Kathmandu Food + Travel Guide
What to Eat in Kathmandu
How to Burn It Off in Kathmandu
There’s a very good chance you came to Nepal to trek in the Himalaya, in which case you’ll have no trouble burning off those calories. If you didn’t, there are still numerous ways to work it off. While Kathmandu city itself is rather a dust bowl and seriously lacks parks, you don’t have to go far from the central city to find countryside and fresh air.
Where to Walk in Kathmandu
Although Kathmandu isn’t a very walkable city, it’s ringed by forest-clad mountains (well, locals call them hills because the real mountains are the pointy, snow-capped things lying beyond, but anywhere else in the world these 9,500-foot hills would be called mountains). Shivapuri National Park on the northern edge and Mount Phulchowki on the southern edge are great destinations for a day trip. On clear days there are good views of the city from both spots.
Where to do yoga
Where to Stay in Kathmandu
Kathmandu caters to all budgets, from basic to opulent. The vast majority of budget and midrange options are located in or around the central Thamel neighborhood, with Patan and Boudha being alternative areas to find good midrange and boutique hotels.
You don’t have to sacrifice much style or comfort to find an affordable bed in Kathmandu. Hotel Ganesh Himal (Ikhapokhari Marg, Chettrapati, Thamel, map; doubles from $25) in Thamel, and Hotel Vajra (Bijeswari, Swayambhu, Kathmandu, map; doubles from $38) on the way out towards Swayambhunath both offer lovely gardens and decent rooms for low prices. Some of the more expensive rooms at both places fall within the midrange category in terms of quality.
Kathmandu really shines with its midrange and boutique hotel options. In the central city, the Kathmandu Guest House (Thamel, Kathmandu, map; doubles from $49) is an iconic and very convenient choice. It’s right in the heart of Thamel yet set far enough back from the road that it’s not too noisy. There are pleasant gardens to hang out in, and the pick of Thamel’s restaurants just a couple of minutes away. If you’d rather a peaceful retreat outside the central city but still close enough to make easy day trips into town, the delightful Shivapuri Heights Cottages (Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu, map; doubles from $85) can’t be beaten. These homely cottages lie at the foot of the Shivapuri National Park, with miles of hiking trails, and the nighttime views across the Kathmandu Valley are particularly special. The home-cooked food is noteworthy, too—a good place to try many of the dishes mentioned in the guide.
Dwarika’s Hotel. Photo by Elen Turner.