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Everything You Need To Know Before You Go To Kathmandu


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Angelique Belden



Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal and a vibrant cultural hub nestled in the heart of the Himalayas. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and warm hospitality, Kathmandu offers an enchanting experience for every traveler. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast seeking trekking opportunities, a history buff eager to explore ancient temples, or a food lover ready to sample mouth-watering local cuisine, Kathmandu has something to offer to everyone.


Prepare to be mesmerized by the captivating sights and sounds of the city as you immerse yourself in its unique blend of tradition and modernity. From the bustling streets of Thamel, where you can find bustling markets and vibrant nightlife, to the serene ambiance of Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Kathmandu offers a seamless fusion of old-world charm and contemporary delights.


As you navigate through the narrow alleys and crowded bazaars, you’ll encounter smiling locals who embody the true spirit of Nepali culture. The city’s diverse population, encompassing various ethnic groups and religions, contributes to the kaleidoscope of experiences that await you in Kathmandu.


Whether you’re planning a short visit or a longer stay, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most of your time in Kathmandu. Gain insights into the best time to visit, visa requirements, transportation options, must-see attractions, local cuisine, safety tips, and much more. Prepare to embark on a memorable journey that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the breathtaking beauty and rich cultural heritage of Kathmandu.


Overview of Kathmandu

Situated in the Kathmandu Valley at an elevation of approximately 1,400 meters, Kathmandu is the largest and most populous city in Nepal. It serves as the cultural, political, and economic center of the country, with a history dating back thousands of years.


Known as the “City of Temples,” Kathmandu boasts an impressive array of religious and historical sites that showcase the country’s rich heritage. From iconic landmarks like the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple, to the ancient royal palaces of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square, the city is a treasure trove of architectural wonders.


Despite its rapid urbanization, Kathmandu has managed to retain its old-world charm. Exploring the city’s vibrant streets and bustling marketplaces offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals. From colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind to the aroma of incense wafting from temples, the city exudes a spiritual atmosphere that is both captivating and serene.


While the city itself is a delight, it also serves as a gateway to the majestic Himalayas. Kathmandu is the perfect base for embarking on trekking adventures to iconic destinations like the Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Langtang Valley, and many more.


Aside from its cultural and natural attractions, Kathmandu is also a hub of culinary delights. Indulge in authentic Nepali cuisine, which is a unique blend of flavors from India, Tibet, and the Himalayan regions. From momo (dumplings) and dal bhat (lentil soup with rice) to juicy grilled kebabs and savory Newari dishes, the city offers a wide range of culinary experiences that will tantalize your taste buds.


With its warm and welcoming people, stunning architecture, and breathtaking landscapes, Kathmandu promises to be an unforgettable destination for travelers seeking adventure, spirituality, and cultural immersion.


Best Time to Visit Kathmandu

Kathmandu experiences four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each season has its own unique charm and offers different opportunities for travelers.


The best time to visit Kathmandu is during the spring season from March to May. During this time, the weather is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The city is adorned with blooming flowers, especially the rhododendrons, creating a picturesque landscape. Spring is also the time when various festivals, such as Holi and Nepali New Year, take place, adding a vibrant and festive atmosphere to the city.


Another favorable time to visit Kathmandu is during the autumn season from September to November. The weather is clear and stable, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The skies are usually clear, offering stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. Autumn is also considered the best time for trekking and mountaineering in the region, as the trails are dry and the weather is favorable for outdoor activities.


Summer, from June to August, is the monsoon season in Kathmandu. The city experiences heavy rainfall, with occasional thunderstorms. While the rain can make sightseeing challenging, the season offers lush greenery and fewer crowds. If you don’t mind the rain and want to experience a quieter side of Kathmandu, you can still visit during this time. However, it is advisable to be prepared for wet weather and be flexible with your plans.


Winter, from December to February, can be quite cold in Kathmandu, with temperatures dropping below 5°C (41°F). However, if you enjoy cooler weather and fewer tourists, this can be a good time to visit. Winter also offers clear views of the mountains, especially in the early mornings.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Kathmandu depends on your preferences and the activities you have planned. Whether you want to enjoy the pleasant spring weather, trek in the autumn season, or experience a quieter Kathmandu during the monsoon or winter, the city offers something for every traveler throughout the year.


