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Kathmandu is the capital and largest municipality of Nepal. Kathmandu Metropolitan City has a population of 975,453 and measures 49.45 square kilometres (19.09 sq mi).
The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal.
Kathmandu is the gateway to tourism in Nepal. It is also the hub of the country's economy. It has the most advanced infrastructure of any urban area in Nepal, and its economy is focused on tourism. Tourism in Kathmandu declined thereafter during a period of political unrest, but since then has improved.
The city has a rich history, spanning nearly 2000 years, as inferred from inscriptions found in the valley. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Most of Kathmandu's people follow Hinduism and many others follow Buddhism. There are people of other religious beliefs as well, giving Kathmandu a cosmopolitan culture.
|POPULATION :||City: 975,453|
|FOUNDED :||900s BC|
|TIME ZONE :||Nepal Standard Time (UTC+5:45)|
|LANGUAGE :||Nepali , English ( understood by many)|
|RELIGION :||Hindu, Buddhist , Muslim, Kirant|
|AREA :||49.45 km2 (19.09 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||1,400 m (4,600 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||27°42′N 85°20′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.40% |
• Female: 51.60%
|ETHNIC :||Newar (29.6%), Matwali (25.1% Sunuwar, Gurung, Magars, Tamang etc.), Khas Brahmins (20.51%), Chettris (18.5%), Others 6.29%|
|AREA CODE :||01|
|POSTAL CODE :||44600 (GPO), 44601, 44602, 44604, 44605, 44606, 44608, 44609, 44610, 44611, 44613, 44614, 44615, 44616, 44617, 44618, 44619, 44620, 44621|
|DIALING CODE :||+977 1|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
Tourism is a major source of income for most of the people in the city, with several hundred thousand visitors annually. Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world visit Kathmandu's religious sites such as Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and Budhanilkantha. From a mere 6,179 tourists in 1961/62, the number jumped to 491,504 in 1999/2000. Following the end of the Maoist insurgency, there was a significant rise of 509,956 tourist arrivals in 2009. Since then, tourism has improved as the country turned into a Democratic Republic. In economic terms, the foreign exchange registered 3.8% of the GDP in 1995/96 but then started declining. The high level of tourism is attributed to the natural grandeur of the Himalayas and the rich cultural heritage of the country.
The neighbourhood of Thamel is Kathmandu's primary "traveller's ghetto", packed with guest houses, restaurants, shops, and bookstores, catering to tourists. Another neighbourhood of growing popularity is Jhamel, a name for Jhamsikhel coined to rhyme with Thamel.Jhochhen Tol, also known as Freak Street, is Kathmandu's original traveler's haunt, made popular by the hippies of the 1960s and 1970s; it remains a popular alternative to Thamel. Asan is a bazaar and ceremonial square on the old trade route to Tibet, and provides a fine example of a traditional neighbourhood.
With the opening of the tourist industry after the change in the political scenario of Nepal in 1950, the hotel industry drastically improved.Now Kathmandu boasts several luxury such as the Hyatt Regency, Dwarika's, theYak & Yeti, The Everest Hotel, Hotel Radisson, Hotel De L'Annapurna, The Malla Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel.
- Nepal Tourism Board, Exhibition Rd (Right next to Bhrikuti Mandap Park (Bhrikutimandi)), . Daily 07.00-19.00.
Archaeological excavations in parts of Kathmandu have found evidence of ancient civilizations. The oldest of these findings is a statue, found in Maligaon, that was dated at 185 AD.
The earliest Western reference to Kathmandu appears in an account of Jesuit Fathers Johann Grueber and Albert d'Orville. In 1661, they passed through Nepal on their way from Tibet to India, and reported that they reached "Cadmendu, the capital of the Kingdom of Necbal".
The ancient history of Kathmandu is described in its traditional myths and legends. According to Swayambhu Purana, present-day Kathmandu was once a huge and deep lake. The lake was cut drained by bodhisatwa Manjusri with his sword and the water was evacuated out from there and he established a city called Manjupattan and made Dharmakar the ruler of the valley land.
The Licchavis from the Indo-Gangetic plain migrated north and defeated the Kiratas, establishing the Licchavi dynasty. During this era, following the genocide of Shakyas in Lumbini by Virudhaka, the survivors migrated north and entered the forest monastery in Sankhu masquerading as Koliyas. From Sankhu, they migrated to Yambu and Yengal (Lanjagwal and Manjupattan) and established the first permanent Buddhist monasteries of Kathmandu. This created the basis of Newar Buddhism, which is the only surviving Sanskrit-based Buddhist tradition in the world.
The Licchavi era was followed by the Malla era. Rulers from Tirhut, upon being attacked by Muslims, fled north to the Kathmandu valley. They intermarried with Nepali royalty, and this led to the Malla era. The early years of the Malla era were turbulent, with raids and attacks from Khas and Turk Muslims. There was also a devastating earthquake which claimed the lives of a third of Kathmandu's population, including the king Abhaya Malla. These disasters led to the destruction of most of the architecture of the Licchavi era (such as Mangriha and Kailashkut Bhawan), and the loss of literature collected in various monasteries within the city. Despite the initial hardships, Kathmandu rose to prominence again and, during most of the Malla era, dominated the trade between India and Tibet. Nepali currency became the standard currency in trans-Himalayan trade.
The Gorkha Kingdom ended the Malla confederation after the Battle of Kathmandu in 1768. This marked the beginning of the modern era in Kathmandu. The Battle of Kirtipur was the start of the Gorkha conquest of the Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu was adopted as the capital of the Gorkha empire, and the empire itself was dubbed Nepal. During the early part of this era, Kathmandu maintained its distinctive culture. Buildings with characteristic Nepali architecture, such as the nine-story tower of Basantapur, were built during this era. However, trade declined because of continual war with neighboring nations.
Rana rule over Nepal started with the Kot Massacre, which occurred near Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. During this massacre, most of Nepal's high-ranking officials were massacred by Jang Bahadur Rana and his supporters. Another massacre, the Bhandarkhal Massacre, was also conducted by Kunwar and his supporters in Kathmandu. During the Rana regime, Kathmandu's alliance shifted from anti-British to pro-British; this led to the construction of the first buildings in the style of Western European architecture. The most well-known of these buildings include Singha Durbar, Garden of Dreams, Shital Niwas, and the old Narayanhiti palace. The first modern commercial road in the Kathmandu Valley, the New Road, was also built during this era.
Kathmandu Valley is in the Warm Temperate Zone of Nepal (elevation ranging from 1,200–2,300 metres (3,900–7,500 ft)), where the climate is fairly temperate, atypical for the region.
This zone is followed by the Cool Temperate Zone with elevation varying between 2,100–3,300 metres (6,900–10,800 ft). Portions of the city with lower elevations have a humid subtropical climate, while portions of the city with higher elevations generally have a subtropical highland climate. In the Kathmandu Valley the average summer temperature varies from 28–30 °C (82–86 °F). The average winter temperature is 10.1 °C (50.2 °F).
The city generally has a climate with warm days followed by cool nights and mornings. Unpredictable weather is expected given temperatures can drop to 3 °C (37 °F) during the winter.
Rainfall is mostly monsoon-based (about 65% of the total concentrated during the monsoon months of June to August), and decreases substantially (100 to 200 cm (39 to 79 in)) from eastern Nepal to western Nepal.
|Daily highs (°C)||19||21||25||28||29||29||28||29||28||27||24||20|
|Nightly lows (°C)||2||5||8||12||16||19||20||20||19||13||8||4|
Kathmandu is located in the northwestern part of the Kathmandu Valley to the north of the Bagmati River and covers an area of 50.67 square kilometres (19.56 sq mi). The average elevation is 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) above sea level.
The city is directly bounded by several other municipalities of the Kathmandu valley: south of the Bagmati by Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City (Patan) with which it today forms one urban area surrounded by a ring road, to the southwest by Kirtipur Municipality and to the east by Madyapur Thimi Municipality. To the north the urban area extends into several Village Development Committees. However, the urban agglomeration extends well beyond the neighboring municipalities, e. g. to Bhaktapur and just about covers the entire Kathmandu valley.
Kathmandu is dissected by eight rivers, the main river of the valley, the Bagmati and its tributaries, of which the Bishnumati, Dhobi Khola, Manohara Khola, Hanumant Khola, and Tukucha Khola are predominant. The mountains from where these rivers originate are in the elevation range of 1,500–3,000 metres (4,900–9,800 ft), and have passes which provide access to and from Kathmandu and its valley.
Kathmandu and its valley are in the Deciduous Monsoon Forest Zone (altitude range of 1,200–2,100 metres (3,900–6,900 ft)), one of five vegetation zones defined for Nepal. The dominant tree species in this zone are oak, elm, beech, maple and others, with coniferous trees at higher altitude.
