Interesting Places to Visit in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is essentially a natural valley surrounded by hills. It resembles a bowl filled with various ingredients that contribute to the overall flavor of the dish. The tourism industry plays a significant role in Nepal’s economy, with Kathmandu serving as the hub for this national business. Due to the presence of the Tribhuwan International Airport, all international flights must land in Kathmandu, making it the gateway to the country. As a result, many visitors take the opportunity to explore this vibrant city before continuing their journey. Kathmandu offers a delightful experience with its diverse cultural heritage and is a great place to spend time and immerse oneself in its unique atmosphere. With a proud and rich history dating back to the 12th century, Kathmandu is a bustling city and as the capital, it tends to be crowded. While this may be frustrating for some, it presents an opportunity to meet new people, share stories, and enhance your social skills. Being in a foreign country means that even if you stumble in conversations, it is unlikely to be remembered by anyone. This is one of the advantages of visiting a new place. However, it is advisable to avoid engaging in heated debates or quarrels to ensure a pleasant experience.

In order to simplify this procedure for our visitors, we have conducted thorough research and compiled a compilation of locations that could potentially be included in your initial package. To ensure the list is captivating, we have included a diverse range of experiences so that you can sample all the essential aspects. Furthermore, it is not necessary to adhere to the numerical order of the locations when visiting. Simply select a place at random, peruse the provided information, and commence your preparations. Examining each option in a sequential manner may lead to confusion and unnecessary stress. Therefore, without further ado, let us proceed with the list.

Boudhanath Stupa:

Embark on our journey by immersing ourselves in the essence of Buddhism in the heart of the capital city. Boudhanath Stupa, a highly sought-after tourist attraction, continues to captivate visitors to this day. Located merely seven kilometers from the bustling center of Thamel, it poses no significant challenge to reach. Although we haven’t delved into the details of Thamel, it goes without saying that it serves as a magnet for tourists. However, let us not deviate from our primary focus and delve deeper into the mesmerizing allure of Boudhanath Stupa. A sacred site where Buddhist devotees gather to pay homage to Buddha, it resembles a temple for Hindus.

The sheer size of the structure makes it easily recognizable from various parts of Kathmandu, making it a truly unique place. Your first visit to this location will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. The traditional ambiance and peaceful atmosphere will instantly captivate you, fostering an appreciation for Buddhism and its origins. Speaking of origins, the construction of the Boudha Stupa is believed to date back to around 600 AD. Interestingly, this coincides with the Tibetan King’s decision to embrace Buddhism and convert to the faith. In addition to this historical connection, there are numerous other reasons why Buddhists consider this place to be incredibly sacred.

Most of Nepal’s cultural sites suffered significant damage during the 2015 earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.8 and devastated the entire country. Although we managed to minimize casualties, the old and historic places were severely affected. However, Boudhanath was relatively spared compared to other sites. Despite the challenging times, the ideal moment to visit this stupa is during the night. In the daytime, the place tends to be bustling with other tourists. Therefore, it is recommended to visit when it is darker, as local citizens light butter lamps and incense sticks to offer their prayers.

Once you have admired the magnificent Boudhanath stupa, seek assistance from the locals or your guide to visit Ka-Nying Sheldrup Ling (White or Seto) Gompa, situated on the northern side. This remarkable Buddhist edifice bears resemblance to Boudhanath but possesses a pristine white hue. Ka-Nying Sheldrup serves as a gathering place for Buddhist monks to study Tibetan Buddhism.

Durbar Square:

Start your journey from Thamel and navigate towards the southern direction using your navigation tools until you reach Durbar Square. Regrettably, we must inform you that the place has undergone significant changes after the earthquake, losing its original essence. The original structures have suffered extensive damage, and the ongoing renovation efforts are still underway. While the true extent of natural disasters remains unpredictable, we must take responsibility for the extent of the damage. Cultural sites and heritage locations should have been regularly maintained and repaired. Unfortunately, due to the negligence of our government, we have lost several significant landmarks.

