is bought in on a daily basis.

Roaming around Asan Tole is one of the best things to do in Kathmandu.

Surrounding Asan Tole are a series of temples such as the Annapurna Temple and the Krishna Temple,  which are both quite unique in detail and positioning with the Krishna Temple sandwiched between two large buildings.

The Krishna Temple is nicely decorated with exotic wood carvings while the Annapurna Temple is dedicated to ‘abundance’, hence the reason why the Asan Tole markets are held underneath its entrance.

Prolong your travel and see the rest of the country – read more in our Nepal Travel Guide !

Asan Tole Kathmandu

Perched on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, Pashupatinath is highly sacred Hindu temple where you can see the holy men known as Sadhus creating crazy poses for the camera and eye opening cremations along the river Bagmati.

Pashupatinath, although quite expensive to enter, is one of the best places to visit near Kathmandu; the experiences possible are truly amazing.

Start your adventure by visiting Pashupatinath Temple, which is the largest structure in the area painted gold.

You cannot enter unless you are a Hindu, but from just walking around the grounds, you are able to grab an insight into what actually happens within the temple.

The cremation Ghats located along the river Bagmati are bound to move you in some way or form, so be prepared to see confronting scenes.

The ceremony itself can be witnessed by anyone but please be respectful and do not take film or footage as this is a very distressing time for families in attendance.

Bachhareschwari Temple – this 6th century constructed temple is complete with strange decorations such as skeletons and erotic figures which are connected to the Maha Shivarati Festival (celebrating Shiva’s birthday).

Ram Temple – a great place to visit during the Maha Shivarati Festival where Sadhus gather in celebration meaning you have a chance to capture some amazing portraits or have the opportunity to learn about why the Sadhus are so holy.

Gorakhnath Temple – This temple is perched above Mrigasthali Deer Park and can be quite hard to find but is worth the visit as the temple bathed in red and white which is quite different from other temples in Pashupatinath.

  • Address: Pashupati Nath Road 44621
  • Opening hours: every day from 4 AM – 12 PM & 5 PM – 9 PM

Sadhu Pashupatinat

Defined as ‘neo-classical’, the Garden of Dreams is a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, located south of Thamel along Tridevi Marg.

The Garden of Dreams was created in the early 1920’s as a way for locals and tourists to come relax and rejuvenate the body and soul.

It is quite a contrast to what is outside of the gates as green grass, ponds filled with lilies and lush trees which all come together to create a mini botanical gardens in the middle of Kathmandu.

It’s a bit strange seeing a European inspired garden in Nepal, but having this little piece of paradise in one of the busiest cities in Asia really helps take your mind of all the crazy things going on outside of the complex.

It’s worth adding to the list of awesome places to visit in Kathmandu.

  • Address: Tridevi Sadak
  • Opening hours: every day from 9 AM – 10 PM

One of the lesser visited monasteries, this is quite the hidden gem. Kopan Monastery sits above the city of Kathmandu providing stunning 180 degree views.

Kopan is a place for Tibetan Buddhism where pilgrims come to visit, along with tourists seeking relaxation and meditation, and in the last few years has become increasingly popular due to the stunning architecture.

This makes Kopan Monastery one of the most unique places to visit near Kathmandu.

Currently, Kopan Monastery hosts 360 students, teachers, monks and lamas all to which to learn Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Address: near Boudhanath, on the outskirts of Kathmandu
  • Opening hours: every day from 9 AM – 11:30 AM & 1 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Price: Free of charge

The Kumari Devi is a living goddess and is the most important deity to the people of Kathmandu.

It is often very difficult to capture a glimpse of this young girl unless you are attending the Indra Jatra Festival in September, however the Kumari Bahal (house of the Kumari) can be seen by visiting Durbar Square.

Why would you want to see the house of the Kumari? The building its self is quite architecturally spectacular, with a three story courtyard, to which the Kumari can be seen wandering around.

Please note that you are not allowed to take photos or film of the girl herself as it is strictly prohibited.

Address: at the crossroad of Durbar and Basantapur squares

Temple Kathmandu

This is definitely one of the most unique buildings and dining experiences you can experience in Kathmandu.

Bhojan Griha is a 150 year old building built for past royals who resided in this now kind of scary building (from the inside), but Bhojan is so full of life with its amazing 5-course traditional Newari feast and it truly is amazing!

The service is almost faultless and the traditional dancing that happens while you are eating away at delicious vegetable thali with a side of Raksi (home brew).

What makes this place even more awesome is that they are completely sustainable by not using plastics, straws or bottles, making you order by the glass as Bhojan Griha buys everything in bulk while the food is 100% organic.

This place is awesome for a night out!

Heading northeast out of Kathmandu (from Thamel) you will come across Chabahil Stupa which is a smaller version of Bodhnath and Swayambhunath, which unfortunately was damaged in the 2015 earthquake to now has been restored back to its original ways.

Chabahil Stupa is not as busy as the bigger stupas leaving you with more room to explore without bumping into someone.

That’s it for my guide on the best places to visit in Kathmandu, Nepal. Have you been? Found the list useful? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Where To Stay In Kathmandu

Now that you’ve figured out the best places to visit in Kathmandu, it’s time to sort out where to stay in the city. There’s a few different options, and as an experienced traveller there these are my best tips.

Staying In Thamel

Thamel is the centre of everything in Kathmandu, and things have gotten a whole lot quieter here due to cars and trucks being blocked from entering these streets.

Thamel is a safe suburb to stay and is relatively clean. Thamel boasts an array of restaurants, shops and sites to visit.

Situated in the heart of Thamel, Nepali Ghar is a newly built hotel within walking distance to Durbar Square, Thamel and the Garden of Dreams.

The rooms are stunning, offering all the necessities for a comfortable stay in Kathmandu. Nepali Ghar even has its own gym and balcony to which you can sit back and enjoy a fine cup of masala tea.

Kathmandu’s finest hotel, situated a few kilometres out of the city centre of Thamel.

Soaltee provides a haven for relaxation amongst the hustle of Kathmandu where you can enjoy the use of a gym, fine dining, pool and massage.

Kathmandu Guest House is like a home away from home and it’s been proven to be one of the most popular places for celebrities since Nepal opened its borders to the rest of the world.

What makes KGH a success story is that it was severely affected by the 2015 earthquake, to which most of the structures became reduced to rubble, and since then KGH has bounced back to be a stunning place to stay (and is relatively cheap given its unique position in Thamel).

Staying In Dilli Bazaar

Situated only a few kilometres from Thamel, Dilli Bazaar is quite a good option to stay in Kathmandu, although it can be tricky getting to and from your hotel to Thamel and surrounds.

Some of the hotels are new and are not necessarily on Google maps or known to your taxi driver. However, Dilli Bazaar is nice if you want to escape the masses of tourists staying in Thamel.

Based on Newari architecture, Traditional Comfort is a stunningly established building only a few kilometres from the cities centre.

Everything from your room to dining at the restaurant or on the rooftop is faultless…the rooftop is awesome with nearly 360 degree views of Kathmandu where you can enjoy a sunrise or sunset.

[box] My last visit to Kathmandu was to attend the Himalayan Travel Mart as a delegate on behalf of NOMADasaurus. All thoughts, opinions and hours spent at stupas are, as always, my own.[/box]

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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About the Author - Calumn Hockey

Started travelling in 2010, so far reaching the trails of the Upper Mustang, Nepal, scaled Mount Ollivier, New Zealand (first ascent of Sir Edmund Hillary), got hot chilli in my eye in Vietnam, chased by a pack of wild monkeys in Singapore, stupidly climbed the Eiffel Tower, France in shorts and a shirt while it was raining and 6 degrees while in Venice, Italy I managed to get lost in order to get found while in Central Australia my best friends were camels. My passion burns for culture and exploration as I would say “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure”. Check it all our on my photography website and Instagram .

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21 thoughts on “The 12 BEST Places to Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal [2024]”

One of my memorable event in Kathmandu was gorging on sizzling Choila with pickles, potatoes and Chiura in Basantpur. If you visit Kathmandu next time, I recommend this place for mouth watering local Nepali dishes.

Thanks for the post.

You have very well explain about Nepal. I got a lot of help from your blog thank you so much for sharing.You have done all things very well in own blog, I like that thing very much.Nepal is a beautiful country and known as the “Kingdom of Snow Mountains”. Buddhism, palace buildings, and rich and colorful natural resources constitute the local unique tourism resources.

Thank you for your comment. 🙂

Awesome Article!!! Perfectly written about the Kathmandu valley what it is all about. Hope to read more blog like it in future.

Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Calumn is a great writer.

Im going there in Nov and this is d most complete and inspiring guide i can ever have to start my breakfree journey. Thanks so much!

Hope you had a great trip Lena. Happy travels

Love to read your article.i am tour manager from local travel company from Nepal, called Three Diamond Adventure.Your article is more trust worthy and best example for my Clint before going those monuments.Thanks for sharing great post.

Hope you found a great tour company and had a great trip. All the best.

I have an outgoing nature. I love to travel and visit different new places. Though I was born in Kathmandu, I have not gone to many beautiful places that you have included in your article. Thank you so much for this informative article. I will recommend my friends too to visit your site once.

Nepal is a peaceful country. The capital of Nepal is Kathmandu. Kathmandu city includes various UNESCO World Heritage Site. You are surely going to love your vacation here. You can spend quality time with your loved one. It is the best destination to observe the Hinduism and Buddhism. If you are foody then you are going to love the city. The information flowed by the article about the places to visit and stay in Kathmandu is surely going to help people who want to visit Nepal. Thank you so much for the informative article.

Calumn Hockey,

Great post and guide

Nepal is a remarkable country with full of peace and environment. This is an amazing article where I saw most of the attractive places to visit. The description and guide of each place you had provided in your article are interesting to read, where it takes mind in reality through your article.

I am also planning to stay three nights in Kathmandu from 16th to 18th April, 2019. Any suggestion regarding my trip is always welcome. Thanks.

Amazing article and really loved the guides you provided the links in between really very helpful. Great list and very informative, I came across the article when I was doing research on the places to visit in Kathmandu. In fact, I am working with a hospitality company which provides affordable ticket booking and hotel stays. This article of yours helped me a lot in my research.

Thanks a lot.

Looking forward to more articles.

Going there in april next year with my 14 year young grand daughter Is the dream of my life Want to go there since I was 14 year old and read a book about NEPAL Now it finally will become true. ( I am 65 now )I barely can’t wait for the day we will leave for Kathmandu.We will stay on week in Kathmandu a few days in Pokhara and 4 days in Chitwan. Will let you know about our trip when we are back

Great one. Love to read about my birthplace. Love Nepal

Thank you. Calumn wrote a great article for us. We can not wait to visit one day. 🙂

Yep think I’m game enough for an adventure there now !

You should do it Julie. 🙂

Kathmandu is my dream place. Always want to go there and spend some day. All pictures looks amazing and your picture me want to go there. Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful list to visit the Kathmandu.

Thank you so much for reading. We hope you get there one day. All the best.

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Tourist Places in Kathmandu

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Explore Kathmandu - the Capital city of Nepal

Places to Visit in Kathmandu

Pashupatinath temple.

Pashupatinath Temple

Boudhanath (Stupa)

Boudhanath (Stupa)

Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa

Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery

Garden of Dreams

Garden of Dreams

Durbar Square Kathmandu

Durbar Square Kathmandu

Hanuman Dhoka Temple

Hanuman Dhoka Temple

Kumari House

Kumari House

Buddha Nilkanth

Buddha Nilkanth

Narayanhiti Palace

Narayanhiti Palace

Indra Chowk

Indra Chowk

Best of Nepal

 Places to Visit in Nepal, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Jagannath Temple

Jagannath Temple

Freak Street

Freak Street

Kasthamandap

Kasthamandap

Taudaha Lake

Taudaha Lake

Kathesimbhu Stupa

Kathesimbhu Stupa

Dakshinkali Temple

Dakshinkali Temple

National Museum of Nepal

National Museum of Nepal

White Monastery

White Monastery

Bajrayogini Temple

Bajrayogini Temple

Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens

Seto Machindranath Temple

Seto Machindranath Temple

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Tribhuvan Museum

Tribhuvan Museum

Casino Royale

Casino Royale

Rani Pokhari

Rani Pokhari

Babar Mahal

Babar Mahal

Singha Durbar

Singha Durbar

Full Day Sightseeing in Kathmandu

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Famed as the only metropolis of the Himalayan region, this place is visited by quite a lot of travellers. This is not only the largest city of Nepal but also one of the serene sites. Places like the Swayambhunath Stupa, Hanuman Dhoka Square, and several others mark the tourism count of the city. To make the best of your holidays here, you must not miss out on the Kathmandu sightseeing packages, as they cover most of the destinations. With places like Hanuman Dhoka Square, you can take a deep look into the history of the place and if you are more into the tranquil setting then it boasts with a remarkable range of peaceful temples.

Basantapur Tower

Basantapur Tower

Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour

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Explore centuries-old palaces, sacred temples, and much more as you visit the famous Durbar Square. Later, involve yourself in the rich history and architecture of Kathmandu by visiting attractions like Patan Durbar Square, and Swayambhunath Stupa, among others. 

Ashok Binayak

Ashok Binayak

Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour For 4 Days and 3 Nights

Explore Kathmandu - the Capital city of Nepal

About the Tour:

Seek peace in the mystic land of the Kathmandu valley, while embarking on this much-needed vacation from your daily routine. Home to 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Kathmandu Valley is sure to give you peace amidst the chaos of the capital city of Kathmandu. Walk through the timeless streets of Kathmandu as you explore this city by visiting the most prominent landmarks and revered sites on this trip to Nepal.

Quick Info:

  • Duration: 4 Days, 3 Nights
  • Start Point: Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)
  • End Point: Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)

Experiences Covered:

  • Kathmandu Sightseeing
  • Excursion to Bhaktapur
  • Sunset at Nagarkot

Pilgrims Book House

Pilgrims Book House

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Half-Day Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour

Pashupatinath Temple

Explore Kathmandu’s cultural heritage as you visit iconic landmarks like Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, and many more. Also, roam around the beautiful Bhaktapur district and see the nationwide handicraft and pottery industries.

Shechen Monastery

Shechen Monastery

Khawalung Monastery

Khawalung Monastery

Places to Visit Near Kathmandu

Patan durbar square.

Patan Durbar Square

Chandragiri

Chandragiri

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

Langtang National Park

Langtang National Park

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15 Best Pokhara Trekking Places

Lakuri Bhanjyang

Lakuri Bhanjyang

Namo Buddha

Namo Buddha

People Also Ask About Kathmandu

Which are the best places to stay in kathmandu, which are the famous temples to visit in kathmandu, what is kathmandu famous for, what is the best time to visit kathmandu, how can i spend a day in kathmandu.

Kathmandu Valley

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Kathmandu top attractions.

Kathmandu

The Durbar Squares of each city showcase intricate architecture and centuries-old craftsmanship. Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa stand as spiritual landmarks, while Swayambhunath, the Monkey Temple, adds a mystical charm. The valley is a vibrant blend of spirituality, bustling markets, and rich heritage, offering a captivating glimpse into Nepal's cultural tapestry.

Chandragiri Hill

The fort was a pivotal seat of power during the Vijayanagara Empire. At its base lies the Raja Mahal, an exquisite palace with intricate carvings. Pilgrims ascend the hill to visit the revered Bhagwan Srinivasa Temple. The panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the cultural richness embedded in Chandragiri Hill make it a compelling destination for history enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike.

Pashupatinath Temple

Hinduism is the most widely followed religion in Nepal. The country has embraced this religion and respects it with several sacred places of interest, including Pashupatinath Temple. The sacred place is considered one of the most important temples in the world. The complex is on UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ list for decades. The extensive Hindu temple has a sprawling collection of images, inscriptions, ashrams, temples and images.  Highlights:There are 12 Jyotirlinga in India and the one in Nepal is the head over this body. The temple has 275 holy abodes of Shiva as well. Temple architecture is quite intriguing as it is built in Nepalese pagoda style of architecture. The wooden rafters are carved to perfection whereas the overall foundation is like cubic constructions. The sacro sanctum here is that of s stone Mukhalinga, or a linga with a face.Location:Kathmandu.Timings:Open 24 hours.Price:USD 4-10.

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Home » Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu

32 BEST Places to Visit in Kathmandu (2024)

People who think of visiting Kathmandu usually think of the Himalayas and soaring mountain views. And in fact, this city is one of the most popular places to access the Himalayas and all the outdoor activities they offer. It’s also a vibrant, culturally fascinating city, and a trip to Kathmandu is always memorable.

People who first arrive in Kathmandu often find themselves underwhelmed. The city is famously polluted and the mountain views you probably imagined are far in its past. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other amazing places to visit in Kathmandu and just outside of it. And the busy, vibrant culture is well worth exploring and trying to understand as well, not to mention the great food!

So, if you’re ready to explore everything this city has to offer, here’s our expert’s guide to the best Kathmandu itinerary possible.

Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighborhood in Kathmandu:

These are the best places to visit in kathmandu, faq on the best places to visit in kathmandu.

Chhetrapati, Kathmandu

Around Chhetrapati

This is the small neighborhood immediately south of the main tourist area of Thamel, but so close you can touch it!

  • Go and eat your fill at the Chhetrapati Party Palace. What a name!
  • Temple tour – find as many as you can in a set period of time.
  • Check out the Chittadhar Hridaya Memorial Museum to learn a bit about your surroundings.

In order to REALLY enjoy the contents of the list below, you’re going to need accommodation of epic proportions. Whether that’s sharing space in a hostel or playing house in an Airbnb, we’ve got the low-down on where to stay in Kathmandu . Now, onto the good stuff…

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

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#1 – Durbar Square – A great place to see in Kathmandu if you love architecture

Durbar Square

  • This area was hit hard by the earthquakes of 2015, so expect ongoing renovations.
  • It can get crowded in this area, so arrive early to avoid the rush.

Why it’s so awesome: This area was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and was where the kings of the city were once crowned. Today, it remains the heart of the city and of Kathmandu’s traditional heart. It also holds some of the oldest and most architecturally significant buildings in the city. No backpacking trip to Kathmandu is complete without a visit.

What to do there: When you explore this area, you should expect lots of construction. The area was badly hit in the 2015 earthquake and some of its most amazing buildings needed to be rebuilt or re-supported. Make sure that you check out Taleju temple, the House of the Living Goddess and Basantapur tower, all of which were damaged by the earthquake but are still standing. Also, take a picture with one of the colorful Sadu, but you will have to give them money afterwards.

#2 – Kophan Monastery

Kophan Monastery

  • A beautiful building on the outskirts of town where you can meditate or just explore another facet of the local culture.

Why it’s so awesome: This monastery is beautiful and it’s an easy trip from the center of the city. You can get a taxi there easily and once you’re at the monastery, you’ll be in the center of a famously tranquil setting. You can also take part in the morning meditation classes or do a course.

What to do there: If you’re interested in trying meditation or have been doing it a while and want to get re-inspired, then book in a class at this monastery. The serene settings are the perfect place to go inwards and learn more about this ancient practice. You can get a taxi to the monastery, but there are also tours that will take you out there. So, if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of getting a taxi and want to learn more about the monastery while you’re there, try one of the many tour options.

#3 – The Garden of Dreams – A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Kathmandu

The Garden of Dreams

  • If you get sick of the busyness when you’re visiting Kathmandu, this is the best place to rest and revitalize.
  • This garden contains flora and fauna from all over the world and is surprisingly well maintained.

Why it’s so awesome: Kathmandu is an incredibly hectic and busy city and sometimes you just need some time away from it. You can escape to this garden, which is right in the middle of the Thamel and provides a welcome oasis. This garden was built in the 20th century and is known as the garden of six senses. You will have to pay a small entry fee, but it’s worth it to get a break from the city.

What to do there: This is one of the mos t beautiful destinations in Nepal , so take a book and a snack and find a quiet area. There’s also a café on site if you forget to bring your own snacks, so you can sit and have a coffee and enjoy having nature all around you.

#4 – Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple

  • This is a working temple that performs cremations and you may see dead bodies there, so avoid this temple if you’re sensitive or have children with you.
  • This is one of the most famous attractions in Kathmandu amongst locals and tourists.

Why it’s so awesome: This temple is located on the riverbanks and close to the airport and it’s a working temple. Every day, people are cremated at this location and you’ll also see people mourning in the public square. When you visit this location, you’ll get a unique and essential view of the local culture and its customs. So, don’t let any fears drive you away and make sure that you experience this side of Kathmandu.

What to do there: Avoid the morning and early afternoon if you’re concerned about seeing a dead body because that’s when they hold their cremations. Pashupatinath Temple is open from 4am to 9am and it will take you about an hour to experience it. If you only want to see the temple, get a guide so that you can get an insider’s view of the landmark building and its place in the city’s daily life.

#5 – Langtang National Park – A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Kathmandu

Langtang National Park

  • This is the closest national park to Kathmandu and was established in 1976.
  • If you aren’t up for a big hike but still want to see the Himalayas, you’ll be able to do it from this park.

Why it’s so awesome: There are several national parks in Nepal and this is the closest to Kathmandu. The Himalayas are within clear view of the park, which also has a number of popular treks so you can enjoy the outdoors and the mountains. After all, aren’t these features exactly what people travel to Kathmandu to see?

What to do there: People usually visit Kathmandu for the access to the Himalayas so you must visit this park while you’re in the city. Get a good view of the Himalayas without the pollution of the city clouding and try one of the park’s hikes. There are several popular treks including Langtang Valley and Gosaikunda lake. Just be aware that you may experience altitude sickness and will need to stay in a group and carry provisions with you.

#6 – Thamel – A great place in Kathmandu if you love to shop!

Thamel

  • The best souvenir shopping in the city is in this area.
  • Make sure you get a receipt and take it with you when you leave the country, as they may ask you for it at the airport.

Why it’s so awesome: Whether trekking is on your Kathmandu itinerary or if you’re just there to explore the city, this is the place to go for souvenirs and supplies. Thamel is filled with markets and shops that sell everything from trekking gear to singing bowls, and you could easily spend a day wandering its streets and enjoying the spectacle.

What to do there: If you’re looking for something fun to take home then you’ll find it in this area. It’s also a popular spot to visit if you want to pick up some supplies for trekking. And it’s probably cheaper to buy your rucksacks, clothing, poles, and shoes in this area than it would be back home, so keep that in mind! And if you want some really unique souvenirs, keep your eyes open for gifts such as paper or cards made of elephant dung or singing bowls.

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#7 – Champa Devi Hiking Trail

  • An easy hike that will allow you to explore a small part of the Himalayas without breaking the bank or risking your life.
  • This is a great day hike from the city.

Why it’s so awesome: If you like the idea of mountains more than the physical exertion, then you should try the Champa Devi Hiking Trail. Champa Devi is a hill to the south of Kathmandu Valley and it offers a 3-hour incline walk with views of the valley and the Western Himalayan Ranges.

What to do there: If you aren’t interested in the long hikes or don’t have the money, this is a good place to get a taste of it. You’ll walk for 3 hours up the mountain before coming to a Hindu and Buddhist shrine at the top. The elevation is only 2,285m and you’ll get some amazing views of the ranges, so make sure you take your camera with you.

#8 – Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhunath Temple

  • The oldest temple of its kind in Nepal.
  • If you like monkeys, then you’ll be spoiled for cute sights here are hundreds of monkeys live at this temple.

Why it’s so awesome: This is one of the most popular landmarks in Kathmandu and it’s mostly populated by monkeys! The monkeys are considered holy at this temple because they were supposedly created from the head lice of the Buddhist deity Manjushri. But whatever you believe, it’s adorable to see them sitting all over the steps and building. The temple is also culturally significant. It was founded in the 5th century and survived the 2015 earthquake mostly intact.

What to do there: It’s a long and tiring trek up to this temple. You’ll have to walk up 365 steps, and there are no elevators, so you’ll need to be in reasonable physical condition. Once you’re there, it’s probably best to take a tour guided by one of the temple monks. They’ll be able to give you an insider’s view of the history and significance of the site and you’ll be able to participant in ceremonies as well.

#9 – Bungmati Village

Bungmati Village

  • This village is located in the south of Kathmandu and makes for a great day trip.
  • The 2015 earthquake hit this village hard, so it needs the help and money that tourism brings in.

Why it’s so awesome: If you want to see a more traditional way of life then you need to get out of the city. Bungmati is a small village that’s been virtually untouched by modern development and the villagers live very traditionally and simply. The village dates back to the 6th century and is believed to be the birthplace of the rain god Rato Mahhendranath.

What to do there: You can take a day trip from the city to this village as well as another that’s close by. Make sure you spend some time enjoying and perhaps even buying wood carvings or sculpture at the local workshops. The locals have been practising these crafts for generations and supporting these traditional arts is highly beneficial.

#10 – Boudhanath – One of the most religious places to see in Kathmandu

Boudhanath

  • The largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal.
  • This stupa is an important center of Tibetan Buddhism and culture and you’ll find locals praying and chanting there at almost all hours of the day.

Why it’s so awesome: This is the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it’s definitely worth adding to your Kathmandu itinerary. It’s also one of the most important religious landmarks in Kathmandu and you can’t start to understand the culture without visiting this site.

What to do there: If you go early in the morning or late in the evening then you’ll be able to avoid the tour groups and get a more authentic experience. At these times of day, prayers are offered and the Tibetan community comes out to walk around the stupa, spin prayer wheels, and offer chants. If you have time, make sure you visit one of the many monasteries called gompas around the stupa. They’re decorated with vibrant murals and are located within a short walk from Boudhanath.

#11 – Patan – A must visit place to visit in Kathmandu on the weekend!

Patan

  • Patan is 5km south of the capital and is known as Lalitpur or the City of Beauty.
  • This is the oldest town in the valley with amazing temples and palaces.

Why it’s so awesome: Patan is known as the City of Beauty and when you spend some time there you’ll understand why. The Newari Architecture includes painstaking details and fine work, which makes the wood and stone carvings in the temples and palaces absolutely stunning.

What to do there: You could spend a whole day exploring this city and taking in the architecture, temples, and palaces. It’s also an easy drive from Kathmandu and is much less busy than the major city, which is why you should spend some time there if you want a break from the city.

#12 – Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp

  • This base camp is why people really travel to Kathmandu.
  • It’s a long trek from Kathmandu to the Everest Base Camp, so make sure that you have the time to make the most of the experience.

Why it’s so awesome: You don’t need anyone to tell you why you should go to Everest. It’s the highest point in the world and a physical challenge that has inspired numerous stories and legends. Even if you have absolutely no intention of actually trying to climb the mountain, you can trek to Everest base camp and get a good taste of the experience without most of the physical dangers.

What to do there: There are numerous ways to get to the Everest base camp from Kathmandu. You can fly to the Lukla airport and walk a couple of days from there to the Sherpa capital. From there, you need to wait a few days to adjust to the altitude before you start the seven-day walk to the Base Camp.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

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#13 – Chhauni Museum

Chhauni Museum

  • A huge museum located in one of the most beautiful monasteries in the world.
  • This is a Kathmandu must see.

Why it’s so awesome: This national museum is close to Swayambhunath and it’s also located in a stunningly beautiful venue. The treasures inside of it are just as incredible, which is why you absolutely must visit this museum while you’re in the city.

What to do there: You’ll find a range of exhibits in this museum. The Judda Art Gallery is particularly popular because it’s home to a range of beautiful stone, terracotta and metal statues of Nepali deities. You should also spend some time looking at the famous cloth paintings as well as the 1800-year-old statue of Jayaraman which was discovered in 1992. The Buddhist Art Gallery section is amazing as well, so make sure you take the time to explore everything this museum has to offer.

#14 – Ashok Binayak Temple – Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Kathmandu

Ashok Binayak Temple

  • This is a shrine to Lord Ganesha, one of the most loved gods in the city.
  • This is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu if you want to understand more about the city’s religion and culture.

Why it’s so awesome: Located in the center of temple rubble at the top of Maru Tole, this shrine is tiny and golden and is one of the most important religious sites in the city. That’s why it’s a Kathmandu must-see. Thousands of locals and tourists visit every, so make sure that you don’t miss out.

What to do there: It obviously doesn’t take long to explore this site as it’s a small shrine. Make sure that you’re respectful while you’re there, remembering that the locals still worship there. The temple also has a self-serve tika dispenser and the bells ring regularly, so make sure you stay long enough and partake in the whole experience.

#15 – Asan

Asan

  • One of the best places to visit in Kathmandu if you enjoy shopping!
  • You’ll find almost anything here you could want to buy, own, or take home with you.

Why it’s so awesome: This is one of the most popular areas in Kathmandu for travelers because it’s so bright and colorful. The streets converge in this area and the colors are bright and enticing. The stalls also cell an incredibly wide range of different goods and souvenirs, everything you could want as a traveler.

What to do there: This is the perfect place to do some people watching, so set aside an afternoon and settle down to watch the world go buy. You should also bring your wallet along and see if you can grab some bargains to take back home with you. The market sells everything from electronics to food, textiles and bulllions, so there will definitely be something you need at this market!

#16 – Phulchowki

Phulchowki

  • A stunning mountain peak that surrounds the valley of Kathmandu.
  • The mountain is basically a stunning garden that’s filled with flowers and looks amazing in photographs.

Why it’s so awesome: This mountain peak surrounds Kathmandu and is an easy 4 hour trip from the center of the city. It’s a great place to enjoy some easy trekking without having to travel far from the city and the roads are well kept and suitable if you have a reasonable level of fitness.

What to do there: The flowers on this mountain are amazing and include wild roses, iris, jasmine and native flowers. To enjoy them all, you need to explore and take your time trekking through the trails. This area is well known for its resorts and it’s a peaceful, natural area that makes for an easy, short hike.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

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#17 – Casino Royale – Great place to visit in Kathmandu for couples!

  • This is your chance to dress up and have a luxurious night.
  • If you enjoy casinos, then this is a Kathmandu must do!

Why it’s so awesome: Even if you’re in Kathmandu for the trekking, it’s still nice to get dressed up and have an elegant night out. The Casino Royale is located in the former Rana Palace at the Yak and Yeti Hotel. The casino has gambling, card games and an amazing dinner buffet, which is why it’s popular amongst tourists and locals alike.

What to do there: Make sure you dress up in your best clothes, grab your friends or partner, and get ready for a sumptuous night out. Try a few of the tables, see if you can win some travel money on the slot machines, and sit down for a delicious buffet dinner. This is one of the hotspots in Kathmandu for socializing, so make sure you take advantage of the chance to have a good chat.

#18 – Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

  • A park located at the northern part of Kathmandu.
  • This park was only recently upgraded to national park status so that the valley’s main water source could be protected.

Why it’s so awesome: This park protects 177 species of birds and a variety of rare orchids. The sprawling forests are one of the last areas of primary woodland in the valley and there are monkeys, leopards, and bears in the national park as well.

What to do there: This is a popular hiking spot, so if you’re looking to get even more trekking done during your trip to Kathmandu then this is your chance. The flora and fauna in this area are also famously unique, so make sure you take the time to appreciate it and take a few photos as well.

#19 – Utse Restaurant

  • One of the longest-running restaurants in Nepal.
  • This is one of the best places to visit in the city for Tibetan food.

Why it’s so awesome: This restaurant is located in the hotel of the same name and was first established in 1971. That serves as proof of the quality of the food, so if you want some authentic Tibetan dishes, then you need to have a meal at this restaurant.

What to do there: There are a variety of interesting, tasty, and unique dishes that you can try at this restaurant. Drink authentic butter tea or try the hot millet beer with your meal and make sure you have dessert as well. The restaurant serves some delicious options such as dhay-shi, which is curd, sweet rice, and raisins.

#20 – Taudaha Lake – A nice quiet place to see in Kathmandu

Taudaha lake

  • A small lake with lots of mythology surrounding it.
  • If you want to enjoy a bit of nature and see some animals, then this is the place to do it.

Why it’s so awesome: If you’re ready to get off the beaten track when you travel to Kathmandu, then this is the place to do it. The lake is located in Kathmandu’s outskirts and according to legends was once drained by a mythical character, leaving the half snake, half-human inhabitants homeless. An underground lake was built in response, which made the former inhabitants much happier and supposedly accounts for the tranquillity of this Kathmandu landmark.

What to do there: There is a lot to do at this lake if you enjoy nature and animals. The birdwatching is great because of the migratory species that visit the lake and it’s also a great place to sit and relax in natural surroundings.

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#21 – Chabahil Stupa – One of the most underrated places to see in Kathmandu

Chabahil Stupa

  • This stupa is quieter than some of the other options, so you’ll be able to explore in peace.

Why it’s so awesome: When you visit stupas in Kathmandu, you’ll end up fighting with the crowds to find a good spot. But this stupa gets fewer visitors, so you’ll be able to enjoy your visit and really take in the surroundings in peace and quiet.

