The gateway to the Himalayas, Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and the largest city in the region. While many visitors just pass through on their way to the mountains, there is a plenty to do in the city itself.

Durbar Square is the main hub of old Kathmandu. Around 50 temples and shrines stand in the square, many of which were damaged in the 2015 earthquake. One building that came through with minimal damage was the ornate Kumari Bahal. This is home to the Kumari, a girl who is chosen as a living goddess. She appears most days on one of the ornately carved balconies and many believe that the building’s miraculous survival is proof of her divine powers.

Another iconic landmark in Kathmandu is the Swayambhunath Stupa, built around 2000 years ago. Climb up hill to the stupa, avoiding bands of opportunistic monkeys on the way up – anything tasty looking is likely to be stolen! The eyes of the Buddha stare out from the golden tower, watching over the entire Kathmandu valley while pilgrims spin prayer wheel as they enter the temple and prayer flags flutter from the main stupa to the surrounding shrines.

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Read more on Kathmandu below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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