Eco-friendly travel guide to Kathmandu advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Kathmandu, Nepal.
- Air quality: 1.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 2.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 4.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$10 - $100
- Budget per day: US$50 - $100
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal, and different surveys have listed this city amongst the top 10 upcoming tourist destinations in the world. Thus, there are numerous reasons why people would want to visit this city.
It is not shocking if you desire to visit Kathmandu. However, you should know that every tourist has the task of being a responsible traveller while they are in any new city. The goal is not to kill the little progress of the place, but to leave it better than you met it.
- The best way to be a responsible traveller in Kathmandu is to patronize the services of the locals. By doing this, it shows that you appreciate their work, and you want to play your part to improve their economy.
- It would be best if you always carry reusable bags and water bottles to minimize littering. All these may seem little or insignificant, but they go a long way in ensuring that things are in place.
- As a foreigner, you should be concerned about protecting the environment of the society you find yourself in.
- It is also highly recommended to stay in green hotels, eat local food, support the local vendors and businesses.
Air Quality and Pollution
Although Kathmandu is not amongst the top urbanized cities in Asia, it is fast-growing, and the increasing population has led to more pollution in the city.
You will notice that the people do not take sewage disposal and management seriously or as a top priority, which is affecting the air quality of the area. Because of the pollution, which also affects the air, there is an increase in the way people in the city fall sick.
Pollution in Kathmandu is one of the first things that any foreigner would notice when they visit the city. It is not that the locals of the area are not aware of this issue, but they feel that the government is not doing enough to curb the situation. However, it would help if you do not think that these locals sit around and fold their arms.
Everyone is always on the ground to ensure that they contribute in any way they can to provide a remedy to the situation so that it would not keep affecting them.
One major cause of air pollution in Kathmandu is fumes from cars and motorcycle. The department of environment had bought out a report, clearly stating that the total Suspended Particles (TSP) in a site in Kathmandu was 4,749 µg/m3.
Respect the Culture
Foreigners have to be on their best behaviour in any new city so that they can get along properly with the locals. You should know that life would be unbearable for you if the locals of a place do not like you. Your trip would not be the same without the approval of locals.
The best thing you can do when you are in Kathmandu is to respect their cultures and traditions. Every place has traditions that serve as guidelines. Instead of talking down on these practices, adjust and follow them until you leave the city.
The locals of Kathmandu will gravitate towards you if you show them respect and love. Typically, a foreigner should go with gifts when visiting the house of a local. It is an act of courtesy, and you must not expect appreciation in return. However, it is necessary so that you can warm their hearts.
It is also necessary that you make all exchanges with the use of your right hands when in Kathmandu. Locals will feel that you are disrespectful if you collect or give them anything with your left hand.
Top 10 Places to Visit
You can visit some of these places in Kathmandu to have an excellent time:
- Casino Mahjong: We would assume that you know the things that go on in a Casino. If you love gambling games, you should visit this place.
- Nyatapola Temple: Hindu is one of the significant religions in the city, so it is only right that you feed your eyes by visiting one of its temples.
- Annapurna Base Camp Trekking: If you are a hiking person, you should visit this tourist attraction. It helps in enjoying nature and meeting people.
- Shivapuri Hill: This is also a perfect hiking spot that gives you an ideal view of the Himalayas.
[[File:Budanilkantha_town_and_Shivapuri_hills.jpg|center|900px|thumb|Shivapuri hills have a magnificent view]
- Nagarjun Forest Reserve: Many people are lovers of nature, and it may be that you are one of such. You can visit this place in Kathmandu.
- Vatsala Devi Temple: Although this place is not in Kathmandu, it is in a neighbouring city in Nepal and an excellent place to visit.
- Fifty-Five Window Palace: What beats visiting a royal site in a new city? We know that lovers of architecture would appreciate this building.
- Hanuman Dhoka Durbar: Asides that this place has a lovely architectural view, it also tells a story on the history and culture of the people.
- Shaktipeeth Shri Guhyeshwori Temple: Remember how Hindu is a significant religion in this city? You will see statues of Hindi gods and goddesses at this temple.
- Gosaikunda Helicopter Tour: You know that you would have a fantastic view of the city when you take this tour.
Undoubtedly, people will not visit a city if it does not have exciting places to visit. Since there is the knowledge that there is an increasing visit rate by foreigners to Kathmandu, you know that the city has tourism potentials.
