Kathmandu Valley

Places to Visit Around Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu city is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world, founded in the 2nd century, and is the capital city of Nepal. The city is located in central Nepal at an alleviation of 1400 meters. It is a bowl-shaped valley encircled by four significant mountains, Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri.

Kathmandu was the royal capital of the kingdom of Nepal and the city is beautified with palaces, mansions, and monuments built by the Nepali aristocracy. Kathmandu was the capital of the Nepalese monarchy, and the aristocracy of Nepal erected many of the palaces, villas, and monuments that make up the city’s beauty. Kathmandu Valley has 7 UNESCO sites on the heritage list which features cultural and historical monuments from a variety of era and regimes. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. It is also the backbone of the country’s economy and is a gateway to tourism in Nepal. The country’s only international airport – Tribhuvan International Airport is in Kathmandu. Also, In 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top 10 travel destination on the rise in the world by TripAdvisor.

Kathmandu Climate and Weathers

The Kathmandu Valley with an elevation of 1400 m  has a mild climate throughout the year, and the city had a mild subtropical climate. Summer starts from May to August ranging the temperature from 19 °Cto 27 °C, winter comes between November to February with the temperature between 2°C to 20 °C. Monsoon lies between June and August and has an average rainfall of between 7.8 to 147 inches.

Until the monsoon rains arrive, May and June can be quite hot and humid. The seasons of spring (March to April) and autumn (October to November) have pleasant temperatures with occasional pleasing rainfall, while the months of November to February can be dry yet chilly, especially at night.

A wonderful city with a deep history and culture is Kathmandu city.

Here are some : 

Fascinating Facts about Kathmandu

  • The city was founded in the 2nd century CE.
  • The city was originally called Kantipur, meaning “city of glory.”
  • Kathmandu is also known as the city of temples
  • The city covers an area of 49.45 square kilometres.
  • It is also the largest city in the country, with a population of over 2+ million people.
  • The city is home to many festivals and events throughout the year.
  • The living goddess “Kumari” is worshipped in the city.
  • The city is a popular destination for shopping, with a wide variety of goods available, including traditional Nepalese handicrafts and Tibetan artifacts.
  • Mount Everest- the highest peak in the world can be viewed from Kathmandu
  • According to geologists, Kathmandu used to be a big lake
  • Kathmandu is the 17th highest capital in the world

List of World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley

  1. Bouddhanath stupa, Kathmndu
  2. Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu
  3. Kathmandu Durbar Square, Kathmandu
  4. Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu
  5. Bhaktpur Durbar Square, Bhaktapur
  6. Patan Durbar Square, Patan
  7. Changunarayan Temple, Bhaktapur

Places to Visit in Kathmandu Valley

A. Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is the most remarkable legacy of Kathmandu’s traditional architecture. It is one of three durbar squares in the country. Long ago, while successive kings sat and ruled over Nepal, the location where new rulers were crowned as the constant beats of drums and trumpets filled the space and welcomed each successive king. With over 50 temples, palaces, and courtyards clustered together, it is the largest concentration of ancient architectural buildings in Nepal. In 2015, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, and tragically a few parts of Durbar Square were seriously damaged, the construction is ongoing now and renovations are also taking place. Despite this, the monuments still endure and stand erect.

The visitors require an admission ticket to Durbar Square as to the Hanuman Dhoka Museum. 

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals NPR 1000

SAARC nationals NPR 150

Chinese NPR 1000

Nepalese Free

The top sights inside Kathmandu Durbar Square include:

  1. Hanuman Dhoka
  2. Ashok Binyak Temple
  3. Bhagawati Temple
  4. Degutaleju Temple
  5. Durbar Square
  6. Gaddhi Baithak
  7. Great Bell
  8. Great Drums and Kot Square
  9. Indrapur Temple
  10. Jaganath Temple
  11. Kala Bhairab Temple
  12. King Pratap’s Malla Coloumn
  13. Kotilingeswar Mahadev Temple
  14. Krishna Narayan Temple
  15. Kumari Bahal
  16. Manhendraswar Temple
  17. Seto Bhairab
  18. Shiva-Parbati Temple
  19. Singh Sattal
  20. Stone Inscription
  21. Taleju Temple
  22. Tana Deval Temple
  23. Tribhuwan Museum

The visitors can always go through the stone-paved narrow walking streets inside the area, visit the shops, and street vendors, interact with the local people, and learn about the culture.