Nevertheless, Durbar Square continues to hold its position on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Interestingly, many individuals often mistake this location for the Durbar Square situated in the Bhaktapur region of Kathmandu. The Durbar Square area is primarily renowned for its numerous temples, monuments, stupas, and the rich history they embody. Collectively, these elements enhance the allure of the place. Once you have spent the night in Thamel, simply wake up the following morning, grab a cup of coffee, and make your way 700 meters to enter the premises of Durbar Square. If you prefer not to wander too far, you can easily find a nearby temple to sit and appreciate the scenery. The area will be bustling with young people, officials hurrying about for their duties, and individuals leisurely feeding pigeons for their own satisfaction. However, if you are the type of person who likes to explore every nook and cranny, here are some of the significant structures to visit:

Seto Bhairab

In Nepali, the word “Seto” translates to white. Seto Bhairab is a sacred location where the deity Bhairab is worshipped in accordance with Hindu religious customs. To those unfamiliar with Hindu gods, the architecture may appear peculiar and reminiscent of a creature. The intricate carving of Seto Bhairab dates back to 1794 and has been preserved to this very day. Annually, during the celebration of Indra Jatra, which is dedicated to honoring the Hindu rain god Indra, numerous devotees gather at this site. This festival typically takes place in the month of September.

Jagannath Temple:

This particular structure in the Dubar Square region is considered one of the oldest. It possesses a unique feature that is rarely seen in sacred places. The roof struts of this structure are adorned with numerous erotic carvings, which are original and have been present since its inception. The primary intention behind these carvings is to impart knowledge about the art of sex, also known as “Kamasutra” in Sanskrit. Furthermore, the temple is equipped with three doors that grant access to its premises. However, in accordance with the regulations, only one door is designated for both entry and exit.

Taleju Temple:

If individuals are questioned about the most splendid temple within the entirety of the Durbar square area, without a doubt, they will direct their attention towards the Taleju temple. This temple has preserved its magnificence over an extended period and remains as a prominent tourist destination. Although it is a Hindu temple, gaining entry to the temple can be somewhat challenging. Situated at a height of 35 meters, the temple encompasses twelve smaller temples within its premises. The entire structure is encompassed by four gates.

Mahendrashwar temple:

The Mahendrashwar temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, who is one of the prominent deities in Hinduism. This sacred site attracts a constant flow of devotees and visitors. Its distinctive architecture makes it easily identifiable. Notably, the temple features a golden umbrella that holds significant religious significance.

The visit to Durbar Square has now come to an end. However, it is important to note that our exploration of this site only touched the surface. Nevertheless, I trust that this compilation will assist you in discovering the essential places to visit.

Swoyambhunath Stupa

Kathmandu is enriched with yet another significant Buddhist structure that adds to its uniqueness. If you are impressed by the grandeur of Boudhanath Stupa, then brace yourself for the magnificence of Swoyambhunath temple or Stupa. This remarkable structure stands tall and can be spotted from various corners of the capital city. It is also renowned as the “Monkey Temple” among visitors. Being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this place holds immense historical and religious significance. Upon reaching the pinnacle of the stupa, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking 360-degree view of Kathmandu. A visit to Kathmandu would be incomplete without experiencing the charm of this place at least once.

Swoyambhunath, similar to other Buddhist stupas, is a circular structure that requires a specific way of walking around it. It is recommended to walk in a clockwise direction around the main structure, which is known as kora. Many locals can be seen following this practice. By adhering to this tradition, you can prevent any unnecessary rushing or accidentally colliding with others. Additionally, we have provided some guidelines to enhance your experience during your visit to the stupa. Furthermore, we have compiled a list of nearby attractions that you should explore.

Great Thunderbolt:

When you make your way towards the stupa from the Eastern Stairway direction, you will encounter a colossal brass structure crafted in the form of a thunderbolt. Rest assured, this does not indicate the presence of hazardous live wires or serve as a warning symbol. Rather, it symbolizes enlightenment. In Buddhist terminology, this object is referred to as the thunderbolt of Dorje.

