Awesome Places to Visit in Kathmandu Valley

Aerial view of Kathmandu Valley

Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu:

Top places to visit in Kathmandu Valley

The heart of Nepal holds cultural diversity, scenic backdrops, bustling streets, jaw-dropping nightlife, historical monuments, and ancient architecture. Located in the hilly region of Nepal, Kathmandu boasts beautiful views and moderate climate conditions. Since it is the country’s capital it is expanding continuously. Still, the people are dedicated to preserving the tradition by holding local festivals and rallies with the blessing of the living goddess. These festivals hold deep roots in ancient legends of the city and are a spectacle to experience. They have chariots pulled by people and possessed masked dancers.

Preparations Needed to visit Kathmandu:

Before the list of places to visit in Kathmandu, let’s briefly double-check the necessary preparations. For any tour to be a memorable and enjoyable experience it is essential to be well prepared with pre-bookings and a well-planned itinerary. It is best to choose a tour package from an experienced travel agency, as they will provide you with all the necessary information and organize it in the most optimal way as per your request. However, if you would not like to book a tour package and want to do it by yourself the necessary preparations needed are listed as follows:

  • Visa: Although Nepal provides on-arrival visas to tourists the counter will be pretty crowded on arrival so it is advised to get an Evisa or a visa from the Nepal Embassy in your country.
  • Accommodation: Make sure to book proper hotels or homestays as your accommodation before coming to Kathmandu. Nepal is pretty affordable when it comes to lodging and flooding. It is recommended to go for a nice place rather than the cheapest available options as these cheap options might not cover all your necessities.
  • Transportation: For the whole city sightseeing it is recommended that you book a vehicle for two days as it will cover everything with enough time on each spot. This tour can also be completed in a day with a booked vehicle however the time spent in spots will be reduced. If you would like to opt-out from this option there are also tour buses that cover the major highlights of Kathmandu and local guides that can help you around town where vehicles cannot reach.

With this much preparation you are pretty much ready for the trip so now moving to the list of places to visit in Kathmandu Valley:

1. Nagarkot (Top Spot for Sunrise):

Nagarkot is the best hill station that offers an unforgettable view of the mountains and sunrise located on the top of the eastern hills of Kathmandu. It’s a 32km ride from the center of Kathmandu. This hilltop has a reputation for having great accommodations from luxury to basic to facilitate the stay and many of them offer a dazzling view of the Himalayas straight from the balcony with some even covering the sunrise. All these features and the elevation of 2195 meters which provides a fresh environment make Nagarkot one of the top places to visit in Kathmandu valley.

Nagakot (Top Spot for scenery)
Chandragiri (Re-energizng Hillstation)

2. Chandragiri (Re-energizng Hillstation):

Take a scenic ride on a cable car to the top of Chandragiri hill station and visit the religious Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple. Feel the spiritual energy re-energize your soul as you take photos with the backdrop of Kathmandu city. The Chandragiri Hills offer various activities such as zip lining and horseback riding. Chandragiri Hills also has famous five-star resorts and offers a fresh stay at the top of the hill with a fresh environment. This transformative journey to the top filled with beautiful scenery, spiritual recharge, and a fresh environment makes it a place to visit in Kathmandu Valley.

3. Durbar Squares (Relive History):

Kathmandu Valley has three ancient palace squares located in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur. These palaces are the finest examples of Newari architecture and are also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The biggest Durbar Square is in Bhaktapur with architecture dating back to the 12th century. The famous delicacy “JuJu Dhau”, a special type of local yogurt, can be found on and around the premises of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The history, architecture, culture, and tradition make it a major place to visit in Kathmandu Valley.

Basantapur Durbar Square is located at the center of Kathmandu city and has its attractions such as handicraft shops and tourist spots with awesome cafes and tea shops. Then there is Patan Durbar Square the smallest of the three Durbar squares. It is located in the Lalitpur district inside Kathmandu Valley. There are religious temples and centuries-old palaces and buildings. The cafes surrounding the Durbar squares are also old-fashioned and emanate a vintage vibe.

