20 Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal: ULTIMATE BUCKET LIST

Last updated Jan 12, 2021 | Nepal, Travel Blog | 25 comments

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Kathmandu, Nepal is a grueling adventure of the senses. From its sprawling Thamel neighborhood with hip bars, electric nightclubs, and cozy cafes to its iconic Buddhist and Hindu temples at Boudanath Stupa or Pashupatinath, there are countless things to do and see in Kathmandu that will leave you feeling both overwhelmed and invigorated.

When I moved to Kathmandu in 2015, I went into a week-long culture shock. No joke! Monkeys jumped about the makeshift walls and fences. Cars squeezed in and out of the tiniest spaces. Smoke from the burning bodies at the Hindu temple rose and disappeared with the pollution in the air.

And while living in Kathmandu and simply visiting offer two very different experiences, a short-term visit will nevertheless leave you wanting more.

Kathmandu simply contains magic unlike anywhere else and it’s impossible not to fall in love. If you’re up for an adventure, you’ve come to the right place!

So if you want to truly step into the rich culture in Kathmandu while checking off the more touristy bucket list, then I’ve got you covered!

I’ve compiled some of my favorite and best things to do in Kathmandu, Nepal to create the ultimate Kathamndu bucket list so you, too, can take home epic memories of your time here.

The Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List

How many of these top 20 things to do in Kathmandu are you going to check off your bucket list?? Here’s my Kathmandu bucket list roadmap to keep your wanderlust ablaze!

Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List - 20 Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal #kathmandu #bucketlist #nepal #travel www.bucketlistbri.com Bucketlist Bri

1. Get Lost in Thamel’s Mayhem

I’d say at least 99% of tourists go directly to Thamel once they’ve arrived in Kathmandu. After all, Thamel is the famous “downtown” district that tourists flock to.

It’s got narrow, winding streets filled with hole-in-the-wall shops, cafes, pubs, nightclubs, intricate hotels, tattoo shops, tea shops, shady shops, you name it! With all the colors, noise, and activity, you might experience sensory overload—but in the best possible way.

Thamel just has to be experienced, so go get lost in its chaos.

Marvel at the twisted electricity cables, at the dusty, crooked shop signs, and at the locals’ smiling faces. Then enjoy a moment’s calm at your hotel before entering back into the mayhem.

Thamel, Kathmandu 20 things to do | Bucketlist Bri

PC: Canva

2. Ride a Local Nepali Bus

If you’ve never experienced the stress and adrenaline and pure amusement of a local bus in a country, now is your chance! Taking the bus that runs the circle around Ring Road in Kathmandu is by far the cheapest way to get about in Kathmandu.

But not only does it save you hundreds of rupees from skipping the taxi fare, you truly get to peer into the local life beyond Thamel. You’ll likely get stared at, but it’s out of curiosity. Many a time we were stared at because we were, well, so white and noticeable.

One time, months after we’d been living in Nepal, a bus driver shook our hand and said something like, “I’m so happy. You’re the first whites to ever ride my bus!”

If you catch the bus to Boudhanath, for example, it’ll only cost you 20-40 NPR. Just listen carefully, or ask a local for the bus to “Boudha Stupa.” When the bus driver assistants yell as they hang out the bus, it sounds like “Boda boda boda boda boda.” Make sure to hop in fast!

3. Climb up to Swayambunath Temple and See the Monkeys

Entry cost: 200 NPR

Swayambunath Temple, better known as just the Monkey Temple, is a Buddhist temple with its iconic Stupa perched atop the hill overlooking Kathmandu Valley. Take the flight of stairs all the way to the top!

Stairs that lead to Swayambunath Monkey Temple (They get steep!) | Bucketlist Bri

Stairs that lead to Swayambunath Monkey Temple (They get steep!) | Bucketlist Bri

Swayambunath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal Bucket List www.bucketlistbri.com

Swayambunath Stupa in 2015 | Bucketlist Bri

Swayambu has more to offer than just its dome. When you arrive, you’ll be surprised to see a whole array of hole-in-the-wall art galleries and shops, hidden plazas and statues, and more. Continue to skirt the pathway and let it lead you to quaint corners. Amid the hilltop are painted deities, small ponds, monkeys galore, and Tibetan prayer wheels.

