Kathmandu, also known as heart of Nepal is one of the most developed cities in Nepal. Also remembered as city of temples, Kathmandu was founded in 2nd century making it one of the oldest inhabited places in the world. So, what are the 10 best places to visit in Kathmandu? Let us see in this article.
Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, Kathmandu is a fascinating destination that entices travelers with its rich history, cultural heritage, and breathtaking landscapes. Boasting an eclectic mix of ancient temples, bustling markets, and vibrant neighborhoods, Kathmandu offers a memorable experience for visitors.
Besides, the name Kathmandu is derived from the word Kasthamandap. In 2013, Tripadvisor ranked Kathamndu 3rd in the list of top 10 best travel destinations of the world. So, today, let’s find out some of the best places we should visit when we are in Kathmandu.
Places to visit in Kathmandu
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square also known as Basantapur is full of old and historic palaces. When Nepal was ruled by King, the coronation ceremony was done there in Basantapur. This place has seen many kings being crowned, their rise and their downfall. As per Nepal Tourism Board there are more than 50 temples inside the durbar square.
Unfortunately, many temples and monuments were destroyed in 2015 earthquake. But still Kathmandu Durbar Sqaure stands tall in its full glory and even today attraxts many tourists. Many of the monuments, palaces have been repaired and built again, hence, it is a must visit place in Kathmandu.
2. Pashupatinath Temple
Pahupatinath is visited by people from all around of the world. This temple is considered to be one of the oldest temples of the Kathmandu Valley. Visiting Pashupatinath temple has to be in anyone’s to-do list as it gives pure and divine vibes.
The peaceful evening aarati with the view of temple, the sunset, and “Aaryaghat” (place where people are burnt after death), teaches us a lot about life, or let’s say the meaning of life. Besides, it also comes under the world heritage site. If you want to experience what sense of peace is, what life actually is, how life should actually be lived, then visiting Pashupatinath temple is a must.
3. Chandragiri Hills
For breathtaking panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley, make your way to Chandragiri Hills. Take a cable car ride to the top and marvel at the stunning vistas of the Himalayas, lush hills, and sprawling cityscape.
Explore the Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple, go for a hike, or simply relax in the serene surroundings. Chandragiri Hills offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu.
4. Boudhanath Stupa
A symbol of Tibetan Buddhism and a center of pilgrimage, Boudhanath Stupa is an impressive structure that captivates visitors with its serene ambiance. This magnificent stupa is one of the largest of its kind in the world and is adorned with colorful prayer flags and spinning prayer wheels.
Take a stroll around the stupa, immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere, and visit the monasteries that surround it to gain a deeper understanding of Buddhist traditions.
5. Swayambhunath Stupa
Perched atop a hill, Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, offers a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley. This sacred site combines both Buddhist and Hindu religious influences, making it a significant place of worship for devotees from both faiths.
Explore the prayer halls, spin the prayer wheels, and observe the playful monkeys that inhabit the area. The blend of spirituality, history, and stunning vistas makes Swayambhunath a must-visit destination.
For a vibrant and bustling experience, head to Thamel, the tourist hub of Kathmandu. Known for its narrow streets, colorful shops, and lively atmosphere, Thamel offers a plethora of options for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Explore the numerous handicraft stores, sample local delicacies at the street food stalls, and soak in the lively ambiance of this vibrant neighborhood.
7. Narayanhiti Palace Museum:
Delve into Nepal’s royal history by visiting the Narayanhiti Palace Museum. Long time ago, the residence of the royal family, the palace has been converted into a museum that showcases the opulent lifestyle and cultural artifacts of the former monarchy. Explore the grand halls, marvel at the crown jewels, and gain insights into Nepal’s royal heritage.
8. Kopan Monastry
Located on a hill overlooking Kathmandu, Kopan Monastery is a renowned Buddhist monastery that offers meditation retreats and spiritual teachings. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere, attend meditation sessions, and learn about Buddhist philosophy from the resident monks. The monastery also offers a panoramic view of the city, making it a peaceful and contemplative spot to visit.
9. Kumari Ghar
Kathmandu, with its multitude of cultural and historical landmarks, offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. From sacred temples and ancient palaces to vibrant marketplaces and serene museums, the city encapsulates the essence of Nepal’s rich heritage and religious fervor.
While exploring the mystical Kumari Ghar, where the living goddess resides, visitors can witness the interplay between tradition and spirituality. Additionally, the National Museum of Nepal offers a comprehensive journey through the country’s past, allowing visitors to delve deeper into its art, history, and cultural diversity.
By immersing oneself in these extraordinary sites, travelers can embark on a transformative journey, gaining a profound appreciation for Kathmandu’s unique charm and the legacy it preserves.
10. National Museum of Nepal
Situated in the western part of Kathmandu, the National Museum of Nepal, also known as Rashtriya Museum, provides a captivating glimpse into the country’s history, art, and culture. Housed in a majestic building, the museum features an extensive collection of artifacts, including sculptures, paintings, weapons, and historical documents.
Visitors can explore various galleries dedicated to different eras and aspects of Nepal’s heritage. Marvel at the exquisite ancient statues, admire the intricate Thangka paintings, and learn about the diverse ethnic groups and their unique traditions. The museum offers valuable insights into Nepal’s rich past, making it an essential stop for history enthusiasts and those seeking a deeper understanding of the country’s cultural tapestry.
The National Museum also organizes temporary exhibitions that showcase contemporary art, photography, and cultural events, providing a platform for local artists to showcase their talent. It serves as a hub for preserving and promoting Nepal’s artistic and historical legacy.
Kathmandu, with its rich cultural heritage, spiritual sites, and vibrant neighborhoods, is a city that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity. From ancient temples and palaces to bustling markets and serene gardens, the top 10 best places to visit in Kathmandu mentioned above offer a diverse range of experiences that highlight the essence of this remarkable city. Whether you seek spiritual enlightenment, historical insights, or simply wish to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture, Kathmandu is a destination that promises to leave a lasting impression on every traveler.