What do you do when you are in a new city? We know that many people might want to argue or give reasons on how they are in the city of activities other than fun, but it is not a complete holiday if you do not partake in adventures.
Thus, we expect you to explore the many places in Kathmandu that would put a smile on your face. It would be best if you do not let anything limit you from having a pleasant holiday experience.
Even if you do not have someone with you on the trip, exploring these places allows you to meet new people.
Networking and meeting new connections go a long way in life, so you must do it. Do not coop yourself indoors when you are in Kathmandu.
As a part of exploration, you can visit the parks in the city:
- Garden of Dreams: One can see this place as a romantic attraction as it is a neo-classical garden with excellent cafes and restaurants, serving fantastic delicacies. It is perfect for relaxation.
- Amideva Buddha Park: The shaded tress at this place help to keep it cool and make the environment serene. It helps in calming the mind and has Buddha statues.
- Ratna Park: Some persons might say that this place is for children because it has swings and slides, but who says you cannot unleash your inner child? It is named after Queen Ratna.
- Narayan Chaur: If you are seeking a clean park to have a peaceful time, you should explore this park. Talking walks or jogging here is not a bad idea.
- Ranibari Park: One of the reasons why this place is famous is because it has a perfect view for watching birds. It is a beautiful place to spend your evenings or early mornings.
- New Baneshwor Park: You should know that this park is always busy, so you cannot eliminate the noise factor. However, it is a perfect spot to meet people and engage in activities.
Here are some of the national parks in Kathmandu:
- Buddha Park: Another name for this place is the Peace Park. As the name implies, it has many Buddha statues. It was established as a friendship mark between China and Nepal.
- Bhrikuti Mandap Park: A lot happens at this park, and you cannot afford to miss out on the fun when you are in Kathmandu. From concerts to exhibitions, and more, you will have a pleasurable time at this place.
- Chitwan National Park: If you are a lover of animals, or have never had the opportunity to see animals in real life, you must visit this park.
- Land Amusement Water Park: You know that you should expect nothing less than fun at this place. Not only will going on the rides put you in a pleasant mood, but the friendly people would also make your stay worthwhile.
- Langtang National Park: There is a lake at this place, and people say that lakes promise a peaceful time. It would be best if you should consider this place as a perfect meditation spot.
- Taudaha Lake: Bird watching is a favourite activity in Kathmandu, and this lake is an excellent place to carry out this activity.
When compared to other cities, beaches are not one of the major tourist fortes of Kathmandu. Thus, it would not be amongst the top places to explore if you want to visit places in Kathmandu.
The number of beaches you will find in Kathmandu is minimal, and some of them might not meet the benchmark of what you have in your mind.
You should also know that some of these beaches may not directly be in Kathmandu but are in surrounding cities of Nepal.
If you have adequate time, you can add them to the list of places you would like to visit. However, it would help if you have an open mind when going to any of the beaches.
Some of them are:
- Royal Beach Nepal: It is a white sandy beach that offers hospitality to anyone who visits. You would see that it is also a campsite to some, and you can do many activities here.
- Sukute Beach Resort: You will be intrigued by the many activities you can engage in this place, and some people get so enthralled that they wish to spend all their time there and never leave.
There are some unique landmarks in this city:
- Dharahara Tower: It is common knowledge that a tower would always get attention and makes it easy to locate. Dharahara Tower is iconic as it was amongst the architecture of Kathmandu recognized by UNESCO.
- Basantapur Tower: Since this place is famous in Kathmandu, it serves as one of the landmarks that would help you navigate the city.
- Nasal Chowk: Asides the fact that this place is a landmark, it also has historical ties and tells a story about the city.
- Moo Chuka: The architectural view of this place is always astonishing, which makes it one of the significant landmarks of Kathmandu. It is also an open museum with two lion art guarding the entrance.
- Taumadhi Square: There is a lot to explore at this place, especially as a foreigner. However, you should know that you would pay a fee before you can enter the square.
- Taleju Bell: It is hard to ignore a bell in the city, so this is one of the famous landmarks. Locals find it easy to use this place to describe somewhere to foreigners.
It is common knowledge that you can get lots of information about a place when you visit its museums. However, it gets better.
A museum can be a place of encompassing knowledge, but when a city has different museums, focusing on various things, it makes learning history easier for you.