Durbar Squares (Relive History):
Pashupatinath Temple (Lord Shiva's Temple)

4. Pashupatinath Temple (Lord Shiva’s Temple):

Spread over 240 hectares of land is the grand and magnificent Pashupatinath Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit site for Hindu pilgrims as well as people interested in Hinduism. The temple of Pashupatinath is an important religious place in Kathmandu from a historical, religious, and touristic point of view. The temple is situated on the eastern side of the city and is 5 km from the center of the city. This religious site holds a lot of importance so photography inside the temple premises is strictly prohibited. All these attractions make Pashupatinath a very important place to visit in Kathmandu Valley.

5. Swayambhunath (The Monkey Temple):

On the west side of Kathmandu city, atop a hill is the holy place of Buddhists, an architecture listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a stupa showcasing its beauty known as Swayambhunath also referred to as “The Monkey Temple”. The name itself has an ancient myth associated with it. “Swayambhu” means “self-created” and it is believed that when the whole valley was submerged in an enormous lake a lotus grew out of it and the valley came to be known as Swayambhu. It is among the oldest religious sites with architecture dating back to 464-505 CE. Reflecting the myths and boasting its traditional beauty Swayambhu is a refreshing place to visit in Kathmandu.

Swayambhunath (The Monkey Temple)
Boudhanath (One of the Biggest Stupas in The World):

6. Boudhanath (One of the Biggest Stupas in The World):

The cultural and architectural landmark, the Boudhanath stupa is a great location for photography and people interested in Buddhist art and culture. Boudhanath stupa is a hub for Buddhist pilgrims as they frequently visit the stupa to circumambulate, spin prayer wheels, and engage in other rituals. In addition to the religious and cultural importance, visitors are allowed to ascend to the stupa’s summit for a birds-eye view of the surroundings. The Boudhanath stupa is regarded as sacred, thus visitors must dress appropriately and act appropriately while there.

7. Narayanhiti Palace (The Royal Palace Museum):

The Royal Palace served as the primary home of the Shah Dynasty, the previous home of the Nepalese monarchy. After Nepal became a Republic in 2008 and the monarchy was abolished, the palace was made into a museum holding the history of Nepal. The name “Narayanhiti” is made up of two words “Narayana” and “Hiti” in which Narayan is the Hindu god and Hiti means water sprout in Newari Language. The palace holds cultural and historical importance for the locals and is still respected so it is advised to be respectful when addressing the palace museum. The palace covers 38 acres in the center of the city and is a major attraction to tourists who visit Kathmandu.

 Narayanhiti Palace (The Royal Palace Museum)
Oldest Museum arial view

8. National Museum (Oldest Museum of Nepal):

The center of national treasures and an immersive place to visit in Kathmandu, the National Museum holds historical and cultural wealth, including works of art, manuscripts, weapons, and ethnographic items. The museum is accessible to the general public and is also a well-liked tourist destination as they delve into the fascinating history of Nepal. The museum holds ancient currency, garments, artillery, and gifts exchanged between ancient kings. A ticket is required to enter the museum which consists of three buildings covering an area of 27.38 hectares. National Museum is one of the main reasons for people interested in culture and history to visit Kathmandu.

9. Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park (Retreat from the busy city):

Situated on the northern side of Kathmandu Valley at a distance of 12 km from the center of the capital is the refreshing and energizing Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. This national park was declared in 2002. The park inhabits 177 species of birds out of which 9 are threatened species, 102 species of butterflies, and 129 species of mushrooms. Usually, tourists perform a day hike at Shivapuri since it is easily accessible from the city. The natural beauty of Shivapuri and the view of the city from the top re-energizes people and is a place to visit in Kathmandu Valley to get away from the busy city life.

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park Stairway
Thamel Bazar the bustling streets of Kathmandu

10. Thamel (The Hub of Kathmandu):

The center of the city and the major place for tourists. The location and the amount of services it offers make Thamel the best place for foreign tourists to stay as they travel through Kathmandu and around Nepal. There are many shops, cafes, hotels, and tourism agencies here equipped with an information desk for any help needed. The nightlife here is very good. Thamel is considered a region that never sleeps and never closes. There is a crowd of foreign tourists along with local tourists as well as people from all over the country, they come together to enjoy Thamel.

Conclusion:

Kathmandu, the heart of Nepal has a lot to offer from re-energizing hikes to exploring the traditional, architectural, and cultural aspects of the city. From museums that let you dive into the history of Nepal to the bustling nightlife of Thamel the capital of Nepal is a place for all natures of people. Visit Kathmandu and experience Nepal firsthand.

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