15 Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu
In the mood to explore the beautiful places around Kathmandu? But don’t know where to go? Well, don’t worry! For those interested in seeing Nepal’s capital city, here is a list of the 15 Best places to visit in Kathmandu. Kathmandu is full of architectural marvels and natural beauty; thus, individuals enjoy the best of both worlds. With 7 UNESCO world heritage sites in Kathmandu, anticipate fully immerse in Nepal’s historical landmark. And also, the majestic vistas surrounding the valley.
Now, without any further delay, let’s explore all top 15 beautiful places to visit in Kathmandu:
01: Kathmandu Durbar Square- Kathmandu’s most spectacular legacy of traditional architecture
Once ruled by King Pratap Malla, Kathmandu is home to fascinating Kathmandu Durbar Square. Durbar, which means palace in English, was home to the Malla and Shah Dynasty rulers. Over their ruling period, both dynasties built historical monuments, which is still prevalent in today’s date. Temples, statues, shrines, complexes, courtyards surround the whole Durbar area. Also, in the vicinity of Durbar Square, the complex of the living goddess- Kumari is also present.
02: Patan Durbar Square- a stunning display of Newari architecture
Another monumental site in Kathmandu valley, Patan Durbar Square, is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. Numerous small and big temples decorate the durbar, offering appealing pictures to visitors. Along with temples, the palace area also preserves courtyards, traditional water fountains as well as shrines. The history attached to the palace area is surreal, and it’s even more interesting to uncover. Also, spare a few minutes to note the Krishna temple, one of the sacred sites of Nepal. One can easily spend half a day tracing the alleyways and visiting the concentrated mass of temples of Patan Durbar Square.
03: Bhaktapur Durbar Square- a place to experience past in the present
A place like no other, Bhaktapur is a splendid hub to experience cultural and artistic scenery. The heritage sites allow travelers to wander on the streets of Bhaktapur, where old houses influx with majestic ancient palaces. Thus, when visiting, one can see and experience modernity and traditional architecture existing profoundly. The palace area, just like other durbar squares of Kathmandu, houses several tall and small temples and buildings. However, Bhaktapur offers a chance to interact with the core delights of Bhaktapur. For instance, a palace area includes a pottery square where visitors can get hands-on experience doing pottery. Likewise, metal and wood museum allows them to savor the skillful work of artisan on woods and metals. Overall, Bhaktapur Durbar is a pretty awesome place to see the intricate cultures and arts of Nepal.
04: Swayambhunath – The Monkey Temple
Perched on the hilltop, Swayambhu looks over the Kathmandu valley. This white dome-shaped stupa is a sacred place for both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. With multiple shrines and temples, the pilgrimage site also baffles travelers with an astounding number of monkeys. Therefore, Swayambhu is also called the monkey temple amongst foreigners. Also, not far from central Kathmandu, Swayambhu is a pretty chill place to engross a quaint and tranquil ambiance. One can easily spend a day exploring numerous gumbas, temples, and local restaurants in its surroundings.
05: Pashupatinath temple – the most prominent temple for Hindu followers
Dedicated to the Lord Shiva of Hindu Mythology, Pashupatinath is a concentration of many temples. The temple holds significant meaning to Hindu followers, so Hindu pilgrims from every corner of the world visit the temple. Other than that, the temple is also the crematorium site of Nepal. At this crematorium site, people cremate the departed ones by performing many rites and rituals of Hinduism. Hence, anyone with a particular intent in learning about Nepal’s fascinating traditions can get some cultural insights here. Moreover, the Sadhus in their real selves make the visit to the Pashupatinath temple even more exciting and fun.
06: Changunarayan Temple- Oldest Temple of Nepal
Changunarayan temple is the oldest temple of Nepal, whose establishment is noted to be around the 4th century. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu of the Hindu religion, the temple is a two-story building in elaborate decoration and pagoda style. In its surrounding, there are statues and a few other monuments and shrines decorating the temple area. Changunarayan temple lies at a distance of about 20 Km from central Kathmandu on the outskirts of Bhaktapur. It is the only world heritage site of Kathmandu valley located away from the city. Therefore, one can enjoy the fineness of the temple intimately without mass tourist disturbance. Likewise, it offers a chance to relish the semi-urban and traditional life away from urban Kathmandu.
07: Boudhanath Stupa- Largest Dome Shape Stupa in the World.
Another Buddhist stupa in the vicinity of Kathmandu- Boudhanath stupa, is the world’s largest dome shape stupa. The heritage site is always buzzing with visitors, pilgrims, and pedestrians. However, one can still sense peacefulness here. With fretting prayers flags, and a strong smell of incense, visitors can feel the strong essence of religious conviction. Similarly, it’s a sight to see and feed pigeons flying over to and from the apex of the dome. Boudhanath stupa is the ideal place for travelers to unwind and relax for a short and quick break. Thus, it is unarguably one of the best attractions in Kathmandu.
08: Garden of Dream – Kathmandu’s Classical Neo-garden
Feel like doing nothing but want to spend quality time in nature? The garden of dreams lying in the outskirts of Thamel is the answer for you. This neo-classical garden is a seasonal garden with various trees and flowers. Although it lies in the center of a bustling city, one can anticipate having a peaceful and refreshing time. One can take a book, find a bench, lay a mat on the ground, and let the day pass. With wind swishing by the tall trees, one will have a relaxing time here at the garden of a dream.
09: Asan Indrachowk – Witness Real Busy Markets of Kathmandu
Just next to bustling Thamel is buzzing Asan and Indra Chowk. In Asan and Indrochowk, every item is available; hence it is basically an all-purpose market. From cosmetics to food and tech devices to clothes, there are shops for literally everything. However, the exciting part is the dynamic nature of both places. There might be a jam of bikes and people, yet shoppers would still continue their shopping, not minding the commotion. To enter the streets of Asan and Indra chowk for four-wheelers is a nightmare. Asan Indra Chowk is always buzzing, and it is engrossing to see such upheaval. Thus, to witness the real busy markets of Kathmandu, one must visit Asan at least once.
