Most travellers to Nepal choose to visit the country for the culture and some of the world’s best outdoor experiences. And, while Kathmandu is worth a visit in itself, many visitors simply spend a night or two here before taking off to other areas of Nepal. At least, this is what we did when we came to Kathmandu. While I was looking forward to getting out of the city and seeing the rest of the country, I still felt that 24 hours was just enough time to scratch the surface of Kathmandu. If, like me, you’re only going to be in Kathmandu for a short time, here’s what you can do to maximize your day, especially if you’re not too familiar with the city.
- WHERE TO STAY: For our one-night stay in Kathmandu, we slept at Hotel Manang. Perfectly situated at a starting point of Tourist hub – Thamel with quiet ambience. You can also take taxis around town, as well as cycle rickshaws for short distances from Thamel, but walking is ideal. This hotel is perfect if you’re about to embark on a trek and want some luxury before you go. You can have a nice hot shower here, and the cozy rooms offer peace and quiet, as well as delicious breakfasts. Address: 8KM from Tri-Bhuwan International Airport.
- WHERE TO EXPLORE: There are plenty of places to see in Kathmandu proper, but with such little time on your hands, you’re going to want to make sure you hit the best places. If you’re new to Kathmandu, you must visit Thamel. While it is certainly touristy, you will also see plenty of young locals hanging out here, too. Buddhist prayer flags hang across narrow streets, tangled with twinkling Christmas lights. All around Thamel are hundreds of little shops, selling everything from Tibetan-inspired jewellery to hiking clothes and gear, to camera shops and clothing boutiques. You have to bargain hard here. Prices are also higher here than at similar markets in many other major Asian cities. If you like cheap (enough) books, stop at the Tibet Bookstore, which accepts cards. Address: Tibet Bookstore, Tridevi Sadak, Kathmandu
- WHERE TO EAT: Like any big city, finding restaurants in Kathmandu is not difficult. But, finding a place that has multiple options that will be gentle to your stomach can be more challenging. To be safe, eat at a sit-down restaurant in Thamel, where there’s a good mix of both Nepali and international food. When we were there, we were craving something besides dal bhat, especially because we knew we’d be having a lot of it at our upcoming homestays. So, we ate at Gokarna House Restaurant. Address: Thamel Marg, Kathmandu
- WHERE TO RELAX: Just being in Kathmandu made me feel relaxed, and if you need time to recuperate after your flight and before you begin trekking, this is a good place to do it. However, if you want to get out of your hotel room a bit and you don’t necessarily feel like “trekking” through Thamel, then visit the Spa center. Kathmandu Spa is one of the best service provider in Thamel.