The location and terrain of Kathmandu have played a significant role in the development of a stable economy which spans millennia. The city is located in an ancient lake basin, with fertile soil and flat terrain. This geography helped form a society based on agriculture. This, combined with its location between India and China, helped establish Kathmandu as an important trading center over the centuries.
Kathmandu is the most important industrial and commercial center in Nepal. The Nepal Stock Exchange, the head office of the national bank, the chamber of commerce, as well as head-offices of national and international banks, tele-communication companies, the electricity authority, and various other national and international organizations are located in Kathmandu. The major economic hubs are the New Road, Durbar Marg, Ason and Putalisadak.
The economic output of the metropolitan area alone is worth more than one third of national GDP. Kathmandu exports handicrafts, artworks, garments, carpets, pashmina, paper; trade accounts for 21% of its finances. Manufacturing is also important and accounts for 19% of the revenue that Kathmandu generates. Garments and woolen carpets are the most notable manufactured products. Other economic sectors in Kathmandu include agriculture (9%), education (6%), transport (6%), and hotels and restaurants (5%). Kathmandu is famous for lokta paper and pashmina shawls.
Kathmandu and adjacent cities are composed of neighborhoods, which are utilized quite extensively and more familiar among locals. However, administratively the city is divided into 35 wards, numbered from 1 to 35.
Most cafes & restaurants in tourist areas have free Wi-Fi for customers. Computer/internet rentals are almost stacked on top of each other in Thamel & near the stupa at Boudha. You can surf to your heart's content for about 15NPR to 20NPR an hour (10NPR in Putalisadak). Though not adequate for video conferencing the 128-256kbit/s NTC backbone often used by the cafes is more than adequate for VOIP calling. Please avoid downloading anything large, as most connections are limited. ISD and STD telephone services are available in almost all internet cafes. Services such as Skype are available in most tourist areas.
Prices in Kathmandu
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Milk||1 liter||$ 0.80|
|Tomatoes||1 kg||$ 2.20|
|Cheese||0.5 kg||$ 0.60|
|Apples||1 kg||$ 2.00|
|Oranges||1 kg||$ 1.00|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$ 1.75|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$ 7.00|
|Coca-Cola||2 liters||$ 1.40|
|Bread||1 piece||$ 0.40|
|Water||1.5 l||$ 0.30|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$ 14.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$ 30.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$ 45.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$ 6.50|
|Water||0.33 l||$ 0.20|
|Cappuccino||1 cup||$ 1.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$ 2.75|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$ 1.75|
|Coca-Cola||0.33 l||$ 0.40|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$ 10.00|
|Cinema||2 tickets||$ 6.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$ 2.50|
|Theatar||2 tickets||$ 12.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$ 0.03|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$ 1.50|
|Antibiotics||1 pack||$ 2.50|
|Tampons||32 pieces||$ 4.20|
|Deodorant||50 ml.||$ 2.60|
|Shampoo||400 ml.||$ 2.90|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$ 1.15|
|Toothpaste||1 tube||$ 1.00|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$ 40.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$ 31.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$ 52.00|
|Leather shoes||1||$ 55.00|
|Gasoline||1 liter||$ 1.15|
|Taxi||1 km||$ 0.45|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$ 0.20|
31 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
75 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
- Tribhuvan International Airport , Ring Road(located 5.5km east of the popular tourist neighborhood of Thamel), . is the largest and only international airport in Nepal. For Domestic Flight Information phone=+977 1 4113299. - Facilities: Foreign Exchange (one bank counter at the departure lounge and three bank counters at the arrival lounge), TIA Office Information Services, PRE-PAID Taxi. Nepal Tourism Board Information Counter: You can acquire information on host of topics on tourism. HAN (Hotel Association of Nepal) Counter: You can book any hotel of your choice from here. Get your hotel voucher and proceed to the assigned hotel. You can collect pamphlets, other materials on tourism. You may be offered free copies of "Nepal Traveler" an informative magazine which has all sorts of information about Nepal distributed by smart beautiful ladies just as you step out of the Custom area. -CIP Lounge (for business travelers, paying Rs 200 per person) - two Press rooms - Cargo facilities. -Post office. - Souvenir Shop. - Medical Services. - Internet services
Most international flights to Kathmandu arrive from Delhi, UAE, Qatar, orBangkok.
International airlines serving Kathmandu include:
- Pakistan International Airlines - Karachi.
- Nepal Airlines - Bangkok,Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Singapore and Shanghai.
- Silk Air - Singapore.
- Thai Airways - Bangkok.
- Qatar Airways - Doha.
- RAK Airways - Ras Al Khaimah, complimentary bus shuttle service between Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and neighbouring emirates (Dubai, Sharjah...).
- GMG Airlines - Dhaka.
- China Southern Airlines -Guangzhou.
- China Eastern Airlines - Kunming.
- Turkish Airlines - Istanbul.
- Malaysian Airlines- Kuala Lumpur.
- Biman Bangladesh Airlines -Dhaka
- Air Arabia - Sharjah.
- Air China - Chengdu.
- Air Asia - Kuala Lumpur.
- TUIFly - Amsterdam.
- Fly Dubai - Dubai.
- Druk Air - Paro and Delhi
- Etihad Airways - Abu Dhabi.
- Gulf Air - Bahrain.
- Dragon Air - Hong Kong
- Air India - Delhi and Kolkata.
- Jet Airways - Delhi, Mumbai.
- JetLite - Delhi.
- Korean Air - Seoul.
Commercial domestic flights are available to/from Bhadrapur,Bhairawa, Bharatpur, Biratnagar,Dhangarhi, Janakpur, Nepalganj,Pokhara, Simara, and Tumling Tar. Domestic flights take about an hour and cost USD100-175. The primary domestic airlines are air viva, Yeti, Nepal Airlines, and Buddha Air. Domestic flights are almost always delayed and afternoon flights run the risk of cancellation as delays from the morning compound.
Baggage handlers & concerns
Your luggage is vulnerable entering and leaving this airport. Do not keep anything of value in checked bags, and if you lock the bag, the zip may be forced open and broken. There is little to no security for your bags. You should also be aware that most luggage is treated quite poorly in Nepalese airports. It is recommended that all fragile and valuable items are kept in your carry on luggage.
Be aware that when you collect your luggage, an "airport baggage cart collector" may appear and assist you with a baggage trolley. Unless you insist on handling your own baggage, your items will be loaded on the trolley and will be conveyed with you to the entrance of the terminal. You will then be expected to pay a tip to this person. Arriving just beforehand in Nepal, you will often only have larger denomination foreign currency in your pocket, making the issue of a tip a bit of a problem. It's fine to pay the tip in foreign currency but make sure you have some small notes or coins on hand (even a couple of dollar are significant to many Nepalis).
Money exchange at the airport
Try not to exchange money at the airport as there are service charges and lower rates offered than what you can get in Thamel or elsewhere in the city.
Getting to and from the airport
There are no trains in Kathmandu and renting a car without a driver is not possible.
- Pre-arranged hotel transfers are available from most hotels and are included in most trekking/touring packages. Representatives will be standing outside the arrivals doors behind a barricade and will hold a sign identifying themselves. This form of transport is particularly helpful if you are a novice to Nepal, arriving late at night and unfamiliar with how things work in the country.
- Prepaid taxis cost NPR800 to Thamel. Don't give the receipt to the driver until you are at your destination and you are satisfied, as this serves as the driver's payment. If the driver asks for more money, don't give it. Tipping taxi drivers is not expected.
- Regular taxis are an easy way to get to the city but be prepared to negotiate the price beforehand, heavily. The cheapest rate that you can get to Thamel is NPR400-500, or if you go to the end of the parking lot and catch a taxi there, where the taxis do not have to pay the airport entrance fee, you may be able to get a rate of NPR200-300, which is close to the standard meter rate. Taxi drivers may try to extract some commission by showing you one or more hotels on the way.
- Local buses pickup and drop-off at the airport gate, 0.5 km from the terminal. The buses generally do not have fixed schedules and are often crowded and painful but cost only NPR10. Ask the cashier about where the bus stops.
There is frequent and cheap bus service between Kathmandu and nearly all parts of Nepal. However, due to poor roads and frequent delays the buses are some of the slowest and least comfortable in South Asia.
