Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. It’s also the largest city in the country, its economic hub and tourist’s getaway to other promising destinations. After being hit by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in April of this year, the city is now almost fully stable, with only a few roads and buildings still under renovation. Traveling here is safe, which would also help in its full recovery by making its tourism lively again. Here are the items that you can put on your list of things to do when you visit the city.
Visit the Temples
Kathmandu is a religious city. Most people follow Hinduism and there are also others who believe in Buddhism. There are several temples around the city that you could visit. Doing so would give you a glimpse of the beliefs of the locals. Aside from this, their architecture is also something to look forward to. One of the most popular temples is Pashupatinath Temple, which is the oldest in the city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is where the festival of Shivaratri takes place. It’s a festivity for the Lord of Shiva that’s flocked by thousands of people. Other temples to see are Kasthamandap and Changu Narayan.
Check Out the Museums
Known for its rich art and culture, one of the best ways to witness and experience this is through its museums. The Natural History Museum of Nepal and National Museum of Nepal are two of the must see. Paintings and artifacts are displayed for everyone to see. Other museums that you can check out are The Taragaon Museum and Narayanhity Palace Museum. Art lovers and those who are interested in learning about the rich history of the city would find these museums a great interest.
Go to the Gardens of Dream
It’s also known as Swapna Bagaicha. The beautiful garden was restored, which brought back its charm. The peaceful and serene place is surrounded by green plants and trees, with gorgeous ponds and fountains. If you’re looking for a place where you can just sit back and relax, and enjoy silence and beauty, this is a fantastic spot. Bring your picnic blanket and share a nice time with friends or family, or bring your favorite book and enjoy your “me” time in its tranquil environment.
Drop by Thamel
After a quiet time at the Gardens of the Dream, you are now prepared to experience the craziness and business of Thamel. It’s the center of the city’s tourist industry and it’s also the commercial hub where everything happens. The crowded and lively streets are full of everything that you can think of or might be looking for. Shops, clubs, restaurants, grocery stores; you’ll find them all here. What’s even better is that products and services are affordable, which is perfect if traveling on a budget. This is also where you can buy the best souvenirs that you can take back home.
Join in the Festival
There are different festivals celebrated in Kathmandu the whole year round. The Himalayan Blues Festival is a popular music festival that features artists from different parts of the world. It’s celebrated from October to November. Teej on the other hand is a women’s festival in which women visit relatives who are male, as well as women who are unmarried, while wearing their red marriage sari. Tihar or also known as the Festival of Lights takes place around the end of October to the start of November. Fireworks, candles and lanterns are lit for the ceremony. Other festivals include Dashain, Indra Jatra, and Indra Jatra.
Try Local Foods
Momo, which is a dumpling that comes with varying fillings, is popular in Kathmandu. The place is also known for Chiya, which is a spiced tea with milk. Go to a local place or eat where the regular people eat, for a more affordable meal.
What are you most excited to try if you visit Kathmandu? We would love to hear your thoughts.
Featured and 1st image by I, Luca Galuzzi [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by Shaswat Narendra (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
3rd image by 加德满都两年 (Teej in Nepal) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons