The 10 Best Things to do in Kathmandu Valley, Central Region

January 15, 2022 Diedre Savory

Discover the best top things to do in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal including Kopan Monastery, Pashupatinath Temple, Patan Museum, Durbar (Central) Square, Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihar), Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Temple, Chandragiri Hills, Thamel.

1. Kopan Monastery

Kathmandu Nepal 977 1481 268 [email protected] http://kopanmonastery.com/
Excellent
68%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 787 reviews

Kopan Monastery

Hundreds of monks and nuns live at this monastery, which offers meditation courses year round.

Reviewed By 403jennar - Winnipeg, Canada

We went to the monastery for when it first opened at 9:30 and stayed until around 11, and had a very memorable time circling the stupas and observing life at the monastery. Great view of Kathmandu from the cafe where you can sit outside and watch the monks go about their rituals and daily life. We took a taxi to get there and he waited until we were done at no extra charge, which is recommended as there were not taxis there waiting to pick people up.

2. Pashupatinath Temple

44621 Pashupati Nath Road, Kathmandu 44600 Nepal http://pashupatinathtemple.org/
Excellent
58%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4,935 reviews

Pashupatinath Temple

Reviewed By SFO_Drew - San Francisco, United States

This UN World Heritage site is literally a must-see for many Hindus, in order to gain spiritual fulfillment (along with Varanasi). If you cross the bridge behind the temple and climb the stairs, you will find a respectful viewing area to watch cremation ceremonies of the high-ranking deceased (there are other slabs further up the river for the common folks). But if you continue up the stairs, you will find rows of stupas that are quite pretty (you'll also frequently find sadhus here who will pose for pictures for money), and then a monkey road that leads down to a back gate exit. The grounds are quite large so you may wish to get a guide (such as Pink Mountain) before going there.

3. Patan Museum

Royal Palace Complex Durbar Marg, Patan (Lalitpur) 44700 Nepal 01-521492 http://www.patanmuseum.gov.np
Excellent
61%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 525 reviews

Patan Museum

It takes all three floors of the meticulously restored royal palace to cover thirteen centuries of Nepal’s religious art history; easily Nepal’s leading museum.

Reviewed By ggm96822 - Honolulu, United States

Severely damaged in the April 2015 earthquake, the restoration since has been phenomenal; much of the original doors, windows, wood carvings and brick work have been put back into place, only replaced by very high quality new work when necessary. This was the palace of the Malla kings of Patan, originally built in 1734 AD by displacing Ha Bāhā, though it has been rebuilt several times since (it was leveled in the massive 1934 AD earthquake, for example). The collection continues to expand, too, as (sadly) other historic structures of Patan are rebuilt without preserving their centuries-old carvings but at least letting the museum display them. There are occasional dances and musical events in the courtyard, and the impressively re-established annual Tantric-inspired Kartik Naach is performed in the fall outside the museum. Guide not necessary but many people apparently miss the second, separate entrance and even fewer visit the pond behind the palace.

4. Durbar (Central) Square

Patan (Lalitpur) Nepal
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 987 reviews

Durbar (Central) Square

Most towns and cities have a durbar, or central, square. Patan's is comparatively quiet, surrounded by peaceful palace courtyards, shops and pagoda temples.

Reviewed By AZCasualTraveler - Mesa, United States

UNESCO had designated three (3) town squares in Nepal as World Heritage Sites (Cultural): (1) Kathmandu Durbar Square, (2) Bhaktapur Durbar Square and (3) Patan Durbar Square - all three of these Squares are must see places while traveling through Nepal and they are all different in their own way. The Patan Durbar Square has many distinctive and interesting temples and structures: Krishna Temple, Royal Palace Patan, Jagannarayan Temple, Keshav Narayan Temple, Char Naarayan Temple, Golden Temple and others. When we had visited Patan Durbar Square on November 2019, we found most all of the structures here had been either not affected by the 2015 earthquake or were repaired quickly - we saw only a couple of structures that were being "repaired". This is in contrast to the Kathmandu Durbar Square which had multiple structures that are still in need of earthquake damage repair when we had visited that location. In summary, the Patan Durbar Square is in excellent shape - almost all the structures show no earthquake damage and the whole area is visually quite stunning as you enter the Square. The Ancient Nepal architecture here at the Square looks very impressive and makes for good photography. Highly recommend seeing the Patan Durbar Square, and if you have time walk down through some of the side streets to see the residential areas that surrounds the Square - interesting!

5. Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihar)

Kwalakhu Rd North of Durbar Square, Patan (Lalitpur) 44600 Nepal
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 351 reviews

Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihar)

This beautiful pagoda temple dates from the 14th century and is distinctive for its bright golden color.

Reviewed By ud202 - Washington DC, United States

The temple is well maintained and the keepers are friendly. It was late afternoon and was not very busy; I had a pleasant visit.

6. Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur 00977-1-4701148 Nepal
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,633 reviews

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The ancient city Bhaktapur lies on the Eastern part of Kathmandu valley which is also known as Bhadgaon or Khwopa. The historical monument on around signifies medieval age culture and tradition of Nepal and this old city is inhabited by indigenous Newari people in large group. you can visit to this place to experience Nepali culture,tradition,religion from right way.we are here to support you for your tours.

Reviewed By AZCasualTraveler - Mesa, United States

There are more than one Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley Nepal: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan - all three (3) of these Squares have been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. Bhaktapur is about 45 minute drive from Kathmandu city, and the Durbar Square in Bhaktapur (population 107,000) appears to be less crowded with tourists than the one in Kathmandu city (population 1.4 million). When we had visited Bhaktapur Durbar Square in November 2019, there was not much visible evidence of physical damage due to the 2015 earthquake to the structures when compared to Kathmandu - either the earthquake was less severe in Bhaktapur or the restoration work was completed faster here. The architecture here at Bhaktapur Durbar Square is typical ancient Nepal style with several notable structures in and around the Square area: Shiva Kedarnath temple, National Art Museum, Nyatapola Temple, Siddhi Laxmi Temple, Gopinath Krishna Temple and more. In addition to the Temples, there is the colorful "back streets" just off the square that have interesting shops to look at including a "Nepal Gurkha Knife" shop containing a variety of different styles - Interesting! It was well worth the drive to come visit Bhaktapur from the big city of Kathmandu.

7. Boudhanath Stupa

Boudh, Kathmandu 44600 Nepal
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 8,896 reviews

Boudhanath Stupa

Bouddhanath stupa is the most liked sightseeing place in Kathmandu. Visitors are required to pay NRs. 250(Foreign Nationals) NRs. 50 (SAARC Nationals) NRs. 250 (Chinese) per person (Below 10 years free) as entrance fees to the Bouddhanath. A lot of Tibetan people reside around the Stupa. And it is very famous and holy place specially of Buddhists People. It is one of the most popular world heritage site of Nepal. Breakfree Adventures offer Bouddhanath Private Sightseeing Day Tours.

Reviewed By 702sallyl - Richmond, United Kingdom

This is the 'iconic' symbol of Kathmandu and a most wonderful Stupa surrounded by a beautiful paved circle of old houses/shops. One new addition is Cafe Caravan which is on the first floor about ⅓ of the way around the circle if you walk clockwise from the main entrance ... great decor, super art (from a Dolpo artist) and very good coffee, snacks and other drinks with a view straight onto the Stupa. Wifi too!!

8. Swayambhunath Temple

Swayamhu Circle Road, Kathmandu 44620 Nepal +977 986-5713743 [email protected] http://www.thehimalayanguide.com/swayambhunath-temple/
Excellent
62%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6,201 reviews

Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhunath is a glorious ancient religious architecture, located in the middle of Kathmandu city. It is center of faith of both Buddhist and Hindus.

Reviewed By CaliGuy01 - San Francisco, United States

Very nice temple with many layers up high on the mountain. This temple has many monuments besides the main stupa that are really nice along with shops and a place where paintings are available that are reasonable and local.

9. Chandragiri Hills

Thankot, Kathmandu 44619 Nepal +977 1-4314411 [email protected] http://www.chandragirihills.com/
Excellent
62%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 398 reviews

Chandragiri Hills

Chandragiri Hills Ltd is a Hospitality Company which operates cable car, restaurants & bar,conference center and branded shops in Thankot Kathmandu,with its upcoming attraction being amusement park, boutique resort, paragliding, zip flying and many more.

Reviewed By RajanPandey - Adelaide, Australia

This is a unique opportunity to view part of the Himalayan ranges from a beautiful vantage point. We had to pay NPR 1200 per person which was a bit disappointing considering few others got a huge discount. However, the rope way journey was very well worth it and I would definitely do it again. The attendants at the boarding and disembarking point can do a bit more to help coordinate the count of people sitting in the car and assist the elders. The Temple on top is really nice and a must visit. I would recommend giving yourself at least 3 hours to soak in everything even though we finished off the trip and sightseeing in 1 hour. We would have loved to stay back on top and relish the view while sipping some coffee. The NPR 50 for the top view sounds like a fleece after the hefty charge at the bottom and poor discourteous attendant makes you regret it but again it turned out to be worth it as the view of the hills was beautiful. Take a map before hand as the attendant won’t guide you about which mountain is which.

10. Thamel

Kathmandu 44600 Nepal
Excellent
43%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.0 based on 5,689 reviews

Thamel

Reviewed By PBSydmortdale - Sydney, Australia

Thamel has to be seen to be appreciated , narrow streets , heaps of shops ,many varieties of places to eat &have coffee , lots of spas ,the roads are narrow , and cater for cars ,buses , motorbikes , bicycles ,humans walking , cows. Yes cows , it’s crazy but fun , it’s important to have your wits about you and have eyes in the back of your head , but I loved it . One tip always bargain with the price , they expect it and it’s fun , be prepared to walk , they won’t lose a sale.

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