- Balaju Bus Station (North Bus Station, Gongabu Bus Station?), Dupchewsor Marga? (There are 'mini buses' which criss cross the main roads of the city for about NPR20.). Buses: India (Patna,Gorakhpur, Varanasi (₹1,350, India-Nepal friendship Bus Service, leaves Varanasi at 1pm and arrives to Kathmandu at 5am), andLucknow), Pokhara, and Chitwan
- Kalanki Station (south) (There are 'mini buses' which crisscross the main roads of the city for about NPR20.). Buses: India (Patna,Gorakhpur, Varanasi (₹1,200), and Lucknow), Pokhara, and Chitwan
Tourist buses (NPR800, 6-7h) and crowded local buses/microbuses (NPR400-600, 6-7h) travel the 200 km journey between Kathmandu and Pokhara almost every 15 minutes starting at 07:30 through late afternoon. Night buses are available, but the ride is painful. Greenline operates a convenient bus every morning between the popular tourist areas of Thamel in Kathmandu and Lakeside in Pokhara (USD20, lunch included). The road is winding and includes many hairpin bends and offers wonderful views of hills and rural Nepalese lifestyle. The drivers will generally not drive too fast but some will calmly weave in and out of the stream of opposing traffic and slam on the brakes when a stop is required, making for a scary ride if you look out the front window. During the rainy season, there may be problems with the roads and flying may make more sense.
Buses and minivans run between Kathmandu and the Nepalese border town of Kodari, across the Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge from the Tibetan city of Zhangmu. The 123 km journey takes 6+ hours and costs NPR500. Buses depart until the early afternoon. Private jeeps (USD60 for up to 4 people) are a quicker option, and can make this journey in 4 hours.
Transportation - Get Around
If you fly in, be sure to pick up a free Kathmandu Valley map at the airport. The first thing some visitors notice about Kathmandu is the general lack of house numbers and street names except for major roads such as Tri Devi & Ring Road (loops around the city). In most cases directions are given relative to the nearest chowk or tole (an intersection or square, often with a market) or a noteworthy location or building (such as a temple or restaurant)
It is possible to get around Kathmandu by foot, but some may not always find the walking pleasant. It's worth considering, however, whether any form of public transport would be easier or more convenient than walking when you consider the crowds, the narrow streets and lanes, the traffic and everything you might want to see.
By rickshaw or taxi
If you consider public transportation for anything more than wandering around a specific area, there are several options. Pedal rickshaws can be found around the tourist areas of Thamel and taxis are everywhere. It's often difficult to go more than a short anywhere without being offered the services of both forms of transport. Negotiate a price before you get in a taxi or rickshaw. If you can't agree, ask another driver. Prices go up after dark and in less busy areas. Taxis are easy to find; they park near all major streets & have fare-meters. After 22:00 it can be very difficult to find taxis away from central tourist areas or major hotels. It should be possible to hire a taxi from Thamel for NPR300 one-way to Patan and around NPR1,200 to Bakhtapur from Thamel or the airport. For longer trips and to hire a taxi by the day negotiate with the driver. Haggle hard and you will easily find another driver if you are not satisfied. The meter is your best bet if you are not confident enough to negotiate, however very few drivers will agree to using them. Sometimes the proper operation of meters can be suspect so if you know exactly where you're going, it might be better to negotiate a suitable price in advance.
The Tempos, small three-wheeled buses, and microbuses are a very cheap (NPR15) way to get around the city. The Tempos come in two varieties - green (electric) and blue (petrol) and run on predefined routes through the city. These routes are numbered, sometimes with both Nepali and European numbers. There does not seem to be a map of the routes in existence, but you can get the hang of their paths quite quickly by asking and observing what numbers go on which road. Microbuses are typically minivans with a surprising number of seats crammed in - they have a "conductor" who leans out of the door and shouts the destinations, which are also often written on the front (in Nepali). If you have time, you can ask if they are going your way and hop on. These also typically cost NPR15.
There are also buses for longer trips within the valley, i.e. Patan, Bakhtapur, Boudha, etc. that can be used for trips in and around town. Blue buses & green buses constantly drive in circles/loops around the city on "Ring Road" - for NPR15-20 - depending on the distance. Every bus has a cashier/attendant who can tell you where it stops & alert you upon arrival. Riding the buses with the local people can be very pleasant & interesting. The buses are typically very old and rough.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
There are many ATM machines in Thamel, however, not all accept foreign cards. Those that do implement a charge of NPR400 per transaction. Nabil Bank ATMs have the highest withdrawal limit of NPR35,000 per transaction. All shops will accept Nepali rupees and many will also accept US dollars.
If you are staying in Thamel, the Shop Right Supermarket, near Kathmandu Guest House, offers the cheapest prices for basic necessities and snacks, including NPR15 for a 1 litre bottle of water.
- Thanka Buddhist Paintings - Thanka are traditional Buddhist paintings available all over Nepal. Prices and quality can vary a great deal. Good sellers will be able to describe the provenance, meaning and history of your chosen thanka. You may also be able to watch thanka being created at some galleries. For example, one gallery near the Boudnath Stupa often has thanka trainees at work so you can see the kind of detail that goes into each painting.
- Statues - Hand crafted statues from Nepal are famous all over the world, especially metal statues of god and goddess such as Buddha and Tara. You can easily find various statue shops in Thamel, although the statues are mainly manufactured in the Patan area. If you want to get closer to the source, Patan is a good place to buy such items. Be aware of items that might be antiques. The Nepalese government does not permit real antiques older than 100 years to leave the country, so if you are unsure of the age of the item you're interested in it is advisable to get it checked and certified by the Department of Archaeology to avoid problems on your departure.
- Silver - Jewellers from Bangkok come to Kathmandu to buy wholesale silver with Indian-processed semiprecious gemstones. The wholesale price of silver is published on the front page of the "Himalayan" newspaper (1 tola= 11.6 gm) so buyers can get an idea of the metal cost of the piece, apart from the labour cost. Silver is almost invariably near the stamped "92.5%" sterling, as claimed.
- Clothing - Kathmandu is a great place to shop for clothes or have existing clothes repaired or tailored. Flowing hippie gauzes, Monk's robes in saffrons and maroons, funky neon trance-wear, hemp clothing, dozens of elegant silks and 'suiting and shirting' are available in all qualities and prices. Tailors can be hired at reasonable fees and the quality of work is high. Handwoven Nepali fabrics cost NPR100-300/m and are available in endless patterns and colours. Anything, from bags to mountaineering equipment to cocktail dresses can be made to order and tailored to perfection. The alleys around Indra Chowk, between Thamel and Durbar Square, have dozens of fabric shops and tailors, much more dedicated to customer satisfaction than the hurried and expensive shops in Thamel. Bishal Bazaar near the corner of New Road and Durbar Square is a mall-like experience which also boasts several fabric shops and tailors. It is acceptable to buy fabric from one place and get it stitched in another. Expect to pay around NPR250 to stitch a Western-style men's/ladies' shirt. Feel free to take an existing item of clothing with you for the tailor to copy. Warning: if having clothes made to wear later at home, get measured before trekking if you want them to fit when you return to your normal size after your privations on the trekking trail!
- Carpets and Rugs - Thamel has many carpet shops that have quality silk and wool carpets. Royal Collection (Shop 13, L.P. Jyoti Line) has a nice selection and good prices, after some aggressive price negotiations. Some places will charge a service fee on a purchase with a credit card, so make sure to clarify this during price negotiations.
- Cultural Artifacts - Beware that there are lots of counterfeits, sly salesmen, and plastics presented as wood. Most real antiques are illegal to export. Genuine antiquities may have been looted from temples. Patan is known for the quality of bronzes. Read the book "Shopping for Buddhas" by Jeff Greenwald for more information.
- Pashmina - Scarves and shawls can be purchased for a fraction of the price of those in Europe or North America. Look for those produced by charitable organisations ushc as the Tibetan refugee camp just outside Patan.
- Electronics - Many people find Kathmandu a good place to buy a camera or other electronic device due to the lack of sales tax and import duty on electronics. There are shops in Thamel and around New Road.
- Bank of Asia, Saket Complex, Tripura Marg, (Tripureshwor Bus Stop).
- Century Commercial Bank, Hattisar Rd (Putali Sadak Bus Stop).
- Himalayan Bank, Karmachari Sanchaya Kosh Bldg, Tridevi Sadak.
- Nepal Bank Limited Central Office, Dharma Path, , e-mail: [email protected].
- Nepal Rastra Bank, Central Office, Baluwatar, , , , , , , fax: . Banking Office (address:Thapathali)
Kathmandu is a great place to stock up or trade in reading material. Used bookshops have stock including backpacker favourites, classics, local history and culture.
- Vajra Books, Amrit Marg (Jyatha, Thamel - close to Chikusa Café). Has huge selection of books on Buddhism, Nepal and Tibet studies.
- Pilgrims (in Thamel, next to the Kathmandu Guest house). is the largest and most well established English language bookshop in Kathmandu. They have great sections on Buddhism, including a whole room devoted to vajrayana, as well as an encyclopedic selection on books devoted to subjects on Nepal.
