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Guide to the Best Sightseeing Spots in Kathmandu
Kathmandu has been the centre of Nepal’s art, history, culture, and economy for centuries. Tourism forms a central part of the economy and thrives due its many world heritage sites. There’s so much to see in this bustling, colourful city! This post will share our favourite sightseeing spots in Kathmandu, and also the best place to stay!
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Also read: Guide to the Best Food & Bars in Kathmandu
Where to Stay: Elbrus Home
Khem and his wife run this beautiful homestay just 5 mins walk from the centre of Thamel. The homestay offers dormitory rooms with the most comfortable beds on the planet with shared bathrooms. You’ll get a huge breakfast included in your stay (porridge with honey & banana, eggs on toast, juice, tea/coffee), as well as a mad but warm welcome from Khem the owner. Breakfast is served in the enclosed gardens, where you can also sit in the sun throughout the day if you don’t fancy the rooftop terrace.
Located in front of the Old Royal Palace, the UNESCO heritage site is a religious area surrounded by ancient statues, temples, fountains and ponds. The site is important in Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies and rituals as well as being used for royal events and coronations. The Old Royal Palaces have been repurposed from the lodgings of the former kings and are now home to museums. Entry is NPR 150.
Swayambhuntath Stupa (Monkey Temple)
This 2000 year old temple complex is situated high above Kathmandu valley, just west of the city centre. The steep steps climb over 70 meters through families of monkeys to reach the prayer flag laden stupa which is visible throughout Kathmandu. A small entrance fee at the top rewards your climbing efforts with amazing views of Kathmandu and the surround valleys.
The sprawling streets of the Thamel district of Kathmandu are the tourist hotspot of the city. Trekking and souvenir shops make up the majority of the ground level shop fronts with restaurants and bars rising above the streets, some up to 5 floors up with a view over the city. In most of the shops selling trekking equipment, you will be able to negotiate over prices but be aware that most (if not all) of the branded clothing is fake, albeit still half decent.
Garden of Dreams
The Garden of Dreams is a slice of welcome tranquillity within the hustle and bustle of Thamel. The garden was constructed in 1920 for a field marshal in the Royal Nepalese army who later became a Prime Minister of Nepal. The gardens contain six pavilions (to represent the 6 seasons of Nepal), fountains, pergolas and, amongst much more, a café which serves local and western food and drinks.
You’ll be sure to fill your days sightseeing in this spectacular city, just like we did! Most sights are walkable from each other cutting costs down too! After a long day of sightseeing you’ll surely be hungry and worked up a thirst too, check out our blog post on the Best Food and Bars in Kathmandu.