Visa Requirements

Before traveling to Kathmandu, it is important to understand the visa requirements for entry into Nepal. Here is a guide to help you navigate the visa process:


1. Tourist Visa: Most travelers visiting Kathmandu for tourism purposes will require a tourist visa. You can obtain a tourist visa upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu or at designated border entry points. The visa allows you to stay in Nepal for a maximum of 90 days in a calendar year.


2. Visa Application: To apply for a tourist visa, you will need to fill out the application form available at the airport or border entry points. It is advisable to bring a passport-sized photo and have the appropriate visa fee (USD or equivalent) in cash. You may also be asked to provide a proof of onward travel and accommodation details.


3. Visa Fees: The visa fees for tourists vary depending on the length of stay. As of 2021, the fees are USD 30 for 15 days, USD 50 for 30 days, and USD 125 for 90 days. Please note that these fees are subject to change, so it is recommended to check the latest information before your trip.


4. Visa Extension: If you wish to extend your stay beyond the initial 90 days, you can apply for a visa extension at the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu. It is advisable to start the extension process well in advance of your existing visa expiration date, as the process can take time.


5. Visa for Work or Study: If you plan to work or study in Kathmandu, you will need to obtain the respective visa category. These visas require additional documentation and are subject to specific requirements set by the government of Nepal.


6. Entry Restrictions: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, entry restrictions and additional visa requirements may be in place. It is important to check with the embassy or consulate of Nepal in your home country for the latest updates and travel advisories before your trip.


Remember to keep your passport and visa documents safe during your stay in Kathmandu. It is also recommended to make copies of your passport and visa for backup purposes. By understanding and complying with the visa requirements, you can ensure a smooth entry into Kathmandu and fully enjoy your time in this captivating city.


Currency and Exchange

The official currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). When visiting Kathmandu, it is important to familiarize yourself with the local currency and understand the exchange process. Here is what you need to know:


1. Exchange Rate: The exchange rate of the Nepalese Rupee can vary, so it is advisable to check the current rate before exchanging your currency. You can find exchange services at banks, authorized money changers, and some hotels in Kathmandu.


2. Accepted Currencies: While the official currency is the Nepalese Rupee, major foreign currencies such as the US Dollar, Euro, and British Pound are widely accepted in Kathmandu. However, it is recommended to carry small denominations and local currency for smaller transactions and in more remote areas.


3. ATMs and Credit Cards: ATMs are readily available in Kathmandu, and most of them accept international debit and credit cards. It is advisable to notify your bank in advance about your travel plans to Nepal to avoid any issues with card transactions. Credit cards are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, and larger stores in the city.


4. Exchange Facilities: Banks and authorized exchange centers are the most reliable places to exchange your currency in Kathmandu. Avoid exchanging money at unauthorized places or with street vendors, as they may offer unfavorable rates or counterfeit currency.


5. Currency Denominations: The Nepalese Rupee comes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000. It is advisable to keep smaller denomination notes for daily expenses and carry larger notes for emergencies or larger purchases.


6. Traveler’s Cheques: Traveler’s cheques are not widely accepted in Kathmandu, and it can be challenging to find places to cash them. It is recommended to carry cash or use ATMs and credit cards for convenience.


7. Tipping: Tipping is not customary in Nepal, but it is appreciated for exceptional service. In restaurants, a 10% service charge may already be added to the bill. If you wish to show appreciation to guides, drivers, or hotel staff, a small tip can be offered as a gesture of gratitude.


Remember to keep track of your expenses and exchange rates to avoid any discrepancies. It is also advisable to carry a mix of cash, credit cards, and small denomination notes for convenience during your stay in Kathmandu.


Languages Spoken

Kathmandu, being the capital city of Nepal, is a melting pot of different ethnic groups and languages. While the official language is Nepali, there are several other languages spoken in the city. Here are the key languages you may encounter during your visit to Kathmandu:


1. Nepali: Nepali is the official language of Nepal and is widely spoken in Kathmandu. It is the language of communication in government offices, schools, and business establishments. Learning a few basic Nepali phrases can greatly enhance your interactions with locals and show your appreciation for the culture.