Swayambu Monkey Temple

Swayambu is famously known as the Monkey Temple. And for good reason! | Bucketlist Bri

Please remember to pack out all your trash. In fact, keep any sodas or food out of sight! I saw a monkey chase a man who was swinging his coke bottle, who got scared and dropped it. The monkey then chewed at the cap to get it open! They’re sneaky and can be aggressive if provoked!

Swayambu Monkey Temple Buddhist www.bucketlistbri.com

A lady burns a candle and goes to walk around the stupa. | Bucketlist Bri

4. Eat Dhal with Your Hands

With that being said, a typical experience to have in Kathmandu, or in Nepal in general, is to eat dhal bhat with nothing but your hands and fingers!

It is definitely strange at first, even a little messy and bizarre. But you’ll see that many local families eat this way and it is actually quite liberating from a foreigner’s perspective.

Eating dhal with your hands shouldn’t be done just anywhere, though. For example, you wouldn’t probably try this in any restaurant.

Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List - 20 Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal #kathmandu #bucketlist #nepal #travel www.bucketlistbri.com Bucketlist Bri

A typical dish of dhal (except my dhal is missing) Greens, fried veggies, rice in the middle… This was at a touristy Nepalese restaurant in downtown Thamel (hence the cutlery spread!) | Bucketlist Bri

You might have to befriend a local and get invited over to their home. And even then, they’ll still likely offer you a spoon. I once asked my friend if she was “sure it was okay if I ate with my hands” in front of her and she just giggled at me.

If you ask a local about this practice, they’ll be more than likely to share their perspectives and thoughts. Nepalese love and appreciate it when you ask about their culture!

5. Observe a Ceremony & Holy Men at Pashupatinath Temple

Entry costs 1,000 NPR 

Pashupatinath is another must-see temple in Kathmandu. However, this time you won’t see the painted Buddha eye’s on large domes that adorn the Buddhist Temples like Swayambunath and Boudanath.

Pashupatinath is “THE place” to see Sadhus—holy men who are typically known for their iconic ashy-white appearance and for always smoking hash.

Holy Man PC: Canva

Sadhus are commonly sighted at Pashupatinath Temple | PC: Canva

The Pashupatinath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and as such, you’ll see jagged stone-cut temples with inner chambers that typically house deities and idols which devotees come to worship and give blessings to. What’s more, this sacred place sits on the holy Bagmati River, which is believed to be sacred.

Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List - 20 Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal #kathmandu #bucketlist #nepal #travel www.bucketlistbri.com Bucketlist Bri

Pashupatinath Temple in 2015. You can see several ceremonies of burning bodies taking place. | Bucketlist Bri

Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List - 20 Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal #kathmandu #bucketlist #nepal #travel www.bucketlistbri.com Bucketlist Bri

Pashupatinath Temple in 2015 during the dry season (notice the Bagmati River levels are low) | Bucketlist Bri

Many Hindu families will cremate their dead loved ones, whose remains will be pushed into the Bagmati River. As you can imagine, the ceremony is beautiful and sacred, and should be observed with privacy should you happen to be touring the Pashupatinath Temple complex at the same time as a burial ceremony is going on.

Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List - 20 Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal #kathmandu #bucketlist #nepal #travel www.bucketlistbri.com Bucketlist Bri

Many Hindus and tourists speckle this temple complex which stretches beyond the main area. This was a pretty quiet day. Take the time to explore! | Bucketlist Bri

6. Hang Out in the Garden of Dreams

Entry cost is 200 NPR

The Garden of Dreams is a retreat within the hustle and bustle of crazy Kathmandu. It sits just before you enter Thamel on the main street and offers young locals and tourists to simply lounge about on large pillows and mats on the grassy lawn.