Luckily, Kathmandu has many museums, and foreigners will have the time of their lives exploring these places. Some of them are:
- The Taragaon Museum: Taragon is an art Museum in Kathmandu that has many displays and gives you an insight into architecture. Interestingly, it also has cafes, showing that you can do more at this place.
- National Museum of Nepal: At these museums, you will know details of almost all historical aspects of Kathmandu. There are many statuses, giving you knowledge of the religions in the city. You will also see weapons, representing some of the wars and events that have happened.
- Patan Museum: The atmosphere of this place is always relaxing as the environment is beautiful. You will see the arts and pictures that tell you the ancient stories of the city.
When people decide to visit a new place, you will notice that one of the things which gets them excited are the fresh delicacies they will enjoy. It is always refreshing when you get to eat food that you would not take on a typical day.
Sometimes, we can argue that some of these delicacies are regular in many societies. However, the preparation process differs. If you are someone who does not like trying out new food, you need to change your orientations because these make the highlight of anyone’s holiday.
Do you love pancakes? If yes, you should try Chatamari when you are in Kathmandu. It is pancakes made with spices. People who love spicy food would enjoy this type of pancakes.
Sekuwa is what Kathmandu people call their native delicacy of Kebab. It is made from any meat and seasoned with traditional herbs and spices. Do not be shocked if you find yourself asking for more of it.
Back in the days, Yomari was a celebratory food. However, people now eat it when they desire. It is a classic preparation of sweet bun in the shape of a fish, filled with chocolates.
Traditional Local Restaurants
You know that it would be wrong for you to leave a city without trying delicacies from the local restaurants. Here are some that you should visit in Kathmandu:
- Nepali Chulo Authentic Restaurant and Banquet: You should expect nothing less than cultural foods at this place as it is a strictly Nepalese restaurant. The staff are usually friendly, and the locals are always giving tips on the meals you should try out. Interestingly, it has provision for traditional entertainment. It is an all-round package.
- Atithi Satkar Nepali Restaurant: Asides from the wonderful traditional cuisines you will enjoy at this place, you should be ready to shake your body to cultural tunes as the restaurant has provision for local live performances. The aim is to ensure that foreign customers feel welcome and that there is always a touch of societal values.
- Krisharpan Nepali Restaurant: This restaurant is located inside a hotel. Thus, it solves accommodation issue, and give you a taste of the Nepalese delicacies. The services are always top-notch, and you will always want to return.
Vegetarian and Vegan
A set of people that usually harbour fear concerning food when they are in a new city are the Vegans. Since they have a different diet from others, it is sometimes hard to find a place where they can get food which suits their taste.
Even if they get food, they might not be able to enjoy the local cuisines as some of the restaurants would not have the vegetarian option.
Here are some top-notch vegan restaurants in Kathmandu:
- Loving Heart Vegan Restaurant: Many people commend the fact that the food served at this restaurant is never stale. You will always have fresh options with an array of varieties ranging from tofu to mushrooms, and much more.
- Sarangi Vegetarian Restaurant: If you are a vegan visiting Kathmandu, you have no cause for worries as this restaurant is there to attend to your taste buds. The best part about this restaurant is that you will never run out of options.
- New Satkar Vegetarian Restaurant: This restaurant sometimes goes out of its way to include delicacies of other societies in its menu. It is a place that would be worth your time to visit.
We are sure that this would not be the first time you are hearing about the term street food. If you are unsure, street food refers to food made and sold on the road. It is a quick way of getting food, especially for people who are in a hurry.
Some people say that street food is usually sweeter, while others argue that it may not be healthy. It is not out of place for you to try some street food before leaving Kathmandu. It is your decision to make if you love it or not.
Some of the are:
- Noodles: At many points in Kathmandu, you will see a vendor or more making noodles. It may be because it is fast and easy to make. However, this is one of the top street food in Kathmandu, and sellers try to make it in different varieties.
- Momos: It is one of the famous traditional delicacies in Kathmandu. Because of the rate at which people love it, Momo is a street food as you can see stalls selling it at almost every angle. It is a type of dough prepared with traditional spices.
It is not surprising that the first thing a person’s mind would think about when people mention drinks is alcoholic beverages. However, let us remember that our focus is on how to be a responsible tourist, and one way to achieve this is by showing a desire for the local delicacies.
If a city has traditional foods, it is also expected that there would be traditional drinks, and it is right for you to try them before leaving the city. Many times, these drinks are not alcoholic. So, your mind should be calm if that is your fear.
