12 Best Things to do in Kathmandu, Nepal

by Aarav Aryan

12 Best Things to do in Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu, a city in Nepal, is a magical and mystical place where old, awe-inspiring temples rise among the mighty Himalayas. The capital of Nepal is a vibrant, colorful, and bustling environment, which can be both exciting and exhausting.

The Kathmandu Valley, in which the “City of Temples” is located, is filled with incredible historical and cultural landmarks worth seeing. Thus, you’ll come across magnificent palaces and ancient temples next to bazaars offering every conceivable item.

It is the spiritual and religious core of the country as well as its economic, cultural, and political hub. Therefore, one of the best things to do in Kathmandu is to see the city’s many religious and cultural festivals. Kathmandu is a fantastic starting point for exploring the neighboring Himalayas, with its alluring views, sounds, and fragrances.

12. Dakshinkali Temple

Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Dakshinkali, Nepal

Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of the new Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Dakshinkali. Image source: Vladimir Zhoga/Shutterstock.com

On the outskirts of Kathmandu, at the confluence of two sacred rivers, you’ll find Dakshinkali Temple, a place of worship dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, this temple is a popular destination for worshippers.

Its lovely and scenic environment, along with its respectful but energetic attitude, make for a fascinating tourist destination. Dakshinkali Temple is not for the squeamish, since priests often sacrifice animals to the goddess, most notably during the Dashain Festival.

11. Kumari Chowk

Kumari Ghar, Kathmandu, Nepal

Discover the architectural beauty of Kumari Ghar, a historical gem in Kathmandu. Image source: Fotos593/Shutterstock.com

KATHMANDU, NEPAL OCTOBER 10, 2017: Unidentified people walking in front of the Kumari Ghar, built in 1757 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photos are permitted in the courtyard but strictly prohibited to

Kumari Chowk is a beautiful courtyard in the heart of Kathmandu, and it is, astonishingly, the residence of a real-life goddess. In Hinduism, a young girl is chosen from different social classes to represent the divine feminine spirit and become the focus of worship and adoration. This goddess makes a daily appearance on her elaborately carved balcony.

Her home, a beautiful red-brick structure with intricate carvings dating back to 1757, is a sight to see. The Kumari, who relinquishes her place before the onset of her first menstrual cycle, is the major attraction, as visitors hope to get a glimpse of the goddess before she departs.

10. Chandragiri Hills

Chandragiri, Nepal

Behold the breathtaking panoramic views of Chandragiri in Nepal. Image source: CEW/Shutterstock.com

The Chandragiri Hills are a picturesque cable car trip from Thankot, and they rise to a height of around 2,600 meters. It takes you high over some beautiful scenery where you can see the valleys, hills, and mountains below. Annapurna and Everest can be seen in the distance.

Apart from its gorgeous views, Baleshwar is home to a thrilling amusement park, a lovely botanical garden, and the stunning Baleshwar Temple.

9. Garden of Dreams

Stupa and Fountain in Kopan Monastery Park, Kathmandu, Nepal

Find peace and contemplation at the Stupa and Fountain in Kopan Monastery Park. Image source: V. Smirnov/Shutterstock.com

The Garden of Dreams, which opened in 1920, is as peaceful and quiet as its name suggests. Concealed behind the walls of a palace, the Edwardian-style garden is filled with beautiful fountains, pavilions, and pergolas of all shapes and sizes, all with unique and charming designs.

The garden has a sophisticated appearance, making it a pleasant spot to relax with a good book or a tasty snack while taking in the breathtaking scenery. Despite its proximity to the hustle and bustle of Thamel’s streets, this peaceful garden is a place of peace and tranquility.

8. Kopan Monastery

The Kopan Monastery, atop a hill, has long drawn Westerners to its colorful, ceremonial halls in search of insight into Tibetan Buddhism. They provide month-long meditation courses where participants learn about Buddhist philosophy and other spiritual disciplines while eating a vegetarian diet.

The monastery’s exquisite embellishments and adornments have attracted an increasing number of residents and visitors in recent years. The unique vibe of the area on Kathmandu’s outskirts is just one more reason why so many people go there.

7. Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple and the Burning Ghats in Kathmandu

Witness the religious fervor and ancient rituals at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. Image source: Azuresong84/Shutterstock.com

Pashupatinath Temple, located on the banks of the Bagmati River, is an incredible site to see. The temple complex has over 500 individual buildings, including temples, shrines, and pagodas. Both Buddhists and Hindus hold it in high esteem, but only Hindus are permitted to enter the main temple.

It was constructed in the 1600s on top of earlier temples that had fallen, and the resulting structure is a work of art, complete with ornate carvings. Pashupatinath Temple is an absolute must-see while in Kathmandu, with its gigantic brass figure of Nandi and other wonderful details.

