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Stepping off a flight to Kathmandu presents an exhilarating feast for the senses, which will stay with you for the duration of your trip. Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital, and is also its largest city with a population of more than five million. Fly to Kathmandu with Qatar Airways to discover an expanding metropolis filled with ancient temples, beautiful walled gardens and an inimitable urban bustle.
If your trip to Kathmandu is motivated by a desire to see the famed temples and relics of this ancient city then you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice. Make the climb to the hilltop religious complex of Swayambhunath and you’ll be rewarded by the sight of Nepal’s oldest and holiest temple. You may catch a glimpse the revered monkeys that live there, and that have led to the site being nicknamed ‘The Monkey Temple’.
Other must-sees include the Boudha Stupa (one of the largest holy sites of its kind), the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath and the sanctuary of Kaiser Mahal, also known as the Garden of Dreams. The Narayanhiti Palace Museum is a good place to add some cultural and historical depth to your trip to Kathmandu, and to watch the swarms of fruit bats that live in the grounds.
One of the great joys of a trip to Kathmandu is simply wandering among the many temples and sights scattered throughout the city, and soaking up the atmosphere of the streets. There are also plenty of opportunities for leisure activities and sports, ranging from one of the most picturesque rounds of golf you’ll ever play, to rock climbing and mountain biking in Kathmandu Valley.
Birdwatching is a special part of many trips to Kathmandu, as there are more than 500 species of bird living in Kathmandu Valley. Hiking is also popular outside the city, while there are helicopter tours available for those of a less physical inclination.
Kathmandu is a great place to sample Nepalese cuisine. Rice and curry dishes are popular staples in the city, as are fried or steamed momo dumplings. In addition to the many traditional eateries there are plenty of high-quality restaurants serving international cuisine of all types to cater for visitors tastes.
Nepalese cuisine has been inspired by many of its neighbours, and you’ll find elements of Indian, Tibetan and Thai food within many dishes. Kathmandu is a melting pot of cultures and flavours, many of them on the spicy side.
Travel to Kathmandu is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in rare and unusual books (particularly spiritual ones), as there are many English-language bookshops in the city.
Many visitors travelling to Kathmandu return with an assortment of local crafts, pieces of jewellery and traditional clothing. The markets of Kathmandu are also a good place to pick up meditation aids such as singing bowls and authentic incense. Do ensure that you check with customs that incense is allowed back into your country of origin, though.
Though tourism has led to some changes in Kathmandu, the city and Nepal in general has retained much of traditional culture and has a deeply religious society.
Respect when visiting temples and other religious sites is very important, and you should travel to Kathmandu mindful of local traditions and customs. Modest dress is advised with attire that covers the shoulders and legs.
The head is considered a sacred part of the body and should not be touched. You should never expose the soles of your feet to anyone or point them towards a holy shrine or statue.
Flights to Kathmandu arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport. This is Nepal’s only international airport and is located just outside the city.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Kathmandu please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / D
International dialing code: +977