Suja is one of the famous traditional drinks in Kathmandu. Some people might prefer to call it butter tea, and you can make it by boiling tea leaves with yak butter and salt. Of course, you know that you will feel the creamy goodness, and it helps in relaxation.
If you do not want tea, you can try Lassi, a traditional drink made from yoghurt. There are many flavours of Lassi, so it is left to you to pick the one you desire.
Water is an essential part of life, and we know that you can’t stay without the urge to drink water during your stay in Kathmandu. However, your health is essential, and we always want you to be on your best look. Thus, we would be analyzing the tap water in the city to know if it is suitable for drinking or not.
We earlier mentioned air pollution in Kathmandu. However, it does not stop at that as it also extends to the water that comes from the tap. We all know that water is supposed to be colourless, odourless and tasteless. But in Kathmandu, you will notice that its tap water is yellowish.
The best advice is to boil your water when you are in Kathmandu as it is not advisable to use the tap water for anything, including brushing.
If you think that the process of boiling water is too long or stressful, you can opt for the option of bottled water. Always ensure not to compromise your health as that is the only way you can enjoy your stay.
Suppose something is to be classified as organic, especially when it relates to what we eat. In that case, it is something that never had the application of artificial substances such as fertilizers and others. If you are someone who loves eating healthy and organic foods, here is a list of some organic cafes in Kathmandu:
- Nepal Organic Coffee: Visiting the coffee shop is a favourite past time for many people, and it would be excellent if you visit a place that sells organic coffee. Everyone who visits this place agrees that their coffee is delicious, and there is something unique about it. The best part is that it is not costly.
- Organic Smoothie Bowl and Café: It is safe to describe this place as a breakfast restaurant, and everything they serve is organic. It has a cozy atmosphere, making it easy for people to hang out. The taste of what they have is not much different from the typical taste, but you can be sure that it is perfect for your health.
- Little Heaven Organic Café: You can always grab healthy snacks and drinks from this place.
We know that you have been patiently waiting to see if we would mention alcoholic beverages since we have been talking about drinks.
Some people love alcoholic drinks for different reasons, ranging from courage and boldness to relaxation and much more.
Here are some places to enjoy these drinks in Kathmandu:
- Roots Bar: If you are looking for a chill place to relax while enjoying drinks, you should visit this bar. It has provisions for live music which makes the environment lively, and you can mingle with the locals.
- Sam's Bar: One sure thing is that you can enjoy reggae tunes at this bar. It has an array of drinks you can enjoy, including cocktails. The bartenders have a speciality in mixing of drinks, and there is a fireplace to keep warm. They strive to ensure that their customers are always comfortable.
- Jatra Cafe & Bar: There is almost no drink you desire that you will not see at this bar. It is an excellent place to have a pleasurable time, and you would not regret visiting it.
Since there is an increase in the rate at which foreigners visit Kathmandu, it means that they are doing something right. A city that has activities for tourist to engage in one that would have a steady inflow of foreigners. People love to explore and be active when they are in a new city. If they notice that there is nothing to do, it gets them irritated as no one likes boredom.
People who have an exciting time in any city are bound to give recommendations to their friends, and they would want to pay a return visit.
If you are about wondering the activities you can do in Kathmandu, you should not forget hiking. There are many mountains and hiking trails in the city, so it is an activity that keeps tourists busy.
You can also decide to take a walk around the city as many things can feed your eyes, and you can go fishing in any of the lakes or engage in birdwatching which is a famous act in Kathmandu.
Yoga and Retreats
People love and engage in yoga for diverse reasons. Some do it for conditioning of the mind while others do it to be flexible. There are many other reasons why someone might want to do yoga.
If you are someone who loves yoga and always engages in it, you are in luck when you visit Kathmandu as this activity is famous there, and it has numerous yoga studios.
Some people find it hard to adjust when they are in a city that does not have yoga as a popular activity.
Some of the yoga studios you can visit are:
- Pranamaya Thamel Yoga Studio: All the props you can think about or desire to use for yoga are in the studio, so you do not need to stress yourself coming with anything. It is a beautiful and calm place. A typical session is for 90 minutes, and you would pay for the classes.
- Charak Yoga Studio: It may be because this place is always clean, but many people in the city have it as their favourite. You can either engage in personal sessions or join yoga classes at this studio.
