City Orientation Walk, Kathmandu (Self Guided)

Kathmandu is the capital and the largest metropolitan city of Nepal. The city is located in Kathmandu Scoop. It is considered to be among the most beautiful urban locations in the world. The city is encompassed by four picturesque mountains. Kathmandu also attracts a lot of visitors by its original market places, unique architecture and beautiful green spaces. Here is a list of top attractions in Kathmandu.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Nepal » Kathmandu (See other walking tours in Kathmandu)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 16
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
Author: Caroline
1
Durbar Square (Basantapur Darbar Kshetra)

1) Durbar Square (Basantapur Darbar Kshetra) (must see)

The literal meaning of Durbar Square is "Court Square". There are three preserved Durbar Squares in Kathmandu valley and one unpreserved in Kirtipur. The Durbar Square of Kathmandu is located in the old city and has heritage buildings representing four kingdoms (Kantipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kirtipur), built over the centuries, the earliest dynasty that ruled over the Square being the Licchavi dynasty. There were further additions and refurbishments during the reign of the Mallas (9th century) and then the Ranas. The complex has 50 temples and is distributed in two quadrangles of the Durbar Square. The outer quadrangle has the Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar and Shiva-Parvati Temple, while the inner quadrangle has the Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace.
Dealers in Durbar Square sell a multitude of Tibetan-style curios. These tempting artifacts made of silver, turquoise, coral or ivory are mainly fake, though you can find some interesting items too. Fine ethnic jewelry, in gold and silver, is another exquisite item that can be purchased in the old city.
"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Kumari Ghar (Kumari Bahal)

2) Kumari Ghar (Kumari Bahal) (must see)

Kumari Ghar is a palace in the center of the Kathmandu city, next to the Durbar square where a Royal Kumari is selected from among several Kumaris. Kumari, or Kumari Devi, is the tradition of worshiping young pre-pubescent girls as manifestations of the divine female energy or devi in South Asian countries. In Nepal the selection process for her is very rigorous. Kumari is believed to be the bodily incarnation of the goddess Taleju (the Nepalese name for Durga) until she menstruates, after which it is believed that the goddess vacates her body. Serious illness or a major loss of blood from an injury are also causes for her to revert to common status. The current Royal Kumari, Matina Shakya, aged four, was installed in October 2008 by the Maoist government that replaced the monarchy. "(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Kumari Ghar (Bahal) was built in the year 1757 by the King Jaya Prakash Malla. It was named after Kumari goddess that is well known as an incarnation of Taleju goddess. The Kumari Bahal is a three-storied quadrangle lavishly decorated with fine woodcarving. It is the place where throngs of people make a beeline to get the glimpse of Kumari and get her divine blessings.
3
Freak Street

3) Freak Street (must see)

Freak Street is a narrow street situated south of Durbar Square. It is a fun place to shop for Tibetan woolen garments, jackets and mittens. Be sure to buy quality textile, else it will fall apart the very next day. Among Nepal's famous bargains are kit bags, caps and clothes made from black felt with rainbow fringes.
4
Hanumandhoka Palace

4) Hanumandhoka Palace (must see)

Hanuman Dhoka is a complex of structures with the Royal Palace of the Malla kings and also of the Shah dynasty in the Durbar Square of central Kathmandu, Nepal. It is spread over five acres. The eastern wing with ten courtyards is the oldest part dated to the mid 16th century. It was expanded by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century with many temples. Sundari Chowk and Mohan Chowk in the north part of the palace are both closed. In 1768, in the southeast part of the palace, four lookout towers were added by Prithvi Narayan Shah. The royal family lived in this palace till 1886, where after they shifted to Narayanhiti Palace. The stone inscription outside is in fifteen languages and legend states that if all the 15 are read milk would spring from the middle of stone tablet.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Makhan Tole

5) Makhan Tole (must see)

Makhan Tole, also known as Makhan Tol, is situated north of the famous Durbar Square. This area is popular among shoppers because here thangka, paubha and other fine arts are sold by numerous dealers. A thangka is a form of art, widespread in Tibet. It is a piece of silk on which Buddhist deities or mandalas are embroidered. A paubha represents the Nepali version of thangka - a scroll upon which the painting is done.
6
Indra Chowk