What to do there: This is one of the most interesting points of interest in Kathmandu and it’s worth exploring during your trip. Luckily, this stupa wasn’t damaged during the 2015 earthquakes, so you’ll be able to see it in all its glory.

#22 – Narayanhiti Palace

Narayanhiti Palace

  • This is one of the most important places in Kathmandu’s history.
  • If you enjoy learning more about the history of the places you visit, then you’ll enjoy exploring this site.

Why it’s so awesome: Over the years, Nepal has gone through a lot of changes and one of the biggest ones was the change from a monarchy to a democracy. This palace is a sign of this history. It’s located close to Thamel to the east of the Kaiser Mahal and was once home to the monarchs of Nepal. This long history makes it irresistible to tourists and to history buffs.

What to do there: If you want to understand Nepal, then you need to know about the incredible changes that the country has gone through over the years. And this is the place to learn about those changes. So, explore the palace and make sure that you take a look at the temple of Lord Vishnu, which is located opposite.

#23 – Hanuman Dhoka – One of Kathmandu’s coolest historical sites!

Hanuman Dhoka

  • This is an amazing collection of ancient monuments, some of them dating back to the 16th century.
  • This is one of the most famous places in Kathmandu if you’re interested in exploring the past.

Why it’s so awesome: This area was once the royal palace of Malla kings and the Shah dynasty and consists of several monuments and buildings. Different buildings are dedicated to different gods and the entire complex is derived from the idol of Lord Hanuman which stands near the entrance.

What to do there: You’ll need a couple of hours to explore this complex because there are a lot of buildings that are worth some attention. Make sure that you explore Nasal Chowk, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was the location of the crowning of King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah in 1975. You should also check out the Mul Chok, which is to Goddess Taleju Bhawani.

#24 – The Last Resort – A very cool place in Kathmandu to go for a day

The Last Resort

  • This location is a lovely three-hour drive from Kathmandu with scenic views along the way.
  • It’s also the best place to visit in Kathmandu for adventure sports.

Why it’s so awesome: This resort is perched on top of a gorge of the Bhote Kosi River which is close to the Tibetan border. It’s surroundings by lush forests and jungles and offers something for everyone, no matter what you’re looking for. You can enjoy the plunge pool or just relax in the middle of all that stunning nature!

What to do there: This is the perfect place to get away from the city and relax with some sports, exercise, or just a few hours by the pool! Relax in a hammock and read a book, spend some time in the plunge pool, or just take in the views of the jungle with your camera in hand. If you’re looking for something more exciting, the resort offers a range of adventure activities like bungee jumping and white-water rafting. And if you get hungry, make sure that you check out the delicious foods served in the dining hall or the Karma Bar.

#25 – The Royal Botanical Gardens

  • This is the city’s national botanical garden and is filled with a range of native flora and orchids.
  • It’s located at the base of Phulchowki hill, so it’s easy to find if you need a break from the city.

Why it’s so awesome: When you’re visiting Kathmandu, you’ll probably need a few breaks from the busyness of the city. And the best place to have a break is in a garden. This botanical garden is surrounded by evergreen forests and includes indigenous plants, trees, lilies, ferns, medicinal plants and orchids all on display for you to enjoy.

What to do there: This is a lovely serene place to visit and if you’re interested in botany, then it will allow you to learn all about the plants in the region. The medicinal plants are particularly interesting, and of course, there are a range of orchids for you to enjoy as well.

#26 – The White Monastery

The White Monastery

  • This monastery is otherwise known as Seto Gomba or the Amitabha Monastery.
  • Watching the sunset and sunrise at this spot is a special treat.

Why it’s so awesome: You can see the whole of the Kathmandu Valley from this site and it has a soothing atmosphere that draws in travelers from all walks of life. But this monastery isn’t only aesthetically appealing, it also has a strong religious significance to the local people which adds to the value of visiting this site. The architecture too is magnificent, and the building includes a range of statues, paintings, and murals that depict the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha.

What to do there: The best time to visit this monastery is at night or early morning so you can watch the sunset or sunrise over the Kathmandu Valley. The scenery around the monastery is amazing because of the bright green terrain, so you’ll definitely want to take your camera with you.

#27 – Kaiser Library – A great place to visit in Kathmandu if you are alone/traveling solo

Kaiser Library

  • This library contains over 45,000 books that were once in the collection of the Field Marshal Kaiser Shumsher Rana.
  • The books cover a range of subjects from history to philosophy and art.

Why it’s so awesome: If you enjoy libraries, then you must explore this prime example. Established in 1969, the library took a major hit during the 2015 earthquake, though the lower floor has been restored and reopened to the public. Unfortunately, the grandeur of the site was mostly lost in the restoration, but the books are still worth exploring.

What to do there: This is one of the most popular attractions in Kathmandu because of the range of artifacts and books it contains. At the moment, most of these books and artifacts are stacked haphazardly, but you can still find some gems if you look. You can also borrow a book from the library if you need something to read while you’re in the city. A great place to visit in the library is the outside area, which include a beautiful garden that’s filled with fountains, pavilions, a lotus pool and verandas.

#28 – Siddhartha Art Gallery

  • When you travel, you should always support the local craftsmen where possible, and this art gallery is the perfect place to do that!
  • This is a Kathmandu must-see for art lovers!

Why it’s so awesome: This art gallery contains a wide range of contemporary Nepali art and was established to give local artists a place to display their work. The gallery has been performing this service for the last 20 years and it also provides a place to have artwork evaluated and restored.

What to do there: The work that this art gallery is doing is worth supporting, so make sure that you spend some time there. When you explore the artwork in this gallery, it will give you a unique window into the art culture of Nepal and Kathmandu, so make sure you take the opportunity to get to know this facet of the local culture.

#29 – Changu Narayan

Changu Narayan

  • The oldest working temple in Kathmandu.
  • This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is surrounded by ancient carvings and statues.

Why it’s so awesome: The complex at this site is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and there are seven groups of monuments and buildings in the area. The temple complex includes shrines to Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Ashta Matrika, Kileshwor, Krishna and Chhinnamasta. It’s the oldest complex in the Kathmandu Valley and one of the oldest in Nepal, which is why it must be on your Kathmandu itinerary.

What to do there: This is a working temple complex so it’s important that you’re respectful when you visit it. The carvings throughout the temple complex and the statues surrounding it are some of the best and most beautiful you’ll see in Kathmandu, so make sure you take the time to appreciate them. The oldest statue dates back to the Licchavi era between 400 and 750 and the oldest stone inscription in the Kathmandu Valley is also located near them. It’s a story etched in 464 of a king convincing his mother not to commit suicide after the death of her husband.

#30 – The Toothache Tree – Quite the quirky place in Kathmandu!

Toothache Tree

  • If you have a toothache, then this tree could help you!
  • This gnarled tree stump is located at an intersection just past Thahiti Tole and is used by the locals to beg for toothache relief from the gods.

Why it’s so awesome: If you don’t know what you’re looking at, you might wonder what this Kathmandu attraction actually is. It’s a gnarled thing that’s covered in nailed on coins that the locals have put there as an offering to the god of sore teeth. It’s said to be a cutting from a legendary tree known as Bangemudha and is located right in the center of the dental district.

What to do there: If you have a toothache, then it can’t hurt to follow local customs and nail a coin to the tree as an offering to Vaishya Dev, the Newar god of the toothache. This tree stump looks great in photos too, because it’s covered in so many coins that you can’t see the wood anymore!

#31 – Kakani – A must visit place to visit in Kathmandu on the weekend!

Kakani

  • This is where the locals go on day trips.
  • You can get some amazing views of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Ganesh Himal ranges from this spot.

Why it’s so awesome: Kakani is an old hill station and the home of the Tamang ethnic group. It was once the chosen summer retreat of diplomats from the British Embassy and is a peaceful parkland area where the locals go when they need a day away from the city.

What to do there: When you need a nice, peaceful break, this is where you’ll find it. On Saturdays, the site is filled with picnickers, so make sure you choose another day to visit if you can so you can enjoy the peace and quiet without the crowds. You should also spend some time at the Thai Memorial Park, which commemorates the 113 victims of the 1992 Thai Airlines crash.

#32 – Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park Kathmandu

  • This park is 158km from Kathmandu and will give you the chance to actually get up close with some of Nepal’s wild animals.
  • Lots of different types of animals live in this park including reptiles, mammals, birds, and water animals.

Why it’s so awesome: if you’ve ever wanted to see rhinos and Bengal tigers walking around free in the wild then this is your chance! It’s also your chance to see an amazing range of trees and plants, some of which you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

What to do there: You can take a safari to this park, which will give you the best chance of seeing some animals in the wild. If you enjoy bird watching, then you will need to arrive early as the birds prefer the early mornings. You should also do some nature walks while you’re in the area, as there’s a wide variety of flora, each of which have their own history and appeal.

Get insured for your trip to Kathmandu!

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

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Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Kathmandu

What are some great places to visit in Kathmandu for couples?

Take a romantic stroll around the beautiful Garden of Dreams. Escape the hectic city and take time to enjoy nature.

What are some fun things to do in Kathmandu with kids?

Get out of the city and see some incredible wildlife in person at the Chitwan National Park.

What are the best free things to do in Kathmandu?

If you want to experience a taste of the Himalayas on an easy walk close to the city, head for Champa Devi Hiking Trail for some great views.

What is the most unique thing to do in Kathmandu?

Visit the Pashupatinath Temple and see local cremation ceremonies, it’s not for the faint hearted but it’s a unique way to see the local culture.

Final Thoughts on the Coolest Places to Visit in Kathmandu

When you visit Kathmandu, you’ll have access to some of the most remote and amazing natural landscapes on the planet. But you’ll also be in a city that’s busy, noisy, and famously polluted. Don’t let this put you off though, because there is a wide range of amazing places to visit in Kathmandu for great food, a cultural experience, or amazing shopping. So, take a few large steps outside of your comfort zone and explore everything this city has to offer with our easy guide to the attractions and landmarks that are worth your time.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Suzanne Borders

Suzanne Borders

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Full Time Explorer

Nepal Travel Blog

50+ Places To Visit in Kathmandu: Museums, Temples, Hikes & More

Cities in Nepal , Destinations in Nepal , Most Popular / August 2, 2023 by fulltimeexplorer / 41 Comments

Almost every tourist I talk to seems to hate Kathmandu. “It’s dusty, and noisy, and there’s nothing to do.” It’s the complaint I’ve heard a million times, followed by “One day is enough time there.” It seems like everyone goes to the same three or four places in Thamel and considers that the entire city. But Kathmandu has so much more to offer than cheap souvenirs and a few popular temples that are flooded with tourists. The list of places to visit in Kathmandu is endless.

When I first arrived in Nepal, I had to search high and low for places to visit in Kathmandu. Being the capital of Nepal and the largest metropolitan area in the entire country (with a population of 3 million), it seemed there must be so much more to this city than meets the eye. Turns out, I was right.

Now that I live in Kathmandu, I try to update this list as often as possible.

Places To Visit in Kathmandu Map

Museums in kathmandu, narayanhiti palace museum.

Price: 500 rupees (about $5 USD)

Hours: Open 11am-2pm, Closed on Tuesday & Wednesday

The Narayanhiti Palace Museum was home to the royal family until a revolution took over the monarchy in 2006. I’m not sure what I was expecting to see in the palace, but I found this museum to be extremely interesting. Unlike every other palace I’ve been to, this one is very modern. It was built in the 1960’s and looks a bit like an episode of Mad Men inside. With its wood-paneled walls, marble tile flooring, and the smell of mothballs wafting off of old tiger skins that adorn the floor, it’s unlike any place I’ve ever been. The throne room appears to have been designed by an admirer of Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect. Everything seems a tad out of place for a royal palace, making it all the more fun to walk through.

One of the more interesting and somewhat creepy things about this palace is that it was the site of the royal massacre. If you’re not familiar with Nepal’s history, it’s a fascinating story. Although there are many versions, it seems that the most popular is a very bizarre love story. Prince Dipendra was madly in love with a woman whom his mother didn’t approve of. One night during a monthly reunion dinner, he got extremely drunk and high and was asked to leave the party. He later came back with several machine guns and shot the entire royal family, killing ten members and wounding many others. He then turned the gun on himself. It’s said that this event led to the downfall of the monarchy.

MONA (Museum of Nepali Art)

Price: 500 rupees

Hours: Daily 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

MONA is one of the newest museums in Kathmandu which features Nepali Art. It’s located inside the Kathmandu Guest House in Thamel and rotates exhibits throughout the year. This means that you can keep going back to see different exhibits unlike other museums in Nepal which never change. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the exhibit and how it was displayed when I went. It reminded me of exhibits I’d seen in Italy and Germany which were very well curated. Although it’s a small space, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Kathmandu Art House

Price: Free

Hours: Daily 10am-5pm

Kathmandu Art House is located just behind the Kathmandu Guest House, and it has an interesting concept. Artists have rooms where they work on, display, and sell their art. The artists have very different styles ranging from modern abstract to traditional Nepali art. You can enter any room that’s unlocked and admire the work. You may even get the chance to meet the artist. For one of a kind pieces, I felt the pricing was very fair and this would be an amazing place to collect art from unknown artists.

The Taragoan Museum

Hours: 10am-5pm, Closed Saturday

The Taragoan Musuem sits about a 10-minute walk from Boudhanath Temple (mentioned below). It’s off the beaten path, and it seems few people even know of its existence which is what makes it one of the more unique places to visit in Kathmandu. While it is on the small side, it’s architecture alone is worth checking out. The museum used to be a bungalow style hotel in the 70’s, and it is probably the most charming building I’ve seen in all of Kathmandu. On display are old photos taken from the 80’s and 90’s plus a lot of architectural drawings of the famous buildings throughout Nepal. Best of all, it’s free!

National Museum of Nepal

Price: 150 rupees (about $1.50 USD) plus 100 rupees if you bring a camera

Hours: 10:30am-3:30pm Tuesday-Sunday and 10:30am-2:30pm Mondays

If you happen to be in Kathmandu during off-season, you’ll realize that there are a lot of days where rain seems to ruin your plans. Being monsoon season, I wanted to check out a few of the indoor options for places to visit in Kathmandu. The museum is about a 20 minute and a $3-$5 taxi ride from Thamel. I chose to walk which took about 40 minutes from Thamel.

The National Museum has three buildings which each have their own distinct exhibits. The first one has art which is categorized by wood carvings, stone carvings, metal work, and paintings. The second is focused on the rise and spread of Buddhism, and how it is practiced differently throughout the country. I really liked seeing the changes Buddhism took on throughout time. I’ve always been curious about how Buddha started being worshipped as a god when he himself never believed in gods. The final building was a bit random with some natural history and dolls depicting costumes worn in different parts of the world.

Nepalese Army Museum

Price: 100 rupees (about $1 USD) plus 50 rupees if you bring in a camera

Hours: 10am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-2pm Monday, Closed Tuesday

The Nepalese Army Museum is right across from the National Museum of Nepal, making it an easy stop if you’re already in the area. This museum is a little dense on information, so be prepared to read a lot. My favorite part was a section with large paintings depicting the history of Nepal. Each one had a few sentences below describing the war or battle and what was gained or lost. There was also a large map showing how Nepal was formed by gaining land throughout the years. I still need to read a lot to understand all the history, but it was a nice overview.

A large portion of the museum is dedicated to the kings and leaders of the military. Each important figure has a large photo with their story next to it. There was also a section about military clothing, weapons, and awards. These sections had less writing, and I would have liked to see more translated to English. Overall, it was a cool way to understand a little bit more about Nepal’s past and how it came to be the country it is.

Aviation Museum Nepal

Hours: 10am – 5pm

The Aviation Museum Nepal is a great place to bring kids or for those interested in planes and helicopters. I lived in Nepal for months before noticing this museum. I’d never heard of it before, but it was fun to visit. It costs 500 rupees ($5) to enter and takes about 30 mins to 1 hour to view. It was built in a plane that broke down while landing in the Kathmandu Airport. It sat on the runway for a long time before a pilot decided to move it and turn it into a museum. It took 4 months to cut the plane apart, move it to the new location, and put it back together.

Spiritual Places to Visit in Kathmandu (Temples, Stupas & Monasteries)

Boudhanath stupa.

Price: 400 rupees (about $4 USD)

Hours: Always Open

This may not be unique or unusual considering it’s on everyone’s list of places to go in Kathmandu, but Boudhanath Stupa is worth a visit while in the city. This popular stupa is huge, and it’s stunning to see in person. It’s surrounded by tons of cute shops and restaurants. This is one of the places I really love seeing at night. The Stupa is lit up in the evening and lots of Buddhists come to light candles. It has such a magical feeling. This is also one of the best areas to try Tibetan food in the entire city! Boudhanath Stupa is one of the top visited attractions in Nepal.

Price: Free to enter

The Peace Park is a small park located just behind Boudhanath Stupa. While it’s technically a park, it felt more like a miniature temple to me. I really enjoyed the white stupas in the back which explain the part of Buddha’s life that each type of stupa reflects architecturally. What’s interesting is that the base of each stupa symbolizes something different. I’d never noticed the different bases before and found it fascinating. It only takes about a half hour to walk around, but it’s worth seeing if you’re in the area.

Pashupatinath Temple

Price: 1,000 rupees (about $10 USD)

Hours: 4am – 9pm

While most people might find this a tad morbid, Pashupatinath Temple is a great place to go to contemplate impermanence. This temple is famous for its open air cremations which take place along the river bed. You can watch as loved ones carry out a wrapped body, perform rituals, and ultimately send the soul to heaven by setting the body on fire. The fire burns slowly over 2 hours and you don’t see as much as people think. It’s actually a very moving and beautiful ceremony. In a few religions, it’s important to watch someone’s body be cremated in order to understand how short life is and how our body does not belong to us.

If seeing bodies cremated isn’t on your to do list, it’s also a beautiful place to walk around. There are so many temples to see, plus there’s a hill perched above the river offering great views. Walk all the way up the stairs to go through a small park and on the way back head all the way to the right for a view-point. From here you can see the cremations happening without seeing any of the details.

Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple)

Price: 200 rupees (about $2 USD)

Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the most popular places to visit in Kathmandu. The Monkey Temple is famous for, well its monkeys. Just kidding (sort of). It offers spectacular views of the Kathmandu Valley on a clear day. You have to walk up a lot of steps to reach the top, but it’s worth it when you get there.

Amideva Buddha Park

Below Swayambhunath Stupa on the opposite side of the steep staircase, you can find the Amideva Buddha Park where three large gold statues tower above you. The park features the largest Buddha statue in Nepal which is 67 feet tall! On either side of the main Buddha are two more statues depicting Buddha that are slightly smaller at 64 feet each. It’s believed that Buddha was born in Nepal. Both Hinduism and Buddhism go hand in hand in the country so you’ll often see Buddha statues in Hindu temples.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Price: 1000 rupees (about $10 USD)

Hours: 7am – 7pm

Oddly, I’ve walked through Kathmandu Durbar Square several times, but I’ve never actually done sightseeing in it. I spent so much time in Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square that I never felt I needed to see a third. If you have time, Bhaktapur is my favorite place to see palaces and architecture. If you don’t have time for a day trip outside of the city, then check out Kathmandu Durbar Square for a bit of history.

Kopan Monastery

Hours: 9am-5pm

Daily Dharma Talk: 10:30am Monday-Friday

While Kopan Monastery is famous for its meditation retreats, you can also visit the monastery for a few hours. The grounds are really beautiful and the views of Kathmandu are great. There’s no entry fee, but a large portion of the monastery is closed to visitors and can only be accessed by students studying or taking courses there. Despite that, it’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. I recommend bringing a book or enjoying a coffee at the cafe.

Narayanthan Temple (Sleeping Vishnu)

Located in Budhanilkantha, the sleeping Vishnu is considered the largest stone carving in Nepal. Lord Vishnu is considered the preserver. His counterparts are Shiva (the destroyer) and Brahma (the creator). The carving is in a small pond just below Shivapuri National Park on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Lord Vishnu is seen sleeping on a giant snake which represents the serpent Shresha. The statue is about 5 meters tall or 16 feet (if you were to stand Vishnu up), and it was made out of a single piece of black basalt.

What I love about this temple is how it’s different from the typical temples in Nepal. There are beautiful trees looming overhead and it has such a positive vibe and energy around it. Not to mention, the little food stalls nearby have great local treats.

Rani Pokhari

Rani Pokhari literally translates to “Queen’s Pond.” This large manmade pond in the center of Kathmandu was severely damaged by the 2015 earthquake. I’m adding it to this list now that it’s being restored to its original glory. The original pond was built in 1670 AD by King Pratap Malla. Sadly, this pond was built when the King and Queen’s son was killed by an elephant. The Queen was in morning and the King built it in remembrance. It’s said that the King had water collected from holy rivers in Nepal and India and added it to the pond.

Naag Pokhari (The Snake Pond)

The Snake Pond was built in 1908 nearby the old Palace in Kathmandu. While I couldn’t find much history on the pond itself, it is a beautiful place to sit and hang out in the afternoon. The snake is a deity that is half human and half god. Like a snake shedding its skin, it represents rebirth, death and mortality. They are said to live in the underworld and protect treasures.

Green Spaces in Kathmandu

The garden of dreams.

Price: 200 rupees (about $2 USD) and $30 for an annual membership

Hours: 9am – 10pm

The Garden of Dreams is probably one of the cutest places to visit in Kathmandu. The garden used to be a private garden but was later opened to the public. Although a small space, it’s a great place to hang out and read a book, go on a date, or have a tea/coffee. The café is a little expensive, so I wouldn’t recommend eating a full meal there unless you really want to splurge. There’s even a small photography exhibit inside where you can see before and after photos of the gardens restoration.

My favorite part about this place is that even though it’s on a main road with lots of traffic, you immediately feel like you’ve left the city upon entering. It’s really peaceful, and such a short walk from Thamel. I highly recommend a visit no matter how long you are in Kathmandu.

Ranibari Community Forest

Price: 10 rupees (less than $0.10 USD)

Hours: 10am-5pm

Ranibari Community Forest is located near Lazimpat Road in Kathmandu’s city center. The forest is one of the last remaining natural forests within the city. There are trails going around the outside and one that cuts through the center and leads to a temple. It’s 10 rupees per person to enter (less than $0.10 USD). It’s the perfect place to relax and have a picnic or read a book. It’s also famous for bird watching and has a plethora of different bird species.

Price: $0.75

Hours: 5am – 7pm

Ratna Park is a pretty popular place among tourists, but most have rarely set foot inside. The park is known as the pick up location for most tourist buses that shuttle people to Pokhara. If you make it past the bus pick up, you’ll actually see an adorable little park which is worth checking out. Ratna Park seems to be a place where locals come to hang out and relax in the shade of a tree. You’ll see people having picnics, reading books, and kids running around playing. It’s a really nice place to visit in Kathmandu to observe local life.

Shivapuri National Park

Price: About $10 USD per day (plus foreigners must have a local guide with them)

The ultimate green space in Kathmandu is Shivapuri National Park . In the park, you’ll find hiking trails, temples, restaurants, and a few hotels if you want to spend the night. The park is higher in altitude than the valley making it the perfect escape on a hot day since it’s slightly cooler. If you want views of the city, you can walk along the road which has almost no traffic on it, or if you want more of an adventure you can go hiking into the center of the park to spot wildlife.

Kamal Pokhari

Kamal Pokhari is a newly renovated pond in Kathmandu with trees surrounding it. While it isn’t a large park, it is a nice place to sit and read a book or go for a few laps around the pond walkway. The area dates back so far that no one knows the origin of the pond, but it is said to be a place where the Malla kings came to think and contemplate. The Malla Kings rules from the 13th to the 18th century.

Classes to Take in Kathmandu

Cooking class.

Price: $20 – $30 depending on the class

One of my favorite things to do in other countries is to take a cooking class. In Nepal, you can learn to make a lot of different things, but I highly recommend either a momo cooking class or a dal baht cooking class. In Kathmandu, you can do both of these through Backstreet Academy which allows locals to teach classes about their culture. The class takes about 3 hours. The cool thing about cooking classes is that it’s something you get to take with you when you leave. You can make these dishes at home for years to come.

Wood Carving Class

Price: $20-$30

Nepal is famous for its wood carvings at its UNESCO World Heritage sites. Luckily, you can also learn the art of wood carving in two different styles. I did a traditional wood carving class which I loved, but you can also learn to carve a wooden mask. Each class takes about 3 hours. This is a cool opportunity for someone who wants to immerse themselves in the culture and also for families who like to get hands on! What better way to learn about the intricate wood carvings around Kathmandu then to make some yourself? And, you get to keep yours as a souvenir.

Thangka Painting Class

Price: $30 per person

Thangka paintings are a craft that is passed down from generation to generation. The thangkas have great religious significance and show a variety of Buddhist gods and deities. Today, anyone can learn to paint Thangka’s, even you. The beginners class takes about 4 hours and you get to paint your very own Thangka to take home. If you want to learn a more advanced form of painting, you can also take a 5 day master class.

Pottery Workshop

Price: $20-$30 depending on the class

Kathmandu is also known for its pottery! In fact, the small city of Thimi (just 30 mins away) in the Kathmandu Valley makes world renowned pottery. Pottery making is fun for the whole family, especially young kids who will enjoy working with a pottery wheel and clay. But it’s not just for kids. I had a blast making pottery in a class with Backstreet Academy. You can read this article about my Pottery Class in Kathmandu .

Stone Carving Workshop

Price: $20 per person

I have yet to try the stone carving class, so I’m not sure how difficult it is, but I’ve been amazed when watching stone carvers work to rebuild the temples destroyed by the earthquake in 2015. It’s such an incredible skill which looks like it takes a lot of patience. I’m hoping to take this class soon as I’ve always been a fan of arts and crafts. This class takes about 4 hours.

Khukuri Making Workshop

Price: $32 and up depending on the knife design

Khukuri are large knives associated with the Nepali Gurkha army. They are a popular souvenir for those visiting Nepal but buying one at a shop is not nearly as fun as making one with a master blacksmith. This class takes about 4 hours and you get to take the knife you make home with you at the end of the day. Just make sure you put it in your checked luggage.

Shopping in Kathmandu

Ason spice market.

Ason Market is actually the oldest market in Kathmandu. It’s located right next to the very popular Durbar Square, making it an easy place to visit while checking out the major sites. While you can get tons of amazing things in this little market, the major items that tourists come to buy are teas and spices. A fellow traveler and I were on the hunt for the notoriously expensive saffron. It’s one of the best souvenirs to bring home for friends or family who cook. You can get a small package for $5 or a giant bag for $20. The same size packages back home would run you between $20 and $50 USD. Ason Market is the one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu if you want to see local life.

Palace Street

While most people flock to Thamel to buy trekking gear and hippie getup, you can’t help but wonder where the locals buy their clothes. A friend of mine mentioned Palace Street. It’s the place locals go to buy high-end things, and where they go for a night out or a fancy dinner. Although it’s a little more expensive, it’s definitely higher quality than the elephant pants you typically find in tourist areas.

The main street is lined with names you’ll recognize like Adidas, Nike, H&M, Zara, etc. But, if you venture slightly off the main street or to the upper floors of the buildings you’ll find yourself in a mix of beautiful sarees and western clothing. Me and my two girlfriends ended up each buying something we loved. The average price of items seemed to be between $20 and $30.

Le Sherpa Farmer’s Market

Hours: 8:00am – 12:30pm Saturdays

A friend of mine told me about Le Sherpa Farmer’s Market which takes place on Saturdays from 8:00am to 12:30pm. I ended up meeting a girl while trekking who sells vegan mustards and sauces at the market, and after talking to her I was convinced I needed to visit. Le Sherpa has a cafe and a few high-end stores which are open daily, but on Saturdays the area comes alive with local produce, cheeses, breads, foods to eat on the spot, honey, wines, jams, and so much more. I love farmers markets because it’s such a great way to shop small and support local vendors.

Freak Street

Freak Street was previously the hot spot for tourists. Now, Thamel seems to have claimed that fame. That being said, it’s a really cool street filled with little shops and cozy restaurants. It’s located extremely close to the popular Durbar Square, so it’s a great place to stop and grab some food in between sightseeing. If you’re in the area, you can check out ZY Coffee which is just off of Freak Street and has awesome lattes (to go) for $1. Between the good food and all the souvenir shopping you can do here, it’s a cool place to spend a couple of hours chilling.

Baber Mahal Revisted

The original Baber Mahal was built by Maharaja Chandra Shumshere in 1910 for one of his sons. He was the Prime Minister of Nepal for 24 years and also built Singa Dubar (the current government offices in Kathmandu). The buildings were attacked in 1973 and Baber Mahal Revisited was built in 1997 as an ode to the previous buildings. Today, it’s a beautiful building that houses a boutique hotel, restaurants, and luxury shops. It’s a fun place to walk around and grab some high-end souvenirs or sit back and just enjoy the lovely architecture. It’s one of my favorite places to visit in Kathmandu when I want to window shop and have a relaxing coffee.

Spa Treatments & Spirituality in Kathmandu

Ayurvedic massage at tranquility spa.

Price: 60 mins costs around $20 USD if you go in off season. They may be more during peak season.

Hours: 7am-10pm

Tranquility Spa is located in Thamel as well as a few other locations throughout Kathmandu. The spa is clean and the massage therapists are great. Mine did an amazing job of working on my sore muscles after trekking. The whole experience was super relaxing compared to some massages where you cringe in pain the whole time. There are places that offer cheaper massages, but this one really is clean and sanitary compared to the $8 places I’ve tried.

Singing Bowl Therapy

Price: 3000 rupees (about $30 USD) for one hour

Singing bowl therapy is such a unique thing to do in Kathmandu. I’d never heard of it before sharing a cab with a swami. I ended up trying it out, and it was really interesting. You lay down and meditate while someone rings different singing bowls around your body. You can feel the vibrations, and it’s such a beautiful melody. Different bowls align with different chakras which is how the sound heals you. You can read my post about what it was like to try Singing Bowl Therapy or check out the Dynamic Singing Bowl Center in Thamel.

Price: $15 and up depending on where you go

Shirodhara means “head flow” which is an accurate description for this spa treatment. During the treatment, you lay on your back on a massage bed while a constant stream of warm ayurvedic oil is poured onto your head. This lasts for about a half hour to an hour. During the treatment, you’re meant to meditate and relax. Shirodhara is used to treat insomnia, neurological disorders, psoriasis, memory loss, vertigo, and anxiety.

Price: $30 and up depending on where you go

Reiki is a form of holistic healing that uses energy to reduce stress and heal one’s body. While reiki is practiced in most parts of the world, it was developed in Asia (Japan to be specific). In Nepal, herbal and natural forms of healing are still practiced widely, so it’s an interesting place to try something like reiki. I enjoyed my experience which you can read about in my post on Trying Reiki in Nepal .

Have Your Fortune Told

I was extremely skeptical about seeing a fortune teller in Nepal. I always think of a fortune teller as the women in NYC who look at your palm and then go on to tell you insanely vague things that could apply to anyone. Seeing a fortune teller in Nepal is definitely different. The first fortune teller I met actually used an app to tell my fortune. But, don’t let that fool you. It was spot on in the weirdest ways. The second fortune teller I met read my face and palm. He also had insane insight into things that would be hard to know even if you were my friend. You can read about my experience meeting a fortune teller . Spoiler, most of his predictions have come true.

Places to visit in Kathmandu for Sports

Gokarna golf course.

Course Price: Between $60 and $80 depending on the day of the week

Driving Range Price: Between $5 and $7 depending on the day

When most people think of Kathmandu, they don’t think of golf. Just a half hour drive outside of the city center lies the Gokarna Golf course which is in the Gokarna Forest Reserve. It’s fairly close to Boudhanath Temple if you’ll already be headed in that direction. The forest used to be a hunting ground for the king. If you stay in a hotel near the course, you’ll see lots of wildlife coming out of the reserve before sunset. We saw herds of deer, mischievous monkeys, and some really beautiful birds. The golf course is a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu.

Kathmandu Sport Climbing Center

Price: 1 Day Passes are 700 rupee (about $7.00 USD) including shoes and a harness. A 5 Day Pass (can be used within 15 days) is only 1500 rupees.

Hours: 8am – 9pm

The last time I went rock climbing was over a year ago. It’s a sport I’ve always wanted to get into, but honestly couldn’t afford. In Kathmandu, it’s actually pretty cheap compared to other places I’ve checked out. I went with a friend, but if you’re flying solo you can pay 100 rupees for 5 belays to climb top rope instead of just bouldering. The facility is clean and well-kept, and there’s a cafe for when you need a tea break. The Kathmandu Sport Climbing Center is an awesome way to spend a morning without breaking the bank making it one of the more interesting places to visit in Kathmandu.

