• Modified on Feb 3, 2023

 

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The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is a very busy, occupied city that is frequently the first stop for most foreign visitors to the nation. There are countless activities and secret places in Kathmandu for both locals and visitors from around the world because it is the picturesque country's major city. Visitors may explore the captivating temples, sample regional food, hike through national parks, and engage in adrenaline-pumping activities in this region, which is tucked away in a valley encircled by the powerful Himalayas. Partygoers will be glad to know that Kathmandu boasts a thriving nightlife where they can unwind with their favorite music and drinks after a long day. The months of October through December are among the best for visiting this wonderland since the weather will be clear, allowing visitors to experience the spectacular vistas in all their splendor. In addition, the months of January and February offer wonderful views for winter lovers. Pashupatinath (the most significant Hindu temple), located on the banks of the Bagmati river, Durbar Squares (home to temples and other structures dating back to the 12th century), Swyambhunath (a World Heritage Site), and other attractions can be explored in Kathmandu. Additionally, Kathmandu serves as a travel hub for the rest of Nepal. There stand many interesting sites and attractions in Kathmandu. Over 9000 inhabitants and visitors perished in and around the collapsed buildings after the devastating earthquake struck in April 2015, causing a great tragedy. Many more people were injured. Ancient stupas, temples, and homes for people all crumble to the ground. You will witness a significant amount of construction and debris going on all around you because the city is slowly but surely being rebuilt to its original state.

There are a few things to keep in mind if this is your first visit to the city. In hot months, roads can get rather dusty (so wear a face mask), and transportation might be cumbersome due to heavy city traffic. 

Take a mountain flight

Flying above the Himalayas is a fantastic way to witness Mount Everest's majestic sensation up close. Sit back in your seat and let the pilot take you on an unexpected journey. This flight gives you the chance to soar above the clouds and get a close-up view of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. It takes 50 minutes to conclude this flight, and during that time, you are only 20 miles from Mount Everest's summit. Additionally, the flight gives you a bird's-eye view of a few other notable Himalayan peaks. One of the most thrilling things to do in Kathmandu is to partake in this unique experience, which is available only in Nepal. The optimum months for this flight are February through April and October through November. Mountain flight tours usually depart from Kathmandu. 

Explore the city's major attractions

Kathmandu's top attractions combine grandeur, spirituality, culture, and legacy.

Swyambhunath Stupa

West of Kathmandu city, on a hill, is Swayambhunath, a well-known Buddhist shrine. The name "Monkey Temple" is another title for this Buddhist temple. On the temple grounds, hundreds of them reside and roam. The most aged temple in Nepal, this masterpiece was built at the beginning of the fifth century. This stupa, which is perched on a hill, is the ideal illustration of the harmony and goodwill of both Buddhism and Hinduism.

Throughout the week, Swayambhunath is attainable from dusk until morning. Entry is NPR 200 for foreign visitors, NPR 50 for residents of SAARC countries, and free for locals. Children under the age of 10 are permitted free of charge.

Pashupatinath Temple

Seeking Lord Shiva's blessings at the Pashupatinath Temple is one of the best things to do in Kathmandu. One of the most significant Shiva temples in the entire globe is Pashupatinath. The temple, which is located beside the renowned Bagmati River, is well-known for its distinctive wood carvings, decorations, and architecture in addition to being a destination for Shiva devotees. One of Kathmandu's seven UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites is this revered shrine. The two main holidays observed in this sacred location are Shivaratri and Haritalika Teej. Along with a variety of Hindu ascetics, Pashupatinath attracts pilgrims from India. Most of the painted sadhus are content to have their pictures taken for a modest price in exchange for a blessing.

Along the Bagmati River's bank, you can also witness Hindus performing funeral rites. Another must-see location there is the crematoria. Every day of the week, this respected shrine is open from 4 am until 7 pm. For all foreigners and inhabitants of the SAARC, the cost is NPR 1000 per person.