6) Indra Chowk

Indra Chowk is is one of the ceremonial and market squares on the artery passing through the historic section of Kathmandu. Its temples and bazaar draw streams of pilgrims and shoppers. The square is named after Indra, lord of heaven in Hindu mythology. The intersection of Indrachok, along with Maru, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Makhan, Jana Baha, Asan and Naxal, mark the old India-Tibet trade route that is now a vibrant market street.
It is considered to be a center for the sale of textiles. Blankets, clothes, shawls, and scarfs made of pashmina are a local treasure, as this fabric is now banned in India. Pashmina is a kind of Nepali cashmere and in Indra Chowk it can be bought at very low prices. Also, sari material can be purchased in this market.
7
Akash Bhairab Temple

7) Akash Bhairab Temple (must see)

Akash Bhairab Temple is situated at the intersection of six streets, in the busy market place - Indra Chowk. Akash Bhairab, also called “Arogya Dev”, is a rectangular temple built on several tiers. The temple underwent serious reconstruction a couple of years ago, after being partially destroyed in the earthquake of 1934. The design of the renovated temple is based on the original architecture.
8
New Road

8) New Road

New Road is situated east of Durbar Square. The road is called Kings Way because it leads to the Royal Palace Museum, where, once, the kings of Nepal lived. Here you can purchase imported luxury items of high quality. A couple of small shops on New Road are dedicated to the traditional musical instruments of Nepal - fiddles, flutes, etc. Another traditional souvenir sold here is the khukri - a traditional knife.
9
Tundikhel

9) Tundikhel

Tundikhel is a huge green area, located on the eastern side of the old city of Kathmandu. This field hosts a large variety of events ranging from sporting matches to exhibitions, from army parades to yoga sessions. One of the most interesting events happening here is Ghore Jatra festival – a Nepali horse racing competition. According to a legend, the festival started long time ago when the evil Tundi demon, who inhabited the area, died. In joy, the citizens of Kathmandu rode their horses over the demon’s corpse.
10
Mahankaal Temple

10) Mahankaal Temple

Mahankaal Temple is situated near Tundikhel, on the Kantipath road, next to the Nepal Army Hospital Liaison office and the Bir hospital. This temple is dedicated to Mahakaal, also known as Kaal Bhairab - the God of Time. This deity is worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists. People pray to this God to heal their sicknesses caused by bad karmas.
11
Asan

11) Asan

Asan is a ceremonial, market and residential square in central Kathmandu, near the Annapurna temple and the Ganesha shrine. . It is one of the most well-known historical locations in the city and is famed for its bazaar, festival calendar and strategic location. The bazaar at Asan attracts shoppers from all over Kathmandu because of the tremendous variety of merchandise sold here, ranging from foodstuffs, spices and textiles to electronics and bullion.
Asan is also one of the popular tourist spots in the city because of its architectural sights and charming ambiance.
12
Ranipokhari

12) Ranipokhari

Ranipokhari, meaning Queen's pond, is an artificial square-shaped pond with a temple of Shiva in the middle. Ranipokhari lies in the heart of Kathmandu, within a 10-15 minutes walk from Kathmandu Durbar Square. The pond was constructed during the reign of King Pratap Malla in memory of his son Chackrawotendra. It was a token of consolation to his wife, drowned in sorrow of their son's death. The pond is fenced with iron bars and opened once a year during Bhaitika, the fifth and final day of Tihar.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Dharmapala Thangka Center

13) Dharmapala Thangka Center

Dharmapala Thangka Center is situated on Durbar Marg, near the south gate of the Royal palace. This is not only a shop, but also a showroom where you can admire the thangkas being painted. Thangka is a Tibetan art form. A thangka is a colorful image covered with a silk fabric that depicts a Buddhist deity, or a scene from the life of Buddha.
14
Narayanhiti Royal Palace

14) Narayanhiti Royal Palace (must see)

Narayanhiti is made up of two words ‘narayan’ and ‘hiti’. 'Narayan' is a form of the Hindu god "Vishnu” whose temple is located opposite to the palace and ‘hiti’ means “water spout” which is also located to the east of main entrance in the precincts of the palace, and which has a legend associated with it. The entire enclosure surrounded by a compound wall, located in the north-central part of Kathmandu, is called the Narayanhiti palace. It was a new palace, in front of the old palace of 1915 vintage, built in 1970 in the form of a contemporary Pagoda. It was built on the occasion of the marriage of Birendra Bir Bikram Shah, the then heir apparent to the throne. The southern gate of the palace is located at the crossing of Prithvipath and Darbar Marg roads. The palace area covers 30 hectares (74 acres) and is fully secured with gate controlled walls on all sides.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
15
Garden of Dreams

15) Garden of Dreams (must see)

Located across the street from the former Royal Palace at the entrance to the Thamel tourist area, the Garden was made famous as the Garden of Six Seasons which was created for Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana (1892–1964), in early 1920. The Garden, which featured a design inspired by the Edwardian style, was considered one of the most sophisticated private gardens of that time. Landscape architect Kishore Narshingh, designer of Singha Durbar and architect to Kaiser Shumsher's father, the Maharaja, designed and supervised the construction of the Garden of Dreams.

