Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, is a riot for the senses. The traffic-jammed streets convey a chaotic impression, but this is also a city of hidden beauties and fascinating cultural attractions.
Enjoy a tranquil early morning walk to Swayambhunath, an ancient Buddhist stupa surrounded by statues and temples. The Garden of Dreams is a serene public garden in the backpacker district of Thamel.
Pulchowk Road is a great place to purchase souvenirs, with market stalls and multi-story shops selling pottery, hand-printed fabric, homemade jewellery and much more. The nearby Kupondole area is known for its vibrant street art, although you’ll find colourful murals all around the city.
From Pulchowk you can walk or take a taxi to Durbar Square, where you’ll find historic temples and palaces. While several were destroyed in Nepal’s 2015 earthquake, the square still lives up to its UNESCO designation.
Exploring the city’s labyrinthine backstreets you’ll find hidden temples, courtyards spread with drying chilies, artisan workshops and delicious hawker stalls.
Although the city might be popular with backpackers, it has a lot of luxury offerings for the upmarket traveller. You’ll have your pick of upmarket hotels, from multinational chains to smaller boutique offerings. Kathmandu also has some interesting upscale restaurants, serving food from around the world, as well as delicious variants of Nepali cuisine.