We cannot typically say that living in Kathmandu is expensive, so you know that the cost of accommodation would not break your account or drain you while you are in the city.
The prices of accommodation in Kathmandu varies because it is dependent on your choice. It could be that you want to lodge in a hostel, green hotel, apartment, or whatever alternative you desire.
In the hotels, it could be that you desire to get the cheapest room, or you would want an executive treatment. The choice is always yours, but the accommodation outlets in Kathmandu promises its customers that they would always get value for their money.
Some people make accommodation plans before they visit the city while some would wait till they are around before doing it. It is sometimes best to book ahead so that you will not experience any difficulty or hear stories of the place being booked up when you are around. If you plan accommodation plans before getting to the stress, you do not have anything to stress you.
A green hotel is one that is eco-friendly as it has things in place that ensures environmental protection.
If you are someone who cares about the environment, it would be that this is the type of hotel you desire to lodge when you are in a new city.
Green hotels in Kathmandu are:
- Kathmandu Eco Hotel: The location of this hotel is strategic for any foreigner as it is accessible to many of the foreign attractions in the city. Some of the complimentary packages that follow lodging in this hotel are access to free Wi-Fi and breakfast. It is also pet friendly.
- Radisson Hotel Kathmandu: There are many facilities in this hotel that ensure the comfort of any customer. It has a restaurant where you can enjoy local cuisines, and there is a spa for relaxation. There is also a pool where you can relax and meet people.
The green hotels in Kathmandu are affordable, so you do not need to worry much about the cost. The best part is that you are contributing to the environment.
Hostels and Guest Houses
It could be that you would prefer to lodge in a hostel type of apartment or a guest house. These places would be smaller, but you will get a feel of warmth and comfort.
- Hostel Funky Monkey: One of the reasons why people like this place is because it gives a perfect view of the mountains. There are no regrets when you lodge here, and it is not expensive. It has surrounding dining and restaurants, so you will be comfortable.
- Fireflies Hostel: The services offered by the management of this place is commendable as they ensure to put facilities in place that ensures their customers have a pleasant experience, and they are always friendly. These people are ready to help you navigate your way around the city, and some people say that they will consists of a new family for you during your stay.
- Acme Guest House: If you are on a budget, this is a perfect place to lodge. The atmosphere is serene, and they also provide breakfaster to lodgers. You will have no issues with this place.
Some people will prefer to stay in a place that feels like home, where they can cook and do things they would have done in their houses. This is where the idea of lodging in an apartment comes to play.
There are many apartments for rent in Kathmandu, and some of them are:
- Bhatbhateni Apartments: It has so many facilities that ensure a comfortable stay, and the only thing it is missing, for now, is a swimming pool. It is a beautiful place that anyone would want to reside in.
- Namaste Apartment: People give commendations to this apartment, saying that they had an enjoyable stay. Thus, it is right for you to stay here and enjoy all that they offer. It is well-furnished, and fellow residents are usually friendly.
- Ananya Apartments: Suppose you want to lodge alone or in a group, this apartment has rooms that will suit your taste. It is at a strategic point in the city, so you can easily navigate to other areas. You will have an easy time relating with the people around.
Some people feel that since it is a new city, it would be better to couch surf than to stay alone. They believe that it would help them better in learning the ways and culture of the city so that they would not go out of line. After all, no one likes to feel alone and lonely in a foreign land.
With couch surfing, you get to stay with people during the period of your holiday. These hosts would most times be locals of the city.
You should know that the people of Kathmandu are friendly and love to interact with foreigners. These people strive to improve their economy through tourism, so they are always welcoming to strangers. Thus, couch surfing is popular in the city.
Locals are always open to play hosts and allow foreigners to their homes. However, it should be best if you respect them and never try to look down on their culture and tradition.
It would help if you also learn how to meet them halfway as their lifestyle would surely be different from what you are used to. If both parties can find common ground, everything will be swell.
We do not want to generalize and say that everyone loves camping. However, we know that some people love this activity, and doing it in a new city is one of their highlights.
Camping can be fun, especially when you are with the right people. Adding camping as one of the things you want to do in Kathmandu is a part of exploration.
Some of the camping sites in the city are:
- Travellers Peace Home: If you go camping in this place, you can either engage in cycling or gardening. One thing that stands clear is the fact that it will bring you closer to nature. Interestingly, they serve breakfast to campers every morning. The rooms are also comfortable and conducive always.