GymKhana Muay Thai

Price: Day Passes Cost 1500 rupees (about $15 USD)

Hours: Sunday-Friday 6am-8:30pm, Saturday 9am-12pm

When I think of Nepal, I don’t exactly think of world-class gyms or martial arts. Despite that, one of the best gyms I’ve ever seen happens to be in Kathmandu. A quick $3 cab ride from Thamel is Gymkhana Muay Thai where you can go to take a myriad of classes including functional fitness, yoga, spin, boxing and yes, Muay Thai.

I took a Muay Thai class in Thailand last year and was pretty excited about the chance to try again. The trainers here are seriously legit. I left both classes I took with a sense of accomplishment and a ton of sore muscles. Plus, I learned a little self-defense, like how to knee a guy in the balls. So it’s pretty much a win win all around. I loved it so much that I went back and trained for a few weeks. You can read my post about training in Muay Thai .

Swimming Pools

Price: Depends on the pool, but typically 700 rupees (about $7 USD) per day

When I think of Kathmandu, I don’t exactly think of hanging out by the pool with a lassi. Since I was in the city during monsoon season, it was unbearably hot some days and one of my friends recommended we go swimming. I literally jumped at the chance to get into a pool. There are a few public pools located around Kathmandu, however the two I’ve been too were really clean so I’ll recommend those. Club Paradise International has a gym, sauna, and badminton courts, making it a perfect place to hang out and relax. Hattigauda Swimming Pool is really large with tons of space for swimming laps.

Pro tip: These pools are used mostly by locals, so a modest swim suit is best for women.

Day Hikes in Kathmandu

Tarebhire hike.

Price: Free Entry

The Tarebhir Hike is popular among locals who want to experience nature over the weekends in Kathmandu. This is a short and easy hike that follows a paved and dirt road up to a lookout point with views of the Kathmandu Valley. The hike takes about one hour up and a half hour back down. It begins and ends in Budhanilkantha on the north-eastern side of Kathmandu. There are places to eat at the top, so I’d recommend going around lunch time so you can sit and enjoy the view longer.

For full details check out my post about the Tarebhir Hike .

Nagi Gompa Monastery Hike

Price: $10 entry fee plus a guide is required and can be hired at the park for an additional $10 per group.

The Nagi Gompa Monastery hike is and easy hike within the Shivapuri National Park on the northern side of Kathmandu. This hike takes about 1 – 1.5 hours up and about 45 mins back down. The path follows a dirt road, but there are shortcuts that bypass the road and go straight through the woods

For full details check out my post about the Nagi Gompa Monastery Hike

Jamacho Gompa Hike

Price: $10 entry fee plus a guide is required and can be hired at the park for an additional $15 per group.

The Jamacho Gompa Hike is one of the more difficult hiking routes in Kathmandu. It takes between 4 and 6 hours depending on your speed and how long you rest at the viewpoint and stupa on the top. This hike is almost entirely straight uphill and is perfect for those training for a trek or anyone who wants a great workout. This hike is only a 20 minute cab ride from the city center.

For full details check out my post about the Jamacho Gompa Hike .

Day Trips from Kathmandu

Chandragiri cable car.

The Chandragiri Cable Car always sounded like a tourist trap to me. I can admit when I’m wrong, and the Chandragiri Cable Car is actually NOT. It’s insanely beautiful, and the view from the top is one of the best views you can get of the Himalaya from afar. I was completely blown away. The ride up was a little scary for me because I’m afraid of heights, but it was a surprisingly smooth ride. You can also hike up if you want to skip the cable car and just see the views. At the top there’s a beautiful temple, food stalls, and a high-end restaurant. It’s one of my favorite places to visit in Kathmandu, and I can’t wait to take family and friends with me when they visit.

For more info: Check out my Chandragiri Cable Car post which has prices, hours, transportation info, and more.

Dhulikhel is about a 2-hour drive from Kathmandu depending on traffic. It’s a wonderful day trip as the city has incredible views of the Himalaya. Dhulikhel is split into two sections, one which is modern and full of hotels. The other is the old town which is full of tiny winding alleyways and ancient temples. There’s also a wonderful lookout point as long as you don’t mind climbing the 1,000 steps to get there.

You can read all about Dhulikhel and the things to do there in my Dhulikhel City Guide.

Pharping is one of the lesser known places near Kathmandu. It’s only an hour drive from the city making it a great day trip. Pharping has a ton of Buddhist monasteries as it’s believed to be the location where Guru Rinpoche founded Tibetan Buddhism. You can also visit the famous caves where Guru Rinpoche meditated. On top of that, Pharping is famous for its day hike up to Champa Devi which is about a 4-hour hike if you take your time.

You can read all about Pharping and the things to do there in my Pharping City Guide.

Kirtipur is an interesting city just a half hour outside of Kathmandu. While many people visit Patan and Bhaktapur, most tourists forget that Kirtipur even exists. Despite that, it’s an interesting town with a fascinating history. Kirtipur has a strategic location making it very significant in past wars. Today, it’s an adorable city full of charming little alleys set on a steep hill. There are several temples as well as some great local restaurants where you can try traditional Newari food.

You can read all about Kirtipur and the things to do there in my Kirtipur City Guide.

Bhaktapur is an up and coming destination in Nepal which has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. It’s often referred to as the “cultural capital of Nepal” as well as a “living museum.” Bhaktapur is one of my favorite destinations in the country and it’s only 45 minutes from Kathmandu making it perfect for a day trip. While there you can visit the many temples, squares, and museums to learn all about the Malla Dynasty which put a huge emphasis on craftsmanship.

You can read all about Bhaktapur in my post on Things to do in Bhaktapur and Bhaktapur’s Best Restaurants .

Along with Bhaktapur and Kathmandu, Patan was one of the three kingdoms that made up the Kathmandu Valley. It has a rich history with both Buddhism and Hinduism. Today, Patan is a bit of an expat hub which makes it a great place to go if you want western comforts. Some of the best coffee shops and restaurants are located in Patan along with museums and ancient temples found within the popular Patan Durbar Square.

You can read all about Bhaktapur in my post on Things to do in Patan and Patan’s Best Restaurants .

Panauti is an ancient city that few tourists visit. It’s approximately a 2-3 hour drive from Kathmandu depending on traffic. What I love about Panauti is that in the old town, you can see what cities like Kathmandu were probably like 15-20 years ago. There’s such a slow pace of life with animals walking down the streets, few cars, and temples around every corner. Locals play cards in the afternoon while chilis dry in the sun. It’s a fantastic place to just witness life happening.

You can read all about Panauti and the things to do there in my Panauti City Guide .

Changu Narayan Temple

Changu Narayan Temple is the oldest known temple in Nepal. No one knows the actual date it was built, but there’s an inscription from 464 AD. The temple is surrounded by a small village and it sits on a hill overlooking the valley making it a nice day hike. The village also has some small museums and restaurants which makes it a great way to spend an afternoon outside the city center.

You can read all about Changu Narayan and the things to do there in my Changu Narayan Village Guide .

Godawari Botanical Garden

The Godawari Botanical Garden is a short hour and a half drive from Kathmandu. It’s best to visit in the spring when all of the flowers are in bloom. It makes a wonderful outing away from the chaos of Kathmandu since it’s so quiet and serene. The garden was established in 1962 and has been a local favorite ever since. It’s a popular destination on weekends for family picnics as well as romantic dates. It’s not something I would recommend to those having a brief visit in Nepal, but it’s fantastic for those who will have an extended stay in Kathmandu.

You can read all about Godawari in my Godawari Botanical Gardens Guide!

My Top Picks for Hotels in Kathmandu

Budget hotel.

Flock Hostel

BOOKING.COM

$9 a night – Flock Hostel is located in Thamel. Their dorm rooms feature lockers, individual reading lights, conveniently placed outlets, and a privacy curtain. There are plenty of common spaces for hanging out and meeting other travelers.

Comfort Hotel

Hotel Thorong Peak

$30 a night – This hotel is located on a quiet side street in Thamel. The rooms are clean, the staff is friendly, the showers are hot, and the breakfast and dal bhat are delicious. They also held my bag for me in between trips, so I never had to lug it around.

Luxury Hotel

The Dwarika’s

$400 a night – Walking into the courtyard feels like you’ve left Kathmandu and entered a private jungle. The rooms are gorgeous and no detail has gone overlooked. The Dwarika’s is by far the most luxurious place to stay in Kathmandu.

Have any questions about the best places to visit in Kathmandu? Ask in the comments!

You might also like…

Michelle della giovanna.

Writer at Full Time Explorer

I’m just your average New Yorker who quit her job in the fashion industry to explore the world. Come find out what it’s like to trade in five-inch heels for squat toilets.

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Reader Interactions

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July 21, 2019 at 6:12 am

Thank you for the wonderful blog. I find so many places in this blog. It was very helpful and informative too.

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July 21, 2019 at 1:44 pm

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September 11, 2019 at 10:51 am

Hi, I am here in KTM for a month so am slowly exploring this city. Your blog post has been very helpful. Thank you. One place that I would add to the list is the very interesting vegetable market…..about 400 meters from the bridge south of the Durbar. And when you visit the Palace Museum, take note of the hundreds of huge fruit bats that are hanging in several of the trees at the back of the garden, you can hear their chirping sound.

September 11, 2019 at 11:36 am

Oh I’ll have to check out the vegetable market next time I’m there! I didn’t notice the bats. How interesting! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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June 7, 2020 at 10:25 am

Wow! I finished up one full glass of tea on a way to read this beautiful blog. I need to try all the above mentioned affordable places out. Thank you!

June 8, 2020 at 8:11 am

Haha I’m glad you found a few new places to check out! Let me know what you think when you go.

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July 2, 2020 at 12:22 pm

Wow! this blog is just amazing. The description are very well done along with all the details. This blog is very informative and can be very helpful for those who are planning to visit Nepal.

Thanks for sharing this great piece of information. Really appreciated. Keep up the good work.

July 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Thank you so much Pradip! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Namaste

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September 10, 2020 at 2:35 pm

Nepal! One of my bucketlist destinations! we were supposed to be headed to Nepal soon, but recently changed our plans. its really informative info about travel.highly delighted

September 11, 2020 at 4:36 am

Thank you so much Tim. I’m glad you enjoyed the article, and hopefully you can come to Nepal soon!

September 25, 2020 at 11:05 am

Wow! This is an amazing guide. It covers almost everything you can do in Kathmandu. Thank you for sharing this amazing piece of information with the world. This will really help anyone who is planning to visit Nepal in the coming future.

Once again, thank you for sharing this awesome blog. Keep up the good work.

September 25, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Thank you so much! I’m glad you found the post informative 🙂

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March 23, 2021 at 7:01 pm

Perfect ! I am contemplating my 3rd trip with trek out of Lukla. I will have time in KTM and now have a list of many places I still haven’t experienced! Lovely.

March 24, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Wow have a great time trekking! I’ve done two treks out of Lukla and that region is just amazing! and enjoy your time in Kathmandu. The city has so much to offer that many people miss 🙂

April 23, 2021 at 10:42 am

Arrived Kathmandu today! Going hiking next 7 days then tramping around These places for about 10 days.

Only seen 10 of the 45 spots listed. Plenty to keep me busy and entertained!!

April 23, 2021 at 11:16 am

You’ve arrived with some beautiful weather today! I hope you got fantastic views of the mountains from the plane. Welcome to Kathmandu and enjoy your time here!

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October 9, 2021 at 8:40 am

I’m glad I stumbled over your blog! I’ve been to Kathmandu many times, but haven’t heard about several of these places. Can’t wait to check them out next time!

October 10, 2021 at 3:18 am

Thank you! I’m so happy you found the article helpful. Enjoy exploring!

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August 21, 2022 at 4:28 pm

Here is also a photo gallery inside Garden of Dreams. Similarly, we highly recommend you to visit International Mountain Museum, Pokhara.

August 24, 2022 at 8:59 am

Oh yes, I love the Mountain Museum!

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August 20, 2023 at 1:13 pm

I just arrived at Kathmandu, it’s my first time and I found so much inspiratio in your text. Thank you very much fot this! Now i know, there is more than strolling through Thamel and I’m very keen to explore more the next days.

August 23, 2023 at 6:41 am

Thank you! Have a wonderful time in Kathmandu!

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June 7, 2020 at 11:38 am

Loved your blog so much. Very inspiring and can’t wait to go on our new adventures after the lockdown is lifted.

I can’t wait either!

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This Rare Earth

A travel resource for the adventurous and often-solo female

17 Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2023

Nepal , Asia , Blog / July 13, 2023 by Monica / Leave a Comment

Looking for the best places to visit in Kathmandu, Nepal? I’ve got you! This list will cover the best things to do in Kathmandu as well as can’t miss sights and places to see. From temples to soundbaths to markets, here are the top places to visit in Kathmandu!

Monica at the Amideva Buddha Park, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

You never know what to expect from a capital city, do you?

They’re often loud and bustling – a place to transit through to get to your “real” destination. Typically, they’re not a highlight to remember on your travels.

But, Kathmandu was different.

Yes, it is busy and bursting with life. Vibrant colors pop from every corner, deafening street sounds and pumping music fill your ears, and the smell of street foods wafts in the air.

However, Kathmandu was one of the best places in Nepal to dig deeper into the cultural sights and traditions. It is one-thousand-percent worth spending a few days here to explore all of the best things to do and places to visit in Kathmandu.

In fact, Kathmandu offers a lot of cultural experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in Nepal. Here are the best places to visit in Kathmandu that you need to see on your trip!

Nepal Quick Links

  • Best Kathmandu Hotel : The Kumari Boutique Hotel in Thamel.
  • Best Kathmandu Tour : Book the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu to see many of the top-rated sights around the city!
  • Best Nepal Tour : If you want to see it all, this   10-day Adventure Tour visits three of my favorite areas in Nepal: Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan.
  • Book your transfer from Kathmandu’s international airport before you travel!
  • Book a  Rental Car in Kathmandu  if you have more time to explore Nepal.
  • 5 Nepal Travel Essentials : a  lightweight scarf ; a  wide brim hat ; a  reusable water bottle ; a  plug converter ; a pair of loose palazzo pants .

Table of Contents

17 Best Things To Do and Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is like nowhere else in the country.

You will simultaneously be forced to squeeze between never-ending cars and tuk-tuks while heading to a spiritual soundbath. Construction, thumping music, honking horns, and the chatter of people is unending.

And while it may sound (and sometimes feel) like a lot, Kathmandu is definitely worth a visit. A stop here to explore the cultural sights and central hubs will allow you a deeper understanding of the people and traditions of Nepal.

Kathmandu is one of those cities that gets skipped by tourists rushing to escape on their trekking adventure. But that is a mistake!

Here are the can’t miss cultural sights and places to visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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The Monkey Temple's tall stupa, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

1. Swayambunath Stupa

Swayambunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, is one of the most popular places to visit in Kathmandu. In fact, it is the most popular temple in all of Nepal – and with good reason!

Swayambhunath Stupa, one of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu , sits on a tall hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley. It is an easy 15 minute ride west of downtown Kathmandu.

To reach the overlook pictured above, visitors will need to climb 365 stairs to the temple grounds. Partway up the stairs, you will be asked to pay an entrance fee of 200 Rupees.

But once you reach the top, the panoramic views and colorful temples, golden stupa, and bustle of worshippers makes it well worth the effort.

Some shrines and temples date back to over 1,500 years ago. You’ll see monkeys climb and play around the main stupa, hence the nickname “Monkey Temple.”

Pro Tip: If you don’t plan to rent a scooter or hire a taxi, you can also visit Swayambhunath Stupa as part of a larger UNESCO World Heritage Site Tour . This tour visits the following sites: Swyambhunath Stupa, Bouddhanath Stupa, Pashupathinath Temple, and all three Durbar Squares listed in this article.

All of these sites are featured on this best places to visit in Kathmandu list, so you will get the most bang for your buck on a tour rather than hiring multiple taxis. Bonus, you’ll learn the local history and traditions at each of these spots. BOOK YOUR UNESCO SITE TOUR HERE!

Monica and one of the colorful statue bases at Amideva Buddha Park, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

2. Amideva Buddha Park

A short distance from the more famous Swayambunath Temple is the quieter, but no less impressive Amideva Buddha Park. You need to add this to your Nepal Bucket List!

The colorful park was built in 2003 and features several giant gold statues and plenty of colorful, ornate alters and monuments.

The three Buddha statues represent varying sentiments:

The central statue of Shakyamuni Buddha measures 67 feet tall and is associated with longevity. He holds a giant bowl in his hands contains the nectar of immortality.

To the left is the 64 foot tall Chenrezig – or, the one who ‘looks with unwavering eye.” He is depicted with many arms which he uses to help those in need.

Fun fact, The Dalai Lama is considered an incarnation of Chenrezig.

Lastly, also at 64 feet tall, is Guru Rinpoche, or The Precious Master. A fully enlightened being, he is a keeper of primordial wisdom.

Around the statues are small prayer wheels, an ornate stupa, one enormous prayer wheel, colorful artwork and many statues. It is easy to wander for a long time here, and is equally as beautiful as better known temples.

Pro Tip: This park is completely free to enter, so don’t fall for scams! It is much less busy than other nearby sites, but even more ornate. Don’t skip it!

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Prayer wheels at Boudhanath Stupa, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

3. Boudhanath Stupa

Another stop on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Tour is the famous Boudhanath Stupa.

This Buddhist prayer site features a tall white stupa similar to the one at Monkey Temple. However, the grounds and vibe couldn’t be more different.

The grand spiritual complex has many different statues and interior spaces to walk through. It stands tall in the middle of busy Kathmandu and has several sites worth noting.

The large Chokhor prayer wheel is said to be the largest in the city. Walk around the white stupa clockwise to clear your chakras. And, enjoy tasty restaurants and shops around the complex.

The entrance fee of 400 Rupees is steep, but it goes towards the site’s maintenance. Plan to spend a couple of hours here to fully explore the stupa, the temple, and the grounds.

Pro Tip: If you plan to visit all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu, consider booking this tour . It is six hours long and visits Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupathinath Temple, and Swyambhunath Stupa. BOOK YOUR UNESCO SITE TOUR HERE!

Families gathered at Pashupatinath Temple, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

4. Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple was one of the last places I visited in Kathmandu, but it was easily one of the most powerful.

This temple is the most sacred Hindu temples in Nepal, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built as far back as the 5th century and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site today.

While non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the inner courtyard, there is plenty to explore on the surrounding grounds. Smaller temples and shrines are everywhere, some ornate and new and others ancient.

Visitors can also visit the bank of the Bagmati River, where Hindu cremations and burials take place. It is a deeply spiritual place and the feeling is almost palpable in the air.

I did not think it right to take any photographs of the cremation ceremonies, but the photo above features families preparing colorful decorations for just such occasions.

If you want to learn more about the many corners of this temple complex, this is another stop on the previously mentioned UNESCO World Heritage Site Tour . Your guide can explain many things that would be lost to a solo tourist at Pashupatinath Temple.

Pro Tip: If you prefer something different, consider an evening tour . You will experience an Aarati ceremony performed by sadhus, the brightly-robed Hindu monks, and purjaris, or Hindu priests. You will learn so much through this experience – I highly recommend! BOOK YOUR ARATI CEREMONY TOUR HERE!

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beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

5. The Garden of Dreams

While Kathmandu is an amazing city to explore, it is also filled with endless dust and noise, constant crowds, and lots of pollution.

The Garden of Dreams is the perfect peaceful, oasis-like escape. Inside, you’ll find a small stretch green grass, trickling fountains and colorful flowers.

Built by Field Marshal Kaiser Shumsher Rana, this beautiful garden was originally known as the ‘garden of six seasons.’ It was inspired by the Mughal gardens in India and was designed with a fusion of classical European and Asian styles.

While the garden was neglected for many years and fell into disrepair, it has since been restored to its former glory. It is now one of the most popular places to visit in Kathmandu for those seeking tranquility and beauty.

The entrance fee is 400 Rupees.

Monica looking around the ancient Durbar Square, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

6. Patan Durbar Square

The ancient Buddhist city of Patan is just 15 minutes from downtown Kathmandu.

Though Patan Durbar Square is the smallest of the three durbar squares in Kathmandu, it is arguably the most beautiful.

Patan, the surrounding area, is covered with hundreds of courtyards, statues, and temples scattered around the interconnecting streets. You may be lucky enough to view craftsmen making their goods along the streets or to view the heritage sites for prayer.

I spent an afternoon here exploring, and eating a snack atop one of the old structures. It almost feels like you are transported back in time here. And, yes – the UNESCO tour mentioned above does in fact stop here.

Note that there is a 1000 rupee entrance fee for Patan Durbar Square. This includes entrance into the Patan museum, as well.

Pro Tip: Kathmandu is dusty . Don’t forget to bring quality face masks to protect your lungs! Locals and tourists alike wear masks as they walk or ride scooters outside, because some days the dust and smog can be unbearable. Get yours here!

The tan colored architecture at Bhaktapur Durbar Square, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

7. Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Once the capital of Nepal in the 15th century, this ancient city is fun to explore for the culture, temples and craftwork.

Bhaktapur is well known for producing ceramic pottery, puppets, handicrafts, and much more. If you plan to buy any souvenirs in Nepal, this is one of the best places to do so.

While Bhaktapur Durbar square was affected by the 2015 earthquake, most of the older temples are completely restored. So, you can get a feel for what this area looked like ages ago.

The entrance fee for Bhaktapur  Durbar Square is 1800 Rupees.

Pro Tip: Want to visit Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square with no stress? All three Durbar Squares are included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tour !

Other stops include Swyambhunath Stupa, Bouddhanath Stupa, and Pashupathinath Temple. Your guide will teach you the local history and traditions at each of these spots. BOOK YOUR UNESCO SITE TOUR HERE!

8. Kathmandu Durbar Square

Upon visiting Kathmandu Durbar Square, the first thing you may notice is grid-like scaffolding covering some of the ornate architecture. This is due to the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake, from which you can still see the damage today.

Despite the scaffolding, Durbar Square is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu.

Filled with worshiping locals, goods of all kinds, and ancient temples, this is a vibrant, living part of Kathmandu.

The square was used for royal ceremonies as recently as 2001. Today, this square is used for official religious ceremonies, including that of the Kumari, who will be talked about below.

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A close up of a singing bowl at a soundbath, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

9. Experience a Soundbath

As you walk around Kathmandu, particularly the Thamel area, you will see several shops along the way filled with singing bowls made of metal and glass.

Nepal traditions are steeped in spirituality, and while you are here, you should take part in a soundbath.

Soundbaths are when you stand or lie in a quit room, and the loud vibrations of the singing bowls surround you and fill your mind and body.

Pro Tip: I tried several times to join a soundbath in the Thamel area on a walk-in basis, and each time it was a flop. Many shops may not open following their advertised hours. Very frustrating, I know!

Avoid the confusion and waste of time by booking a soundbath ahead of time. The Golden Temple Healing Center is about 10 minutes from Thamel and it will save you tons of headaches to pre-book your session. Trust me. BOOK YOUR SOUNDBATH HERE!

A close up of dal bhat, one of the Best things to do in Kathmandu, Nepal.

10. Learn To Cook Nepali Food

If you like to learn how to cook the traditional foods from the countries you visit (like me), then you need to take a private cooking class in Kathmandu!

You can sign up for a morning, afternoon, or evening class, and come hungry – this meal will serve as your breakfast, lunch, or dinner for the day. Expect to cook dal bhat or traditional momos, though four menus are available to choose from.

Currently in my kitchen sit the spices from dal bhat as I wait to cook the dish for my friend and neighbor.

BOOK YOUR PRIVATE COOKING CLASS HERE!

A boy selling clothing in Thamel, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Thamel is one of the best places for first-time visitors to situate themselves.

Firstly, a lot of the sights on this list are either walkable from Thamel or easily reached via tour, taxi, or scooter.

Secondly, you are a stone’s throw away from various restaurants and cafes, where you can find and endless supply of Nepali dal bhat, Tibetan food, street food, and much more.

Thamel is quite busy though, so don’t come here expecting peace and quiet! One day during my visit, a public holiday made the streets almost unwalkable dur to car, tuk-tuk, and foot traffic.

Nonetheless, the souvenir-filled markets, great restaurants, nightlife, hostels, and more make this one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

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The ancient architecture in Durbar Square, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

12. Catch a Glimpse of the Kumari

The Kumari, known as the living goddess, is a revered figure in Nepalese culture.

The Kumari is selected from a group of young girls who exhibit certain qualities such as pureness, unblemished skin, and a peaceful disposition. Once chosen, the Kumari undergoes many rituals and is worshipped as a living goddess.

This respected tradition has been around for centuries and is still held in high regard today.

Visitors to Kathmandu can attempt to witness the Kumari’s presence at her palace in Durbar Square, where she sometimes appears at her window to bless those who seek her audience. Rumor has it that the best chance to see her is between 4pm-5pm, after her studies.

It is not guaranteed that she will appear, and she did not look out at us on my visit, unfortunately. Note that photos are strictly forbidden if she does in fact look out the window.

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The views at sunrise from Nagarkot, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

13. Nagarkot Sunrise View and Day Hiking from Kathmandu

Though technically a bit outside of the city, this is one of the top tours from Kathmandu. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves to get outdoors and doesn’t mind a gorgeous sweeping view.

During this full day hiking trip , you’ll watch the colorful sunrise at the village of Nagarkot, and enjoy panoramic views across the Kathmandu Valley.

Enjoy the backdrop of the Himalayas on the 4-hour hike. You’ll pass through the small villages that are home to the Brahmin, Newars, and Tamang people. You’ll also get to explore the Nagarkot Buddha Peace Park and the Changu Narayan Temple (another UNESCO World Heritage Site.)

This tour also includes a guide, lunch, and all transportation to and from Kathmandu.

BOOK YOUR NAGARKOT HIKING TOUR HERE!

Pro Tip: Check out my trekking gear guide if you plan to do any hiking in Nepal, regardless of the length. This list will lay out all the gear you should pack!

The colorful Kopan Monastery, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

14. Kopan Monastery

Nestled in the hills surrounding Kathmandu, the Kopan Monastery offers a serene escape from the city below.

Established in 1975, the monastery is a center for study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Visitors can attend daily prayers and meditation sessions, or take part in one of the many retreats offered throughout the year.

The stunning architecture of the monastery, complete with intricate murals and traditional Tibetan artwork, provides a glimpse into the vibrant culture of Nepal.

For those seeking a deeper understanding of Buddhism or simply a peaceful retreat, the Kopan Monastery is a must-visit destination in Kathmandu.

Pro Tip: Check out my guide on what to wear in Nepal if you want to be prepared for temples and monasteries. The general idea is modesty and comfort. Get more info here !

An aerial view of the Himalayas, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

15. Take a Flight Over Mount Everest

though it’s admittedly expensive, a flight over Mount Everest is a once in a lifetime experience!

If you fly on a clear day, you can see all across the majestic Himalayan mountain range and fly above the mighty Mount Everest! The colors are spectacular and it looks almost surreal

Pick up and drop off from your Kathmandu accommodations are provided. The flight departs from Kathmandu’s international airport and expect an earl morning departure, though exact take-off is determined by the day’s weather.

Learn more about the seasons in Nepal here!

This is a great experience for anyone looking to tick off a big ticket item from their Kathmandu bucket list. I especially recommend it if you will not be doing any trekking while visiting Nepal.

BOOK YOUR EVEREST FLIGHT HERE!

The tall stupa at Kirtipur, one of the Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

16. Day Trip to Kirtipur

If you want to get out of the city and see some sights in the greater Kathmandu Valley, then this private guided tour may just be for you.

First, you will visit the medieval city of Kirtipur and its Chobhar Caves. It is a very different experience than Pokhara’s Gupteshwor Cave , indeed!

Enjoy the monastery-rich town of Pharping and view several ornate temples, like the Shikha Narayan temple. Learn about Nepal’s rich heritage and culture on this excursion, with door-to-door round-trip private transport from Kathandu.

BOOK YOUR KIRTIPUR TOUR HERE!

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17. Take a Nighttime Rickshaw Tour

One experience that I highly recommend is to explore Kathmandu at night.

I was traveling Nepal solo, and while Nepal is very safe , I can certainly understand if you do not feel comfortable exploring alone at night.

The answer for this is taking a nighttime rickshaw tour !

The tour begins in early evening and lasts about 2.5 hours. You will have ample time to hop on and off if you see souvenirs or street food that you have to try. And, your guide will expertly weave you through the busy Thamel and Ason areas, where the night comes alive.

If you’ve already seen the best places to visit in Kathmandu, or just want to see them lit up in bright lights at night, then definitely give this a try.

BOOK YOUR NIGHTTIME RICKSHAW TOUR HERE!

Where To Stay in Kathmandu, Nepal

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

Top Budget Hotel

For anyone traveling on a budget, but who want more than a dorm bed, I highly recommend the Kathmandu Eco Hotel . It is found in the heart of Thamel, and is walking distance from some of the best restaurants, shops, and sights.

You can choose form several different room types, some including breakfast at their restaurant next door.

Pro Tip: There are two hotels in Kathmandu with similar names. To be sure you book the right one, be sure to book through this link !

Top Mid-Range Hotel

If you want to step up your hotel game, check out the Kumari Boutique Hotel in Thamel.

They have everything you could want here, like air conditioning, Wifi, room service, and parking. But what makes this place special is the high-end feel of the beautifully decorated rooms without the wallet-busting price.

And, they are close to some of the top sights on this list, like Kathmandu Durbar Square and the Garden of Dreams.

Top High End Hotel

If you want luxury-meets-classic-Kathmandu, then The Dwarika’s Hotel is for you! Situated close to Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa, this hotel is a bit outside of busy Thamel.

What makes this hotel extra special goes beyond the clean and modern rooms. It features an extensive collection of artifacts from the 13th century inside the traditional building, and is the winner of the Pacific Asia Travel Association Heritage Award.

It is also one of the few hotels in Kathmandu with an outdoor pool, which will be a blessing in the hotter months.

I hope that this guide on the best places to visit has inspired your future trip! There are so any great things to do in Kathmandu and so much to explore.

If you need more helpful tips on Nepal, check out my other articles below!

Need More Nepal Travel Inspiration? Check Out These Resources.

  • Is Nepal Safe for Solo Female Travel?
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  • 17 Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • A Chitwan Jungle Safari Travel Guide & Review
  • A Complete Nepal Trekking Packing List
  • 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Nepal
  • Paragliding in Pokhara – A Can’t Miss Adventure
  • Seasons in Nepal & the Best Time to Visit
  • Is Nepal Worth Visiting? 10 Reasons To Go
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About Monica

Monica has been a solo female world traveler for over 15 years. She is an expert on outdoor adventures, solo female travel, and off the beaten path destinations. She is the founder of This Rare Earth and is a firm believer that the world is not as scary as the media might have you think! Learn more about her here . Connect with her on Instagram .

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Places To Visit In Kathmandu

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1. Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa

4 km from city center 1 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Boudhanath Stupa is one of the world's largest and most significant stupas. This UNESCO World Heritage Site holds immense religious and cultural importance, particularly for Tibetan Buddhists. The stupa is a massive white dome structure with a striking golden spire atop it. Its design represents the mandala, a symbol of the universe in Buddhist cosmology.

2. Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhunath Temple

3 km from city center 2 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Perched on top of Semgu Hill, located on the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley, the Swayambhu Temple temple is one of the most important religious shrines in Nepal. The sanctum is one of the holiest sites among Buddhists and Tibetans. Once you are inside the temple, make sure to climb the 365 steps to reach the top and take in the picturesque, panoramic view of the capital city of Kathmandu.

3. Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square

2 km from city center 3 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

The regal Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar squares in Nepal and is the most remarkable legacy of Kathmandu's traditional architecture. The Durbar Square area is made up of three squares - A former elephant stable, Basantapur Square, the main Durbar Square on the west, and another part of Durbar Square that houses the entrance to Hanuman Dhoka.

4. Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple

3 km from city center 4 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

One of the holiest Hindu shrines in Nepal, the Pashupatinath Temple is stretched across both the banks of the beautiful and sacred Bagmati River on the eastern fringes of the capital city of Kathmandu. Sprawled over a large area with temples and ashrams, it is believed that the Jyotirlinga housed in the Pashupatinath temple is the head of the body, which is made up of the twelve Jyotirlinga in India.

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5. thamel (commercial street).

Thamel (Commercial Street)

1 km from city center 5 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Thamel, located in the heart of Kathmandu, is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood that serves as the tourist hub of the city. It is a bustling maze of narrow streets teeming with shops offering colorful textiles, traditional handicrafts, and trekking gear. It also has an extensive selection of restaurants, cafes, bars, and entertainment venues.

6. Garden of Dreams Kathmandu

Garden of Dreams Kathmandu

1 km from city center 6 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu, also referred to as the 'Swapna Bageecha' and 'garden of six seasons is a neo-classical garden in Kathmandu built by Kishore Narshingh in1920. The garden has a magnificent amphitheatre, urns, gorgeous pavilions, paved perimeter paths, pergolas, and ponds that draw in locals and tourists alike.

