Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal and also home to one of the oldest temples Pashupatinath, is a city of peace and serenity. Set in the valleys of the great Himalayas, Kathmandu stands at a height of 4600 feet above sea level. The city used to be the home of aristocratic families of Nepal and also has been the royal capital of the kingdom of Nepal. You can do all sorts of activities ranging from having a spiritual experience in the famous and grand monasteries and temples of the city to packing your sports equipment to endeavor the adventures like mountain-climbing, bungee-jumping, and trekking. There are numerous reasons for you to visit this fantastic city, one of which also includes the fact that Kathmandu has been the epicenter of the cultural, economic and historical life of Nepal for decades. Unfortunately, many of the historical sites of the city suffered heavy damage from the 2015 earthquake but there are still amazing places such as the Durbar square and Patan Museum. There is something for everyone starting from shopping centers to trekking hills to majestic shrines and monasteries. Kathmandu surely offers you a great holiday with the experience of a lifetime and this travel guide will guide you for the same.
Situated in the north of Bagmati River and northwestern of the Kathmandu valley of Himalayas, the city has witnessed massive urbanization in the past decade and hence attracting the tourist attention even more. Spread in an area of 19.6 square miles and with a population of 2.5 million, Kathmandu is the hotspot of all the commercial and cultural activities of the country.
How to Reach There
Being the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu is well connected to the rest of the world Tribhuvan International airport operates flights from 30 international airlines including India as well as other parts of Asia and now even Amsterdam. You can book yourself and an Ethiad airline flight for a much more comfortable journey. There is no rail line between India and Kathmandu but there is one currently originating from Jainagar, India to Janakpur, Nepal which is a six-hour drive from Kathmandu. There are buses also available from Varanasi or Gorakhpur, India to the Nepalese border at Sunali from where you can take a local bus to the city. Now there is a direct bus also from New Delhi to Kathmandu which is usually a 30-hour journey. Most of the people prefer airways to reach the city and to avoid the discomforts of a tedious bus ride. The local transport is limited and slow but you want to see the real humming and hustling city life you can always board a bus or book a taxi to popular tourist sites.
Kathmandu has sub-tropical weather with warm days and nights much colder. It is a tourist destination that can be visited throughout the whole year but February to April usually experiences a major influx of tourists from all over the world. June is the hottest month while January being the coldest with an average temperature of 19.5° Celsius. The monsoon season starts from July and lasts till the end of September but there are chances of low precipitation all year. You can be lucky and see the snow also if you visit during August. About the humidity levels, the month of April is the most-dry and August are reported to have the most humid weather.
Best Time to Visit
The preferred time to take a Holiday to Kathmandu is usually from February to May when the climate is pleasant and charming. Another ideal window to visit the city is during the months from September to November, just before the extreme winters start to catch on.
Places to Visit
- Thamel: Being the oldest and most commercialized neighborhood in the city, Thamel Neighborhood also known as Tabitha Bahal, is a must-visit for all the tourists out there who want to savor all that delicious cuisine in its too fancy hotels and cafes.
- Durbar Square: Set in the heart of the city, it is an important landmark and also the place where the king was crowned. It was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO but shortly, it was devastated by the earthquake.
- Pashupatinath: This shrine, situated on the banks of Bagmati River, is the largest temple complex in the country and a most revered place for Hindus. This beautifully created temple was built in the 5th century for Lord Shiva by Mallas.
- Boudhanath Stupa: It was constructed in the 15th century and it is the largest Stupa in Nepal. The vibrant prayer flags and engravings make it a gorgeous sight to behold. It is a very sacred place for Buddhists.
- Patan: It is one of the most fantastic areas of the capital with a collection of many historical monuments and temples. The famous Durbar Square is also within its territory. It is a really great spot, especially for first-time visitors.
- Nagarkot: It is a top tourist venture in Kathmandu, famous for its natural beauty and panoramic scenes of the Himalayas. The ‘Sunset from Mount Everest’s view is the most popular here.
- Lumbini: It is considered as a place where King Siddhartha was born, who later became the founder of Buddhism. The area has many religious temples but the Maya Devi Temple is of most prominence.
- Royal Botanical Gardens: If you are too fed up with the busy and loud city life and want to time out in the serenity of nature and also learn about Nepal’s flora as well, this is the best place you can go for. The place has an orchid house, cactus house, and a coronation pond also.
Most of the accommodation options are located around the Thamel district of Kathmandu. But you have plenty of other options to go on also such as the guest house in Bhaktapur and Patan areas of the city. The overall condition of accommodations in Kathmandu is quite standard and you can also get a price drop on discount during the off-season.
If you want to please your taste buds with the delicious Nepali cuisine Kathmandu won’t disappoint you at all as it has many great and fancy food places like the Thamel districts and Old Freak Street where you will find many great restaurants and a lot more savoring dishes to try on. There are numerous special spots also such as Wunjala Moskva which is a very popular garden restaurant in the city.