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Kathmandu Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: September to November Read More

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"The City of Peace"

Kathmandu Tourism

Sprawled over its namesake valley surrounded by Himalayan mountains, Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital and most-visited destination, full of ancient temples, golden pagodas, natural beauty and fascinating villages. At an elevation of 4,344 feet, Kathmandu marks the confluence of the Bagmati and Vishnumati rivers. One can find excellent trekking options of the world’s tallest peaks, stunning Indo-Tibetan and Newari craftsmanship, UNESCO-listed heritage landmarks and delicious food here.

Kathmandu is the gateway to exploring Nepal’s essence. Amidst the old city’s maze-like alleyways is the 1627-built Durbar Square, where locals frolic during Indra Jatra masked dance festival. Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Monkey Temple and Boudha Stupa are some more eminent religious establishments. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Nagarkot, Rani Pokhari Lake and Champadevi Hill for hiking, bungee jumping, rafting and mountain climbing. Learning about Buddhism at Kopan Monastery, buying pashmina shawls and trinkets at Indra Chowk and Thamel’s markets and digging into steaming momos are great ways to enhance the experience.

From courtyards of drying chillies and rice, incense wafting out of shrines, national museums, and contemporary Nepali art galleries to hobbit-sized workshops, bustling bazaars, rickshaws, Thukpa and Everest beer, Kathmandu offers something unique for every tourist, devotee, backpacker, history buff, foodie and shopaholic.

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Shopping in Kathmandu

  • Thamel is the centre for all things shopping. You'll find everything, from handicrafts to metal works, from paper works to clothes here.
  • The local handicrafts and antiques are world-famous, and the handwoven cloths of the region are intricate and beautiful.
  • Do buy Pashmina and Cashmere shawls while you're here, they are absolutely exquisite and a must-have!
Read more about shopping in Kathmandu.

Nightlife in Kathmandu

Kathmandu isn't extensively known for its array of options when it comes to nightlife. That said, it does have a few options if you're looking for a place to hang out at and have a few drinks. A huge variety of cocktails and drinks, DJs and live performances, and an elaborate ambience make this a must-visit if it's a party you're looking for.

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Currency in Kathmandu

  • Visas and MasterCard are accepted in Kathmandu, however not every place has the option of paying via card so it's imperative that you always carry cash in NPR with yourself.
  • No other currency is formally accepted, however, guides may sometimes accept tips in USD to exchange for NPR, usually resulting in getting higher tips.
Read more about the currency, exchange rates and more in Kathmandu.

Exchanging Money in Kathmandu

  • Money changers or exchange shops in Thamel District are very popular and charge minimal exchange rates. 
  • Some recommended currency exchange dealers are Annapurna Money Exchange and Laxmi Money Exchange, both located in Thamel Marg.
  • ATMs are easily available in the city and cash is dispensed in NPR only.
  • Major currencies such as GBP, USD, Euro, Yen or INR can be exchanged at the money changers.
  • ATMs of most banks levy a fee of NPR 750 per transaction and limit withdrawals to NPR 25000, so it's better to withdraw a fair bit of cash in one transaction.
  • Be careful of pickpockets and also be careful while using your cards.

Daily Budget for Kathmandu

Low Budget traveller: NPR 1300-1500 per head.
Medium Budget traveller: NPR 2300-2600
Luxury traveller: NPR 6000.

History of Kathmandu

Kathmandu was the centre of the Kingdom of Nepal. The Narayanhiti Royal Palace was the home and the workplace for the Monarch of Nepal and his family. The rule of different dynasties in Nepal has existed for centuries, with the Malla Dynasty being the first proper rulers of the land back in 1200. The 18th century saw the rise of the Gorkhas, who conquered a massive amount of land in the region and even Tibet, an action which saw severe retaliation by the Chinese and consequent defeat of the Gorkhas who had to retreat and relinquish control of Tibet and many trading centres. The Gorkhas were then replaced by the Shahs and the Ranas who had most of the influence and power.

(Source) Chariot procession in

Kathmandu in the late 19th century 

Throughout the 20th century, we have seen several changes in power, culminating finally in the first parliamentary elections in 1991 under the new constitution. One extremely horrifying incident that has occurred in the history of the city was the massacre of the royal family in 2001, in which the Crown Prince Dipendra shot and killed his father and King, Birendra, his mother, his brother and sister, and 5 other relatives in the Narayanhiti Royal Palace, and then killing himself 2 days later. The reason for this was suspected to be the family's rejection of his love interest, a Rana girl.

Kathmandu and Nepal, in general, are pestered with constant political unrest, protests, and Maoist insurgencies. In modern times, however, the city is growing exponentially with the construction of many luxury and residential building complexes and so on.

Language of Kathmandu

Nepali is the official language of the land and is spoken everywhere in the country. However, there is a significant population which can understand a fair bit of Hindi. Those dealing with tourists often have picked up a few English words as well. You can use words such as 'Namaste' for hello and 'Dhanyabaad' for thank you.

Dos and Don'ts in Kathmandu

  • Dress Modest: Dressing in Nepal doesn't confine to strict or absolute norms for tourists. However, it is preferred that one does not dress scantily since it is not very fondly looked upon by the locals.
  • Be Vary of Scams: The locals, in general, are very welcoming to foreigners, but like any city, one must be careful of touts and cheats.
  • Greetings: Saying Namaste as a form of greeting is a common practice. Shaking of hands as a greeting is practised too, however, a man should not offer his hand to a woman unless he is offered it first.
  • Tipping Customs: Tips are often given in Nepal. In restaurants and hotels, 5 - 10% of the bill is sufficient. You can tip your guide anywhere between NPR 300 - 500 per day.

Best Time to Visit Kathmandu

Kathmandu Photos

Kathmandu, Nepal
Katmandu - The Capital City of Nepal with a Population of 3 Million
Pashupatinath Temple - Popular Hindu Temple Situated at the Banks of Bagmati River
Patan Durbar Square - One of the 3 Darbar Squares in Kathmandu

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FAQs on Kathmandu

What is the best time to visit Kathmandu?

Late September to December remains the best time to visit Kathmandu because of the views of pristine glaciers and local festivals. During these months, the place remains dry and suitable for exploration and trekking. The temperature in October ranges from 26 degrees Celsius to 14 degrees Celsius, and as December approaches, it drops to the range of 20 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius. Kathmandu is also best visited in March and April as the temperature steadily rises and spring steps in! During this season, rhododendrons bloom, spreading across the whole valley, giving it a beautiful, mesmerising look!

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What is the local food in Kathmandu?

Undoubtedly the most famous food you'll find here is momos, a local dumpling. It can be steamed or fried, stuffed with chicken or veggies. The cuisines on offer are a mix of Tibetan and Indian, with a decent amount of variety available for both. Thamel hosts several restaurants of many different cuisines, ranging from local to Indian to oriental to even European. Some of these are local and some are for tourists, the latter being comparatively expensive.

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What is the best way to reach Kathmandu?

Kathmandu, being the capital, is fairly well connected. You can take buses from all around the country itself, and also from a wide option of cities in India. Kathmandu has an international airport as well, the only one in the country.
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How much does a package cost for Kathmandu?

The packages for Kathmandu start at INR 8800 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top hotels in Kathmandu?

There are 1041 in Kathmandu which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Kathmandu are Kathmandu Homestay, Kumari Homestay, Boutique 3BHK Tibetan Apartment at Karma Suites, Kathmandu Tourist Homestay, Bimu Home, Boutique 2BHK Tibetan Apartment at Karma Suites. You can see all the hotels in Kathmandu here

What are the things to do in Kathmandu?

The top things to do in Kathmandu are Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Temple, Thamel, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Garden of Dreams Kathmandu. You can see all the places to visit in Kathmandu here

What are the places near Kathmandu?

The top places near to Kathmandu are Nagarkot which is 17 km from Kathmandu, Pokhara which is located 142 km from Kathmandu, Janakpur which is located 125 km from Kathmandu, Lumbini which is located 178 km from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur which is located 11 km from Kathmandu

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Popular Questions And Answers on Kathmandu

Q. Can a Nepal and Bhutan trip be combined? Is there a suitable route?

Rupak Parajuli

4 years ago
Hi! Yes, you can combined Nepal and Bhutan trip. The suitable route would be first exploring Kathmandu and getting around UNESCO world heritage site. You can keep 7-10 days. In this time, you can als (Read More)o Trek to the Himalayas. I would recommend you to check Ghorepani Poonhill Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Mardi Himal Trek in Annapurna region of Nepal. Lastly, you can take a flight from Kathmandu Airport to Paro Airport. Then start the Bhutan tour. "Text Hidden"
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Q. How to go Kathmandu, Nepal from Forbesganj, Bihar by Bus?


5 years ago
You can take a train or bus from Forbesganj to Raxaul and then cross the India - Nepal Border to reach Birgunj. You can catch a Bus to Kathmandu from Birgunj. Happy Holidays.
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Q. From Gorakhpur to Katmandu by road?


5 years ago
There are three routes to go from Gorakhpur to Kathmandu and the most preferred route would be to cross the border via National Highway 24, switch to Mahindra Highway in Ramgram, Madan Ashrit Highway (Read More) in Narayangarh, then the Prithvi Highway and finally on the Tribhuvan Highway.
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