Travel and Design Guide to Kathmandu

Naturally being a research loving traveler I have gone deep in preparation for our time in Nepal, so here are must see do and stay notes on Kathmandu, Nepal!

CULTURAL EXPERIENCE

  • Swayambhunath Stupa, buddhist temple known as the monkey temple

  • Hanuman Dhoka, Nepal’s Royal Palace

  • Patan Durbar Square & Patan Museum

  • Shree Pashupatinath Temple, Riverside Hindu Temple & cremation side

  • Bouddhanath Stupa, watch locals walk clockwise under the eyes above the white domed Buddhist temple, spinning prayer wheels as they go

  • National Art Museum, Bhaktapur, for generations of Newari culture

  • Nyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur, the 5 story Hindu temple from the 1700s was relatively undamaged by the earthquakes of 2015

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

Circus Kathmandu
A unique experience, human acrobatic circus with NGO ties for good.

Astrek Climbing Wall
The Astrek Climbing Wall located in the tourist hub of Thamel hosts local and expat climbers, some who will head to Everest, and some who will head to the bar after. They host women’s nights to support Nepali women getting into climbing.

The Garden of Dreams
For a moment of quiet and leafy peace amid the cities speedy pace.

Asan Tole
Head to this manic six way intersection near the Hindu Yamaleshwor Mahadev Temple to experience Kathmandu life like a local, and for those quintessential shots. The market is full of spices, produce and goods that have to be seen from all over Nepal.

SHOP

The Local Project

The shop founded by young Nepali entrepreneurs sells high-quality local goods; clothing, ceramics accessories and homewares from contemporary Nepali designers.  @thelocalprojectnepal 

Timro Concept Store

A design store created with the aim of showcasing affordable locally made products year round, for tourists and Nepali alike. Food, clothing, bags, jewelry, and more. @TimroConceptstore  

Curio Arts the trusted source of antique dealers around the world for Tibetan carpets, thangka paintings and nomad cabinets. (go for a museum visit if PP are above your wallet)

EAT

Cargo Cafe And Bar
Affiliated with the Timro Concept Store, delicious pastries and a laid back vibe.

Evoke Café
Next door to the Local Project and on weekends local of weekend mini markets, a hip locale worth a visit

Snowman Café
An old old local dive for hippies and locales, from before the revolution.

MEZZE By Roadhouse
High end rooftop bar best for seeing the Himalayas at sunset, on a clear evening.

The Village Café
One of the best places for Newari food (the Newars being a Kathmandu-based ethnic group with a distinct culture, language, and cuisine.) and operated by SABAH, a South Asian Association for women home-based workers. There is a SABAH handicrafts shop also. (*even other Nepali’s consider Newari food hot)

Inspire Bakery
Works with special needs children in Kathmandu through their NGO INSPIREnepal. Inspire Bakery employs two special needs teenage girls in their bakery, which serves hearty favorites like apple pie and other cakes. Proceeds go towards paying the girls’ salaries, thus providing them with training and jobs that they would struggle to find elsewhere. (food is very spicy)

Mulmi Coffee Shop, Bhaktapur
Yogurt is a thing in Bhaktapur and must be tried.

STAY

Traditional Homes – Swotha, (Boutique Hotel)
Swotha Traditional Homes, Patan 44600, Nepal; +977 1555 1184.
The old Newari-style homes on the fringes of Patan's Durbar Square are being rapidly replaced by new buildings. In 2011, a group of architect friends founded Swotha Traditional Homes, preserving a 70-year-old traditional building by turning it into a heritage hotel. The building's original wooden beams and layout have been retained, with modern luxuries such as Wi-Fi, hot water and a great restaurant added. To safeguard against Kathmandu's notorious power cuts, the building's design incorporates solar power and rainwater harvesting.

Tara Arthouse
A fairly new, beautiful Newari-style heritage inn and art hub in Kathmandu

Dwarika Hotel (High end)
Living Museum preserving Newari woodwork which you can stay in, or go to shop, to see the living museum

RESOURCES

Amazing local Nepal reading and resources for events happening when you visit!

http://ecs.com.np/ecs-columns

http://www.nepalnow.blog/