Kathmandu's Street Markets Tour (Self Guided), Kathmandu

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 copies. Check out the most popular shopping spots in Kathmandu using this self-guided tour.
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Kathmandu's Street Markets Tour Map

Guide Name: Kathmandu's Street Markets Tour
Guide Location: Nepal » Kathmandu (See other walking tours in Kathmandu)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Author: helenp
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • New Road
  • Durbar Square (Basantapur Darbar Kshetra)
  • Freak Street
  • Makhan Tole
  • Indra Chowk
  • Asan
  • Thamel Neighborhood
1
New Road

1) 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.
2
Durbar Square (Basantapur Darbar Kshetra)

2) 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.
Sight description based on wikipedia
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
Makhan Tole

4) 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.
5
Indra Chowk

5) 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.
6
Asan

6) 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.
7
Thamel Neighborhood

7) 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.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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