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Top 14 places to visit when in Kathmandu, Nepal

Author: Mohammad Amaan
Date: 2020-04-21

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Kathmandu, also known as the city of temples, stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 m above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal. The valley is historically termed as "Nepal Mandala" and is home to the Newar people. The royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal, you can find palaces, mansions, and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) since 1985. Today, it is the seat of government of the Nepalese republic established in 2008 and is part of the Bagmati province. 

Blog post: Best time to visit Nepal for a perfect vacation

Kathmandu is and has been for many years the centre of Nepal's history, art, culture, and economy. It has a multiethnic population with a Hindu and Buddhist majority. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Tourism is an important part of the economy. In 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top ten upcoming travel destinations in the world and ranked first in Asia.


Best time to visit: September-November

How to reach: Fly to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport or take a cab from India. Buses ply from Patna, Varanasi, Darjeeling, and Gorakhpur to Kathmandu.


(1) Pashupatinath Temple

The Pashupatinath Temple is a famous and sacred Hindu temple complex that is located on the banks of the Bagmati River, approximately 5 km northeast of Kathmandu in the eastern part of Kathmandu Valley. The temple serves as the seat of Pashupatinath. This temple complex was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site's list in 1979. This "extensive Hindu temple precinct" is a "sprawling collection of temples, ashrams, images, and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river" and is included as one of the seven monuments groups in UNESCO's designation of Kathmandu Valley as visit here. This is among the best places to visit in Kathmandu for religious travelers.

Learn more: Celebration of faith: Pashupatinath Mandir in Nepal

(2) Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath is a stupa in Kathmandu, located about 11 km from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu The stupa's massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. This is among the best places to visit in Kathmandu for tourists in Nepal.

Learn more: Boudhanath Stupa, Nepal: Bliss Amidst the Chaos

(3) Thamel

Thamel is a commercial neighborhood located in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Thamel has been the centre of the tourist industry in Kathmandu for over four decades, starting from the hippie days when many artists came to Nepal and spent weeks in Thamel. It is the hottest spot for tourism inside the Kathmandu valley. This is among the best places to visit in Kathmandu for shopaholics.


(4) Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhu is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. The Tibetan name for the site means 'Sublime Trees', for the many varieties of trees found on the hill. However, Shing.kun may be a corruption of the local Nepal Bhasa name for the complex, Swayambhu, meaning 'self-sprung'. For the Buddhist Newars, in whose mythological history and origin myth as well as day-to-day religious practice Swayambhunath occupies a central position, it is probably the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism, it is second only to Boudha. This is among the favorite places to visit in Kathmandu for pilgrims.

Learn more: Swayambhunath Temple– where monkeys abound

(5) The Garden of Dreams

The Garden of Dreams, also, the Garden of Six Seasons, is a neo-classical garden in Kaiser Mahal Kathmandu, Nepal, built in 1920. Designed by Kishore Narshingh, it consists of 6,895 square m of gardens with three pavilions, an amphitheater, ponds, pergolas, and urns. From the mid-1960s, upon the death of its patron, Kaiser Sumsher Rana, it lay in neglect but was recently restored with the help of the Austrian government. This is among the best places to visit in Kathmandu for flower lovers.

Learn more: Garden of Dreams: An idyllic escape in Kathmandu