Top 10 Things to Do in Kathmandu
Kathmandu or KTM is the political and financial center of Nepal. It boasts (some) wide avenues, international cuisine, lots of pollution and horrendous traffic. It also is part of anyone’s itinerary when coming to Nepal to go trekking, do aid work or simply go on vacation. The city is pretty dense and there are lots to see in as little as 3 or as long as 5 days.
Update: Since the April 2015 earthquake, many national monuments and places of cultural significance were partial destroyed. The country needs your help even more, tourism is it’s number one source of revenue. The best way to hep it is by visiting. BFW does scheduled and custom tours to Nepal.
Read my Top 10 Things to Do in Kathmandu
- Durbar Square – Can’t come to KTM without strolling down to the Durbar square. It’s popular with the teenagers. They like to come here in the evenings and mingle/flirt. Cost is 750 rs ($7.50) for foreigners but you can simply try and avoid the ticket booths if you are only passing through the square on your way to the New Road (I did this on multiple occasions).
- Garden of Dreams – Walled garden on the outside of Thamel. Once you walk in here, you swear you are no longer in Nepal. It’s breathtaking and peaceful (yes, peaceful!). There is wifi throughout and lots of travelers lounge on the grass and chill out for a couple hours. Cost is 200 rs and worth the price of admission.
- Patan – UNESCO site in south KTM. It is basically a large square similar to Durbar with shops, museums and temples galore. Cost is 500 rs ($5). I took a bus from Ratna Park here for 40 rs round trip (keep asking for the mini bus that takes you to Patan) but you can also pay for a taxi for 500 rs. Rooftop cafes let you take in the view. Good for a couple hours of exploring.
- Bhakatpur – Perhaps one of the coolest places to see while in KTM. It is 17 km to the east of the city and it’s it’s own historic city with several courtyards, ancient houses, and many many temples. It’s a living city and may locals go about their days while tourists stream in and out of the ancient alleyways. You should also think about spending the night here. Many bldgs were destroyed in the earthquake here but the Prime Minister is vowing to rebuild.
- Monkey Temple – Can’t go to KTM with seeing 20+ temples but this one is covered in monkeys (called baadar in Nepali). Takes the couple hundred steps up to the stupa and walk around. You can spend hours exploring. Cost was 250 rs ($2.50).
- Thamel – This is the heart of foreigner central but for good reason, food and entertainment. Thamel has got all the creature comforts of home (burgers, pizza, sushi, milkshakes, etc) with the zest of Nepali culture.
- Boudhanath Stupa – Largest stupa outside Tibet and ensconced in a nice courtyard with tibet museums and lots of cafes and shops. Cost is 250 rs ($2.50), well worth it in my opinion. It’s a great melting pot of young and old, buddhist and christian.
- Kingsway Road – Called Durbar Marg locally and it’s the poshest street in KTM. Coffee shops, designer stores(there is a Bentley store!) dot the tree lined avenue. Some of Nepal’s biggest stars are said to ‘hang out’ there. The former king’s palace (now a museum) sits at one end. As an added bonus it is only 5-10 minute walk from Thamel.
- Pashupati – Large hindu temple near the airport. Worth checking out if you don’t mind paying 1000 rs ($10), which I did so I hung around the outside and loitered. It’s worth a visit if you are not a cheapskate like myself.
- Cafe Culture. There are tons of cafes and gardens to grab a coffee. The most popular being Himalayan Java, which serve organic coffee and have a great vibe to sit and chill out for a couple hours. Plus wifi!
If you are interested in going to Nepal, I have tours there. One tour is 9 days and will cover Kathmandu and her sister city of outdoor adrenaline, Pokhara. Of course, our longer 12 day tours feature the afore mentioned with stops in Chitwan National Park and Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha