Kathmandu holidays transport you to Nepal’s mesmerising capital – putting you at the heart of its scintillating sights, sounds and scents.
The popular district of Thamel is a must-visit, as are the bustling Asan bazaar and serene Garden of Dreams. Visit the city’s Newari restaurants for an authentic flavour of the culture and cuisine on offer in this fascinating destination.
There’s plenty to explore beyond the city too, with hiking trails offering you the opportunity to venture into the breathtaking landscape and soak up the stunning views on offer.
Book Kathmandu holiday packages with Etihad Holidays today and start planning your Nepalese adventure.
Seek out Kathesimbhu Stupa in Kathmandu’s beautiful and historic old town. This Tibetan pilgrimage site is just a short walk from the tourist district of Thamel and contains a monastery and a pagoda dedicated to the goddess Hariti.
Afterwards, saunter through the streets to Durbar Square, the centre of the old town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with historic royal connections. Hanuman Dhoka palace is an impressive place to visit, despite suffering from earthquake damage.
Handily placed for people staying in Thamel, the Garden of Dreams (Swapna Bagaicha) is one of the most beautiful and tranquil attractions in Kathmandu.
Take time to explore the charm of this glorious green space, including ponds and fountains, the original marble gate and even a hidden area to the south. You can then go for something to eat at the acclaimed Kaiser Cafe with its Austrian-inspired menu.
Wander among the stalls of Asan Tole – one of the busiest squares in Kathmandu, where vendors sell everything from yak tails to dried fish. In the south-east corner is a temple dedicated to Annapurna, the goddess of nourishment.
Nearby you’ll see several other shrines and temples, including one paying tribute to Ganesh. This is the perfect place to experience life like a local while haggling with traders and exploring the spice shops dotted along the square’s western side.
The Swayambhunath Stupa religious complex – sometimes called the Monkey Temple – is a truly stunning sight, topped with a dazzling white dome. The four faces of Buddha watch over the Kathmandu Valley from the gilded spire of an impressive building that dates back to the 5th century.
Other symbolic markings here include the Nepalese number ek (one), which represents unity. At the base of one of the buildings are several prayer wheels, which pilgrims respectfully spin as they wander around this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The three-storey red-brick building next to Durbar Square is the spiritually significant Kumari Ghar. It’s home to the Kumari – Kathmandu’s living goddess and a representation of the Hindu concept of female spiritual energy.
The building’s beautifully decorated courtyard is regarded as one of the city’s most notable landmarks. If your holiday to Kathmandu is in August or September, then you may see the Kumari being driven through the local streets on a chariot as part of the Indra Jatra festival.
Thamel is bursting with colour and activity from early in the morning until late at night, making it a hugely exciting place to be.
The streets are lined with everything you could need for a Kathmandu city break, including restaurants, hotels and shops. Choosing Thamel as your base also means you’re within easy reach of many of the city’s key visitor sites, including Durbar Square.
For visitors looking for luxury holidays in Kathmandu, the Lazimpat district is home to luxury hotels, classy restaurants and high-end shopping.
Staying here means you can enjoy the very best comfort and service while remaining close to many notable sites – with the Garden of Dreams and Durbar Square only a short distance away.
The five-star Jumeirah Vittaveli is located on Bolifushi Island and offers stunning facilities with private cabins suspended over crystal-clear waters, doubling up as your own private diving board and snorkelling point.
You’ll find designer stores on site for the perfect retail therapy fix, along with a range of amenities including four restaurants offering both local and international cuisine.
The currency used in Nepal is the Nepalese rupee (NPR). Good-natured haggling over prices is a traditional feature of Kathmandu’s way of life.
You can explore most of Kathmandu on foot – while rickshaws and taxis are convenient ways to make a journey over longer distances. Agree a fare for taxi rides before you begin your trip.
The official language of Nepal is Nepali. Visitors will find that many people in Kathmandu speak English, especially in its main tourist areas and at hotels.
Important dates in the Nepalese calendar include Constitution Day (19 September) and Teej, or the Festival of Women, which takes place in August or September.
Nepal’s food has been influenced by the cuisine of both Tibet and India, with Kathmandu’s restaurants and market stalls offering dishes filled with flavours that will excite your taste buds.
Seek out traditional Newari meals for a tasty treat. Yangling Tibetan restaurant is said to have the best momos (Nepalese dumplings filled with meat, cheese or vegetables) in the city.
Head to the legendary Utse restaurant in the Thamel district, which is famed for its affordable Tibetan and Nepalese food. It’s also a good place to find the Nepalese stew known as gacok, a delicious mix of noodles, meat and vegetables cooked in a clay pot.
Visit Kathmandu’s amazing museums to peel back the layers of history and get a better understanding of the city’s fascinating past. Check out Narayanhiti Palace, the former home of the Nepalese monarchs, which was converted into a museum in 2008 and offers a window into royal life.
The National Museum of Nepal, meanwhile, displays significant artwork as well as statues, coins and historic weapons and the Taragoan Museum showcases more contemporary art.
There may be prices on display in the shops here, but you’ll still be expected to engage in a spot of haggling. The word ‘namaste’ is used to greet people and can be accompanied by the bringing together of your hands.
Long trousers or skirts and long-sleeved shirts are ideal clothing for visits to places of worship. Women should cover their shoulders and chests. Many Nepalese people eat using their right hand instead of cutlery, with the left hand reserved for holding glasses or utensils.
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