- Kalsee Eco lodge, Netherland Camp: Hiking is usually superb at this place, and it gives you excellent views. Commendations are given to the staff and management as they ensure to keep this place clean and in a top-notch standard. You will have an enjoyable time here, and may not feel like leaving.
How to Get There
We see people curious about how they can reach Kathmandu. It could be that you have heard many exciting things about this city and you want to visit it. But, you do not know what means of transportation you can use from your location down there.
Asking questions about how to get there is normal as it is not your terrain. It would be best if you are never scared or shy to inquire so that you would not have challenges.
You know that you would not be happy if you miss your way and it may put you in an off mood, and that would not be a great start to your holiday.
Many means of transportation would get you to Kathmandu. If you decide on anyone, you need to make proper preparations.
The means of transportation you decide to use while travelling plays a role in some of the essentials you would need to pack. You know that it is necessary to have a neck pillow if you are using an aeroplane.
Air transportation is common in different places of the world, and Kathmandu is not an exception.
There is an airport in the city, so many flights land here. If you desire to use air in reaching Kathmandu, you should check for the airline that operates in your vicinity which also flies to Kathmandu.
Certain months in the years are rush hours concerning flights as that is when there is a high inflow of persons to the city. Thus, you must make plans and book ahead to secure a seat on the flight. October to November and February to April prove difficult in getting a flight.
You should also know that there are other airports in Nepal besides the one in Kathmandu. You can land in other cities if you cannot secure a direct flight from your location to Kathmandu.
While flying, ensure that you follow all the rules and regulations for your safety.
Some people have concerns about the conditions of the various airports in Nepal due to the earthquakes that have occurred. However, everything is operating normally.
One thing you should know is that Kathmandu is a busy city. Some people might want to say that this place is overpopulated. You will understand the dynamic nature better when you are in the city.
If you usually do not encounter traffic in your city, you should brace yourself for it when you are in Kathmandu as it is a norm. Everyone is trying to move from one point to another, so there is congestion on the road.
You can use a bus from your location to Kathmandu, especially if you are in India or China as it has road connections. We know you might be wondering why people would want to use a bus instead of driving.
It is safer to use a bus because these people understand the roads and driving behaviour of the people better. Sometimes, vehicles run out of fuel when they spend a long time on the road.
The road experience to Kathmandu is something that you would always remember. If you want to have a stress-free holiday, use a bus instead of driving your car.
Have you ever been on a train? It may be that trains are common in your society, and you are used to it as a means of transportation. Some people have only heard of trains, but they have never been on one.
Thus, when travelling to a new place, they desire to know if they can use a train as it is a way of cross off something on their bucket list.
Not to burst your bubble, but there are very limited railway routes in the country and the Railway system is not developed.
Maybe you can get on a train to your next holiday location, but not when you are visiting Kathmandu. This should not dampen your mood, as other means of transportation would safely take you from one point to the other.
We do not know, but we feel that as the city progress, they might have a provision for railway services. This cannot be certain as it is only a hopeful thought, buying from ideas of different tourists.
Hitchhiking is a concept of borrowing rides as it could be that you do not have money to pay, or you need a direction guide. This concept is famous in many cities, but some places do not have it as a norm.
However, you would notice that the hitchhiking concept is best practiced in cities that are considered safe for foreigners, and Kathmandu is on this list.
It is common knowledge that there are risks in hitchhiking, but your fears are assured in Kathmandu as the people love to look out for foreigners.
Before you decide to hitchhike, you must be clear about your intentions. If you flag down a car or truck without clearly stating that you do not have money, it would not be regarded as hitchhiking as the driver would expect payment when you get to your destination.
Thus, you must clearly declare that you do not have money before entering any vehicle. Although hitchhiking is a common practice in Kathmandu, it is usually for short distances. The locals do not mind dropping you off for free if it is not far.
- Tour Buses: Foreigners are almost always at an advantage in foreign cities as they get special care from the people. In Kathmandu, some companies have special buses that are dedicated to helping foreigners navigate the city. If you want to have an easy flow of movement, you can contact any of these companies. The good thing is that it eliminates the fear of getting the wrong direction as they are committed to keeping you safe.
Driving is a common means of moving around Kathmandu. We would not lie and tell you that it is easy as the population of the city is high, so there is always congestion.