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7. Hanuman Dhoka

Hanuman Dhoka

2 km from city center 7 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Once the royal palace of Malla kings and Shah dynasty, Hanuman Dhoka is a complex of ancient structures with some as old as mid 16th Century. Located in the Darbar Square of Kathmandu, it is locally known as Hanuman Dhoka Darbar, the name of which is derived from an antique idol of Lord Hanuman near the main entrance of an ancient palace.

8. Narayanhiti Palace

Narayanhiti Palace

1 km from city center 8 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Located to the east of the famed Kaiser Mahal near Thamel, the Narayanhiti Palace Museum is a former royal palace which was home to the monarchs of Nepal. The stunning museum showcases the old furniture, art pieces, ornaments of the royal family and lavish lifestyle once adorning the durbar (halls) of the exquisite palace.

9. Chandragiri Hill Cable Car

Chandragiri Hill Cable Car

13 km from city center 9 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Located in the south-west of the capital city Kathmandu , Chandragiri Hill is one of Nepal's most loved day-trip destinations. The main destination of Chandragiri Hill is the mountaintop, from where spectacular views of the great Himalayan mountain ranges can be seen.

10. Hiking Around Kathmandu

Hiking Around Kathmandu

10 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Hikes are comfortable walking or climbing trips, usually ending in a day or two. If you're in Kathmandu for a short while but still want to get a whiff of pristine mountain air, a hike is your best bet - they're cheap, noteworthy, gorgeous and do wonders for your health as well! Discover the 10 best trails for hiking in Kathmandu, and choose the one you like the most. Strap those hiking boots on!

11. Kopan Monastery (Kapan)

Kopan Monastery (Kapan)

5 km from city center 11 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Located on the picturesque Kopan Hills (20 minutes drive from the city center) on the fringes of Kathmandu, Kopan Monastery is a stunning Tibetan Buddhist Monastery established between the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is a well-known tourist attraction and draws people who are interested in learning Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism.

12. Budhanilkantha Temple

Budhanilkantha Temple

8 km from city center 12 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Budhanilkantha Temple is an open-air shrine located at the foothills of the Shivpuri Hill in Kathmandu Valley. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and houses an exceptional idol of the presiding deity seen in a reclining posture in a pool of water. It is the largest stone statue in Nepal.

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13. Asan Bazar (Asan Tole)

Asan Bazar (Asan Tole)

2 km from city center 13 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Asan Tole is a famous market street in the city of Asan, Kathmandu. The six spoked juncture of the street is always bustling with people selling everything from vegetables and fishes to clothes, jewellery and spices. It is a place where one can experience the daily life of Nepali people.

14. Casinos in Kathmandu

Casinos in Kathmandu

14 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Kathmandu has many exciting casinos to offer to its tourists. The best thing is that these casinos are open on all days of the week for 24 hours! These high-end casinos have amazing packages to lure customers along with the free flow of drinks and much more. And there have been many tourists who have won handsome amounts. So, be the next one to follow up and return home as a millionaire.

15. Day Trip to Nagarkot

Day Trip to Nagarkot

18 km from city center 15 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Nagarkot is a scenic hill station and hiking destination located a 28-kilometre drive away from Kathmandu. This hill station is known for its views of the Himalayas, including eight ranges and Mount Everest, which are spectacular at sunrise and sunset. In addition, several trails lace the scrublands of Nagarkot, home to exotic birds. The most visited spots here include the pagoda-style Changunarayan Temple, Nagarkot Nature Trail, and Geodic Survey Tower.

16. Taleju Temple

Taleju Temple

2 km from city center 16 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

The magnificent Taleju temple, located in Durbar Square of Kathmandu, is dedicated to the clan Goddess of Malla kings, Devi Taleju Bhawani. Traditionally, entry into the temple was restricted to kings but has now been extended to the Hindus. It is believed that the temple was constructed in the shape of a Yantra (a form of Mandala) as was directed by the Devi herself.

17. National Museum of Nepal

National Museum of Nepal

4 km from city center 17 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Also known as the Rashtriya Sangrahalaya, the National Museum is a century-old museum that has preserved and revered the exhibits depicting the rich historical significance of Nepal. Home to three buildings - the Historical Museum Building, the Buddhist Art Gallery, and the Juddha Jayatia Kala Shala - this monument houses cultural, historical, and philatelic sections, including weapons, artworks, coins, statues, postage stamps, and several species of plants and animals.

18. Vajrayogini Temple

Vajrayogini Temple

5 km from city center 18 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Located on a hilltop, the Vajrayogini or Bajrayogini Temple is a Tantrik Temple dedicated to the Buddhist Tantric Goddess in Nepal. It is also known as Bodhisattva's Temple and is situated in Sankhu, a small place in the Kathmandu Valley. One needs to climb a stone stairway to reach the temple complex, but once there, every visitor is bound to be fascinated with the beauty of the ancient temple complex that includes stonework, wood carvings, metalwork, smaller temples, caves and a stupa belonging to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Patan

19 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Patan is the third largest city in Nepal right after Kathmandu and Pokhara. It is now known as Lalitpur. Both names Patan and Patan are derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lalitapattan’. The city is located just across the river Bagmati from Kathmandu. Patan has a Durbar Square that is full of statues, temples, and palaces. In addition, Durbar Square also has the ‘Patan museum’ which is a must-see attraction. It is a traditional centre for handicrafts and is also a place to purchase traditional jewellery, Buddha statues, and masks.

20. Dakshinkali Temple

Dakshinkali Temple

14 km from city center 20 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

The Dakshinkali Temple is located only a kilometer away from the village of Pharping. It is one of the most important temples in Nepal and is dedicated to the fierce and feared Goddess Kali. The fame of this temple lies in its rituals and traditions. Twice a week, animals are sacrificed at this religious place - uncastrated male goats and cockerels in particular – as an offering to the ferocious spouse of Lord Shiva.

21. The Crematoria

The Crematoria

3 km from city center 21 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Located near the Pashupatinath Temple on the banks of Bagmati River, the crematoria is the place in Kathmandu where Nepali Hindus go to have their last rites. People of different beliefs perform varied kind of funeral practises here. Visitors can sit on the other bank of the river and observe the last rites.

22. Kumari Bahal

Kumari Bahal

2 km from city center 22 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Kumari Bahal, the palace where the Kumari lives while she is the chosen Devi, is a beautiful ancient palace. It is a three-story traditional structure made of wood and red bricks with intricately carved windows, doors, and balconies which quite resemble a Buddhist Vihara. This structure was built in the mid-1700s by Jaya Prakash Malla and also houses a stupa with symbols of Goddess Saraswati and a huge chariot that is used to take the Kumari around the city during the annual festival of Indra Jatra.

23. White Monastery

White Monastery

5 km from city center 23 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

White Monastery or Seto Gomba, also known as Amitabha Monastery, is a Buddhist Monastery in Nepal, offering a mix of religious importance and natural anesthetic. The vivid terrain and the lush green landscape of the surrounding make the sunset and sunrise here, a treat to watch. Visitors can observe the whole of the Kathmandu Valley from this place. The soothing atmosphere draws most travellers wanting to soak up some tranquillity after exploring the bustling city of Kathmandu.

24. Seto Machindranath Temple

Seto Machindranath Temple

2 km from city center 24 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Seto Machindranath Temple is a Hindu and Buddhist temple located in Jana Bahal. The temple is believed to be built around 10th century and houses the idol of Seto Machindranath, also known as Janabaha Dyo. During the month of Chaitra, a three days long chariot procession festival of the Lord is held here.

25. Basantapur Tower

Basantapur Tower

2 km from city center 25 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Basantapur Tower was the tallest tower in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It has nine stories, the top two floors of which were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake that hit Nepal. The levels have been restored, and tourists can explore the tower from the outside and the inside.

26. Akash Bhairav Temple Kathmandu

Akash Bhairav Temple Kathmandu

2 km from city center 26 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Akash Bhairav is also known as the 'Lord of the sky'. Located merely 5 minutes away from Kathmandu Durbar Square , devotees worship Akash Bhairav with great dedication because it is believed that worshipping him ensures strength, safety and goodwill for Nepal and its people. Indra Jatra, an annual 8-day festival devoted to the god, is also celebrated with great enthusiasm. Followers from all over the world come to Kathmandu to be a part of the important pooja rituals performed during this time of the year.

27. Langtang National Park

Langtang National Park

51 km from city center 27 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

With trekking trails, lush greenery, and a variety of species of flora and fauna, the Langtang National Park is the fourth national park that was established in Nepal in 1976. The Langtang National Park is situated at an approximate distance of 32 kilometres to the north of the capital city of Kathmandu and is connected to the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet.

28. Taudaha Lake

Taudaha Lake

9 km from city center 28 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Taudaha Lake is a famous freshwater lake surrounded by hills covered with dense forests. The lake is full of fishes and is also a heaven for birdwatchers because of the migratory birds in the area. As per a legend, Taudaha is one of the lakes that were formed from the waters of a large lake after a mythical character cut the hill behind it and let the water flow away.

29. Phulchowki

Phulchowki

3 km from city center 29 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Phulchowki is the highest hill located in Kathmandu Valley (2791 metres) known for its hike. The mountain is covered by a natural garden full of beautiful wild roses, yellow jasmine, iris and other native flowers. It takes a few hours to reach the top and return and is, therefore, much advisable to those who are travelling on a time crunch. The climb through the rough terrain covered with dense forests will be worth it after one reaches the top and gets to see the breathtaking view of the valley.

30. The Last Resort

The Last Resort

1 km from city center 30 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

The Last Resort, perched on top of the elevated gorge is located three-hours away from Kathmandu. The Last Resort is Nestled amid terraced slopes with Bhote Kosi River flowing closeby. This magnificent resort is perfect for relaxing, undertaking adventure activities, lounging at the plunge pool or reading the book amidst the beautiful nature.

31. Kathesimbhu Stupa

Kathesimbhu Stupa

2 km from city center 31 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Located in the heart of Kathmandu, the Kathesimbhu Stupa is famous for being the copy of the Swayanbhunath Temple . The courtyard, also called the Swayambhunath Complex, is quite a surprise when tourists find it while exploring the region. It comprises of a stunningly grand 16th-century stupa installed in between smaller stupas. The entrance is marked by a concrete gate, and there are no compound walls to the attraction.

32. Indra Chowk

Indra Chowk

2 km from city center 32 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Indra Chowk is a bustling maze of streets in Kathmandu having many shops where the local traders sell fresh regional produce. The moving crowds, the colorful shops, and the sounds of this bustling marketplace are unique to Nepal. Observe the carved doors and windows of the shops and houses or grab of Lassi. 

33. Kala Bhairav Kathmandu

Kala Bhairav Kathmandu

2 km from city center 33 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Kala Bhairav is a grand temple located at Kathmandu Durbar Square in the religious complex of Hanuman Dhoka , dedicated to a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. It is an open-air area in the complex and has a gigantic 12-foot-tall idol of Kala Bhairav sculpted in the 6th century. It is regarded as the largest in the world. 

34. Jagannath Temple Kathmandu

Jagannath Temple Kathmandu

2 km from city center 34 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Jagannath Temple, located in the very famous Kathmandu Darbar Square , is most famous for its architecture and religious significance. It is a two-story building raised over a platform and built in traditional pagoda-style architecture, mostly made of wood and bricks. Some parts of the temple were damaged in an earthquake in 2015. However, some portions have been restored and are open for tourists to explore.

35. Royal Botanical Gardens Kathmandu

Royal Botanical Gardens Kathmandu

14 km from city center 35 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

The national botanical garden is located at the base of Phulchowki hill, covering an area of 82 hectares and is surrounded by beautiful evergreen natural forests. Various indigenous plants such as ornamental plants, rock plants, rose cultivars, trees and shrubs, lilies, ferns, medicinal plants and native flora, aquatics, cacti, orchids are housed here for display.

36. Fly Past Everest

Fly Past Everest

160 km from city center 36 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Fly past the planet's highest mountains with Everest flight tours, an incredible experience in the Himalayas over 8,850 metres above sea level. Buddha Air is Nepal's largest airline operator providing close-encounter Everest flight tours every morning from Kathmandu. All passengers are guaranteed window seats overlooking the snow-laden ranges and guides explaining the peak names and their geographical and spiritual significance. Tickets cost NPR 21,906.

37. Shiva-Parvati Temple

Shiva-Parvati Temple

3 km from city center 37 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

The glorious temple of Lord Shiva and his Consort Goddess Parvati, the Shiva Parvati Temple, is located in the religious area of Durbar Square. It is as important as the Kumari Bahal or the Kasthamandap and is often visited by pilgrims and tourists. Built in the 18th century by Bahadur Shah, every inch of the temple wall is covered in immensely intricate carvings. 

38. Kaiser Library

Kaiser Library

1 km from city center 38 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Kaiser Library, or Keshar Library, is located in Kathmandu's Kaiser Mahal and contains over 45,000 books from the personal collection of Field Marshal Kaiser Shumsher Rana. It was established in 1969 and has a wide range of books covering subjects including history, law, art, religion, philosophy, etc.

39. Cooking Class in Kathmandu

Cooking Class in Kathmandu

0 km from city center 39 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

There are few better ways to learn about the culture of a region than indulging in the local cuisine. Taking it up a notch, local cooking classes in Kathmandu offer visitors not just the satisfaction of trying freshly prepared local dishes but also in their preparation. These cooking classes are excellent communal activities and offer insight into the food habits of the Nepalese people and the kind of fresh produce and other ingredients they love.

40. Stone Inscription

Stone Inscription

0 km from city center 40 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

The stone inscriptions in Kathmandu, dates back to Licchavi period from 5th to 9th century, and are regarded as the primary source of Nepal? history. They mostly consists of royal edicts, dedicatory notes on Hindu and buddhist Temples walls, stupas, statues, water spouts and other architectural structures. The inscriptions are multilingual and are written in Nepali, English, French and Persian.

41. Casino Royale Kathmandu

Casino Royale Kathmandu

1 km from city center 41 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Located in the heart of Kathmandu, Casino Royale is set inside hotel Yeti & Yak, surrounded by enchanting fountains, beautiful gardens and with the decor in royal gold. The warmly lit red-carpeted entrance might make one feel like a celebrity. As one strut ahead, they would notice how the sounds of slot machines, cards, chips and the chatter on the gaming tables stimulate their senses. The ambience quite resembles a carnival and is perfect for those interested in trying their luck at the games.

42. Annapurna Temple, Kathmandu

Annapurna Temple, Kathmandu

2 km from city center 42 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Annapurna Temple located at Asan Tole , Kathmandu is dedicated to Goddess Annapurna, the Goddess of abundance. Her name stands for Food (Anna) and Fulfil (purna) and symbolises that her blessings fulfil every wish and always provides abundance. At the glorious temple, an old bowl full of grain sits at the centre, representing the Goddess. It is believed that walking around the shrine, touching a coin to the heads and then throwing it into the temple will bring prosperity and abundance of all worldly goods.

43. Villages in Kathmandu Valley

Villages in Kathmandu Valley

0 km from city center 43 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Kathmandu constitutes not only magnificent mountains but also hundreds of ethnic villages rich in culture, flora and fauna, and natural splendour. One can visit at least twenty of them within just a few days in Kathmandu Valley, including the sacred Badimalika Village and its temples, Chisapani Village, Balthali Village and their trekking hubs and Chhusang Village on the way to Upper Mustang. Chomrong Village, occupied by the elite Gurungs, sits behind Annapurna.

44. Chandragiri Hills

Chandragiri Hills

13 km from city center 44 out of 44 Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Lying southwest of Kathmandu Valley, Chandragiri Hill is among Nepal's most-loved day trip destinations. The hill is famous for offering panoramic bird's-eye views of Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan ranges from Annapurna to Everest. There is a charming namesake resort surrounded by a quaint town of mountain dwellers and an ornate Hindu Temple on top. The world-famous Chandragiri Cable Car runs above stunning mountains from here to Thankot.

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13 Things to do in Kathmandu + Tourist Spots

Three words perfectly describe Kathmandu: magnificent, marvelous, and magical. Kathmandu is magnificent because of its otherworldly beauty; marvelous as it houses numerous medieval temples, royal palaces, glorious stupas, and religious shrines; and magical as it lures you for inexplicable reasons.

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is truly the crowning glory of Nepal. Dotted with many sacred temples, stupas, religious monuments, and monasteries, Kathmandu is also known as the “City of Temples.” For many first-time visitors, Kathmandu is an ordinary bustling little town, but as it reveals its beauty and charm, Kathmandu can be a place like no other!

Did you know Kathmandu valley houses 7 of 10 UNESCO world heritage sites in Nepal? From world-famous UNESCO sites to vantage hill stations and hilltop villages on its outskirt and significant landmarks, there are many sites in Kathmandu for you to explore for a week or two.

Choosing the best places to visit while in Kathmandu can be daunting. Therefore, I have compiled a list of 10 must-see attractions in Kathmandu for you.

Kathmandu travel essentials: (click below to view prices online)

Where to stay Tours + discounts Kathmandu fares Airport transfers WiFi/SIM

Kathmandu Airport to city transfers Kathmandu to Pakhara bus Nepal WIFI/SIM Card

See also :   Places to visit in Nepal  |  Pokhara Tourist Spots  |  Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary  |  Spots to See in Chitwan  |  Where to go in Lumbini .

1. Swayambhunath Stupa

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

Swayambhunath Temple, Kathmandu

Swayambhunath Stupa, also dubbed “the monkey temple,” is a famous world-heritage site perched atop a hill overlooking Kathmandu valley. If you’re wondering why it is called the monkey temple, it’s because more than 200 monkeys have been living in its immediate vicinity for generations. The whitewashed dome and gilded spire of the stupa can be seen from far away. History has it that the stupa self-evolved and hence the name Swayambhunath. According to the Swayambhu Purana, a Buddhist scripture, the stupa was a lotus flower in the middle of a lake.

It’s amusing that the stupa’s structure is symbolic: the gigantic white dome at the base is the earth; the 13-tiered structure represents the 13 stages of nirvana; the pair of eyes is Buddha’s eyes, and the nose-like structure below the eyes is the Nepali number Ek (one) symbolizing unity. Reaching the stupa feels like climbing a steep hill as you must climb more than 300 stone steps from the eastern side. Make sure to circumnavigate the stupa in a clockwise direction. Harati Devi Temple, Shantipur, Shree Karma Raj Mahavihar, and Ajima Temple are the must-see attractions in Swayambhunath.

Location : Kathmandu, Nepal . Save on Google Maps .

To help with your trip planning, I’ve added links to the locations on Google Maps. Feel free to click/tap on the links posted. Then, use the “save” feature on the Google Maps app for easy reference.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

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2. Kathmandu Durbar Square

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

Kathmandu Durbar Square, Nepal

Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO world heritage site in Nepal, is a prominent landmark and major attraction in Kathmandu. Also known as “Basantapur Durbar Square” or “Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square,” Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of three Durbar Squares within Kathmandu Valley and, beyond question, one of the most visited places in Kathmandu. This site was a historical place for royal events, royal ceremonies, and the coronation of the Nepalese monarch. Even today, the palace is used for religious ceremonies.

Kathmandu Durbar Square was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. With several buildings dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this site is truly a majestic place to explore in Kathmandu. History has it that the construction of this site dates back to the Licchavi era, around the 3rd century. Kasthamandap, Kumari Bahal, Taleju Temple, Gaddhi Baithak, Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, and Hanuman Dhoka museum are some of the must-see highlights in Kathmandu Durbar Square.

The catastrophic earthquake in 2015 had unfortunately damaged several temples, towers, and buildings in the square complex, and the reconstruction and renovation are still ongoing.

Location : Kathmandu city center . Save on Google Maps .

See prices & book online

Kathmandu Full Day Exploration

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

3. Pashupatinath Temple

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu

Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest Hindu temple in the world, is a major tourist attraction in Kathmandu. Constructed in 1696, Pashupatinath temple was enlisted as a World Heritage Site in 1979 and is now among the 7 UNESCO world heritage sites scattered in Kathmandu valley. Pashupatinath literally translates to “Lord of all animals,” and the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Standing on the bank of the holy Bagmati River, Pashupatinath temple dates back to 400 BC. The main temple complex is open to Hindus only, and photography is strictly prohibited within the compound of the main temple.

Pashupatinath temple is only a few miles from the Tribhuvan International Airport and a short drive away from Thamel. As you walk to the temple on the western bank of the river, you can find an open-air cremation site shrouded in the commotion that can overwhelm you. And on the opposite side, you can indulge in the evening rituals of Pashupatinath Aarati. If you travel to Kathmandu, make sure to visit and pay homage to this sacred site.

Location : Pashupati Nath Road, Kathmandu . Save on Google Maps .

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

4. Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Patan Durbar Square is picturesque, pretty, and pure. It is a living museum of Newari art and architecture that can awe anyone with its unmatchable grandeur. Located in the center of Patan city, this ancient royal palace of the Malla kings is one of the three durbar squares, which are all UNESCO heritage sites. This magnificent durbar square is the finest collection of over 600 stupas, 136 courtyards, and 55 major temples. The complex of this site remains bustling every day as it welcomes hundreds of local and international tourists every day. Any tourist who lands in Kathmandu definitely visits this site, and you must too.

Patan Durbar Square remains the glory of Kathmandu and a major draw for tourist attractions. The laidback atmosphere, rich art, exquisite craftsmanship, and appealing architecture sprinkled within the square’s walls and roofs are unimaginably extraordinary. Patan Museum, the erstwhile Malla King’s residence, is a must-visit place in the vicinity of Patan Durbar Square. Krishna Mandir, Taleju Bhawani Temple, Mul Chowk, and Vishwanath Temple are some of the important sites you can explore when visiting this square.

Location : Lalitpur, Kathmandu Valley . Save on Google Maps .

5. Boudhanath

Boudhanath in Kathmandu, Nepal

If there’s one stupa not-to-miss in Kathmandu, Boudhanath Stupa arguably is the one, and for good reasons. This stupa, with a diameter of around 100m, is one of the largest spherical stupas in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal, Boudhanath Stupa welcomes hundreds of travelers and pilgrims daily. When flying into Nepal, you can quickly notice the whitewashed dome and gilded tower of the stupa. History has it that it was built around the 14th century, and mythology suggests that millions of dewdrops were used for its construction. It is believed that Boudhanath entombs the relics of one of the ancient Buddhas, Kassapa Buddha.

Boudhanath Stupa is marvelous and tops the list of must-see attractions in Kathmandu. If you’re wondering about the meaning of Boudhanath, it’s “the Lord of Awakening.” The architecture of the Boudhanath stupa, from its gigantic dome to the gilded lotus canopy, is highly symbolic. You can embrace the best view of the stupa from the rooftop cafe with a sip of coffee and scrumptious momo.

Location : Boudhha, Kathmandu Valley . Save on Google Maps .

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

6. Everest Mountain Flight

For those fixated on the idea of seeing Everest at least once in their lifetime, trekking for days through the rugged trail to the base camp is not the only option. I mean you can hop on a plane and fly parallel to the Himalayas of Nepal, and admire the sheer beauty of Everest and neighboring peaks. If you’re short on time and hate to walk for a couple of hours a day to the base camp of Everest, just to see the sight of Everest, nothing is ideal as this mountain flight. The aerial perspective of the majestic mountains and the cityscape from the plane is simply amazing.

This 1-hour Everest mountain flight is a chance to tick off the Everest adventure from your bucket list. Drive to Tribhuvan Airport, hop aboard a plane and catch the glimpse of more than 18 peaks. Undoubtedly, it is one of the unique attractions in Kathmandu. Rest assured that everyone on the plane will be guaranteed a window seat and don’t forget to receive a personalized Everest Experience certificate to cherish for a lifetime.

Thamel shopping street in Kathmandu, Nepal

If you’re in Nepal for trekking or mountaineering, chances are you will end up in Thamel before and after your trip. Thamel is beyond question the most popular and thriving tourist hub in Nepal. Also dubbed backpacker’s paradise, Thamel serves as a one-stop shop for adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal. Besides, it is unbelievably magical and mystical. However, for a first-time visitor, Thamel can be chaotic and overwhelming; there’s a lot to see and things to do in Thamel. Thamel is a friendly neighborhood in Kathmandu teeming with budget-friendly hotels, star-rated hotels, cafes, pubs, money-exchange booths, travel agencies, and guest houses and gear shops selling everything for treks and expeditions. Wikipedia cites that Thamel acts as the pre-base camp for mountaineers. It is also popular for lively nightlife, live bars, international cuisine, and indoor sports like wall climbing and archery, to name a few. Garden of Dreams, Mandala Street, Tridevi Temple, Kaathe Swyambhu Shree Gha Chaitya, and Dharmadhaatu Stupa are some of the Instagrammable places in Thamel.

8. More Spots to See in Old City of Kathmandu

If you’re in Nepal for trekking or mountaineering, chances are you will end up in Thamel before and after your trip. Thamel is beyond question the most popular and thriving tourist hub in Nepal. Also dubbed backpacker’s paradise, Thamel serves as a one-stop shop for adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal. Besides, it is unbelievably magical and mystical. However, for a first-time visitor, Thamel can be chaotic and overwhelming; there’s a lot to see and things to do in Thamel.

Thamel is a friendly neighborhood in Kathmandu teeming with budget-friendly hotels, star-rated hotels, cafes, pubs, money-exchange booths, travel agencies, and guest houses and gear shops selling everything for treks and expeditions. Wikipedia cites that Thamel acts as the pre-base camp for mountaineers. It is also popular for lively nightlife, live bars, international cuisine, and indoor sports like wall climbing and archery, to name a few. Garden of Dreams, Mandala Street, Tridevi Temple, Kaathe Swyambhu Shree Gha Chaitya, and Dharmadhaatu Stupa are some of the Instagrammable places in Thamel.

Interesting places + tourist spots

Garden of Dreams

Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu, Nepal

Location : Tridevi Sadak, Kathmandu city center . Save on Google Maps .

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

Kathesimbhu Stupa

Kathesimbhu Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal

9. Chandragiri Hills

Chandragiri Hills at 2551m is one of the best viewpoints perched on the southwest side of Kathmandu Valley. The hill is famous for its spectacular views of Kathmandu valley and mountain ranges, including the mighty Everest. Chandragiri Hills is one of the 4 hills surrounding the Kathmandu valley. In recent years, the hiking trail to Chandragiri Hills has attracted hundreds of young Nepalese hikers from Kathmandu valley and international travelers.

You can either drive or hike to reach the hill from Kathmandu. However, many travel enthusiasts suggest you hike to Chandragiri to enjoy what it has to offer. From the base of the hill, you can catch the cable car to the top of the hill station. At the top of the hill is Bhaleshwor Mahadev temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva. Spring and autumn are the best time of the year to visit this hill station. However, many Nepali people flock to Chandragiri in winter to play in the snow.

Location : Chandragiri, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal . Save on Google Maps .

10. Dakshinkali-Pharping and Kirtipur

A 1-day tour to Dakshinkali-Pharping and Kirtipur is arguably one of the best short tours around Kathmandu valley. Pharping is a beautiful Newar town that houses several Buddhist monasteries. Dakshinkali is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Kali, the goddess of death. And Kritipur is an ancient Newari town praised for boasting Newari culture. Combine these 3 places, and you get a great tour jampacked with enthralling experiences.

Dakshinkali-Pharping and Kirtipur tour starts with a scenic drive to Dakshikali, passing Chovar and Taudaha Lake. You can stop by and pay homage to this sacred temple and head to Pharping. Pharping monastery and the cave of Guru Padmasambhava are the two significant places in Pharping. After exploring Pharping, drive to Kritipur to relish the authentic experience of Newari culture. You can try delicious Newari cuisine, and if time permits, explore Chilamchu Stupa and the Bagh Bhairab Temple.

Location : Kathmandu Valley, Nepal . Save on Google Maps .

Where to go near Kathmandu

11. Bhaktapur

in Kathmandu, Nepal

Save on Google Maps .

Bhaktapur Travel Essentials

Where to stay Tours + discounts

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

12. Nagarkot

Nagararkot view of the Himalayas, in Nepal

Location : Bhaktapur district . Save on Google Maps .

Nagarkot Sunrise Tour

13. Changunarayan Temple

Changu Narayan temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal

Location : Changunarayan, Bhaktapur district . Save on Google Maps .

Beyond Kathmandu

Location : Central Nepal . Save on Google Maps .

Pokhara Travel Essentials

Top discounts

Nepal 4G SIM Card (Kathmandu pick-up)

Sarangkot Sunrise View

Pokhara to Kathmandu Bus Transfers (Shared)

See more : Pokhara travel tips

7 Places to Visit in Pokhara + Things To Do

Location : Lumbini province, Central Nepal . Save on Google Maps .

Lumbini Travel Essentials

Where to stay

Location : Sauraha, Chitwan National Park, Central Nepal . Save on Google Maps .

Chitwan Travel Essentials

3D2N Chitwan National Park Tour from Kathmandu

3D2N Chitwan National Park Tour from Pokhara

See more : Chitwan travel tips

6 Places To Visit in Chitwan & Sauraha Village

Everest region

Location : Sagarmatha National Park, East Nepal . Save on Google Maps .

Everest region Travel Essentials

Everest Mountain Flight

Everest Base Camp Trek from Kathmandu (12D11N)

See more : Everest region travel tips

Everest Base Camp Itinerary + Travel Guide

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Kathmandu that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Places to visit in Kathmandu

Kathmandu tourist spots, things to do in Kathmandu, where to go in Kathmandu & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

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How much does it cost to travel to Kathmandu? Click below to compare flight, ferry & buses fares posted on these booking sites:

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Click below & search recommended Kathmandu hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your  min/max price , travel dates, and  sort by review ratings . I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

Agoda Booking.com

Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Kathmandu Essentials & Top Discounts

Nepal Mobile Data SIM card/Pocket WIFI Travel with ease & confidence throughout your trip. Get a data SIM card or pocket WIFI device! Access Google Maps and all your favorite travel apps. Share your travel stories instantly with all your friends. Click below and choose your pick-up location: Nepal 4G SIM card See all discounts

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9 Things to do in Nepal + Tourist Spots

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11 best places to visit in kathmandu [nepal] in 2024.

Cazzy Magennis

Kathmandu is the chaotic capital of Nepal, the gateway to Everest and the Himalayas. It’s not as busy as many other capital cities, but I guess if you haven't been to India or Vietnam then you might disagree.

I spent a total of around 12 days in Kathmandu. Most of them working, but it did give me a lot of insight on the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

Word of warning, Kathmandu is very polluted, and you’ll feel it in the air when you’re walking.

You’ll also notice that you’ve got none of that beautiful scenery that you would imagine (or Kathmandu once had), because of the polluted air.

I will tell you, unless you’re hiking, you’re chance of seeing the Himalayas in any of Nepal is slim pickings.

But, don’t let that put you off! It’s still an amazing country and the city has lots of things to do and see.

So sit back and check out my Kathmandu travel guide featuring the best places to visit in Kathmandu .

thamel kathmandu

Travellerspoint

What is the best time to visit Kathmandu?

Kathmandu has good seasons for different events. For example, if you want to go trekking throughout the country, or even reach Everest base camp, then October and November is a good time.

June and August is monsoon season in Nepal and it will rain most days and it will be super warm.

If you want to reach Mount Everest, then the best time to try the climb is between April and May. (Good Luck!)

But overall, the best time to visit Kathmandu is winter. Bradley and I visited in November/December and the weather was perfect.

It’s cold in Kathmandu, so you’ll need a jacket and perhaps a hat and scarf in the evenings.

How long do I need to stay in Kathmandu?

Realistically, if you’re only here to see all the tourist sights then move onto trekking or visiting Pokhara or even Chitwan, then you’ll need around 3 nights. I think 3 nights is a perfect amount.

Obviously we stayed a lot longer, but that was for working. Kathmandu has lots of cool and cheap cafes with fast WiFi for working purposes.

But 3 nights is suffice to get everything sorted.

Most people just use Kathmandu as a base to sort or treks or buses to other destinations, since the one and only international airport is located here. But you should definitely give a few days to exploring the area and the Kathmandu valley in general.

Read Also: Where To Stay In Kathmandu

How to get to Kathmandu

The most convenient way to get to Kathmandu is via plane. Flying from India is super cheap (around £40-60) for a one way flight. You can also get flights with big international airlines from the UK/USA such as with Oman air, but a connection will be necessary.

Fun fact: Nepali airlines is banned from flying in the EU skies.

We flew with Nepali airlines from India to Kathmandu and it was on a massive airbus for a 1 hour journey, which clearly shows they are struggling (no sane airline uses an airbus for a short flight).

But the plane was excellent. Great leg room, meals included and an entertainment system!

You can also reach Kathmandu by bus from India from either the Varanasi or Gorakhpur area to the Nepalese border at Sunauli. Then you can take a local bus to Kathmandu from here.

I have not got a clue about prices, or border control etc as I think it’s so cheap to fly, it’d be stupid not too (even on a backpacker budget).