There’s a cafe (where I ordered my first cappuccino in my entire life!), a restaurant, a fountain, and a neat and tidy lawn with animal statues and trimmed trees and bushes. It’s named the Garden of Dreams for a reason, it feels dreamy!

If you’re seeking peace and a little bit of quietness from Kathmandu, then a visit to the Garden of Dreams is just what you need.

7. Walk the Full Circle (Clockwise) Around Boudhanath Stupa

Entry costs 400 NPR

Boudhanath Stupa (Bo-da-nat) is a location I visited time and time again, either for my weekly yoga class or just to grab lunch from one of the panoramic roof-top restaurants. But that’s when you could walk in and out freely, but now you have to pay to enter.

Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List - 20 Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal #kathmandu #bucketlist #nepal #travel www.bucketlistbri.com Bucketlist Bri

Boudhanath Stupa in 2015 after the major earthquakes. I never got to see it restored while I lived there. | Bucketlist Bri

The Buddhist dome and mandala of the Boudhanath Stupa are one of the largest, if not THE largest, in all of Nepal. In fact, thousands of monks and Buddhists from around the world come to visit the Boudha Stupa!

You’ll no doubt see several red-robed monks from surrounding monasteries touring Boudha clockwise as part of their Buddhist practice known as circumambulationwalking 3 or more times around clockwise to show respect and to remind themselves the centrality of Buddha’s teachings in their lives.

Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List - 20 Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal #kathmandu #bucketlist #nepal #travel www.bucketlistbri.com Bucketlist Bri

Prayer wheels | Bucketlist Bri

As you go to stroll around Boudha, consider walking meditatively yourself. Touching the Tibetan prayer wheels clockwise also brings good karma, and you’ll notice many monks and locals doing so as they walk.

Things to do in Kathmandu Bucket List : Visit Bouddha Stupa

Bouddha after restoration. I’d LOVE to see it in person again now! | PC: Canva

The Boudha Stupa plaza houses a number of delightful stores, restaurants, cafes, and studios. It’s a truly special place that’s constantly in motion, yet so very tranquil. Startled pigeons speckle the sky, incense floats out from all the corners, and a constant chiming and chanting hums gently around the dome.

Boudhanath Stupa | Bucketlist Bri

Explications + Descriptions as seen around Bouddha | Bucketlist Bri

8. Eat at the OR2K Israeli Vegetarian Restaurant

What I’d give to eat on the floor cushions of OR2K right now! This place has the best vibes, vegetarian food, and atmosphere. It was already popular in 2015, I simply cannot imagine what it’s like now!

You have two options here. 1. Grab a mouth-watering Falafel pita on the go (on the corner), or, 2. go inside the restaurant for a backpacker’s boho atmosphere where you sit at small tables on the floor and get served trays of falafel with different types of pita, naan, hummus’ and more.

Each time we had friends or guests visit, we’d always take them here. Everyone loves it!

OR2K restaurant in Thamel Kathmandu | Bucketlist Bri

Our Israeli spread of pita, naan, different dips, falafel balls… YUM! | Bucketlist Bri

9. Go WWOOFing at a Local Farm

Have you ever heard of WWOOFing? If not, it stands for World Wide Opportunites on Organic Farms. Basically, you can volunteer at these WWOOF locations around the world and generally get free accommodation and meals in exchange for your volunteerism and labor. In short, they’re homestays!

When Paul joined me in Kathmandu in August 2015, he started volunteering at an organic farm. It was there that he first ate dhal with locals with his hands after working in the morning on the organic farm. He slept in a tent outside and had access to the local facilities. While it probably wasn’t the best in terms of comfort, Paul always talks about it now as being one of the highlights/most memorable experiences in Kathmandu.

As always, moments with locals are usually the best encounters when traveling somewhere new anyway. So if you’re looking for off-beat things to do in Kathmandu, consider a homestay.

