The Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu: A Top 10 List

: 2023-06-19

Last Updated : 2024-02-15

Introduction to the Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis. It offers a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern culture. It is also known for its natural beauty and stunning mountain views. Thus, it is a must-visit destination for travelers. In this article, we will explore best places to visit in Kathmandu 

Swayambhunath Stupa


The Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the “Monkey Temple,” sits on a hill in Kathmandu. It is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. And also a must-see spot for both locals and tourists. This ancient Buddhist temple is not only a place for spiritual peace but also offers stunning views of the entire Kathmandu valley and the mountains.

The stupa itself is a beautiful sight, covered in colorful prayer flags and amazing carvings that tell stories of Nepal’s history. As you climb the stairs to the main stupa, you will hear the calming sounds of prayer wheels and monks chanting in the distance.

The Monkey Temple gets its name from the playful monkeys that live in the area. These furry residents bring a lively and unpredictable element to the visit, often entertaining visitors with their antics as they roam freely around the temple grounds.

Take your time to explore the various shrines, statues, and smaller stupas that surround the main structure. Each one adds to the spiritual atmosphere and showcases the temple’s rich history.

As the sun sets, the stupa takes on a magical glow, casting a warm light over the entire hill. This is a perfect time to sit and soak in the peaceful surroundings, reflecting on the spirituality and calmness that the Swayambhunath Stupa brings to all who visit. Whether you’re interested in culture, great views, or a close encounter with Nepal’s playful monkeys, the Monkey Temple is a must-visit spot that captures the essence of Kathmandu’s spiritual and natural beauty.

Pashupatinath Temple


Pashupatinath Temple is a special place in Nepal, sitting by the beautiful Bagmati River. It is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. It’s not just a temple; it’s a cultural and architectural treasure and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The temple’s beauty is clear in its amazing architecture, with detailed carvings that tell stories from Hindu mythology. As you approach, you will feel the peaceful atmosphere and the spiritual energy that fills the whole temple area.

Pashupatinath Temple is really important in Hinduism, and every day, traditional rituals and ceremonies take place there. Hearing the rhythmic chants, the ringing of bells, and smelling the incense all add to the experience. Devotees and priests carry out ancient practices, creating a link between the earthly and the divine.

For those wanting to learn more about Hindu culture and spirituality, Pashupatinath Temple is the perfect place to see the rituals, watch the devoted worshippers, and admire the art that decorates this holy place. It’s a journey into the heart of Nepal’s religious and cultural identity, an experience that stays with everyone who has the honor of visiting.

Pashupatinath Temple is also a significant place for Hindus as a cremation site. Next to the temple, along the banks of the Bagmati River, is a solemn area where the last rites of Hindus are performed for those who have passed away. The cremation ghats, which are like platforms, are lined up along the river and it’s where the final rituals of Hindu funeral ceremonies take place. The smoke from the funeral pyres mixes with the temple’s surroundings, creating a sad yet holy atmosphere. This part of Pashupatinath shows the cycle of life and death in Hindu beliefs, highlighting the temple’s role not only as a spiritual center but also as a place where people face the passing of time with respect and acceptance. Visitors, as they pay their respects to the divine, are reminded of the interconnectedness of life and the important rituals that mark the changes in Hindu culture.

Kathmandu Durbar Square


Kathmandu Durbar Square is a really special place right in the heart of Kathmandu. It is thus, added to the list of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. It’s like a time machine that takes you back to Nepal’s rich history and cultural heritage. The complex is made up of old palaces, temples, and courtyards, and it’s been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The real charm of the square comes from its amazing architecture, especially the detailed wood carvings that decorate the buildings. It’s a perfect mix of art and history.

When you walk around Kathmandu Durbar Square, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to when the Malla kings ruled the land. The fancy palaces and temples show off the incredible skills of the architects back then, and every little detail tells a story about Nepal’s culture. The square is like a living museum, preserving traditional Newari architecture, and it’s a chance for visitors to admire the amazing craftsmanship that has lasted through the years.

But there’s more to Kathmandu Durbar Square than just its beautiful buildings. It’s also a center for cultural events. People come here to celebrate traditional Newari rituals and festivals, giving visitors a chance to experience local life up close. The square is always bustling, especially with the lively markets around it, where you can find local crafts, textiles, and delicious food. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a place that draws in history buffs and anyone who wants to soak up the real spirit of Kathmandu’s culture.