So if you have information, then let me know!  

11 Best Places To Visit In Kathmandu

Okay, now for the good stuff: the 10 best places to visit in Kathmandu. Some of these places I didn’t make it too (especially Everest Base Camp- I’ll be returning 2021), but they’re all highly recommend by others.

1. Durbar Square

Dubar is the Nepalese word for “palace”, so you can imagine this square has some royalty heritage to it. It’s where the cities kings were once crowned and legitimised. It now remains as the traditional heart of the old town and highlights some of Kathmandu's best traditional architecture.

The entire square was made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1979, but it was badly hurt by the 2015 earthquake that struck Nepal.

Many temples were harmed and reconstruction will now go on for years, but it’s still worth a visit, and it needs your tourism more than ever.

Things to note at the square:

  • One of the oldest buildings within the square was the Kasthamandap (pavilion of wood) which is a three-roofed building, but it was totally destroyed by the earthquake.
  • Taleju temple is quite beautiful and worth seeing from a distance
  • House of the living goddess is worth seeing too
  • Basantapur tower was damaged in the earthquake but still stands and is under reconstruction
  • Currently three structures are covered in scaffolding as of 2018, so there are still plenty more to see
  • Colourful Sadu will post for photos for you, but they will ask for money afterwards
  • You can get a long stay ticket for the same price of a normal ticket if you bring your passport and a picture (normal ticket is only valid for one day)
  • It’s about a 20 minute walk to here from Thamel, or you could opt for a taxi, but with the traffic, it could take longer!

The entrance is 1000 for foreigners.

kathmandu square

‍ 2. Garden of Dreams

Kathmandu can be hectic, and manic and generally crazy, so if you want somewhere that will escape all that, right within the middle of Thamel, then the garden of dreams is your answer.

It’s an oasis amongst the chaos, and it’s surprisingly well maintained (compared to other temples within the area).

It was built in the 20th century and it’s also known as the garden of six senses. It’s got flowers and fauna from different areas of the world, and it’s truly a beautiful area to just read a book.

There is even an on-site cafe to enjoy a cup of Himalayan coffee and a bite to eat.

The entrance is 200 for foreigners, or if you’re in Kathmandu for longer, then you can get an annual membership for 3000 rupees, perfect for escaping the daily chaos.

3. Boudhanath Stupa

I love a good stupa! And this one is 36 meters high and quite pretty, especially when it’s lit up at night.

It was built sometime after AD 600, so it’s old! It’s a perfectly proportioned monument and you can get up close and personal with it.

I recommend heading around 6 o'clock to get that shot with the beautiful lights and see it lit up.

It will cost you 400 to enter.

stupa in kathmandu

4. Shopping in Thamel

There are two main places to get everything you need in Nepal, for both trekking and souvenirs, and that’s Pokhara lakeside and Thamel.

Thamel is filled with markets and streets filled with shops selling everything from the iconic singing bowl (in all sizes), and handmade clothing, bags, soaps, teas, coffee, everything you could possibly need.

If you’re trekking, they are selling lots of rucksacks, clothing, poles, shoes, everything again you could need. It’s probably cheaper to get all your trekking stuff here than it is to buy it all back home (at least in the UK and USA).

One note is that if you are buying singing bowls or cool artifact type things, make sure you have a receipt.

At the airport, security search your hand luggage and sometimes if you don’t have a receipt for a product, they won’t let you through with it. So, just be sure by bringing one with you.

You can get some super unique gifts in Nepal, like cards and paper made out of elephant dung. Yes, you read that right.

thamel markets kathmandu

5. Kophan Monsestary

This is a beautiful Tibetan monastery located on the outskirts of Kathmandu. This means you’ll either need to get a taxi there, an organised tour, or you could walk.

If you want to meditate, then this is the place to do it. They offer a variety of meditation courses, and it’s in a perfect tranquil location.

You can visit in the morning and join in the morning meditation classes. Certainly a different experience.

You can visit here on the pleasant walk between Bodhnath and the Gokarna Mahadev Temple or even from Nagi Gompa in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. (more on that later)

A taxi here from Kathmandu should be around 600 rupees (about $5).

6. Hit up the cinema

What’s really surprising for a country that is so poor and struggling, is how modern their cinemas are, and cheap. Movies are in English and it cost 300 rupees for a ticket.

Even the food and drink inside the cinema is stupidly cheap. (Think back to the UK where the charge you about £5 for a drink and about £10 for a ticket!!)

Anyway, the cinemas are super modern and a great place to spend an evening, to just escape the crowds. There is a really good cinema in the Thamel area called QFX Chhaya Center.  

It’s in a massive building, which is on it’s way to becoming a really big and cool shopping mall. God knows how long it will take to finish at the rate the Nepalese get things done.

But if you go, across from the cinema on the 4th floor, there is a waffle bar, that does amazing waffles and churros. It’s also very cheap.

This is probably one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu for couples. It can be a very romantic date!

7. Visit Pashupatinath Temple

Bradleys friend told us about this temple before we got to Kathmandu. It’s a very famous temple located on the riverbanks, close to the airport. In the morning and sometimes early afternoon, they perform cremations.

So, you’ll see actual dead bodies, and most likely people mourning as it’s performed in the public sphere.

That’s definitely a unique experience. Not something I want to see myself personally. You don’t need up close and personal to the temple if you’re not Buddhist, but you can view from across the river.

It will cost you 1000 to view/enter.

It’s best to get a taxi here, and you can arrange a guide to give you more information if you desire. OR if you can’t afford a guide, then simply read up on it online too.

A guide would cost you around $5-10 depending on your haggling skills!

It’s open 4am to 9pm and a suggested viewing time is around one hour. Up to you!

stupas in thamel

8. Party party party in Thamel

If you want to get drunk and go clubbing, then Kathmandu is the place to do that. Particularly Thamel.

Whilst I didn’t go to t any of the nightclubs myself personally, I certainly heard the music until 4am from my hotel room, so it kind of felt like I was there….wow, I sound old.

If I didn't have a bad foot..I might have went dancing. (managed to make myself sound even older...I fell down a single step...I am not helping myself here...moving on...)

Anyway, to help you out on what’s hot and what isn’t, this is a great post to read . They have an Irish bar somewhere, that I missed out on (disappointed in myself), but if you’ve been, tell me what it’s like!

9. Visit Langtang National Park

This is the fourth national park in Nepal established in 1976. It’s the first Himalayan national park, and it’s the closest to Kathmandu.

So, if you want to see the Himalayas but can’t because of the air pollution then heading here is your best bet!

The best treks here are Langtang Valley, Helambu and Gosaikunda Lake. These cover much of the Langtang National park and the southern Helambu region.

You will need to be aware of the altitude and you may need to adjust to the altitude to avoid altitude sickness. Especially if you have type 1 diabetes like me. Altitude can wreak havoc on our blood sugars .

It’s about a 3 or 4 day trek from Kathmandu. This is great if you’re not planning on heading towards Everest or the Anuradhapura range in Pokhara.

1000 entrance into park for foreigners.

There is a whole host of information here on the area. I didn’t go myself, but I assume it’s just as amazing as all the other hikes in Nepal.

10. Arrange a trek to Everest Base Camp

Ah, Everest Base Camp. The stuff of dreams. I want to do Everest base camp. But not yet. I plan to return to Nepal in 2021 with the sole intention of doing Everest Base Camp. But, if you’re ready, then you can organise your base camp trek from Kathmandu.

I’ve done A LOT of research on Everest Base Camp, because I want to go myself, and one thing they do say is that your fitness level doesn’t need to be that of an athlete to do it.

So if you enjoy walking or hiking, then you’ll be able to do Everest base camp.

The Everest Base Camp hike takes 14 days round trip and it’s considered a moderate hike.

I don’t need to sell you on the views you get on this hike. It’s beyond amazing and something you should definitely do when you visit Nepal.

Your trek will start from Luka, in which you’ll need to fly to. (Apparently the world’s most dangerous flight...eek) Anyway, it’s about 30 minutes and make sure it’s included in the final price you pay.

This is what you’ll typically get:

  • An exciting mountain flight of Kathmandu / Lukla.
  • Namche Bazaar, the gateway of Mt. Everest
  • Sherpa culture and lifestyle in Khumjung
  • Everest panoramic view from Syangboche.
  • Tengboche monastery
  • Climbing to Kala Patthar (5545m)
  • Great view of Mt, Everest, Mt Lhotse and other mountains from Kala Patthar.

Oh, by the way, you can trek Everest Base Camp with no guide if you wish! But sometimes it’s nice to have a group to bond with, and well, someone to help carry your stuff!

A full trip including flights, food, accommodation, porter, sleeping bags,accessories etc, can be from $900 to $2000.

Oh, and I know this isn’t technically in Kathmandu, but you have to start there regardless, because that’s where the international and domestic airport is.

walking to everest base camp

11. Visit the Champa Devi hiking trail

Last but not least on my list of best places to visit in Kathmandu is the Champa Devi hiking trail.

This is a great day hike, for those who don’t have the time, money or the effort required to do long hikes.  

Champa Devi is a magnificent hill that is located to the south of Kathmandu valley.

It’s situated at an elevation of 2,285m, and has a Buddhist and Hindu shrine on the top.

It will take a 3 hour incline walk and you’ll summit the top and be greeted with amazing views of Kathmandu valley and the western Himalayan range including Langtang, Gauri Shanker, Jugal, Dorge Lakpa and many others.

view of kathmandu from above

Best place to stay in Kathmandu

If you’re looking for a central area close to everything then Thamel is the best area to stay. Yes, it’s busy, but that's convenient. Plus there are a lot of hotels to choose from and many of them are situated so you can’t hear the noise.

I stayed in both OYO Milarepa and Hotel Amalyris and they were both quiet, clean, modern and great value. They were pretty much right beside each other and they are just down a little side street just off the main road, so it’s a perfect location!

On my first night in Kathmandu we stayed just 1 km outside Thamel so we were close to the bus station as we were going to Pokhara, but honestly, everything is so close as Kathmandu isn’t really a big place, so wherever you decide to stay, you’ll be fine.

For a full rundown of the best places to stay, check out my guide on the best accommodation in Kathmandu .

Getting around Kathmandu

There is no fancy bus system or metro system in Kathmandu. There are two main ways to get around: taxi and walking. OR, if you are really brave, you can rent out a moped in Thamel.

People advertise it in shops, but considering I spent most of my time trying not to get run over by mopeds and being stuck in traffic, I don’t think it’s a great place to drive one. I don’t think it will get you anywhere quicker!

Taxis can always be negotiated. Once we asked for a taxi to Nagarkot , he started at 4500, and he went down to 2000. So, generally it’s usually half of what they say.

A taxi to the airport from Thamel should be at the very most 600! Less is better.

temple in kathmandu

Where to go after visiting Kathmandu

Kathmandu is always the starting point and end point of a trip to Nepal. So if you’re looking for some inspiration for you onward journey then I can recommend Pokhara .

It’s about an 8 hour bus ride away and Pokhara is amazing. Accomodation, bars, shops and everything you need is located around a beautiful river. There are lots of day hikes and of course it’s the base spot for hiking the Anuradhapura range.

It has something for everyone and I highly recommend it. Or, if you want to head into the heat and opt for a Nepal safari, then make your way to Chitwan !

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on the best places to visit in Kathmandu. If you’ve got anymore suggestions you think I should add to the list then drop a comment below.

Happy travels :)

Read Also: Our 3 Week Nepal Itinerary

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Top 10 Beautiful Places to Visit in Kathmandu

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Looking for a spot to get a departure from your concerns without consuming an opening in your pocket then Kathmandu is your objective.

Kathmandu travel presentation

Kathmandu, the wonderful capital of Nepal, has a rich history tracing back to the twelfth century and there are many amazing places to visit in Kathmandu.

Kathmandu might be somewhat unpleasant around the edges, yet when you burrow further, it will amaze and amuse.

It’s a feverish, occupied, and noisy city, and there’s a decent possibility you will either become hopelessly enamored with Kathmandu, or you’ll simply need to run away to the Garden of Dreams.

The scents, sounds, and sights as you haggle from the air terminal into town will attack your faculties.

Many come to Nepal for the fantastic Himalayas and the traveling that they offer, however, the tumultuous antiquated capital has its exceptional marvels.

Assuming you at any point wonder that the ages-old culture exists and is safeguarded by individuals then the craftsmanship, food, writing, and the music of Kathmandu will bring you into the sluggish ride of old history.

Related: Alluring Places to Visit in Pokhara for Every Tourist

Kathmandu is the center point to various world legacy destinations.

Alongside its rich culture, it is otherwise called the biggest metropolitan city in the Himalayas district.

List of 10 best places to visit in Kathmandu

Let us find these 10 best places to visit in Kathmandu which will give a lifetime experience.

Kopan Monastery

Boudhanath stupa, garden of dreams.

  • Pashupatinath

The 3 Durbar Squares

Swayambhunath, narayanhiti palace museum, thamel district.

  • Jagannath temple

Continue reading to find out the detail about all the destinations included in the above queue…

This spot is established with Tibetan culture which likewise offers contemplation courses and better approaches for realizing which will give the resurrection to your brain and soul.

Offer yourself a reprieve from the feverish timetable, abandon your stress, enjoy the profound experience of yoga and find internal you.

Otherwise called the Boudha Stupa, it was situated on the antiquated shipping lane of Nepal and traces back to 600 AD.

The goliath Buddha eyes on the highest point of the stupa and the beautiful petition banners make it one eye-capturing outline.

The stupa was hit by the 2015 seismic tremor however it was subsequently reestablished and opened to guests only eighteen months after the quake.

Try to go to one of the housetop cafés for the best spot to watch dusk in Kathmandu.

The Garden of Dreams was made for neighborhood individuals and travelers to come to loosen up and restore the body and soul.

It is a serious differentiation to what in particular is outside of the doors as green grass, lakes loaded up with lilies, and lavish trees which all meet up to make a little greenhouse in Kathmandu.

Having this little piece of heaven in probably the most active city in Asia truly helps take your brain of the relative multitude of insane things happening outside of the complex.

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath, albeit very costly to enter, is probably the best spot to visit close to Kathmandu; the encounters conceivable are astounding.

Start your experience by visiting Pashupatinath Temple, which is the biggest design in the space painted gold.

Asan Tole is somewhat similar to an external store with everything from intriguing flavors, marigolds, and yak off-slices to containers of homemade libation by the liter.

Asan Tole is so famous for cultivators and dealers that produce from the furthest reaches of the Kathmandu Valley is purchased consistently.

Wandering around Asan Tole is perhaps the best thing to do in Kathmandu.

Durbar Square just means Royal Square and these old spots have a portion of Nepal’s most grand design.

Kathmandu Durbar square with its old Palace, sanctuaries, and sadhus is an incredible sight, from the youngster goddess Kumari’s castle to the tight twisting roads of shophouses.

This sanctuary is one of the most fantastic places to visit in Kathmandu and structures on the site date back more than 1500 years.

The intricate highlights a principle Stupa with serene Buddha eyes and more modest sanctuaries that encompass the stupa.

There was broad harm from the quake in 2015 yet it has been nearly fixed about a year and a half later.

The previous imperial royal residence to King Gyanendra was changed to the People’s exhibition hall after he was expelled in 2008.

He was accepted to have taken power after killing the imperial family in 2001.

You can visit the 52 rooms of the royal residence getting a brief look at how the eminence of Nepal lived.

Found only 750 meters from Thamel making it a decent spot to visit if you. are remaining nearby.

Thamel has become perhaps the most famous objection among tourists visiting Kathmandu.

A brilliant area loaded with occupied, restricted roads and rear entryways, Thamel offers all that sightseers need.

From shopping to lodgings to shifted foods to suit each taste – there is such a great amount to do in Thamel! Likewise, the whole region is a wi-fi zone.

Jagannath Temple

The enrapturing cutting on the body of the place of refuge makes it one of the most stunning explorer places in Kathmandu.

It draws in zillions of guests overall as the year progressed.

When to Visit Kathmandu?

The best ideal opportunity to visit Kathmandu is during a similar time as journeying as the traveling season in Nepal.

Generally, September to November is the best and ideal opportunity to visit the city.

During this season, you’ll track down dry climate, clear skies, and a lot of widespread developments.

On the off chance that you end up in Nepal , make certain to give the city something other than a few days to plan for your trip.

All things being equal, partake in the way of life, neighborhood individuals, and delightful view.

About the Author

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

Bella Hartley, founder of TraveLover Planet, hails from San Francisco and has a background in Anthropology and Journalism. Her love for travel and storytelling led her from a media career to creating a platform dedicated to global exploration. A seasoned traveler, Bella cherishes the stories and connections she makes on her journeys. Off the road, she enjoys yoga and experimenting with international cuisines. Join Bella as she inspires others to embrace the wonders of travel.

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Kathmandu Itinerary: 25 Epic Places to Visit in Nepal in 2024

January 11, 2024

Paula Martinelli

Wondering what are the best places to visit in Nepal?

Kathmandu has plenty of fascinating places to visit from ancient stupas to colorful markets and rich cultures. The capital city of Nepal is the first port of call when heading to the country and its famous Himalayan Mountain Range. A well-planned Kathmandu itinerary, is the best introduction to what Nepal has to offer. Namaste!

I spent 30 days exploring Nepal and during my time in the country, I learned all the amazing things about Nepalese culture . I traveled around Kathmandu with a very experienced local guide , and I explored the amazing tourist spots and landmarks, as well as the hidden gems in the city.

Kathmandu is a chaotic, vibrant, busy and cultural city in Nepal. Each district of the city has its own feel and energy to be explored. From the shopping paradise of Thamel, to incredible stupas and temples, the places to visit in Kathmandu will just amaze you!

I am here to share with you the most amazing places to visit in Kathmandu with all the details you need to know. This guide has the best places to visit in Kathmandu, plus very helpful tips, a handy neighborhood guide with the best areas to stay in Kathmandu and what you need to know to plan a perfect trip to Kathmandu.

You will love these articles ❤️:

  • A Perfect Nepal Itinerary
  • 30 Things you need to know before you travel to Nepal

Places in Kathmandu do visit

Essential Tips for your Kathmandu Itinerary

Where is kathmandu in nepal.

Kathmandu, the capital and the largest city of Nepal, is nestled within the Kathmandu Valley, situated in the central region of this diverse nation.

Perched at an altitude of 1,296 meters above sea level, Kathmandu has approximately 1.4 million residents. While Nepali is the primary language spoken in Kathmandu, it’s heartening to note that English is widely understood, especially in the city’s prominent tourist destinations.

Nepal has over 26 million inhabitants , and it shares borders with China, particularly Tibet to the north, while the southern, eastern, and western frontiers are embraced by the vast expanse of India. So, when you’re curious about Kathmandu’s location, you’re essentially delving into the heart of an incredible land steeped in rich culture, history, and natural beauty.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

How Many Days on Your Kathmandu Itinerary?

I recommend to plan at least three days to explore the complex Kathmandu. This should be enough amount of time to enjoy a city tour of Kathmandu’s famous sights plus make day trips to other historic landmarks just outside the city.

If you manage your time wisely, and hire a local guide for a very affordable price, you will be able to squeeze both city tours and day trips into just two days.

But of course, if you want to add all these amazing 25 things to your Kathmandu itinerary, you will need more time in the city. So just pick your preferences and priorities.

What to Expect when you Visit Kathmandu

As I said before, Kathmandu is a chaotic city, including the traffic and pollution to the point that you will want to wear a face mask. I got sick from the pollution, so I would definitely wear a mask next time.

On a positive side, Kathmandu is a very safe city to visit , and people are friendly and they want to get to know you and show their city. They are so proud of Kathmandu.

As far as the dress code in Kathmandu, make sure you cover your shoulders and knees with respect to the Nepalese culture. We already know that as responsible travelers , we need to follow these rules to enter temples and stupas. But in Nepal, this rule should be respected everywhere you go. Choose to dress in layers, and if you forgot something, you can always shop in Kathmandu.

It is easy enough to visit Kathmandu independently. But if you prefer, you can hire a guide to arrange all the plans for you. I used  this professional local guide , and I highly recommend them.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

How to Get Around Kathmandu

I recommend choosing accommodations in the neighborhood where you can just walk around. I stayed at the Beautiful Kathmandu hotel in the Thamel area and I had a great experience just walking to restaurants, shops, and most places I wanted to visit. Further below, you can find a whole section of the best areas to stay in in Kathmandu.

It is safe to walk around , but the traffic is chaotic, especially close to the tourist areas. There is so much to see and explore in Kathmandu, that you will want to walk around to see and experience every corner.

If you are planning to visit further areas , I recommend taking a taxi or riksja (bicycle taxi), as they are easy to use and very affordable. To go from one district to the other, expect to pay only 500 Nepalese Rupees ($4 USD).

You can also hire a professional local guide to show you around, and introduce you to the best of Kathmandu Valley. 

Places in Kathmandu to visit

The Best Time to Visit Kathmandu

The best time to visit Kathmandu is during September, October, and November . During this time of year, the weather is dry with beautiful clear skies. It’s the perfect time of year to get spectacular views of the city and its surrounding valley. 

In September the temperature ranges from 66°F to 82°F (19°C to 28°C), whilst if you decide to visit in November you’re looking at temperatures between 42°F to 68°F (6° to 20°C).

Places in Kathmandu do visit

The Money Situation in Nepal

The Nepali Rupee is the official currency of Nepal. We recommend carrying a combination of Nepali Rupee and US dollars. The current exchange rate is $1 USD = 103Rs.

You can find ATMs just about anywhere in most of Kathmandu. Most ATMs have a maximum withdrawal limit of 10,000Rs, however, some NABIL machines have a 35,000Rs limit.

  • ATM: It can be quite frustrating to deal with the 10,000Rs limit on ATM withdrawals, as the associated bank fees can quickly add up. However, we strongly advise withdrawing as much cash as possible each time you visit an ATM. This will ensure that you have enough money to cover any unforeseen issues that may arise, such as political or social unrest.
  • CREDIT CARD: Credit cards are commonly accepted in Kathmandu at most tourist hotels, restaurants, airlines, and tour agencies; however, fees may apply.

Places in Kathmandu do visit

The Best Places in Kathmandu to Visit

1. thamel neighborhood: the best introduction to kathmandu.

Thamel is definitely one of the best places in Kathmandu to visit, and where I recommend anyone to start your visit. Here you will see and learn a lot about Kathmandu, and it will help you to situate in Nepal (or feel overwhelmed).

This neighborhood is home to an array of quirky cafes, traditional restaurants, and plenty of market stalls. It’s the oldest part of the city, and you could spend all day weaving through its atmospheric alleys. 

Here is also a great place to shop and grab souvenirs or you can head there in the evening to enjoy the nightlife. It’s one of the most popular places in Kathmandu and is located near many of the top sights.  

  • It’s important to be cautious of cars while walking around on foot.
  • Make sure to get a receipt for whatever you purchase, they may ask for it at the airport. 
  • It’s a great place to get reasonably priced trekking gear.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

READ NEXT: How to Plan a Trip to Nepal: Ultimate Guide

2. Kathmandu Durbar Square: Best place in Kathmandu to visit to enjoy the architecture

Here you start to feel more familiar with the highlights of things to do in Kathmandu. But expect to see a lot of construction in this area, as it was hit very badly in the 2015 earthquake.

Durbar Square is the heart of the city and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It’s a lively public square with a great history; it’s where the kings of Kathmandu were once crowned. Durbar square is home to some of the oldest buildings in the capital, so is a must for any Kathmandu itinerary.

  • Entry fee: Foreigners; 1000 NPR ($8.30), SAARC Nationals; 150 NPR ($1.24), Nepalese; free.
  • Reserve a half-day to visit the Durbar Square area as there are a lot of things to see, and amazing pictures to take
  • The former hippie street ‘Freak Street’ is found here.
  • If you visit in the morning, there will be fewer crowds and you’ll get a more authentic experience. 

Nepal Travel Guide and how to plan a trip to Nepal

3. Hanuman Dhoka: Kathmandu’s royal palace

Hanuman Dhoka is located within Durbar Square and is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. It was once the royal palace of Malla Kings and the Shah dynasty. 

The architecture is simply incredible, and there are a variety of buildings dedicated to different gods throughout. However, the entire complex is derived from Lord Hanuman, and there is a statue of him located at the entrance. 

  • Opening hours: 9 am – 5 pm, every day of the week. 
  • Entry fee: Entrance is included with the Durbar Square ticket. 
  • Insider Tip: Leave a couple of hours to explore the complex, as there are so many sights to see.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

4. Kumari Bahal: Where you can see Kathmandu’s living goddess

The Kumari Bahal is home to the Kumari – a girl who’s chosen to be the town’s living goddess. She is considered to be a living symbol of Devi. 

Within the building is Kumari Chowk, which is a three-story courtyard. If you head here between 9 am and 11 am, the Kumari will show herself through the window. 

However, it’s also a beautiful area to explore even if you don’t manage to catch a glimpse of her. The building was built in 1757 with red brick, and the architecture here is incredible.

  • Entry fee: Entrance to the courtyard is included with the Durbar Square ticket. 
  • Photographing the Kumari is forbidden! 
  • If you come here during the Indra Jaya festival, you might even get to see her bless the king.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

5. Ashok Binayak: A very important shrine in Kathmandu

Ashok Binayak is a golden Hindu shrine located at the top of Maru Tole, just on the eastern side of Kathmandu Durbar Square. It’s a shrine to Lord Ganesha, who is one of the most loved gods in the city. Although tiny, Ashok Binayak is one of the most important Ganesh shrines in Kathmandu Valley. 

  • Be respectful during your visit as locals worship here. 
  • It’s one of the best places to learn about the city’s culture. 
  • It can get pretty busy during the day, so head there early in the morning.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

6. Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple)

Visiting Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the best things to do in Kathmandu. Swayambhunath is the oldest complex of its kind in Nepal and is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. 

It dates back to around the 5th century, and today is fondly known as the ‘Monkey Temple’. This is due to the hundreds of monkeys who live here, who are considered to be holy. Getting to see this amazing sight is no easy feat with over 360 steps to climb, however, the panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley are worth the exertion!

  • The hike to the top requires a reasonable level of fitness.
  • A guided tour by one of the temple monks is the best way to learn about Swayambhunath. 
  • Try and visit on a clear day to get the best views.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

7. Boudhnath Stupa: One of the most popular Kathmandu attractions

Boudhnath Stupa is without a doubt, one of the most important places in Kathmandu to visit. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important religious sites in the city. It’s the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal and dominates Kathmandu’s skyline. 

With brightly colored flags fluttering around, surrounding monasteries and prayer offerings, it’s a sight not to be missed. It’s not hard to see why Boudhnath Stupa is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu. Make sure you stroll clockwise around the stupa 13 times to set an intention.

  • Entry fee: Foreigners; 400 NPR ($3.30), SAARC Nationals; 100 NPR ($0.80), Nepalese; free. 
  • Boudhnath Stupa is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
  • Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
  • The best way to get there is to hire a private tour or to take a private taxi.

Amazing facts about nepal is the temples

8. Garden of Dreams: A beautiful outdoor space in Kathmandu

Kathmandu can be a chaotic city, so the Garden of Dreams is the perfect place to escape. The gardens were built in 1920 and were originally private. However, today the public can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this place. This Edwardian-style garden has plenty to explore with exquisite fountains, pavilions, and lots of flora and fauna. 

  • Opening hours: 9 am – 6 pm, every day of the week. 
  • Entry fee: Foreigners; 200 NPR ($1.66), SAARC Nationals; 200 NPR ($1.66), Nepalese; 100 NPR ($0.83)
  • Insider tip: You’re allowed to take food inside making this place perfect for a picnic.

9. Pashupatinath Temple: One of the most sacred Hindu temples in Nepal

This is another important World Heritage Site in Nepal, a temple dedicated to the god Shiva. This is the oldest Hing Temple in Kathmandu and the current form of the temple was constructed in 1692, making it at the top of the list of places in Kathmandu to visit.

Pashupatinath Temple is a working temple and is one of the most popular attractions in Kathmandu. Every day, elderly and sick people arrive at the temple to find shelter for the last several weeks of their lives, to meet death, to be cremated, and lately, journey with the waters of the sacred river Bagmati, which later meets the holy river the Ganges.

Here you’ll also see people mourning their loved ones in the public square. It is believed that those who die here are reborn as a human, regardless of any misconduct that could worsen their karma.

This temple gives you a truly unique look at the local culture, and it’s something incredibly special. It’s important to note that you may see bodies when you visit this temple, but don’t let this put you off the experience. 

  • Opening hours: 4am – 12pm, 5pm – 9pm.
  • Entry fee: Foreigners; 1,000 NPR ($8.30), SAARC Nationals; 1000 NPR ($8.30), Nepalese; free
  • Insider tip: As this temple performs cremations, it may not be suitable for sensitive people or children

Places in Kathmandu to visit

10. Narayanhiti Palace Museum: An important place in Kathmandu’s history

Narayanhiti Palace Museum is one of the most important places in Kathmandu to visit when it comes down to Kathmandu’s history. One of Nepal’s biggest changes was going from a monarchy to a democracy, which gives this place a spot in the history books. However, that’s not all the palace is known for. 

It used to be home to King Birendra and his family, until the Royal massacre on the 1st June 2001. Unfortunately on this day, the king and 9 other members of the royal family were shot dead, which is an incredibly dark event in Nepal’s history. 

  • Opening hours: 11 am – 3 pm, except Tuesdays.
  • Entry fee: Foreigners; 500 NPR ($4.20), SAARC Nationals; 250 NPR ($2.09), Nepalese; 100 NPR ($0.83)
  • Insider tip: Allow yourself a couple of hours to wander around the palace.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

11. Chhauni Museum: One of the top places in Kathmandu to visit to learn the history

Chhauni Museum is one of the most popular museums in the city. It’s the national museum of Nepal and houses a wide variety of unique exhibits. 

The museum is split into three main historical collections, and the main areas to see are the historical building, the Juddha art gallery, and the Buddhist art gallery. Popular exhibits include the beautiful statues of Nepali deities, the famous cloth paintings, and the statue of Jayaraman which is 1800 years old. 

  • Opening hours: 10:30am – 3:30pm, expect Tuesdays. 
  • Entry fee: Foreigners; 150 NPR ($1.24), SAARC Nationals; 50 NPR ($0.42), 25 Nepalese; NPR ($0.21)
  • Insider tip: Make sure to visit each main area of the museum as each one offers unique and interesting exhibits.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

12. Kophan Monastery : A beautiful monastery on the outskirts of Kathmandu

Kophan Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, located near Boudhanath, just outside of Kathmandu, and is a must-visit. The monastery is perched on top of a hill in a beautiful location and is a great place to get away from Kathmandu’s hustle and bustle. 

With outstanding colors and magnificent decorations, it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular tourist attraction. You can also stay at the monastery on a month-long meditation course where you will learn the teachings of Buddha.

  • Opening hours: 9am – 5pm
  • Entry fee: There is no entry fee for a day’s visit to the monastery
  • Insider tip: Make sure to dress appropriately – Keep your upper body, shoulders, and knees covered.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

13. Champa Devi Hiking Trail: A great day hike from Kathmandu

This is just one of the many amazing hikes in Nepal . The Champa Devi Hiking Trail is a must whilst staying in the city. The trail offers incredible views of Kathmandu Valley and the Western Himalayan ranges and isn’t an extreme hike. 

The elevation is only 2,285m so isn’t nearly as strenuous as the other hikes in Nepal. If you love a good mountain view but aren’t up for the exertion this is the hike for you. 

  • Bhanjyang is the trailhead and is a 45-minute drive from Kathmandu. 
  • A round trip hike to the top and back takes around 5-7 hours. 
  • Make sure you pack plenty of water and snacks for energy.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

14. Chabahil Stupa: One of the quieter stupas in Kathmandu

Chabahill is a Buddhist Stupa, incredibly underrated, and is one of the quietest stupas in the city. That means you can easily explore, and have a wander around without fighting through the crowds, and it is a real gem and should be on your list of places in Kathmandu to visit.

It’s located right on the Ring Rd and is the fourth largest stupa in the Kathmandu area. This stupa has been rebuilt many times, and the most recent was in 2015, after the damage from the Gorkha earthquake.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

15. Attend a Yoga Mediation Retreat in Kathmandu

I really recommend you to attend a yoga retreat if you are into yoga. I have been practicing yoga for a few years now, and it was an amazing experience. I got the chance to practice for a few days, and this is a must-do while you are in the Kathmandu area.

During my retrieve, I had the chance to practice meditation, chants, and learn so much about proper nutrition, cleansing, breathing, and many things that I still use in my everyday life. You can choose to form a half-day, up to 5,000 hours. I met some other ladies who were doing the retrieve for 3-months and they shared with me, that it was a life change opportunity for them.