Bouddhanath Stupa

The largest stupa in all of Nepal, Bouddhanath showcases the rich Buddhist culture and its symbolism. This stupa, which can be found in Kathmandu's northeast, merges tranquility and beauty in a giant dome. This stupa offers a view of Buddhist sculptures from the 14th century while depicting the five elements of earth, air, water, fire, and ether. In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it serves as a significant hub for Tibetan Buddhism and culture. Take the time to visit some of the numerous monasteries in the area of Boudhanath. The stupa is gracefully ornamented with colorful murals, and from above it resembles a marvelous mandala.

The Kora of the classical dome is said to bring good karma to everyone who completes it with a good heart. The entrance cost is NPR 400 for all foreign nationals and NPR 100 for SAARC citizens each person. It is open twenty-four hours a day.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

While visiting Kathmandu, you must see this famous durbar courtyard. This durbar square, one of the most notable UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is the ideal place to discover stunning antique architecture, arts, and crafts. The plazas that stand in front of Nepal's former royal palaces are known as durbar squares. Unfortunately, the 2015 earthquake caused some of the buildings to fall in this area. The area is still undergoing proper repair, but the wonderful courtyards, temples, and palaces make the attractiveness of the location more hopeful.

You can visit the well-known Hanuman Dhoka, which is one of the main attractions in this durbar square. A must-see location in this area is the Taleju Temple, which Mahendra Malla constructed in 1564. The Kumari Bahal, a three-story temple with exquisite carvings erected in 1757 and housing a young girl (living goddess) chosen from the Kathmandu valley, is another significant draw of this square. Entry costs NPR 1000 for all other foreign visitors and NPR 150 for SAARC nationals each person.

Experience the outdoors while participating in outdoor activities 

Kathmandu has a wide range of outdoor activities to keep you entertained while here. Here are just a few of the mind-blowing things to do in Kathmandu along with unique things to do in Kathmandu.

Rock Climbing

With Kathmandu Valley's spot in between two hills, it is a flat area that is overpopulated. The greatest alternative for you if you want to get away from the bustle of the city is to go rock climbing on the outskirts of Kathmandu.This will be a perfect adventure sport for you and your friends. If you are not yet ready to visit natural cliffs, you can also choose to do indoor wall climbing, which is available in Thamel. Otherwise, you can find ideal natural climbing cliffs at Nagarjun and Pharping.

River rafting

If you're looking for a heart-pounding, exhilarating adventure, consider taking a river rafting excursion down the Trishuli River. You can have an exciting wild adventure in a short amount of time because of the swiftly moving water currents. Contact knowledgeable rafting companies in accordance with your preferences to reserve your position on this excursion. River rafting is considered one of the best things to do in Kathmandu. 

Mountain biking

The hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley have excellent routes for this activity. You may enjoy mountain riding to the fullest extent by viewing the valleys from above and the mountains in all of their panoramic beauty. Many businesses in Thamel provide services like renting bikes or leading guided mountain biking excursions.

Bungee jumping

Bungee jumping is considered an incredible recreational experience to do while visiting Kathmandu. One of the most promising activities in Kathmandu is jumping into the 160-meter-deep tropical gorge of the Bhotekoshi River, where you'll experience an adrenaline rush. The Cliff Company offers bungy services at Kushma, Parbat, and The Last Resort in the Bhotekoshi River Gorge, catering to all adventure seekers. You can go to its office, on Mandala Street in Thamel.

Plan for a hike to the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley

If you want to be in nature, hiking in Kathmandu is now a great way to get away from the bustle of the city. During your visit to Kathmandu, going on a hike in Shivapuri National Park will be the ideal way to spend the day. In the northern part of the Kathmandu Valley is where Shivapuri National Park is located and is considered the best natural place to visit in Kathmandu. The best locations for a day hike are in the national park's Baghdwar and Bishnudwar, where the holy rivers Bagmati and Bishnumati originate. Jamacho Gumba and Dadagau are two more of this national park's top attractions.