Eastern Stairway:

In the previous section, we discussed the existence of a structure in the Eastern Stairway. Now, let’s delve into what exactly this stairway is. The Swoyambhunath stupa can be reached through two different routes. You can either take a longer route by road using your vehicle or challenge yourself by climbing the stairway. If you are someone who enjoys exploring and seeking adventure, why not opt for the stairway? However, it is important to note that there may be some challenges along the way, particularly with the presence of monkeys. These mischievous creatures may attempt to snatch or steal your belongings, especially food items. Therefore, it is advisable to securely pack your edibles inside your backpacks.

Western Stupa:

To reach this location, it is necessary to return to the main entrance. Proceed in the left direction along the path paved with cobblestones. At the conclusion of the pathway, you will encounter a Gompa, offering a splendid vista of the Kathmandu valley. While it would be an exaggeration to claim that the entire valley will be visible, you will undoubtedly enjoy a magnificent view.

Buddha Amideva Park:

This destination is often overlooked despite its impressive attractions, mainly due to a lack of information. The Buddha Amideva Park features three enormous statues that pay homage to Guru Rinpoche. It is truly astonishing that these statues are crafted from gold and radiate a brilliant glow on sunny days. For an added adventure, tourists can visit the Natural History Museum. This museum offers a refreshing break from the continuous religious visits. Interestingly, it shares similarities with London’s Trafalgar Square. The entry fee is affordable, with an additional charge of 50 NRs for camera usage.


Thamel, without a doubt, stands as the most renowned tourist attraction in Kathmandu. As soon as one sets foot on the streets of Thamel, they are instantly transported to a foreign land. The presence of high-end restaurants, stores selling outdoor gear, mouthwatering street food stalls, souvenir shops, and the captivating scent of incense sticks all contribute to a unique atmosphere for travelers. While other areas in Kathmandu may appear ordinary, Thamel emanates a sense of familiarity, reminiscent of being at home. It is a place where fellow adventurers gather, exploring and choosing keepsakes to take back with them. This is precisely why Thamel has thrived as a central hub for the tourism industry. Countless travel and tourism service providers, handicraft vendors, and vibrant pubs await, ensuring a delightful evening for visitors. In conclusion, Kathmandu boasts several captivating destinations, but Thamel undeniably reigns supreme.

Mandala Street: Please be aware that the streets of Thamel can be quite perplexing. Those who are unfamiliar with the roads may unintentionally end up in the wrong location. It is advisable to have a reliable guide or a comprehensive map of the area. Thamel marg serves as the main street, offering an enjoyable opportunity to leisurely stroll and immerse oneself in the Buddhist culture. As you explore the vicinity, you will come across buildings adorned with prayer flags. The calming scent of incense sticks, the melodic sound of singing bowls, and the enticing aroma of momos will undoubtedly captivate your senses. Take a moment to appreciate the cultural influence, explore essential establishments, and indulge in local cuisine to enhance your experience. The shops in Thamel are likely to have a similar appearance, but the prices of items may vary.

Pashmina: Pashmina, also known as a fine wool, is derived from four distinct breeds of Cashmere goats. In Nepal, the majority of Pashmina items are sourced from the Chyangra or Himalayan goat. These products are crafted using the finest hair from the goat’s body, which boasts a fiber diameter of approximately 12 microns. Due to its exceptional quality and intricate production process, Pashmina items tend to be quite costly. A single scarf, for instance, may cost around $50 USD. It is worth noting that shops often attempt to maximize profits from tourists, so engaging in bargaining is encouraged.