- Tibet Book Store, Thamel, on the road leading in from the palace has a good selection of books on vajrayana and Tibet studies.
- Second Hand - The alleys of Thamel are full of second hand book shops. Check around for a good price, as they do vary immensely. Return read books for 50% buyback or store credit.
- Ekta Books - Huge collection of almost all types of books is found in Ekta Books which is in Thapathali near Norvic Hospital.
- Mandala Book Point, 4227711. Kantipath. Probably the best for all types of reference, academic texts, tourist books and maps. Mandala also publishes books on sociology, anthropology, culture, politics and history of Nepal. It also a centre for most scholars visiting Nepal and patrons are encouraged to take part in the lively and informative discussions that frequently occur in the shop in the evening. The most reliable shop for The Economist and International Herald Tribune. Located on the east side of Kantipath just south of the Mountain Hotel and Nabil Bank building
- Quixote's Cove: the bookshop, 553-6974. Jawalakhel. Located next to New Orleans Cafe in Jawalakhel, this bookshop is housed in an old 1930s building and combines a great collection of fiction with a marvelously cosy environment.
- Bhat Bhateni Shopping Mall. A big Supermarket
- City Center Mall (Nepal Life City Centre), Pashupati Road, Kamal Pokhari,(Near Kamal Pokhari Police Station), , e-mail: , [email protected]. Daily 10:00-20:00. also email [email protected] A five-storey shopping mall is centrally Air-conditioned. - International Branded Show Rooms - Electronic, Mobile, Camera. - Readymade section - Wedding Floor (Sarees, Ornaments, Boutique, Beauty corner, Palour), - Food Court (Chinese, Korean, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese dishes), Gaming zone.
- Kathmandu Mall, Sundhara Marg.
- Pashupati Plaza, Khechapukhu Sadak.
- People's Plaza, Kichhapokhari,Newroad1 (Pukhudha Marg), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. On Working Days: 10AM - 5PM, On Holidays: 10AM - 10PM. Electronic Accessories (one shop), Gents Ladies and kids (two shop), Gents Wear (six shops), Ladies Wear (nine shops), Shoe's shop (seven units), Food Court
- Star Mall, Dhobidhara Marg (Bus to stop Putali Sadak).
- Swiss International, Jamal Rd.
- Jame Market, Durbar Marg (Next to Jame Mosque).
- Kuleshor Fruit Market, Kuleshwor Marg (West 200m of Kuleshor Mahadev Temple).
- Durga General Store, Gusingal.
The most popular food in Kathmandu could be the momo, a dumpling which has its roots in the Tibetan mountains. They are available fried or steamed and stuffed with buffalo, chicken, or veggies. Prices can vary depending on the location and what they are filled with, but expect to pay between NPR150-250 for a dozen. Kathmandu is also a good place to sample traditional Newari and Tibetan dishes.
A Nepali set meal will usually include rice, daal, vegetable/meat curry, a vegetable dish, pickle (achar) and curd. Expect to pay around NPR140-280 at a tourist place, much less at local places. Chiya, a milky spiced tea similar to the Indian chai, is ubiquitous and good for a break to calm one's nerves.
Note that most restaurants that cater to tourists will add a 10% service charge and then a 13% VAT charge (total of 24.5%) to the prices stated on the menu. These additional charges must be clearly stated on the menu.
There are dozens of tourist restaurants clustered in the Thamel district serving everything from Middle Eastern to Mexican food. Indian and Nepali dishes are always the best tasting and the best priced. Don't hesitate to state your preference for spiciness. Visitors venturing into smaller places are often rewarded with better prices and friendlier staff.
- Ace Cafe And Bar. Good mix of Indian, Nepali and Western. Costs generally NPR50-120. Located on the first non-touristy street West of Thamel, across from the People's College.
- Alchemy a newly opened Italian restaurant. Somewhat expensive for Thamel. Excellent Italian dishes and nothing else. Pizzas from NPR300 and pastas from NPR280. You get wine in 1/4 or 1/2 litre so suitable for dining alone or in two. It's about 100 m before Chetrapati Chowk.
- Aqua Java Zing A new restaurant in Thamel dining scene. Serving excellent international cuisine, including risottos, pastas, Thai curry and Five-spice exotic vegetables. The dessert range and quality is excellent, and so is the coffee. They also serve Hookahs/Shishas with over 100 flavours. Cost NPR200-350. They are located just next to Helena's and opposite Galleria Cafe.
- BK's French Fry heaven in Thamel. Opposite Funky Buddha Bar.
- Cafe Kaldi has a small menu with drinks, salads & snacks as well as free Wi-Fi for customers (please refrain from downloading anything as the connection is limited.) On Mandala Street, behind OR2K.
- Café Mitra Serves excellent European meals. It is expensive for Kathmandu, but the standard of the food more than makes up for this. 250/13 Thamel Marg.
- Ciao Ciao this newer place is in Bhagawan Bahal Road, just behind the Hotel Malla. The Italian owner Francesco offers wood-fire pizzas and some very good Italian delicaties.
- Cozy Restaurant The best buffalo steak and chocolate banana pancakes in the city. New place, relatively unknown, but great food. Chef trained in the US, and is one of the friendliest people in town. As you walk down Tridevi Marg from Thamel Chowk, it's on the right, on the second story by an internet cafe. Meals NPR200-300.
- Electric Pagoda is a very eclectic bar on Satghumti Road. Specializes in Mexican cuisine and also offers local and continental dishes between NPR100-300. Easy going atmosphere with well rounded music and very friendly staff. Tuborg/Everest beer approximately NPR350.
- Everest Steak House. Traditional pre- or post-trekking feast: massive steaks costing about NPR300. Just off Chhetrapati, the pagoda-cum-roundabout.
- Fire & Ice. Popular with westerns for the excellent traditional Italian-style stone-baked pizzas, which are delicious (probably better than Roadhouse). Certainly pricier than most, starting from around NPR580 for a cheese and tomato pizza. Chocolate ice cream with added chocolate on top is definitely to be recommended, and will cost about NPR300 in 2012. Located on the south side of the main road into Thamel (Tridevi Marg) coming from the Palace Museum, next to a temple under Himalayan Bank.
- Fu Ru Sato. Just past The Roadhouse, beside the second Pilgrim's bookshop, this quiet Japanese restaurant, with Japanese trained chefs offers great food. From Sushi to Udon to Teriaki Chicken, a small restaurant offering amazing food at low prices. Expect to pay 200rs for a set meal, or 400 for fresh Sushi. Fish is brought in frozen.
- Galaria is a smart upmarket coffee shop, above a bookshop. Serves fantastic 'Illy' coffee, and some great desserts. Less exciting but still good sandwiches.
- Helena's Rooftop Restaurant, Chaksibari Marg (From Chhetrapati, pass the Everest Steak House on your right, and turn the next left and walk a few minutes north on JP School Road. Helena's will be on your right), . Excellent food, great service, and modest prices. It is claimed to have the tallest rooftop restaurant in Kathmandu, and the views from there of the city, especially at night, are reported to be worth the climb. Serves Western and regional cuisine. chicken tikka masala will set you back around NPR350.
- Himalayan Java. Beyond the coffee (see below) there's breakfasts, paninis and pastries. Located across the street from Fire & Ice on the second story of the building nearest the palace wall.
- Hot Breads. Past Helena's, opposite the right-turn junction towards Fire & Ice. They sell fresh pastries from about NPR60 each, which you can eat on the roof along with a selection of drinks.
- Just Juice and Shakes. Popular with Israelis and long-timers. Great coffees, fruit juices and shakes. Two eggs on toast: NPR80 in 2012. It can be found 10 m down the alley across the street from the music shop, near Pilgrim's bookshop curve.
- KC Across street from "Helena's Restaurant", & 1/2 block toward King's Palace from KTM Guest House. Safe salads, vegetarian & brown rice dishes, sizzling steaks, and 'Pumpkin Pie' - not a dessert, but a main meal made with pumpkins & almonds. Outdoor balcony overlooking the street, and indoor dining on 2 or 3 levels.
- Krua Thai, Z Marg (Located at the outskirts of Thamel, take first the left curve after Pilgrims, then right.).
- La Dolce Vita - Italian restaurant serving excellent pastas, desserts and speciality coffees all at reasonable prices.
- New Orleans, Mandala St, (Almost opposite Kathmandu Guest House.). A good variety of well-made food, including pasta, Nepali and salads. Pleasant Newari courtyard setting NPR200-400.
- Northfield Cafe, Thamel Marg (A few doors up from Kathmandu Guest House), . Basic pub grub and Nepali attempt at Mexican, often with live traditional music. Popular with English teachers and expats.NPR100-300.