2. English: English is widely understood in Kathmandu, especially in areas frequented by tourists, such as hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies. Many Nepali people, particularly those involved in the tourism industry, speak English fluently. You should have no trouble communicating in English while exploring the city.


3. Newari: Newari is an indigenous language spoken by the Newar community, who are the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. It is also recognized as a regional language in Nepal. When visiting historic areas like Bhaktapur or Patan, you may come across locals speaking Newari.


4. Tibetan Languages: Due to the proximity to the Tibetan border, Tibetan languages like Tibetan, Sherpa, and Tamang are also spoken in some communities in Kathmandu. These languages are primarily used by ethnic groups with Tibetan ancestry.


5. Hindi and other regional languages: Hindi, as the national language of neighboring India, is understood by some locals in Kathmandu, especially those involved in cross-border trade and commerce. Additionally, there are various regional languages spoken by ethnic groups native to different parts of Nepal, such as Maithili, Bhojpuri, and Tharu.


While knowing the local language can enhance your cultural experience, you will find that English is widely used and can serve as a common means of communication in Kathmandu. Most signage, menus, and transportation information are also available in English. However, learning a few basic greetings and phrases in Nepali can go a long way in connecting with the local community and enriching your experience in Kathmandu.


Transportation in Kathmandu

Kathmandu offers a range of transportation options for getting around the city and exploring its surrounding areas. Here are the main forms of transportation available in Kathmandu:


1. Taxis: Taxis are a convenient way to navigate the city. You can easily find taxis in Kathmandu, and they can be hailed on the streets or arranged through your hotel. It is advisable to negotiate the fare or insist on using the meter before starting the journey.


2. Rickshaws: Rickshaws, also known as cycle rickshaws, are a common mode of transportation in Kathmandu. They are particularly useful for short distances or navigating through narrow streets in crowded areas. Agree on the fare in advance or make sure the driver is using a meter.


3. Public Buses: Public buses are the most affordable mode of transportation in Kathmandu. They operate on various routes within the city and to neighboring towns. However, be prepared for crowded buses and a lack of fixed schedules. It’s best to ask locals or your hotel for information on the correct bus for your destination.


4. Micro Buses: Micro buses are smaller versions of public buses and are a popular choice among locals for commuting within the city. They cover both short and long distances and can be a more comfortable alternative to regular buses, especially during peak hours.


5. Scooters and Motorcycles: Renting a scooter or motorcycle can be a convenient option for exploring Kathmandu and its surroundings. Many rental companies offer daily or weekly rates, and you will need to provide a copy of your passport and an international driving license.


6. Bicycles: Cycling is a popular way to explore Kathmandu, particularly in less crowded areas like Bhaktapur or the outskirts of the city. You can easily rent bicycles from shops or through your accommodation.


7. Walking: Exploring the city on foot is a great way to soak in the local atmosphere and discover hidden gems. Many of the major attractions in Kathmandu, such as Durbar Square and Thamel, are easily accessible by foot.


It is important to note that Kathmandu’s traffic can be congested, and driving can be challenging for visitors due to the chaotic nature of the roads. If you are not comfortable driving on your own, hiring a local guide or driver can be a good option for getting around.


Whether you choose to navigate the city by taxi, rickshaw, public transportation, or on foot, transportation options in Kathmandu are diverse and cater to various budgets and preferences. Take your time to plan your transportation accordingly and enjoy the unique experience of getting around Kathmandu.


Accommodation Options

Kathmandu offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays, you’ll find something that fits your needs. Here are the main types of accommodations you can find in Kathmandu:


1. Hotels: Kathmandu has a plethora of hotels ranging from budget-friendly options to upscale establishments. You can find international chain hotels, boutique hotels, and traditional Nepali-style hotels. These hotels offer various amenities such as comfortable rooms, restaurants, Wi-Fi, and additional services like spas and swimming pools.


