Explore Kathmandu: its temples, sightseeing, culture, and more!

Nepal’s capital is an alluring blend of sacred monuments, medieval landmarks and lively shopping districts as well as being a gateway to Kathmandu Valley.

A cacophony of sights, sounds and smells welcomes visitors to Kathmandu. It is a spellbinding combination of medieval center, holy city, shops and breathtaking natural scenery. Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital city, set in the picturesque Kathmandu Valley. Wander its maze of winding streets to discover centuries-old traditions amid stunning Newari architecture.

A great place to start your visit is at Kathmandu Durbar Square, the city’s architecturally impressive historic and religious heart. Spot multi-tiered pagoda temples, colorful shrines and exotic wood carvings. Highlights include the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari House, Kasthamandap and Maju Deval Temple. Weave between rickshaws, cows and holy men as you stroll through the square’s surrounding alleyways. Bargain for fresh fruit and flowers at the markets and peak into courtyards to see carpets of sundried chilies.

A short walk north of Kathmandu Durbar Square is the Thamel district. Within this popular backpacker hangout you’ll find a variety of guesthouses and hotels, bakeries, bars and restaurants. Explore the bazaars, where shops sell everything from prayer beads and bronze Buddha statues to pashmina scarves, incense and spices. Escape the noise at the serene Garden of Dreams and then learn about Nepal’s royal and political history at the Narayanhiti Palace Museum, the palace where Nepal’s monarchs used to live.

South of Durbar Square is Freak Street, a bohemian enclave home of chic cafés. Discover more temples and street hawkers at Indra Chowk and relax in Ratna Park, one of the few green spaces in the city center.

Be sure to visit Kathmandu’s ancient sacred landmarks. Climb the 365-step staircase to the magical Swayambhunath. Spin prayer wheels as you walk around the Boudhanath stupa with monks and devotees. Watch ancient Hindu rituals at Pashupatinath Temple and glean insights into the lives of Buddhist monks at Kopan Monastery.

Reach Kathmandu by flying to Tribhuvan International Airport and get around on foot, rickshaw, public buses and low-cost taxis. Save some time to visit Patan, Bhaktapur and Nagarkot, some of the atmospheric towns scattered around the Kathmandu Valley. For adventurists, Kathmandu is also the jumping off point for treks to Everest Base Camp.

Known for

Tours, Temples and Sightseeing

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Where to stay in Kathmandu

Thamel
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Thamel

Sightseeing, Temples, Tours

Shopping and cafés are notable features of Thamel. You might consider a stop by Garden of Dreams while you're exploring the neighborhood.

Gaushala
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Gaushala

When in Gaushala, you can plan a visit to Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath, some noteworthy sights in the nearby area.

Boudhha
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Boudhha

Temples, Gardens, Tours

Unique features of Boudhha include the gardens and spas. Make a stop by Boudhanath or Riwoche Monastery while you're exploring the area.

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Top Hotels in Kathmandu

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Hotel Shanker
Hotel Shanker
4 out of 5
Lazimpat, Kathmandu
¥5,876/night
Aug 25 - Aug 26
4.1/5Very Good! (715 reviews)

This family-friendly Kathmandu hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Narayanhity Palace Museum and Garden of Dreams. Pashupatinath Temple ...

4.1/5Very Good! (715 reviews)

"The culture of service at this hotel is unique. This is our second trip to Nepal and the second time we chose this hotel to stay in. The service, in every moment, has been superb and kind. The building and grounds are exceptional. I would not hesitate recommending this hotel to anyone !"…"

Reviewed on Aug 23, 2019

Hotel Shanker
Image for Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
5 out of 5
Taragaon Boudha, Gpo Box 9609, Kathmandu
¥11,382/night
Aug 31 - Sep 1
4.3/5Excellent! (325 reviews)

This family-friendly Kathmandu resort is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Charumati Stupa and Boudhanath. Pashupatinath Temple and Garden of Dreams ...