Boudhanath Stupa


Boudhanath Stupa is another  special place in Kathmandu, and it’s one of the biggest stupas in Nepal. It’s not just a monument; it’s a really important spot for Tibetan Buddhism and it’s been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is thus, added to the list of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. The stupa is a huge mandala, which is like a sacred symbol, and it’s covered in all kinds of meaningful designs that make it a really impressive sight for both locals and visitors.

When you are at Boudhanath, you can feel a sense of peace all around. The stupa is surrounded by colorful prayer flags that flutter in the wind, bringing blessings to everyone who comes by. There are also monasteries and shops selling traditional Tibetan goods, so it’s a chance for visitors to really soak up the rich culture of Tibetan Buddhism.

As you walk around the stupa, you can see all the amazing details of how it’s been built, and you can join in with the traditional Buddhist rituals, like spinning prayer wheels and saying mantras. It’s a really special way to connect with the spiritual practices that have been around for centuries.

But there’s more to Boudhanath than just its spiritual side. If you find a good spot to look out from the stupa, you will be treated to some incredible views of the mountains all around. It is a beautiful natural setting that adds to the whole experience. Whether you’re looking for some quiet time, want to learn about a different culture, or just want to take a peaceful walk, Boudhanath Stupa is a place that really captures the enduring spirit of Tibetan Buddhism in Kathmandu.

National Museum of Nepal

The National Museum of Nepal, located in Chhauni, is like the best place to understand Nepal’s history, art, and culture. Thus, the best places to visit in Kathmandu. It is a place where you can take a journey through time and explore the rich heritage of Nepal. The museum is like a guardian of the country’s past, with a huge collection of artifacts, artworks, and sculptures that tell the story of Nepal’s society, art, and traditions.

When you step inside the museum, you will be surrounded by artifacts from different periods in history. Each one has a story to tell about ancient civilizations, ruling families, and the mix of cultures that have shaped Nepal. You will see amazing sculptures that show off the artistic skills of people from long ago, as well as artifacts that give you a glimpse into important moments in history. The National Museum paints a picture that celebrates Nepal’s special identity.

Visitors to the museum get the chance to really dig into Nepalese history and understand the different cultural influences that have made the country what it is today. The museum isn’t just about keeping the past alive; it’s also about sharing it in a way that teaches and inspires. It’s a must-visit for anyone who wants to uncover the many layers of Nepal’s fascinating and diverse heritage.

Asan Tole

Asan Tole is a really bustling market square right in the middle of Kathmandu. It is a place where you can really feel the local way of life. Thus, making it to be the best places to visit in Kathmandu. The square is full of energy and is a real treat for anyone who wants to experience Nepal’s culture. It is like a whirlwind of colors, sounds, and smells. When you visit Asan Tole, you will be surrounded by traditional crafts and local vendors showing off the best of Nepalese heritage.

The place is special not just because of the different shops, but also because it’s a chance to be right in the middle of Kathmandu’s everyday life. Asan Tole is where locals and tourists mix together, creating a really unique cultural experience. Whether you are looking for beautifully made souvenirs, fabrics, or just want to try some local food, the market’s stalls and narrow alleys (“gallies”) have something for everyone.

As the sun goes down, Asan Tole becomes even more magical, with the lights from the shops making everything glow. You will hear the sounds of people chatting, vendors selling their goods, and lots of laughter, all mixing together to create a lively atmosphere. It is the perfect place to really understand and feel the spirit of Kathmandu. In the heart of Asan Tole, you don’t just find a lively marketplace, you become part of the living culture that makes Nepal’s capital city so special, making it to the list of the best places to visit in Kathmandu.

Kumari Ghar (Kumari’s Living Goddess Residence)

Kumari Ghar, is one of the most famous and termed as the best places to visit in Kathmandu. It also known as the Kumari’s Living Goddess Residence, is a fascinating cultural site right in the heart of Kathmandu. It is hence, added to the list of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. This historical building, near Kathmandu Durbar Square, is where the Kumari, a living goddess in Nepalese tradition, lives. The Kumari is a young girl chosen from the Newar community because she embodies divine qualities and is believed to be the earthly form of the goddess Taleju.

