Best Places To Visit in Kathmandu

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You can’t call yourself a traveler until you discover the hidden gems of Kathmandu. The city, surrounded by natural beauty, is home to some amazing places you must visit to experience a different side of Nepal. There are so many things to explore in Kathmandu, whether you want to see the best historical sites or want to go on an adventurous trip and explore the thrill of this incredible city.

Kathmandu has been a home for travelers from all over the world for years. It is also known as ‘The Capital of Everest’ because it lies at the base of magnificent Himalayan peaks that tower above it. In this article, we will share with you some of the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

1. Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square ( aka Basantapur ) was the previous Kingdom of Kantipur and is one of the three royal palaces in the valley. The Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is not difficult to figure out why. The Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is originally known for vivid showcases of artists and craftsmen.

The place showcases Nepalese architecture and craftsmanship with its stunningly decorated palaces and temples. If you are visiting Nepal, Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu.


  • Many beautifully carved out architecture with statues of deities. The palace is ornately carved with wooden windows and panels. Other famous temples like Kasthamandap are also in Basantapur.
  • It contains the King Tribhuwan Memorial Museum and the Mahendra Museum. The entire museum can be visited and explored. [Gaddi Baithak]
  • Here lies Kumari Ghar which is resided by a Kumari, A young girl selected to be the human reincarnation of the Hindu Goddess Durga. This place also carries huge religious importance. Travelers will find wood-carved remnants of gods and symbols as they enter the Kumari courtyard.
  • Freak Street, which lies the North-East of Kumari Ghar, is a small street popular for its rich Hippie history. The street is lined with many restaurants with cuisines from all over.
  • The place also has many shops even out in the streets for buying antiques and souvenirs.

2. Swayambhunath Stupa

swayambunath stupa

This iconic temple is located to the northwest of the Kathmandu Valley on a tiny mountain called Swayambhunath. This tourist spot, also known as the Monkey Temple, attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. This stupa is the oldest of its kind in Nepal, and it is home to many temples and monasteries. Swayambhu literally translates as “self-existent one.” It is thought to have been erected by King Manadeva around 460 A.D. back in the 13th century. The place is nowadays the center of faith of both Buddhists, Hindus, and people alike. The Stupa has been a part of the World Heritage Site since 1979.


  • A great place to explore and observe Buddhist culture and religious harmony.
  • Features a hilltop Stupa with 365 stairs leading to it. However, there is also a motor road going up almost to the top of the hill.
  •  Many shrines, smaller stupas, offering spots, and even gravestones. Buildings related to the five elements – earth, air, water, five, and the sky is found at the stupa’s cardinal points.
  • You can see the amazing panoramic view of the entire Kathmandu Valley from the top of the hill with a very peaceful ambiance.
  • Many shops for buying souvenirs, gifts, jewelry, etc.

3. Thamel


Thamel has been and continues to be one of the most prominent and busy commercial areas in Nepal’s Kathmandu City. It is the hub for all Tourists and a must go place to experience its chaotic one-of-a-kind lifestyle. Whether it’s cultural monuments or bars, cozy eateries, or spectacular temples, the small lanes of Thamel have never failed to boost the country’s tourism business in more than four decades. Whether you’re searching for tasty food or clothes, new music records, or hiking gear, Thamel’s street stores have you covered.


  • Along with the hundreds of pedestrians walking down the street, there is no shortage of vehicles, including cycle rickshaws, taxis, bicycles, and two-wheelers.
  • Thamel also has a number of restaurants that provide delectable and diverse cuisine, which is guaranteed to appeal to any foodie.
  • A prime entertainment district in the capital, the place features many bars, clubs, and casinos with most operating for 24 hours.
  • Despite the bustling and lively environment of the place, the other side of Thamel is known to few. Thamel has many historical and religious sites dating back millennia.

Note: One can easily get ripped off or scammed in the area. So it is advised to keep away from dealers and services that are unnecessary. Many items here can also be bargained.

4. Kopan Monastery

kopan monastery

The Kopan hill, which emerges from the terraced fields of the Kathmandu valley and can be seen for miles, is located just to the north of the historic Buddhist village of Boudhanath. It was previously the residence of the court astrologer to the king of Nepal, and it is dominated by a beautiful bodhi tree.

Many monks, lamas, instructors, and employees reside here. The monks range in age from seven to sixty and are from all regions of Nepal and Tibet. Their whole lives have been committed to the study and application of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s teachings. They focus on the teachings of Lama Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelug Lineage.


  • Kopan Monastery is a peaceful place where you can study Buddhism.
  • The Monastery lies in a very blissful and serene place bringing glimpses of old times. Kopan features great art and architecture.
  • This lovely monastery is accessible by foot, rental vehicle, or bus. If you wish to achieve inner calm, Kopan Monastery is the perfect place to go.

5. Pashupatinath Temple

pashupatinath temple

On the eastern outskirts of Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu lies the Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu sanctuaries in the country. The temple area stretches across both sides of the lovely and revered Bagmati River. Thousands of followers flock to the majestic sanctuary where Lord Shiva is worshipped to offer prayers and ask for his blessings. The majestic temple was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

The Pashupatinath Temple is vibrant, alive, and filled with spirituality. The temple is one of the most revered of all the shrines in the nation. This temple is not just a shelter for believers but a carries rich history too.