- OR2K, Mandala St (South end of Mandala Street, opposite the Pumpernickel Bakery & K-Too Steakhouse.), . Daily 09.00-23:00. It is Israeli run and has a wide variety of good, safe vegetarian food, especially good if you are craving a salad.
- Phat Kath - Located off the main street close to Helena's and Weizon Bakery. Good breakfasts from R200. They have a decent lunch/dinner menu with good meals. Service is very good.
- Roadhouse Cafe, Chaksibari Road, Thamel (One location is about 200 m north on JP School Road in Thamel, another near Bhat Bhateni supermarket and one in Patan), . Excellent wood fired pizza. Pleasant decor with good coffee & hot chocolate. Draught Everest beer, when available. A relaxing, upscale place for when you need to escape from Kathmandu for an evening. Free Wi-Fi. Beer: NPR400; Pizza: NPR500-600.
- Rum Doodle, Amrit Marg, , fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. Su-Th 10:00-22:00, Fr-Sa 10:00-00:00.Excellent food at modest prices, including live music on most nights. Carry on straight past Helena's, around the "chicane", where the road bends then straightens out again, and turn the next right. It is signposted but the sign's fairly small. Everest summitters can eat here for free. Extraphone=+977-1-4248692
- Sandwich Point is a small sandwich bar with a wide range of fillings including beacons, ham, chicken and sausage. To get there, turn left on the second intersection of thamel arriving from Himalayan Java. It is on the left just a few metres down the road.
- Sandlewood Cafe, Park Ln, Lalitpur (South of Bagmati River).
- Shree Lal Pure Veg Restaurant. Tel +977 1-4250417. On Thamel Road, look out for the red scrolling neon letter sign. Excellent Indian food at excellent prices (Indian meals with chapatis NPR150-200), plus friendly owners. No rooftop seating area.
- Tashi Delek. Tibetan restaurant with extensive menu and good Mexican/Italian dishes. Open late. Across the street from the postcard shop, near HotBreads corner. NPR100-300.
- Thamel House Restaurant, Amrit marg (In front of Hotel Thamel), 4410388.
- Third Eye. Indian food in a nice building and outdoor garden. NPR250-500.
A few good places to eat, such as the Ganesh restaurant halfway along the street next to a small shrine. Try the cakes at the tiny, bright blue "Snowman" cakeshop.
Near the Airport
If you're looking for a quick cheap snack of tasty curry or momo check out the small roadside stand across the ring road right at the airport. With your back towards the airport its just 200 m left of the Airport Hotel, at the junction of a small dirt road.
- Ratomato Organics BBQ Bistro, Jhamsikhel, Patan, e-mail:[email protected]. Ratomato Organics BBQ Bistro is a continental restaurant which caters an array of nutritious and flavourful delicacies. Most of the produce is sourced locally from an organic farm in Kirtipur and other local farmers.NPR100-500.
- The Lazy Gringo, Jawalakel Chowk, Patan (near the zoo, across from the German bakery), 2210527. Tu-Su 11:00-21:00. The only Arizona style Mexican food in KTM. Serves burritos, chimichangas, nachos, fried ice cream, thick shakes, and sopapillas. A party of 10 or more gets free chips and salsa. Thursday nights kids eat free with the purchase of one adult size entree. NPR200-300.
- Angan, on the corner behind the King's statue roundabout. A good place to have ice cream (NPR35), Indian traditional sweets or freshly prepared Masala Dhosa which is curry in a crisp savory crêpe, NPR65-75. Sweets in the front, fast food restaurant in the back. The bhel poori is spicy. This is the heart of the Nepalis' upmarket shopping district, where New Road and Dharma Path meet. Walk west from here on the pedestrian street to Freak Street, the outdoor craft market, the old 'Red Palace' and the many temples of Durbar square.
- Bakery Cafe There are several outlets of this chain restaurant all around Kathmandu and Patan. A great place to have momos, beer and sizzlers which is steak with butter sauce and noodles. Can be considered "the McDonald's of Nepal" due to its popularity. Although it isn't fast food, you can find great food here that is prepared within 15 minutes. Most of the staff are deaf, so your money is going to a good cause.
- Bawarchi Superb Indian and Chinese food, specializing in kathi rolls which are a fried, flat bread wrap with spicy meat, paneer or veg filling. Great for lunchtime snacks or evening meals. Their three locations can be found opposite the Ambassador Hotel on Lazimpat; on the Maharajgunj, near the UNHCR and American Embassy; and in the Barryo Fiesta foodcourt next to Mike's Breakfast. One of the few expatriate-friendly restaurants with delivery.
- Chez Caroline The place to be seen in Kathmandu, set in Babar Mahal revisited, just off the main Thapathali junction, near the old parliament building. Excellent French food and salads. 700-900 for a main. Ask a taxi driver to find it.
- Just Pass, Jyatha, Thamel (on jyatha street (near the chikusa cafe)), . 09:00. great Indian food at affordable prices, situated near the Chikusa Cafe on the Jyatha street. friendly staff and a tummy full of Indian food (including naans) and cheap tea for NPR125. NPR125.
- Mayur Restaurant Cafe, Gongabu, Basundhara Ring Road (बशुन्धरा चक्रपथ ट्राक उत्तर) (Basundhara Chauki Bus Stop 100 m away).
- Mike's Breakfast is a brisk 15 minute walk from Thamel Taxi Stand, but confusing with one-way streets. Take a rickshaw or taxi the first time, & mark it on one of the free hotel KTM maps. The best pancakes in Nepal, and now other meals, too. Mostly outdoor tables under bamboo shelters + available indoor screened dining.
- New Natraj Tandoori Cheap, plentiful and delicious Indian food. Not to be confused with the Natraj tandoori a few doors down. Opposite the Shangri-La hotel on Lazimpat.
- Pizza Express While not quite on par with Roadhouse Cafe or Fire and Ice, Pizza Express makes a tasty product from their locations in Lazimpat (216-1212) and in Basantbur Plaza (423-2777). They are unique in that they are the only mainstream pizza shop with delivery in Kathmandu. The fast-food style decor and focus on delivery and take-out are reflected both in their prices and quick service.
- Roadhouse Cafe maintains locations outside of Thamel in Bhat Bhatteni, one block north of the Bhat Bateni supermarket, and Pulchowk.
- Wunjala Moskva Tucked away in Naxal district, delicious Newari food in a beautiful setting; performances on the courtyard of the restaurant, and unlimited shots of local booze.
Coffe & Drink
Nepal is a coffee producing country, though the people are famously tea drinkers. Most often coffee is of the instant-type, although fresh coffee is available. When ordering, try ordering "strong coffee", as opposed to just "coffee", if you don't want instant coffee. Expect your cappuccino to be anywhere from very little froth in large cup to something laced with whipped cream, and there is little difference between latte and cappuccino. Places to look for fresh, ground coffee are:
- Alchemy, Chetrapati, Thamel. Good cappucinos and espressos from Nepali coffee. They serve also other Italian specialities such as pizza, pasta and superb "gelato" (Italian ice cream).
- Aqua Java Zing, Thamel (opposite Nepal Investment Bank). 10-10. - resto-lounge- global gourmet cuisine- specialty coffees- refreshing cocktail-free wi fi -scrumptious desserts
- Bakery Cafe Also serves good coffee at some outlets. The one in Sundhara (near Dharahara) has the best. The chain also has one of the best espresso equipment around, hence the good quality.
- Chikusa Café, Jyatha road, Thamel. Nepali coffee, Sandwiches and crêpes. Strawberry lassi is a specialty. Now they have Wi-Fi too; just ask for the password.
- Chobhar Cafe-Restaurantwith panoramic views of the Himalayas, in Kathmandu suburbs, on the road to Daskshinkali (8 km). Peace, no air or noise pollution. In natural setting, surrounded by flower & sculpture garden. 20 min away
- Galleria Cafe at Thamel. Relaxing lounge serving illy coffee and wine.
- Higher Ground Cafe, Jawalakhel, Patan. Excellent lattes and fresh cinnamon rolls.
- Himalayan Java. Everything you ever wanted in a coffee shop, great coffees, meals, desserts, newspapers, sofas, Large screen TV, even a guitar on the wall that says, "Play me!" Meet the teenage elite of Kathmandu here. Upstairs, the last building on the left as you leave Thamel heading for the former Royal Palace, near a sign for an Apple computer shop. One floor above it is a bar and pizza shop from which you can also order Himalayan Java's coffee. Also has an outlet near Ravi Bhawan, opposite Lincoln School.
- Just Juice and Shakes. Coffee drinks, espresso, Cappuccino, and juice and shakes, sweet rolls, etc., too. See 'Eat' above for location.
- La Dolce Vita at Thamel.
