Where to start exploring exotic Kathmandu and the Kathmandu valley?
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Here are a few of our 'insider' tips on what to do and where to go in historic Kathmandu and the Kathmandu valley, beginning with the numerous World Heritage sites such as Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Swayambunath (Monkey Temple), Durbar Square, Patan, Baktapur + more!
Browse through the page for tips on restaurants, bars, cafes, museums and the best spas in Kathmandu!
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal with a population of over 4 million inhabitants (2011 census), lies at 1400 meters and is one of the world's oldest and most exotic cities. The old part of the city, with narrow medieval streets and lovely little shrines, centers around Durbar Square. Here one can find distinctive pagoda-roofed temples, stone sculptures, old monasteries and historic monuments. The city’s rich history is nearly 2000 years old, as inferred from an inscription in the valley. Its religious affiliations are dominantly Hindu followed by Buddhist, although people of other religious beliefs also live in Kathmandu, giving it a cosmopolitan culture. Nepali is the common language of the city, though many speak the Nepal Bhasa Newari as it is the center of the Newar (meaning: citizens of Nepal) people and culture.
In Nepal, religion permeates every facet of life with festivals, daily rituals, family celebrations and religious observances. At every step one can see temples and shrines, processions and devotional music. Although Nepal is famous as the world’s only Hindu Nation, it is an intricate and beautiful tapestry woven of Hinduism, Buddhism and other faiths loving together in tolerance and harmony.
Bouddhanath Stupa lies about 6 km east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the Valley and one of the largest in the world. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design with hundreds of prayer wheels and 108 small images of Buddha all around. Just like the Swayambhunath, the stupa here is too has four sides with the watchful eyes of Lord Buddha. All the Buddhist throng to this stupa to take part in the sacred rituals during the Buddhist festivals. Bouddhanath, a World Heritage Site is also known as Khasti. There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries in the area. Many have schools that teach young monks like those pictured here.
In the evening, climb the many steps to the gilded Swayambhunath stupa (known as the monkey temple) which rises from the Kathmandu valley floor at 1420 meters and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. . Swayambunath, the 'self created’ stupa, was founded over 2000 years ago at a time when the Kathmandu valley was filled by a large lake, with a single lotus in the center. Mythology says that Manjusri, a bodhisvatti, drained the lake with one cut of his sword and the lotus flower was transformed into the stupa. From its commanding views of Kathmandu, circumambulate Swayambunath's white-washed stupa, painted with distinctive Buddha eyes, the complex a unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Another interesting time to visit Swayambunath is in the mornings, when Nepalis visit the temple dedicated to the God of Smallpox to with colorful offerings for the goddess.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Wander through the many temples, pagodas, courtyards and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is Kathmandu's 'Palace Square', a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu and a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist palaces, temples, stupas and statues. The Malla and Shah kings ruled over the Kathmandu Valley during the centuries of the building of the layers of this Durbar Square. Along with their opulent palaces, the square surrounds numerous courtyards and temples, all works of art with intricate and often erotic carvings. Kathmandu Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace.
The social, religious and urban focal point of the city, Durbar Square is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies such as Teej. Some important structures are Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.
One of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, Pashupatinath lies 5 km east from the city center. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva as well as the noteworthy gold plated roofs and silver coated doors. This is the abode of God Shiva and is the holiest of all the Shiva shrines. Religious pilgrims and sadhus, like the one pictured here, travel all the way from the remote areas of India to visit this sacred sight, especially during Shivaratri (the night of Shiva) that falls between February/March. Even though these devotees have denounced worldly possessions, each carries a Sadhu ID (identifications card) to freely cross over the border between India and Nepal. Chronicles indicate Pashupatinath’s existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati river flowing beside the temple, also a World Heritage Site. The crematorium is just outside the temple and it is a dream of almost every Hindu to be cremated by the side of Pashupati Aryaghat after their death.