  • Hindus from all over the nation desire to pass away here because it is said that people who die in the temple are reborn as humans and that all of their sins in past lifetimes are forgiven.
  • The main temple is only accessible to the followers of Hinduism, while all the other structures are open to tourists. A beautiful view of the temple can be viewed from the eastern side of the river.

6. Boudhanath Stupa

boudhanath stupa

Boudhanath Stupa is a stupa in Kathmandu valley that was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1979.  The stupa was constructed by a Tibetan ruler around 600 AD and is believed to entomb Kassapa Budhha. All Buddhists worldwide visit the stupa as a place of historical pilgrimage. Many kilos of gold were used in the stupa’s ornamentation during construction.

The Buddha’s painted eyes on the stupa have been variously described as opaque, apathetic, empathic, and cunning. The Stupa’s building incorporates the five elements that best characterize Buddha: earth, air, water, fire, and space.


  • Boudhanath remains rather peaceful and serene even amid the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • One of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage places in Kathmandu, Nepal, Boudha is a magnificent and spiritual place. Monks spend the day of the full moon praying and singing, and all Buddhists visit the location as part of their pilgrimage.
  • Areas around the stupa are full of shops and restaurants where you can find many souvenirs and amazing food. Many cafes and family-run restaurants await to be discovered in the streets of Boudha.
  • The Boudhanath stupa receives hundreds of visitors each day and is open 24 hours a day. Even though it is crowded, the location is nonetheless extremely quiet. People of all ages visit this location to relax, socialize, take leisurely strolls, take photographs, eat, and most importantly find peace within themselves.

7. National Museum

chhauni museum

One of the must-go places in Nepal is the Chhauni Museum. The National Museum is the first museum in Nepal that lies near Swayambhunath Stupa. Its compound has various building styles, gardens, and open space and takes up roughly 50 Ropani of land. The museum’s history reveals that it was formerly an Arsenal home constructed in 1824 by Prime Minister General Bhimsen Thapa. After the addition of two new wings by Chandra Shumsher in 1926, the museum was opened to the general public in 1939.

The museum aims to collect, preserve, interpret, and display objects of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the study and education of the public.


  • The museum is under the management of the Department of Archeology. The museum now features historical galleries, Judhhajatiya art galleries, and Buddhist art galleries. The museum is an important destination for students and tourists alike.
  • Chhauni museum also has an auditorium. The buildings are surrounded by beautiful and large gardens perfect for family outings and academic tours.

8. White Monastery

seto gumba

White Monastery, commonly referred to as Seto Gomba among locals or Amitabha Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Nepal that combines spiritual significance with a soothing natural environment. The surrounding area’s colorful geography and verdant surroundings make it enjoyable to view the sunset and dawn here. From here, visitors can view the whole Kathmandu Valley. Most visitors are drawn by the serene ambiance because they want to relax. White Monastery is a very good place to relax and unwind away from the city’s chaos.


  • The monastery is a stunning example of Tibetan architecture, and it is filled with numerous murals, sculptures, and paintings. You can also enjoy the stunning views of the Kathmandu valley from this monastery.
  • If the weather is clear, people can also view the mountain ranges. Many people come here to see the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets from the hill.
  • You can also hike to the place, making it an amazing plan for a day.

9. Nagarkot


Located just at the edge of Kathmandu, Nagarkot is a very popular location to visit. Nagarkot is a highly popular destination for tourists for its breathtaking natural beauty. Of course, many businesses have taken the opportunity and have been working here. There are several hotels and other lodging options in the village, so you can see the outdoors right from your balcony. Even without the vistas, this place can get rather chilly.

Historically, the area once functioned as the Kathmandu Valley’s historic fort. It was utilized to keep tabs on other kingdoms at that time. Presently, It is now a well-known hill station where you may stay and have a wonderful vacation. Nagarkot is a fascinating location that is well worth seeing. The ideal months to visit this location are from October through April.


  • You can see the sunrise view of Mount Everest and other peaks. Eight of the 13 Nepalese Mountain Ranges can be seen from here. The area is well-known for its views of the Langtang range, Rolwaling range, Ganesh Himal, Shivapuri National Park, and Numbur Forest.
  • The place features many places for accommodations making it hassle-free.
  • Beautiful hill station for observing the natural beauty of the place.

10. Chandragiri Hills

chandragiri hills

Chandragiri Hills is without a doubt one of the most popular destinations among tourists and locals alike. One of Nepal’s most popular day-trip locations is Chandragiri Hills. You can get a breath of fresh air while walking around the hills and enjoy the breathtaking views of the countryside. There is no better site in Kathmandu to enjoy a thrilling experience than this. The breathtaking vistas of the big Himalayan mountain ranges from this location are its finest feature.


  • The main feature of this hill station is its Cable car. The ride on the cable car is around 2.5 kilometers long one way. Starting at Godam, Thankot, you go through the verdant forest till you reach Chandragiri Hills’ summit.
  • The summit of the hill station has a temple, a children’s play area, a panoramic view of the entire valley, accommodation and cafes, and much more.

The places mentioned above are must-visit. They are the best places to visit in Kathmandu valley. Whether it be religious, historical to modern, they all are amazing places to visit.



Best Places to Visit in Nepal

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