Kathmandu is the most developed city in Nepal which currently serves as the nation’s capital. It shares a name with Kathmandu valley. Previously, Kathmandu was believed to be a fabled city that was completely inaccessible. However, this has changed over time and it is has become one of the emerging vacation hot spots, receiving a large number of independent travelers of all budgets. Travel to Kathmandu is facilitated by Tribhuvan International Airport which most flights flying in from Gulf countries like Qatar and UAE as well as New Delhi. Kathmandu has notable places of tourist interest starting with Swayambhu which is a sacred Buddha site. Alongside its monkeys, visitors can catch a great view of Kathmandu city.
Another very sacred place in Kathmandu is the Boudha Stupa which is also a must-visit area as well. The Narayanhiti Palace Museum used to be a Royal Palace until 2009 when it was made a museum. At a small entrance fee, you can access the main building as well as splendid halls. There are many shops and restaurants at Thamel Chowk that keep tourists busy and Freak Street has a number of hotels and restaurants for anyone seeking entertainment and happiness. Nasal Chowk is home to the Rana museum, temples, and great statues. Pashupatinath is a Shiva Hindu Temple where you can find the holy cave and see cremation of monkeys as well as sadhus. Foreigners are unfortunately not allowed to enter the temple.
The Garden of Dreams is a peaceful and beautiful place to relax and the Australian Govt. currently financed its beautiful renovation. The Kathmandu Durbar Square is believed to be the heart of Kathmandu valley which includes ancient temples and palaces. This site has been listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The square is quite magical and locals will guide you around and take you to the Durbar Square Museum. You will find many notable buildings here including the Taleju Temple, Shiva Temple, Ashok Temple, Shiva- Parvati Temple, Maju Deval, Kumari Palace, Saraswati Temple, Vishnu temple and Mahendreswar temple among others.
Kathmandu city doesn’t have many activities for visitors rather than the good sightseeing opportunities it offers. However, you can visit the nearby Kathmandu valley for jungle adventures, rafting, trekking, and other adventures. Kathmandu is home to dozens of festivals in Nepal and during this time, most businesses are actually closed. The Festival of Lights or Tihar is a Hindu celebration involving a house cleansing ritual, fireworks, candles, and lanterns. Other festivals include Teej, Himalayan Blues Festival, Indra Jatra, Bikram Sambat’s New Year’s, and Holi festival.
Shopping in Kathmandu is quite interesting and you can but a wide range of items including clothing, carpet and rugs, cultural artifacts, pashmina/ cashmere, and electronics. While Kathmandu is currently safe for visits, caution should be taken as usual especially by foreign travelers. Public demonstrations are common and visitors are advised to avoid them as they might turn chaotic. Tourists should also expect transportation inconveniences from frequent sites in Kathmandu and life can be difficult during the dry season due to the common power cuts.