"According to the Nepalese Hindu tradition, the dead body must be dipped three times into the Bagmati River before cremation. The chief mourner (usually the first son) who lights the funeral pyre must take a holy river-water bath immediately after cremation. Many relatives who join the funeral procession also take a bath in the Bagmati River or sprinkle the holy water on their bodies at the end of cremation. The Bagmati River purifies the people spiritually." - Wikipedia
Patan Durbar Square
The third of Kathmandu's ancient capitals, known as 'The City of Fine Arts', best if you have an extra day in hand as Patan is also rich in cultural heritage, has many lovely roof-top cafes for lunch and world-class museums. Some of the highlights of Patan are its Durbar Square, the Krishna Temple within the palace complex of Patan (entirely made of stone, with 21 distinctive spires), and Hiranya Varna Mahavir, or the Golden Buddha Temple.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur which translates as 'Place of Devotees’ and is also known as Bhadgaon, is an ancient Newar city approximately 15 kilometers east of the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is one of three ancient capitals of the Kathmandu valley, the capital of the Newar Kingdom and a city of artisans and craftspeople famous for its art and architecture: intricate carvings, sculptures, paintings, thankas, pottery, statues and temples, or pagodas. Bhaktapur has a well-preserved ‘durbar square’, or palace square, and has been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO because of its incredible temples, pagodas, wood carvings, stone carvings and metalwork. Bhaktapur is also famous for its yogurt, called curd in Asia, a taste which hasn’t been duplicated anywhere.
Spend a full day exploring Bhaktapur and its rich cultural heritage, where a majority of enthnic Newaris live in traditional ways, and life seems to stand still. There are many great restaurants and cafes to rejuvenate, and it's possibly the best spot in Kathmandu for purchasing a thanka after watching the technique, as well as shopping for endless other locally produced crafts. Bhaktapur is home to countless local festivals, so if you are lucky and arrive on a festival day, enjoy the timeless and colorful events unfold.
The Bagmati River, which runs through the Kathmandu Valley, separates Kathmandu from Patan. The now polluted river is considered holy by both Hindus and Buddhists, indicated by several Hindu ghats (steps) and temples along its banks. As seen at Pashupatinath, Hindus are cremated on the banks of this holy river. Lesser known, the Kirants (or Rais) are buried in the surrounding hillsides.
A colorful and enlightening walk that gives you a feel of Kathmandu starts at Rani Pokhari, the large pond at Jamal beside the clock tower (Ghanta Ghar). The first stretch of the diagonal street leading southwest from here is called Kamalachhi. It is lined with bicycles and garment stores and brings you to the stone-paved market square of Ason, where the Annapurna temple presides over the motley of spice, grain and oil shops. Keep on walking and you come to Kel Tole after passing shops overflowing with brass utensils. Further on is the junction of Indrachowk with the temple of Akash Bhairav occupying one side. Your next stop after threading your way through the street lined with cloth shops is the stone-paved plaza of Makhan, where the Taleju temple towers over a row of handicraft shops. Walk on through Durbar Square to the intersection of Maru where you are surrounded by temples of all shapes and sizes.
A walk through selected historic sites seldom visited. This revitalizing walk starts at Teku, south of old Kathmandu, leading on to Wonder Narayan, a 17th century temple dedicated to Lord Bishnu. Strolling through Hyumat Tole, you will arrive at Kusah Bahi, a Buddhist courtyard built in 1754. The next stop is the Narayan Dewal, another Bishnu temple (built in 1865) with a small Ganesh temple at the entrance. Walk on to Tukan Baha, built in the 14th century as a replica of the Swayambhu stupa. Admire the Ram temple at the Ramchandra Dewal before reaching Jaisi Dewal, a huge Shiva temple built in 1688. Saunter down to Kohiti to study the Buddhist and Hindu sculptures in this sunken water fountain. Walk through Chikan Mugal and stop by at the Atko Narayan Dewal, an important Bishnu temple built in 1857, before visiting the namesake of the city, the Kasthamandap pavilion. After a further five-minute walk, reach the final destination, the Bhimsen Dewal, built in 1655 and dedicated to the main deity of local traders.
Kathmandu Valley Cultural Treks + Walks
Kathmandu, one of Asia's most fascinating capitals, is a showcase of World Heritage sites backed by snow-capped Himalayan peaks and hill top retreats with breathtakingly beautiful mountain vistas. The Kathmandu Valley, peppered with traditional Newari villages, Hindu temple complexes and Buddhist monasteries holds endless opportunity for exploration, an in depth journey through Nepal's diverse cultural heritage.