10. Visit the Three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley

There are three notable Durbar (Palace) Squares in the Kathmandu Valley. All three have ancient stories to tell and are classed UNESCO World Heritage Sites. All were also badly damaged in the 2015 earthquake.

Kathmandu Bucket List www.bucketlistbri.com | Bucketlist Bri

Kathmandu Durbar Square, Kathamndu 

Entry cost: 1000 Nepalese rupees

A visit to Kathmandu’s Durbar Square is a must-do activity in Kathamandu. Even if you know nothing about Kathmandu’s insanely complex history, you’ll be mesmerized by the intricate designs, ancient towers, statues, and pagodas—many of which were badly damaged from the 2015 earthquake.

At the core of Kathmandu Durbar Square is the Hanuman Dhoka, the site of the Old Royal Palaces which housed kings from the Shah and Malla Dynasty. Kathmandu Durbar Square also houses the Kumari Devi, a young girl deity who is said to be the living manifestation of divine female energy.

Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur

Entry cost: 1000 NPR

Without going into too much detail, Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur is another must-see location in Kathmandu.

Patan Durbar Square | Bucketlist Bri

Patan Durbar Square in 2016 | Bucketlist Bri

Patan Durbar Square 2016 | Bucketlist Bri

Patan Durbar Square 2016 | Bucketlist Bri

There are large, 16th-century courtyards and museums, and a countless number of godly idols, artwork, statues, and wood carvings adorning the ancient stone buildings from the King Malla’s dynasty.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Bhaktapur

Entry cost: 1500 NPR

If you have time to travel to the nearby ancient city of Bhaktapur, you’ll discover one of the most prized Durbar Squares. While many of the structures were severely damaged, the tallest tower of Nyatapola Temple, with its 5-tiered stories, remained incredibly in-tact. Bhaktapur City deserves a whole day of its own to explore, so be sure to set time aside to visit.

11. Haggle (Nicely!!) with Local Shop Owners in Thamel

Haggling, or negotiating the price, in Nepal is a cultural custom. It took me many weeks to learn this, but I finally did and was able to, at one point, haggle in broken Nepali.

Thamel Kathmandu Nepal Bucket List | www.bucketlistbri.com

PC: Canva

However, because of so many tourists warning other visitors to “only pay 1/2 or even 1/3 of the offering price” many tourists get offended at the thought of haggling. Or they often haggle to the death, leaving the shop in a fury over a meager 10 NPR.


Instead, haggling is actually a conversation and relationship between you and the shop owner. Yes, you need to be careful not to get scammed into buying shit. But you need to remember the shop owner is a human and can be negotiated with respectfully.

I once haggled over the price of a shirt for my nephew for probably 20 minutes or more. In the end, we were both smiling and laughing and we met halfway. Sometimes all they want is to just draw it to see who is going to win first!

Now, when it comes to haggling for taxi prices that’s a different story. You’ll always pay more because you’re a tourist and even after 10 months living in Kathmandu, I could barely manage to haggle down to a truly local price. So I just always took the bus!

20 things to do in Kathmandu www.bucketlistbri.com

Thamel under the rain! We once ate at that Mexican restaurant you see in the photo. | PC: Canva

12. Smoke at a Shisha/Hookah Bar

Whether you smoke anything or not, going to a hookah bar in Thamel is a fun way to spend the evening along with some live music.

Hookah bars in Thamel: Shisha Terrace Cafe, Buddha Bar

13. Carpool/Hitch a Ride on a Local’s Scooter

During my time in Kathmandu, there was a huge fuel crisis. Long story short, carpooling became the next best solution to people’s problems to get around. It really took off, and so many scooters and cars were asking on Facebook if anyone needed a ride.

Though I don’t suggest you just hop on anybody’s scooter, you should take up the opportunity if you happen to make friends with a local who you trust.

Riding on a scooter in Kathmandu was one of my highlights. It may sound silly until you try it!