People are always busy moving to different points, and driving is your fastest means. When you are in the city, you can rent a car that would help your movement. However, this is not advisable if you are not used to the hustle and bustle. It would help if you have a mask when moving around Kathmandu due to the air pollution. This is expected in a populated city, and the vehicles contribute to this pollution.
Transportation in Kathmandu is usually not expensive, especially the taxis. You can always use a taxi to move around the city, and you would see them plenty. There are also buses that serve as complement to these taxis.
You should know that this means of transportation is usually much on the road because they know that people need them. Patronizing the services will help the individuals and economy at large.
Unlike other cities where you would harbour fear and not want to walk around alone due to insecurity, Kathmandu differs as it is a safe space, even for foreigners. Some societies are generally not safe, while others are safe for their locals but unsafe for tourists.
In Kathmandu, the safety of both locals and foreigners stands as a priority.
It is refreshing to take a walk around any city, and the parks and gardens are perfect locations for such to happen. Kathmandu is blessed with enthralling views, so you would not regret the time spent in walking around.
There are many landmarks in this city, some of which we mentioned above. Thus, navigating is always easy as you could find your way to any landmark if you lose your way.
As a general safety precaution, you need to be on alert if you are walking around at night. However, locals in Kathmandu love to make foreigners feel welcome, and would always want to render their assistance. You might see someone who would accompany you on your walk.
Understandably, some people have a passion and would love to ride a bike around a new city. The feeling is always out of this world as the thrill is top-notch.
In Kathmandu, you can easily get a bike for rent that you can ride throughout your stay. However, we would not advise that you use bicycles as a steady means of transport.
If you can remember, Katmandu has a high population and the roads are always busy. Thus, it is not safe to ride a bicycle around as cars could knock you down while they are struggling for space. As a foreigner, we know that you would not understand the road system like the locals, so it is best to stay safe and not use bicycles.
However, if you are insistent on riding bicycles, you can do it for leisure at the parks and other suitable areas. Doing this will bring joy, and it is a way of letting go of worries and having a pleasant stay.
You will see electronic vehicles in Kathmandu, but they are used as public means of transportation.
There is always a rush for public buses in the city, so you should be sharp and fast else you would not get a space on any of them.
Tram, Train and Subway
There are no railways in Kathmandu, so you would not see this means of transportation.
We always advocate that foreigners should patronize local shops and products in Kathmandu as it is a way of extending a peace branch and establishing connections and relationships.
If you do sustainable shopping, you are supporting local businesses, and it would improve the way of life of the people and the economy in general.
Kathmandu has a lot of sustainable shops, and it is almost impossible for any of them not to have things you desire.
- Kar.macoffee: From the name, you know that this shop sells coffee, and it is organic. Asides the coffee, they also sell coffee mugs, notebooks, candles, and much more. Most of these are affordable, and the profit helps in boosting the economy.
- Green Bamboo Creation: These people are into the creation of furniture from bamboo. If you are wondering why they use bamboos, it is because it promotes oxygen than other trees. It helps in protecting the environment.
- Tyre Treasures: Typically, people want to abandon and throw away tyres when not in use. However, these people recycle it into treasures. They clean these tyres and turn them into something aesthetic.
If you decide to try your recipes when in the city, here are some food markets:
- Ason Bazar: You will find almost anything you desire for cooking at this place, especially local spices, which is an essential element of the local foods in the city. It is one of the busy spots in Kathmandu.
- Jai Chamunda Vegetable and Food Market: Vegetables are the primary focus of this place, and they have an array of things. You might sometimes get confused about what to pick because there are numerous options. However, the locals are always ready to assist you in making a choice.
- Kalimati Fruits & Vegetable Market: This market is usually busy, but one can say that it is more arranged than other food markets in the city. Traders come here to buy things in bulk, and you will always see varieties. It is famous for fruits, meats, and fishes.
- Sharada Mini Market: Although this place might not be as busy as the rest, you will also get good options and varieties to choose from.
A flea market is a place where you buy second-hand hands. We hope this helps you understand better because we know that some people usually get a confused face when they come across this term.
If you would love to visit such a market in Kathmandu, they are:
- Asan Tole Gurutzbidea: It is a flea market, but it would be wrong for us not to give you heads up on how to navigate your way there. You should know that this is a big market, and there are many stores with choices. Thus, your energy level should be high as it can be draining going from one point to the other. However, they have excellent varieties.
