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25 Things to do in Kathmandu

 
  • If you are looking for some interesting things to do in Kathmandu then a traveller shouldn’t miss the chance to see the spectacular views of the Nepalese Himalayas on a bike ride. If you are looking for some more fun you can also enjoy a thrilling and jaw dropping experience doing rafting on the Trishuli river. It will leave the adventure junkies truly satiated.

    For spiritual peace, you can visit the Pashupatinath Temple which comes under UNESCO’s world heritage sites and is a must visit place in Kathmandu. You can spend a nice peaceful time doing absolutely nothing but relaxing throughout the day.

    Here are some of the best things to do in Kathmandu:

  • 01Mountain Flight

    There’s nothing more beautiful than exploring the bounties that nature has to offer! Mountain Flight is one way to do it. One hour worth of spectacular beauty is going to leave an indelible imprint on your heart. The tour takes you towards the land of rising sun- the land of eastern Himalayas.

    It here where you see glorious mountains float right beside you. As the planes move along, you will see some of the prominent mountains, discover statues of Hindu gods and goddesses in sight while experiencing Gosaithan. The mountains you observe during this trip stand at majestic height of over 8000 meters. Now, that’s an experience you wouldn’t forget for a lifetime.
     

    Image Credits : Ronald Woan



    Location:The mountain flight tours usually start from Kathmandu.

    Cost
    :The costs are USD 180-200 per person.

    Best Time
    : February to April and October to November.

    Difficulty Leve
    l: Easy.
  • 02Hot Air Ballooning

    The tranquil, scenic views of Nepal are best observed three thousand meters above the ground. And if you are interested in doing that, then try Hot Air Balloon. And adventure itself, hot air ballooning gives you the once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the magnificent and serene mountains in the area. The snow capped mountains, including Mount Everest can be visible with this hot air ballooning activity.

    The sunrise is perfect for the trip, as the world stretches, ripples and expands slowly. The balloon takes you above and beyond gracefully. The hot air ballooning rides are very simple, they can accommodate up to 12 people. But if you are romantic at heart, just go with your partner, propose to them or stand hand in hand as the magnificence of Nepal unfolds in front of your eyes!

     



     Location:The hot air balloon activities start from Kathmandu. 

    Cost
    : USD 100 to 200.

    Best Time
    :February to April and October to November.

    Difficulty Level
    :Very easy
  • 03Bungee Jumping

    A fun-filled day awaits for you in Nepal. Kathmandu is an excellent destination for enjoying things like bungee jumping. It is here that you can jump into 160 deep Bhote Kosi River gorge and come up with an adrenaline rush. The suspension bridge ensures that you have plenty to look forward to. This is Nepal’s first Bungee Jumping site and is located close to the Nepal-Tibet Border.

    While this place is about 3 hours away from Kathmandu, a few other bungee jumping sites may be available close by. This is also a place where you can enjoy trekking. The bungee jumping activity may include round trip transportation, lunch and other facilities. When you opt for this activity, make sure that there’s safety equipment and other amenities available at your disposal.

    Location 
    : Bhote Kosi River Gorge.

    Cost
    : US 20-100.

    Best Time
    :All year.

    Difficulty Level
    :Easy.
  • 04Rock Climbing

    Image Credit : ActiveSteve
    Before you take over the highest peaks in the country, you might want to polish your skills. An excellent way to do that is to try rock climbing in Kathmandu. The sports have achieved rising popularity in the country because it allows people to feel at ease with the mountains and hills that Nepal has to offer. One of the most fun activities, rock climbing allows you to climb majestic rock faces within the valley.

    The physically demanding sport is worth it as you enjoy panoramic views of the world while developing your skills, strength, endurance and agility. The sites for rock climbing are about 30 minutes away from Kathmandu. The top grade climbing sites have been designed to be calm and peaceful, while providing enough challenge to actually learn, grow and develop in this sport.

    Image Credits : Trey Guinn



    Location
    :Kathmandu.

    Cost
    : USD 10-30 is the average cost.

    Best Time
    :All year.

    Difficulty Level
    :Moderately difficult.
  • 05Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari

    Image Credit : Göran Höglund
    Chitwan National Park is a rich ecosystem that’s allows you to have a rendezvous with the wild. It is here that you can discover some of the finest species of mammals, reptiles, water animals and birds. A safari to this park will bring you one step closer to discovering Asian one-horned Rhinoceros, while you can see some nocturnal Royal Bengal Tigers strolling around the forests.