Within the Garden walls are pavilions, fountains, decorative garden furniture, and European-inspired features such as verandas, pergolas, balustrades, urns, and birdhouses. Each of the six pavilions, which provide the Garden's architectural framework, is dedicated to one of the six seasons in Nepal. After the death of Kaiser Sumsher, the garden was handed over to the government of Nepal, but it was not properly managed for decades. Today, only half of the original garden remains.
Sight description based on wikipedia
16
Thamel Neighborhood

16) Thamel Neighborhood (must see)

Thamel is a popular tourist destination in Kathmandu. Thamel has been the center of the tourist industry in Kathmandu for over two decades, growing up between two of the original hotels, the Kathmandu Guesthouse and Hotel Utse. Even though Thamel has been referred to as the "ghetto" by some, most low-budget travelers consider it a tourist haven. Its concentration of narrow streets are lined with small shops selling everything from food and provisions to clothes, walking gear, cakes, pastries, music, DVDs (mostly pirated), handicrafts, etc. It boasts a wide range of mountaineering gear shops, foreign money exchange booths, mobile phone shops, pubs, clubs, and nightlife along with the numerous travel agents and guest houses. There are many restaurants in Thamel that serve traditional and continental cuisine, although prices are significantly higher than in non-tourist areas.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Kathmandu, Nepal

Create Your Own Walk in Kathmandu

Create Your Own Walk in Kathmandu

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kathmandu is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Specilaty Shops of Kathmandu Tour

Specilaty Shops of Kathmandu Tour

If you choose to do some upmarket shopping in Kathmandu, then specialty shops are the answer. Though the prices are slightly higher, service and quality is better. Of course, even here, you can't buy authentic antiques, but you can acquire some representative items: Newari items in bronze, brass and copper, Tibetan woolen garments, etc. Take this walking tour through Kathmandu's...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Temples in Kathmandu Self-Guided Tour

Temples in Kathmandu Self-Guided Tour

The main religions in Kathmandu, as in the rest of Nepal, are Hinduism and Buddhism, although there are minorities of Kirats, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims, Bahaais, and Christians. Many Hindu temples in Kathmandu are centuries old and of great importance to Hindus. The Pashupatinath, Changu Narayan and the Kasthamandap temples are of particular importance for the capital of Nepal. We encourage you to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Durbar Square Tour in Kathmandu

Durbar Square Tour in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and the largest city in the country. It has a rich, nearly 2000 years old, history. Durbar Square translates into English as "Court Square". The Durbar Square of Kathmandu is located in the old city and is home to over 50 temples. Check out some of the most popular temples of Kathmandu on this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 km
Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu Self-Guided Tour

Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu Self-Guided Tour

Pashupatinath Temple is situated near the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmnadu. The area in which it is located is truly picturesque - surrounded by virgin jungle. Though you may not be allowed to enter Pashupatinath, you can admire it from the other bank of the river, or you can visit some famous temples situated in this region. We encourage you to take the Pashupatinath temple...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Tundikhel Self-Guided Tour in Kathmandu

Tundikhel Self-Guided Tour in Kathmandu

Tundikhel is one of the hidden treasures of Kathmandu. On this huge green field colorful festivals are held frequently. If you are not fond of festivals, you may explore important landmarks that are situated nearby - Bhimsen Stambha, complimented by the Sundhara fountains, Sahid gate, Bhadrakali Temple, etc. Take this self-guided tour to discover the prominent attractions of Tundikhel in...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Kathmandu's Street Markets Tour

Kathmandu's Street Markets Tour

Kathmandu is a true heaven for shoppers, especially for the ones who are ready to explore street markets. In this city, markets are the place where you can buy quality products without wasting all your money - Monk's robes, soft silks, woolen garments, artifacts, etc. The list is truly endless. Unfortunately, in Kathmandu you are not allowed to buy authentic antiques, but you can purchase...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Kathmandu for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Kathmandu has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Kathmandu, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.