Singing Bowls: Nepal possesses unique singing bowls, which are actually a type of bells crafted from a blend of tin and copper. Once these bowls are created, they produce sounds that are primarily used for calming the nerves. If you have visited Buddhist religious sites, chances are you have already heard the resonating tones of these bowls. Typically, a wooden stick is employed to produce the sound by gently tapping the bowl, resulting in a soothing and low-frequency resonance. If you appreciate these bowls, it is important to ensure their authenticity. Many individuals unknowingly acquire machine-made replicas, which are essentially cheap imitations of the genuine article. Therefore, it is advisable to seek out handmade bowls that produce authentic sounds.

Praying flags: If you are facing budget constraints and prefer not to purchase expensive gifts, we have an ideal recommendation for you: prayer flags. Why not consider them? They are incredibly eye-catching, exhibit cultural significance, and are convenient to transport. Decorating them is a breeze, and they exude a strong sense of Buddhism-related ambiance. You can easily find prayer flags in numerous gift shops located in the Thamel area.

Freak Street:

Familiar to those acquainted with early Nepal, Freak Street is not an unfamiliar sight. In the 1960s, this location was renowned as a haven for hippies. Once shrouded in the haze of marijuana smoke, it now finds itself enveloped in the fragrant aroma of incense. However, as time has passed, Freak Street has undergone a complete transformation. Presently known as Jochen Marg, it boasts a plethora of restaurants, shops, and captivating individuals meandering about. Following your visit to Thamel, a brief respite in this locale before continuing onward is highly recommended. Although the description may not initially captivate your interest, the sight of a bustling street adorned with vibrant individuals is sure to uplift your spirits.


ASON is synonymous with bustling crowds and vibrant markets. You may have encountered the term “Bazaar” before, but nowhere will you find a more captivating introduction to this concept than in Kathmandu. The narrow alleys of ASON are teeming with an astonishing array of goods that you would never expect to find in a local market. From vibrant spice markets and fragrant flowers to eye-catching posters and locally-produced alcoholic beverages, your visit to this place promises a truly unique experience. It holds a special significance for the dedicated sellers and growers who bring their products from the farthest corners of Kathmandu on a daily basis. In addition to its vibrant market, ASON offers a plethora of other attractions for those who enjoy exploring hidden corners. Surrounding this fascinating marketplace are several Hindu temples, including the Krishna Temple and the Annapurna Temple. Upon closer inspection, you will notice that these two temples are nestled between two other buildings, showcasing an intriguing architectural arrangement. The Annapurna Temple boasts exquisite wood carvings that exemplify Nepal’s rich architectural heritage. Symbolizing abundance in the Hindu belief system, this temple is often accompanied by bustling markets located near its entrance, embracing the belief and energy it represents.

Garden of Dreams:

The name itself sounds sophisticated, doesn’t it? Well, the ambiance becomes even more elegant when you have your beloved by your side. If you are traveling with your significant other, there is no need to search for any other destination. The Garden of Dreams is often referred to as neo-classical and offers a serene escape from the bustling crowds and noises. You can easily locate this place by referring to your map, situated in the southern part of Thamel on Tridevi Marg. Although it is renowned for being a lovers’ haven, this destination was originally built in the early 1920s as a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation of both body and mind. Do not be deceived by the aged walls and gates, as the outer appearance may seem outdated. Once you step inside, you will be greeted by a lush green grass field, flourishing trees, and serene ponds adorned with lilies. These elements collectively create a miniature botanical paradise amidst the capital city. First-time visitors often find themselves pleasantly surprised by the resemblance of this place to a European-inspired garden. Regardless of the impression it leaves, this location will assist you in revitalizing your weary self. The opening hours are similar to regular office hours, and the admission fee is quite affordable as well. As for the regulations concerning food and drinks, I am uncertain. However, if permitted, do consider bringing along some snacks and beverages to enhance your relaxation experience. These were just a few of our recommendations for a brief tour around the Kathmandu valley. There are numerous other noteworthy places, but including all of them would transform this article into a book. Hence, we have carefully selected the perfect destinations for a new visitor. Enjoy your time in Kathmandu. Jai Nepal.