Kathmandu Travel Guide

by our Nepal expert Terry Emery
Terry EmeryThe capital of Nepal stands at a mere 1,400 metres - not the highest capital in the world but in any case dwarfed by the majesty of the Himalaya surrounding it. Unless you can be generous with time, visitors face an agonising choice - concentrate on a unique and fascinating city, or use it as a jumping off point for the ‘roof of the world’. (If you’re really time-rich, throw in Nepalese wild-life with tigers at superb reserves such as Chitwan). In fact unless you are seriously trekking, you can spend an awesome just couple of days in fairly nearby hill town/villages such as Dhulikel or Nagarkot where at dawn you can see the sun’s rays flick along, lighting up successive peaks - yes, including the big one, Everest. But Kathmandu itself will surprise and delight you at every corner. Durbar (‘Palace’) Square is the core, each side with a temple or Buddhist stupa including, tucked into a corner, Kumari Ghar the temple of the child Living Goddess who shows herself at a window (strictly no photos!). Find a restaurant with a terrace and gaze over the prayer-flag bedecked vista - the golden dome of the Boudanhath stupa, the Hindu Swayambhu ‘monkey temple’ with real simian inhabitants, then stroll down to the burning ghats of the Bagmati -the river’s a bit scruffy but the almost jolly funeral pyre ceremonies are fascinating. The terrifyingly bedaubed sadhu holy men that overlook the scene are incredibly photogenic and commercially aware of it. Nepal is no longer a monarchy, and has many Tibetan influences via refugees from that country but the people are universally friendly and truly welcome visitors.

360 Tour of Bodhnath Stupa with bicycle

Nepal Facts

National Flag: Nepalese Flag
Language(s): Nepali
Currency: Nepalese rupee
Dialling Code: +977
Time Zone: GMT + 5.75
Tourism Website:

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