- Dragon Tourist Market Nepal: As the name implies, this market has a lot of things that appeal to tourist. Thus, it is not wrong to say that they await your visit. You will see many fantastic options that border on handcraft.
- Kathmandu Durbar Square: This place doubles as many places in the city, including a famous landmark. There is a lot of buying selling that occurs here.
Second Hand Stores
Undoubtedly, it is cheaper to buy second-hand items, especially if you are on a budget. It could be that you see things that catch your eyes while in the city, but you did not budget for it before coming. Instead of being sad and not buying it, you can visit second-hand stores and get it at a lower rate.
- Khadadevi Second-Hand Book Shop: If you love reading, you must visit this place as you can get any book you desire. They have many exciting options, and some of the books would give you a better knowledge of Kathmandu.
- Dallu Secondhand Shop: You will see more of furniture at this store, and they are hard to ignore.
The concept of eco-fashion is in full gear in Kathmandu, and it is highly commendable. Eco-fashion is a way of producing clothes that are friendly to the environment. You can use organic materials like bamboo and other things that would not affect the atmosphere.
Many brands in the city are keying into this idea, and you will notice it when they showcase their items during fashion fairs.
Although it is not as rampant as norm fashion, we see it taking over in some years. Thus, when you wear an attire, you know that it protects oxygen and does more help than damages to your atmosphere.
The creativity that has been coined from this is also mind-blowing.
Recycling is a way of turning abandoned items into reusable ones. However, the government of Kathmandu and Nepal, in general, have not put in the effort to ensure that this happens. We see some individuals in the city trying to make it happen, but they need more support.
If there is an adequate force behind recycling in Kathmandu, the level of pollution would not be as high as it is now.
Population management is something that the city is still trying to get right. As a foreigner, you should join hands with the few individuals who take recycling seriously and play your part in contributing to the city. It helps you leave a positive impact that the locals will not forget.
Many people might want to associate the high level of waste in Kathmandu to the fact that there is a high population in the city. We cannot argue with this as we know that it is expected, but people should play their role to stop littering.
It is common to see piles of dirt and rubbish on the streets of Kathmandu, and we can say that the reason for this is because they are no strict laws yet against offenders.
You might see trash cans on the streets, but do the people comply?
As a foreigner, you can take the bold step and enlighten these people on the dangers of littering and why they should be serious about waste management.
Work and Study Abroad
It is not popular for people to visit Kathmandu because they want to study. Instead, we see people from this city going to other places for educational purposes.
It could be because there is no flexible option of work and study in their education system. Thus, those who want to pursue higher education would rather do it in a place where they can be working while learning.
This way, they get the opportunity to make money and would return to their home city when they deem fit. The good thing is those who travel out always desire to come back and invest in their city. They believe that they can bring about better opportunities which will foster progress.
There are many universities and colleges in Kathmandu, but we cannot say that they are popular amongst foreigners. These schools are not among the reason why there is an inflow of persons to the city.
The reason for this is because the education facilities in Kathmandu are of lower standard when compared to other societies. Thus, it is rare to see an exchange student.
Most of the universities and colleges have different courses in case you are considering schooling here. However, put it in remembrance that you would not see many international students, and you might feel lonely amongst the locals.
Some of the institutions are:
- King's College Nepal
- Kathmandu Medical College
- The British College
- Kathmandu Engineering College
- Islington College
We earlier mentioned a means of accommodation where you can find a local host to pair with during your stay in the city.
However, the au pair comes to play if you wish to work while you are in Kathmandu. It may work best with those who desire to stay long-term in the city. The concept here is to attach foreigners to a host whom they would work for.
Typically, it would be best for you to learn a bit of the language and have an idea of the traditions of the city before you sign up for this so that you would not encounter any hurdles.
If you are thinking for how you would get a host if you desire this, have no worries as Au Pair Nepal, an Au Pair agency in the city is a perfect platform that would help match you with a host.
If you need the means to be useful as a foreigner in a new city, you should consider volunteering. This way, the locals and community, in general, would feel your effort.
It is not easy to go to a city and start volunteering, but it would help you in connecting with the locals and creating the impact you desire.
If you wish to volunteer in Kathmandu, you are free. However, you need to register in the Social Welfare Council, which regulates Non-Governmental Organizations in the city. It is important to always follow due processes so that you would not encounter any difficulty as you do your job.
There are many things you can do as a volunteer, and we would advise that you visit the city first before you decide.