Kathmandu Valley is the most popular city in the world for the historical and cultural sites that have been attracted the foreign tourist for many years. Kathmandu consists of three historical cities Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur which includes several pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhists. There are seven out of 10 World Heritage Sites within the Kathmandu valley.
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal situated at 1400m (approx.) above sea level surrounded by the green lush hills Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun and Chandragiri. Kathmandu is the tourism hub of Nepal and the country’s only the International Airport, Tribhuvan International Airport lies here. The historical sites of Kathmandu were devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April and 12 May, 2015.
Because of the world’s 8 highest mountain peaks above 8,000m including Mount Everest (8848m), Nepal is a trekker’s paradise. Most of the trekkers visiting Nepal Himalayas stay one day in Kathmandu and walk around the ancient places.
Best Sightseeing Places in Kathmandu
1: Swayambhunath Stupa or Monkey Temple
Swayambhunath stupa, also known as monkey temple lies on a hill top about 20 minutes walk from the tourist city Thamel. If you are going trekking or returning from trekking, 1 day trip to swayambhunath stupa would be best to witness the kathmandu valley from the top. Walk-up the 365 steps to the stupa at the top, just roam around and take some pictures. The entrance fee is NRs 200 for foreigners
2: Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is the most popular Hindu Temple situated at the bank of holy River Bagmati. Listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list, the temple is famous among the Hindu pilgrims especially for Indian Tourist. Non-Hindus can not enter into the main temple but can walk around the complex of shrines and statues. Cremations take place daily at the bank of holy Bagmati River so get ready to take a snap with your camera. You can also visit the jungle area and witness the activities of monkeys. It may take 20min taxi ride from thamel to reach the temple and cost NRs 1000 for the entrance.
3: Boudhanath Stupa
Boudhanath Stupa is the largest stupa in Nepal and attracts local and foreign tourist. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kathmandu Valley and entrance fee is NRs 250.
4: Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square aka Basantapur Darbar Area or Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex is one of the popular tourist places in Kathmandu. It was then the king palace with the historical and cultural wooden carving.
5: Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Squre is the then royal palace in Bhaktapur city (Bhadgaon). It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kathmandu valley and the main attraction of Nepalese tourism. There are four squares (Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and Pottery Square). Durbar Square was damaged by the Earthquakes in 1934 and April 2015.
6: Patan Durbar Square
Patan is situated in Lalitpur city and one of the three ancient cities of Kathmandu valley. The city is also called the city of arts and crafts as people of this area are engaged in carving of stone and metallic statues. It is important for both Hindus and Buddhist as there are some Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas inside the Durbar Square. You can take a tour guide who will lead you around the area and brief about the historical and cultural facts. The entrance fee is 500 Rs.