    The place is perfect for its towering trees, which appear to have their own history. The safaris to this place will give you the opportunity to discover elephants as well, along with crocodiles, deer and pythons. Morning safaris are excellent for bird-watching. Share some time with the wildlife and elusive animals through a safari. It’s where the tigers and rhinos roam.

    Image Credits : Terry Feuerborn



     Location:Chitwan National Park.

    Cost
    :USD 30-100.

    Best Time
    :Hit the ground at the right time. Explore the place from October to March.

    Difficulty Leve
    l:Very Easy.
  • 06Mountain Biking

    Image Credit : Guo Chai Lim
    Kathmandu and Nepal in general might not seem like the best place in the world for biking. But that’s absolutely wrong. While the city may be quite crowded, there are several trails that you can explore, discover and conquer with Mountain Biking. Shivapuri National Park’s trail offers some superb possibilities. It is here that you can discover mountain biking and enjoy passing through the monasteries.

    Then, Nagarjun Ban offers wilderness style mountain biking experiences. However, you might want to discuss with the local authorities before embarking on these routes. Nagarkot and the areas thereafter have unlimited trails and rough roads that trail in all directions. From here, you can discover a whole new world of mountain biking. Or else, take roads connecting to Patan and Panauti near Kathmandu and you will be good to go.


    Location
    :Kathmandu.

    Cost
    :Generally free of cost except for the charges of renting a mountain bike.

    Best Time
    :All around the year.

    Difficulty Level
    :Easy to Moderate.
  • 07Paragliding

    Want to enjoy an adrenaline pumping experience in the valleys of Nepal? Then paragliding is the way to go! It is a truly wonderful experience for any adventure seeker. Through paragliding, you can discover beautiful, panoramic views of the mountains while enjoying the best scenery on earth. As the paraglider flows through, you will see villages, monasteries, majestic Himalayas, lakes and jungles just float by.

    Nepal is a stunning country and paragliding, especially from Pokhara Valley (about 200 kilometers from Kathmandu) is one of the most recommended travel experiences. With the help of air pressure, your pilot will fly, soar and dive around the country to give you an experience that you will remember throughout the lifetime. So, add another dimension to your travel!

    Image Credits : wildbindi



    Location:Kathmandu.

    Cost: USD 500-700 per person.

    Best Time:March to May.

    Difficulty Level:Moderate.
  • 08Trekking

    Image Credit : wildbindi
    You don’t just have to visit the roof of the world when you can actually climb it! Enjoy incredible trekking adventure around Kathmandu. Different treks here offer different challenges that traverse through unique trails around the mountains throughout the country. For instance, you can take on short treks like Royal Treks, or you can enjoy small group tours to the Annapurna base camp.

    However, if you are looking for incredibly tough and challenging trekking experiences, then Everest Base Camp Trek might be the right option for you. There are other treks as well, such as Annapurna Dhaulagiri trek, which is a remote trekking experience or the trek to Everest Circuit where you can see spectacular Kala Pattar and Gokyo Lakes. Around Dhaulagiri and French Pass are other trek options that you might want to explore in the region.

      
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    Location
    : Pokhara and other places. Usually, treks begin from Kathmandu.

    Cost
    : USD 300-2500.

    Best Time
    :October- March.

    Difficulty Level
    :Easy to Challenging.
  • 09Rafting

    Home to eight out of the fourteen highest peaks in the world, Nepal is perfect for rafting experiences. There are just so many rivers that you would want to explore, including Trishuli and Seti river, Bhote Koshi River and Sun Koshi Rivers among others. With beautiful views and stunning flows, Nepal’s river offer white-water rafting opportunities.

    The rivers and the in-between are perfect for rafting, kayaking and other adventure activities, including trekking. You can take rafting trips that last anywhere from 1 to 10 days. The white water rafting trips are great for those who have previous experience in rafting. The choice of where you should raft should be dictated by your level of rafting experience and how much money are you willing to invest. If you are on a budget, a short one day trip is the right option for you.

    Image Credits : Maureen Barlin



    Location
    :Kathmandu.

    Cost
    : USD 200-2000.

    Best Time
    :January to May.

    Difficulty Level
    :Moderate to Challenging.
  • 10Visit the Casino Royale

    Image Credit : Pavel Golovkin
    Take some time off! Feel free and enjoy your stay at Kathmandu by visiting Casino Royale. The place is a gaming and casino center that has over twenty games and thirty gaming machine. The property includes two restaurants as well, along with a hotel that supports over 110 rooms.