You can also begin a variety of hikes in Kathmandu. There are several hiking alternatives when you are in Kathmandu, including the Ranikot Day Hike, Chisapani Hike, Champadevi Hike, and Kakani Hike. The valley's surrounding hills are widely known for birdwatching activity which is also considered the best things to do in Kathmandu.

Visit nearby cities and towns

As part of your things to do in Kathmandu, you should utilize the opportunity to tour the area's closest cities and towns which includes places to visit in Kathmandu with friends.

Patan (Lalitpur)

The history of Patan dates back to 250 BC. Only the Bagmati River diverges Patan from Kathmandu, which is located to the south of it. According to Lonely Planet's breakdown, Patan has more temples concentrated per square meter than either Bhaktapur or Kathmandu. The Patan Durbar Square, Golden Temple, the five-story Kumbeshwar Temple (dating from 1392), and the Red Machhendranath Temple are among Patan's most fascinating sights (dating from the 17th century). The Patan Museum, which displays over 200 examples of bronze or copper statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities, is another must-see location. Delicious snacks and meals are available in the Patan Museum Cafe.

Buses and taxis make it simple to get to Patan. Every day of the week except Tuesday, the Patan Museum is open from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. Locals can enter Patan for free; visitors from other countries must pay NPR 1000.

Bhaktapur

Located about 10 kilometers from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur is a little, old town. The city-state of Bhaktapur, which was made independent in the 12th century by King Ananda Malla, also boasts a Durbar Square home to various historic temples and courtyards. In Bhaktapur, you may observe real local commerce and sample delectable cuisine. King Curd (Juju Dhau) and Newari platters are two of Bhaktapur's most famous exports. The five-story Nyatapola Temple on Taumadhi Square, the tallest temple in Nepal and the most striking sight in Bhaktapur, was completed in 1702, during the reign of King Bhupatindra Malla.

The abundance of ponds, stone taps, lanes, and cultural performances in this lovely city is a blessing. In Potter's Square, you may see locals drying clothes or making baskets, or you may see potters at work. The Royal Palace, the Golden Gate, and the National Art Gallery, which houses a sizable collection of Tantric cloth paintings, are located in the northern part of the area. There are many designs with finely carved woodwork. For foreign visitors, the entrance cost to Bhaktapur Durbar Square is $15, or 1,500 Nepali rupees.

Khokana

Khokana is a stunning rural area where you may experience a trip back in time by observing inhabitants going about their daily lives. Khokana is renowned for producing mustard oil and for its genuine way of life. It is recognized in particular for its method of extraction. The three-story temple of the native deity Shikali Mai is also located in Khokana.

Kirtipur

In the Kathmandu Valley, one of the most well-known age-old holy sites to visit is Kirtipur. The Newars are Kirtipur's indigenous inhabitants. This amazing village, located 5 km southwest of Kathmandu, features old arts, culture, and architecture. This place is made beautiful by the well-kept streets and well-built temples. The history of this ancient city is similar to that of Nepal's Unification.

This little town is listed as having once been the capital of Nepal. Kirtipur is what you need and it doesn't have an entry price. The most popular attractions in Kirtipur are the Bagh Bhairab Temple, Dev Pukku, Chilancho Stupa, Uma Maheshwar Temple, and News Lahana.

Wide ranges of food hunts

The food of Kathmandu is very varied. The Nepalese menu will feature some incredible specialties including Dal-Bhat set (lentils eaten with rice and veggies), lamb curry, pork or fish, and pickles as part of a celebration of food and culture. Nepalese food is inexpensive, filling, and appetizing. In Kathmandu, you may eat both local cuisine and street food. Because it uses real ingredients, Nepalese food is often regarded as a source of energy. Your body will stay warm while it's cold thanks to Himalayan food. The content of cuisines available in Thamel is one of its major draws. Thamel is a recognized center for indigenous Nepali cuisine and world-class cuisine (Dal Bhat). Italian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and Nepalese cuisine are all available in a wide variety of restaurants, pubs, cafes, and coffee shops. You can meet up with friends or read a book in one of the many coffee shops around. Try excellent and authentic Nepali cuisine, such as Dal-Bhat and Gundruk Dhido around so many secret places in Kathmandu.