2. Guesthouses: Guesthouses are a popular choice among budget travelers in Kathmandu. They provide affordable and basic accommodation, usually with private or shared bathrooms. Guesthouses offer a more intimate and homely atmosphere where you can interact with other travelers and receive personalized attention from the hosts.


3. Hostels: Hostels are a great option for solo travelers or those on a tight budget. They offer dormitory-style accommodations with shared facilities, including kitchens and common areas. Hostels in Kathmandu are known for their social atmosphere and provide opportunities to meet fellow travelers from around the world.


4. Resorts: If you’re looking for a luxurious and tranquil stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city, consider staying in one of the resorts in the outskirts of Kathmandu. These resorts provide a serene environment, often surrounded by nature and offering facilities like spas, yoga retreats, and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.


5. Homestays: For an immersive cultural experience, you can opt for a homestay in a local Nepali family’s home. Homestays allow you to live with a host family, experience their daily life, and learn about the local culture firsthand. This type of accommodation offers a unique opportunity to interact with locals and gain a deeper understanding of Nepali traditions.


It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. You can use online booking platforms or seek recommendations from fellow travelers or travel agencies. Consider the location, amenities, and reviews when choosing your accommodation in Kathmandu.


Whether you prefer the comfort of a hotel, the communal vibe of a hostel, or the immersion of a homestay, Kathmandu caters to all types of travelers. Choose the option that aligns with your preferences and budget to make your stay in Kathmandu a comfortable and memorable one.


Must-See Attractions in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a city steeped in history and culture, offering a plethora of must-see attractions for visitors. From ancient temples and palaces to vibrant marketplaces and serene UNESCO World Heritage Sites, here are some of the top attractions in Kathmandu:


1. Kathmandu Durbar Square: Located in the heart of the city, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to several palaces, temples, and courtyards that reflect the architectural grandeur and richness of Nepal’s history.


2. Pashupatinath Temple: Situated on the banks of the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu temples in Nepal. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts devotees from around the world. The temple complex also serves as a cremation site for Hindus.


3. Boudhanath Stupa: Boudhanath is one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sacred site is a significant pilgrimage destination for Buddhists and offers a serene atmosphere for prayer, meditation, and exploration of Tibetan Buddhist culture.


4. Swayambhunath Temple: Also known as the “Monkey Temple,” Swayambhunath is an iconic religious site situated atop a hill. It offers panoramic views of the city and is adorned with prayer flags, ancient shrines, and a majestic stupa.


5. Bhaktapur Durbar Square: Located in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, just outside Kathmandu, Bhaktapur Durbar Square is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It showcases exquisite Newari architecture, intricately carved wooden structures, and well-preserved ancient palaces.


6. Garden of Dreams: A peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, the Garden of Dreams offers a tranquil escape from the bustling streets of Kathmandu. Designed in neoclassical and European architectural style, the garden features lush greenery, pavilions, fountains, and a serene atmosphere.


7. Thamel: The vibrant neighborhood of Thamel is a must-visit for travelers looking for shopping, dining, and nightlife. It is known for its lively street markets, shops selling traditional crafts and trekking gear, as well as a wide selection of restaurants and bars.


8. Narayanhiti Palace Museum: Once the royal palace, the Narayanhiti Palace has been converted into a museum. It provides a glimpse into Nepal’s royal history, with exhibits showcasing the opulent lifestyle of the monarchy.


These are just a few of the many incredible attractions that Kathmandu has to offer. Exploring these historical sites, immersing yourself in the local culture, and witnessing the spiritual fervor of the city will leave you with a deep appreciation for the rich heritage and beauty of Kathmandu.


Local Cuisine and Dining Options

Kathmandu is a paradise for food lovers, offering a diverse range of culinary delights that reflect the rich flavors of Nepali cuisine. From traditional dishes to international fare, the city caters to all taste buds. Here’s a glimpse into the local cuisine and dining options in Kathmandu:


1. Dal Bhat: The quintessential Nepali meal, dal bhat, consists of lentil soup (dal), rice (bhat), and various side dishes like vegetables, pickles, and curries. It is a staple dish and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Dal bhat can be found in nearly every restaurant in Kathmandu.