    The place has several poker games that you can sit and enjoy, including baccarat, blackjack and flush, paplu and roulette. The place includes restaurant, coffee house and a bar as well where you can sit and take off your mind. This is a visit that will help you de-stress and rejuvenate, taking away the stresses of your life. At the same time, you can even book a hotel room and choose among the suites to stay comfortably.


     Location:The Casino is located in Kathmandu.

    Cost
    :USD 50-1000.

    Best Time
    :All around the year.

    Difficulty Level
    :Easy.
  • 11Visit Temples in Kathmandu

    Image Credit : Gavin Golden
    Nepal is a Hindu and a visit to this country is one of the best ways to discover the rich Hindu culture, which dates back for centuries. One of the best ways to explore the diverse and rich culture is to visit the temples in Kathmandu. The city of temples have several places to visit, including Bodhnath Stupa, one of the largest stupas in the world along with Swayambhunath Temple, the popular Pashupatinath temple, Dakshinkali and other temples.

    These temples offer a unique cultural experience, with the opportunity to explore something new altogether. These Hindu Temples are a reflection of magnificent architecture as well. They are usually dedicated to Hindu deities such as Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu among others. Visit them for a unique social experience.

    Image Credits : Carlos Adampol Galindo



    Location:Kathmandu.

    Cost:Free of cost.

    Best Time: These temples can be visited throughout the year.

    Difficulty Level: Easy.
  • 12Visit Monasteries in Kathmandu

    Kathmandu is one of the most beautiful destinations where you can discover Buddhist monasteries and temples. Nepal as a country has a rich Buddhist culture and the temples here center on a blend of Buddhism and Hinduism.

    The most famous monastery in the country is called Swayambhunanth Monastery, which is a legendery Buddhist Shrine.Apart from this, there’s Kopan Monastery and Bouddhanath monastery that should be visited.

    Image Credits : rob



    Highlights
    : The stupa at Bouddhananth Monastery is included in World Heritage Cultural Site list by UNESCO. Apart from this, the Swoyambhunath Monastery is well known for being one of the oldest monasteries in the world. Other monasteries, such as Namo Buddha Monastery are located closeby as well. Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha is another popular monastery, which is located near Kathmandu.

    Location
    :Kathmandu District.

    Timings
    :Timings are different for each monastery. But most of them open early morning to night.
  • 13Swayambhunath Stupa

    Image Credit : Rick McCharles
    Swayambhunath stupa is an ancient religious architecture located atop a conical wooden hill in the Kathmandu valley. This golden spire is one of the most ancient and holiest of all shrines in the region. The temple complex is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. Stupa located inside the Swayambhunath complex, includes several other shrines and temples. According to the Gopalarajavamsavali, the complex is believed to have been founded by King Vrsadeva, the great-grandfather of King Manadeva in 464-505 CE.

    Image Credits : nucksfan604



    Highlights:Eyes of Buddha are painted on the cubical structure sitting atop the dome. Pentagon Toran are present above each of the four edges and have statues engraved on them. Pilgrims require to climb 365 steps in order to reach the stupa.

    Location
    :Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.

    Timings
    :Everyday 07:00 am - 12:00 pm.

    Price
    :USD 3 per person
  • 14Durbar Square Kathmandu

    Image Credit : Bas Wallet
    Romance in the world of Kathmandu and explore the culture or history of Kathmandu by visiting the Durbar Square. Located in front of the former Kathmandu Palace Kingdom, the Durbar Square is a UENSO World Heritage Site and is originally known for vivid showcases of artists and craftsmen.

    The palace here is stunningly decorated and the overall areas reflect the beauty of Nepalese culture. The palaces and the square itself have gone through reconstruction on several occasions.

    Image Credits : Jean-Pierre Dalbéra



    Highlights
    : The place includes museum and other parts of the palace here are opened for visitors. The place is home to Kumari Chok as well- it is one of the most curious attractions of Nepal. Here, a gilded cage contains Kumari, a girl who was chosen to be the human reincarnation of Hindu Goddess, Durga.

    Location
    : Durbar Square, Kathmandu.

    Timings
    : From early morning to night.
  • 15Garden of Dreams

    Image Credit : Matt Zimmerman
    The beautifully restored Swapna Baigicha, also known as Garden of Dreams offers respite and rejuvenation from the stresses of the world. It is one of the most stunning places in the world. The garden was built in 1920s and has been brought back to life by Austrian financed team. The stunningly restored garden has gorgeous and refined details.

