Explore the Top 7 Places to Visit in Kathmandu: A Guide for Travelers
A single word can’t capture the essence of Kathmandu. We mean the city is too much to process. The capital of Nepal has managed to leave its visitors amazed with a perfect blend of rush and calmness.
You’ll find yourself wondering how in the world a single place offers such diversity.
But that’s just Kathmandu being herself. Filled with historical landmarks, cultural experiences, and mystique scenic viewpoints, it has a lot to offer. So, if you happen to be in this place, you can’t take the risk of missing out on the best spots.
Here are the top 7 places to visit in Kathmandu to enrich your memory lane with exceptional travel experiences.
The Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu
If you are looking for a little break amidst all the chaos of Kathmandu, then Kopan Monastery is the best spot to be.
It happens to be one of the secret places in Kathmandu that a lot of people have yet to discover. It resides in the valley area, just outside of Kathmandu, close to the Boudhanath Stupa.
It is a beautiful Tibetan Buddhist Monastery built during the late 1960s and early 1970s by the founders of the Foundation of the Preservation of the Mahayana (FPMT).
As a visitor, you can simply enjoy the beauty and serenity of the monastery or make a retreat ranging from Group retreats to Private retreats. You can also join a short-term (7 days )course to learn the basics of Buddhism.
Talk about an enlightening experience, right?
Kopan Monastery also organises various monastic events and celebrates festivals such as Losar (Tibetan New Year), Monlam (Great Prayer Festival), Tsip Shag (students progressing to a higher class), and many more.
So you’ll get to tap into a whole new world of celebration and unique activities.
- Location: Near Boudhanath, Kathmandu
- Opening hours: from 9 AM – 11:30 AM & 1 PM – 4:30 PM every day
- Entry Fee: Free of Charge
On the list, we have another Buddhist monastery that enriches the beauty of Kathmandu. Swayambhunath resides at the top of Semgu Hill to the west of the Kathmandu Valley.
Swayambhu translates to ‘’self-existent one.’ It was built by King Manadev.
It also goes by the name of Swayambhunath Stupa, Swayambhu MahaChaitya, and Monkey Temple. It is decorated with prayer flags and has a white dome stupa, an array of shrines, a museum, and a well-stocked library.
Listed under UNESCO World Heritage Site, this unique architecture is renowned for its distinct Buddha eyes. The eyes represent compassion and wisdom. You’ll also find a nose resembling a pattern in between the eyes, which is actually number one written in Devanagari.
You can go to this place in 2 ways. One is a series of stairs that leads to the main platform and the other is a car drive entrance that takes you to the southwest entrance.
- Location: On a hillock 3 km west of Kathmandu
- Opening Hours: 24 hrs
- Entry Fee: Rs.200 for foreigners and Rs.50 for SAARC nationals
The true beauty of Kathmandu lies in its temples and shrines. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this Hindu temple manages to be among the most famous places in Kathmandu.
You can enter this temple only if you are a Hindu.
Pashupatinath resides on the bank of the Bagmati River. The grand sanctum is the home of Lord Shiva and attracts a large number of devotees and pilgrims. This place will leave you ruminating over life and appreciating the beauty in life.
This is because you get to witness religion, sheer devotion, and even the end of life as the cremation ceremony is performed in cremation ghats along the river Bagmati.
This famous tourist was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The main temple of Pashupatinath has a golden pinnacle, also known as Gajur, and two Garbhagrihas.
This large temple has other mini temples within its premises namely Bacchareshwari Temple, Ram Temple, Gorakhnath Temple, and many more.
- Location: Pashupatinath Road 44621
- Opening Hours: From 4 AM – 12 PM & 5 PM – 9 PM every day
- Entry Fee: Rs.1000
Garden of Dreams
Wanna be transported to a dreamy place? Well, Garden of Dreams could be your answer. Garden of Dreams is the best place to visit in Kathmandu for couples.
The Garden of Dreams is a neoclassical garden also known as ‘’Swapna Bageecha’ and the ‘Garden of Six Seasons,’. The garden is filled with a gorgeous amphitheatre, beautiful fountains and ponds, trellises, and various planting areas.
The whole vibe of this place is that of a European garden. If you’re looking to spice up your Instagram feed, then this place is a must.
