Nestled in the middle of the Himalayas with a population of roughly 1 million people, Kathmandu makes for a fascinating city. On our Nepal tour, we pay visits to some of its iconic religious sites along with exploring the bustling Thamel District – but there’s plenty more to get up to. So if you arrive early and are wondering ‘what to do in Kathmandu’, here are some tips!
Kathmandu has plenty of bustling and vibrant bazaars to explore, selling food, fabric, spices, and random nick-nacks for you to take home. For the easiest, most central market, take a trip to Ason Bazaar. Then (if you’re in the mood for some more) take a 15 minute taxi over to Patan Durbar Square. Here you’ll find Mangaal Bazaar, another iconic market. If you fancy doing some shopping you can walk from there to Pulchowk Road, home to some authentic Nepali shops.
If you’re round by Pulchowk then we highly recommend a stroll through the Kupondole area. In the last decade, street art has started to fill the area with a new wave of illegal artists claiming the walls. So you don’t have to worry too much about visiting art galleries, some of the best art in the city can be found as murals and stencil art on these walls!
Shivapuri National Park
For this one you’ll need to have a full day on your hands but it’s worth it. The Shivapuri National Park is great for a hiking trip or even mountain-biking. It’s made up of lush forest and packed with wildlife – monkeys, birds and leopards to name a few! They manage to keep themselves well-hidden so don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see all the animals.
The standard activity is a hiking trip up to Shivapuri Peak, following the forest trails you’ll pass religious sights along the way. If you’re looking for other activities there you can follow some mountain biking trails or head out further to see the rice terraces.
NexUs Night Market
On our Nepal Adventure we like to have a night out in the Thamel District’s live music bars but if you’re looking for somewhere else to hang out try the NexUs Night Market. It’s a spot you can head over to in the evening where there’s usually live music playing. Use it as a space to hang out, grab a bite to eat and maybe do some late night shopping!
Fly Past Everest
This one’s not cheap (roughly £100-£150) but if you are desperate to see the world’s tallest mountain in all its glory then it’s worth it. Multiple companies (the two main ones being Yeti Airlines and Buddha Air) fly out from Kathmandu airport on sightseeing flights. They then take you on hour long trips flying around the world’s tallest mountains. Providing panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks, it’s a way to get as close as possible to the mountains without actually climbing them!
This sprawling compound holds the impressive Hanuman Dhoka Palace at its entrance and was originally home to 35 courtyards. Built in the 17th century its array of historical architecture has been damaged over the years due to earthquakes however it still makes for a stunning area to wander through. There are still several impressive historical sites you can visit plus a museum where you can learn more about the complex and its history.