Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital city. It is a famous tourist destination and serves as the entry point to many of Nepal’s amazing districts and towns. The city is the country’s gateway to various trekking and hiking destinations. Airplanes and buses connect it to other interesting places like Daman, Biratnagar, and Janakpur.
Travelers go in and out of this city. Some of them look for relaxing vacation spots while others search for adventure in one of Nepal’s numerous mountains. The city has experienced a steady urban growth, which has ushered it into greater development in the last few years.
There is not much to do in the city itself, but there are several places of interest around it, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley. The valley is comprised of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. It offers many easy hiking routes that can be completed in about 7 hours or less. The routes take hikers through wonderful sights, and some routes include going through interesting communities so the tourists can see the richness of the local culture.
When you go hiking in Kathmandu Valley, do not expect to reach high elevations because the trails here lead mostly to hilly areas with an elevation of 1,500 to about 2,000 meters only. This is why Kathmandu Valley hikes are best for novices and for those who just want to take nature trips and go sightseeing. Mountain bikers also frequent the hilly areas of the valley.
Tourists in Kathmandu often go to Durbar Square located in neighboring Patan. The square is a large complex where a number of historical buildings, temples, and statues are found. It is like the cultural center of the old Newar Kingdom. Durbar Square has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There are a lot of things to see in Durbar Square. Kumari Palace on the southern area of the square is said to be the home of the goddess Kumari. Saraswati Temple was built for the godess of knowledge and learning. Taleju Temple is one of the oldest in Durbar Square. Its three-tier roof and pyramid shaped base commands attention from the tourists. Taleju Temple shows the excellence of the famous Newari architecture. Other structures that you can see in Durbar Square are Krishna Temple, Vishnu Temple, Shiva Temple, Narayan Temple, Indrapur Temple, and Shiva-Parvati Temple. Sweta Bhairab is an important religious statue that is displayed when Indra Jatra festival is celebrated.
Perhaps the best thing that you can do in Kathmandu is to go around for some shopping. There are so many great finds in the city, from gorgeous pashminas, colorful skirts, and affordable woolen sweaters. You can also buy precious stones and silver jewelry at prices that are considerably lower than in other places. You can even ask to have silver jewelry custom made for you. Wood carvings made by the Newari are worth checking out. If you want to have a sample of the local flavors, you can buy different kinds of spices. There are so many other things to buy in the city. You can ask the locals for the best shopping spots.