  • Check prices and availability here and book in advance
  • You have the option to choose to learn Buddhism and practice yoga mediation with monks
  • If you are just curious and don’t want to spend several days, some places offer only a full day, such as this place in Kathmandu Valley .

16. Take a Scenic Flight to Mount Everest

If you are not planning to climb Everest or are short of time to hike to the Everest Base Camp, you either have the option to take a helicopter tour or another option is to take a flight from Kathmandu to the top of the world. I have done this tour, and I recommend it, as the views are indescribable. And once in Nepal, you need to see Everest from above, right?

The flight leaves from the Tribhuvan International Airport. It is a one-hour flight, where you will fly over different peaks, and the highlight is taking insane pictures from the tallest peak in the world. At the end of the flight, they will offer a glass of champagne to celebrate this moment, and you will get a personalized certificate.

  • Check prices and availability and book in advance .
  • This tour offers a hotel pick-up option at 5:30 am.
  • it is only 15 passengers on the flight, so guess what? everyone gets a window seat.
  • This is once in a lifetime opportunity to see the highest pick on the Planet from above

Places in Kathmandu to visit

17. Take a Private Helicopter Tour to the Everest Base Camp

If you’ve been dreaming about this extraordinary experience to hike to the Everest Base Camp, but are short on time (an average of 20 days is needed to hike to EBC and back), then this is the perfect opportunity for you. You can book this Everest Base Camp landing tour  to be at the top of the world in as short as 4 hours!

The great thing about experiencing Everest Base Camp on a helicopter tour is that many of them depart from Kathmandu.

This  helicopter day to u r  offers multiple landings, and includes hotel pickup and drop off from Kathmandu. There’s also an option to include breakfast at Hotel Everest View if you’re after an extra special experience. You can read the whole review I wrote on this article .

Places in Kathmandu do visit

18. Take a Chandragiri Cable Car Tour

This is one of the best places in Kathamandu to visit, where you will have views of the city from the top. This is a truly amazing trip as you ride effortlessly to the top of Chandragiri Hill (Elev. 2520 m), and will have incredible views of the snow-capped Himalayas and beyond. The ride to the top takes just 10 minutes of truly breath-taking scenery as your gondola rises above the dense jungle below

  • You can have lunch at one of the finest restaurants in Kathmandu, while you enjoy outstanding views.
  • They also offer hotel pick-up included, if you decide to go on a tour.

19. Bhojan Griha: Experience authentic Nepali cuisine at its best

Bhojan Griha is a 150-year-old heritage building that used to house the late Royal Priest of the King of Nepal. 

Today, it’s one of Kathmandu’s most authentic Nepalese restaurants. Each dish is prepared using organic ingredients from their own farm! The delicious food is also accompanied by folk dancing and music from Nepal. If you’re looking for a unique Kathmandu experience, this is it!

  • There is a local shop where you can find organic food or handmade souvenirs
  • Besides the great food, you can also experience the traditional folk dances and music from Nepal
  • I really recommend trying their momo, and the Mas Ko Dal (lentil prepared in a special pot served with heated purified butter and herbs) is to die for

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

20. Attend a Kathmandu Cooking Class: A must-do in Kathmandu

Still talking about the amazing Nepal food, I really recommend attending a Kathmandu Cooking Class. They will teach you a 4-course meal. From momo (Nepalis dumpling) to Dal Fry with Chapati. You cook and eat it all, so it is better you be hungry!

I have done this cooking class in Kathmandu , and I loved it. The classes start right from the basic step—showing love for the ingredients. They will take you to the local vegetable and fruit markets to pick fresh and organic ingredients. The transport will be in a rickshaw, which is so traditional, and also fun.

What I love the most about this class, is that besides learning how to cook like a local, the profit from the cooking school is used to fund social programs for our organization, Journey Nepal, which has been operating since 2012.

  • My recommendation: Check prices and availability and book in advance.
  • Opening hours: Open 7 days a week from 9 am to 1:30 pm & 4:30 pm.
  • They are located in the center of Kathmandu and offer hotel pick up service
  • The staff are extremely nice and the trained chefs are fully fluent in English

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

The Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu Valley

21. changu narayan: the oldest working temple complex in kathmandu.

The complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes shrines to Ashta Matrika, Chhinnamasta, Kileshwor, Krishna, Lord Shiva, and Vishnu. The main shrine located within the complex is guarded on all sides by pairs of real and mythical beasts. These include elephants, lions, winged lions, and ram-horned griffons.

Unfortunately, Changu Narayan and other buildings in the complex were badly affected by the 2015 earthquake, but restorations are currently underway. 

  • How to get there: Changu Narayan is a 40-minute drive from Kathmandu.
  • Opening hours: 6:30am-6:00pm
  • Entry fee: Foreigners; 350 NPR ($2.93), SAARC Nationals; 250 NPR ($2.09), Nepalese; free.

Places in Kathmandu to visit

22. Lalitpur (or Patan)

Lalitpur is the oldest city in the Kathmandu Valley and was originally named Patan. The city was founded during the 3rd century BC and was later expanded during the 6th century. 

It’s the 3rd largest city in Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara and is known as the ‘City of Beauty. Some of the most popular places to see include Uku Bahal, Durbar Square, Patan Museum, and the Royal Palace. 

  • How to get there: Lalitpur (or Patan) is a 35-minute drive from Kathmandu. I recommend this tour as you can visit Patan and Bhaktapur on the same day.
  • Insider tip: The city is made up of courtyards connected by narrow alleyways. 
  • Where to eat: Honacha is one of Patan’s oldest restaurants – they serve delicious dishes!

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

23. Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur is another of Nepal’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This ancient city has so many incredible sights to see including Dattatreya Temple, Durbar Square, Nyatapola Temple, Pujari Math, and Taumadhi Square. This makes one of my favorite places in Kathmandu to visit, so I really recommend you to take a short day trip.

Interestingly enough, Bhaktapur has more temples per sq foot than Kathmandu or Lalitpur. The city is also renowned for its colorful festivals, culture, and traditional dances. Unfortunately, Bhaktapur was heavily damaged during the 2015 earthquake, and to help with restoration costs the entry fee has increased. 

  • How to get there: Bhaktapur is a 40-minute drive from Kathmandu. You can book your tour in advance with this guide.
  • Entry fee: Foreigners; 1500 NPR ($13), SAARC Nationals; 500 NPR ($4.20)
  • Insider tip: Bhaktapur is well known for its festivals (Biska Jatra, Holi & Sila Charhe).

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

24. Bungmati Village

Bungmati Village is a beautiful Newari village and is virtually untouched when it comes to modern development. Bungmati dates back to the 6th century, so is perfect if you want to see a bit of history. 

The villagers live very simply and traditionally, so it’s a great place to see a more traditional way of life in Nepal. It’s also believed to be the birthplace of the deity Rato Machindranath – the God of Rain. 

  • How to get there: Bungmati Village is a 40-minute drive from Kathmandu.
  • Book in advance: Guided tours of Bungmati Village are available – check here for price
  • Insider tip: The Temple of Machindranath is the main place to visit.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

25. Go Hiking in the Kathmandu Valley

Last, but not least of this amazing list of places to visit in Kathmandu, is to add at least one hiking at the Kathmandu Valley. Here you will find some of the best hikes in Nepa l, with a mix of natural beauty, cultural richness, and breathtaking vistas, you will certainly have an extraordinary trekking experience.

Four of the best hikes in Kathmandu Valley are:

  • Shivapuri National Park Hike: A serene escape, just a short drive from Kathmandu, this hike offers lush forests, glistening streams, and an opportunity to spot diverse flora and fauna.
  • Chisapani-Nagarkot Hike: A picturesque trail leading to Nagarkot, renowned for its sunrise views over the Himalayas. Best experienced in spring and autumn.
  • Phulchoki Hike: Known for its dense rhododendron forests and panoramic vistas. Visit in spring when the rhododendrons are in full bloom.
  • Namo Buddha Hike: A spiritual journey to a sacred Buddhist site with incredible mountain views. Ideal in the cooler months of autumn and winter.

The best part? All these hikes are just a short drive away from Kathmandu, making it incredibly convenient to explore these natural wonders. Hiking in Kathmandu Valley is a harmonious blend of tranquility, adventure, and cultural immersion, making it an absolute must for anyone seeking an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Porter in Nepal exploring

Best Places to Stay in Kathmandu

The good news is that Kathmandu has plenty of options, it depends on your preference and budget. Most of the accommodations in Kathmandu are located around the Thamel district. I stayed in this area, and I highly recommend it – as the best restaurants, bars, shops, and cafes are located here. You can walk to dinner, and also, to some of the main tourist spots in the city.

The good news is that accommodation is very cheap in Nepal it varies from $30 for a 3-star hotel to $200 for luxury accommodation. I use and recommend booking your hotel in Kathmandu with  Booking.com  as you can check reviews, and have the flexibility to cancel it.

This is the busiest and most visited part of the city. Here you can find hundreds of guest houses, hotels, and hostels. It is the best area to stay in, especially if you are visiting Kathmandu for the first time. Here you can soak in the real Kathmandu, walk the streets while shopping, or just do people’s watching.

MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION |  Beautiful Kathmandu (⭐️ 8.3) This is where I stayed and I highly recommend it. The service is excellent, they have a continental breakfast included in the price. The rooms are very comfortable, and the location is excellent. I just walked everywhere, including safe to walk at night if you need to go out and grab a drink or dinner. Rates can be as low as $35 per day.

MID RANGE |  Nepali Ghar Hotel (⭐️ 9.0) has a restaurant, bar, and terrace area plus a fitness center. It is a modern boutique hotel, with very nice decor and friendly staff. The location is very convenient and a continental breakfast is included in the price. It has very high reviews on Booking.com

LUXURY |  Baber Mahal Vilas (⭐️ 9.3) besides being listed as a luxury, the good news is that the price is not steep, the average is $150 per day. This is a very beautiful hotel, with an excellent restaurant that serves dinner and breakfast. The amenities are great and it is a little oasis inside the Thamel area.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

This is a very nice area, located just outside Thamel. Here you can find high-quality and luxurious hotels. This is a quieter neighborhood if you are looking for a relaxing time in Kathmandu. Here you can find restaurants and sweet shops situated in Lazimpat among various shopping outlets.

BUDGET |  Hotel Wawa (⭐️ 9.0) is very affordable, ranging as low as $30 per night. Located only 1.4 miles from Hanuman Dhoka, the hotel offers a restaurant, and breakfast buffet style is included in the price.

MID RANGE |  Maya Manor Boutique Hotel (⭐️ 8.3) is very well located only 1 mile from Durbar Square, it has a restaurant, bar, and free Wi-Fi. This is a beautiful classic building with friendly staff and very reasonable prices. Makes a great option for comfortable on a budget.

LUXURY |  Nomad Hotel (⭐️ 8.9) is located at Durbar Square, featuring very comfortable rooms for you to feel very spoiled. The continental breakfast is excellent, and this all without breaking your bank account, as the average price is $150 – not bad for a “luxury” stay!

Nepal trip cost

How to Get to Kathmandu

✈️ flight to kathmandu.

Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is the main international airport in Nepal. If you’re flying into the country, you will generally arrive in the capital first. 

If you’re flying into Kathmandu it’s worth booking a daytime flight and grabbing a window seat, to make the most out of the incredible views.

🚌 Bus to Kathmandu

It’s possible to travel overland into Kathmandu from India, and there are various border crossings. The main border crossing is at Birgunj-Raxaul, which is open to different nationalities. 

The most common way to do this is to take an overland bus from Delhi to Kathmandu, which will cross over this border. The bus takes over 30 hours and costs about $40 (much cheaper than a flight, which can range between $80-$30).

You can also travel overland from Tibet , but there is a requirement that you must be traveling with a guide, on an organized tour.

🚗  Private car/ taxi to Kathmandu

It’s possible to rent a taxi/car with a private driver to take you over the border into Nepal. The journeys generally start from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and can take you either to the border, Kathmandu, or Pokhara. Getting to Kathmandu from Gorakhpur by taxi is going to set you back at around $180.

beautiful place to visit in kathmandu

Places In Kathmandu To Visit Conclusion

I hope you have found these places in Kathmandu to visit helpful for your next adventure. I like to describe Kathmandu as a chaotic city. It is busy, noisy, polluted, and crowded. It can be overwhelmed at first. But when you feel situated, you will just enjoy the amazing explosion of culture, the great food, the friendly people, and the great shopping.

So if you love taking a step outside your comfort zone, you will love it and all the amazing attractions to visit and explore in Kathmandu.

If you enjoyed this article, you will also love:

  • Nepal Itinerary
  • Best Hikes in Nepal
  • Top Places to visit in Pokhara
  • How to Plan a Trip to Nepal, everything you need to know
  • 30 Things About Nepal that I Wish I knew Before my Trip
  • How to Hire a Porter in Nepal
  • How to go on the Everest Base Camp with an Helicopter Tour

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Itinerary for Nepal

Unique Ideas Itinerary for Nepal: From 7 Days in Nepal to 3 Weeks

Nepal Travel Guide and how to plan a trip to Nepal

Nepal Trip Planner in 2024: Trip Cost, What to See, Know and Do

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How to Hire a Porter in Nepal: Ultimate Guide for Trekking in Nepal

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The Boutique Adventurer: Luxury Adventure Travel Blog focussed on Emerging Destinations for those over 35

9 Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu & Nearby

By: Author Amanda OBrien

Posted on Last updated: 16/02/2024

As the trekking capital of the world, Nepal isn’t normally associated with luxury. However, it is quite easy to find some more luxurious places to visit in Kathmandu at a relatively low cost.

As Kathmandu is a 5-hour flight from Hong Kong and only a 4-hour flight from Qatar a long weekend makes more sense – and it allows you time to take advantage of some of the lovely facilities listed below.

It is also the perfect amount of time to spend in Kathmandu recovering from a major trek like Everest Base Camp – and from the Nepal Tea House options on the treks which leave something to be desired.

Here are the best places to visit in Kathmandu over a luxurious long weekend or as a post-trek treat.

  • 9 Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu

Table of Contents

1. Dwarika’s Hotel

2. spend an afternoon at the garden of dreams, 3.  have a spa day in the himalayas, 4. have dinner at nepal’s best restaurant, 5. go shopping, 6. take a helicopter ride over the himalayas, 7. hang out with the monkeys at swayambhunath temple, 8. take a selfie at boudhanath stupa, 9. see old kathmandu in durbar square, how to get to kathmandu:, everest base camp trek guided tour options, boutique hotels in kathmandu, who paid for what in this places to visit in kathmandu post.

Dwarika Hotel Kathmandu is half hotel half museum. It is a stunning boutique hotel that is locally owned. Dwarika’s hotel Kathmandu has been designed to keep the best of Nepalese woodworking art and practices alive.

Although there is a stunning theme to the hotel, every room is unique. Dwarika’s has several fantastic restaurants (see below), a spa, a gorgeous pool, three gift shops, a library, and multiple outside and inside areas for relaxing.

Staying at Dwarika’s is like staying at someone’s amazing home rather than being at a hotel and perfect for a luxurious long weekend in Kathmandu.

outdoor couches in the courtyard at dwarika's kathmandu

However, Dwarika’s does have all the upsides of a good hotel! Great plunger coffee and tea in the rooms, delicious snacks and turn down chocolates, gigantic very comfortable beds with appropriately high thread count on the linen sheets, full cable tv, and a DVD player, toiletries and everything else you may need.

bedroom with poster bed and side tables at dwarika's kathmandu hotel

This is the perfect hotel for relaxation and a luxurious long weekend in Kathmandu. Start with breakfast in the courtyard, lie by the pool, perhaps pop out and see a Stupa, be back from lunch, relax and read in one of the many courtyards in the afternoon and then get ready for some wine and a delicious dinner!

If staying at Dwarika’s is out of reach do try to have at least one meal here. Firstly and most importantly the food is delicious.

Secondly, the building and the courtyard are absolutely stunning and so Instagram friendly. Allow some time to have a wander around and make sure your camera batteries are fully charged.

traditional window frame and door at dwarika's hotel

Kathmandu is a crazy busy dirty city. A good deal of construction is going on at the moment which brings up a lot of dust and dirt and that is the norm. This is one of the things that makes the Garden of Dreams such a wonderful oasis in Kathmandu.

Located literally on the edge of the busy Thamel district behind walls it is a lovely clean garden with a fantastic restaurant called the Kaiser Café. This neo-classical garden was created by Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana in early 1920.

After its completion, it was considered to be one of the most sophisticated gardens of the time. The six pavilions within the Garden of Dreams were built for each of the six seasons of Nepal.

The garden was restored in conjunction with the Austrian government between 2000 and 2007.

⇒ And definitely log in to 12Go when you’re organising how you’re going to get around Nepal. This super easy to use platform has all modes of transport on the one platform and allows you to compare based on time, cost, and reviews.

The Garden of Dreams main area - one of the top places to visit in kathmandu

Have a wander around the garden and fountains of the Garden of Dreams when you arrive and fight through the locals taking selfies galore! Explore the garden slowly as there are lots of hidden nooks and crannies in the gardens.

Once you’re done grab an outside table at the Kaiser Café for lunch and don’t forget to have their well-known ice cream for dessert.

Less than a one hour drive from Kathmandu is Dhulikhel, home to the amazing Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Resort (sister to Dwarika’s Kathmandu).

This stunning resort sits on the top of the Kathmandu Valley and has extraordinary 360 views. If you can ideally spend one night at Dwarika’s Dhulikhel and one at Dwarika’s Kathmandu for the perfect luxurious long weekend in Kathmandu.

Indeed Dwarika offers a range of city and country packages that allow guests to experience the best of Kathmandu and the Kathmandu Valley.

infinity pool and sun loungers at Dwarika's Dhulikhel resort

There is a multitude of delightful sounding options at Dwarika’s Dhulikhel resort – chakra sound therapy chambers, an infinity pool, yoga , a meditation maze etc etc.

There are two things that I would highly recommend you try which are quite unique to Nepal and the Himalayas. The first is the pink Himalayan salt room. You can take your book in and relax for 20 minutes and clear out your system.

The second is singing bowl therapy. The singing bowl originated in the Himalayan region and here it is used as a form of sound therapy – apparently, each organ in the body vibrates at a certain frequency when healthy and singing bowl therapy can bring them back into balance.

This was my first ever experience of sound therapy and I really enjoyed it. The sound does seem to travel right through your body and it was very calming.

⇒ If you can’t make it all the way to Dhulikhel there are options to take a singing bowl treatment in Kathmandu.

In addition to a standard bed and board day rate, Dwarika’s Dhulikhel has a range of different spa packages that allow guests to focus on everything from yoga to positive energy to relaxation.

Dwarika’s Dhulikhel also has a range of fantastic restaurants . The Farm Lounge and outdoor deck is the site for breakfast and lovely lunches with amazing views over the Kathmandu Valley.

The Ananta Poolside restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a light lunch by the infinity pool. And Nature’s Flavours restaurant features ingredients sourced from Dwarika’s organic farm and the menu changes daily.

⇒ One of the loveliest places to go in Asia is Bali. Check out my posts on the best 10 Days Itinerary Bali , Where to Stay in Bali , where to stay in Ubud and the best boutique hotels in Ubud , Bali Retreats for Singles , Bali Boutique Hotels , where to stay in Canggu and the best boutique hotels Seminyak has on offer.

Krishnarpan Restaurant is Nepal’s most well-known restaurant – as evidenced by the many photos in the reception of the famous people who have eaten there.

It is a beautiful restaurant – all in traditional Nepalese red and black. Krishnarpan Restaurant serves traditional Nepalese cuisine in a multi-course format that aims to take you on a journey through Nepal’s diverse culinary cultures.

dumplings at Krishnarpan restaurant in kathmandu

I went with the 6-course option – the fewest number of courses on offer. What a meal. It began with mixed local hors d’oeuvres beautifully presented, then bread, roasted mushrooms, and chickpeas.

Next up were some delicious momos followed by an amazing mushroom soup. The highlight for me was the traditional Nepalese curry which was so wonderfully tasty.

It also came with some fantastic vegetables – particularly the eggplant. Dessert was some amazing yogurt and a truly delicious carrot cake.

course of nuts and delicacies on a red plate at krishnarpan restaurant

Krishnarpan was, without doubt, the best meal I had in Nepal and it would have performed well anywhere in the world.

Like so many places there are now lots of food-based Kathmandu sightseeing options. I love taking these tours as locals generally run them and offer an insight that is not otherwise available. Also, they tend to be fantastic for photos.

In Kathmandu, it is possible to do everything from having dinner in the home of a local, attending a cooking school or visiting food markets.

⇒ Book a Kathmandu Food Tour

I bought the most stunning blue cashmere wrap while in Nepal. It is amazingly soft and comfortable and I do love it. I bought it at Musumusu which is one of the shops at Dwarika’s. Their cashmere products are all locally made and the colors are absolutely stunning.

colourful necklaces and socks on display in a kathmandu shop

The second place to go is the town of Bhaktapur which is about 30 minutes in a cab from Kathmandu. It is also on the way to the Dwarika’s Resort so you can combine this with the spa day above.

Bhaktapur is the third of the medieval city-states in Kathmandu and this UNESCO World Heritage site was my favorite. I actually far preferred it to Kathmandu. I thought the shops in Bhaktapur were the best I saw in Nepal.

There are some lovely paper shops which also have nice designs. I also purchased some wooden boxes and there were many other wooden items as well as pashminas etc on sale. In addition to shopping, there are several places to visit in Bhaktapur and it is very photogenic. 

Bhaktapur has its own Durbar square with the beautiful Golden Gate. To the right of the Golden Gate is the 55 Window palace – which of course has 55 windows! And whilst there take a look at Taleju Temple.

⇒ Or learn more by taking a guided tour of Bhaktapur

wooden handicrafts on red cloths up on a wall in bhaktapur

The third area to go shopping is the well-known Thamel area in the middle of Kathmandu. Thamel is the epicenter of Kathmandu tourism. This area is also filled with youth hostels and a lot of tat.

However, if you are after some good knockoffs or some cheap souvenirs to please small children at home this is the place to get them! And I don’t think you should leave Kathmandu without taking at least one wander through Thamel!

view from a helicopter ride over himalayas

Going on a helicopter over the Himalayas is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! The flight is normally best done first thing in the morning eg 6 am and make sure you check the weather conditions as of course if it is cloudy there is no point in going.

The views over the Himalayas are absolutely amazing so take your camera and your phone. There are several companies that offer helicopter rides and there are variations as to how far you can go and how long you can spend in some locations eg you can go all the way to Everest base camp but you will only be able to stay for 5 minutes due to altitude concerns.

If you have decided not to go on a trek or to do some more limited walking a helicopter ride is a fantastic way to get a better feel for the Himalayas. Of course, the higher you go the higher the cost! However, it is worth every penny!

FYI – The path for the helicopter is very different from that of the flights to and from Lukla and far more scenic. Plus, of course, the helicopter is a much better setup for taking photos.

A cheaper option that will get you similar style views is to take an Air Tour vs a Helicopter Ride. You won’t get as close but the cost is generally a lot less.

Finally, if you are traveling to Pokhara it is possible to take a balloon ride given the right weather conditions.

⇒ Beautiful Japan is one of my favorite countries to visit. Check out my posts on One Day in Tokyo , 2 Day Itinerary Kyoto , 10 Day Japan Itinerary , What is Japan Famous For ? 31 Japanese Claims to Fame, 9 Beautiful Japan Famous Landmarks , the best things to do in Kanazawa and what to expect on the Nakasendo Trail.

Swayambhunath Temple is the oldest shrine complex in the Kathmandu Valley and one of the most popular places to visit in Kathmandu. This temple is situated at the top of a large and winding staircase and provides stunning views over Kathmandu (sunset is the best time to go for photos in my opinion).

Located on a hilltop 3 km west of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath Temple is the oldest stupa of its kind in Nepal and one of its holiest.

woman in a yellow sari from behind in front of the top of swayambhunath stupa kathmandu nepal

This is no quiet temple. Swayambhunath is filled with life. There are people everywhere and lots and lots of monkeys!

The area at the top of the staircase is quite large. There is shopping, a cafe, a park and lots to explore. I do recommend walking the stairs as there is lots of life among them and great photo opportunities.

It is easy to get to the temple via a cab or walking from the center of Kathmandu. However, if you would like to learn more about the temple, there are lots of Swayambhunath Temple Tour Options.

Boudhanath is one of the largest Stupas in the world. It is quite magnificent. Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu is situated in the middle of a large square and there are always people walking around it clockwise (which you must also do) and spinning prayer wheels.

Of course, there are also loads of shops and cafes on the square and this is one of the most popular places to visit in Kathmandu.

If you are only able to make it to one of the temples to visit in Kathmandu, I would visit Swayambhunath Temple ahead of Boudhanath Stupa as there is so much activity at the Temple and lots to see. Boudhanath Stupa is stunning but at the end of the day, it is just a stupa. And it is further out of town.

small figure in front of the eye of boudhanath stupa kathmandu

Having said that there are many Kathamndu sightseeing tour options which combine the two temples and even more which I think is the best option to get the most out of your time sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Durbar Square is the most well-known tourist spot in Kathmandu Nepal and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. However, a very large amount of it was destroyed in the dreadful earthquake of 2015, and building it back to its former stature has been and is a very very slow process.

There are still things to see in Durbar Square and this is being added to all the time. Although most of the square dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries and earlier, quite a few of the buildings are from after the 1934 earthquake.

Durbar Square is actually three different squares that are loosely connected.

Rickshaws lined up at Durbar Square

Durbar Square still has Kumari – the living goddess – who can be seen occasionally. Some of the Hindus of Nepal worship this pre-pubescent girl.

There are several Kumaris throughout Nepal but the one in Kathmandu is the best known and one of the more popular Kathmandu attractions.

Cafes etc are still open and opening – I had dumplings overlooking the square. There is a payment charged to visit Durbar Square which is helping with the rebuilding.

⇒ Flights to Kathmandu

This is one trip where you MUST take out travel insurance ! I certainly ended up using mine!

old man in full bright yellow costume sitting by the side of durbar square in Kathmandu

⇒ If you’re planning on heading up to Everest Base Camp check out this really good comparison of tour options on Viator.

I did the Everest Base Camp Trek with Exodus . Exodus is Everest Base Camp’s biggest tour operator, so there are quite a few benefits in going with them in terms of expertise, access to the best teahouses, etc.

They also know what they are doing and are very organised. As Exodus is a big deal in Nepal, anyone working with them locally will be keen for this to continue; therefore, service levels are pretty good.

⇒ Exodus Everest Base Camp Treks. 

In terms of UK based tour operators, we saw quite a few G Adventures groups during our trek. They tend to stay at the same kinds of tea houses and have a similar setup.

I have also heard that Intrepid is a good operator for base camp.

View of Mount Everest seen from the trail to everest base camp

I have written several blog posts on my rather tumultuous Everest Base Camp Trek experience which you may enjoy reading:

⇒ My Everest Base Camp Trek Blog : a day by day guide

⇒ What it is really like to stay in a Nepal Tea House

⇒ My Everest Base Camp Packing List

⇒ My Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary : 3 weeks what I did and what I would do differently

I recommend enjoying some luxury pre and post staying at the Nepal Tea Houses ! Without question, the best boutique hotel in Kathmandu is the lovely lovely Dwarika’s .

It was also my best place to visit in Kathmandu Nepal for its restaurants and stunning building.

It isn’t exactly boutique but as options at a higher boutique end are a bit low in Kathmandu I am going to list the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu .

⇒ Read reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now

Kathmandu has some more basic boutique hotels that offer great value for money. Dalai-La and Kantipur Temple Hous e offer traditional Nepalese style.

⇒ Read reviews of Dalai-La on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now

⇒ Read reviews of Kantipur Temple House on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now

living area of a suite in dwarika's hotel in kathmandu

Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa is somewhat more modern with its offer. Uniquely for Kathmandu, its interiors are heavy on white!

If you’re after a real treat check out my post on the stunning Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Resort – stunning Himalayan luxury!

everest-base-camp with view of the icefall in the background

I covered my costs associated with most of this trip but Dwarika’s were kind enough to give me a discount on my accommodation costs. But as always my opinion is my own.

This Places to visit in Kathmandu post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on them and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This won’t affect the price that you pay. I just wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.

READ NEXT: EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK ITINERARY

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image of nepalese temple wall

Amanda O’Brien is the creator and editor of The Boutique Adventurer. She has visited 80 countries and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers as well as the IFTWTA. She is passionate about wine had has just completed Level 3 of the WSET. Born in Australia, she lives in London.

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Monday 21st of December 2020

This is the best guide on Kathmandu traveling, thank you so much for this amazing information and photos. I liked it and can't wait to see that place.

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Top Places to visit in Kathmandu, Nepal

Written By: The Planet D

Updated On: March 19, 2023

Looking for the best places to visit in Kathmandu? Most people use Kathmandu as a quick jumping-off point for a trek to the Himalayas , but it’s worth spending a few days exploring this Nepalese City before or after your trip.

We spent several days before and after our Everst Base Camp Trek in Kathmandu exploring the sites. Between our experience and fellow travel writer Parnashree Devi of My Travel Diary we have rounded up the very things to do in Kathmandu that you cannot miss.

Table of Contents

Places to Visit in Kathmandu

A paradise for mountain trekkers, Nepal has a plethora of things to offer to the tourists as well. People often overlook Kathmandu as a chaotic polluted city that they only use for shoping for gear and planning treks, Kathmandu will surprise and delight. Nepal houses a whopping 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites many of which are in or near Kathmandu.

The cultural center and capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu may be a little rough around the edges, but when you dig deeper, it will surprise and delight. It is also a surprising foodie destination and we have an entire article dedicated to the best places to eat in where to eat in Kathmandu.

The tagline for Nepal Tourism is “ Once is not enough “. I agree wholeheartedly as you cannot absorb everything on your first visit. Between the Everest Base Camp Trek , Mustang Region and Annapurna, you need to come back to Nepal again and again. With each visit to Kathmandu, you’ll discover something hidden within its chaotic streets. There’s More to Kathmandu than the crowds of backpackers

Things to do in Kathmandu Nepal

Kathmandu, is crowded and chaotic yet charming. The confusing narrow lanes of Thamel, rickshaws making their way through the streets, and the strong smell of street food ad pollutions can be overwhelming.

But the cultural magnitude of Nepal is a celebration of the age-old cultures and their rich traditions. This country is one of the most fascinating countries I have ever traveled to.

With medieval temples, the UNESCO World heritage of Durbar square, and the breathtaking view of the Kathmandu valley surrounded by the rolling hills, these are the top attractions in Kathmandu that give you a taste and feel for the city.

1. Thamel Neighborhood

Thamel is the oldest part of the capital city. It was also known as Tabitha Bahal . This is most likely be the first place you’ll visit in the city of Kathmandu and it is a good place to start by taking a walk through the neighborhood.

This haphazard commercial hub is a must-visit. It is one of the busiest neighborhoods in the city. Here you’ll find everything from, mountain gear to prepare for your trek at bargain prices. If you don’t have it, someone is bound to sell it.

There are antique shops, bookstores and clothing stores. It also offers a variety of restaurant and cafés, and there is a mix of different hotels and hostels. If you are in Thamel, don’t miss sampling the delicious street food.

One of the best things to do in the city is to go shopping. We stocked up on everything for trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp from mountain gear to medical and first aid. But you’ll also find great places for souvenirs and trinkets to take home with you.

Thamel is also the best place to find international food and tourist hangouts. Make sure to head down Mandala Street for some great coffee shops in Thamel.

Book a Kathmandu walking tour starting in Thamel towards Ason, the oldest market in Kathmandu, the legendary Freak Street made famous during the hippy era, Monkey Temple aka Swayambhunath.

2. Boudhanath Stupa

One of the top places to visit in Kathmandu is the famous Boudhanath Stupa. It is also one of the largest stupas in all of Nepal making for an awe-inspiring site.

Built in the 14th century, the Boudhanath Stupa is the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and is considered one of the most sacred places for Buddhists. Also known as the Boudha Stupa, it was located on the ancient trade route of Nepal and dates back to 600 AD.

The giant Buddha eyes on the top of the stupa and the colorful prayer flags make it one eye-arresting frame. The stupa was hit by the 2015 earthquake but was later restored and opened to visitors just eighteen months after the earthquake.

Make sure to head to one of the rooftop restaurants for the best place to watch sunset in Kathmand.

  • Cost for entry to Boudhanath Stupa: 400 NPR (3.50 USD)
  • Location – Boudhanath Stupa is 5.9 km from Thamel.

3. Swayambhunath Temple – Monkey Temple

Most commonly known as the monkey temple, the Swayambhunath temple is one of the major landmarks of Kathmandu city and one of the best things to do in town.

Located on a hilltop, 3kms west of Kathmandu. this holy shrine flaunts an imposing white stupa with fascinating Buddha eyes and a shimmering golden spire.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Monkey Temple it is of the most popular places to visit in Kathmandu. It also offers best views of the Kathmandu valley and Kathmandu City. The hanging colorful prayer flags over the stupas make for an absolutely stunning sight.