4.3/5Excellent! (325 reviews)

"It's a great pleasure to stay there can be there for next time"…"

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2019

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Image for Kumari Boutique Hotel
Kumari Boutique Hotel
3 out of 5
Chhusya Galli, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
¥3,845/night
Aug 29 - Aug 30
4.8/5Exceptional! (65 reviews)

Located in Thamel, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Durbar Marg, Garden of Dreams, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. Pashupatinath Temple is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (65 reviews)

"Very comfortable hotel off the busy main streets so its quiet and calm. Beds very comfortable - we had an issue with our air conditioner, but staff had it fixed right away. The best part of the stay was the staff, always ready to help with anything... Will return in January on next trip to ..."…"

Reviewed on Jul 20, 2019

Kumari Boutique Hotel

Popular things to do in Kathmandu

Pashupatinath Temple
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Pashupatinath Temple

Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015. Travelers are strongly advised to seek information before traveling to Nepal until further notice.

Boudhanath
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Boudhanath

Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015. Travelers are strongly advised to seek information before traveling to Nepal until further notice.

Kathmandu Durbar Square
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Kathmandu Durbar Square

Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015. Travelers are strongly advised to seek information before traveling to Nepal until further notice.

Garden of Dreams
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Garden of Dreams

Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015. Travelers are strongly advised to seek information before traveling to Nepal until further notice.

Swayambhunath
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Swayambhunath

Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015. Travelers are strongly advised to seek information before traveling to Nepal until further notice.

Kopan Monastery
Image for Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery

Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015. Travelers are strongly advised to seek information before traveling to Nepal until further notice.

Top activities in Kathmandu

Kathmandu: Small-Group Path to a Hidden Monastery Tour
Image for Kathmandu: Small-Group Path to a Hidden Monastery Tour

Kathmandu: Small-Group Path to a Hidden Monastery Tour

¥6,063

Discover Nepal's hidden wonders on a day trip to a little-known Buddhist monastery within Shivapuri National Park. Along the way, with an expert guide by your side, tiptoe past an iconic sleeping Hindu idol, trek across verdant forests, and soak up views of the beautiful Kathmandu Valley.

Kathmandu's Local Hideout Street Food Tour
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Kathmandu's Local Hideout Street Food Tour

¥2,047

Skip the restaurants offering Westernized dishes and visit 4 famous stalls frequented only by the locals. Follow your guide down alleys to hard-to-find hotspots and savor delicious samosas, momos, panipuri, and lassi to get a real sense of authentic local food.

Kathmandu: Small-Group Kingdoms of Patan & Bhaktapur Tour
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Kathmandu: Small-Group Kingdoms of Patan & Bhaktapur Tour

¥10,318

Enjoy a small-group tour that reveals the Kathmandu Valley's ancient kingdoms of Patan and Bhaktapur. Step back in time to a medieval era and delve into these cities' living history. Admire stunning shrines and ancient temples where the smell of incense marks the way.

Monkey Temple Tour with a Monk - Swoyambhu Stupa
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Monkey Temple Tour with a Monk - Swoyambhu Stupa

¥2,390

Rarely does one get an inside access to a religion that has spanned over two millennia in Nepal, and get to witness first hand how Buddhism is practised by the monks who have dedicated their lives to the faith.

Shopping in Kathmandu: Immerse Yourself in Colour and Chaos
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Shopping in Kathmandu: Immerse Yourself in Colour and Chaos

¥1,489

Kathmandu really comes to life through her markets, and this is something even the residents of this beautiful city can't get enough of. Whether it's a never ending row of colourful shop houses selling a multitude of fabrics and garments, or that distinct smell of a spice bazaar that hits the senses all at once.

From Kathmandu: Small-Group Spiritual Nepal Tour
Image for From Kathmandu: Small-Group Spiritual Nepal Tour

From Kathmandu: Small-Group Spiritual Nepal Tour

¥6,170

Nurture your spiritual self during this enlightening experience across the historic heart of Nepal—the Kathmandu Valley. Meet Hindu holy men within a sacred temple, visit with resident monks at a Buddhist stupa, and join an esteemed astrologer in an attempt to chart out your own personal path.