Kathmandu Things to Do
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal, the largest Himalayan state in Asia. For newcomers, it offers a barrage of sights, sounds, smells and plenty of things to do.
Spend Some Time in Thamel
Thamel is a district right in the heart of Kathmandu that offers everything that tourists could possibly need, from restaurants and bars, to shops peddling maps and outdoor gear, to affordable accommodations. The area is immensely popular among backpackers and budget travelers, although it is a bit more touristy than other areas of the city. Be sure to check it out, but you’ll need to venture elsewhere to get a sense of the real Kathmandu.
Take to the Skies
If you don’t plan on hiking up into the Himalayas yourself, a flight over the region is the next closest thing. There are a number of local airlines that offer these flights, and many of them will even circle around the peak of Mount Everest. This is a great option for those with mobility issues or who have small children traveling with them. Most flights take about an hour, so you’ll still have plenty of time for other activities.
Check Out Some Temples
You’ll find a number of Hindu and Buddhist temples throughout Kathmandu, so take the time to stop by at least a couple of them to immerse yourself in the spiritual culture of the region. The Shree Pashupatinath Temple is a stunning dedication to Shiva. Although non-Hindus must remain outside of the temple proper, it is definitely still worth checking out from the outside. Swayambunath, also known as the Monkey Temple, is a spectacular example of a Buddhist temple. It gets its nickname from the hundreds of monkeys that roam the area, so watch out for these little critters! It takes about half an hour to climb the hill to reach the temple itself, so be ready to walk.
Stop by Durbar Square
Durbar Square is the central meeting place of the city, so you should definitely make some time to visit during your stay. Although it was damaged during a major earthquake in 2015, this U.N. Heritage Site is in the process of being expertly restored and maintained. Durbar Square is a great place to view some classic Nepalese architecture.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Kathmandu.