2. Momo: Momo, a type of dumpling, is a popular street food in Kathmandu. These bite-sized delights are filled with meat (such as chicken, buffalo, or pork) or vegetables and served with spicy dipping sauces. Momo comes in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, making it a must-try dish in the city.


3. Newari Cuisine: Newari cuisine is unique to the Kathmandu Valley and is renowned for its rich flavors and spices. Indulge in Newari specialties like kwati (a mixed bean soup), bara (a lentil pancake), and yomari (a sweet rice flour dumpling filled with molasses).


4. Thakali Cuisine: Originating from the Thak Kali community of the Annapurna region, Thakali cuisine is a popular choice among food enthusiasts. Thakali thali, a platter featuring dal, rice, curries, pickles, and roti, is a hearty and flavorful meal worth trying.


5. Street Food: Kathmandu is a haven for street food lovers. Wander through the bustling streets to sample treats like samosa (a deep-fried pastry filled with spicy potato or meat), sekuwa (grilled meat skewers), and chatamari (a rice flour crepe topped with various toppings).


6. International Cuisine: Kathmandu also offers a wide range of international cuisine to cater to diverse tastes. From Indian and Chinese to Italian and Thai, you can find restaurants serving a variety of international dishes. Thamel, in particular, is known for its abundance of international dining options.


7. Tea and Coffee: Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in one of the quaint tea houses or cafes in Kathmandu. Nepali tea, especially the popular milk tea or masala tea, is a perfect way to unwind and experience the local flavors.


When dining in Kathmandu, remember to try out local eateries and small restaurants to experience the authentic flavors of Nepali cuisine. Keep an open mind and be adventurous in exploring the culinary delights that the city has to offer.


Safety Tips

Kathmandu is a relatively safe city for travelers, but it’s always important to take precautions to ensure your safety and well-being. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind when visiting Kathmandu:


1. Be Mindful of Your Belongings: Like in any other city, it’s important to be mindful of your belongings and keep them secure. Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or valuables, and be cautious when carrying bags or using electronic devices in crowded areas.


2. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings: Keep an eye on your surroundings, especially in busy tourist areas and crowded markets. Stay vigilant and be attentive to your personal space to avoid any potential pickpocketing incidents.


3. Use Reliable and Licensed Transportation: When using taxis or public transportation, opt for reliable and licensed operators. If possible, request taxis through registered companies or use transportation services recommended by your hotel to ensure your safety.


4. Take Precautions with Street Food: While street food in Kathmandu is delicious, it’s important to be cautious with your choices. Stick to stalls that have good hygiene practices and high customer turnover to minimize any risk of foodborne illnesses.


5. Stay Hydrated and Use Purified Water: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in Kathmandu’s higher altitude. It is advisable to drink bottled or filtered water to avoid any waterborne diseases. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it with purified water as needed.


6. Be Prepared for Altitude Sickness: If you plan to trek or engage in activities at higher altitudes, like visiting nearby mountains, be aware of the risk of altitude sickness. Take necessary precautions, acclimate slowly, and consult with a medical professional if you have any concerns.


7. Follow Local Customs and Cultural Sensitivities: Respect the local customs, traditions, and religious practices. Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and religious sites, and remove footwear as required. Seek permission before taking photographs of people or religious icons.


8. Stay Updated on Travel Advisories: Before your trip, check the latest travel advisories and stay informed about any potential safety concerns or updates. It is advisable to register your travel plans with your embassy or consulate for emergency purposes.


By following these safety tips and using common sense, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in Kathmandu. Remember, it’s always better to be cautious and prepared to ensure a smooth and memorable journey in this beautiful city.


Cultural Etiquette

When visiting Kathmandu, it is important to respect the local culture and customs. Nepali people are generally warm and welcoming, and by observing cultural etiquette, you can make a positive impression and enhance your experience. Here are some essential cultural etiquette tips to keep in mind:


1. Greetings: Nepali people greet each other with the traditional “Namaste” accompanied by a slight bow and palms pressed together. Return the greeting with a smile and reciprocate the gesture as a sign of respect.


