Stunning Himalayan vistas, big city bustle, centuries-old temples and an array of vibrant colours, intoxicating aromas and friendly smiles all come together in the eclectic metropolis that is Kathmandu. It is an emerging cosmopolitan city, yet it remains steeped in cultural, artistic and religious tradition and it offers visitors an assortment of unique sights and experiences. Independent travelers and trekking groups alike will find no shortage of things to do, see and enjoy while in the Nepalese capital.

In 2015 a powerful earthquake devastated much of the city, killing over 8,000 people and destroying nearly 600,000 homes. Such a tragedy would naturally leave a scar on any society, but the city and its people have endured, and life is slowly returning to normal. Monuments are reopening, homes are being rebuilt and daily life is slowly becoming what it once was.

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Kathmandu is a spiritual and cultural centre of great importance for both Buddhist and Hindu traditions, and as such, it boasts a dizzying wealth of stunning temples, shrines and sacred places that have been delighting visitors for years. The city is also home to a few genuinely interesting museums that record the at times tumultuous history of Nepal, which are well worth a visit.

Top attractions in Kathmandu

Planning Your Kathmandu Visit

How to Get Around Kathmandu?

The easiest way to get around the historic centre is on foot, though cycle rickshaws provide a fascinating vantage point for viewing the old city. If you take a rickshaw, always agree a fare before you depart; a tip is appreciated for good service, usually around 10% of the fare.

When to go to Kathmandu?

Low Season (Jun–Sep) The monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides, and clouds often obscure mountain views. Shoulder (Mar–Apr) The second-best time to visit and trek; spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. High Season (Oct–Nov) Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season.

What to Eat in Kathmandu?

Many say Kathmandu has the most varied cuisine available in Asia. While you’re in Nepal, be sure to sample some local fare. We recommend you try daal (lentil soup), with bhat (rice), or a vegetable curry. Another staple is a Momo, which is a Tibetan style dumpling that uses Nepali spices.

What people are saying about Kathmandu

★★★★★ Outstanding service and overall experience

We saw the entire Himalayan mountain range and Mount Everest from a good distance ... in addition access to the cockpit 2-3 times made for great photos and memories !

★★★★★ Good guide, very informative, lovely temples, grotty city.

Thanks to Tilak and driver for a very interesting tour. An unexpected highlight (though not for those of a delicate disposition) was the visit to the riverside where Hindu cremations were taking place. Sad to see the earthquake damage to the temples but good to see restoration work ongoing. I learned a lot about Nepalese culture.

★★★★★ An unforgettable day in an unforgettable part of the world

Our guides Sandeep and Mohan were two wonderful people who showed us a wonderful part of their country and shared their in-depth knowledge of nature and culture. We loved our day, took breath-taking photographs, enjoyed the delicious lunch provided and will never forget the awesome views. Thank you!

Other Sightseeing Options in Kathmandu

Want to discover all there is to do in Kathmandu? Click here for a full list.

Top Hotels in Kathmandu