The name “Swayambhu”, means “Self-Created” and legend says the religious site came into existence more than 2,000 years ago when the valley was created out of a primeval lake.

  • Entrance Fee to Monkey Temple – 200 rupees
  • Monkey Temple is 8.5 km from Thamel
  • 3km outside of Kathmandu City

4. Kathmandu Durbar Square

The Kathmandu Durbar Square is a prominent landmark of the city and one of the top tourist places in Kathmandu.

The heart of the old town, the Durbar square was once the place where the King was crowned. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of three such Squares in the Kathmandu Valley.

Many a King of Nepal ruled from this palace. The 2015 earthquake collapsed many temples, but it continues to undergo reconstruction it is still one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu. My heart sank seeing the tilted roofs and cracked palace in the Durbar Square of Kathmandu.

Things to see in Durbar Square

  • Kala Bairav
  • Jagganath Temple
  • Taleju Temple – Taleju Temple is not open to the public, but it is the highest temple in the square and cannot be missed.
  • Mahendreshwar Temple

The best time to visit Durbar Square is early in the morning before the crowds arrive as it is one of the most well known places in Kathmandu and attracts many visitors. Kathmandu Durbar Square is just 1.6 km from Thamel

5. Hanuman Dhoka

Located in Durbar Square, The Hanuman Gate is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a palace complex of Pagoda styled temples, dating back to the period from the 15th to 18th Century. Be sure to look for the statue of Hanuman the Monkey God.

The temples were devastated by the 2015 earthquake but it is still one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

6. Kumari Bahal

One of the best things to do in Kathmandu is to see its living Goddess. Kumari Bahal is home to the Kumara. Kathmandu’s living symbol female spirituality known as Devi. You can see the living Goddess with our own eyes daily between 9:00 and 11:00 am. (no photographs are allowed of her face)

To actually see a living deity makes this one of the coolest tourist attractions in Kathmandu. And don’t get me wrong, this may be spiritual, but it is a tourist attraction. She refused to show her face at one time because the Nepal Government refused to give her a cut of the Durbar Square attraction fee.

  • Best time to visit between 9 and 11 am
  • Cost of entrance: 1000 Rupees

7. Pashupatinath Temple

Another one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu is Pashupati temple. It is one of the most sacred places for Hindu devotees in Nepal and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This temple complex located on the banks of the Bagmati River, is the largest in Nepal. It was built in the 5 th century and later renovated by the Malla Kings. The main temple in the complex is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is restricted to Hindus only.

If you ever visit the complex, you can also see the cremation ceremonies of Hindus on raised platforms along the river which I found quite disturbing.

Don’t get fooled by those painted saints (Sadhus) in the temple complex who demand money if you wish to take a photo of them. Either be prepared to pay or don’t take their photo.

8. Garden of Dreams

The Garden of Dreams, aka Swapna Bagaicha is a quiet retreat just minutes from the chaotic streets of Kathmandu City. After decades of neglect, it has been restored to its natural beauty.

The Garden of Dreams was built in the 1920s to represent a classic English walled garden and was considered one of the most beautiful gardens of its time.

Located in the heart of Kathmandu, you’ll be surprised with the quiet oasis housing gardens, pavilions, quiet pools, and a tranquil amphitheater. If you are looking for a place to relax, The Garden of Dreams is definitely a must visit in Kathmandu for a quiet afternoon.

9. Narayanhiti Palace Museum

Museum goers will enjoy a visit to Narayanhiti Palace Museum. The former royal palace to King Gyanendra, was transformed to the People’s museum after he was evicted in 2008. He was believed to have taken power after killing the royal family in 2001.

You can tour the 52 rooms of the palace getting a glimpse of how the royalty of Nepal lived.

Located just 750 meters from Thamel making it a good place to visit if your. are staying in the area.

10. Asan Tole

Make sure to visit the busiest square in Kathmandu. Asan Tole is filled with vendors selling vegetables, spice and other foods. It’s a fantastic place for people watching and for getting into the vibe of life in Kathmandu.

The Annapurna Temple is located here dedicated to the Goddess of abundance andyou’ll als find the   Narayan shrine  (Narayan is a form of Vishnu.

If there is any place that swept me off my feet in Kathmandu, it has to be Patan. Located 5 km south in the outskirts of Kathmandu, Patan is traditionally known as Lalitpur (City Of Beauty). 

Patan is apparently the oldest town in the Kathmandu Valley, flaunting the finest collection of temples, palaces and monuments. The locals also call Patan by its Newari name, Yala.

The intricate details of the Newari Architectures, the large courtyard of the palace, the wood, and stone carvings in the temples are simply jaw-dropping.

Patan (the city of Lalitpur) is surrounded by four stupas which were built by Emperor Ashoka. Durbar Square is a lively place buzzing with locals and tourists all the time.

A visit to Patan is absolutely mandatory for first time visitors. It is nothing less than an architectural treasure.

10. Swayambhunath Stupa

Known as the Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa offers panoramic views of Kathmandu City. It is one of the oldest temples in the Kathmandu Valley dating back to 460 AD. This is one of the best places to visit to experience the Buddhist religion with many Buddhist statues and monuments on display.

The main stupa of Swayambhunath is truly outstanding and suffered only minimal damage in the 2015 earthquake. It is worth visiting for the stupa alone but there are plenty of other things to make it worth your visit.

Places to visit at the Swayambhutanath Stupa

  • The largest statue of Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal
  • Temple dedicated to the Goddess of learning
  • The huge gold plated Vajra ‘thunderbolt’ set in the east side of the stupa.
  • The Sleeping Buddha.
  • The Dewa Dharma Monastery

11. Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur is one of the best places to visit to experience traditional Nepalese culture. Located 13 km from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur is known as the city of temples. It is filled with towering temples and ancient heritage.

The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the third of its kind in the Kathmandu Valley and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a good place to visit as it wasn’t quite as affected by the 2015 earthquake as Kathmandu and other areas in the Kathmandu Valley.

Bhaktapur draws many tourists to experience its timeless way of life. Make sure to go to Nyatapola Temple, Taumadhi Square and Dattatreya Temple. Get lost in its narrow streets to see artisans and traditional life in the City of Devotion.

Changu Narayan

Located 12 km from Kathmandu City and just a few km from Bhaktapur, this UNESCO World Heritage site is another popular day trip from Nepal. This Hindu Temple sits high on a hill looking over the Manohara River. It is one of the oldest and well known Hindu Temples in the Kathmandu area still in operation.

National Parks from Kathmandu Nepal

Langtang national park.

The closest national park to Kathmandu is Langtang National Park. It was the fourth national park to be established in Nepal and even though it is not as famous as some of the others like Sagamartha and Chitwan National Park, is houses the hight summit of Langtang Lirung 7,245 m (23,770 ft) and borders Tibet.

If you are planning one of the big treks like the Mount Everest Base Camp trek or Annapurna, this could be a good addition as you won’t have to commit to several weeks.

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park is one of the best places to visit to see the rhino outside of Africa. It was the first national park established in Nepal dating back to 1973.

Have you ever been to Nepal ? If yes, share your fascinating tales with me.

Nepal Treks

Chances are you are going to Kathmandu to begin a trek into the mountains. We trekked to Mount Everest Base Camp with SimRik Real Nepal Treks located in Kathmandu Nepal.

They not only lead treks to Everest Base Camp , but also all around Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. It is owned and operated by Nepal native Dipendra Simkhada who has decades of experience in the Himalayan Mountains.

List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal

Many of the places to visit in this post are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Many are located in Kathmandu, but there are other UNESCO designated attractionn around the country as well.

  • Kathmandu Durbar Square – Located in the heart of Kathmandu, it is one of the best things to do in the city.
  • Swayambhunath –
  • Pashupatinath
  • Changunarayan
  • Lumbini – Lumbini is considered the birthplaces of Buddhism and is a sacred place in Nepal for Bhuddist pilgrims
  • Chitwan National Park – A great places for wildlife safaris and nature. Including seeing the horned rhino.
  • Sagarmatha National Park – Home to Mount Everest this is the mother of destinations in Nepal.

When visit Kathmandu

The best time to visit Kathmandu is during the same time as trekking as trekking season in Nepal. March to May and September to November.

And there are my top places to visit in Kathmandu.

If you find yourself in Nepal, be sure to give the city more than just a couple of days to prepare for your trek. Instead, enjoy the culture, local people and beautiful scenery.

Have you been to Kathmandu? What must stop places do you suggest people visit when traveling to Nepal?

Read More about our trek to Everest Base Camp:

  • Everest Base Camp Trek – Ultimate Guide to Hiking Everest in Nepal
  • Remarkable Everest Base Camp Trek in Photos
  • Flight to Lukla – A Scary Thrill Ride to Everest
  • 30 Tips for Trekking to Everest Base Camp
  • Packing List for Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Where to eat in Kathmandu Eight Great Eats in Kathmandu

About the author

Parnashree Devi is a travel writer, photographer, and a passionate filmmaker. The infinite passion to share her travel stories led her to foray into the world of blogging and the existence of ‘ My Travel Diary ’ Follow here on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine , the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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42 thoughts on “Top Places to visit in Kathmandu, Nepal”

Absolutely loved the article! Amazing insights into Kathmandu’s top spots. Beautifully written, and it has me excited to explore Nepal’s cultural wonders. Kudos to the author!

You have covered almost everything, thanks for sharing .

One of my memorable event in Kathmandu was gorging on sizzling Choila with pickles, potatoes and Chiura in Basantpur. If you visit Kathmandu next time, I recommend this place for mouth watering local Nepali dishes.

Thanks for the post.

I went to Kathmandu with my parents when I was like 6 or probably 8, but I still somehow distinctly remember Kathmandu Durbar Square. This place surely needs to be visited again and again. Amazing post and I love how aesthetic you guys have described each of these places.

Looks like a complete list of places to visit in Kathmandu. Have you been to Kapan? It is also one of a peaceful places to be in. The Kopan Monastery.

Really Really Great post, Thank you visit to Nepal

Wow, I love to read when someone post about Nepal. Thanks for sharing about Nepal.

Fantastic post. If we would travel in Nepal, you can help you out. Thanks for the guide, really helps

Thanks for the amazing post…..keep sharing.

Nepal is the queen of Nature and Kathmandu is the heart. I really appreciate your effort in exploring Kathmandu. Your photographs are adding extra flavor to the content and this is what I like the most. Thank you so much for the information and best of luck for the future.

Pictures speak for themselves, Nepal is just another beautiful country with all those plethoras of things to offer to the tourists. Hat’s off to the writer. The blogs on this websites are really great. Keep up on your awesome work guys.

Hi Parnashree,

Just stumbled upon your article ” Top Places to Visit in Kathmandu”. I would say you have mentioned flawless mentioned 6 best places to visit. Being from Nepal the other tourist places which you can add in your next article can be Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changunarayan Temple, Garden of Dreams.

Anyways, definately these six places are top places to visit in Kathmandu.

Keep up your good work.

Fantastic post. If we would ride a bike to travel in Nepal, the experience will be much different. Thanks for the guide, really helps

I really want to travel Nepal.Thanks for sharing such insights. Great Work. Keep it up.

I think you should also include Royal palace that resides near to Thamel, Garden of Dreams which is next to Thamel. All other places you have included are great.But why donot you include those places made me curious. Although thanks for content.

Such a beautiful images.Nepal is just beautiful really, the photos speak for themselves. Thanks for sharing this article.

Thanks a lot for this amazing ideas and information. Keep it up.

Wow! Nepal is a really great place to visit and your article will surely encourage new backpackers to visit in Nepal. These are best places in Nepal for myself also.

I’m planning a trip to Nepal

Awesome blog and Awesome place to visit. thanks

my favorite place in 4th one , Kathmandu i love to be thier , full of fun i might their in starting of 2019

Such beautiful place

Great post about fascinating city of Kathmandu! Hope to visit one day. Grettings from Portugal.

Thank you so much for writing a blog on Nepal. There are more places to visit in Kathmandu.

My favourite place in Nepal #4 Kathmandu Durbar Square. I have a dream to visit in Future. Nepal is the country with full of adventure.

Thanks for sharing such a useful information with us.

Thank you so much for writing blog on Nepal. Your blog writing skill is awesome. Also, it sounds interesting to read your blog. They are fabulous. Also, photographs are wonderful. Appreciate it. Hope to see you soon in Nepal.

Really thanks alot for this informative post. Here you explained everything about Kathmandu’s best places and temples.

Thanks for including Nepal on your destination list and we feel happy to welcome visitors like you to Nepal.

.Such a Very beautiful places. After reading your post I really want to travel Nepal.Thanks for sharing such insights. Great Work. Keep it up.

This place is now on top of my list, will visit it on my upcoming summer holidays.

Superb article! Thanks for sharing the useful information

I lived in Nepal for two years in a place called Dharan in the foothills. Visited Kathmandu on a regular basis and would recommend a visit. Wonderful people!

Nepal is extremely fascinating destination for travelers, scholars, and researchers. There are many places where you can feel like as a heaven. There are many Popular Sightseeing places In Nepal. It’s a nice information.

Nepal is better known as the departure point to Mont Everest or mountain hiking in general, but definitely there is a lot of things to see out there.

What a beautiful place you visit! This is so useful and so excited after seeing all your updates! thank you so much! Lovely picture you captured!

Voaavvv. Thanks. Great article

Wow, sometimes it seems like all you see of Nepal are picturesque mountainscapes and vistas, but this is a whole other take on the country! Patan is particularly stunning. I’m planning a trip to Sri Lanka/India for next year, and Nepal may just require me to extend that ticket by an extra two weeks!

You shared awesome list to visit the places of Kathmandu. You captured beautiful pictures in your travel trip. Really want to go Nepal and see all the places. Thanks for sharing a great experience with us.

NICE INFORMATION.. THANXS

Hii Parnashree..

Such a Very beautiful places. After reading your post I really want to travel Nepal.

Thanks for sharing such insights. Great Work. Keep it up.

Tusk Travel Blog

20 Best Places to Visit in and Around Kathmandu

Tusk Travel Team

Kathmandu is an ideal place of tranquility and divinity and is surrounded by beautiful mother nature. Whether you are an adventure, nature, wildlife, food, or culture enthusiast, the enchanting place has something for every type of tourist. Spend your morning amidst majestic mountains and could also spend a luxurious evening in a casino.

Kathmandu is enriched with catchy experiences and exciting adventures and is an ideal place that makes you mesmerized. Experience a place that is engulfed by the Himalayas, and a modern place with beautiful tradition. Kathmandu is a land of mixed cultures and includes unique smoothness that grabs the attention of travelers. Ensure to explore various places in and around Kathmandu that are worthwhile and are also budget-friendly.

In This Article:

The following is a list of 20 places to visit in and around Kathmandu:

1. bhaktapur.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nepal

Near the gorgeous Kathmandu place, Bhaktapur lies around 15.6 km away from Kathmandu, depicting the medieval period. Bhaktapur is considered to be Nepal’s capital during the Malla period and is well-known for its culture, beautiful craftwork, and eye-catching temples that still retain its identity.

Explore various historical monuments and temples with awestruck architecture, and due to this, the place has become a major attraction for archaeological lovers. Spend your two days in these archaeological stuffed monuments along with your friends or family that remind you of ancient Nepal.

Ensure to visit the place in October-April, as the weather remains too hot in summers and too cold in winters. The journey to Bhaktapur becomes easy through taxi, car, or public buses. 

2. Kopan Monastery 

Kopan Monastery, Nepal2

Kopan Monastery, a sacred Buddhist monastery that is located over the top of Bodhnath, depicts a pious place to visit. A peaceful and pleasant tourist spot in Kathmandu and you could stroll through the entire monastery and could explore it entirely. Ensure to take its seven-day small course just to dive deeply into the depth of calmness and divinity.

The monastery remains open from 9 am to 5 pm and travelers could visit the monastery anytime, but it includes some rules and regulations that everyone is required to follow so that you don’t disturb students and monks. Moreover, it also includes cafes that provide vegetarian food to visitors along with immense delicacies. The Kopan monastery resembles peace, simplicity, and a blissful atmosphere and allows a relaxed mind. 

3. Chisapani

Chisapani Nepal

Chisapani is an ideal location for adventure lovers that provides travelers with enjoyable treks that allow you to explore varying species of flora and fauna. The scenic panorama of the majestic mountains and beautiful landscape froze the senses and drove you to some dreamland. Chisapani is around 20.5 km away from Kathmandu and is a perfect place for adventure lovers along with friends or family.

Moreover, the best time to visit this enjoyable place is from February-June and September-November. Enjoy a two days trip in Chisapani while enjoying nature, trekking, and various Himalayan ranges, and make the trip more worthwhile. Reach Chisapani via vans, private cars, or through hiace while enjoying the travel.

  • 10 Days Nepal Travel Package
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  • Check the Packages for Nepal Tour

4. Durbar Square

Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal3

Durbar Square comes under three regal Durbans of Nepal and the place has witnessed one King’s rule after another King for a longer duration. People could witness the crowning of new rulers along with the beats of trumpets and drums that filled up the entire place. Considered one of the best destinations to visit in Kathmandu, here you could explore the vibrant history of Nepal.

Ensure to visit UNESCO World Heritage Site between late September-December and explore its catchy artistry and craft. People having great taste need to add this place to their bucket list. Till now, the place depicts itself as the most remarkable legacy of Kathmandu, even after natural calamities, the Durbar still retains its glory.

5. Dhulikhel

Dhulikhel, Nepal

Situated 31.2 km away from Kathmandu, Dhulikhel is taken as one of the best tourist spots in Kathmandu. Interested travelers could enjoy the Himalayan view once in their lifetime along with their family and friends and one or two days is enough for the visit. Grab a chance to experience Gauri Shankar, Langtang, and Number while admiring nature and enjoying trekking.

Visit the place mainly from March-May or February-September and make many unforgettable memories, especially during temple visits. Reach out to this gorgeous place through public buses, taxis, or through private cars. 

6. Langtang National Park

Starry night in Langtang_National_Park Nepal

An ideal place for climbing, trekking, and outdoor trips, the park is enriched with pine and bamboo trees, and lies almost 50 km from Kathmandu. Travelers get quickly attracted to this place due to its awesome adventure and views.

You could even witness a high-altitude and serene lake known as Gosaikunda lake which includes rich biodiversity. An ideal place for nature lovers and you could visit the place specified in the Autumn season.

Kakani, Nepal

Kakani lies at a distance of 23.7 km from Kathmandu and offers a picturesque view for family picnics along with the view of various magnificent mountain ranges. Get attracted to its major spot The Thai Memorable Park which was designed in memory of victims of the Thai airline crash.

The beautiful place would surely leave amazing memories on you as its park provides a good aura. Ensure to visit the place in October-May and grab a chance to view snow-covered mountains along with snowfall.

Thamel Market, Kathmandu, Nepal

Thamel is considered a heaven for travelers visiting Kathmandu as the place serves its tourists wholeheartedly. Whether you are in search of clothes, good food, street shopping, new music albums, or trekking, Thamel provides you with everything. The place is home to several restaurants that entirely provide varying and delicious cuisine.

Experience the finest shopping street that serves good quality items along with food at an affordable range. Reach out to this place via a bus that allows you to reach here in just 15 minutes from Kathmandu bus station.

9. Namo Buddha

Namo Buddha Kathmandu, Nepal

Namo Buddha, a most popular Buddhist pilgrimage location, lies around 40 km away from Kathmandu. A mesmerizing place that is home to almost 250 young monks, and its monastery welcomes travelers in their evening and morning prayers.

If you are visiting Kathmandu, make sure to visit the peaceful place just for one day and explore its peaceful atmosphere and unique architecture that would entirely relax your mind and soul. 

10. Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhunath, Kathmandu Nepal

Swayambhunath temple is situated on the outskirts of Kathmandu and is considered the major essential religious shrine. The majestic temple is surrounded by varying types of trees, and also includes a monastery, temples, museum, several shrines, a giant library, along with a stupa.

The beautiful place possesses a very unique aura that highly attracts people and visiting this temple drains away all your sins. Moreover, you could witness a picturesque and panoramic view of Kathmandu. 

11. Lakuri Bhanjyang

Lakuri Bhanjyang Kathmandu Nepal

Lakuri Bhanjyang, which is only 15 kilometers from Kathmandu, offers the ideal paragliding experience for all adventure seekers. This lovely hill town offers hiking paths in addition to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

Lakuri Bhanjyang has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations close to Kathmandu, Nepal, because of its tranquil beauty and natural riches. Families frequently travel to this lovely place to have real picnics.

  • Everest Base Camp
  • Annapurna Base Camp

12. Taudaha Lake 

Taudaha Lake Kathmandu, Nepal

It is said that a Buddhist figure had to cut the hill to drain the water, which is why the lake is now smaller. This is how the lake got its name in myth. Many migrating bird species stop by this location. The ideal location to discover Kathmandu’s market and square.

This lake, which is located outside the city, is well-known for its freshwater. The location is surrounded by hills covered in deep forests, which gives it a peaceful atmosphere.

13. Nagarkot

Nagarkot, Nepal

Nagarkot, an enchanting place that offers travelers with scenic and panoramic views of the surroundings, lies almost 32 km east of Kathmandu. With its astonishing ambiance and calmness, the place provides fresh vibes that make you feel highly energetic. Experience its calming sunrise over the magnificent mountains along with the view of gigantic Everest, and explore fresh nature.

Visit the place in October-April just to achieve a clear view of the mountains, and the ideal trip could be of around two days. Reach out to this stunning place via taxi, car, or public bus, and don’t miss out on the chance to explore this exotic place.

14. Garden of Dreams

Garden of Dreams, Kathmandu, Nepal

Garden of Dream also popularly known as Garden of six senses and Swapna Bageecha that was designed in 1920, and serves as the most famous tourist spot in Kathmandu. Explore its architecture like its beautiful pavilions, ponds, pergolas, urns, and paved paths. A perfect place for nature lovers and picnic lovers that allows human interaction as well.

The beautiful garden opens up at 9 am and closes at 10 pm and you could even enjoy its exotic fountains. Visit the stunning garden either in the morning or in the evening as the temperature remains pleasant during that time. The Garden’s architectural landscape permits travelers to wander around the garden and could view varying vantage points.

15. Kulekhani

Kulekhani Kathmandu, Nepal

Kulekhani, a famous hydropower dam that gives the best opportunity for boating and swimming in its lake-like surroundings, is the ideal combination of adventure and natural beauty.

It is one of the best destinations to visit close to Kathmandu because of its majestic tranquility, alluring rivers, lush surroundings, and amazing waterfalls. Along with its famed monastery and sacred cave, numerous miniature Buddha stupas may be viewed here.

16. Pashupati Nath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal

One of the most revered tourist destinations in Kathmandu is the Pashupati Nath temple. One of the holiest Hindu locations, it is devoted to Lord Shiva. One of the 12 jyotirlingas is the Pashupati Nath temple, which is situated on the Bagmati river bank on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Numerous thousands of followers come here year to ask the Hindu deity for blessings. Since Lord Shiva is regarded as the god of uncertainty, you discover that worshippers come here in their final stages of life seeking shelter and moksha.

According to legend, King Prithviraj Narayan Shah, the country of Nepal’s founding, was born in Gorkha. Overlooking a hill, Gorkha Durbar is a stunning medieval palace known for its distinctive style.

Two extremely beautiful Gorakhnath and Kali temples have been built inside this mansion. The most pleasurable historical location where you may unwind and appreciate nature is Gorkha.

18. Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal

This area, which is known for its architecture and historical value, is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Numerous followers come to the stupa to take in the quiet and seek blessings.

You can go here in March when the weather is comfortable and suitable for all of your sightseeing in Nepal . It is the best tourist destination in Kathmandu because of the white building’s traditional style and the colorful prayer flags hanging from it.

19. Helambu

Helambu, Kathmandu Nepal

Helambu, which is located around 72 kilometers to the northeast of Kathmandu, is renowned throughout the world for its majesty and serene setting.

Numerous Buddhist temples have been built amid an abundant and alluring terrain, which enhances their charm. Since people can go hiking on the trails, it’s the greatest destination for adrenaline junkies.

20. Chandragiri

Chandragiri Hill, Kathmandu, Nepal

Chandragiri, a small town in the southwest, is situated to the southwest of Kathmandu. Well, Chandragiri is the ideal location if you’re seeking a weekend getaway to some of the top tourist attractions in the Kathmandu area. The town is a remote location with a beautiful view of the Himalayas where you may unwind and enjoy.

While on vacation, you can engage in a variety of activities. Chandragiri is a unique location that is less crowded than cities, but it is the greatest location to spend time in nature. The only thing that draws people to the town is the surrounding countryside because it is not very populated.

For further information on Nepal, see:

  • 10 Popular Nepal Offbeat Places
  • Nepal’s Most Famous Places to Visit
  • Famous Honeymoon Places in Nepal
  • Visit Nepal Beautiful Places in Monsoon
  • Nepal Top 10 Reasons to Visit
  • 10 Famous Places in Nepal to See in December
  • Top 10 Destinations to Visit in Nepal during Winter
  • Food of Nepal – 10 Delicious Nepalese cuisines To Try

Tusk Travel Team

Tusk Travel Team

Tusk Travel is dedicated to delivering precise, genuine, and reliable travel guides through a dynamic team of writers, editors, and destination experts. We aim to provide comprehensive information in its simplest form, sharing insights to influence perspectives nationwide.

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  • 10 Best Places To Visit In Kathmandu

10 Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu

10 Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a city for all types of visitors, whether they are looking for nature, adventure, animals, food, or culture. It is, in fact, a great city to visit not only for what it offers but also for the places around it, from its temples to its mountains and lanes to its people. You can spend a lovely sunset amidst the mountains by taking a serene, spiritual walk around the Boudhanath Stupa, or you could spend a lavish evening at a casino. If you want to know about the country's history, Kathmandu is the place to go to for tourists because it is home to the Chhauni Museum which has more than enough to keep you captivated.

So, during your visit to Nepal, here are the top 10 places to visit in Kathmandu: -

1. Boudhanath Stupa

Boudanath Stupa

Photo by Raymond Clavins

Boudhanath Stupa, located approximately 11 kilometres from Kathmandu's city center, dominates the Kathmandu skyline with its huge spherical shape. It is one of the finest places to visit in Kathmandu. Every day, thousands of pilgrims from many religions gather here. They perform a ritualistic circumnavigation of the huge dome known as the 'kora'. Anyone who circumambulates the stupa with no ill will in their souls is said to receive good karma. Furthermore, the gates of hell are completely shut for them!

This magisterial stupa's gigantic mandala makes it the largest in Nepal and the whole continent. Boudhanath Stupa was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The Buddha Stupa, Chorten Chempo, Chaitya, Jarung Khashor, and the Khasti have all been given to the Boudhanath Stupa over the years. Overall, the stupa complex comprises of 50 Tibetan convents known as gompas which have served as refugee camps for Tibetans since 1959. This stupa is believed to be the burial ground of Kassapa Buddha's ashes.

2. Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple

The Pashupatinath Temple, one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu, spreads across both banks of the magnificent and sacred Bagmati River on the eastern borders of Kathmandu. Thousands of worshippers come to Lord Shiva's beautiful temple to offer their prayers and seek his blessings. It is thought that the Jyotirlinga housed in the Pashupatinath temple is the head of the body made up of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India, which is dispersed throughout a huge area with temples and ashrams. The majestic temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Thamel Kathmandu

Photo by Laurentiu Morariu

Thamel, formerly known as Tabitha Bahal, is a tangle of streets lined one after the other with countless stalls. It continues to be one of the most famous and bustling commercial places in Nepal's Kathmandu City. Whether its cultural monuments or pubs, quiet restaurants, or spectacular temples, the narrow alleys of Thamel have never failed to service the tourist places of Kathmandu in the last four decades. Whether you're searching for tasty cuisine or clothes, new music records, or trekking gear, Thamel's street shops have you covered. The complete area is a Wi-Fi zone.

4. Durbar Square

Durbar Square

Photo by Aaditya Shah

Durbar Square is the place that has seen and received one king after another as they sat and ruled over Nepal for a long time, where new rulers were crowned to the constant rhythms of drums and trumpets. The majestic Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the country's three durbar squares and is ideal for Nepal sightseeing . The area is still the most remarkable vestige of Kathmandu's traditional architecture. Despite the fact that the tragic earthquake of 2015 took its toll on the tower and caused a half-dozen parts within the grounds to collapse, it has kept its pristine beauty. The Durbar Square area is made up of three squares that are loosely connected: a historic elephant stable Basantapur square, the primary Durbar square on the northwest, and another part of Durbar Square that houses the entrance to Hanuman Dhoka.

5. Garden of Dreams

The Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu, also known as the 'Swapna Bageecha' and the 'Garden of Six Seasons,' is a neo-classical garden designed by Kishore Narshingh in 1920. The garden features a magnificent amphitheater, urns, beautiful structures, paved perimeter walkways, pergolas, and ponds that are a perfect attraction in Kathmandu for both locals and tourists. It is one of the best natural places to visit in Kathmandu. After the garden's patron, Kaiser Sumsher Rana, died in the 1960s, the place fell into disrepair until recently, when it was wonderfully restored by the Austrian government and reopened to visitors.

6. Langtang National Park

The Langtang National Park, which has trekking trails, lush greenery, and a diversity of flora and fauna species, was established in 1976 as Nepal's fourth national park. It is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu. The Langtang National Park is located approximately 32 kilometres north of Kathmandu and is linked to the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet.

The calm, high-altitude Gosaikunda Lake, which is thought to be sacred, is also located in the stunning park. The park area spans across the Nepalese larch in the midst before cascading down to the huge meadows of green fields from the dense forests that comprise the hilly regions. This place is ideal for nature enthusiasts, as it consists of over 250 species of birds, 46 species of mammals, and more than 1000 species of plants.

7. Hanuman Dhoka

Hanuman Dhoka, once the royal palace of Malla monarchs and the Shah dynasty, is a complex of ancient buildings, some of which trace its origins to the mid-16th century. It is located in Kathmandu's Durbar Square and is popularly known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar, which derives its name from an antique sculpture of Lord Hanuman (Monkey God) near the main door of a historic palace. In the native language, 'Dhoka' means "door." Hanuman Dhoka, which covered an area of 5 acres, was heavily damaged during the 2015 earthquake.

8. Narayanhiti Palace

The Narayanhiti Palace Museum, located to the east of the famous Kaiser Mahal near Thamel, is a former royal palace that was home to Nepal's kings. It is historically significant because of the 2001 'Royal Family Assassination.' The magnificent museum displays the historic furniture, art items, and ornaments of the royal family and the lavish lifestyle that previously graced the elegant palace's durbar (halls).

The name Narayanhiti is a combination of two words: 'Narayan' refers to the Hindu god 'Lord Vishnu,' and 'Hiti' means 'water spout.' The name is especially significant because of the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which is located right across the road from the royal complex.

9. Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery is a spectacular Tibetan Buddhist Monastery located on the magnificent Kopan Hills (20 minutes drive from the city center) on the outskirts of Kathmandu. It was founded between the late 1960s and early 1970s by the creators of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana (FPMT). It is a well-known tourist destination in Kathmandu that attracts those interested in knowing Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. It is one of the best tourists places in Nepal and visitors can spend a few hours exploring the gorgeous and serene monastery, participating in a retreat.  The monastery campus is open to the public. However, a general rule of conduct must be followed in order to prevent disturbing the students and monks.

10. The Last Resort

The Last Resort, nestled on the top of a high gorge, is three hours from Kathmandu. The Last Resort is located among terraced slopes, with the Bhote Kosi River nearby. This lovely resort is ideal for resting, engaging in adventurous activities, relaxing by the plunge pool, or reading a book in the middle of breathtaking surroundings. It is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu for couples.

If you're feeling pumped up and looking for an adventure that will help you feel more alive than ever before, The Last Resort provides many wonderful adventure activities for you! This resort has it all, from thrilling bungee leaping to exhilarating white water rafting. Aside from that, you'll find delicious meals served in a comfortable dining hall decorated with elaborate stone and wood engravings, as well as the well-stocked Karma Bar, which is always open. Overall, The Last Resort is a safe haven for everyone.

Best time to visit Kathmandu

In general, the best time to visit Kathmandu is between September to November. This time of year brings dry weather, bright skies, and a variety of cultural activities. So, book your Nepal tour package around this time. However, there is no wrong time to visit this magnificent city.

It's difficult to imagine how many stories Kathmandu may add to your travel diaries while you're on a trip in Kathmandu. Exploring this city will show you the history of Nepal's people and how the country has developed itself around tourism. Spend a week in this beautiful city and explore various places to visit near Kathmandu, fulfilling all of your wishes because Kathmandu has everything you're seeking in this incredible Himalayan country.