2. Dress Modestly: When visiting temples, religious sites, and rural areas, it is important to dress modestly. Both men and women should avoid wearing revealing clothing or shorts. Women, in particular, should have their shoulders and knees covered as a sign of respect.


3. Respect Religious Sites: When visiting temples and religious sites, follow the local customs and guidelines. Remove your shoes before entering, be mindful of your behavior, and avoid touching religious artifacts or statues unless permitted to do so.


4. Ask for Permission: Seek permission before taking photographs of people, particularly when photographing locals or religious icons. It is important to be respectful of people’s privacy and cultural sensitivities.


5. Consider Use of the Left Hand: In Nepali culture, the left hand is traditionally considered unclean. It’s best to use your right hand for eating, passing objects, or shaking hands. However, be mindful that some left-handed individuals may use their left hand, and it is important to respect their preference.


6. Be Polite: Practice politeness and humility in your interactions with locals. Use “please” and “thank you” as appropriate, and show appreciation for the hospitality and kindness extended by Nepali people.


7. Mind Your Voice: Avoid raising your voice or speaking loudly, especially in public places or religious sites. Maintain a calm and respectful demeanor in all your interactions.


8. Be Mindful of Cultural Sensitivities: Respect the cultural sensitivities surrounding topics such as politics, religion, and social issues. Engage in discussions with an open mind and avoid making derogatory comments or judgments.


By practicing cultural etiquette, you can show respect for the local customs and traditions of Kathmandu. Embrace the opportunity to learn about Nepali culture and engage with the local community, and your interactions will be more enriching and meaningful.


Shopping in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide array of unique traditional crafts, handmade textiles, and souvenirs that reflect the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. From bustling street markets to upscale boutiques, here’s a guide to shopping in Kathmandu:


1. Thamel: Thamel is the heart of Kathmandu’s shopping scene. Its vibrant streets are lined with shops selling everything from handicrafts and clothing to trekking gear and souvenirs. Explore the narrow alleys and bustling markets to find traditional Tibetan carpets, intricate metalwork, prayer flags, singing bowls, and colorful clothing.


2. Durbar Square Area: The Durbar Square area in Kathmandu is not only home to historic palaces and temples but also a hub for shopping. Here, you can find shops specializing in traditional Newari crafts, wood carvings, sculptures, and silver jewelry.


3. Local Markets: Don’t miss out on the vibrant local markets where you can experience the authentic local atmosphere. Asan Bazaar is a bustling market known for its wide range of spices, dried fruits, and local snacks. Indra Chowk is famous for its colorful textiles, beads, and traditional clothing.


4. Boutiques and Handicraft Shops: For high-quality handicrafts and designer goods, head to Patan and Bhaktapur. These cities, located in the Kathmandu Valley, are renowned for their fine craftsmanship. Explore the narrow streets and alleyways to find exquisite pottery, intricate metalwork, handmade paper products, and authentic works of art.


5. Fair Trade Shops: Kathmandu is home to numerous fair trade shops that specialize in ethically sourced and sustainable products. These shops offer a range of handcrafted items, including textiles, accessories, homeware, and organic products. Shopping at fair trade shops supports local artisans and ensures fair wages and working conditions.


6. Street Vendors and Artisans: Keep an eye out for street vendors and artisans selling their crafts and artwork in popular tourist areas. You may find hand-knitted sweaters, handmade jewelry, paintings, and unique handicrafts created by skilled local artisans.


7. Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in Kathmandu’s markets and smaller shops. Don’t hesitate to negotiate the price, but remember to do it respectfully and with a smile. It’s all part of the shopping experience, so embrace the art of bargaining while shopping in Kathmandu.


When shopping in Kathmandu, be mindful of your budget and the authenticity of the products. Look for shops that have a reputation for selling genuine and high-quality items. Take your time to explore the markets, interact with the local artisans, and bring home unique treasures that will remind you of your incredible time in Kathmandu.


