When you are visiting Kathmandu after its 2015 earthquake please be aware that there is still plenty of exciting things to do in Nepal’s capital. In this article we are listing the top 12 best things to do in Kathmandu. If you’re looking for what you can do in Nepal, check out the 12 Best Things to Do in Nepal as well.
1. Mount Everest Helicopter Tour (above image)
From Kathmandu Airport’s domestic terminal, you’ll take off in a helicopter early in the day, flying within 200 meters of Mt. Everest and nearby peaks. The helicopter will then normally refuel at Lukla where after you will carry on to the Syangboche airstrip. Here, you can explore the Solu Khumbu also known as the Everest region and the Kala Patthar base camp on foot. After fantastic views and a great ride you will return to Kathmandu airport where the trip will end.
- Land at base camps used by climbers to scale the world’s highest peak
- Enjoy stunning views of the Mt Everest and the Himalayas
See Helicopter Tours.
2. Panoramic Mountain Flight over the Himalayas
A comfortable and exhilarating ride over the mighty Himalayas is a must during your visit to Kathmandu. Most of these peaks are among the highest in the world, and the pristine beauty of this desolate landscape is a reflection of how inhospitable and unreachable it is. You’ll be among the lucky few to witness the Himalayas this close, this comprehensively and this conveniently!
- Fly over the most indomitable and revered mountain range in history
- Admire the spectacular terrain from the convenience of your window seat
Trishuli River connects Kathmandu to Pokhara, and is a highly attractive destination for river rafting. The river experiences are sought after by those drawn to white water rafting, which offers excitement and adventure unparalleled by other sports in the world.
- Experience the unmatched thrill and energy of river rafting
- Enjoy swimming in the crystal clear rivers
- Take in the natural beauty and scenic villages
Pronounced “swahi-an-boon-eth”, this temple is surprisingly fun to visit! The monkeys are numerous and will happily accept any fruit that you offer them, but are similarly attracted to jewelry and shiny items. You’ll find several souvenir shops, albeit pricey ones. Visit early in the morning, and be prepared for plenty of walking and a small hike up the hill! Monkey Temple is usually part of a one day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu.
- Also known as Swayambhunath, it is the oldest stupa in Nepal
- Climb all the way up the 365 steps for a great view of Kathmandu City
- Feed the monkeys, but make sure they don’t steal your valuables!
A popular destination for fans of mysticism and Hindu mythology, this temple is notable for the insight it provides into the lives of Sadhus – Hindu monks devoted to the service of Shiva. This is also where most people in Kathmandu are brought when they die. For Nepalese people a funeral is a public ceremony. When visiting Pashupatinath you will inevitably become part of such ceremony, a where the dead are burned. It it is a very interesting experience despite it at times can be too much for a Westener. For a more complete religious experience, follow this up with a trip to the Buddhist Boudhanath stupa, where you can learn about Buddhism principles from the monks themselves. Here, you can also visit one of the most famous astrologers in the country! Pashupatinath is usually part of a 1-Day Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu.
- Experience the reverence of devout Hindu monks at their most sacred temple in the world
- Witness cremations along the Bagmati River
6. Guided Tour in Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur, or the ‘City of Devotees’, is a juxtaposition of modernity and centuries-old culture. With cars and motorcycles plying on tiled roads against the backdrop of pagodas and temples, with jeweled metal gates that resemble the doors of fortress-cities, Bhaktapur is one of the most unique places in Nepal. Even the dialect here is different!
- Visit the ancient Newar town of Bhaktapur, one of the oldest in Nepal
- Home to some of the richest talent in carvings, pottery and weaving
7. Go to the Garden of Dreams
Restored with the help of the Austrian Government, the private garden of the late Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana (originally known as “The Garden of the Six Seasons) was opened to the public in 2007. It is a mesmerizing expanse of exotic flora combined with new-age architecture, and is a sought-after retreat for locals and tourists alike!
- Situated around Nepal’s largest library
- A welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu
8. Visit Thamel
If the local market experience was a little too much for you, then try Thamel; the food quality is better, and there are plenty of international-themed clubs and entertainment centers. A little pricey and a little crowded, but a more familiar experience for most tourists!
- A tourist-themed market with Wi-Fi
- Used as a base camp for the many mountaineering enthusiasts from all over the world
9. Take Cooking Classes in Thamel
You can take back things other than souvenirs! Learn how to cook momos, dal bhat, and a number of tasty Nepali, Tibetan, Bhutanese and other dishes. Local methods like grinding chilies in a mortar and cooking bread in a tandoor will be used, and even though probably won’t be able to recreate the same thing back home, you’ll be pleased with what you learn in just three and a half hours!
- Pick your ingredients from the bazaar under the chef’s guidance
- Learn how to prepare a range of traditional dishes
10. Visit Asan and Indra Chok Bazaar
It’s a 3-hour long walk, but an immensely rewarding one – it’s an authentic bazaar shopping experience – haggling, huge variety, and the odd souvenir. Brass, bronze and copper items with some great craftsmanship can be found here, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and condiments.
- One of the most well-known “original” Nepalese markets
- Buy local produce, clothing and local handicrafts
11. Enjoy 3 hours of Nepalese Culture and Cuisine
An evening of food, classical Nepali music and dances. You’ll be sure to relish the local cuisine, which relies on simple ingredients like rice, lentils, meat and spices to create a unique and mouthwatering variety of dishes. Add to the mix humorous and engaging songs and dances from all over Nepal, and you get an evening that you’re not going to forget anytime soon!
- Watch exciting and colorful local music and dance performances
- Try authentic and tasty Nepali dishes and chutneys
On an ending note, Bookmundi highly recommends you to check out all the tours in Nepal, as they introduce you to some of the best and most exciting outdoor adventures on the planet. Please also check out the Top Things to Do in Nepal, if you’re looking for more adventures.