Our Kathmandu Valley Cultural Treks are journeys along the historic Kathmandu Valley rim, short treks following old trade routes through some of the Kathmandu Valley's most idyllic landscapes, staying in some of the valley's boutique resorts and hotels. Trekking through traditional Nepali villages, you will be treated to Himalayan panoramas, wander through timeless Himalayan villages, hiking at a maximum altitude of just over 2000 meters (6550 feet). We can customize your trek or tour according to your time frame and budget, and you can add on any of our Kathmandu and Nepal modules to make your trip uniquely yours. Enjoy a stay at Kathmandu and the Kathmandu valley's wonderful boutique hotels and resorts, all with spectacular views of Nepal's Himalayan peaks.
Kathmandu Valley | Cultural Treks + Tours - Nepal
We run our trips in boutique style, but you may choose to make your trip a truly luxurious vacation, pampering yourself at world-class Dwarika's Heritage Hotel in Kathmandu and Temple Tree Resort & Spa in Pokhara, where you can spend the day at the infinity pool, having massages or indulging in various spa treatments. End your trip with an optional stay at Dwarika's luxurious Dhulikhel Resort just east of Kathmandu for one of their wonderful spa, cleanse & revitalization programs. The perfect journey in Nepal ....
Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing
The political, commercial and cultural hub of Nepal, Kathmandu is the first stop for the majority of visitors to the country. Once a separate kingdom in itself, it contains three fabled cities - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Out of ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven cultural heritage sites are in Kathmandu Valley. The history of the Valley begins with the Buddhist saint Manjushree who slashed a passage through the surrounding hills to drain out the primordial waters and make it inhabitable. Over the centuries, a refined urban civilization emerged, built on a unique synthesis of Hinduism and Buddhism. Dynasties came and went. Trade and the arts flourished. Its deeply religious Newar inhabitants built fabulous cities and artistic temples that attracted devout pilgrims as well as rampaging invaders. In the late 18th century, following the founding of modern Nepal within more or less the present boundaries, Kathmandu was made the capital. Kathmandu, the largest city in Nepal is situated at an altitude of 1350m.
Bhaktapur + Suriya Binayak
Bhaktapur or also known as Bhadgaon, is a museum of medieval art and architecture with many fine examples of sculpture, woodcarving and colossal pagoda temples consecrated to different gods and goddesses. The city is shaped like a conch shell-one of the emblems of the god Vishnu and was founded by King Ananda Deva in A.D. 889. Pottery and weaving are its major traditional industries. The city lies seventeen kilometers to the east of Kathmandu, easily reached by bicycle although the roads are traffic-filled.
Surya Binayak is one of Kathmandu’s most popular pilgrimage spots, 12 kilometers east of the center. It has been positioned in such a way to catch the first rays of the sun in the morning. Situated in a thick forest to the south of Bhaktapur, it is a 20-minute walk from the trolley bus terminal. The temple, dedicated to the Hindu deity Ganesh (the Elephant headed God) is crowded with devotees especially on Tuesdays and Saturdays. It is also one of the favorite picnic spots offering elegant views of Bhaktapur and other attractive landscapes.
Patan Durbar Square
The ancient name of Patan is Lalitpur meaning, city of beauty. It is indeed a city of beauty and grace and is planned on a circular format with Buddhist stupas at each of the four points of the compass. The city is three Kilometers south-east of Kathmandu across the river Bagmati. Like Kathmandu, its center of attraction is its Durbar Square complex, situated right in the middle of the market place. The city is full of Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples with fine bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is also know as the city of artists. The city is believed to have been built during the reign of Vira Dev in A.D. 299.
Budhanilkantha + Kakani
Budhanilkantha is situated below Shivapuri hill at the northern end of the Kathmandu Valley, about 9 km from the city center. The hub of the temple complex is a pond in which lies a 5 meter (17 feet) long great stone figure of Hindu god Bishnu reclining on the coils of a cosmic serpent. The figure has been estimated to have been found buried in the ground in its original state more than thousand years ago. It is also known as Bhuijasi. Hindus throng to this sacred pilgrimage almost everyday to perform puja but a great number of worshippers can be seen in various festivals, especially on Haribodhini Ekadashi that falls between October/November, the day believed that the sleeping Lord Bishnu wakes up.