These are some of the popular restaurants and coffee shops around Kathmandu with a cordial environment. 

Himalayan Java

Java is renowned for its Nepalese bean coffee. You will also find mouthwatering pancakes, pastries, and breakfast plans. You can find Himalayan Java on Mandala Street.

Coffee House

Just before entering the main area of Thamel you will find a Coffee House. It has a comfy environment and offers delicious pastries, coffee, and drinks.

Roadhouse Cafe

If you want to relish wood-fired pizzas then Roadhouse Cafe can be the best option for you. It has a captivating space and ambiance where good coffee and hot chocolate are served. There are many branches of this cafe around Kathmandu. In Thamel, you can locate Roadhouse Cafe near JP School road.

Fire and Ice

This famous outlet serves you traditional Italian-style stone-baked pizzas. Not only pizza, but this place also serves tonic drinks, desserts, and ice creams. It is on the main street on the left before you enter the Thamel premises. 

Peros Pizza

Pero's Pizza is located at Chaksibari Marg, Thamel. Having dine-in and takeaway as their service options this place serves pizza and pasta mixtures as well as continental cookeries. They also offer their impressive menu for your best food experience. It has a distinctive interior style inspired by European designs. 

Hankook Sarang

This Korean restaurant offers you the best spicy dishes which come with soup, rice, kimchi, salad, and green tea. This restaurant is renowned for its genuine flavors and reasonable prices. Additionally, you may sample their unique bibimbap and kimbap. Hankook Sarang's garden eating will win your heart right away. This unique spot is in Thamel's Chaksibari neighborhood.

Visit museums in Kathmandu

Museums are reminiscent of our lost and ancient arts and crafts, which lures interested people who are curious about history and the arts. Exploring the museums in the Kathmandu valley will be your best option and unique things to do in Kathmandu if you're in Kathmandu and want to learn more about Nepal.

Narayanhiti Palace Museum

This museum would be the ideal location to catch a glimpse of the royal palace of the late Kings of Nepal. This location showcases the grandeur of the Nepalese kings while also illuminating the dark history of the kingdom. The bullet holes on the walls from the 2001 Royal Massacre are still clearly evident. This museum has several rooms with names inspired by various Nepali districts.

National Museum of Nepal (Chhauni Silkhana)

Also referred to as Rashtriya Sangrahalaya, this museum houses beautiful terracotta and stone statues of Nepali gods. The historic history, customs, culture, and heritage are presented to the younger generation and tourists through the work of this museum. The historical holdings of this museum, which opened its doors in 1928, are divided into three primary collections and housed in separate structures. There is a collection of weapons, plush creatures, and coins from antiquity.

Nepal's capital city, Museum Road, is where you'll find the National Museum of Nepal. It only takes 15 minutes to walk there from the Swayambhunath stupa, which is located across from the Nepal Army Military Museum. This museum charges international visitors NPR 150 as admission.

Attend Nepalese theater and multiplex shows

If you prefer theater performances, you may visit one of the many theaters in the Kathmandu Valley and take in live performances. This activity falls under things to do in Kathmandu at night. The two most well-known theaters in Kathmandu are Mandala Theatre (in Anamnagar) and Shilpi Theatre (near Battisputali).

Additionally, you may always attend one of Kathmandu's top multiplexes if you prefer to watch digital movies while chilling with family and friends. While enjoying your favorite beverage and a bucket of delectable popcorn, you may have fun here. One cinemas and QFX are places to visit in Kathmandu with friends.