- Magic Beans at Kingsway. There's an open lounge called Sherpa Mall and when you enter it, Magic Beans is on the first floor to the right side. A lot of varieties, and quick service. Accompanied by soft music, mostly pop and soft-rock.
- Mike's Breakfast Get unlimited refills of fresh ground drip coffee for Rs.75.
- Red Mud Coffee (formerly The Coffee Point) at Thapathali Road. On the east side, within the Trade Tower Nepal (TTN) complex, opposite the Rashtra Banijya Bank, before Nepal Rastra bank and beside Khadya Sangsthan (Nepal Food Corporation). Offer different coffees. Wi-fi and a calm atmosphere.
- Roadhouse Cafe in Thamel, Bhat Bhatteni or Pulchowk, cappuccino, cafe Mocha, etc. Accompany your coffee with the selection of desserts. See 'Eat' above for location.
Sights & Landmarks
- Asa Archives (located in Kulambhulu). They specialize in medieval history and religious traditions of the Kathmandu Valley. The archives have a collection of some 6,000 loose-leaf handwritten books and 1,000 palm-leaf manuscripts (mostly in Sanskrit or Nepal Bhasa) and a manuscript dated to 1464.
- Bijeshwori Temple, Swayambhu Marg Eastern end.
- Boudha Stupa (Boudhanath) (बौद्ध, Bouddhanath, Bodhnath, Baudhanath or the Khāsa Chaitya), Boudha (Bauddha Bus Stand. It is located to the north-east of Dwarikas' Hotel and just to the north of the airport area.), .One of the most sacred sites for Tibetan Buddhism. This huge stupa is one of the largest in the world. This is another World Heritage Site. - Located about 11 km from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu. - The base of the stupa has 108 small depictions of the Dhyani Buddha Amitabha. It is surrounded with a brick wall with 147 niches, each with four or five prayer wheels engraved with the mantra, om mani padme hum. At the northern entrance where visitors must pass is a shrine dedicated to Ajima, the goddess of smallpox.
- Bethshalom Putalisadak Church, Putalisadak (Near to New Plaza Bus Stop).
- Bhimsen Temple, Paropakar Marg (Wada Marg corner, S-Sw of Durbar Sq.).
- Thamel Chowk. A tourist neighborhood with many restaurants and shops.
- Freak Street (south of Kathmandu's Durbar Square). Historic street where western hippies seeking enlightenment would stay. Now just a few restaurants and hotels.
- Garden of Dreams (Kaiser Mahal). Relax in this beautiful and peaceful walled garden close to Thamel and the former Royal Palace. Beautifully renovated in partnership with Austrian Govt. Currently has two pavilions depicting two of the six annual seasons in the Hindu calendar. It has several expensive cafes and a bar. Nice toilets. NPR200.
- Ganesh Mandir, Thamel Dabali Marg.
- Budda Neelkantha Temple, Budhanilkantha (5-6km from Main Bus Park, Kathmandu.). An idol of Bhagwan Vishnu in a sleeping position surrounded by water is an extraordinary cool and calm experience.
- City Museum Kathmandu, Paryatak Marg.
- Evangelical Ashish Church, Samakhushi - Ranibari Rd.
- Dhansā Degah (धन्सा देग, alternative name: Dhunsar), Maru Square (On the eastern side of Maru Square (close to DorbarSq.)). This is a 17th-century pagoda-shaped building. Its carved wood windows provide a specimen of the art of woodworking which has been highly developed in the Kathmandu Valley since ancient times. The upper part was destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1934, and its height was shortened when it was repaired. It was originally a courthouse. A shrine to Nāsa Dya, the god of music, exists on the ground floor.
- Dharma Chakra Vihar, Dharma Chakra Marga.
- Gakuti (गकुति) (on the western side of Maru Sq). This building is a three-sided courtyard. There is a temple dedicated to Mahadev at the center.
- Gompa and Huge Prayer Wheel (North to Siddhicharan Marg and Siddhicharan Marg).
- Ichangu Narayan Temple, Ichangu VDC (NW one km from Gairi Gaun Bus Stop, two and half km from Swayambhunath).
- Indrani Temple, Indrani Path (Northeast to Bishnumati Dhalko Bhagawoti Bridge).
- J Art Gallery (near the Royal Palace in Durbarmarg). Displays the artwork of eminent, established Nepalese painters.
- Jame Mosque, Durbar Marg.
- Junga Bahadur Statue, Prithvi Path.
- Kaiser Library
- Kashmiri Masjid, Durbar Marg.
- Kuleshor Mahadev Temple, Kuleshwor Marg (Near to Riverbank).
- BP Koirala Memorial Planetorium Observatory and Science Museum, Kirtipur Rd,
- Lakhu Phalechā (लखु फलेचा), Maru Square (at the corner of an alley at the southwest of Maru). a roadside shelter is linked with the founding of Nepal Sambat. This is where the porters from Bhaktapur are said to have rested with their loads of sand. The procession of the goddess Dāgin, which is held during the Yenya festival, starts from this house.
- Machali Mandir, Teku (Nava Durga Temple), Kalopul Road (50 m before Tripura(shwar) Marg). A small two storey pagoda
- Mahendra Museum, Ganga Path (SW half km from centre). This Museum is dedicated to king Mahendra of Nepal (1920–1972). It includes his personal belongings such as decorations, stamps, coins and personal notes and manuscripts, but it also has structural reconstructions of his cabinet room and office chamber.
- The temple of Maru Ganedya (मरु गनेद्य), Maru Square (on the northern side of Maru Sata). is one of the more important Ganesh shrines in Kathmandu. A notable feature of this temple is the absence of the usual pinnacle.
- Maruhiti (मरुहिति) (on an alley at the northwest of Maru). is a celebrated stone water spout. The alley was once famed by its nickname Pie Alley for the many pie shops here during the hippie days of the 1960s and 1970s
- Matrikeshwor Mahadev, Kanti Path. Middle of Rani Pokhari Pond
- Military Museum, Chhauni Rd (Right North to the National Museum).
- Moti Azima Gallery (in Bhimsenthan). Located in a three storied building which contains an impressive collection of traditional utensils and handmade dolls and items typical of a medieval Newar house, giving an important insight into Nepalese history.
- Narayanhiti Palace Museum (in the north-central part of Kathmandu).Narayanhity" comes from Narayana, a form of the Hindu god Lord Vishnu, and Hiti, meaning "water spout" (Vishnu's temple is located opposite the palace, and the water spout is located east of the main entrance to the precinct). Narayanhity was a new palace, in front of the old palace built in 1915, and was built in 1970 in the form of a contemporary Pagoda. It was built on the occasion of the marriage of King Birenda Bir Bikram Shah, then heir apparent to the throne. The palace area covers (30 hectares) and is fully secured with gates on all sides. This is the former Royal palace which was turned partly into a Museum and partly into the Foreign Ministry in 2009 after the abolition of the monarchy. Now you can visit the splendid Halls of the main building of the palace. Giant fruit bats hanging from the tall trees and 20 foot-tall bamboo around the otherwise modern (and still well secured) former palace are a sight, especially around sunset when the bats depart en masse. Foreigners: NPR500.
- National Museum (Chhauni Museum), Chhauni Road or Museum Marg(Located in the western part of Kathmandu, near the Swoyambhunath stupa).Closed on Tuesdays. This in an historical building. This building was constructed in the early 19th century by General Bhimsen Thapa. It is the most important museum in the country, housing an extensive collection of weapons, art and antiquities of historic and cultural importance. The museum was established in 1928 as a collection house of war trophies and weapons, and the initial name of this museum was Chhauni Silkhana, meaning "the stone house of arms and ammunition". Given its focus, the museum contains an extensive quantity of weapons, including locally made firearms used in wars, leather cannons from the 18th–19th century, and medieval and modern works in wood, bronze, stone and paintings.
- The Natural History Museum (Natural Science Museum of Tribhuvan University), Manjushree Marg (मञ्जुश्री मार्ग) (located in the southern foothills of Swoyambhunath hill). Mo-Fr. This museum has a sizeable collection of different species of animals, butterflies, and plants. The museum is noted for its display of species, from prehistoric shells to stuffed animals
- Nepal Children's Art Museum, Hattisar Sadak (0.8 km NE).
- National Art Gallery.
- NAFA Gallery. This is housed in Sita Bhavan, a neo-classical old Rana palace.
- Nepal Art Council Gallery (in the Babar Mahal, on the way to Tribhuvan International Airport). This gallery contains artwork of both national and international artists and extensive halls regularly used for art exhibitions
- Nepal Stock Exchange, Prithvi Path (Behind to the Nepal Telecom Central Office), .
- Nepal Television HQ, Tanka Prasad Ghumti Sadak (Near to Parliament).
