Kathmandu

Kathmandu

Stunning Himalayan vistas, big-city bustle, centuries-old temples and an array of vibrant colors, 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.
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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.

    6 things to do in Kathmandu

    Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. You can explore thousands of years of culture here, while making your way through historic temples and monasteries that belong to Hindus and Buddhists alike.

    Basantapur Durbar Square
    Through the 19th century, Basantapur Durbar Square was the playground of the Nepalese monarchy. Due to natural disasters over the years, many buildings in the square have needed repair, but Durbar square maintains a tradition of Nepalese architecture and is ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Kopan Monastery
    The Kopan Monastery is not far from Boudhanath and is mostly known for teaching Buddhism to foreigners. Starting in the 1970s the monastery offered a month-long meditation course in November and December. At other times throughout the year, please note that the monastery is only open to the public on Saturday.

    Harati Devi Temple
    The Tibetan name of the Harati Devi Temple is Swayambhunath and translates to “sublime trees.” The ancient religious architecture frames a museum, library, stupa, and more; and visitors are sure to discover much about Nepalese traditions of worship at the Harati Devi Temple.

    Pashupatinath Temple
    You’ll find the Pashupatinath Temple on the banks of the Bagmati River. A Hindu temple, Pashupatinath has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1979. If you’re visiting in February or March, check out the Maha Shivaratri festival, which more than 70,000 people celebrate at this temple.

    Lumbini
    A historical site in the tradition of Buddhism, Lumbini is where Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddartha Gautama in BC 623. Immerse yourself in monasteries here, as Lumbini is in a monastic zone, in which hotels or restaurants cannot be legally built nearby.

    Shechen Monastery
    A Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Shechen Monastery was founded in the late 17th century. Three hundred monks take care of Shechen, which is one of six mother monasteries in Nepal.

    Planning Your Kathmandu Visit

    How to Get Around Kathmandu?

    The easiest way to get around short distances is by hiring a bicycle rickshaw. You can also hire a taxi or rent a bike. Make sure to negotiate fares at the beginning of your journey.

    When to go to Kathmandu?

    Late September to December remains the best time to visit Kathmandu because of the views of pristine glaciers and local festivals. During these months, the place remains dry and suitable for exploration and trekking.

    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.

    Good to know

    Language

    Nepali

    Currency

    Nepalese Rupee (Rs)

    Country Code

    +977

    Time Zone

    UTC (+05:45)

    Best time to visit

    The best time to visit Kathmandu is in the fall. You’ll find the best weather Kathmandu has to offer, with comfortable temperatures in the 70s.

    What people are saying about Kathmandu

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Be prepared for long bus rides and short rapids
    I could not give this a 5 star simply because of the time it takes to get to the put in place, and the return is very exaggerated. The brochure lists 3 hours, but the traffic issues and road conditions make that impossible. It took 4 1/2 hours to arrive, and 5 and 1/2 to return. For 3 hours on the water seems like a rough trade-off. The rafting part was fine, and the lunch provided was very good, but the travel time was crazy. The location is only 65 miles from Kathmandu, so that lets you know how fast you move.

    From Kathmandu: Trishuli River Rafting Day Trip reviewed by Paul

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Good guide, very informative, lovely temples, grotty city.
    Thanks to Tilak and the 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.

    Kathmandu Valley Private 6-Hour Tour reviewed by Joyce

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Our tour was exceptional because of our guide
    Right from the start, he was on time. The car was lovely with cold a/c. At each stop, he thoroughly explained the historical and religious significance of the site. He never rushed us. He never pushed us to buy anything. My husband and I learned a lot and felt like we made a friend along the way. Well worth the time and money.

    Kathmandu Valley Private 6-Hour Tour reviewed by Madonna

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A wonderful experience. The stewardess made sure everyone was happy.
    The sun was out, the mountains clear and it was a truly magical experience. My aim was to see Mount Everest and my wish was granted. The stewardess came to each of us and told us which mountains were looking at and she made sure we all got good views.

    From Kathmandu: 1-hour Panoramic Everest Flight reviewed by ODETTE

    The City Maps

    ⭐⭐⭐ Best Hotels in Kathmandu

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    At the right time, the driver will be waiting for you on-site. They will walk you to the car and take you to the hotel.