6. Dashain Festival

Girl receiving Tika and blessings at Dashain Festival in Nepal

Celebrating familial bonds and blessings during Dashain Festival in Nepal. Image source: Nabaraj Regmi/Shutterstock.com

Gorkha,Nepal – Sep 30,2017: A Girl Receiving Tika and blessings From Her Father at Dashain Festival in the village of Nepal.

One of the most joyous and widely celebrated spiritual events in Kathmandu is Dashain, which is observed by Buddhists, Hindus, and Kirats. The fascinating event lasts for 15 days and features well-dressed pilgrims visiting sacred rivers and grand, historic shrines.

Colorful sights and enticing fragrances waft into the air, and music resounds from every direction as people celebrate in unending ceremonies, feasts, and other events. A number of ritual processions and ceremonies honoring Durga take place at this time. Dashain Festival is the most delightful time to visit Nepal and Kathmandu, despite the pretty gruesome animal sacrifices.

5. Thamel

Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Explore the vibrant streets and bustling energy of Thamel in Kathmandu, Nepal. Image source: Constantin Stanciu/Shutterstock.com

Thamel’s various treasures lure you further into its maze of atmospheric streets dotted with comfortable cafés, classic restaurants, and bustling bars. There are many stores, kiosks, and stands to choose from, making it ideal for souvenir shopping. The area is home to a vibrant nightlife scene.

Being the hub of the city’s backpacker culture for over 40 years means that there are plenty of affordable lodging options, including hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. Thamel is both a final destination and a starting point for adventures, since it is conveniently located near many of Kathmandu’s must-see attractions.

4. Hanuman Dhoka

Inside of Hanuman Dhoka, old Royal Palace, Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Nepal

Step into the grandeur and history of Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square. Image source: Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock.com

Hanuman Dhoka was established more than a millennium ago, but the majority of the massive palace complex that now stands there was built in the 17th century. Historic Malla palaces and temples are filled with exquisitely designed inner courtyards just waiting to be explored.

Lots of great stone carvings and significant figures can be seen here, including some very stunning sculptures of Hanuman, Dancing Shiva, and Narsingha. As an added bonus, the palace is home to a variety of excellent museums that detail the lives of the kings who formerly ruled from inside its walls. Hanuman Dhoka is an incredible cultural destination with stunning architectural and artistic displays.

3. Swayambhunath

Swayambhunath - Buddhist temple and village center in Kathmandu, Nepal

Discover the harmonious blend of culture and spirituality at Swayambhunath in Kathmandu. Image source: Skreidzeleu/Shutterstock.com

Swayambhunath, located on a hill in western Kathmandu, is a must-see for every visitor. One of Buddhism’s most sacred locations, the “Monkey Temple,” gets its name from the mischievous monkeys who have made a home atop the temple’s many shrines and temples. A beautiful stupa with Buddha’s painted eyes and brows stands in its center.

To gain enlightenment, worshippers walk clockwise around the stupa’s dome, which stands in for the globe, first thing in the morning. Even though it was constructed about 1,500 years ago, Swayambhunath is often visited by pilgrims, priests, and revelers.

2. Durbar Square

Aerial view of Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Nepal

Behold the historical grandeur of Durbar Square from a bird’s-eye perspective. Image source: Jakub Cejpek/Shutterstock.com

At ancient times, coronations for the kings of Kathmandu took place in Durbar Square, whose name literally translates to “Royal Squares” in English. Important and spectacular structures, temples, and palaces dot the region, which is made up of three squares that are only loosely connected to one another.

There is a lot of amazing, ancient-looking architecture on exhibit, despite the fact that most of the contemporary structures were constructed just in the 17th century. This is in spite of the widespread destruction caused by the 2015 earthquake that hit the Kathmandu region. Durbar Square, in the center of the old town, is only one of the numerous attractions in the City of Temples.

1. Boudhanath Stupa

Sunset at Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal

Witness the ethereal beauty of a sunset at Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu. Image source: toiletroom/Shutterstock.com

The Boudhanath Stupa, located on a mountaintop above Kathmandu, is easily identifiable by its distinctive golden spire. The massive monument is one of the world’s biggest spherical stupas and has a very unusual construction. The present stupa replaced an earlier one that was destroyed by Mughal invaders and dates back to the 14th or 15th century. The beautiful architecture and design are replete with symbolism, all of which reflect the Buddha’s own journey to enlightenment.

In all directions, monasteries and shrines with beautiful sculptures and paintings line the ground, while flags of every imaginable hue wave in the breeze. However, despite the crowds and noise, a trip to Boudhanath Stupa is well worth it, as it will provide you with a memorable and charming impression of Nepal and everything it has to offer.

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