This garden serves as a good reminder that it’s not too late to fix broken and damaged relics. The garden was initially built by Kishore Narshingh in 1920. However, it was left abandoned for many years after his death. Until the Austrian government restored it and brought lost magic to this place.
The green grasses, flowers, and viridescent pond in the middle will just delight your eyes.
- Location: Tridevi Sadak, Near Thamel
- Opening Hours: 9 AM – 10 PM every day
- Entry Fee: Rs.320 for adults and Rs.160 for children
A hub for tourists, Thamel still holds the title of a fun place to be in Kathmandu. The narrow alleys of Thamel will set you up for a whole new adventure. It has a perfect amalgamation of cultural possessions, cosy restaurants, live music spots, and many more.
You’ll find many foreign money exchange booths, numerous travel agencies, and guest houses all within your wants and budget. Thamel shows its true colour at night with its bars, pubs, and casinos. So, make sure to experience that.
Over a thousand years old, this place has a serene Vikramshila Mahavihara Monastery at its centre. The original story of Kathmandu Valley, “Swayambhu Purana,” is protected within this monastery.
In addition, it has various cultural monuments such as Tri Devi, Sunken Ganesh Shrine, Ghairi Dhara, Shiva Shrine, and Ashoka stupa. You can also purchase souvenirs such as pashmina, singing bowls, and prayer flags from within Thamel.
- Location: 20-minute taxi drive from Tribhuvan International Airport, and a 15-minute drive from Kathmandu bus station
- Opening hours: 24 hours
- Entry Fee: Free
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square will take you back to the time with its rich history. This place represents authentic Kathmandu’s traditional architecture and embodies the skills of Newar artists and craftsmen over several centuries.
The Earthquake of 2015 left quite a lot of damage here.
However, that hasn’t ceased its legacy and glory. The two courtyards that makeup Kathmandu Durbar Square are the inner Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace, and the outer Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar, and Shiva-Parvati Temple.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also known as ‘’the Museum of the Temples’’ as it has over 50 temples in the square. The major attractions of this place include Taleju Temple, Kumari Temple, Jagannath Temple, Nasal Chowk, Narsingha statue, Kal Bhairav, and Tribhuvan Museum to name a few.
One of the major attractions of this site is Kumari Temple, the house of the living goddess Kumari. Make sure to visit the inner courtyard of Kumari Ghar in the morning, as it is less crowded at this time. You can see the kumari at the central window of the Kumari Ghar between 9 am and 11 am and around 4 pm.
- Location: Near New Road, Kathmandu
- Opening Hours: 24 hours
- Entry Fee: Rs. 1000 for foreigners and Rs. 200 for SAARS country citizens
In the mood for a little hustle and bustle? Asan Bazaar is your perfect gateway. Asan is a marketplace that is constantly crowded with people. And you’ll get to see the daily life of Nepali people in this market.
Apart from having a crowded market, Asan has Annapurna Ajima Temple. It is a traditional three-tiered pagoda with wooden architecture. Moving a little farther, to the north of the square, you’ll find a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh.
There is another shrine dedicated to Lord Narayan in the northwest. This place has been historically operating as a bazaar for decades. So, you can find anything between spices, vegetables, and local tea to clothing, footwear, woollens, brassware, copperware, religious items, and many more.
The fascinating thing about Asan is that the shops have been run for generations, thereby protecting their culture. Thus, it holds a special place in the heart of the people.
- Location: Chittadhar Marg, Kathmandu
- Opening hours: 24 hours
- Entry Fee: Free
Kathmandu has so much in store that one can’t help but stay stunned. For a city so rich in culture and history and now an urban spot, you’ll never run out of fun things to do in Kathmandu. Thus, don’t miss out on these top 7 places to visit in Kathmandu and retreat your soul with a lifetime experience.
Wrapping the list of best places to visit in Kathmandu
|S.N.||Places to visit in Kathmandu||Location|
|01||Kopan Monastery||Near Boudhanath, Kathmandu|
|02||Swayambhunath||On a hillock 3 km west of Kathmandu|
|03||Pashupatinath||Pashupatinath Road 44621|
|04||Garden of Dreams||Tridevi Sadak, Near Thamel|
|05||Thamel||20-minute taxi drive from Tribhuvan International Airport and a 15-minute drive from Kathmandu Bus Station|
|06||Kathmandu Durbar Square||Near New Road, Kathmandu|
|07||Asan Bazaar||Chittadhar Marg, Kathmandu|