14. Celebrate a Festival Like Tihar, Dishain, Holi, Etc.

Things to Do in Nepal: Celebrate Holi Festival - Bucketlist Bri

Things to Do in Nepal: Celebrate Holi!! | Bucketlist Bri

Celebrating Holi in Kathmandu Nepal Bucketlist Bri

Paul getting some holi powder from a small child. | Bucketlist Bri

Things to Do in Kathmandu Bucket List www.bucketlistbri.com

Celebrating Holi in Kathmandu is one of the best things to do! Definitely add this to your bucket list! | Bucketlist Bri

Kathmandu comes alive during the festivals—of which there are dozens if not hundreds in just one calendar year! Some of the biggest festivals to celebrate in Kathmandu are:

Tihar – Light Festival

Tihar is a 5-day long Hindu festival that worships Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. During this celebration, people light up many lanterns and candles. The 5 days also honor crows, dogs, cows, the Newari New Year, and brothers and sisters are also celebrated.

Dashain Festival

Dashain is one of the longest Nepali festivals with celebrations taking place across 15 days. During this time, it’s very common for families to take off work or return home to be with family. And since Dashain falls in September/October, it’s the perfect time to take a trekking trip in the Himalayas.

Holi – Festival of colors

Everybody knows Holi! Holi is the festival of colors that’s become world-famous. During this day, immense crowds form in the streets and plazas to throw color powder all over each other while screaming, “Happy Holi!” Celebrating Holi in Kathmandu was one of the highlights of my time there.

15. Eats Lots and Lots of Momos!

Momos are very much a staple of the food in Kathmandu, especially comforting street food.

Kathmandu Bucket List: Eat Momos in Kathmandu! www.bucketlistbri.com

Spinach momos at Alice’s Restaurant in Kathmandu | Bucketlist Bri

What are momos, you ask? They’re delicious steamed (or fried) dumplings filled with spicy cabbage, veggies, or some have chicken, pork, buffalo, mutton, etc. They come in all shapes and sometimes colors (like spinach momo).

You can’t go to Kathmandu without eating a plate of momos! You can find momos practically anywhere, but you don’t want to eat them just anywhere.

Best restaurants serving momos in Kathmandu:

  • Cafe du Temple near Boudhanath Stupa (Our go-to place for momos but they are spicy!)
  • Newa Momo Restaurant in downtown Thamel
  • Yangling Tibetan Restaurant
  • Utse Restaurant
  • Alice Restaurant

Eating street food in Kathmandu isn’t for everyone. Some people get horribly sick eating street food because sanitation is less regulated and it’s just more local.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid street food. In fact, some of the best snacks we had were street food.

There are also very highly recommended restaurants that serve momos so if you want to try them, but just not outside of one of the Bhatbhateni shopping centers, going to a restaurant is a good compromise.

16. Dive Into Thamel’s Nightclub Scene at Purple Haze

Thamel has an electric night scene! The streets empty out with tourists and the local Nepalis come out to party. I remember so many bars being jam-packed with people and the vibes were just so much fun. You can find live music playing in Thamel virtually anywhere.

Thamel at night in Kathmandu (I remember this street so well!! Pretty sure a friend trashed that Club Omg). | PC: Canva

But some of the best hangout spots for nightlife in Thamel were at Sam’s Bar, Purple Haze Rock Bar, Buddha Bar, Tom & Jerry’s, and Paddy Foley’s.

Local Gem: One of my favorite places to go out at night in Kathmandu that our dear friend Sanjay introduced us to was called the Lhasa Bar.

On Google Maps it’s called Lhasa Restaurant & Bar but the Lhasa Bar is on the second floor. You sit on cushions on the ground with low-tables and can order beer, shisha, and just hang out! I have such good memories from there. 