Biking to Budhanilkantha is an easy day-trip from central Kathmandu, and you can continue up on a paved road into Shivapuri National Park. For single-track mountain bikers, continue through the park towards Kakani and then bike back to Kathmandu along a paved road. Kakani is a view point at 2200 meters where strawberries are grown in the colder months; there is a restaurant and 'resort' at the top, so you can make a full day of cycling through this area.
Nagarkot, Thimi + Changu Narayan
Changu Narayan Temple is situated on a ridge overlooking the Valley, about 12 km to the east of the city. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Bishnu – the Preserver. One of the finest and oldest specimens of pagoda architecture, the temple is embellished with exquisite wood and stone carvings and is said to be the oldest pagoda style temple in Nepal built sometime back in 323 A.D. The sacred complex is a World Heritage Site and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding at 125 meters. Thimi is a farming town situated 8 km east of Kathmandu on the way to Bhaktapur. Exquisite temples and other religious shrines dot its streets. It is known for its artistic masks and earthen pots, often seen spread out on the streets to dry in the sun. It can be called a traditional pottery locality with almost 80% of the population still involved in pottery. Handspun cotton cloth is another Thimi specialty.
Nagarkot is a hill-station situated at 2000 meters, with all ranges of hotels and guest houses and fantastic mountain panoramas. It's 38 km from Kathmandu, the last 17 of them steeply up a switchbacking road, past traditional villages and with lovely views throughout. You can make a great bike trip from Kathmandu to Nagarkot, down to Changu Narayan along a dirt track and then back to Kathmandu partly on back roads and the rest on paved roads. Only try this on Saturday!
Dhulikhel, Namobuddha + Panauti
Dhulikhel is scenic town situated 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu on the Arniko Rajmarg (Kathmandu Kodari Highway). From here, you're treated to a panoramic view of the Himalayan range. From the main town of Dhilikhel, a short visit to Namobuddha, with its stupa and Buddhist monastery, is highly recommended. There are also hotels, guest houses and retreats in Namobuddha and it's a wonderful place to base yourself for a few days of relaxation, biking or hiking. Panauti, a village noted for its numerous temples with magnificent woodcarving, is a short distance from Dhulikhel, well worth a visit either from Dhulikhel or from Kathmandu.
Kirtipur is a small town is situated on a ridge 6 km southwest of Kathmandu. The ancient township established in 1099 is a natural fortress and has a proud and courageous history. It was the first place to be attacked by Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1768. The Chilamchu stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairav are major sights here. Kirtipur offers quaint streets lined with artistic houses and temple squares and great views of Kathmandu Valley. The people are known for their skill in building and weaving and other ancient loom. The oldest educational institute, Tribhuvan University is located in the bottom of the hill.
Dakshinkali + Chobhar
The temple of Dakshinkali is dedicated to one of the most important Hindu Goddess, Kali, and is one of the most popular places of worship in Kathmandu. Located 22 km from the city center on the southern rim of the valley past Pharping Gompa and village, the shrine is especially crowded on Tuesdays and Saturdays when animal sacrifices are offered to the deity. On the way back, stop at Chobhar, the famous gorge, just 8 km south west of Kathmandu. The narrow gash in the hills was made by Lord Manjushree to drain out the lake which once covered the Valley. A majestic view of snow clad mountain can be viewed from the hilltop close by.
Dashinkali also makes a great bike trip from Kathmandu.
Everest Sightseeing Flight
An hour long extravaganza of the world's 8000 meter peaks, including airport transfers. (+$270)
Shivapuri Heights Cottages
A wonderful get away 20 km north of Kathmandu, Shivapuri Heights Cottages are stylishly designed and personal cottages built around a 'common house', where you can breakfast overlooking the stunningly beautiful Kathmandu valley. Massages available on request. (+$)
See Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!
Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley
Many options for day trips, or extended trips, in the Kathmandu Valley. We can customize a cycling trip for you in partnership with one of our knowledgeable partners in Kathmandu. (+$)
See Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!