Outdoor Activities and Adventure Sports

Kathmandu’s stunning natural surroundings and proximity to the majestic Himalayas make it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Here are some thrilling outdoor activities and exhilarating adventure sports you can experience in and around Kathmandu:


1. Trekking: Embark on a trekking adventure to explore the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayas. Popular trekking routes like the Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit, and Langtang Valley Trek offer stunning vistas, tranquil mountain villages, and a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Nepal.


2. White Water Rafting: Experience the adrenaline rush of white water rafting in the rivers of Nepal. The Trishuli, Seti, and Bhote Koshi rivers near Kathmandu are popular for thrilling rapids that cater to both beginners and experienced rafters.


3. Mountain Biking: Explore the rugged terrains and picturesque trails around Kathmandu on a mountain bike. Traverse through lush forests, charming villages, and ancient temples as you immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Kathmandu Valley.


4. Paragliding: Soar through the skies and enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas with a paragliding adventure. The Pokhara Valley, a few hours’ drive from Kathmandu, is a renowned destination for paragliding, offering a thrilling experience amid stunning mountain landscapes.


5. Bungee Jumping: Take a leap of faith and experience the thrill of bungee jumping. The Last Resort, located near the Nepal-Tibet border, offers one of the world’s most spectacular bungee jumping experiences, with a plunge from a suspension bridge over a deep gorge.


6. Rock Climbing: Test your strength and agility with rock climbing in the cliffs surrounding Kathmandu. Nagarjun Forest and Hattiban are popular rock climbing sites, offering diverse routes for both beginners and experienced climbers.


7. Jungle Safari: Head to Chitwan National Park or Bardia National Park for a memorable jungle safari experience. Explore the wilderness on an elephant-back ride or a jeep safari, spot exotic wildlife including rhinos and tigers, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Nepal’s wildlife sanctuaries.


8. Hiking and Nature Walks: Enjoy leisurely hikes and nature walks in the lush hills and forests surrounding Kathmandu. Explore the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, Chandragiri Hills, or Nagarjuna Forest Reserve for serene trails, birdwatching opportunities, and breathtaking views of the Kathmandu Valley.


When participating in outdoor activities and adventure sports, always prioritize safety. Choose reputable operators, follow instructions and guidelines provided by professionals, and ensure that you are adequately equipped with the right gear. Indulging in these thrilling experiences will not only get your adrenaline pumping but also create lifelong memories of your time in Kathmandu.


Health and Medical Facilities

Kathmandu offers a range of health and medical facilities to cater to the needs of travelers. Here’s some important information to ensure you stay healthy during your visit:


1. Travel Insurance: It is highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and repatriation. Make sure you carry the necessary documents and contact information for your insurance provider.


2. Vaccinations: Before traveling to Kathmandu, consult with a healthcare professional or a travel clinic to ensure you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations. You may also need vaccines such as Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Tetanus. Malaria precautions may be necessary if you plan to visit certain regions outside of Kathmandu.


3. Medical Facilities: Kathmandu has several reputable hospitals and medical centers that provide a wide range of healthcare services. Some well-known hospitals in Kathmandu include the Nepal Mediciti Hospital, Norvic International Hospital, and Grande International Hospital. These hospitals have modern facilities and experienced medical professionals who can provide quality care.


4. Pharmacies: There are numerous pharmacies in Kathmandu where you can purchase over-the-counter medications and basic medical supplies. Popular pharmacies include Alka Pharmacy, Universal Pharmacy, and Medicare Pharmacy. Make sure to carry any essential medications with you, and check the expiry dates of medications before purchasing them locally.


5. Altitude Sickness: If you plan to trek or visit higher altitude areas near Kathmandu, be aware of the risk of altitude sickness. It is important to acclimatize properly, stay hydrated, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or pre-existing medical conditions.


6. Food and Water Safety: To prevent gastrointestinal issues, it is advisable to drink bottled or purified water. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked food and fruits and vegetables that may have been washed with tap water. Stick to freshly prepared hot meals and eat at reputable establishments.


7. Safety Precautions: Take necessary precautions to prevent minor health issues and injuries. Carry a basic first-aid kit, including items like band-aids, antiseptic ointment, and pain relievers, for minor ailments. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, and stay hydrated throughout the day.


