10 Best Things to do in Kathmandu

Experience the best things to do in Kathmandu, Nepal. Explore these top tourist attractions in this popular tourist destination in Asia! Featured photo of Kathmandu Aerial View via Adobe Stock.

Ah, certainly one of the best and must-visit places in the world is no other than the capital city of Nepal itself, Kathmandu. It is the political and cultural center of the country as well. So expect to witness historical establishments that perfectly depict the rich culture and tradition of the country of Nepal such as monuments, monasteries, temples, and stupas. A stupa is a Buddhist commemorative monument that houses some of the most important relics and figures in Buddhism. 

Aside from being rich in cultural establishments, the city is also situated in a valley that is surrounded by the mighty mountains of the Himalayas. So expect to see spectacular and breathtaking views! Oh, another reason to visit Kathmandu is that it’s considered to be an extremely friendly and hospitable city to host tourists. The city is full of exciting adventures and plenty of lovely people to get along with! 

Finally, you can also witness the majestic view of the tallest mountain on Earth here in Kathmandu! Yes, Mount Everest itself is now visible again from the capital city for the first time in many years. This is despite the mountain’s location is more than 200 km away from Kathmandu. Well, for these spectacular reasons and more, join me as we discover the 10 best things to do in Kathmandu!

Tour Around the Garden of Dreams

First on the list is a visit to an out-of-this-world masterpiece of architecture called the Garden of Dreams. It is a neo-classical garden built in the 1920s at the center of the Kaiser Mahal Kathmandu. The garden spans a wide area of almost 7,000 square meters filled up with huge gardens, pavilions, amphitheaters, ponds, and many more attractions.

Kaiser Mahal Kathmandu
Kaiser Mahal Kathmandu | Photo by Jorge Láscar under creative commons

It’s like a human adaptation of the kingdom of Olympus. Not only can you be in awe of the wonderful architecture and collections in the garden, but you could also learn more about the country’s rich and interesting culture and history! 

Visit the Boudhanath Stupa

Next up is considered to be one of the most important structures for the country of Nepal. The Boudhanath Stupa is said to be constructed in the 14th century just after the death of Buddha. For several decades, the stupa served as the center of Buddhism in the city. Every day, the people of Kathmandu pay their respects to the Boudhanath Stupa and appreciate its beauty. 

Boudhanath Stupa
Boudhanath Stupa | Photo via Adobe Stock

The stupa is also believed to watch over the surrounding town of Kathmandu as the tower features an iconic eye from all its sides. Tourists and pilgrims flock to the Boudhanath Stupa to offer their prayers and simply marvel over its undeniable beauty. 

Wander Around the Famous Thamel

One of the popular things tourists love to do during their visit to Kathmandu is exploring its commercial neighborhood called Thamel. It is basically the melting pot of tourism, culture, tradition, and arts of the country. Here, you can find countless hotels, restaurants, and shops where you can enjoy the culture of Kathmandu. Remember, the city is known for its hospitality to visitors, so you’re in really great hands!

Thamel, Kathmandu | Photo by Adrian Sulc under creative commons

Score yummy treats and delights, try their local cuisine, meet interesting people, and even buy souvenirs for you to bring home! 

Try Kathmandu’s Delicious Cuisine

Of course, a vacation wouldn’t be complete without trying the country’s local cuisine. It is an absolute must for every tourist! So while you’re at it, be sure to try some of Kathmandu’s famous treats and delights such as the Momos, Chatamari, Sekuwa, Dal Bhat, Sel Roti, and the Thukpa. 

Street food in Kathmandu, Nepal
Street food in Kathmandu, Nepal | Photo via Adobe Stock

I must say, I really recommend that you try the Thukpa! It’s a popular Tibetan comfort food that is perfect for the cold weather of Kathmandu. It contains hand-pulled noodles filled with thick broth and topped with meat and vegetables. What makes it special is the iconic Nepali spice, the garam masala, and of course, chili!

Go Back in Time in Kathmandu Valley

Another thing you shouldn’t miss is the treasured location of the country of Nepal itself. The Kathmandu Valley or Nepal Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site widely known for its huge contribution to the entire world’s history and culture. In this valley alone, there are said to be seven (7) UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Seven! You couldn’t even find one in some countries! 

Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu Valley | Photo via Adobe Stock

Not only is the Kathmandu Valley historically important, but it is also a major component of the current economy of the country of Nepal. It is the most widely developed and populated place in the country. So expect to see gigantic buildings and towering skyscrapers around the area and also interesting architectural establishments as well! 

Walk Around the Old City

Located within the ever-famous Kathmandu Valley is the ancient city of Bhaktapur. This city is considered to be the largest among the three Newa Cities. It is said to be constructed in the 12th century and known all over the world as the “City of Devotees”. 

Bhaktapur, Nepal
Bhaktapur, Nepal | Photo via Adobe Stock

This ancient metropolis is one of the most exceptionally preserved pieces of history in the world. The city itself contains millions of important historical artifacts that perfectly depict the kind of life our descendants lived. Visiting Bhaktapur and wandering around the city will certainly fulfill your day. Aside from breathtaking pieces of medieval art and architecture, you can also appreciate the country and our world’s rich history. 

Oh, one of the iconic landmarks here is the Bronze Statue of Bhupatindra Malla. So be sure to check it out! 

Dare to Try Kathmandu’s Exciting Adventures!

Aside from falling in love with Kathmandu’s warm hospitality and rich culture, what a lot of tourists all over the world love about this friendly city is its overflowing list of exciting adventures. The city itself is surrounded by the Himalayas. So what more do you expect? Yup! Hiking activities! 

Shivapuri National Park
Shivapuri National Park | Photo by pratap baniya under creative commons

One of the best places to go on hiking in the Shivapuri National Park. You can head to the famous Shivapuri Hill Station which is almost 9,000 feet or just relax around the park and be closer to nature. 

Pay Respects at the Swayambhunath

Yes, considered to be the crowning glory of architecture within the Kathmandu Valley is no other than the Swayambhunath Stupa. It is the iconic monument that serves as the valley’s center for prayers and meditation. Moreover, the very architecture of the stupa itself is already a sight to see. It is perfectly proportioned from head to toe wherein each part of the structure is also symbolic. How great is that? Be sure to visit and marvel over the irresistible beauty of Swayambhunath Stupa. 

A visit to Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the best things to do in Kathmandu, Nepal
View of Swayambhunath Kathmandu, Nepal | Photo via Adobe Stock

Ask for a Blessing at Pashupatinath

Another important and famous religious structure that you shouldn’t miss is the Pashupatinath Temple located within the Kathmandu Valley. It is said to be one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for the devotees of Shiva. 

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the top tourist spots in Kathmandu
Pashupatinath Temple by Bagmati River, Kathmandu, Nepal | Photo via Adobe Stock

Several tourists drop by the temple and offer their prayers and respects to the Hindu God. Moreover, the temple itself is also a popular attraction thanks to its captivating design and spectacular architecture! 

Cycle Around the City 

Finally, the last thing on the list is also one of the most basic things to do during your visit to Kathmandu. Yes, indeed. Cycling Around the City is probably the best thing that you shouldn’t miss. Remember, Kathmandu is one of the most hospitable and friendly countries in the world. So it is entirely safe to wander around! 

View of Kathmandu from Kirtipur, Nepal
View of Kathmandu from Kirtipur, Nepal | Photo by Juan Antonio Segal under creative commons

Go on and discover interesting spots, delicacies, and shops all over the city. You can also appreciate the beauty of nature here in Kathmandu. Moreover, you can easily hop from one iconic landmark to another using your bicycle. So might as well give it a try!

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