    Image Credits : Andrew



    Highlights
    :Some of the main highlights of this place includes marble inscription from Omar Khayam’s Rubaiyat, beautiful fountains and ponds. The palace is home to a quirky ‘hidden garden’ as well. It also features three pavilions. The place is ideal for going out for a picnic or just to marvel at the human-nature interaction. The place is a must visit for travelers.

    Location
    :Kathmandu.

    Timings
    :Open from 9 am to 10 pm. Last entry is at 9 pm.

    Price
    : USD 2-4 depending on adults or children.
  • 16Hanuman Dhoka

    Image Credit : Christine Chauvin
    Founded during the 4thto 8thcentury, AD, Hanuman Dhoka is the royal palace in Kathmandu. This considerably expanded place is one of the most stunning destinations in the region. The sprawling palace, which was damaged during the 2015 earthquake is now extensively restored.

     After the restoration, people would be able to access the stunning courtyards and museums of this place without a hassle. The palace is impressive in mature. It is believed that Hanumana guarded important parts of this palace because of Lord Rama

    Image Credits : brando.n



    Highlights:There’s a statue at this place that dates from 1672 AD and the god’s face seems to have disappeared due to application of vermillion by the devotees that come here from all over the world. The palace otherwise has large courtyards. Once the palace reopens, you can enjoy the handsome courtyard at the entrance and then, visit the Narsingha Statue or go to the audience chamber.

    Location
    :Kathmandu Square.

    Timings
    :Admission Fee with Durbar Square Ticket.

    Price
    :10: 30 am to 4 pm.
  • 17Narayanhiti Palace

    Image Credit : Antoine 49
    Want to know how the politics have transformed Nepal? Well, things will get a lot clearer when you visit the Narayanhiti Palace and Museum. Full of meeting rooms and 1970s glamour, the palace has opulent interiors. The place is well known for its museum beauty. Once, King Gyanendra lived in it, but he was given 15 days to vacate the property after his fall from the throne.

    Highlights
    :This palace is also the place where Prince Dipendra massacred his family in 2001. The place is morbidly market and the bullet holes are still visible on some of the walls. But nevertheless, this place offers a peek into the regal lifestyle of the royals, the one that people only dream about.

    Location
    :Kathmandu.

    Timings
    :11 am to 4 pm.Price:USD 6-9
  • 18Chhauni Museum

    Close to Swayambhunath, one of the most beautiful monasteries in the world lies a sprawling museum in a walled compound. This National Museum has some of the most interesting treasures on display, which makes it worth a visit.

    Highlights
    :In the museum compound, you will find Judda Art Gallery, which is home to exquisite metal, terracotta and stone statues of Nepali deities. There are fabulous cloth paintings here as well. The place has a life sized statue of Jayavarma as well. The statue, discovered in 1992 is over 1800 years old. This museum includes temple styled Buddhist Art Gallery as well. The place has everything from manuscripts to informative displays and stone depiction of Buddha to offer. This place is home to leather cannons as well, seized during the 1792 Nepal-Tibet War.

    Location: Tahachal, Kathmandu.

    Timings:10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

    Price: USD 2-5
  • 19Pilgrims Book House

    Kathmandu’s best bookstore, Pilgrims’ Book House was burned down in 2013, but travelers hope that it rises from the ashes. The place still has a section where most of the saved books are available on display. The place has books on everything, from Buddhism to Hinduism, Yoga and Language books along with books for children.



    Highlights
    :The bookstore is a part of a book publishing company by the same name. This company is actually located in Varanasi. The book house itself has several books on religion and other topics. These saved books are mostly available on discount, with cheaper price options throughout the day. Some of the popular books available here includes Mount Everest, Nepal Himalaya, A message from Arunachala and Sadhus of India.

    Location
    :Kathmandu, Nepal.

    Timings
    :Open from morning till night. Timings change during different seasons.

    Price
    :Entry is free. However, you will be charged for buying books from the store.
  • 20Indra Chowk

    Image Credit : Eddy Vaudel
    Makhan Tole’s busy street spills and brings you closer to Indra Chowk, which is a popular courtyard in the region. The place, named after an ancient Vedic deity, Indra is known for its market and cultural escapades. It is here that you will find merchants of blankets and clothes, next door stone shiva Temple and stunning façade of the Akash Bhairab Temple.

    Image Credits : Sharada Prasad CS



    Highlights
    :Apart from the market, one of the biggest highlights of this place is the Sky Temple. This particular temple has four metal lions that appear to be rearing over the street. It also includes two more brass lions at the entrance, where non-Hindus can’t enter. The market here, hidden in alleyways to the east are a must visit, especially if you want to eat some local food or wish to buy beads and bangles sold by the indigenous people of this region.