17. Get Fitted for a Nepalese Kurti/Kurta

The kurti I got fitted for the Teej Festival in Kathmandu (2016) | Bucketlist Bri

The kurti I got fitted for the Teej Festival in Kathmandu (2016) | Bucketlist Bri

While traveling in Nepal you’ll see many women wearing kurtis or kurtas around. These are typical waist or knee-length shirts that are worn with a pair of matching pants or leggings.

I got fitted for a kurti for the Teej Festival in Kathmandu and it was so much fun picking out my top and then getting it custom tailored. And as you can guess, it doesn’t cost but just a couple of dollars to get fitted. Men can get a kurta as well!

18. Write on the Wall at Sam’s Bar (And Grab a Drink)

Going out for drinks in the pubs around Kathmandu should be on your bucket list, along with eating momos, riding a local bus, and all that.

Look for my quote if you go to Sam's! | Bucketlist Bri

Look for my quote if you go to Sam’s Bar ! | Bucketlist Bri

I highlight Sam’s Bar because this bar has a special atmosphere where a ton of backpackers and locals go to hang out or get drinks.

Also, you’ll notice Sam’s Bar is covered in writing from all of its visitors! It’s kinda a must-do when you end up at Sam’s. Reading all of the comments are so entertaining, too.

If you do go to Sam’s, look for the quote that I wrote in the back right corner in big letters! It reads,

“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.”

It came to me at a time that I needed it when I was dealing with corruption and patriarchy from the institution I was working at at the time.

19. Discover the Royal Family’s Bloody Past at Narayanhity Palace Museum

Entrance fee costs 500 NPR

The royal family of Nepal once lived and thrived in the Narayanhity Palace. At least until the 2001 Nepalese Royal Massacre in which ten members of the royal family were shot down during a mass shooting by Prince Diprenda.

Narayanhity Palace | PC: Canva

Narayanhity Palace | PC: Canva

Still today, the rumors surrounding the massacre divide some Nepalis. Many believe it was the jealous prince who wanted to become the king who ended up dying days later in a coma. But who really knows!

20. Shop for These Iconic Nepalese Souvenirs

Before you leave Kathmandu, make sure to pick up some iconic Nepalese souvenirs. If you didn’t get to shop around in Thamel before, make sure to carve out time to do so.

Shopping in Thamel Top things to do in Kathmandu| Bucketlist Bri

Remember to shop responsibly! | PC: Canva

Specifically, look around for these typical souvenirs that are reminiscent of the Nepali culture!

Traveler’s Tip: Spread your wealth at several small shops rather than at one big souvenir shop. I usually look for certified fair-trade stores that have give-back programs like Local Women’s Handicrafts which sells handicrafts made by women to support women. Definitely make a stop by their store when shopping for souvenirs in Kathmandu.

Pashmina scarves

Kathmandu is teeming with pashmina scarves. With that being said, don’t buy just any you see. Check for quality as there are many knock-off scarves.

Nepali / Tibetan prayer flags

Grab a handful of colorful Tibetan prayer flags on your shopping-spree in Kathmandu. Not only are they affordable, but buying in bulk will also probably land you a fair discount. Plus, they make the best gifts as they’re extremely lightweight!

Tiger balm

Tiger balm is pretty popular throughout Asia in general. And that’s not any different in Nepal. Tiger balm is used for achy joints and pains. It’s small and handy as a souvenir to take home.

Loose-leaf tea or spices

Nepal is a country of spices, aromas, incense, teas, you name it! There’s a couple of tea shops in Thamel like Teafresho and Nepali Tea Coffee & Spice Shop that sell a wide variety of black, green, and white teas.

I also took home a handmade tiny backpack, several t-shirts, shoes, earrings, a lantern, pashminas, flags, and loads more. But then again, I stayed for a year so I gathered all this overtime. 🙂

Ultimate Kathmandu Bucket List - 20 Top Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal #kathmandu #bucketlist #nepal #travel www.bucketlistbri.com Bucketlist Bri

Prayer flags are a great lightweight keepsake to remember your time in Kathmandu | Bucketlist Bri

Recap of Prices for Each Heritage Site

To recap on the prices for each heritage site, here’s a table listing the most updated prices for international tourists (foreign nationals). Prices are current via WelcomeNepal.

