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Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal

rickshaw nepal

Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal: Taking a Rickshaw in Thamel

Mon- Sept 29: Kathmandu (Thamel, Bodnath, Swayambuth Stupa, Chobhar)

I met with Theo, the head of my resort in Le Chobhar. He’s sending their driver over for me today. I’ve already negotiated a rate with the driver, to take me sightseeing.


Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal

I like to dedicate one day to sightseeing all the famous landmarks, so that I can spend the rest of my trip wandering and creating unique experiences. When you’re traveling with others, you’re always compromising your agenda. Now, I have the day’s agenda, all to myself!

Take advantage of Nepalese Festivals

There are two more things to know about Nepali people: they LOVE to shop and have a love for celebrating festivals!  Thamel with its winding maze of streets is like a one-stop shop for both, tourists and locals.

It is said that festival time is a time of great traffic and people flood the markets as sales signs come out advertising “festival discount”. Currently, in Nepal everyone’s getting ready for Dushain festival.

Crowded streets in thamel
Crowded streets in thamel

kite seller nepal
Kite seller sells kites for the festival celebration

sales in Thamel
Festival sales in Thamel


Wanna buy some cheap NorthFace hiking gear? Or need a Lonely Planet guide? Kathmandu is home of some of the best knock-offs.

But tne thing the Nepalese have are killer seamstresses, who can repair or sew anything you want.  Stroll through the market areas and you’ll find buy some inexpensive funky Nepalese apparel sold in the U.S. for $40+  It’s insane how lovely and fun the craftwork and apparel is there.

Shop of slippers Things to do in Kathmandu: Shop for Slippers in Kathmandu

Durbar Square

Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage site and used to be the plaza of the royal palaces. Today, it’s used as marketplace. The ancient architecture is still there and there’s an government entry fee that foreigners must pay to get in. It’s opportune to visit during festivals and events; although it will be crowded. There are ticket booths at both entrances.

The best view comes at the cost of chai. Dine or take your afternoon chai at one of the Durbar Square rooftop restaurants.

durbar square
Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal:  A view of Durbar Square

durbar square
Visiting Durbar Square in Kathmandu

durbar square market palce

Visiting Durbar Square Marketplace in Kathmandu

spice dealers
Spice dealers at Durbar Square
spice dealers

durbar square at nightdurbar square at night


Getting to Bodnath stupa will require a car/driver. It’s a little outside of Thamel but still in Kathmandu. The giant stupa is impressive and you’ll find many monks and monk restaurants in the area for further exploration.

The Bodnath complex itself, is disappointingly lined with tourist souvenir shops. But the stupa makes the visit worthwhile.

Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal: Visit Bodnath

prayer wheels

buddhist monks

The Monkey Temple or Swayambuth Stupa

The temple is a five to ten minute drive outside of Thamel. This is the one temple I HAD to go to. They don’t call it Monkey Temple for nothing.  There are monkey everywhere- hanging from trees, sitting upon statues and monuments, crossing your footsteps…

Climb to the top of the 1,000 stairs, you’ll find a giant golden stupa decorated with prayer wheels and a prize view of Kathmandu.

(click here for video)

monkey temple nepal Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal: Visit the monkey temple in Kathmandu, Nepal       monkey temple  Monkeys are everywhere at the Monkey Temple, Kathmandu

Eat Momos

Momos… I’ve never tasted dumplings which tasted so good. Another top things to do in Kathmandu is to eat momos. Momos are Nepalese dumplings commonly sold on the streets for cheap and in large quantities. Don’t worry, as a hungry traveler, you’ll be able to down them all. But if not, I’m sure you’ll have a hungry stranger next to you to share them with. They have both meat and veggie momos.


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