Vespa Tour of Kathmandu Valley
A quirky and fun way to see the off the beaten path Kathmandu ...
See Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!
Spa, Yoga + Massage
Kathmandu and the Kathmandu valley have many options for a day of pampering and rejuvenation.
See Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!
Buddhism in Nepal
There are a variety of Buddhist practices in Nepal, the Buddhism of the endemic Newar people, perhaps related to the ancient Buddhism that passed out of India one thousand year ago; the Buddhism of the Sherpa, Tamang and Tibetan people and the relatively modern incursion of Theravadin or Southern Buddhism. The central beliefs and practices date back to the time of its founder, Prince Siddhartha Gautam who was born in Lumbini in the southern Terai in about 534 B.C. Until the age of 29, the young prince led a sheltered life in the palace of his father, completely unaware of the problems and suffering of the world outside his palace wall. One day he convinced his charioteer to take him outside the palace, where he was shocked at the sight of an old man, a sick man, a corpse and an ascetic. The realization of the true misery of the world persuaded the prince to abandon his luxurious life and goes into the forests to seek enlightenment to end human suffering. For many years, Gautam practiced asceticism without success. One night beneath a pepal tree in the forest of Bodh Gaya he became enlightened. Henceforth known as Lord Buddha, the ‘enlightened one’ he traveled around northern India and southern Nepal preaching the Middle Path to enlightenment. At the age of eighty he passed into the final enlightenment.
Hinduism in Nepal
Shiva, the destroyer, is historically the god most worshipped in the country. He may be worshipped as the holy ascetic, depicted with his consort Parvati and holding a trident and a small drum or more often in the form of the linga, an elongated stone representing his generative powers. The most important linga is situating in the holy shrine of Pashupatinath to west of Kathmandu. In front of Shiva temples one usually sees a statue of Nandi, the divine bull that serves as Shiva’s vehicle. Another popular form of Shiva in Nepal is the terrifying Bhirav. Different aspects of Bhairav play major roles in many of the Valley’s festivals.
Vishnu, whose primary duty is to assure the preservation of the world and all living forms, is believed to have visited the earth ten times, each times as a different incarnation or avatar. He is often depicted as a boar, a tortoise, a man-lion and a fish-his four animal incarnations. Throughout South Asia he is most often worshipped in two well-known human forms: prince Ram the hero of the epic Ramayana and the pastoral god Krishna. In Nepal he is often worshipped in his omnipotent form of Narayan, and in some of his most lovely images is seen astride the man-bird Garuda his vehicle.
The archetypal mother or female, goddess in of particular importance in Nepal. She is worshipped in many aspects: as Durga, protector and slayer of the buffalo demon, as Taleju, patron deity of the Valley rulers, and as Kumari, and the living virgin goddess. . Other female goddesses include Laxmi, goddess of wealth and Saraswati, goddess of knowledge and arts. Another widely venerated god is elephant-headed Ganesh, the remover of obstacles and the source of good fortune. Other deities such as Red Machhendranath, are special to Nepal alone and are celebrated with unique local festivals.
Islam in Nepal
Islam is a minority religion in Nepal. According to the 2011 Nepal census, 4.4% of the population are Muslim. Islam is thought to have been introduced by the Indian Muslims settling in Nepal, with 4.2% of the population being Muslim according to a 2006 Nepalese census.However, more recent estimates indicate that Muslims constitute approximately 5-10% of the population. Ahmadis maintain a small presence in Nepal.
Christianity in Nepal
The first record of a visit of a Christian missionary in Nepal dates back to 1628, when King Lakshminarasimha Malla received Portuguese Jesuit Father Juan Cabral graciously in the spring that year. He was awarded with a Tamra Patra, a copper plate, allowing him to preach Christianity. Protestant Christians initially came to Nepal primarily through the Nepalese who were living outside of Nepal during and prior to the Rana Regime. After the collapse of Ranas rule in Nepal in 1950, Nepali Christians living in India came in, along with some western missionaries. United Mission to Nepal, International Nepal Fellowship and others are a few earliest western mission agencies that came in and brought Christianity. According to the government data, Christian followers in Nepal accounts for about 1.4% of the population.