  • 200 npr      Swayambunath Monkey Temple
  • 200 npr      Garden of Dreams
  • 400 npr      Boudhanath Stupa
  • 500 npr      Narayanhity Palace Museum
  • 1,000 npr   Pashupatinath Hindu Temple
  • 1,000 npr   Kathmandu Durbar Square
Swayambunath Monkey Temple is one of the top things to do in Kathmandu Nepal | Bucketlist Bri

Remember that monkey I told you about who stole the coca-cola bottle from that guy?! Here he is!! | Bucketlist Bri

Wrapping Up: Best Things to Do in Kathmandu, Nepal

As you can see, Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu is on the rise of becoming a #1 adventurer’s destination! With so many things to do including rich cultural experiences to share in, it’s no doubt it’ll continue to gain in popularity. I just can’t wait to get back to Kathmandu for even more adventures!

Thanks for reading and I hope enjoyed this ultimate Kathmandu bucket list for things to do and see! I poured my heart into writing it so I’d so greatly appreciate any reshares, pins, or comments!

xx Bri

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  1. Victoria international expat

    Your photos are gorgeous! I’m impressed, this is a wonderful place! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Michele

    I love this post and all your photos! What do you shoot with!

    • Bri

      Aw thanks so much Michele!! I shoot with my Sony a6000 and some shots are with my Galaxy s9+!

  3. Dave RB

    Wow so many cool things to do in Kathmandu! Thanks for sharing your stories

    • Bri

      Yeah there are loads! Thanks so much, Dave!

  4. Aswani Kurra

    Looks Amazing and love the list! Can’t wait to visit Nepal!

    • Bri

      Many thanks Aswani! You’d love Nepal no doubt about it 🙂

  5. Maria

    Wow I LOVE your photos! I’m not surprised that you had a cultural shock, this is such a different world. But exciting at the same time. If I ever go Nepal I’ll definitely keep your post in mind, you shared so much useful information!

    • Bri

      Thanks sooo much, Maria! It is indeed – definitely a must-visit place at least once! I’d love for you to circle back around and use it or feel free to reach out to ask questions! xx

  6. Claire

    This is such a cool perspective coming from someone who lived there as an expat for awhile! Thanks for the in-depth look at life there, I have so many questions!

    I’d love to get a tattoo at one of those shops in Thamel! Do they have a special tattooing style in Nepal? Is it like a stick and poke method?

    Is there a ritual to the way you eat with your hands? Like can you not touch other things while your hands are gooey, or is there a special way to clean them off after finishing a meal, like do they put wet towels out or something?

    Where does the Bagmati River flow to? Does it bring the remains of their loved ones to some other sacred place?

    Hitching a ride on one of the scooters sounds like a blast. And maybe a little scary considering the traffic I always hear about lol. I’d love to do that, check out the all these food places, and learn more about the spiritual beliefs/practices in this area of the world.

    Did you ever experience discrimination as a foreigner or a woman, outside of the jacked up prices?

    Sorry for the third degree, I’m really interested in going here.

    • Bri

      Aww no worries, thanks so much, Claire!! It makes me happy to talk about it so send me all the questions! 🙂

      Tattoo – Yes haha I actually got 2 tattoos in Thamel 🙂 Both were with the machine but you can find stick and poke, especially now I think. And it’s so cheap. I got both for $20 total.

      Eating with hands – Both Paul and I ate with our hands when we were in local families, and from our experience, they serve it on large flat platters with rice in the middle, then they pour dhal over it, add veggies and pickle, and mix and eat with their right hand. There’s some understanding that you eat with one hand and use the other hand to clean when you use the bathroom. Once done eating they wash their hands (from what I remember).

