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Top Places To Visit in Kathmandu

Published: 5th Feb, 2020

Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and many more are among the top places to visit in Kathmandu.

The primary motivation for visiting Kathmandu’s capital city is to observe its cultural diversity and historical architectural phenomena. This capital city is a melting pot of diverse cultures and ethnicities. In this place, visit the biggest Stupas to experience the vibes of Tibetan culture. Also, Hindu culture is on full display at the sacred temples of Kathmandu City. Your visit to the medieval Durbar Squares will bring you up close to historical architecture, intricate carvings, and palaces.

This makes Kathmandu City one of the best places to visit in Nepal.

Here are the top places to visit in Kathmandu during your Nepal trip.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

This is one of the first tourist attractions in Nepal and ranks high among the top places to visit in Kathmandu. It is the place where the kings were crowned and legitimized. As there are no more glorious coronation ceremonies, it is still the traditional heart of the old town and a spectacular legacy of traditional architecture.

Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu
Kathmandu Durbar Square

Teeming, touristic Kathmandu Durbar Square is the natural place to begin a sightseeing tour. The fascinating Royal Palace (Durbar), running along the eastern edge of the cobbled square, takes up more space than all the other monuments combined. The historical monuments you see here date from the 17th and 18th centuries. Kumari Chowk, home of Kathmandu’s “living goddesses”, overlooks from the south.

Kumari " Living Goddesses in Nepal" will greet tourist during sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kumari ” Living Goddesses”

The sprawling Old Royal Palace is now called Hanuman Dhoka. The oldest wing of this Durbar date from the mid-sixteenth century. Entering inside the Hanuman Dhoka, a brightly decorated doorway, is named after the monkey-god Hanuman, whose massive statue stands outside. After entering on your left stands, a masterful sculpture of another Vishnu incarnation, the man-lion Narasingh, tearing apart a demon.

Furthermore, the courtyard in the central courtyard is large and used to provide coronations to previous kings, and there are beautifully carved wooden doorways, windows, and struts.

At the southern end of Durbar Square stands the Kumari Chowk – the house of “ living goddesses“.

Non-Hindus are prohibited past the Kumari Chowk’s, courtyard decorated with exquisitely carved windows, pillars, and doorway (your sightings of Kumari are higher in the mornings before 10 AM or late afternoon after 0400PM).


  • Get blessing from Kumari ” living goddesses”
  • Walk through Hanuman Dhoka
  • Visit Ason Market,
  • Observe Courtyards, Temples and Palaces

Entrance fee for Kathmandu Durbar Square:

  • Locals: Free
  • Indians: NPR 150 per person
  • Foreigners: NPR 1000 per person

Nepal Golden Triangle Trip is one of the best Nepal tour packages, which includes the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

Swayambhunath Stupa

The Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the instantly recognizable wonders of Kathmandu. This superbly proportioned landmark climbs up through a whitewashed vault to a plated tower, from where four famous appearances of the Buddha gaze out over the valley in the cardinal directions.

Swoyambunath Stupa is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu
Swoyambunath Stupa

Moreover, tourists refer to this stupa as “Monkey Temple”, because of the large tribe of macaques, that guards the hill and amazes the devotees and the visitors.

As per legend, Kathmandu Valley was a massive lake. Further, the hill on which Swayambhunath Stupa presently stands was an island in that lake. Furthermore, the slope currently beaten by Swayambhunath rose immediately from the waters, subsequently the name Swayambhu, signifying ‘self-emerged’.

In addition, the whole structure of the stupa is profoundly emblematic: the white dome represents the earth, while the 13-layered, tower-like structure at the top symbolizes the 13 phases of nirvana. The nose-like squiggle beneath the puncturing eyes is really the Nepali number ek (one), connoting solidarity, or more is a third eye meaning the divine understanding of the Buddha.

The ringed base of the focal stupa by supplication wheels emblazoned with the holy mantra om mani padme murmur ‘hail to the gem in the lotus’.

view from Swoyambhunath stupa in Kathmandu
View Of Kathmandu Valley From Stupa

Further, from its hilltop, setting the site offers bird’s-eye views of Kathmandu and the valley.