Experience partying and live music in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a busy city, so if you want to get away from the crowds, check out one of the city's many clubs or entertainment venues. These activities are the major things to in Kathmandu at night. In clubs and eateries all across Kathmandu, several local bands and artists play live music every day. One of the areas in Kathmandu where live music was first introduced was Thamel. You can go to one of the top venues in Kathmandu2 to experience top-notch food and beverage options together with top-notch music. Instantaneously, you'll become attached to Nepali folk music.

Numerous nightclubs and bars, including Reggae Bar, Irish Pub, LOD, Purple Haze, Sam's Bar, and Ozzie Lounge, are available for your music retreat in Kathmandu and are considered the best places to visit in Kathmandu with friends.

Plan a wonderful trek

In Kathmandu, there are several authorized trekking companies available to organize your journey in accordance with your preferences and choices. You can start your journey to one of Nepal's many trekking destinations from Kathmandu. An expert adventure company like Footprint Adventure can plan the ideal and most memorable journey for you, whether it's a quick Poon Hill Trek, Langtang Trek, or a longer trek to Everest Base Camp.

Enjoy art workshops and cooking classes

You'll be astonished to learn that you can enroll in a number of workshops to learn how to paint famous Thangka paintings and prepare traditional Nepalese dishes. While visiting Kathmandu, you can indulge in these pursuits. Among other things, you can learn how to carve exquisite wood sculptures and enroll in a fantastic yoga class. These classes are offered every day in a number of locations. The three main locations where you can learn to cook and create art are Nepal Cooking School, Friendship Cooking School, and Drawing Room KTM.

Natural therapy and spa services

After a travel, spa services are even more advised. In Kathmandu, there are a lot of spas and locations that specialize in natural therapies and offer jacuzzis, saunas, and other ways to unwind. Thai massage, deep tissue massage, and other types of massage are included. The Trekkers Recovery massage provided by such massage parlors helps relieve the stress that comes with trekking.

 

You can look up the best massage parlor online, read reviews to determine whether it is reputable, and then make a decision from there. The Thamel Spa, Heavenly Spa, Mount Heaven Spa, and Namaste Spa are a few of the well-known massage clinics in the area.

Enjoy the rickshaw ride around Thamel's streets

It is always delightful to explore Thamel's streets on foot. But in Thamel, you must try riding a rickshaw if you've never done so. On a guided rickshaw ride trip in Thamel, you may spend the day learning about the local way of life and other attractions. It will just cost you a dollar or two to attempt your tour in a rickshaw, and you can enjoy the perfect ride and take pictures along the route. It is one of the unique things to do in Kathmandu. 

Take amazing memories and leave your footprints in the divine land of Kathmandu to experience Nepal's true beauty right now. These are the top things to do in Kathmandu including things to do in Kathmandu at night and places to visit in Kathmandu with friends, and you won't regret any of the experiences this place has to offer. Kathmandu is overwhelmed with diverse cultures and festivals, which will surely make your Kathmandu stay more fruitful and unique. For more information on unique things to do in Kathmandu, contact us.

Abhishek Dhital

Abhishek Dhital

Abhishek Dhital relishes observing the customs and cultures of many regions of Nepal as a travel photographer, blogger, and certified trekking guide. He is a native of Dang, a stunning region in western Nepal. He was raised in the Inner Terai and has always loved to climb up to his hometown's highlands. He moved to Kathmandu after completing his schooling, where he received a bachelor's degree in Travel and Tourism Management from Nepal College of Travel and Tourism Management, Lazimpat. He stated, "When I began studying tourism, I became really attracted to its service approach and made the decision to become a professional tour guide and travel writer.

In 2015, he began his photographic journey. He gradually began traveling and shooting genuine grins and experiences. He is now discovering fresh and original techniques to market Nepal and give his clients first-rated service in the mountains.

He declared, "I am really happy to be a member of Footprint Adventure as I can develop my career in a booming tourism industry where I may get the chance to perform well and prove my abilities accepting challenges and pressures completing the organizational goal." He genuinely believes in the power of nature, and he thinks it can change people's outlooks and lead them to discover their life's purpose.