Under the shadows of the majestic Himalayan ranges, when you are finally in the city of Kathmandu, there’s so much to plan, see, and do that you’ll be counting days you’ve left with already.
Kathmandu was our first city in Nepal, and owing to its crowded streets, and long queues at the airport, bargaining with taxis and never-ending honking left us a little overwhelmed. But after staying there for a week, we were tuned in to the rhythm of the city. From the walks in the Durbar Square, which was like walking in an open museum, to admire the graffitis on the city walls. The colorful lights on the streets of Thamel to the endless visits to the book shops. The fondness for simplicity in Newari food to the warmth of the beautiful Nepalese people, the city truly embraced us back.
With so much happening around in these neighborhoods, how do you decide what to do first? Well, here are some out of the box things, you sure would love to do when here in Kathmandu:
1. Lights, camera and an evening walk in Thamel
It’s a beautiful walk to wander around in the streets of Thamel. This urban neighborhood has all kinds of places for you to explore the whole vibe of the town, with a myriad of cafes, always buzzing neon-lit streets, and markets bubbling up with amazing stuff to buy, you’d love to go around and take a pleasant evening stroll around.
2. An other-worldly spiritual ride at the Monasteries
It’s a silence that draws the best within you out when you go to the multiple monasteries in the city of Kathmandu. You go around, sit there in absolute silence, relax, and put a pause to your senses and then contemplate in your mind. It’s like teleporting your state of mind into a blissful world of calms.
3. A walk in time at Durbar Square
Talk about Kathmandu, and Durbar Square makes it to the list. Well, this one’s obvious, it’s the city center and all of what Kathmandu is and was lies into the Durbar Square, the kingdom’s place of stay (Hanuman Dhoka), multiple beautiful temples that the city worships in, and museums of the past, you’ll find all of it here. So do you care for an evening stroll down the Kathmandu Durbar Square? Yes, of course.
4. Flying by Everest
Kathmandu is one such special place that makes dream riding so easy. You can charter planes for a change in Kathmandu that makes you fly past the Mt. Everest and gives you a larger than life experience to remember for a good while. It’s a thing of amazement to watch the stark white peaks shine in some sunbath.
5. Hustle back into the hills, Annapurna Circuit it is
The incredibly famous trek to the ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) begins from this city, a checkpoint of extraordinary importance for Everest climbers, for most trekkers, it’s their final checkpoint. And oh, what a beauty it is to see the landscape of snow-covered stretches pinpointed with neon-colored camps, trekkers pushing their limits and an adrenaline rush.
6. Put your best bets in the game.
For the unknown, Kathmandu is also one of the few places in the country where recreational gambling is legal. The Casino Royale in Kathmandu has multiple tables and games where, if you want to try your luck, you can enjoy a great night at the pokers or the wheel.
(Take this with a pinch of salt, luck and money often make up for a bitter-tasting recipe.)
7. Hike out to a national park
Big-big mountains reaching for the skies, gorgeous open fields adorned with meadows, and a trail that just keeps on going and seems almost never-ending. Walk to the farthest in these beautiful landscapes, sleep in flower beds and gasp for some fresh air when you are there under the wide-open skies. While Chitwan national park is the most talked about, it’s a bit out of the town; proximal is the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park and Langtang National Park. Sagarmatha National Park is a wonderful option too.
8. Watch the world, upside down, Bungee Jumping in Kathmandu
An experience you’d probably already have on your bucket list, this is what a moment of a lifetime would be like. The bungee jumping site is located 80 km north of Kathmandu. The jump takes place from a suspension bridge that joins the two sides of the deep valley on Bhote Koshi river Giving you the chills when you take that leap of faith at the height of 160m, and this is one thing you’ll definitely remember from your Kathmandu memories, no matter what.
9. Ride a bike to Sankhu
Mountain bikes and Nepal kind of go along really well. With its larger than life landscapes, this circuit is surely all dreamy gleamy and loaded with adventure. The local village, located about 17 km away from Kathmandu is a blooming paradise, with meadows and greens taking over the lands, surrounded by hills, you’ll be close to the community when you see how Nepal thrives in its little villages. Just give it a shot and drive to this village for a great day.
10. How good are you at climbing mountains
Nagarkot, in a day’s vicinity of Kathmandu, is a gorgeous place to be. With a hike in meadows, you have an upper trail to follow, and when you are finally there, the sun is setting in hues of red and orange. It’s a heart-numbing view from up at Nagarkot.
11. Have a great meal in the streets
From authentic Newari cuisine and Thakali platters to oriental cuisines like Momos, Thukpa, and Chowmein, you get all of that in the bright tinted streets of Kathmandu. While you’re on your hunger ride, it might also be a good idea to wander around to see beautiful graffiti and wall art around the city, and it just adds up to the charm of the city altogether.