The busy streets of Kathmandu with its ever-so-busy residents are the very first stop for travelers in Nepal. The small city with its cultural background makes up for immersing experience. Moreover, the surreal blend of the hustle and bustle with the traditional ethos is a delight to any avid traveler.
As such, small tours and trips around the city are the most popular way to explore Kathmandu. However, there are a plethora of activities that you can involve in including shopping, excursions, tours, hiking, camping, rock climbing, meditation, and many more. The small city of Kathmandu is not so small when it comes to adventures.
Here is the list of activities you can enjoy doing in Kathmandu:
Day Trip and Excursions
Small and relaxing day trips will give you an insight into the lifestyle of Kathmandu without having to waste too much energy. The city is full of small and large temples, and cultural monuments which will give you a peek into the history of Nepal.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites are a must when you enjoy your excursions in Kathmandu. The ravishing expanse of the Kathmandu Durbar Square tells the story of the ancient times and the then royal families. The Boudhanath stupa can be one of the destinations where you can experience the rich Buddhist culture along with the busy streets and a mouth-watering local cuisine. Another place to celebrate Buddhism in Nepal is Swayambhunath temple which lies atop a hill northwest of the city. Here, you can enjoy the peaceful nature away from the hectic life as you look down to the busy streets of Kathmandu. Similarly, the temple of Pashupatinath is one of the most visited places in Nepal which shouldn’t be missed out in your day trips. Likewise, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar squares are the hubs for art and culture whereas the Changunarayan Temple shines as the oldest temple in Nepal.
You can also enjoy the maze-like streets in the main city along, Hike along without an aim to see for yourself the hectic way of life of people of Kathmandu.
From branded clothes and accessories to local handmade art and craft, there is nothing you won’t get while shopping in Kathmandu. With maze-like streets, ancient buildings, and hundreds of big and small temples, a shopping trip in Kathmandu is an experience like no other.
You can shop for handicrafts, handmade artifacts, silverwares, Thanka painting and many more in places like Thamel to take as a souvenir back to your country. Beautiful handmade Pashmina, bags, shoes, and clothes are worth at least a look when you are in Nepal. Be sure to put on your bargaining hats as prices can be easily lowered. Trekking gears and equipment can also be found in Kathmandu at a reasonable price so, you don’t have to worry about buying them beforehand. Moreover, you have many choices which vary on brand, price, and other factors. You won’t be disappointed if you are looking for branded materials either. The streets of New Road are classy with individual outlets of stores like Timberland, Zara, Reebok, Adidas, and so on.
With the abundant amount of temples and stupas in Kathmandu, there isn’t a lack of places you can go for a tour or sightseeing. The city of Kathmandu carries the history of Nepal along with its culture and traditions. As such, heritage sites and traditional markets in Kathmandu provide a perfect environment to enjoy small tours in the backdrop of hilly landscapes and ivory mountains. The small villages around Kathmandu are also perfect to tour and experience their lifestyle.
The most famous tourist destinations in Kathmandu are the Durbar Squares which are listed as the world heritage sites by UNESCO. Among the three squares, Kathmandu Durbar Square also known as Basantapur lies in Kathmandu whereas the other two i.e. Patan Durbar Square lies in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur Durbar Square in Bhaktapur (i.e. neighboring cities to Kathmandu).
During your tour, you can also visit other major attraction such as Boudhanath, Swayambhunath (the Monkey temple), and Pashupatinath. The uniquely charming and busy markets of Kathmandu can also be an excellent addition to your sightseeing trips.
The busy streets and the crowded markets aren’t all there is to Kathmandu. Only a little further away from the jam-packed main city, you can revel in the peaceful forests and lush hills that surround the city.
Hiking in these hills will give you a break from human interactions as you feel yourself being one with nature. You can enjoy small hikes in the hills of Kathmandu along with the flora and fauna that reside there.
The hike to Shivapuri National Park along the ancient temple of Budhanikantha is one of them where you can enjoy the easy incline to the top along with wondrous biodiversity. Likewise, Kakani, Dhulikhel, Nagarkot, Chisapani, and Lakuri Bhanjyang are excellent hiking destinations which offer breathtaking sceneries and serene hiking trails.
Small camping trips in the outskirts of the city along with your family and friend can also be a relaxing experience. You can enjoy the beautiful view of the stretch of hills and rivers and the fresh air as you make memories with the people you treasure.
Lush tropical forests cover the hills of Kathmandu. Varieties of flora and fauna are found in the hills, providing a soothing feeling to the dwellers and travelers. Small man-made parks, as well as an expanse of National park, welcome travelers with open arms in Kathmandu.
One of the smaller parks in Kathmandu is the Garden of dreams which lies in Thamel, the tourist hub of Nepal. Its intricate design with an assortment of flora guarantees surreal company. And the classy coffee shops are a perfect place to spend your time enjoying coffee and contemplating life.
Places like Chandragiri and Sundarijal lie a little on the outer skirts of Kathmandu and give travelers a place to enjoy the natural wonders of Kathmandu with its serene forests and waterbeds.
Kathmandu also gives the gateway to visit the large expanse of Shivapuri National Park which covers a huge area of not only Kathmandu but other cities as well. These national parks are home to thousands of varieties of flora and fauna and a perfect place for travelers to take off some steam.
There are various biking trails in and around Kathmandu that provide immeasurable thrill and excitement. It is the perfect physical activity and can give you an experience that is hard to forget.
Kakani, a small hill resort west of Kathmandu is a gateway to different thrilling biking routes in Kathmandu. One of the most famous among them is the biking route from Kakani through the Budhanikantha temple along Chisapani to reach the hill station of Nagarkot. From here, you can enjoy the magnificent views of the Kathmandu Valley and far away snow-clad mountains.
You can also enjoy strenuous biking trails that are not limited only to Kathmandu. Most of the biking trails go through steep hills and deep forests giving you the perfect amount of physical activity as well as peace as you move along the quiet areas of the forests. Biking around Kathmandu also takes you face to face with the traditional way of life of people untainted by the modern city of Kathmandu.
The small pathways traveling through the gaps of houses, lined up together to make an intricate walking path is the main attraction of Kathmandu. The ethnic Newar group and their heritages cover most of Kathmandu. Their tendency to live in Bahals (something like a community) with joined houses and a common porch has made for the city to be filled with webbed paths that join together like mazes and are perfect for taking tours around the city.
The traditional stone paths and ancient houses with intricate architecture give more enjoyment to the experience of the city. Along with this the temples and small cultural artifacts give you a peek into the deeply engraved culture of people in Kathmandu as well as around Nepal.
The most famous walking tour is inside and around the durbar squares in Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. Walking along the stone paths of the durbar square amid the ancient temples and monuments gives you a sense of belonging.
Along the durbar squares are the traditional markets with local cuisine, and stores filled with local spices and herbs which provide a clear picture of the connection between the people and their culture. The pristine and ancient design of the streets and the busy markets on your walking tour are a different experience altogether.
Rock and Wall Climbing
Kathmandu has a chain of places to give you the perfect rock climbing opportunities. From easy beginners level to difficult ones, rock climbing places in Kathmandu have all, with a varying difficulty level that suits all level of people.
Astrek Climbing Wall in Thamel is perfect for people who just want to indulge in a climbing experience only a short distance from Kathmandu. Pharping (Hattiban) is also a famous spot for rock climbing with the climbing difficulty suitable for people of all level of experience. Along with these, Nagarjun Rock Climbing with cliffs varying from 15 to 25m tall and 20 different routes with varying difficulty give you a chance at experiencing the thrill of this adventure sport.
If rock climbing is not your thing but you still want to get on with the climbing thrill then you can also enjoy indoor as well as outdoor wall climbing activities. There are various newly opened places in Kathmandu where you can enjoy the activity at a reasonable price and also with trained guides to help you learn or watch out for your safety.
Learning to make local cuisines and taking on a challenge to try making something new can be another exciting experience in Nepal. The traditional cooking style of Nepal and the unique blend of spice can be a new experience for many. Must have a cuisine in Nepal include Daal, Bhat, Curry; along with a special dish that is a necessity for every meal, Achar. Every item has its blend of herbs and spices which gives more authenticity to the experience of local Nepali food. Other than this Momo, Thukpa, Roti, Kheer, and many more other delicacies of Nepal are something travelers should not miss out on in Nepal.
You can join cooking classes to learn not only to make Daal, Bhat, and Curry but also all the other delicacies so, that you can make one at home yourself for not only yourself but for your whole family. Don’t let your loved ones miss out on the exotic cuisine of Nepal! You can choose the cooking classes online and book them according to your preferences.
Yoga and Meditation Classes
The art of Yoga and meditation has been followed in Nepal since ancient times. There is a trend among elders and younger alike to indulge in yoga the first thing in the morning to get spiritual peace as well as some physical activity to relax the body.
Yoga and meditation classes can be enjoyed in Kathmandu; be it for relaxation or training to be a professional. There are many professional yoga and meditation places in Kathmandu with trained individuals to walk you through the activity. You can join walk-in sessions or take part in package classes that are given by yoga studios in Kathmandu, whichever you please. You can enjoy learning the art of being one with the body and mind with experienced professionals to guide you through the journey.
These yoga and meditation classes can be easily booked as per your availability and interest. The classes need not be limited to a small room as you can also enjoy learning the art outdoors among the Yogis in local ashrams in Kathmandu.
All in all, Kathmandu is a melting pot and a welcoming city to all travelers regardless of their origin, race, class, or any other distinctions. Likewise, there is a multitude of options from tours and excursions to adventure sports and leisurely stops. Kathmandu allows travelers to relish the ancient brand of the city and offers lavish modern luxury at the same time. Ask for the experience you want to have and Kathmandu will provide!