Kathmandu is littered with UNESCO World Heritage sites, including extraordinarily beautiful architecture, and some of the largest temples in the world. Here we take you through some of our favourites. When you are ready to go, Brightsun Travel has Kathmandu cheap flight deals all year round with some of the world’s best airlines.
One of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Boudhanath Stupa is an ancient site in Kathmandu dating back thousands of years. The stupa, a huge white dome structure, attracts thousands of pilgrims each day, who circle the stupa in a clockwise direction, spinning prayer wheels as they go.
Known for its resident monkeys, Swayambhunath is the oldest shrine in the world, dating back over 2500 years. The temple is a whitewashed dome, with four sets of Buddha’s eyes watching over the city in different directions, with thousands of prayer flags attached to 13 stupas, that carry enormous cultural and religious significance.
Go east of the city and you will find one of the holiest Hindu temples in the city, Pashupatinath Temple, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, located on the banks of the Bagmati River. Even though non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple, you can enjoy an atmospheric walk along the river, and admire the amazing architecture, that mostly survived the 2015 earthquake.
Kopan Monastery and Nunnery
A short drive from Kathmandu is the Kopan Monastery and Nunnery, where you can talk to resident monks and nuns about meditation techniques and learn about traditional Tibetan Buddhist practices. The nunnery is on the way to Patan, which is a popular spot in the city where you can find beautiful medieval temples and thousands of monuments around Durbar Square.
Hanuman Dhoka of the Royal Palace
Visit the Royal Palace and you will find beautiful courtyards, or chowks, with coronation platforms and palanquins on display, plus a royal museum, and intricate statues dating back hundreds of years. Even though the palace is temporarily closed for reconstruction, the structure itself is an impressive sight in the centre of the city.
Thamel is Kathmandu’s backpacker district, full of street vendors, lively bars and smart restaurants, where you can sample some of Nepal’s traditional food. Alternatively, head to Fire and Ice for the best pizza in town, and spend the day at the 5 star Yak and Yeti hotel and enjoy a traditional plate of ‘dal bhat’, a dish of rice, curry and dal, in decadent surroundings.
Garden of Dreams
The Garden of Dreams is a beautiful corner of Kathmandu, just 2 minutes walk from the tourist centre of Thamel, and an oasis in the city, built to reflect traditional English gardens. Here you can stroll past fountains, ponds and pavilions, and take a picnic on large lawned areas. The garden also hosts regular events and has an on site café.