First Time in Kathmandu! How to Prepare & What To Expect in Your First Time Visit

  1. The best activities in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a city that does not lack great activities. The main activities in Kathmandu do not cost much money, which is always a bonus. Kathmandu is not saturated with virgin historical sites such as the cities of Europe.

The largest part of Kathmandu is not very beautiful or aesthetic, but it is worth seeing the architectural and cultural treasures that Kathmandu possesses. In addition to cultural sites, shrines and temples, there is plenty of delicious food to try, negotiate and optional day trips to areas outside Kathmandu.

Here is our list of the 10 best things to do in Kathmandu to help you realize your ideas …

  • Visit the temple of Swayambhunath / Monkey temple

The so-called temple of money is just one of the attractions of Kathmandu, which one must have seen. Swayambunath was built on this site and is one of the oldest religious buildings in Nepal, dating from 5 AD.

It is a Buddhist stupa that now houses hundreds of monkeys, hence the nickname. It is a short walk from Thamel or 50 RS with the rickshaw and for a while you have to climb the hill yourself.

swayambhunath picture a place to visit in Kathmandu Nepal

Swayambhunath Stupa – a place to visit in Kathmandu Nepal

  • Visit the old town of Kathmandu

The old town is not particularly exciting in itself, but there are some very interesting ancient relics such as the Itum Bahal courtyard and some cool markets.

  • Explore the surroundings of the Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath is a huge complex of temples, ashrams, holy men and fiery ghats and one of the most impressive cultural and religious sites in Kathmandu. You cannot enter the main temple, but visit the surrounding premises. There you can see Nepalese ceremonies and funerals.

  • Eat Momos:

As I said before, momos are delicious Nepalese dumplings. You will find them stuffed with chicken or vegetables or both. While riding my backpack to Kathmandu several times, I ate many more momos in one session than I would like to admit here. The photo below was only the first round.

How to Cook Chicken Momos


  • Bargain for souvenirs.

Bargaining is only part of life in Kathmandu. Whether you’re looking for Tibetan bowls, canes or tattoos, bargaining for the best price is an adventure in itself. They find everything in the Thamel.

  • Experience the Boudinath Stupa

Boudinath is one of the most impressive stupas you have ever seen. A visit here is absolutely worth the $ 3 entry. Meet the stupa stupa: Boudhanath.

  • Eat Nepalese goodies

Nepalese love sweets. (I mean, who doesn’t?) In Kathmandu you will find numerous stores where you can buy a variety of sweet packages that you have never seen (unless you were in India). Try as many as possible! You’ll meet them when you see them. I think I bought a kilo of that.

  • Visit a bazaar outside the Thamel

The Thamel is ideal for finding (mostly) souvenirs and trekking equipment, but the Thamel is not the “real” Kathmandu. Leave the main backpackers center and discover what the Nepalese markets are all about. Discover the sights, smells and chaos of the Asan Tole bazaar. Photo: Juan Antonio Segal

  • Volunteering in Kathmandu

If you have some time in Kathmandu, you can volunteer. From volunteering with children in need to concerts in the monastery, in Kathmandu there are many places where you can participate and make a difference.

Keep in mind that there are many cheats in Kathmandu volunteering. You should never have to pay thousands of dollars to volunteer in Nepal. If you are interested in volunteering in Kathmandu, there are many ways to make a difference.

SAW. Check out Durbar Square

Durbar Square is perhaps the most visited destination in Kathmandu, in addition to Thamel. While it is touristy, Durbar Square is also one of the most important historical sites in all of Nepal. Be prepared for a relatively high entrance fee. It is possible to stop by the entrance of the square, but when I tried it they caught me and I had to pay.

Not very good of me, I admit it now. On the other hand, the money you spend is worth it (if used to restore and maintain the page). Durban Square is a UNESCO world heritage site.

  • Holi Festival Experience

If you are in Kathmandu in early March, don’t miss the legendary Hindu Holi Festival, also known as the Festival of Colors. Holi is one of the most exciting Hindu religious festivals (in Nepal or in India).

Thousands of people gather in the street and throw paint, among other things. Sounds like a good time? Hell yes it is. Covering yourself with psychedelic powder paint is as fun as it seems.