The first record of a visit of a Christian missionary in Nepal dates back to 1628, when King Lakshminarasimha Malla received Portuguese Jesuit Father Juan Cabral graciously in the spring that year. He was awarded with a Tamra Patra, a copper plate, allowing him to preach Christianity. In the year 1661, Albert d'Orville, a Belgian, and Johann Grueber, an Austrian visited Nepal as missionaries but did not stay long. On 14 March 1703, six Capuchin Fathers traveled from Rome to Nepal. Only two arrived in Kathmandu on 21 February 1707 and settled in Kathmandu in the middle of 1715's winter. Over the next 54 years, they lived amongst the people of Bhaktapur and Patan in the Kathmandu valley. On 24 March 1760, Father Tranquillius made a small new church situated in Wotu Tole in Kathmandu under the title, The Assumption of Our Lady. After Prithvi Narayan Shah's conquest in 1769, the Capuchin fathers and 57 newly converted Newar Christians were exiled to Bettiah, India. Then till 1950, missionaries were disallowed in Nepal.
Scottish missionaries in Serampore and Darjeeling worked on Bible translations into Nepali, which were completed by Ganga Prasad Pradhan in 1932. Missionaries began to enter Nepal in the early 1950s, but engaged in development work, education and social service such as health care. Nepal was an officially Hindu state, and while conversion was never banned, proselytizing with the aim of converting was illegal and the Christian organizations who entered Nepal, including the Catholic church and the ecumenical United Mission to Nepal, followed a philosophy of witnessing by example rather than evangelizing. Some of the schools and hospitals founded by these groups, such as St. Xavier's school, Patan Hospital and Tansen Hospital, became highly regarded for their quality. Missionary activities with the intent to convert Nepalis to Christianity increased with the advent of democracy and, in particular, after Nepal was named a secular state in 2008. Christmas is now an official government holiday and the "door is widely open for evangelism."
By 2011, the small but growing community of Christians had emerged as a political pressure group, demanding that the government grant them land for cemeteries. After a decade of extensive missionary action, the 2011 census found Christians at 1.45 percent of Nepal's population, almost triple the number in 2001. Until 1990, most of the church groups in Nepal were united with few exceptions like Assembly of God and Church of Christ. But the democratic changes of 1990 brought relative freedom to practice one's faith. This freedom contributed towards a proliferation of various denominations and groups. Missionaries began to enter the open doors in the decades since 1990.
Excerpts from Wikipedia
Narayanhity Palace Museum
Guide to handicrafts in Kathmandu
Lazimpat | Local Crafts + Pashminas
Kopundole, Lalitpur | Local Crafts
Durbar Square | Thangkas
Jawalakhel | Local Carpets
Durbar Marg | Tibetan Furniture + Artifacts + Antiques
Dharmapala Thangka Center
Durbar Marg | hangkas
Thamel, near Kathmandu Guest House | Airwork + Paintings
Jawalakhel Handicraft Center
Tibetan Refugee Camp, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur | Carpets
Boudha Stupa Thangka Center
Boudhanath | Thangkas
Tridevi Marg | Trekking Gear
Tridevi Marg | Tekking Gear
Thamel, 2nd parallel street, above Kathmandu Guest House | Pashminas
Kathmandu's Best | Luxury Hotels
Near Pashipatinath + Airport
Hotel Yak & Yeti
Kathmandu Style | Boutique + Mid Range
Kathmandu Guest House
Park Village Hotel & Resort
Kantipur Temple House
International Guest House
Tibet Guest House
Newa Chen Shrestha House
Bhadgaon Guest House
Food-Nepal (Restaurant guide)
