Stupa of Boudhanath Kathmandu Nepal

Things you can’t miss in Kathmandu

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I had been to Nepal twice, first time I had a solo trip. The second time I took my parents and one of my friend traveled with us. It was their first trip so, I was the guide 🙂 From my experience, here is my list of things you can’t miss in Kathmandu.

When I think about those trips, I feel fortunate because I had seen so many places of historical importance in good shape before the tragic earthquake of 2015. There is so much to see and do in Kathmandu. Moreover, it is a very inexpensive destination and favorite among backpackers. Nepal is very well connected with rest of the world. I took Delhi – Kathmandu flight and started and ended my trip in Kathmandu.

Here is my list of things you can’t miss in Kathmandu

The most popular places in Kathmandu are Swyambhunath, Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Patan City, stupa of Boudhanath, Hanuma Dhoka, Thamel and Kailashnath Mahadev Statue.


This temple is 2000 years old Buddhist shrine and is situated on top of the hill. This is one of the most popular place and also used as a symbol for Nepal in many places. The name Swyambhunath means self created, it is said that an eternal self-existent flame started burning here and later on a stupa was later built. over it.

This temple is also known as the “Monkey Temple”. There are many small buildings and temples down the hillside around Swayambhunath.

View from the top of Swayambhunath is beautiful and I can see the whole Kathmandu city.

City view from Swyambhunath Temple stairs

We climbed the stairs and reached the main stupa. There are two ways to climb the stairs to reach the stupa, one is from city side but stairs are very steep on that side and moreover if traveling by own car then parking is another issue.

Another way to climb it from the back side, where stairs are less steep and climb is easy. At this side, there is a metallic statue in the water fountain and people throw coins in hand of the statue to get their wish fulfilled, this is very popular activity here. Kathmandu is not expensive and see what you can do in Kathmandu in 10$ 

Pashupatinath Temple

It is one of the most sacred Hindu shrine in the World. This temple complex is on UNESCO World Heritage Sites and it’s situated on the banks of river Bagmati. Photography is not allowed inside the temple. Another thing about the temple is that they don’t allow non-Hindu’s inside the temple.

The main sanctum has a big four Shivalinga, which is the main place for worship. There are few more small temples inside the main compound but Bhairav’s temple is second in popularity after the main sanctum.We at gate of Pashupatinath temple Kathmandu Nepal
We came out from the backside of the temple from the stairs leading to the banks of the river Bagmati. This river is considered most holy and Nepali people consider auspicious to cremate their dead people on ghats of Bagmati’s to attain nirvana.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

It is Old Royal Palace of Nepal and there were many beautiful buildings & temples in this square. The temple of living goddess Kumari is one of the most popular and sometimes the goddess Kumari come to the window to give “auspicious sight” to devotees.

Other interesting places to visit in Durbar Square are Jagannath temple known for colorfully painted erotic carvings, Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, Hanuman Dhoka, Kal bhairav and Kasthmandap temple.

Unfortunately, many of these were turned into rubble during earthquake 🙁 Also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is another architectural gem of Nepal.

Stupa of Boudhanath

This stupa was built shortly after the death of Buddha and considered as the largest single Chhorten in the world. There are around 50 smaller stupa’s around this and these are mainly built by Tibetan refugees. There is a market surrounding the Circumambulation path of the main stupa. This market mainly has souvenirs shops and restaurants catering to the tourists.

Patan and Patan Durbar Square

Another beautiful area in Kathmandu is Patan, which is often referred to as Lalitpur means “city of beauty”. History of Patan goes back to Emperor Ashoka i.e. 250 BC. The main attraction of Patan is Royal Palace, Bhimsen temple, Manga Hiti, King Yogendra Malla’s Statue, Krishna temple, Taleju temple 15th century Golden Temple and Mahaboudha Temple known as the temple of 10,000 Buddha, Kumbeshwar Temple.
Bishwakarma Temple, Uma Maheshwar Temple. Some of these are located in Patan Square and other were build around it.

Kailashnath Mahadev’s Statue

This is another popular place, though it’s a new construction still popular. It is approx 20 km from Kathmandu city.

Thamel market

It is very popular among tourists and an interesting place to do souvenir shopping at cheap prices. I am not good at bargaining but if you are good at bargaining then you can get things at much cheaper price.

Other then souvenirs, here I have found some interesting food items which you can take back home. Since Kathmandu is the point of arrival for Everest trekkers and for all many other Himalayan treks, so can find good trekking gear and other items at very good price.

Everest Flight from Kathmandu

Everyone can’t go to the Everest but can definitely see Mountain Everest up close from an Everest flight. These special flights operate only in morning and duration of the flight is one hour. If you are lucky and weather is clear then snow-capped Everest is clearly visible but if there are clouds then you will end up seeing glimpse of it from clouds as it happened with me 🙁 But still I recommend this because one should take chances 🙂

I don’t have stamina for hard trels but if you can then a hike to from Jiri to Everest base camp can be an amazing experience.

View of Mount Everest from flight

Food in Kathmandu

When it comes to food, Kathmandu has many good eating options. I had traditional Nepali food (Which is nonspicy), wood fire pizza, Steak and many other things. There is all kind of cuisines available here from Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, American or a good cup of coffee.

Casinos of Kathmandu are very popular among tourists and all major hotels have.

There is old charm to the Nepal’s capital, these were of the things you can’t miss in Kathmandu. I traveled solo or with my parents but if you are traveling with a baby to Kathmandu then you have to plan the trip different.
Pokhara is the second biggest town in Nepal and my next destination in Himalayan Kingdom.

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24 thoughts on “Things you can’t miss in Kathmandu”

  1. Amazing post with lovely shots, so many places to explore and so many experiences to have in Kathmandu…once in a movie which whose shooting took place in Kathmandu made me interested about this place now your post has worked as a catalyst of my desire.

    1. Thanks a lot.
      Nepal is beautiful, most of the people speak Hindi and currency is cheaper than India. Will be posting about Pokhara and Nagarkot also in coming days.

  2. Looks like a place so rich in culture and natural beauty as well as great food! I hope to make it there one day! Thanks for all the great information and photos! I love the temple with the eyes on it!

    1. Totally agree with you. My favorites are watching sunrise from roof of my hotel in Nagarkot or strolling around lake in Pokhara.

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