- Parliament Building, Tanka Prasad Ghumti Sadak (टंक प्रसाद घुम्ती सडक).
- Office of the Prime Minister & Council of Ministers, Tanka Prasad Ghumti Sadak (Singha Durbar bus stand).
- Pachali Bhairab, Sahid Shukra Marg (North 100m from Bagmati River). A huge pipal tree formed a sanctuary here. There is an image of Pachali
- Pashupatinath (5 kilometres north-east of Kathmandu Valley, or 20 minute walk past several temples from Boudhanath). An important Hindu temple to Shiva in the form of Lord of the Beasts. It's the location of cremation ghats (steps) on the banks of the Bagmati River. You will also see sadhus, a busy market for religious items and a holy cave. Morning is a great time to go. While entrance to the temple is allowed for Hindus only, the surrounding forest area provides much to explore. NPR1,000. Non-hindu's are not allowed inside this temple.
- Raj Ghat, Gusingal, Lalitpur. Here can be find a small group of shrines
- Ram Mandir. A Historical Temple, made by Prime Minister Shree Teen Jang Bahadur Rana Kunwar in late 1870s.
- Rastriya Sabha Griha, Adwait Marg (West 200m to Thapathali Bus Stop).
- Royal botanical garden. -the only botanical garden in the country
- Saraswati Mandir, Thamel Amrit Marg.
- Sankateswori Bagwati Mandir, Thamel Marg.
- Saraswati Temple, Manjushree Marg (मञ्जुश्री मार्ग) (Western Part of Swayambhunath Complex).
- Shahid Gate Memorial (Shahid Gate Bus Stand).
- Shiva Temple on Bagmati Marg, Bagmati Marg. Ruined Shiva Temple
- Shoba Bagwahati Temple (Opposite to the Shova Bhagawati Bridge).
- Shikhara Style Temple at the confluence of Bagmati and Vishnumati Rivers, Bagmati Marg (West end of Bagmati Marg).
- Silyan Sata (सिँल्यं सत , alternative name Singha Satah) (On the southern side of the Maru Square). dates from the 17th century. It contains shops on the ground floor and a hymn singing hall on the upper floor.
- Srijana Contemporary Art Gallery (inside the Bhrikutimandap Exhibition grounds). hosts the work of contemporary painters and sculptors, and regularly organizes exhibitions. It also runs morning and evening classes in the schools of art.
- Swayambhunath ((स्वयम्भू) / Monkey Temple, Swayambhu Buddhist Museum,), Manjushree Marg (2,6km W). A site on a hill overlooking the city with a large stupa and other Buddhist and Hindu iconography. One of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. There are 350 steps to the top - the back route is less steep but the views on the way up are not as nice. Aside from the views over the city and the ancient carvings in every available space, it's crowded with monkeys mingling with the visitors. The base of the hill is a 30 minute walk from Thamel (make sure you have a map as there are several confusing intersections along the way), or take a taxi or rickshaw. As with the Boudha Stupa, are plenty of Buddhist and Tibetan-inspired trinkets for sale. There are also drinks for sale at the top, and at least one small restaurant selling momos. For those that have their own transport or have difficulty climbing stairs there is a parking lot at the back entrance that significantly reduces the number of stairs that need to be climbed to gain access to the main compound. This is one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley. Foreigners: NPR750 for a multiple entry pass;.
- Shantipura Building (60m North of Swayambhunath Stupa). Part of the Swayambhunath Complex
- Taragaon Museum, Boudhnath, Tridevi Sadak (In the compound of the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu stands the former Taragaon Hotel,), , e-mail: , [email protected]. M-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 10:00-17:00. turn it into a Documentation Centre – documenting what artists, photographers, architects, anthropologists and Samskritists from abroad had contributed in the second half of the 20th century to identify, highlight and preserve the cultural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley.
- Tarani Devi Temple, Makha Galli (Durbar Square Northeast corner, enter from south or west).
- Tindeval Temple, Sahid Shukra Marg and Gitagriha Galli corner (Near to Bagmati River). Shikhara style building.
- Tribhuvan Museum. contains artifacts related to the King Tribhuvan (1906–1955). It has a variety of pieces including his personal belongings, letters and papers, memorabilia related to events he was involved in and a rare collection of photos and paintings of Royal family members.
- Tridevi Temple, Tridevi Sadak.
- Tipureshwor Mahadev Temple (Tipureshwor /Shiva Temple), Bagmati Marg and Tripura Marg corner (South 300m from Dasharath Rangasala Stadium).
Kathmandu Durbar Square
This ancient square is crowded with palaces and temples, including the current incarnation of the Kasthamandap or "Wooden house" that gives the city its name. The square has been occupied since the construction of a palace around 1000AD. This site is the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal.
The Square is particularly fascinating in the very early morning as all the various merchants set up their wares and when many devotees make their offerings at the various shrines and temples. There will be a number of young men who will offer to be "guides." Be firm with saying "no" if you are not interested. The entrance fee for foreigners is NPR1000. If you plan to be in the area for more than one day, it's worth being directed to the Site Office where you can exchange your single-entry ticket with a multiple-entry pass allowing you to wander in and out as you wish. You will need your passport and one passport photo. The whole process takes only a few minutes. Your entry pass gives you access to all open parts of Durbar Square as well as the Hanuman Dhoka. In Nepali, Durbar means "palace" and this is where the monarch was crowned and from where he ruled.
It is possible to climb the steps of many of the temples for a better look and to join others seated near the top watching the activity below. There are more than a dozen buildings and statues of note in this small area. They include:
- Ashok Binayak
- Bhagwati Temple
- Indrapur Temple
- Jagannath Temple, Hanuman Dhoka Road (A bit North of Durbar Square).
- Kumari Palace (Kumari Ghar) (South side of Durbar square,). - home of "the Kumari", or living goddess, a young girl.
- Kathesimbu Stupa, Naghal, Nagha Kwado Galli (Near to Ikhapokhari Pond).
- Kastha Mandap (Sanskrit: काष्ठमन्डप, Nepal Bhasa:मरु सत्तल Maru Sattal; literally "Wood-Covered Shelter") (Southwest side of the Square, actually this is the Maru Square). This is a three-storeyed temple enshrining an image of Gorakhnath. It was built in the 16th century in pagoda style. The name of Kathmandu is a derivative of the word Kasthamandap. It was built under the reign of King Laxmi Narsingha Malla. It was originally built as a rest house for travelers.
- Kageshwori Mandir, Hanuman Dhoka Road (Next to Jagannath Temple).
- Kakeshwar Temple, Hanuman Dhoka Road (Next to Kageshwori Mandir).
- Kotilingeshwor Mahadev Temple, Hanuman Dhoka Road (Opposite to Kakeshwar Temple).
- Krishna Temple
- Kal Bhairab - the "Black" Bhairab, a fearsome visage of Shiva with some ancient legends about its power.
- Lakshmi Narayan Temple.
- Mahendreswar Temple
- Maju Deval (Maju Temple) (Next to Narayan Temple).
- Narayan Temple (Right South from Maju Deval).
- Nasal Chowk. Statues, temples and the Rana museum. Located in the Hanuman Dhoka former palace complex, the courtyard was used for royal coronations as recently as 2001.
- Panch Mukhti Hanuman Temple, Khadga Chuk? (East of Durbar Square).
- Royal Mahendra Museum, Durbar Square (Next to Panch Mukhti Hanuman Temple).
- Saraswati Temple The Goddess of Knowledge and Learning
- Shiva Temple
- Shiva-Parvati Temple
- Sweta Bhairab - the "White" Bhairab, a large mask shown only during the Indra Jatra festival.
- Vishnu temple
- Taleju Temple. One of the oldest temples in the square, this three-roofed temple with its pyramid shaped bases, is an example of the typical Newari architectural style.
Things to do
Kathmandu city itself has limited activities for visitors beyond the amazing sightseeing and general experience of being there.
- Russian Centre of Science and Culture (Russian: Pоссийский Центр Науки и Культуры), Pashupati Marga, Block No. 1055/31, Kamal Pokhari, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected].Office Hours: M-Th 09:00-18:00, F 09:00-17:00, Lunch Hours: 14:00-15:00. Russian Library. [email protected]
Kathmandu is the starting point for numerous adventures in the rest of the country including trekking, rafting, jungle adventures, and more extreme sports.
- Hiking / Trekking in the Kathmandu Valley
- Nagarkot (2 days) - offers a great spot for watching surrounding mountain ranges at sunrise or sunset from atop the hill.
- The Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (5 days), includes treks to Nagarkot and Dhulikhel
- Shivapuri Hiking Trek (5 days) displays the best of Nepal’s rural culture, biodiversity and stunning Himalayan views. Trekking Routes to Nagarkot, Gosainkunda, Helambu and the Langtang National Park.