10: Kapan Monastery – Serene, Beautiful, Tranquil Place.
With a long history of Buddhism associating with Nepal, there are many monasteries in Nepal. Some might be hidden in the mountains, whereas some on the hilltop in the outskirts of Kathmandu. Among many such sanctuaries is the beautiful Kapan monastery, at around 8 km distance from central Kathmandu. Kapan Monastery is few monasteries in Kathmandu that are open to visitors. One can meet monks and take note of their life in Buddhism. Or also participate in learning meditation and Buddha’s many pearls of wisdom and teachings with other fellow monks. Overall, it is an excellent place to calm down for anyone looking for inspiration and motivation.
11: White Gompa- Watch over the Panoramic View of KTM Valley.
White Gumba is one of Nepal’s most famous monasteries for short hikes or tours. Although participating in an educational or Buddhist retreat program is not available, it is open for exploration. Sitting at the top of the hill, from White gumba, breathtaking panoramic views of the whole Kathmandu valley is visible. Similarly, if it’s a clear sunny day, one might also get a glimpse of the white snow-topped Himalayas of Nepal. White Gumba, in general, is a peaceful place, ideal for half excursion or hiking around Kathmandu valley.
12: Chandragiri – Catch the 360-Degree View of Himalaya.
From the hills of Chandragiri, immerse in the boundless beauty of mountains and green forests. One can catch the 360-degree panorama view of Nepal Himalayas and the breathtaking scenery of Kathmandu valley. About 16 km away from central Kathmandu, Chandragiri hill is the nearest place for a relaxing holiday. The hilltops reverberate with all types of travelers. With the presence of the Bhaleshwar Mahadev temple, pilgrims are one of the frequent visitors of the hills. Apart from religious and natural aspects, the hills also hold historical importance. The Unified King Prithvi Narayan Shah did puja at the Bhaleshwar temple before conquering the Kathmandu valley. Also, as the hilltop experiences a diverse range of travelers, recreational activities are available too. Travelers can enjoy a moving view of Kathmandu valley by taking a fantastic cable car ride.
13: Jamacho Gumba- Awesome for Quick Escapes.
Jamacho Gumba lies in the Shivapuri National Park and is quite a well-known spot for short hiking journeys. At Jamacho Gumba, admirable bird sculptures will greet visitors before the majestic monastery comes into view. Also, gumba lies in the heart of Kathmandu, just 15 or 20 walks from Thamel, so it one of the perfect places to indulge in a natural beauty amidst the busy city. Anyone absolutely in need of a quick break will find solace in the mountains of Shivapuri and quaint Jamacho Gumba. Hiking is quite famous; however, no shops are available on the trail so prepare snacks and water beforehand.
14: Phulchowki- Splendid Place to Reconnect with Mother Nature.
On the outskirt of Lalitpur lies Phulchowki hill station at a distance of about 30 km from central Kathmandu. Famous for mountain viewing and bird watching, Phulchowki is a serenely attractive and tranquil destination in Kathmandu. Although it is pretty far from central Kathmandu, transport is readily available to its start point. The hill station looks over three major cities of Kathmandu and all of Nepal’s incredible mountains. Also, on the way up to the hill station, various animals and birds come into view, letting you reconnect with Mother Nature. Birds chirping additionally is another splendid companion that one can have while walking all the way up to the hill. Allowing complete pleasure to interact with nature, Phulchowki hill is undoubtedly the top attraction of Kathmandu.
15: Nagarkot- King of Hill Station in Nepal
Perfect for hiking, overnight stay, or weekend gateway, Nagarkot is Nepal’s famous and well-loved hill station. Celebrated for majestic mountain views, Nagarkot is only 28 km away from Kathmandu. Since Hill station is a top-rated weekend destination in Kathmandu, the town adorns quite many luxury accommodations. Also, watching the golden sunrise and sunset from the Nagarkot hills is a next-level experience. Likewise, with modernity present, the town still follows traditional lifestyles as the locals are primarily engaged in agriculture. It is a town with a balanced mix of traditional and modern aesthetics. Henceforth, a perfect place to visit Kathmandu for a rewarding break.
Best Time to visit Kathmandu
March to May and September to November are the best time to visit Kathmandu. However, it is possible to visit Kathmandu all year round, and there is no particular time as the worse time to visit Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, the spring season lasts from March to May, while the fall season lasts from September to November. Spring brings the flair of flower blooming and the excitement of winter finishing. Whereas autumn is a beautiful season with major festivals falling in this season. The weather is excellent during autumn, with chill morning and night and mild and windy days. All the more, Kathmandu has one of the most ideal weather in all of Nepal.
Kathmandu experiences summer and monsoon together from June to August. The weather during summer/monsoon is tolerable. In the morning or night, it mostly rain, and rains tames down the scorching heat of the day. However, rain sometimes can cancel plans, so it is the least preferred time to visit Kathmandu. Winter, on the other hand, is from December to February. It is calm and excellent with the sun shining all day long. Winter in Kathmandu is not extreme, so it is also a great time to visit Kathmandu.
Whether you visit Kathmandu for its scenic beauty or to cherish ancient architecture, Kathmandu has it all. The above list contains places suitable for people of all ages. Therefore, this list would come in handy for everybody looking for a memorable gateway. All destinations on the list are alluringly beautiful places in Kathmandu that genuinely offer a pleasant experience. Thus, regardless of where you travel in Kathmandu, these exciting locations never cease to amaze visitors with their rich cultural and natural beauty.