      Bagmati River – is seen as holy and therefore has many temples along the river edges. The river actually carves through the Kathmandu Valley and goes all the way to the Holy Ganges in India! This article is written by a lovely artist who tells about the Bagmati as if she was the river herself… It’s fascinating yet quite depressing too. https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2015/08/01/what-the-river-knows-bagmati-river-nepal/

      Scooters, etc. – It’s so much fun! We actually shared 1 bicycle and zigzagged through KTM traffic all the time, which looks scary on the outside but once you’re in it it just all seems to flow somehow. I can tell from your questions that you’d love it there! It’s a pretty eye-opening country by all means.

      Discrimination – Ufff yes, it was a challenge at times. Nepal is very patriarchial and you can really feel it. There are many practices that degrade women in society (like isolating girls for having their period, who also can’t touch food during menstruation because they’re seen as unpure, etc.). The looks were also challenging so I always tried to stay low-key. I once got groped in a taxi/van and Paul didn’t see it. I didn’t realize what had happened until I got out moments later. After that episode, I took extra precautions to protect my personal space. But with that said, don’t let me scare you! I felt extremely safe even walking at night. Most Nepalis will look out for you and will be more than happy to help you out of danger if ever you’re in it.

      I’m here to chat more if you have more questions of course! Just message me on IG or shoot me an email. Thanks again xx

  7. Meghan Emcee

    Love this list, seems like there’s no shortage of things to do in Kathmandu Nepal, I had no idea! The festival looks like so much fun!

    • Bri

      You’re right Meghan there’s really not, lol! And all of these sights and temples deserve multiple visits. And yes, Holi was SO much fun! And wild!

  8. World of Lina

    Didn’t know there are so many things to do in Kathmandu! I also love the graphic you designed Brittany ☺️

    • Bri

      Thanks, Alina! And yes, so many! And I couldn’t even include half of it because each place is so detailed with history and gods that it’s hard to keep track of.

  9. Megan

    Kathmandu sounds like a crazy town, with lots of interesting things to experience. Not sure I’d want to swim in the river with the ashes though!

    • Bri

      It’s a whirlwind of adventure for sure. And me neither, although it doesn’t seem to bother the small Nepali boys and girls who were swimming and playing in it naked when I was there! 😮

  10. Sydney

    I work with a girl from Kathmandu and I love hearing all about her beautiful city! She may be moving back soon and I can’t wait to visit her and see everything Kathmandu has to offer.

    • Bri

      Aw you’d love it, Sydney! That’s so exciting. It’s always good to have a friend there to show you around as well!

  11. Patricija

    Gosh I get a real travel bug reading this! Nepal looks amazing and the food super yummy! 🙂

    • Bri

      Thanks, girl! It also gives me wanderlust vibes and I’ve already experienced it lol. Can’t wait to go back!

  12. Bliss eatts

    Nepal looks like such a beautiful country and everyone always says they fall in love when they visit. Your photos really invoke the country, they’re beautiful.

    • Bri

      Thanks so much and that’s definitely true! Nepal brings you back in, one way or another. Like chips you can’t have just one (trip!).

  13. Taylor Deer

    Wow! Nepal looks amazing. What a wonder experience you two had. I definitely am adding Kathmandu to my bucket list and I hope to also do the trek to Everest Base Camp as well. That is so cool you also participated int he Holi ceremony and eating dhal with your hands truly does sound liberating.

    • Bri

      I think you’d love it, especially trekking! We trekked to Annapurna and it’s one of my favorite experiences so far. There’s so much left to do though! I’d like to get up to EBC as well.


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Hi, I’m Bri! I’ve been slow traveling around the world in search of new adventures since 2013. I have lived in 8 countries on 4 continents including Nepal, Mexico, Colombia, and parts of Europe! I created this blog to inspire others to live a life of adventure, seek out meaningful experiences, and to travel slowly and mindfully. Join me on this journey and let’s tick off our bucket lists! Read my story here.

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