The architecture of Kumari Ghar is a really beautiful example of traditional Newari design. making it to the list of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. It holds detailed windows, wooden balconies, and a pagoda-style structure. The residence itself is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of Kathmandu Valley that the Newar community has preserved and the importance of spiritual beliefs.

Visitors to Kumari Ghar might get a chance to see the Kumari when she appears at the window during certain times, which is a rare and sacred experience. The selection and role of the Kumari are a unique part of Nepalese culture, where a living child is seen as a goddess with the power to give blessings.

While you can’t go inside Kumari Ghar, just seeing the outside gives you a fascinating look at the cultural and religious traditions that have been kept alive for centuries. The nearby Durbar Square, with its historical monuments and lively atmosphere, adds to the appeal of Kumari Ghar, making it a place you shouldn’t miss if you want to explore the mystical and enchanting traditions of Nepal.

Narayanhiti Royal Palace Museum

The Narayanhiti Royal Palace Museum is located in the heart of Kathmandu. It is a treasure trove of Nepal’s royal history. Once the home of the country’s monarchs, the palace has been transformed into a museum, inviting visitors to step back in time and experience the lavish lifestyle of Nepal’s royal family.

The museum’s architecture is a beautiful fusion of traditional Nepalese and European styles, reflecting the influence of different historical eras. The beautifully carved wooden windows, grand halls, and meticulously maintained gardens add to the palace’s attraction.

As you wander through the Narayanhiti Royal museum, you will encounter a captivating array of artifacts, personal items, and gifts received by the royal family. These exhibits shed light on the political, cultural, and social aspects of Nepal’s monarchy. Among the highlights is the king’s ceremonial throne, providing a tangible link to the nation’s regal heritage.

The museum also includes the room where the tragic royal massacre took place in 2001, a pivotal event in Nepal’s history. This preserved space stands as a poignant reminder of the hardships faced by the royal family.

For history buffs and those intrigued by Nepal’s royal past, the Narayanhiti Royal Palace Museum promises an enthralling journey. The thoughtfully arranged displays and the historical significance of the palace make it a compelling destination, offering a peek into the intricacies of the monarchy and Nepal’s evolution as a nation.

Dharahara (Bhimsen Tower)

Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower, is a well-known architectural marvel in Kathmandu, Nepal. This tall structure, first built in the 19th century, was a source of pride and a reminder of the city’s rich past. It is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. Sadly, the tower suffered major damage during the 2015 earthquake, causing part of it to collapse. Since then, efforts had been underway to rebuild this iconic monument and bring it back to its former grandeur.

The original Dharahara was constructed by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa in 1832 and stood as a nine-story tower with a spiral staircase leading to an observation deck at the top. From there, visitors could take in breathtaking views of the Kathmandu Valley and the mountains beyond.

The rebuilding project aimed not only to restore the tower but also to make it stronger against future earthquakes. And today we have established Dharahara like we had it before but stronger and better. 

Garden of Dreams

The Garden of Dreams is a peaceful getaway from the heavy hustle and bustle of the city, welcoming people to relax in a calm oasis. This beautifully designed garden, filled with green plants, calming fountains, and lovely pavilions, is a beloved escape for both locals and visitors in Kathmandu.

The atmosphere of the garden is perfect for finding peace, giving people a chance to relax surrounded by nature’s wonders. Thus, making it to the list of the best places to visit in Kathmandu. Walking along the well-kept paths, you can enjoy the different plants, flowers, and the overall calm feeling that fills the air.

To make the experience even better, the Garden of Dreams has a small café where you can treat yourself to a tasty snack or a nice cup of coffee. It is a great opportunity to take a break and relax. 

If you are looking out for a peaceful place to enjoy a drink, the Garden of Dreams is a cherished spot in the heart of Kathmandu. It combines natural beauty with a touch of human creativity, making it a place that invites everyone to take a break from the city and embrace the calm within.


Kathmandu is a city that offers a unique blend of ancient traditions, modern culture, and natural beauty. From ancient temples to stunning hill stations, there is no shortage of places to visit in Kathmandu that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. So, if you’re planning a trip to Nepal, be sure to add these top places to your itinerary for a remarkable experience.

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