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15 Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu Valley

Best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley

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Are you looking for the best places to visit in the Kathmandu Valley ? If yes, then you are in the right place. This blog helps you learn about the 15 best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley .

Nepal is world-famous for trekking , so thousands of tourists visit annually. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in Nepal. The city of Kathmandu stands as a testament to Nepal’s rich history, vibrant culture, and enduring spirituality. So, it’s worth spending a few days exploring the city before or after the trip.

You can visit Kathmandu before embarking on your Nepal adventure or after your trek. This city promises an immersive cultural and historical journey that complements the trip. Including Kathmandu in the itinerary is not only an option; this is the perfect step to understand fully and appreciate Nepal’s beauty.

This is one of the most popular places in Nepal to access the Himalayas and all other outdoor activities. You need more than a day to navigate and explore this city, so add at least two days.

Here are some compelling reasons to include Kathmandu Valley in your itinerary:

Historical and cultural heritage sites:

Kathmandu is home to seven of Nepal’s 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites . These UNESCO World Heritage Sites have ancient temples, stupas, and palaces.

Spiritual Significance:

As the center of Hinduism and Buddhism , Kathmandu is a perfect place for spiritual exploration. Kathmandu’s temples, monasteries, and stupas attract those seeking spiritual experiences and insight.

Vibrant markets and street life:

In the heart of Kathmandu, Thamel is a tourist hub full of hustle and bustle. It is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, lively streets, and many shops. It is an excellent market for souvenirs, traditional crafts, clothing, and local cuisine.

Arts and Crafts:

Kathmandu is famous for its intricate arts and crafts.   This city has many traditional Newari wood carvings, thangka paintings, and handmade jewelry.

Local food:

Kathmandu offers a variety of food experiences. You can find it in this city, from street food stalls to high-end restaurants serving traditional Nepali dishes. Exploring local cuisine is a delicious way to connect with culture.

Gateway to Adventure:

Kathmandu serves as the gateway to trekking routes.   Many treks and adventure activities start in Kathmandu, making it a good starting point for exploring the Himalayas.

Friendly locals: 

Nepalis are famous worldwide for their warm hospitality. Engaging with locals can give you valuable cultural, traditional, and lifestyle insights.

Festivals and Celebrations:

Kathmandu hosts various lively festivals throughout the year.   If your visit coincides with the festivals, you will get a chance to witness cultural celebrations.

Although Kathmandu is a busy and bustling city, you will never get bored with the many tourist spots. So, if you are ready to explore Kathmandu , here are the 15 best places to visit .

1. Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square (the best place to visit in Kathmandu Valley)

Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley . It is a historical and cultural complex located in the heart of Kathmandu. Durbar Square is a fascinating testament to Nepal’s rich history and artistic heritage. It attracts tourists and pilgrims from all over the world.

Another name for Kathmandu Durbar Square is Hanumandhoka Durbar Square . It is one of the 7 World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley . This place is a must-visit for tourists who want to explore the rich heritage of Nepal. The site has a fascinating history of the Malla and Shah dynasties that ruled from the 12th to the 18th centuries.

It is an important historical site in Nepal, as it was the center of power for the Malla and Shah kings. Over the centuries, it has played an important role in political, economic, social, and cultural development.

The square was the site of the royal palace of the Malla dynasty. There are old palaces, temples, shrines, and courtyards. The most notable structures in the square are Hanumandhoka Darbar, Kumari Ghar, Taleju Temple, and Kaal Bhairava Temple. With intricate carvings, stunning courtyards, and ornate doors, this palace is an excellent example of traditional Nepalese architecture.

Durbar Square is still a living cultural center in Nepal. Many traditional artisans sell their wares in the surrounding streets. Various festivals and cultural events are organized at this place, which gives a glimpse of the vibrant cultural heritage of Nepal.

Entry Fee: For SAARC nationals, Rs. 150, and other tourists, Rs. 1000.

You may like: 5 Best short treks near Kathmandu Valley, Itinerary, Full Package

2. Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapurr Durbar Square (best place to visit in Kathmandu)

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley . It is one of Nepal’s important World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO in Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is an ancient city about 13 kilometers east of Kathmandu’s capital.

Bhaktapur is also known as Bhadgaon, which means “city of devotees”. Founded in the 12th century, Bhaktapur was one of the three major kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley. Durbar Square was the city’s cultural, political, and economic center at that time. This city was once the capital of the Malla Empire.

The site is a group of palaces, temples, and courtyards that were once the center of Bhaktapur city . This site is famous for its rich history, architecture, and cultural significance. It has four distinct sections: Durbar Square, Toumdhi Square, Dattatreya Square, and Pottery Square.

The Palace of 55 Windows, the Golden Gate, the Nytapola Temple, etc., are notable landmarks of the square. The palace with 55 windows was built in the 15th century during the reign of the Malla kings. Nyatapola Temple is a five-story pagoda-style temple. The temple is famous for its intricate woodwork and stone carvings. Dedicated to Goddess Siddhi Lakshmi, this temple is the tallest building in Durbar Square.

Tourists come to admire Bhaktapur Durbar Square’s historical architecture and cultural heritage. This is a must-visit site for anyone interested in Nepal’s history and culture.

Entry Fee: For SAARC nationals and Chinese citizens, Rs. 500, and for other tourists, Rs. 1800.

3. Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square (best place to visit in Kathmandu)

Patan Durbar Square is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley . It is in Lalitpur, a city in the Kathmandu Valley. This city is also known as Patan. Patan Durbar Square is home to important buildings and temples from Nepal’s religious and cultural history. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an excellent example of Newari architecture.

This heritage site developed and expanded during the Malla dynasty, from the 12th to the 18th centuries. At that time, Patan became a center of art, architecture, and religion. The palace was the site of many important ceremonies and rituals during the reign of the Malla kings. Its structures are important for their religious and historical significance and unique architecture. It is a must-visit place for those interested in Nepal’s history, culture, and traditional Newari architecture.

The Krishna temple inside the complex is one of the most famous and attractive. Built in the 17th century, the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is one of the major deities in Hinduism. It is a Shikhar-style temple where you can see a masterpiece of Newari architecture. Sundari Chowk, Bhimsen Temple, Taleju Temple, Patan Museum, Golden Temple, etc. are also notable landmarks of this place.

Entry Fee: For SAARC countries, Rs. 250, and other tourists, Rs. 1000.

Visit also: Everest Base Camp Trek 14 – days, Mount Everest, Mt. Everest, Itinerary, Cost, Difficulty

4. Bouddhanath stupa

Bouddhanath Stupa (best place to visit in Kathmandu)

Bouddhnath Stupa is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley . It is one of the most important and iconic landmarks in Nepal. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the largest stupas in the world. This stupa was built by the Lichchavi dynasty, which ruled Nepal in the 5th century AD. Yet the exact date of its construction is still unknown.

The Boudhanath Stupa is an important symbol of Nepal’s Buddhist culture and heritage. It has been a religious site for over 1,500 years. It is worth visiting with its vibrant atmosphere, unique architecture, and historical significance.

The stupa is a magnificent structure with a height of 36 meters and a diameter of over 100 meters. It is a sacred religious place for Buddhists and a cultural and social center. The beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere make this place a popular tourist destination.

Every day, hundreds of people come to walk clockwise around the stupa, spin prayer wheels, and chant mantras. The stupa is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it lively and bustling. Visitors can enjoy local cuisine and shopping while admiring the beauty of the stupa. It is an ideal place to learn about Buddhist stupas’ rich history and culture.

Entry Fee: For SAARC countries, Rs. 100, and other tourists, Rs. 400.

Visit Also:- Best Treks in Nepal for Beginners

5. Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple (best place to visit in Kathmandu)

Pashupatinath Temple is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu . It is one of the most important and iconic landmarks in Nepal. The temple is a Hindu temple complex located on the banks of the Bagmati River. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus . Shiva is one of the major deities in Hinduism.

This temple complex has over 500 temples, shrines, and other structures. The structure of the main temple is in pagoda style. This temple was built in the 5th century, though the current structure dates back to the 17th century. Apart from the main temple, the complex has other important temples and structures dedicated to various Hindu deities.

Many important festivals and events take place in the temple complex throughout the year. Mahashivratri is the most important festival celebrated at this place. Celebrated in February or March, this festival attracts thousands of pilgrims. The Bagmati River behind the temple is sacred to Hindus for ritual bathing and funerals.

As a World Heritage Site and an important Hindu cultural center, the temple attracts thousands of visitors and pilgrims. Although the 2015 earthquake caused some damage, the temple has been restored and is open to visitors.

Entry Fee: Free for Indian citizens and other tourists Rs. 1000.

6. Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa (Best place to visit in Kathmandu)

Swayambhunath Stupa is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu . This stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal located on a small hill. It is one of the oldest and most important stupas in Nepal. This place has many monkeys; hence, it is also known as the Monkey Temple . It is a sacred religious pilgrimage site for Buddhists .

The structure dates back to the 14th century, but the stupa is believed to have been built in the 5th century. A stupa is a huge, dome-shaped structure. It looks beautiful, with colorful prayer flags, wheels, and intricate carvings. It is a remarkable place that reflects Nepal’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

This place of religious importance for Buddhists and Hindus is located in a peaceful location. Its architecture, art, and natural beauty make it a must-visit destination in Kathmandu. You can climb a steep staircase leading up to the stupa at the top of the hill. From the top, you can see the panoramic views of Kathmandu city and the surrounding mountains.

Entry Fee: For SAARC countries, Rs. 50, and other tourists, Rs. 200.

7. Garden of Dreams

Garden of dreams

The Garden of Dreams is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley . This place is known as ‘Swapna Bagaicha’ and the Garden of Six Seasons.’ It is a historic and charming neo-classical garden near Thamel’s bustling area. Due to its central location, it is accessible to both locals and tourists.

The garden was built by Kishore Narasimha in 1920. It is also home to many classical concerts, corporate functions, and cultural events. If you want to relax in a beautiful and peaceful garden, this is the perfect place. There is also a library inside where you can read books. Enjoy delicious snacks and piping-hot beverages at the cafe. You can also visit the gallery for unique artwork.

The garden has enthralled all the tourists visiting this place. It is a place that soothes your body, mind, and soul with its charm. The garden offers a calm and peaceful escape from the bustling urban environment. The garden’s center has a stunning fountain to relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. Whether looking for a moment of solitude or dreaming of a romantic stroll, the garden is a must-visit destination.

Timing: 9:00 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

Entry Fee: Adult: NPR 320, Child: NPR 160

8. Ason Bazar

Ason bazar

Ason Bazaar is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu . It is a famous local market street in Ason, Kathmandu. The main square of Asan Bazaar is always crowded with people buying and selling goods. You can find everything in this market, from vegetables and fish to clothes, jewelry, and spices. Interacting with local merchants provides insight into the stories behind their products.

Ason is a pleasant market frequented by locals for daily essentials. It is the best place in Kathmandu to buy groceries, clothes, and religious items. Vendors bring in fresh produce every morning, and the market is busy until sunset. Apart from the market, you can visit some Asan Tol sites. It has the famous Annapurna Ajima, Ganesh, and Narayan Temple.

This ancient trading center is the lifeline of Kathmandu and local traders. Ason is a must-visit destination for those who want to see the unique side of Nepal’s local markets. Its fascinating handicrafts and rich history offer an enchanting and memorable experience. If you want to combine an authentic piece of Nepali culture with the local lifestyle, Asan Bazaar is the perfect destination.

Thamel

Thamel is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu . It is one of Kathmandu’s most popular and crowded commercial centers. It is also a tourist hub with many trekking companies, travel agencies, and hotels. The streets are always crowded with pedestrians, cycle rickshaws, taxis, bicycles, and two-wheelers.

Art galleries and handicraft shops showcase the work of local artisans. Thamel is also home to many restaurants that offer delicious and varied cuisine. It is a major entertainment destination where you can find bars, clubs, and casinos, most of which are open 24 hours a day. Casinos are the focal point of the nightlife happening in the area. Narrow alleys, colorful shops, and diverse cuisine make Thamel a must-visit place.

10. Kopan Monastery 

Kopan monastery

Kopan Monastery is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley . Perched on a hilltop, the Kopan Monastery is a peaceful haven of spirituality, education, and self-discovery. This place offers panoramic views of the valley and the surrounding mountain peaks. Kopan Monastery is a holistic learning, meditation, and personal transformation center. The serene surroundings make it an ideal place for contemplation and meditation.

One of the main attractions that attracts tourists is its meditation retreats. Anyone can explore Buddhist principles and engage in spiritual practices. The monastery offers a variety of meditation retreats and programs.

The architecture and artwork of the monastery are a combination of traditional Tibetan aesthetics and contemporary design. Intricate murals, thangka paintings, and sculptures adorn the monastery’s halls. The monastery presents itself as a hidden gem that transcends the boundaries of religious and spiritual exploration.

11. Narayanhiti Palace Museum

Narayanhiti Palace Museum

Narayanhiti Palace Museum is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu . Among the historical treasures of Nepal, it is located in the bustling city of Kathmandu. The Narayanhiti Palace Museum is located east of the famous Kaiser Mahal near Thamel. This museum was once a royal palace. It provides cultural heritage and a unique opportunity to learn about the transition from monarchy to democracy.

Narayanhiti Palace stands as a testament to Nepal’s architectural grandeur. Built in the mid-20th century, the palace served as the residence of the Shah monarchy. The dynasty dominated the political and social landscape of Nepal for generations. This building is proof of Nepal’s history, cultural heritage, and capacity for transformation.

It is significant because of the ‘Royal Family Massacre’ in 2001. On June 1, 2001, King Birendra, his wife, and family members were massacred by Prince Dipendra. Dipendra shot himself in the head after injuring his family members. The mystery of the murder has never been revealed. However, it is said that Dipendra killed them because of his girlfriend.

In 2008, Nepal was declared a democratic and secular state. After democracy, Narayanhiti was converted into a museum in 2009 and opened to the public. Spread over 3794 square meters, it was built in the late Victorian style of architecture. Once a royal residence and now a museum, this building stands as a bridge between Nepal’s royal past and its vibrant present. It is a must-visit place for anyone who wants to know the history of Nepal’s royal family.

Timings: 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. and closed on Tuesday

Nepali Nationals: NPR 100

Students: NPR 20

SAARC Nationals: NPR 250

Other foreign nationals: NPR 500

12. Shivapuri National Park

shivapuri national park

Shivapuri National Park is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley . Located on the northern outskirts of Kathmandu, this park is famous for day hikes. Spread over about 159 square kilometers, it provides shelter for wildlife and birds. The park encompasses diverse ecosystems ranging from subtropical forests to alpine meadows.

This route is popular for bird watching, hiking, and cycling. It is also the closest national park to Kathmandu Valley. The hilltop offers an eagle’s-eye view of the Kathmandu Valley and its surroundings. The hike takes you to villages, where you can learn about the customs and traditions of the local people.

It is a top destination for nature and wildlife lovers close to Kathmandu. The most popular route for trekkers is the Nagi Gompa trek. Nagi Gompa is a beautiful Buddhist monastery inside the park. Located in a peaceful and beautiful place, this monastery is sacred to Buddhists. The park offers an opportunity to explore the beauty of nature and soak in the tranquility.

At a height of 2,732 meters, Shivpuri Peak is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. There are ancient shrines and stupas on the top of the hill, which attract pilgrims and devotees. This hike suits people of all ages, as it is a short and pleasant trip near Kathmandu . From the top of the hill, you can view Langtang, Rowling, Ganesh Himal, Dorje Lakpa, etc.

Entrance Fees:

For Foreigners: Nepal Currency Rupees 1000

SAARC countries nationalities: Nepal Currency: Rupees 600

Nepali Citizens: Nepal Currency Rupees 100

13. Changu Narayan Temple

changu narayan temple

Changu Narayan Temple is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu Valley . This temple is located in Bhaktapur, a city in the Kathmandu Valley. This historic UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered the oldest temple in Nepal.

Changu Narayan Temple has a deep spiritual significance for Nepali people. It is one of the most important temples for Hindus in Nepal. It is also a popular tourist destination where thousands of tourists visit.

This temple, believed to have been built in the 4th century, is dedicated to the Lord. However, the current structure dates back to the 17th century.

Its name, ‘Changu, is derived from the local deity ‘Changunarayan.’ It is often called a living museum of Nepali art due to its exquisite sculptures and carvings. These intricate carvings provide invaluable insight into ancient Nepal’s artistic, cultural, and religious practices.

Intricate woodwork and well-crafted stone carvings showcase the finest examples of Newari architecture. One of the most notable features of the temple is the Garuda pillar. A stone pillar erected in front of this temple is an amazing sculpture of the mythical half-man, half-bird creature Garuda.

Devotees flock to the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu and immerse themselves in the serene surroundings. Situated on the top of a small hill, this temple offers a peaceful atmosphere to its visitors.

Visitors enjoy its architectural marvels and the panoramic views of the surrounding valley. This ancient spiritual site offers an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Nepal. It is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Nepal’s rich traditions.

Entry Fee: For SAARC nationals, Rs. 100, and other tourists, Rs. 300.

14. National Museum of Nepal

national museum of Nepal

The National Museum of Nepal is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. This national museum is the custodian of the nation’s rich cultural heritage. It exhibits various artifacts that glimpse the country’s history, art, and traditions. Established in 1928 as the Chauni Museum, it was later renamed the National Museum.

The museum reflects Nepal’s journey from the establishment of the monarchy to the transition to a democratic nation. This museum has been established to preserve Nepal’s cultural artifacts and historical heritage. It has become an important institution for locals and tourists seeking to explore the diverse heritage of Nepal.

It offers a comprehensive view of the country’s past and present, from ancient to contemporary artifacts. The museum shows many archaeological artifacts, including sculptures, inscriptions, and ceramics. The museum also exhibits intricate religious artifacts representing Hinduism and Buddhism. Carved wooden statues and religious objects reflect the spiritual aspects of Nepal’s history.

It attracts tourists, scholars, and researchers who want to know the heritage of Nepal. A visit to the National Museum of Nepal is a journey through time that provides a vivid picture of Nepal’s past, present, and future.

15. Chandragiri Hill Cable Car

chandragiri hill cable car

Chandragiri Hill Cable Car in Nepal is another one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu . It offers a unique opportunity to embark on a breathtaking journey up the hills via the cable car system. You can get stunning panoramic Kathmandu Valley views from Chandragiri Hill.

It has historical and religious significance as well as natural beauty. This hill is believed to have been the meditation place of the great emperor Ashoka in ancient times. People believe this hill was the meditation place of the great emperor Ashoka in ancient times. Hence, this place is an excellent destination for peace and adventure seekers. The cable car offers visitors a safe, efficient, and exciting mode of transportation. The cable car journey ascends through lush, green forests and steep terrain.

Its cabins offer large windows that reveal the beauty of the landscape. As the cable car goes up, it offers passengers a breathtaking view of the Kathmandu Valley. After reaching the hilltop station, you enter an area where history, spirituality, and modernity converge. The Bhaleshwar Mahadev Templ e on the top of the hill is a religious site and a testament to Nepal’s spiritual heritage.

The view tower of the place is one of the major highlights. It offers 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, including the Langtang and Annapurna ranges. The Chandragiri Hill complex has restaurants serving both local and international cuisines. You can enjoy traditional Nepali food while looking at the picturesque landscape below.

Visit Also: Kathmandu Valley Tour – 6 Days, Itinerary, Full Package, Cost

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Travel Guide

20 Places to Visit Near Kathmandu

By Suraj Katwal

Updated On Jul 27, 2023

If you are looking for the top 20 best places to visit near Kathmandu or within the valley then we have compiled the list of sites for you. If you are researching your new destination i.e. Kathmandu then it is a city of temples as well as the capital city of Nepal .

A famous destination for travelers as it is a hub for many other trekking and travel destinations. However, there are also many other amazing places to explore to visit outside this city that offer a wide range of activities and attractions, etc. for travelers.

List of 20 Places to Visit Near Kathmandu

Places to visit near Kathmandu

In this post, we are going to highlight the top 20 best spots to visit near Kathmandu with practical information and tips for making the most out of your tip. In this guide, you will also get tips to get the most out of the valley.

So if you’re planning a trip to Nepal and want to explore beyond the city, be sure to check out these amazing destinations.

1. Nagarkot

Nagarkot

If you are searching for a place that is nearest to Kathmandu then Nagarkot is a place to look after. It is just 32 Kilometers away from Kathmandu and it is one of the common tourist destinations. Tourists usually visit Nagarkot for the spectacular sunrise and sunset view and also mountain views.

The best part of this place is that you can easily reach it within a three-hour drive and also if you are interested in one day trek then it is most recommended.

In the winter season, you can witness snowfall and we also can see huge crowds during snowfall.

Pokhara: Honeymoon Tour in Nepal

If you are a regular visitor to my blog then you already know how much I love Pokhara City.

Pokhara, one of Nepal’s largest cities, is far away from the negative effects of urbanization. Pokhara is located around 200 kilometers to the west of Kathmandu city at an elevation of 827 meters above sea level.

It is a stunning city with numerous little and big lakes, as well as natural caverns. Mountains and lush woodlands encircle the city. Therefore, it is the ideal location to unwind after a long day.

Pokhara’s serene lakes and rustic atmosphere bring us nearer to the natural world. You can spend the daylight portion of your holiday by the lake before taking in Pokhara’s evening. The caves are accessible, and you can crawl out of them. It will be a thrilling adventure.

This city may have 100 reasons to explore but we have written 20 Reasons to Visit Pokhara, Nepal . You can enjoy the blog and let us know.

3. Bandipur

Bandipur

Bandipur is another nice place to spend quality time if you have plenty of time. You can visit a traditional Newari village and also get picturesque views of the Himalayas. Bandipur is a small village with the thick settlement of Newar.

It is said that 60-70% of the houses are classically made with wooden windows and slate roofs. Bandipur is 148 km away from Kathmandu and one can drive by private vehicle or tourist bus.

Birth Place of Gautam Buddha Lumbini

Lumbini is one of Nepal’s most tranquil tourist sites as it is within a prime location in the Terai region. It is the place where the Lord Buddha spent his formative years and is now known as Lumbini, a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site in Nepal.

In addition to being a holy site, Lumbini is also a very well-liked tourist destination and one of the most frequented locations in Nepal. Lord Buddha’s birthplace is Lumbini, located in Nepal’s Western Terai region.

It is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage place throughout all of Asia and since 1997, UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site.

The nearest airport to Kathmandu is Gautam Buddha International Airport, which is approximately 30 minutes away from Lumbini, which is in the Lumbini Province’s Rupandehi District.

Also, read about the Top 10 Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites in Nepal .

5. Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park

Out of 12 national parks , Chitwan National Park is the most popular and most visited national park in Nepal. Established in 1973, Chitwan national park is regarded as Nepal’s first national park.

Later, in 1984, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, which helped it become a renowned national park of Nepal. The Chitwan national park has been a major part of Nepal’s tourism ever since.

Located in the central Terai of Nepal, Chitwan national park is best known for the Chitwan jungle safari. Travelers from all around the world visit Chitwan national park to spy on one-horned rhinos and encounter fierce Bengal tigers.

6. Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a place you should not miss while visiting Nepal or if you are looking for places near Kathmandu then it is the destination that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is also one of the most visited tourist spots which are culturally rich and it is a half-day trip from Kathmandu Valley.

It was once a palace of the Bhaktapur Kingdom and nowadays you can see the marvelous architecture in Nepal. A tour is worth it as you are going to explore temples, statues, and monuments of different eras.

7. Basantapur Durbar Square

Basantapur

Basantapur Durbar Square is one of the most visited and crowded places in Kathmandu and you can see people enjoying themselves by taking selfies, photos, etc. It is a historic palace located in the heart of Kathmandu. It was a palace during the Malla and Shah dynasties of Nepal and now it is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal.

Overall, anyone interested in Nepalese history and culture should pay a visit to Basantapur Durbar Square. The palace complex is a testament to Nepal’s rich cultural heritage and provides a unique look into the country’s past.

8. Patan Durbar Square

Patan

Patan, located just outside of Kathmandu, is known for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful architecture. Visitors can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Patan Durbar Square or the local art galleries and craft shops.

9. Namo Buddha

Namo Budhha

The Buddhist holy site Namo Buddha, which is roughly an hour’s drive from Kathmandu, is renowned for its breathtaking Himalayan views. Visitors can attend yoga and meditation lessons while at the Namo Buddha Stupa.

10. Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu temples in Nepal . It is located on the banks of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Pashupatinath, who is considered to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva. The temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Nepal’s most popular tourist destinations.

Thousands of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world visit the temple every year. The Pashupatinath Temple is a magnificent structure with a gold-plated roof and four silver-plated doors.

11. Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa

The Stupas of Nepal are probably the most famous, and arguably, the most impressive stupas in the world. Among these stupas, the Boudhanath stupa is considered one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The stupas are usually huge dome-shaped monuments that represent Buddhist shrines.

It is a major tourist attraction located west of Kathmandu, Nepal that dominates the skyline of picturesque Boudha; bordered by traditional Nepalese architecture with prayer flags dotting the open sky. It is easily accessible from the center of the city, being only 6 km away.

12. Narayanhiti Museum

Narayanhiti Museum

Narayanhiti Palace Museum in Kathmandu is like a chamber of secrets that confines some untold history of the Kings of Nepal. 

Narayanhiti Museum, initially a royal residence of the Shah Kings of Nepal, is located in the heart of Kathmandu. It was established by the late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev in 1963.

He and his successors lived in Narayanhiti Royal Palace till 2008. King Gyanendra is the last King of Nepal, who was dethroned in 2008.

Now, you can visit this place and enjoy your day exploring the rooms named after different districts of Nepal.

Thamel

Thamel is a bustling tourist hub in Kathmandu Nepal. It is well-known for its lively environment and you can see lots of shops, restaurants, and bars. It is a popular tourist and expat destination and is also regarded as one of the best places to experience Nepalese culture and hospitality.

One of the main draws of the Thamel area is shopping. Numerous shops sell a wide range of goods including handicrafts, clothing, jewelry, etc. which reflects the Nepalese culture and traditions.

14. Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhunath

One of the sacred places among Buddhist pilgrims is the Swayambhunath temple, located in Kathmandu. Pilgrims of any religious background can visit Swayambhunath. It is one of the oldest religious places in Nepal and is cited as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Swayambhunath is also a popular holiday destination among locals who come to spend a peaceful time here. It is also a place for the spectacular view of Kathmandu valley i.e. you can get an almost 360-degree view of Kathmandu valley.

15. Garden of Dreams

Garden of Dreams Kathmandu

Garden of Dreams Kathmandu is one of the beautiful places, suitable for relaxation inside Kathmandu Valley. It is an exquisite and artistic garden area. It has a peaceful and serene ambiance so visitors are attracted to the Garden of Dreams.

Mainly youths visit the Garden of Dreams. It is a popular hub for couples in Kathmandu. The garden has a unique construction and has various plants and flowers to observe.

You can visit the Garden of Dreams any time of the year but, you are highly recommended to visit it during spring and summer.

16. Godavari

Godavari: Nepal's Famous Dating Spot

The Godavari in Lalitpur is a place where you get to see couples all around every day. The Godavari is a charming place to enjoy with your loved one and the ambiance is just perfect.

The place is mainly famous for teenagers and it is located in the heart of Lalitpur. If you want to spend an unforgettable day with your loved ones we recommend you visit this place.

Moreover, you can enjoy the astonishing view of Langtang, Jugal, and Ganesh Himal and also visit make a plan to visit Godavari National Botanical Garden too.

17. Kathmandu Fun Park

Kathmandu Fun Park

Kathmandu fun park , a popular fun park located at Bhrikuti Mandap, is one of the oldest and most enthralling amusement parks in Kathmandu.

It is the place where we can relish our inner child and relive childhood. You are free to become a child once again here and reminisce about the good old days.

Playing fun games with family and friends always brings a smile to our faces. It helps reduce stress and anxiety, stay physically fit, and help in mental well-being. So, we should spend some of our valuable time playing games and being happy.

18. Chandragiri

Chandragiri Cable Car

Chandragiri Hills is one of the popular sites in Nepal to visit with your families and friends. It has grabbed the attention of several travelers all over the world due to its unmatched beauty.

On the lap of Chandragiri Hill resides a sacred temple of Lord Shiva at an altitude of 2551 meters. Chandragiri Hill is also one of the popular hill stations near the Kathmandu Valley, where you can enjoy the snowfall during winter.

Besides snowfall, several features of Chandragiri will enhance your traveling experience, such as the sacred temple of Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple.

19. Manakamana

Manakamana Temple

Manakamana is a popular destination where people visit this place the popular temple known as Manakamana Temple offers prayers and seeks blessings. The temple is located in a scenic location and you can experience a unique cable car ride that offers stunning views of the surroundings.

20. Kalinchowk

Kalinchowk

Kalinchowk is another place nearby Kathmandu, it is suitable to visit this place with a group of friends and family during snowfall. You can also plan for a night stay in this place but be sure to book a hotel before your departure.

How to make the most of Kathmandu?

If you really want to make the most out of Kathmandu then here are some of the tips, you can follow. First, read this guide to know the list of things to do and things not to do in Nepal .

If possible, mark your calendar to visit Kathmandu around the festive season. You are going to love it as people gather to enjoy the festival and you will the vibe.

Other than that, here are a few things you can do to make the most out of Kathmandu Valley.

  • Research and plan ahead: The most basic and important thing you can do before your trip is to fully understand the destinations you are traveling to. Kathmandu is the capital city and you can find almost every information about it. so fully research all the things including local places, local restaurants, local activities, must-see attractions, or things to do.
  • Hire a local guide: There are lots of local places in Kathmandu, you don’t want to miss so hiring a local guide is the best thing you can do. You can pay a guide per hour or day and explore hidden gems, and places in Kathmandu that you might not find on your own.
  • Try new things: While you step out of your country, you also have to get out of your comfort zone. so, get afraid to try new things, new activities, and experiences, etc. If you are interested to visit the outside valley then try out Paragliding , Trekking , etc.
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions: Every country has its own traditions and culture, and different places have different rules and cultures. Always respect the local people and local culture while traveling and exploring new places. Keep in mind that, people love simplicity so be careful with dressing, behavior, etc.
  • Support local businesses: If you want to help to boost the economy of the country then you can always support and contribute to the local restaurants and purchase locally-made souvenirs. Also, you can stay at locally owned accommodations if possible. Support community works like helping to build community schools, places, etc.
  • Take advantage of free activities: Kathmandu is a city of temples and monuments, often visiting these places is free of cost or you have to pay a small fee that supports the maintenance of that place. so, mainly take advantage of visiting natural areas within or near Kathmandu Valley. Often you can save time as well as money.

Book your tickets to Kathmandu soon!

Now, it’s time to explore great places in Kathmandu Valley and outside it, so it’s time to book your tickets. I wish you explore these listed places, it may not be possible to visit these places in one go but never mind there is always next time. You will never regret your decision by visiting Nepal, you are going to have a memorable journey of your lifetime.

1. What are the 3 most visited places around Kathmandu Valley?

The 3 most visited places around Kathmandu Valley are Boudhanatha Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and Swayambhunath. Other than that you can visit Pashupatinath Temple, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, etc.

2. What are the good places for one night stay near Kathmandu?

Nagarkot is the go-to place for travelers for one night stay near Kathmandu. You can reach over there quickly. Other than that you can visit Shivapuri Resort, For Bungee, you can visit The Last Resort, etc.

3. What are the places to visit near Kathmandu for couples?

For couples who are looking further places beside Kathmandu Valley then Nagarkot, Chandragiri Hills, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Garden of Dreams, Dhap Dam , etc. are the places, you can explore.

4. What are the places to visit near Kathmandu for a night stay?

There are several places to visit near Kathmandu for a night stay, including Gokarna Forest Resort, Namo Buddha, The Last Resort, Thamel, Dhulikhel, Shivapuri Village Resort, Chitlang, etc.

5. What Is Patan Durbar Square Famous for?

Patan Durbar Square is a place full of Newari architectural design located in the city of Lalitpur. It is famous for ancient places, temples, and big & small shrines. Patan represents ancient structures, temples, shrines, statues, and idols.

We hope that this blog post will help you with all the information for planning your trip to Kathmandu Nepal. There are many places to visit in Kathmandu besides the listed ones, within Kathmandu, and near Kathmandu.

If you want to explore Kathmandu quickly then you can hire a local guide. You can roam around historical which are culturally rich.

If you love to visit a place that we recommend outside Kathmandu Valley then it’s Pokhara , a favorite and most beautiful destination for tourists.

At last, be respectful to local people, respect the local culture, and if possible buy local items also read our Getting Around Nepal guide to know more about Nepal.

Happy Travels!!!

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Suraj Katwal

Suraj is a travel enthusiast who believes in finding solace in the heart of nature. He enjoys exploring new destinations, different culture, and encouraging people to travel.

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COMMENTS

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