Kathmandu is a city with beautiful scenic mountain views and ancient culture. There are many things to see and do in Kathmandu, Nepal. The following are some of the best things that you can do while in Kathmandu.
Visit Durbar Square – Located around the old royal palace, Durbar Square has wide paved streets and winding lanes bordered by intricately carved wooden windows, temples, courtyards and monuments to Hindu gods. Durbar Square makes up the center of Kathmandu and is a must see. The popular tourist attraction includes a collection of museums including the Royal Museum, Royal Academy and Buddha Museum. Five temples in the area are free to visit with no entrance fee.
Visit Pashupatinath Temple – Pashupatinath is known as the gate to Nepal, and features an impressive temple complex dedicated to Hinduism’s most important gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. English-speaking guides are highly recommended for entrance to the complex.
Trek to Chomrung Gompa – Located on a steep hillside, Chomrung Gompa was constructed in the mid-1300s by a Buddhist monk named Kesang Gyatso. This monastery contains some of the oldest frescoes and mural paintings in Nepal, many of which depict scenes from the life of Buddha. Easily accessible from Kathmandu, this is an excellent and relaxing day trip.
Visit Thamel – Thamel is a tourist district in the city that has shops selling traditional Nepali clothing and crafts, local restaurants, cafes and guest houses with clean facilities. It’s also where you can find many of the main tour companies located.
Try elephant rides – Most tour companies offer elephant rides throughout Kathmandu but some of the best are at Chhetrapati (the Hindu royal palace) where they are trained by local people. These tours can last up to two hours, while others are half hour rides available close by.
Visit Buddha Park – The peculiar sculpture garden in Kathmandu is filled with 300 stone statues of the Buddha. The park also has a pagoda that was built in 1656. A notable point about this park is that it is home to the world’s tallest Hanuman statue (14 meter) and the largest reclining Buddha (16 meter).
Take an Old City Tour – Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and many foreign visitors will want to experience what it’s like in this ancient city. Old city tours are available with an English-speaking guide that will take you around the city to its many temples, monasteries and statues and give you a good history lesson of this place.
Visit Swayambunath Temple – The most famous Buddhist shrine in Kathmandu is the Swayambunath Temple that sits atop of a hill overlooking Kathmandu. The monument is also known as the Monkey Temple because it’s filled with monkeys that freely roam the grounds. You can climb the 248 stairs to reach the top and see the holy Buddhist shrines.
Ride an old tuk-tuk – If you’re in Kathmandu, you’ll want to take a ride in an old fashioned tuk-tuk. These three-wheeled taxis that have been around since the 1950s are lots of fun and a local experience that is hard to pass up. Most of the tours will take you around the city and give a history lesson of Kathmandu.
Take a tour to see the Viewing Platform – If you are in Kathmandu during sunset, consider hiking up to Point Bishnumati. There is a viewing platform there that lets you view all of Kathmandu and the surrounding area below. Getting to Point Bishnumati can be a challenge, but it’s well worth the effort and it’s different from any other place in Nepal.
Pokhara is a beautiful calm city that is popular with tourists because of its location close to many highly ranked hiking trails that are located in the nearby Annapurna and Himalaya mountains. Pokhara is also known for the world’s third largest lake that locals call “Phewa Tal”, which is situated at the bottom of a deep valley. Pokhara can be visited year-round and offers many activities to do all throughout the year.
Go hiking – Hiking is a popular thing to do in Pokhara with many trails available that are easily accessed from the city. Some of the best are: Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Ghandruk, and Cho La. Hiking is a must do when you are in Pokhara as walking through the mountains makes for an excellent day trip.
Visit the Pokhara Lake – This lake, also called Phewa Tal, is located in a deep valley which you can see when you take a ride on the Sub Train. It’s believed that this lake was created by a mythical Nepalese princess Chewang Norbu in the last year of her life. It’s said that she was so sad about her husband leaving her that she melted into the ground and created this beautiful lake.
Visit Baglung – This small town in the Everest region is one of the best places to see how the people of Nepal live. Baglung also has a beautiful monastery and is another great place to hike or unwind.
Visit one of the many adventure activities – There are a number of adventure activities in Pokhara that you can indulge yourself in. Some of these include whitewater rafting, kayaking, tandem mountain biking, bungee jumping, and more.
Chitwan National Park is one of the largest national parks in Nepal and it also happens to be one of the most popular animal parks in the world. The national park is located about three hours south of Kathmandu and has become a popular place to visit because of all of the wildlife that can be seen roaming around freely. Over 280 species and sub-species of animals have been recorded in this park, including rhinoceroses, Bengal tigers, Asiatic elephants, leopards, deer, crocodiles, and many more. Chitwan also has a beautiful landscape with many temples, lakes, and monuments.
Bardia National Park is a special place because it’s the birthplace of many wild animals, including the aforementioned rhinoceroses. Bardia National Park is also a particularly beautiful place with many trees and plants growing all around. There are also ruins from ancient times and temples that are still in use today. Bardia has more than 300 species and sub-species of animals, including elephants, Bengal tigers, water buffaloes, deer, and crocodiles.