Arriving in Kathmandu can be extremely overwhelming. There are people everywhere. Vehicles everywhere. Even animals everywhere. Prepare for zero personal space in this busy, noisy, wonderfully chaotic city. Once you`ve worked past the culture shock; the capital of Nepal will surely grow on you. The people are extremely helpful and kind, the food is delicious, and the area is full of adventure! Keep reading for the best things to do in Kathmandu.
Learn About Local Cuisine
What better way to get to know Kathmandu than by taking a Secret Food Tour through the busy streets? This tour stops at numerous small restaurants offering you authentic Nepalese food. By experiencing this early on you will have the knowledge and confidence about local cuisine for the rest of your trip! For that reason; we think a Secret Food Tour is one of the best things to do in Kathmandu.
Soak Up The Views From a White Water Raft
Nepal is known for its stunning rivers boasting class III and IV rapids. From Kathmandu you can choose anything from a half day to a 10 or 11 day rafting tour. One of the best rafting locations in the country is north of Kathmandu near the Tibetan boarder. The Last Resort provides transportation from Kathmandu to this area with an option to stay the night. For more information; check out our post on The Last Resort: Finding Adventure in Nepal.
Climb The Steps to Swayambhunath (The Monkey Temple)
This Temple is a 45 minute walk from the main tourist area of Thamel in Kathmandu. After paying the small entrance fee of 200 rupees; you will climb 365 steps to the top. Here you are rewarded by a gorgeous hilltop temple and breathtaking views of the city. Make sure to tuck away any valuables BEFORE entering as the resident monkeys can get quite aggressive.
Get Your Adrenalin Pumping with a Bungee Jump
Bungee Jumping at The Last Resort is a must do while visiting Nepal! Located about 75 km North of the capital; they offer round trip transportation from Kathmandu. If bungee jumping isn’t your cup of tea they also offer many other activities. For more information take a look at our post on The Last Resort!
Shop The Local Market
Exploring the local market is one of the best ways to experience the culture of Kathmandu. Ason Chowk (the local market) and the surrounding area offer a look into local life with shops, fruit stands, religious architecture, and wonderfully friendly people. While Durbar Square is a well known tourist destination in Kathmandu; Ason Chowk is a more authentic and inexpensive (free) option!
Experience Luxury With Dwarika`s Resort
Dwarika`s Group has two locations and is regarded as one of the top hotels in Nepal. While the hotel in Kathmandu is stunning; Dwarika`s Resort in Dhulikel is unlike anywhere else I have ever been. About an hour from Kathmandu the resort offers yoga classes, pottery sessions, meditation, an infinity pool overlooking the Himalayas, unbelievable rooms, and so much more! Make sure to check out our post Dwarika`s Resort: Exceptional Luxury in Nepal for more information!
Go Shopping in Thamel
If you are in the market for cashmere scarves, yak wool blankets, or any sort of adventure gear; Thamel will be your tiny slice of heaven. You could literally spend days browsing these small shops for named brand knock off items like sleeping bags, sports shirts, and hiking boots. Shona’s Alpine Store is a highly recommended shop if your looking for the best quality. Two days before David and I left Nepal we bought a big “North Fake” duffel bag (for about $12) and stuffed it full of gear and gifts to bring home!
TIP: Make sure to bargain! Aim for at least 40-50% of the first price offered and in many cases even less. David once got a Yak Wool jacket down from $250 USD to $30 USD… you don`t know unless you try!