B. Patan Durbar Square

In the center of Lalitpur city stands Patan Durbar Square, the residential courtyard housing the old Malla monarchs’ royal palace. One of the Kathmandu Valley’s three Durbar Squares. The gilded doors, windows, and lavish interior depict the great Newari architecture. In the area, there are 136 courtyards (bahals) and 55 temples with Buddhist and Hindu influences. The five-story Taleju Bhawani temple, the three-story Krishna Mandir, the three-golden windowed Bhimsen Temple, the sensual carvings in the Vishwanath Temple, and others represent various religious practices throughout history. The visitors require admission tickets in the Patan Durbar Square area:

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals NPR 1,000

SAARC nationals NPR 250

Chinese NPR 1,000

Nepalese Free ( entry fee applicable inside the museum)

The top sights inside Patan Durbar Square include:

  1. Krishna Mandir
  2. Mul Chowk
  3. Patan Museum
  4. Sundari Chowk
  5. Bhandarkhal Water Tank
  6. Bhimsen Temple
  7. Bidhyapit Temple
  8. Durbar Square
  9. Golden Gate
  10. Hari Shankar Temple
  11. Jagannarayn Temple
  12. King Yogendra Malla’s Statue
  13. Manga Hiti
  14. Mani Mandap
  15. Royal Palace
  16. Taleju Bell
  17. Taleju Bhawani Temple
  18. Tusha Hiti
  19. Vishnu Temples
  20. Vishwanath Temple

You can also visit other monuments on different sides of the Patan, like the Golden Temple, Kumbeshwarb Temple, Uma Maheswor temple, PimBahal Pokhari, Chandeswari temple, Sulima Square, and many others. Likewise, you can always go through the stone-paved narrow walking streets inside the area, visit the shops, and street vendors, interact with the local people, and learn about the culture.

C. Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is situated in the present-day city of Bhaktapur, also known as Khwopa, 13 km east of Kathmandu. The historical background of Bhaktapur Durbar Square dates back to 1769, constructed by King Jitamitra Malla. It was enlisted in the World Heritage Site back in 1979 as one of the three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley.

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals US$ 15 or NPR 1,500

SAARC Nationals NPR 500

Chinese NPR 500

Nepalese Free

The major sights in Bhaktapur Durbar Square include:

  1. Golden Gate
  2. Nyatapola Temple
  3. 55 Window Palace
  4. Badrinath Temple
  5. Bhairabnath Temple
  6. Char Dham Temples
  7. Chyaslin Mandap
  8. Erotic Elephant temples
  9. Fasidega Temple
  10. Gopi Nath Temple
  11. Kedarnath Temple
  12. King BHupatindra Malla’s Column
  13. Naga Pokhari
  14. Nasamana Square
  15. National Art Gallery
  16. Pashupatinath Temple
  17. Rameshwar Temple
  18. Shiva Parvati Temple
  19. Stone Lions
  20. Tadhunchen Bahal
  21. Taleju Bell
  22. Taleju Temple
  23. Til Mahadev Narayan Temple
  24. Ugrachandi and Bhairab Statues
  25. Vatsala Durga Temple
  26. War Drums

Large ponds were built in the medieval era to retain water for drinking, bathing, and religious rites on the outskirts of Bhaktapur. The ponds and tanks continue to be a significant part of Bhaktapur’s social life; in the mornings and afternoons, villagers congregate around the ponds to socialize, take long walks, and feed the enormous carp and turtles that manage to survive in the murky waters. A few popular ponds in the Bhaktapur area are, Siddha Pokhari, Bhaiya Pokhari, Guhya Pokhari, Kamal Pokhari, etc. Bhaktapur is also famous for curd. While in Bhaktapur, one must try the town’s great contribution to the world of dessert – juju dhau, which is the creamiest yoghurt in the world.