Thamel, Durbar Marg & Naxal | Breakfast + Lunch
- Funky Boudha (Garden, good juices, generally nice atmosphere)
- Pumpernickel (Famous KTM bakery, garden café)
- New Orleans (Great atmosphere, fresh juice & good coffees)
- Himalayan Java (Himalayan coffee, bakery, local hang-out, atmospheric)
- Revolution (Thamel, great atmosphere, all types of food + coffee)
- Gaia (Lovely atmosphere, also good for dinner, continental)
- Northfield Cafe & Jesse James Bar (Garden restaurant, popular, food OK)
- Narila's (Middle Eastern, casual, popular and inexpensive)
- Dechenling (Bhutanese, Indian & Nepali garden restaruant, very atmospheric, nice spot to spend the aftennoon)
- Mike's Breakfast (New location in Naxal)
Thamel, Durbar Marg & Naxal | Dinner + A Night Out
- The Chimney (Yak & Yeti, Boris famous restaurant)
- The Sunrise Cafe (Yak & Yeti, great evening buffet)
- Roadhouse Café (Italian, wood-oven pizzas, steaks, salads, Southwestern atmosphere)
- New Orleans (Great atmosphere, garden, live music evenings, breakfast, lunch & dinners)
- Cha Cha & White Horse Wine Bar (Pastas, wine bar, good atmosphere & food)
- The Third Eye (Indian, classic KTM haunt, now re-vamped)
- Yin & Yang (Thai, same owners as Third Eye, next door)
- Tamas Spa Lounge (Live music, good food, trendy spot with unique atmosphere)
- Dechenling (Bhutanese, Indian & Nepali with climbing wall, fires in winter, lovely setting)
- Organic Café (Salads, good, healthy food)
- Mitra (European food, small & intimate, a bit pricey, great reviews)
- Fire & Ice (Real Italian pizzas, thinnest crusts, ice-cream)
- Jatra (Mixed food, live music Fri & Sat, great ambiance)
- OR2K (Middle Eastern, bohemian atmosphere, good food)
- Kathmandu Guest House (garden restaurant & café, good coffee)
- La Dolce Via (Owned by Roadhouse Cafe, similar fare and wonderful atmosphere)
- Rum Doodle (Everest bar, this incarnation it's third or fourth)
- Kilroy's (Famous chef, mostly European food)
- K-Too (Popular post-trek steakhouse)
- Mandap (Good bakery, Indian)
- Koto's (Japanese, Durbar Marg)
Lazimpat | Anytime
- Kotetsu (Japanese restaurant, good reviews, upper Lazimpat - Pani Pokari)
- Bawarchi (Indian, good food, across from Ambassador Hotel)
- Saffron Indian Restaurant (Shangri La Hotel)
- Shambala Garden Cafe (Shangri La Hotel)
- Bhumi (Nepali fare, good prices & one of Kathmandu's most popular restaurant with well-heeled locals)
- Nepali Chulo (Traditional Newari, owned by Northfield Cafe)
- Olive Tree (Radisson)
- Him Thai Restaurant & Bar
- Cibo (Indian Embassy Rd, cozy)
- New Tushita Restaurant (Owned by The Fort, Nagarkot)
- Lazimpat Gallery (Lots of activities, too)
- Le Sherpa
Patan + Lalitpur
- New Orleans Cafe (Patan location)
- Roadhouse (Patan location)
- Degaa (Owned by Bhumi, Newari cuisine)
- Harihar Bhawan (Across from UN, European & fusion cuisine)
- New Thai
- Krishnarpan (Dwarika's, said to be one of the finest Nepali dining experiences in Nepal)
- Mako's (Dwardika's, Japanese)
- Toran and Fusion Bar (Dwardikas, Friday jazz & buffet by the pool, a must-do in KTM)
- The Cafe (Hyatt, good buffet)
- 1905 (Nag Pokhari)
- Sam's Bar (Classic Kathmandu open-air bar, music)
- Tamas (Spa Lounge, live music, good food, trendy spot with unique atmosphere)
- Rox Restaurant & Bar (Hyatt, popular bar Friday night, restaurants)
- Lost Horizon Bar (Shangri La Hotel)
- Jazz Upstairs (Popular Lazimpat bar, live music Wed & Sat)
- Red Onion Bar (Lazimpat, also live music sometimes)
- Tom & Jerry's (Classic KTM bar, upstairs, pool table, loud)
- Fusion Bar (Dwardika's)
- Rum Doodle (Everest bar, this incarnation it's third or fourth)
Saturday Market in Naxal
Saturday Market at Le Sherpa
Namaste & Tashi Delek!
© Kim Bannister