  • Walk around the Buddhist Stupa Complex
  • Panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley
  • Visit National Museum

Entrance fee for Swayambhunath Stupa:

  • Locals: Free
  • Indians: NPR 50 per person
  • Foreigners: NPR 150 per person

Patan Durbar Square

Patan, separated from Kathmandu by the Bagmati River, is the second-largest town in the Kathmandu Valley. Furthermore, it is one of the top sightseeing spots outside Kathmandu city. In fact, artistry-interested people must include Patan Durbar Square in their Nepal tour packages.

Patan Durbar Square, is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu
Patan Durbar Square

Patan has a long Buddhist history and the four corners are marked by stupas said to have been erected by the great Buddhist emperor Ashoka around 250 BC. Durbar Square forms the heart of Patan.

Also, the Golden Temple is one of the prime attractions inside Patan Durbar Square. This unique temple lies north of Durbar Square. This temple dates back to the twelfth century.

The massive rectangular building has three roofs and a copper-gilded facade. Inside the sacred shrine are images of the Buddha. Furthermore, the inner courtyard has a railed walkway around three sides. Do not wear shoes and other leather items. In the center of the courtyard, is a small, richly decorated temple with a golden roof that has an extremely ornate gajur (bell-shaped top). Look at the sacred tortoises pottering around.

Furthermore, other prime attractions inside Durbar Square include Krishna Mandir, Taleju Bell, Patan Museum, Vishwanath Temple etc.

Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu
Krishna Mandir At Patan Durbar Square

As compared to the other two Durbar Squares inside Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, Patan is packed with temples, with a far more concentration of architecture per square meter.


  • Visit Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square
  • Explore Golden Temple
  • Visit Buddhist Monasteries
  • Observe Finest and Unique Sculptures
  • Explore Courtyards, exquisite carvings, and Palaces of Patan Durbar Square

Entrance fee for Patan Durbar Square:

  • Locals: Free
  • Indians: NPR 250 per person
  • Foreigners: NPR 1050 per person

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The third of the medieval city-states in the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur is continually portrayed as the best protected. Otherwise, called ” Bhadgaon” or ” Khwopa”, it is the third significant town inside Kathmandu Valley.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu
Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Inside Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the cobblestone street links various temples, monuments, and courtyards. The excellent thing about Bhaktapur is the lack of traffic which makes it very easy to walk through the Square. The cultural life here is much more vibrant, with communities of potters, woodcarvers, and weavers.

Do not miss Potter’s Square during your guided Bhaktapur Durbar Square tour. Handmade pottery is very clearly what this square is about. Under the shady, open verandas, strategically located all around the square, the potters spinning a wheel with clay make the pottery. Moreover, hundreds of finished pots sit outside, the sun to dry.

One of the prime attractions inside Durbar Square is the magnificent Nyatapola temple. This 5-story, 30 meters-high, temple isn’t just the most renowned temple in the entire Kathmandu Valley; besides, it is perhaps the best case of conventional Newari sanctuary design. The stairway prompting the highest point of the sacred sanctuary is bound by watchman figures at every plinth level.

Nyatapola Temple, in Bhaktapur is among top places to visit in Kathmandu
Nyatapola Temple In Bhaktapur

Hence, Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu during your Nepal tour.


  • Visit Nyatapola Temple in Bhaktapur
  • Magnificent Lion’s Gate,
  • Bhairabnath Temple,
  • Pottery Square in Bhaktapur

Entrance fees for Bhaktapur Durbar Square:

  • Locals: Free
  • Indians: NPR 800 per person
  • Foreigners: NPR 1500 per person

Boudhanath Stupa

There is no place very like Boudhnath. Asia’s biggest stupa beats with life as a large number of devout pilgrims accumulate every day to make a Kora (custom circumnavigation) of the arch, underneath the careful gazes of the Buddha, which look out from the overlaid focal pinnacle.

Tibetan priests in maroon robes meander the petition banner-decked avenues while pioneers turn supplication haggles up on yak margarine and tsampa (broiled grain flour).

Boudhanath Stupa is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu
Boudhanath Stupa

Furthermore, this is one of only a handful of spots on the planet where Tibetan Buddhist culture is open and free. Religious communities and workshops delivering spread lights, stately horns, Tibetan drums, priests’ headgear, and different frills basic for Tibetan Buddhist life pack the path around.

