Nepal is lively in a multitude of senses, but you might not expect the bustling city to be part of the package deal. The country will remind you of sublime mountains, stunning nature and exquisite Buddhist temples but the country’s capital buzzes with people and technological advancements. Kathmandu is the largest city in Nepal and includes all the modernisation you would expect from a city with a side of historical gems. If you’re grabbing at straws at what to do in the capital, here is a quick and easy guide to send you on your way.
Located south west in the Kathmandu valley, Kirtipur will give you a taste of traditional Nepalese towns. 18th century palaces, colourful homes and towering temples. The Bagh Bhairab Temple is one of the oldest shrine in the town and was built around the 16th century. In Kirtipur is also the Taudaha Lake and is the place to watch the sunrise or go bird watching. The town is also home to Nepal’s leading university and has plenty of local culture to explore.
2. Garden of Dreams
In the centre of the city you will find a calming getaway in 24 acres with the Garden of Dreams. The enchanting garden is carefully curated in the 1920s with Neo-Classical inspiration and has flourishing botany all year round. The Kaiser Café offers tea and cake using regional ingredients and is the excellent way to finish your visit. If you have spent the majority of your trip mountaineering, trekking and climbing through Nepal, then this is the place to unwind.
Pharping in located in the South of the valley with its Buddhist monastery sitting at the peak of the area. Visitors are able to climb to Guru Rinpoche Cave where there is lots to explore and the main temple there is in honour of the Goddess Bajra Jogini. The choice for Buddhist monasteries, some are even accepting foreign Dharma students. Pharping will quickly fill your day up and is easy to access with bus or taxi.
4. Kathmandu Durbar Square
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kathmandu Durbar Square is not to be missed if you’re in the area. The square hosts a whopping 50 temples and at its nucleus is the Taleju Temple. The temple is the tallest and only open one day a year during the Dashain Festival. If you’re looking for an authentic souvenir from your trip there are also hand crafted goods sold in the square.
Though we love to get off the beaten track, Thamel is a great hub for tourists. Teeming with bars, hotels and travel agencies, Thamel is a great place to relax and unwind for the evening and meet other travellers. The area also sells detailed Nepalese puppets, theatre masks and other local accessories. Thamel is also useful if you need that extra bit of preparation as there are shops for trekking, mountaineering and travel accessories.
Travelling with a tour is great for anyone with a bucket list itching to be ticked off. But Nepal isn’t just for bucket list chasers. Our expert and friendly guides to help you make the most of your trip and connect with the country outside the main attractions. Our well-crafted Nepal tours allows you to do all of the above and more. Essential Nepal has everything you need and is your one stop shop for everything Nepal.