    Location
    :Makhan Tole, Kathmandu.

    Timings
    :Open from morning till evening.
  • 21Nagarkot

    Image Credit : Neil Young
    A Top spot for enjoying Himalayan views and the panorama, Nagarkot is well known for its stunning natural beauty and a number of hotels. The village is stacked up with hotels and accommodations, allowing you to view nature straight from the balcony. The views itself are breathtaking and it can get quite cold in here!

    Image Credits : Neil Young



    Highlights
    :The sunrise view of the Mount Everest and other peaks gives this place a considerable edge. The major highlight of this place is the fact that 8 out of 13 Himalayan ranges in Nepal are visible from this place. The place is known for its views of the Kathmandu valley, Shivapuri National Park, Numbur Forest, Rolwaling range, Ganesh himal and Langtang range.

    The location is actually quite strategic. Once upon a time, this place served as the ancient fort for Kathmandu valley. At that point of time, it was used to monitor other kingdoms. Today, it is a popular hill station, where you can stay and enjoy a blissful holiday.

    Location
    : Nagarkot, Bhaktapur District.

    Best Time To Visit
    : October to March.
  • 22Royal Botanical Gardens

    Kathmandu can get quite crowded during the holidays. But if you want someplace peaceful and quiet, then there’s a perfect spot for you. It is the Royal Botanical Gardens. The place is quaint and great for walking and picnic. However, you might want to avoid it on Fridays and Saturdays, as schoolkids often visit the place then. While the place was slightly damaged during the earthquake, repairs are going on and the place will be back to its glory.


    Highlights
    :One of the main highlights of this place is the visitor center, where you can experience an enormous variety of Nepal’s flora. The place includes cactus house, orchid house and a tropical house as well. In the middle of the center is the coronation pond, with a pillar.

    Location
    : Godavari, Kathmandu.
  • 23Langtang National Park

    Image Credit : Stephen Bugno
    Explore starry nights, have a rendezvous with the wild and discover the joys of nature by visiting Langtang National Park. The fourth national park and the first Himalayan National Park in the country encompasses of 26 Village Committees. The stunningly beautiful park has borders with Tibet and follows the course of Bhote Kosi and Trisuli rivers.

    Image Credits : Raini Svensson



    Highlights:With forests of pine and bamboo trees, this park captures attention instantly. It ascends through the pastures at the alpine meadows and it is right here where you will find outstanding mountain views. The flora and fauna of this place is just incredible, one of the reasons why it is perfect for trekking, hiking and camping trips. The place has decent tea houses and quite friendly locals who can help you through the course of your journey.

    Location
    :Close to Kathmandu.

    Timings
    :Open at all times.
  • 24Kumari House

    It’s a brick building located on the Durbar Square in Kathmandu. But the building goes beyond its architecture and has something quite intriguing to offer- that’s the spiritual reincarnation of Goddess Durga. It is believed that the girl housed in here is the living goddess of Kathmandu.

    Highlights
    :Once upon a time, the temple was known for its magnificent carvings and divine inhabitants. Today it is mostly famous for being the house of a living goddess. Here, tourists will find wood-carved relics of gods and the symbols in Nepal and they can discover the place through a courtyard. Photos are strictly prohibited and it is forbidden to photograph the Kumari or the goddess. The living goddess does appear on the first floor windows often. But that happens in the morning or late afternoons. Kumari is a young girl and it is believed that in her expressions, she can answer the queries of devotees.

    Location
    :Durbar Square.

    Timings
    :From mornings to evening.

    Price
    :Entry is free, however you will have to pay handlers to get an actual glimpse.
  • 25Helambu Trek

    Image Credit :  Laura Billings
    Helambu is one of the most beautiful places in Nepal that should be visited. It is also spectacular for trekking and similar purposes. If you ready to embark on an adventure, then Helambu Trek is just the right option for you. The place, is famous for its sweet apples as well as artistic Buddhist pilgrimage sites.



    Highlights
    :The trek is usually 8-10 days long, although it can be completed in 5 days as well. The normal trail starts from place called Sundarijal, which has a small dam and hydroelectric station. This place then takes you through different villages and districts. Other starting positions can include Nagarkot, Kakani and Sankhu.

    Location
    : Helambu, 30 km from Kathmandu. The starting place for trek differs from region to region and depends upon the length of trek.