Further, huge numbers of the religious communities around the stupa have opened their ways to remote understudies, so you’ll see a lot of Western Dharma students in maroon robes as you walk around the back streets.


  • Sightseeing tour of Boudhanath Stupa
  • Visit Tibetan Settlements
  • Shop for Tibetan Souvenirs
  • Handicraft and carpet Stores, Rooftop Restaurants Overlooking the Stupa

Entrance fees for Boudhanath Stupa:

  • Locals: Free
  • Indians: NPR 100 per person
  • Foreigners: NPR 400 per person

The Thamel Street

Thamel Street in Kathmandu is a paradise for tourists visiting Nepal and is definitely one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu. This area has many hotels, restaurants, and stores geared exclusively towards Western tourists. It is located in Kathmandu’s northern section and has five main streets.

Although some consider it congested, foreigners have been using it since the 1970s, and it used to be an established junction for hippies. It has, however, become extremely commercialized with a significant number of commercial shops, bars, gift shops, travel agencies, and much more.

Thamel Street

This is a shopping Mecca for tourists (Locals do not go here for shopping because of the whopping price tag.) One can discover anything here. Incense, prayer flags, and Kukri swords are some of the most sought-after items. In addition, this area also has a lot of booksellers, outdoor outfitters, and banks. ATMs are widely available and may provide notes in Nepalese Rupee (NPR) denominations, 500 or 1000 rupees.

For a better experience, jump on a rickshaw which will ride through the narrow alleys of Thamel and is the best way to window shop.


  • Rickshaw ride through Thamel Street
  • Shopping
  • Bar, clubs, and night life
  • Collection of Trekking and Mountaineering Gears
  • Accommodations

Entrance fees for the Thamel Street:

  • Free for everyone

Garden of Dreams

Swapna Bagaicha (Garden of Dreams), which is located across the street from the former Royal Palace at the entrance to Thamel Street has been brilliantly restored. It is one of Kathmandu’s most quiet and attractive places. It’s a two-minute walk from the center of Thamel and is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

Garden of dreams is one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu
Garden of Dreams

This garden building in Kathmandu’s center is a favorite hangout for locals and tourists since it has a lovely ambiance and seating arrangements. Equally, verandas, pavilions, an amphitheater, ponds, pergolas, urns, and gardens make up the area. Furthermore, the exquisitely created garden exudes one of the most tranquil and magnificent ambiances among breathtaking beauty. The lavish embellishments of the Garden of Dreams on its grounds are breathtaking.

Bring a book to take your mind off the romantic Nepali couples and local crowds and relax on one of the provided grass mats to appreciate the tranquility.

Moreover, it is possible to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi at NPR (Nepalese Rupee) 50 per hour ($1 = NPR 120.97 as of 5 April 2022).


  • Relax in the most beautiful garden in Kathmandu
  • The fountains and ponds
  • Inscriptions and pavilions are worth some lovely moments.

Entrance fees for The Garden of Dreams:

  • For locals: NPR 150 per person
  • For foreigners: NPR 400 per person

Timing (every day): 09:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Chandragiri Hill

Chandragiri Hill, located 23 kilometers from Kathmandu and at an elevation of 2551 meters, is relatively new but a prime spot for both locals and international tourists to visit. Local merchants traditionally used to use Chandragiri Hill as a commercial route. In addition, this used to be a path for individuals who used to commute between cities. Presently, this place has been renovated to be one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

Chandragiri hill is one of the top places to visit in Nepal
Chandragiri Hill

You will arrive at the top of Chandragiri Hill after a 2.5-kilometer cable car ride which takes nine minutes. Further, the hilltop offers spectacular views of the Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan peaks, from Annapurna to Everest.


  • A cable car ride up to the Bhaleshore Mahadev Temple

Cable car ticket rates for Chandragiri Hill (both ways):

  • Nepalese/locals: NPR 700 per person
  • SAARC country tourists: NPR 1120 per person
  • Chinese nationals: USD 15 per person
  • Others: USD 22 per person

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