D. Bouddhanath Stupa

Boudhanath stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. The Bauddha Stupa is believed to have been built in the 590 to 604 CE by the Nepalese Licchavi King Sivadeva. According to its history and mythology, the stupa is believed to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.  When visitors round the stupa, there are tiny prayer wheels adorning the dome.The base of the stupa is also decorated with 108 images of Dhyani Buddha Amitabha.

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals NPR 400

SAARC Nationals NPR 100

Chinese NPR 400

Nepalese Free

The top sights at Bouddhanath Stupa includes:

  1. Boudhanath Stupa
  2. Guru Lhakhang
  3. Harati Ajima Shrine
  4. Jamchen Lhakhang
  5. Ka-Nying Sheldrup Ling Gompa
  6. Pal Dilyak Gompa
  7. Pal Nye Gompa
  8. Sakya Tharig Gompa
  9. Samtenling Gompa
  10. Shechen Gompa

Apart from these sites, the visitors can always walk around the area and explore the local shops, restaurants.

E. Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple, the most respected Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva, is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River in the northeastern region of Kathmandu surrounded by a bustling market of religious stall selling garlands, flowers, prasad, incense, rudraksha beads, and other offerings to the god, and many other religious items. The temple has a long history that stretches back to the Licchavi era in the fifth century when Prachanda Dev was the ruler. The main temple of the Pahupatunath is in pagoda style with copper and gold roof. Pashupatinath Temple alone is exquisite, with its metal and wooden decorations. 

Non-Hindus tourists however cannot enter the main temple but they can view it. The Pashupati Nath Temple covers an area of 0.64 hectares of land, and has many small temples, monuments, shrines, and lingams. The area is fascinating and highly photogenic.

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals NPR 1,000 per day per entry

SAARC nationals NPR 1,000. Free for Indian Nationals

Chinese NPR 1,000

Nepalese Free

The major sights in Pashupatinath Temple include:

  1. Bachharesheari Tempel
  2. Eastern Ghaats
  3. Gorakhnath Temple
  4. Guhyeshwari Temple
  5. Lingam Shrines
  6. Lingam with Shiva Face
  7. Nandi Statue
  8. Panch deval
  9. Pashupatinath Temple
  10. Raj Rajeshwari Temple
  11. Ram Temple
  12. Shiva Shrines
  13. Standung Buddha Image
  14. Western Cremation Ghats
  15. Yogi Caves

Every year many devotees visit the temple and the biggest festivals celebrated are Teej- The biggest festival of Hindu Women, Shivaratri – the day when lord shiva was born and Balachaturdashi – a festival celebrated in remembrance of their beloved dead ones.

F. Changunarayan Temple

The oldest temple in Nepal is considered to be Changunarayan Temple. It was constructed during the Licchavi monarchy on a hillside in Changu/Dolagiri, 12 km east of Kathmandu and north of Bhaktapur, and was constructed in the second century and is a living museum. The Changunarayan Temple reflects the extraordinary pieces of art, monuments, and genuine works of Nepal. Changunarayan area offers a pleasant view of the Kathmandu valley on the horizon.  Changu Museum and Ethnographic Museum feature a distinctive collection of antiquity-related artifacts and images.

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals NPR 300

SAARC nationals NPR 100

Chinese NPR 300

Nepalese Free

The major sights of Changunarayan Temple include:

  1. Changu Narayan Temple
  2. Changu Musuem
  3. Living Tradition Museum
  4. Madhu Narayan Shrine
  5. Festival Chariot and Palaquin
  6. Statue of Garuda
  7. Statue of Malla King and Queen
  8. Bhairab Shrine
  9. Elephant Statue

The Changunaryan Temple lies in the top of the hill, and here you can also explore the countryside traditional area of Kathmandu.

G. Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayumbhunath Stupa rises through a white-washed dome and is perfectly proportioned. It was built in 460 AD, and it is a Sanskrit word translated to “self-manifested”. The four distinctive faces of the Buddha that stare out across the valley in the cardinal directions are one of the architectural jewels of the Kathmandu Valley. In addition to the little prayer wheels that ring the monument, there is a shrine dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of learning. In the area, there are statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities, and devotees can be seen walking around the stupa. On the west side of the stupa, there is a huge statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Dewa Dharma Monastery, a temple honoring the Goddess of All Children, Harati, and the Sleeping Buddha is also located inside the compound. The base of the central stupa is ringed by the prayer wheels embossed with a sacred mantra om mani padme hum ( hail to the jewel in the lotus)

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals NPR 200

SAARC nationals NPR 50

Chinese NPR 200

Nepalese Free

The major sights in the Swayumbhunath Area are:

  1. Eastern Stairway
  2. Great Thunderbolt
  3. Stupa Platform
  4. Dongak Choling Gompa
  5. Hariti Ajima Temple
  6. White and Green Tara
  7. Shree Karameaja Mahavihar
  8. Nagpura
  9. Amocha Siddhi
  10. Museum of Buddhist Statuary
  11. Anantapura Temple
  12. Pratapura Temple

H. Garden of Dreams, Kathmandu

Garden of Dreams

Situated in the prime location of Kathmandu at Thamel, it is a neo-classical garden. It is a heritage site and is a part of Kaiser Mahal, built in the 1920s by Kaiser Sumsher Rana in an area of 6895 square meters with a lily pond, fountains, amphitheater, urns, three pavilions, and a restaurant is part of Rana palace, rich in culture and history. It is a perfect place to spend your leisure time and wander around the greenery.

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals NPR 200

SAARC nationals NPR 200

Chinese NPR 200

Nepalese NPR 100

It is open to the public from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm every day. 

I. Narayanhiti Palace Museum

Narayanhiti Palace Museum

A stylish entranceway leads to the former palace of Nepal’s Shah dynasty, built by King Mahendra in 1963. It has a pagoda-style construction, divided into three wings, The Guest Wing, Private Wing and The State Wing, with altogether 52 rooms in the palace, and the rooms are named as per the district of Nepal.  It is a place where you can explore the Nepali Monarchy and ancient history of Nepal.

Entrance Fees:

Foreign Nationals NPR 500

SAARC nationals NPR 250

Chinese NPR 250

Nepalese NPR 100 (Nepalese Student – NPR 20)

Taking pictures and videos inside the Narayanhiti Museum is strictly prohibited. You can take photos and videos from outside the palace building from the garden and parking space but not inside the building.

J. Hiking around Kathmandu Valley

The visitors from Nepal or International, all of them wanders around the lush greenery and are always looking to fulfill and recharge their energy from a mundane life. Kathmandu being the capital city of Nepal and consisting the major heritage sites, it further provides you an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The short hiking trails in Kathmandu provides you the great opportunity to know how Nepal is blended with beautiful culture, traditional and the geography.

Travelers have different internet, some enjoy the adrenaline rush they gain from the adventure, some enriched their soul from the peace they feel , some like cultural tours, hiking, trekking and many more. Kathmandu therefore is a mixture of all these, the visitors can travel as per their will.

Below are some list of hiking trails in Kathmandu.

  • Nagarkot Hike

Nagarkot is a picturesque hill town known for its sunrise and sunset views of the magnificent Himalayan Ranges, which lies 32 km away from Kathmandu valley. The Nagarkot Hike will allow you the panoramic views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Manaslu, Jugal, and Annapurna ranges. Nagarkot is a popular destination for tourists who arrive by car or on foot because of its abundance of scenic beauty and natural beauty. Nagarkot Day Hike Tour thus became one of the most well-liked day tours from Kathmandu.

Trip Summary

Height: 2,195m
Highlights: from Nagarkot and its surrounding hills you can see several mountain ranges including Annapurna, Ganesh Himal, Langtang and Everest. Sunrise and sunset from Nagarkot.
Hike Duration: 4 hours

  • Shivapuri Hill Hike

The second tallest hill  in Kathmandu Valley is Shivapuri Hike, located at a height of 2732 meters and in the northern side of Kathmandu Valley covering an area of 159 One of the most well-known and well-maintained short walks in the Kathmandu Valley is the hike up Shivapuri Hill. The trail is also easy to walk on. Throughout the trekking route, you will notice steps that make it easier for you to move around even when the terrain is slick.

