Top 12 Things to Do in Kathmandu

Helicopter in the Everest region of Nepal

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

2. Panoramic Mountain Flight over the Himalayas

High range of Himalayas mountains in Tibet
Image by: Vividus/

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

3. River Rafting Tour on Trishuli River

Rafting in Nepal
Image by: ewamewa2/

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

See River Rafting Tours on Trisuli River. You can also read guide for the best rafting tours in Nepal.

4. Visit Monkey Temple

View Of Swayambhunath Kathmandu
Image by: Photographhappy/

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 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!

See Sightseeing Tours in Kathmandu

5. Visit Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath Temple
Image by: Aleksandar Todorovic/

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 sightseeing tours 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, an Unesco Heritage Architecture
Image by: salajean/

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

Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu
Image by: Oksana Byelikova/

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

Nepalese traditional momos served with tomato chatni and fresh salad in restaurant
Image by: Marina Pissarova/

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

Handicrafts in Nepal
Image by: De Visu/

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

Delicious Nepali Thali meal set with chicken curry
Image by: ThamKC/

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. 

16 thoughts on “Top 12 Things to Do in Kathmandu”

  1. Interesting list of things to do in Kathmandu. If you want guided tour in kathmandu, bhaktapur, lalitpur and some other thrilling adventures (Trekking, Peak Climbing, Mountain Flight and others). Then, Mount Mania Treks is here for you to serve. (

  2. Interested in food and culture cuisine tour

  3. It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information . Nice blog .u r providing good information.
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  4. Top article post about best 12 Things to Do in Kathmandu town . After visited Kathmandu historical city, if you want to do short trek near the Kathmandu Valley then Kakani to Gurje Hill view point will be best choice for day tour near kathmandu.

  5. Yes i agree with the Writer , if you have a day in Kathmandu, then it is good to go Hiking around the Kathmandu valley which offers the magnificent view of Langtang Himalayan range. The hike also gives you chance to see how the local people are living and their lifestyle, unique culture and traditions. Such hiking routes are Kakani Day Hiking, Suryachaur day hiking, Shivapuri Hiking. Apart from that you can also do bird watching in Shivapuri National park which is very near from Kathmandu.

  6. Another fun-filled thing to do in Kathmandu is by exploring the valley on wheels. Rent a bike and experience primitive culture and tradition in its purest form as you paddle through the villages. The view of Kathmandu city and mountains come great as you paddle through the hills of Kathmandu valley. There are plenty of biking routes in the Kathmandu valley suitable for beginners to advanced. It’s a perfect alternative to day hiking.

  7. This is a perfect guide to explore the Kathmandu valley and getting the best out of it. I really loved the images used in this blog. The blog is very informative, especially for those who are travelling to Kathmandu for the first time and have no idea about the place. So, yea! Great blog.

    There are many Nepal Tour Packages to witness the true beauty of Nepal. If you are in Nepal then, you should definitely visit Pokhara, Chitwan along with Kathmandu and you should definitely try Trekking in Nepal.


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