In case of any medical emergency, dial the emergency services hotline number, 102, or seek assistance from your hotel staff or local authorities. They can guide you to the nearest medical facility or provide necessary support.


By taking basic health precautions, seeking necessary medical advice, and being prepared, you can ensure a safer and healthier experience during your time in Kathmandu. Enjoy your trip and make lasting memories while prioritizing your well-being.


Essential Packing List

When planning your trip to Kathmandu, it’s important to pack wisely to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here’s a list of essentials to consider packing for your trip:


1. Appropriate Clothing: Pack clothing suitable for the season and the activities you plan to engage in. Layered clothing is recommended, as temperatures can vary throughout the day. Include items like lightweight and breathable shirts, long-sleeved tops, pants, a light jacket, a warm sweater or fleece, and a waterproof outer layer.


2. Comfortable Walking Shoes: Invest in a good pair of comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, especially if you plan to trek or explore the city on foot. Kathmandu’s uneven terrain and cobblestone streets require sturdy footwear to ensure comfort and safety.


3. Daypack: A small daypack is essential for carrying your daily essentials such as a water bottle, camera, snacks, sunscreen, and any additional layers of clothing. A backpack with padded straps and back support is recommended for added comfort.


4. Travel Adapter: Nepal uses Type C, Type D, and Type M plugs, so consider bringing a universal travel adapter to charge your electronic devices.


5. Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle. It’s advisable to drink bottled or purified water and refill your bottle as needed to minimize single-use plastic waste.


6. Basic First-Aid Kit: Carry a small first-aid kit with essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, insect repellent, and any necessary prescription medications you may require.


7. Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the strong sun with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. The higher altitude of Kathmandu increases the risk of sunburn, so be prepared with appropriate sun protection measures.


8. Travel Documents: Carry a photocopy or digital copy of your passport, visa, travel insurance, and other important documents. Keep the originals in a safe place, such as a hotel safe, and have a digital backup in case of loss or theft.


9. Reusable Bags: Carry a foldable reusable bag or tote to reduce plastic waste and for any shopping you may do during your time in Kathmandu.


10. Cash and Cards: Carry a mix of cash (Nepalese Rupees) and an international debit/credit card. ATMs are available in Kathmandu, but it’s advisable to have some cash on hand for smaller establishments that may not accept cards.


Remember to pack according to the season and activities you have planned. Check the weather forecast before your trip to help guide your packing decisions. By being prepared and packing the essential items, you’ll ensure a more comfortable and enjoyable time in Kathmandu.



Kathmandu, the vibrant capital city of Nepal, offers a unique blend of history, culture, adventure, and natural beauty. From exploring ancient temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to embarking on thrilling treks in the Himalayas, Kathmandu has something for every traveler. This comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights and information to make your visit to Kathmandu a memorable one.


Plan your trip according to the best time to visit, understand visa requirements, and familiarize yourself with the local currency. Respect the local customs and cultural etiquette, and make an effort to learn a few basic Nepali greetings to connect with the friendly locals. Take necessary precautions for your safety, including being mindful of your belongings and following health and hygiene practices.


Experience the local cuisine and explore the vibrant markets to shop for unique handicrafts and souvenirs. Engage in outdoor activities and adventure sports, whether it’s trekking through stunning landscapes, experiencing the thrill of paragliding, or discovering the wildlife in national parks.


Remember to take care of your health by staying hydrated, protecting yourself from the sun, and being proactive with vaccinations and travel insurance. Pack wisely with essential items such as appropriate clothing, comfortable shoes, a daypack, and a reusable water bottle.


As you immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Kathmandu, keep an open mind and embrace the warmth and hospitality of the Nepali people. Capture the breathtaking moments, create lasting memories, and cherish the unique experiences that Kathmandu has to offer.


Prepare to be captivated by the beauty of Kathmandu as you delve into its rich cultural tapestry, embark on thrilling adventures, and connect with the local community. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or an adrenaline seeker, Kathmandu will leave you with a profound appreciation for its traditions, landscapes, and the resilient spirit of the Nepali people. Enjoy your journey and savor every moment in this enchanting city!