- Bungy Jumping @ The Last Resort - located 3 hours by bus east of Kathmandu, near the border with Tibet, features the 3rd highest bungy jump in the world.
- Kumari Cinema Hall (QFX Kumari), Dhobidhara Marg.
- Mountain Flights. Most local airlines offer one hour flights over the Himalayas departing between 6:30-9:00 AM from Kathmandu airport, costing US197. Book in advance during the popular tourist season.
Connecting with locals
- Backstreet Academy, Kathmandu, , e-mail:[email protected]. A social enterprise tour platform that enables locals in developing countries to create their own tour/ course. Check out their momos cooking course, mask carving, pottery, stone carving or dal bhat cooking courses, among many others on their website. Simply book on their website and a facilitator (usually a local university student) will arrive to pick you up for your course.
- Hidden Journeys Nepal, , e-mail:[email protected]. Organizes tours that take guests to visit and learn from Nepal's change makers, eg, social entrepreneurs, artists, activists and other innovators. There are prearranged tours (usually 2 days including a networking session in the evening) on specific issues - or you can design your own.
- Baisdhara park, Balaju (West from Gongabu Bus Park).
- Bhrikuti Mandap Park (Bhrikutimandi), Pradarshani Marg.
- Bhugol Park, Dharma Path, New Rd (Naya Sadak).
- Fun Park, Pradarshani Chakra (Right next to Bhrikuti Mandap Park).
- Maitighar Mandala Park (Near to Thapathali Engineering Campus).
- UN Park, Shiva Marga (Bagmati Riverside).
- Ratna Park, Kanti Path, Durbar Marg (Ratna Park Micro Bus Stop).
- Sankha Park, Dhumbarahi. close to Ring Road
- Tribhuwan Park, Thankot, Kathmandu (From old Bus park, 1 or 2 hour by local vehicles.). One of big park located western part of the Kathmandu.
- Godavari Botanical Garden, Godavari, Lalitpur. Botanical Garden
- Dasharath Rangasala Stadium, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu(Tripureshwor Bus Stop).
- National Table Tennis Training Center, Lainchaur Marg.
- T U Cricket Stadium, T U, Kirtipur.
- ANFA Complex, Satdobato, Lalitpur.
Festivals and events
Kathmandu and Dubar Square is the centre for many of Nepal's festivals. Note that many businesses are closed for all of these holidays—and often a few days before and after. Dasain in particular tend to shut down much of the city for October.
- Dashain (Dasain) Dashain, the most important of Nepal's religious festivals takes place over fifteen days, between September and October each year. Dashain celebrates all of the manifestations of the goddess Durga, it is marked by animal sacrifices and feasting. It serves to renew family and community ties. Due to many residents of Kathmandu returning home to their villages during Dashain, the city takes on a more peaceful atmosphere.
- Tihar, Festival of Lights (Also called Deepawali) A five day festival which takes place each year on the fifteenth day of Kartika, around the end of October/start ofNovember, celebrated by all Hindus with ritual house-cleaning, lanterns, candles, and fireworks. The Nepali version tends to be more picturesque and less explosive than those celebrated in India.
- Holi is celebrated in March with splashes of water and colored powder that is both good luck and very messy.
- Bikram Sambat's New Year's (April) A day of pilgrimages (often from Kathmandu to the holy Bagamati river that separates it from Patan)
- Teej, the most important women's festival, is celebrated in September with married women dressed in their red marriage saris visiting male relatives and unmarried women and girls staying up all night to celebrate and pray for their future husbands.
- Indra Jatra Harvest festival held in Kathmandu's Dubar Square for 8 days eachSeptember. The Goddess Kumari is paraded in her sacred chariot.
- Himalayan Blues Festival, Kathmandu, . Himalayan Blues Festival is one of the most acclaimed music festival in Kathmandu. It takes place in the months of October–November in Kathmandu. It boasts of having the best venues like the Garden of Dreams and Patan Museum. It also happens in many bars and different hotel venues. It features musicians from all around the world.
Beer and mixed drinks are available at almost every bar and restaurant. For a quick drink and cheap cultural experience, try the local 'Nepali wine' (raksi) or 'Nepali Beer' (chang) neither of which taste anything like their namesakes. Gorkha Beer, Everest Beer, Nepal Ice, San Miguel, Carlsberg, and Tuborg beer are the principal conventional beers served in Kathmandu. Local beers tend to be more reliable than the imports.
- Attic Bar, Uttar Dhoka Sadak (Next to Shanker Hotel).
- Celtic Manang Irish bar, run by Mary from Cork. Over some shops, not far from Kathmandu Guest House. Mighty crack on St Patrick's Day!
- Everest Irish Pub a newly opened Irish Pub where you can have Guinness, foods and music along with friendly and excellent ambience.
- Full Moon Club. Above Just Juice and Shakes. A mix of Nepalis and expats. Occasional live music
- House of Music is largely frequented by locals and expats for its focus on original live Nepali music - from rock to reggae, himalayan blues to jazz (rarely covers). Artists featured are up-and-coming and popular Nepali bands. Food (bar snacks/Asian fusion) and drinks served.
- Irish Pub Lazimpat, Ananda Bhawan, Uttar Dhoka Sadak (Near to Shanker Hotel). Irish dishes, a great variety of beer (also Guinness) and whisky (international and local), Irish Coffee (also Creamy Irish Coffee) cocktails, mocktails, energy cocktails, summer cocktails, shooters (try "Irish Flag"). During the cold season, you can also find "hot winter drinks". Friday nights live music, dart. Well trained, friendly staff. Run under German management.
- J Bar. The place to be seen for young and hip Nepalis. Entrance varies but is often 500-1000 on Friday nights with 2 free drinks. Live DJs, sometimes from India or abroad. Behind Himalayan Java.
- Jessy Penny, Freak Street, , e-mail:[email protected]. A nice bar in Freak Street on several floors. Each floor has a its own atmosphere. It is also possible to have shishas at the first floor.
- Jump Club. Locals and ex-pats as well as tourist crowd; one of the few dance clubs in Kathmandu.
- Maya Cocktail Bar. 2-for-1 specials on mixed drinks at happy hour, 16:00-20:00 in this friendly spot. Next to Star Hotel.
- New Orleans Cafe. Opposite Kathmandu guest house, live music on many nights. Described by its manager as "the most happening place in Kathmandu". Make of that what you will!
- Pub Maya. Laid back sports bar version of Cocktail Bar. They have one decent TV with lots of channels so good place to watch sporting events. Free popcorn and 2-for-1 happy hour drinks.
- Tom and Jerry's Pub. A busy, fun bar with pool tables, a wide selection of cocktails and beers as well as friendly staff. Very much a tourist hang out. However avoided by local expats after several incidents with aggressive rats.
- Sam's A cozy nook upstairs with years of wisdom or random song lyrics scrawled on the walls. The usual drinks and usual ex-pat crowd.
- Tongues and Tales. Chilled, smoke-friendly cocktail bar with comfortable seating and good music. Upstairs, (look for the sign at the doorway) halfway downhill on the road between Hot Breads corner and Steak House street. A good place to hear about parties.
Safety in Kathmandu
Currently Nepal is safe to visit but caution must be taken. After the Maoists joined the government in about 2006, Nepal become relatively peaceful and more stable. However, visitors should avoid public demonstrations and may want to register with their consulate on arrival. Although tourists haven't been directly targeted by politically motivated violence, it is possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.The frequent strikes, locally known as bandh or banda, that are still held on occasion, are a major inconvenience for most tourists as all transportation stops, and many shops and restaurants close.
While in Kathmandu, always keep an eye on belongings. Violent crime is rare; pickpockets are not, especially in crowded places. If your hotel room door doesn't have a good lock or safe windows, store valuables on your person or in a hotel safety deposit box at all times. As with any large city, avoid walking alone in unlit areas.
- Water in Kathmandu borders on being lethal, and water borne diseases are rife. Do not, under any circumstances, drink from taps or consume salads and ice unless you are confident that the water used in their preparation has been filtered and boiled. Also, use boiled and filtered water for brushing teeth and avoid swallowing water when taking a shower. Circumstances may differ in private houses or one of the better hotels in Kathmandu.
- Food can be contaminated and some people suggest that you should eat only at larger restaurants.
- Vaccinations for rabies, tetanus, typhoid, and hepatitis are recommended prior to arriving in Kathmandu, and can take several months to complete. Tropical diseases such as Japanese encephalitis should be vaccinated against if you plan to travel outside of the Kathmandu Valley, towards the lowlands in the Terai. You may wish to take a malarial prophylaxis.