Looking over Kathmandu from the Monkey Temple

What to do In Kathmandu 

Many people land in Kathmandu, spend one night and then get out of the city as soon as possible. I can understand that, when’s there’s so many incredible mountains and rivers waiting for you out there…why would you waste your time on a busy, crazy city. But there’s more to Kathmandu than you might have thought. 

For first timers to the city it can appear overwhelming. Crowds, heat, dust, traffic, noise…they weren’t lying when they described it as a sensory overload. But get stuck in and enjoy the chaos, there’s magic to this city you won’t find anywhere else.

These are our top ten things to do in Kathmandu.

1. Visit the Monkey Temple, also known as Swayambbhunath. One of the top attractions in Kathmandu, once you manage to get up the 365 stone steps you will be greeted by an incredible view of the city and one of the best, most beautiful temples in the world. Sit and watch the world go by, just keep an eye on those cheeky monkeys!

2. Get foodie! One of the best things about staying in Kathmandu is to try out all the different restaurants. From local momo’s to French cuisine, Mexican to Indian and some of the best pizza ever. You won’t go hungry in this city!

3. Watch the sun go down over Bodhnath Stupa. Bodhnath is the biggest Stupa in Asiaand as such extremely popular with local Buddhists. The best time to go is around 5pm when all the locals are saying their mantras as they spin around the temple clockwise three times. Head up to one of the rooftop restaurants to see the sun dip down behind the temple – a truly magnificent sight. 

4. Shop until you drop. Maybe not up everyone’s street, but there are some great treasures to be found in Kathmandu. A favourite of mine is the Farmers Market that happens every Saturday at 1905, where they sell some scrummy food but also ethical clothing, jewellery and handicrafts. 

5. Nightlife! A stay in Kathmandu wouldn’t be complete with a trip to Tom and Jerries. Whether you like chilled out acoustic live music or heavy rock, there are bars and clubs to suit everyone’s taste in Kathmandu. Just beware there is a curfew so when they say it’s home time, they really mean it!

6. Get lost in Ashan Tol. The local market. Here you can find everything from fruits, kitchen ware, clothes, fresh fish and more! Get stuck in at this market and have a wander around the small backstreets of Kathmandu. But just one tip from you to me, keep a few rupees in your pocket in case you happen to get lost so you can make it back to the safety of your hotel!

7. Spend an afternoon in the Garden of Dreams. If your looking for a bit of peace then you found it. A small hidden garden on the outskirts of Thamel. It’s worth the entrance fee of around 150 rupees just to sit in the garden to read your book and forget about the hustle and bustle going on outside the walls. 

8. Take a mountain flight. If you don’t have the time to trek to Everest, then taking a one hour flight around the mountains is the next best thing, Get up close and personal, the pilot will even let you in the cockpit to take photos. 

9. Go Rock Climbing. Looking for a bit more adventure? Just a 20 minute drive from the center of Kathmandu is a great little rock climbing spot, called Nagarjun. For around $60 per day you can climb. 

10. Spend a day wandering around Bhaktapur. Probably the most famous and most impressive of the three Durbar Squares (Patan and Kathmandu being the other two), it is worth the 30 minute drive to the ancient town of Bhaktapur. Whilst there make sure you try out the traditional curd and view their pottery. 

If you would like more information on any of these ideas, then please feel free to email us info@grgadventurekayaking.com

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