Trip Summary:

Height: 2563m
Highlights: Spectacular view of Himalayan range, and the Kathmandu city, fauna and flora of subtropical forest of Shivapuri, Gumbas
Hike Duration: 7 hours or more

  • Phulchwoki Hill Hike

The highest hill of the Kathmandu is Phulchowki, which is situated south of the Kathmandu Valley, standing at a height of 2782 meters, it is well known for its spectacular views especially if you want to observe the magnificent Himalayan mountain range. Additionally, Phulchowki Dada is home to a temple, a Buddhist shrine, and colorful prayer flags cover the area. It is regarded as a sacred location of cultural significance. At the summit of the hill, Phulchowki Mai’s temple is surrounded by a prayer flag. Along with its natural beauty, the location is gifted with religious values.
Trip Summary:

Height: 2,782m
Highlights: Sub-tropical forest, breathtaking views of the Kathmandu Valley and views of Annapurna and Gaurishankar mountains.
Hike Duration: 6.5 to 7 hours

  • Namobuddha Hike

One of Nepal’s biggest monasteries, Namobuddha is a well-known location for meditation. Given that Namobuddha is unpolluted, serene, and offers a stunning scenery, hiking there can be a fantastic option. It is located at the height of 1400m, and lies in the outskirt of Kathmandu Valley. You can travel all the way to one of the breathtaking holy places known as the Three Stupas in your Namobudhha walk. The rich natural beauty and architectural wonders of Namobuddha are as impressive as the historical tale that inspired it. The visitors can also stay overnight at Gumba and experience the stay like a monk

Trip Summary:

Height: 1750 m
Highlights: Buddhist culture and tradition, cultural outlook of Nepal, spectacular view of Langatang range
Hike Duration: 6.5 to 7 hours

  • Chandragiri Hill Hike

Chandragiri Hill situated at the 2475 meters is fleicitous viewpoint for diverse sceneries.The chandragiri hill gives a lovely view point of Kathmandu city and beautiful panoramic mountain grange include Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh, Langtang, Dorjelakpa, and Gaurisahnkar himal. A cable car and resort is opened at the summit of Chandragiri Hill, which is surrounded by an evergreen forest and an excellent trekking trail for Chitlang village house stays. There is a Shiva temple on Chandragiri Hill called Bhaleswor Mahadev Temple, which is steeped in Hindu legend.

Trip Summary:

Height: 2475 meters
Highlights: Tantalizing panoramas of Langtang, Ganesh Himal and Manaslu from the apogee of Chandragiri Hill,Ravishing views and Green lush forest aside from the trails,Enjoy the Cable car ride and amazing sunrise views.
Hike Duration: 6.5 to 7 hours

Popular Tour Packages for Kathmandu Visit

Kathmandu Valley Rim Trek

Kathmandu Valley Bike Adventure

Kathmandu Home Stay

Biking Around Kathmandu

Around Kathmandu Valley Tour

Chisapani-Nagarkot Hiking

Day Tour Kathmandu

Kathmandu Valley Trek

Useful Sites

Currency Exchange

Nepal Tourism Board

Nepal Social Treks

Important Numbers

Nepal’s country code 977

International Access Code 00

Police 100

Tourist Police 01-4247041

Ambulance 102

Arriving In Nepal

By Air: Tribhuvan International Airport

You can fly to Tribhuvan International Airport from your destination, it is the only international airport of Nepal.

By Land:

Sunauli ( Indian Border)

You can also land to India and come to Nepal via Sunauli Border via roadways.

Visa Extension

  • Tourist visa extension is done for minimum 15 days with USD 45 and USD 3 per day for additional days.
  • In the case of delay less than 150 days additional USD 5 per day as late fine.

Department of Immigration

You may visit the above-mentioned site for more information about visa extensions.

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Basu Panday

Basu Panday started his journey in tourism and hospitality as a support staff 17 years ago. He has travelled all the Himalayan region as trekking staff and trekking guide, and have climbed 6000+ meters several trekking peaks in the Himalaya. He often leads trips in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. He had travelled to many other countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Romania, Lithuania, Greece, Denmark Spain, Australia and the USA for promotion of Nepal’s tourism.  After working as support staff, then tour and trek guide, he eventually fulfilled his desire to start his own company, Nepal Social Treks and Expedition, in 2006. Basu is friendly and he is the one who answers most of your trip questions. So if you have any inquiry about our trip, don't be shy. Write to us.
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